Hungarian violinist Kristóf Baráti is being recognised increasingly across the globe as a musician of extraordinary quality. In 2016 he made a sensational debut at the Verbier Festival in a televised performance of Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas and in the same year was invited by Gergiev to play concerti by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Prokofiev in London, Shanghai and St Petersburg. In 2014, at the age of 35 and in recognition of his great artistry, Baráti was awarded Hungary’s highest cultural award, the Kossuth Prize, following in the footsteps of revered Hungarian artists such as András Schiff, György Ligeti and Iván Fischer.
Having spent much of his childhood in Venezuela, where he played as soloist with many of the country’s leading orchestras, Baráti returned to Budapest to study at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and was later mentored by Eduard Wulfson, himself a student of Milstein and Menuhin. Still resident in Budapest, Barati performs regularly with all the major Hungarian orchestras and in recital and chamber music across the country.
Baráti has played with orchestras such as the Budapest Festival, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, NDR Hannover, WDR Symphony, Royal Philharmonic orchestras and with conductors such as Kurt Masur, Marek Janowski, Charles Dutoit, Jiří Bělohlávek, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Andrew Manze, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Mikhail Pletnev, Gilbert Varga, Iván Fischer, Jakub Hrůša, and Yuri Temirkanov. In 15/16 he made his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and in Autumn 2016 tours with them to Hungary with their Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Other highlights of Baráti’s 16/17 season include his return to the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Moscow State Symphony and his debut at London’s Cadogan Hall with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Gergiev as part of the Prokofiev celebrations.
A regular recital and chamber music player, Baráti made his French recital debut at the age of eleven in Montpellier at the prestigious Festival de Radio France and has since performed all over Europe and the US with partners such as Richard Goode, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, Miklós Perényi, Dénes Várjon, Zoltán Kocsis and Kim Kashkashian, amongst others. Recent highlights have included recitals in Paris, Chicago, New York and Verbier Festival and in 16/17 he makes his recital debut in India and Shanghai.
Baráti has recorded the five Mozart concerti, the complete Beethoven violin-piano sonatas and Brahms sonatas with Klára Würtz and the complete Ysaye solo sonatas for Brilliant Classics, and Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo violin and Paganini concerti 1 and 2 for the Berlin Classics label. Of a recent disc of encores, Gramophone magazine said “for those who like to hear the violin played at its sweet and acrobatic best, then Baráti is out of the top drawer.”
Baráti plays the 1703 "Lady Harmsworth" made by Antonio Stradivarius, kindly offered by the Stradivarius Society of Chicago.
What he did was brave, humble, different, I would say spectacular… the most beautiful tribute to the violin itself.
Baráti’s performance was, in a word, masterful. Probing, austere, meditative, it rang with a rare sense of authenticity and almost majestic scope.
For those who like to hear the violin played at its sweet and acrobatic best, then Baráti is out of the top drawer... With intensity of sound, unbridled athleticism and, when needed, searing leaps into the stratosphere that send a tingle down the spine.