Bálint Karosi is an award-winning concert organist, composer and advocate of the art of keyboard improvisation in historic styles. He has appeared as a soloist at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest, the Rudolforium in Prague, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Victoria Hall in Geneva and the Essen Philarmonie, and has been a soloist at the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, the Boston Early Music Festival and the Magadino Organ Festival in Switzerland. He has performed in historic venues such as the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the Marienkirche in Lübeck, the Cathedrals in Speyer, Geneva, Freiberg, St. Albans and at Christ Church in Dublin. He has released three CDs on the Hungaroton, Dorian and Dulcian labels.

Mr. Karosi captured media attention when he became the first American-based organist to win the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany. He also won first prize and audience prize at the Dublin International Organ Competition, the Miami International Competition, the Arthur Poister Organ Competition in Syracuse, and second prize at the American Guild of Organist’s National Young Artist Competition and the St. Maurice d’Agaune Competition in Switzerland.

Bálint Karosi’s compositions include chamber music, cantatas, art songs, works for the organ, and sacred and orchestral music. He was commissioned recently by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project to write Existentia in memoriam Sándor Weöres, for symphony orchestra, to be premiered in January 2015. His Triple Concerto for Harp, Guitar and Cimbalom is scheduled for a performance in April 2015 in Budapest by Musicians Libres. The Hungarian State Opera has commissioned an overture for orchestra to be premiered in 2016. His Concerto for Organ and Symphony Orchestra, commissioned by the National Concert Hall in Budapest, was premiered in 2007 by the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra with the composer as soloist. The performance was subsequently broadcast on NPR’s Pipedreams. His Orpheus’ Harp, a solo cantata for tenor, harp, organ, violin and percussion, based on a poem by Czeszław Miłosz, was premiered at the National Concert Hall in Budapest in 2010 by the acclaimed Hungarian tenor Szabolcs Brickner and violinist Kristóf Baráti, with László Fassang as organist.

In 2013-2014 Mr. Karosi collaborated with poet Kai Hoffmann-Krull in two cantatas for choir, orchestra and soloists: Lines of a Page, commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Words of Beginning, written for the 175th anniversary of the First Lutheran Church of Boston. He is currently collaborating with the acclaimed stage director and librettist András Almási-Tóth to write an opera based on a Hungarian folk tale. His song cycle Poems of the Night and his Dancescapes for symphony orchestra earned him the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the recipient of the Hungarian Junior Prima Prize.

A devoted teacher of organ, improvisation, and music theory, Mr. Karosi has taught at Boston University and UMass Boston, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Yale Department of Music. He has been an advocate of the art of keyboard improvisation since he started playing the organ at age seventeen. His doctoral thesis Rhetoric and Schemata: Improvising the Chorale Prelude in the 18th-century Lutheran Tradition investigates the pedagogical, cultural and methodological role of the Lutheran Chorales in teaching improvisation in the eighteenth century. (A lecture version of this thesis is available on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLqqI2U3dJI)

Mr. Karosi has completed the academic portion of his doctoral studies at the Yale School of Music. He earned Master’s degrees from the Yale School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and a Prix de Virtuosité from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève. He is under management with Penny Lorenz Artist Management.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 24, 2015

News and Press

[Concert Review] From BMOP, new music with a Hungarian accent

Hungarian music, Liszt once wrote, “is divided naturally into melody destined for song or melody for the dance.” Saturday’s ambitious “Magyar Madness” program, presented by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, had representatives of both. It also had two alluring world premieres.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] Rock-solid But Not Maniacal

Though the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s “Magyar Madness” certainly delivered on the first word by presenting four works of Hungarian or Hungarian-descended composers including two premieres at Jordan Hall on Friday, we’ll give BMOP a pass on “Madness,” as the alliterative sobriquet was oxymoronic considering the event’s rock-solidity.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP’s “Magyar Madness” delivers rewarding range of music with two premieres

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, having promised a night of “Magyar Madness” Saturday at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, delivered world premieres of two outstanding, if well-behaved, works by Boston-based composers of Hungarian birth or ancestry and of Generation X vintage. The madness was supplied by the old-timers, Béla Bartók and Gyorgy Ligeti.

Crazy or sane, violent or poetic, all the music in Saturday’s concert touched on Hungary’s distinctive culture as a place apart, isolated by geography and language, yet also bubbling with a mix of European and Asiatic influences.

Boston Classical Review Full review