Acclaimed for her musical intellect and imagination coupled with technical virtuosity, Ildikó Szabó is a laureate of the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in 2014 where she was the winner of the 2nd Prize, the Audience Award, and 7 Special Prizes. She is also a top prize winner of the German Music Competition, TONALi Grand Prix, Popper International Competition, Janigro International Competition, and Liezen International Competition.
Already established in her native Hungary, in 2013 she was awarded the Junior Prima Prize as the Best Young Artist of the year. Ildikó has appeared as a soloist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concerto Budapest and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. Invited to major music festivals she made her debut at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 2019, the BBC at Hay Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and the Mendelssohn Festival with Hamburger Symphoniker in 2018. In 2017 she made her recital debut at the Berlin Konzerthaus, invited by her mentor Sir Alfred Brendel. Previous festival invitations have included the Verbier Festival, Holland Music Sessions, Heidelberger Frühling, Rheingau Festival, Krzyzowa Music, Piatigorsky Cello Festival Los Angeles. Working closely with leading living composers, her current recording dedicated to Hungarian music for solo cello will feature works by Péter Eötvös and György Kurtág as well as by Zoltán Kodály, György Ligeti and her grandfather Csaba Szabó. Scheduled for release on Hungaroton in 2020, it will be the third album in her discography. “Dances of the Elves”, recorded when she was only 14, presents a collection of virtuosic pieces. The second, a collaboration with her father, cellist Peter Szabó and conductor Zsolt Hamar released in 2014, brings back to life the music of Pablo Casals’ friend and favourite composer, Emanuel Moór.
Ildikó Szabó attended the Exceptional Talents’ Class at the Liszt Academy Budapest from the age of 11, while studying every summer with the legendary János Starker, and went on to study under Jens Peter Maintz at the Berlin University of the Arts where she was acquired a Master’s degree in 2018.
She is currently studying for the postgraduate Concert Diploma (‘Konzertexamen’) which is the highest possible performance degree, with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar. In addition to her studies, she will be taking over the assistance for the cello class in 2019/20 at the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar.