Biography

Balázs Kecskés D. (*1993) belongs to the youngest generation of Hungarian composers. Presently, he is a doctoral student in composition at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and an external lecturer at the university’s composition department.

From 2007 to 2011, he studied piano and composition with István Fekete Győr and Balázs Kecskés at the Bartók Béla Conservatory of Music. He continued his composition studies as a student of János Vajda at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music from where he graduated with high honours in 2016.

Balázs Kecskés D. has participated at several competitions with success. In 2018, he received the American Garth Newel Award for his Piano Quartet Accusativus, selected from 90 entries from all over the world. In the same year, he won the 3rd prize at the Arany János Composer Competition for his song cycle Enyhülés (‘Patience and Courage’). In 2016, he received the Aurora Musis Amica Award for the most outstanding diploma composition of the year. In 2015, he received the Scholarship of the Hungarian Republic. In 2013, he won the 2nd prize at composer competition in remembrance of the renowned Hungarian writer Géza Gárdonyi. In 2012, he won the 1st prize at the composer competition of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and received the 3rd prize at the GENERACE competition in Ostrava.

His compositions have been performed by leading ensembles such as the Hungarian Radio Orchestra and Choir, the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Danubia Orchestra, the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir, the Kodály Choir and the Budapest Concerto Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok performed his oratorio, Psalm Fragment in the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy. His Concerto for Bass Trombone, commissioned by the Budapest Music Center, was performed in the same year as the compulsory piece of the BMC International Bass Tenor and Bass Trombone Competition 2018. Also in 2018, his composition for mixed choir, entitled Alleluja, commissioned by the municipality of Debrecen was performed by the Kodály Choir at the opening concert of the Béla Bartók 28th International Choir Competition and Festival. The piece was performed in Tallinn as well, at the 2019 ISCM festival by the Collegium Musicale choir. In 2014, at the request of the Liszt Academy, he composed an opera scene entitled Szonya, that was premiered in the Georg Solti Chamber Hall of the Liszt Academy.

Balázs Kecskés D. has attended several masterclasses and festivals working with leading musicians of the world, such as Heinz Holliger, Louis Andriessen, Fabio Nieder, David Lang, Christopher Austin, Paolo Furlani and Hugi Gundundsson. In 2017, he participated in the Dark Music Days Festival in Reykjavik. In 2016, he received the special scholarship for composers of the Livorno Music Festival.

Besides being a composer and music teacher, Balázs Kecskés D. is a dedicated music scholar. His main research areas are the music of Thomas Adès and the main trends of the contemporary music of the US.

Competition Results, Awards:

2018    Garth Newel Award

Arany János Composer Competition – 3rd prize

2016    Livorno Music Festival – special scholarship for composers

            Aurora Musis Amica Award

Young Talents of the Nation Scholarship

2015    Scholarship of the Hungarian Republic

Young Talents of the Nation Scholarship

2013    Composer Competition in memory of Géza Gárdonyi – 2nd prize, Budapest

2012    „GENERACE” Composer Competition – 3rd prize, Ostrava

            Composer Competition of the Liszt Academy – 1st prize, Budapest