The Budapest Times - Hungary‘s leading English Language source for daily news

Hungarian prodigy wins 3rd prize in Moscow Paganini competition

Budapest, November 30 (MTI) - Hungarian prodigy violinist Antal Szalai has won third prize in the 5th Moscow International Paganini competition and, besides a Korean violinist, was the only non-Russian among 35 contestants to make it into the final.

Hungary has a long-standing tradition of producing world-class violinists, and many of them, like Szalai, studied at the Ferenc Liszt Academy in Budapest.

Szalai, 26, who is currently completing his studies at the Brussels Conservatoire, played the Bartok violin concerto to Yehudi Menuhin at the age of 15. He told MTI in Moscow late on Thursday after the final that he now realises how musically immature that performance was.

Since then he has played in concert halls around the world, including the Carnegie Hall, and has recording contracts with BMC records and Hungarian label Hungaroton.