István Várdai
*1985 in Hungary

2010 - 2013 Kronberg Academy Professional Studies
studying with Frans Helmerson
funded by the Gerlinde Haber-Schaefer scholarship


2006 Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann

2008 Cello Masterclasses, participant

2010 Chamber Music Connects the World, Junior

2010 Cello Masterclasses, Boris Pergamenschikow Scholarship

2011 Cello Festival, concert

2011 Mit Musik – Miteinander , tutor

2013 Mit Musik – Miteinander , tutor

2013 Alumni reunion

2013 Kronberg Academy Festival, concert

2014 Appointment with Slava

2015 Kronberg Academy Festival, concert

2017 Kronberg Academy Festival, concert

2018 25 years Kronberg Academy anniversary concert

István Várdai


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.

István Várdai’s debut CD, a recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Prokofiev’s Sonata and Janáček’s Pohádka with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève conducted by Simon Gaudenz, was released in October 2009 (Nascor). In 2010 he recorded the Cello Concerto in C major by Johann Baptist Vanhal with the Camerata Schweiz conducted by Howard Griffith and in 2013 played a selection of Variations in a recording with Walter Delahunt.

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.

István Várdai plays a Montagnana cello built in 1720 and the legendary "Ex du Pré-Harrell" Stradivari built in 1673.

Biographies are based on the most recent information provided by the artists or their representatives. Last updated: November 2016