I aspire to be a musician in the fullest sense of the word: someone who plays, performs and composes, as well as someone who understands the mechanics behind the music through a knowledge of theory and music history.
I began learning the piano at age four, and during my school years studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston. As an undergraduate I went on to concentrate in music and composition at Harvard, while also continuing my piano studies in New York with Seymour Bernstein, my lifelong mentor and friend. During this period I appeared at music festivals including Tanglewood and Aspen, played live on WQXR New York, and was prizewinner of the International Stravinsky Awards and the New York Chopin Competition. My other most influential teachers were Joseph Kalichstein and Luise Vosgerchian, and I played in masterclasses for renowned figures such as Richard Goode and Byron Janis.
After finishing magna cum laude at Harvard (B.A. 1990), I had to decide between continuing as a performer at Juilliard or taking a more academic route with a Fulbright Scholarship to Oxford. To be honest, I had become a little disillusioned by all the back stabbing and back-room diplomacy so prevalent in the music business, and so I chose Oxford. Of course, many disturbed egos prevail in academia as well, but I was extremely fortunate to find a thoughtful and caring tutor in Dr. Susan Wollenberg, who became thesis advisor for both my M.Phil. (1992) and D.Phil. (1997). During this period I also won an Erasmus Scholarship to study in Vienna for a year (Universität Wien), where I developed a passion for languages. (I speak both German and Hungarian.)
During and after my years as a D.Phil. student, I published numerous research articles (eg. Music Review and The Leschetizky Association News Bulletin), contributed to The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Music and Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, and wrote programme notes for Krystian Zimerman and Maurizio Pollini on Deutsche Grammophon.
I also tutored and lectured on a wide range of musical subjects at Oxford University (Brasenose College, LMH, Music Faculty) and the Open University.
For the last 15 years I have been fully freelance, giving numerous recitals in the Oxford area, at venues such as the Holywell Music Room, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Church of St John the Evangelist (SJE). As a concerto soloist, my repertoire has included Beethoven’s Concertos No. 4 and No. 5, Brahms’ Concertos in D minor and B flat major, Rachmaninoff’s Concertos No. 2 and No. 3, and Bartók’s Concerto No. 3. As a chamber musician, I have worked extensively with the cellist Jacqueline Johnson. When performing as a soloist, I usually combine my own compositions or transcriptions with more traditional repertory.
In 2007 my set of original compositions Watercolors was published by Manduca Music, and I debuted them at the annual convention of the National Piano Teachers Association in Toronto. I have published two CDs: 10 Songs for my Children (2004) and Suite, Watercolors (2007), both of which are available on iTunes and Spotify. I am also author of the book Growing into Being (2015), and am currently working on a book dealing with stage fright.
Beyond my musical interests, I also enjoy long-distance trail running and water fasting, as well as all things relating to life and the meaning of the universe!
Married with three children, I divide my time between Oxford and Budapest, travelling weekly or fortnightly in order to teach.