Proudly supported by Marjorie Nicholas OAM, Catherine McPherson and Gregory McPherson
István Várdai, who was born in Pécs, Hungary, in 1985, was admitted at the age of 12 to the Franz Liszt University of Music in Budapest and studied in Professor László Mezö’s class for “extraordinarily gifted” students. In 2005 he transferred to Reinhard Latzko at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. He also took masterclasses with Natalia Gutman, János Starker and Natalia Shakhovskaya. In 2010 he was awarded the Boris Pergamenschikow Scholarship during the Kronberg Academy’s Cello Masterclasses.
István Várdai has won awards in numerous international competitions. He won the David Popper International Music Competition in Budapest three times (in 2000, 2003 and 2004). In 2006 he was awarded a special prize at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in Berlin and won first prize in the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach (Austria). He was also an award-winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2007 and won the Geneva International Music Competition in 2008. In 2014 he won first prize in the ARD Competition in Munich.
Since making his orchestral debut in 1998 in The Hague, István Várdai has performed with internationally renowned orchestras. He has worked, for example, with conductors such as Ádám Fischer, Howard Griffith, Zoltán Kocsis, Josep Pons, Nicolás Pasquet, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Marcus Bosch, Roman Kofman and Simon Gaudenz. In 2010 István Várdai took part in Chamber Music Connects the World, partnering Gidon Kremer, Tatjana Grindenko, Yuri Bashmet and András Schiff. From 2010 to 2013 he studied at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. His studies were sponsored by the Gerlinde Haber-Schaefer Stipendium.
He has been teaching at Kronberg Academy since October 2013.