Katica Illényi

Artisjus, Liszt and Artist of Merit of Hungary award winning violinist, member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

Katica comes from a classical music family. Her mother was a special schoolteacher but she played the piano very well. Her father Ferenc Illényi (1935-2007), played in the Hungarian State Opera House. As her first teacher, he decided to bring up all four of their children to become musicians. The four Illényi siblings Katica, Ferenc, Anikó and Csaba started to play instruments at the age of three, and hours of practice was a natural thing for them.. At the age of 14 she was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest to the class of “special talents”.

In 1991 she obtained her masters degree in violin at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music.

In 1991 she obtained her masters degree in violin at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. As a newly graduated violinist she felt that the boundaries of classical music were too tight her, she wanted to play with her whole being. This is when she decided, that besides playing the violin, she will also sing and dance. She started to attend phonation classes, and next to the violin, her voice became her second instrument. Beside all of that she also learned acting, and tap dancing. Very unusual from a violinist, but in her early years she played the main roles in plays and musicals in which of course the violin played a very important part. Meanwhile she started to get acquainted with the “lighter” genre of music such as jazz, swing and she searched for the style specialties in world music which she didn’t come across in classical music.

From 1996 to 2002, she was the singer and violinist of the Budapest Klezmer Band.

There was a turning point in her life, when she was invited to perform in solo in different television shows.

Katica began her solo career in 2002. Since then, she gives self organized concerts each year, always with a new repertoire, mixing classical pieces and jazz. On her concerts gems of classical music and movie soundtracks can be heard. Next to Csajkovszkij, Paganini, Dvořák, Gershwin, Morricone, Michel Legrand and John Williams Hungarian composers like Bartók, Kodály Zoltán, Liszt Ferenc, Weiner Leó pieces are played also. She is committed to high quality popular music, she gives jazz concerts regularly where she sings and tap-dances. Her performances prove that there is interoperability between the different genres of music and it builds a bridge between the different cultures.

Her positive personality, professional competence, work and reputation allows her to spread Hungarian composers music, classical music and sophisticated jazz music to broad social layers, and to lift the rank of Hungarian music culture internationally.
Besides playing the violin, she sings and plays the Theremin wonderfully.
She owns many gold and platinum records.
She is recognized internationally, millions of viewers from around the world visit her Youtube channel regularly.
She was chosen to be one of the artists – besides Zoltán Kocsis, Andrea Rost, and Marta Sebestyén – to represent Hungarian culture wordwide.


She introduced the Theremin to her audience on the 4th of January 2014. at her New Years concert which took place at The Palace of Arts Béla Bartók Concert Hall. There are very few Theremin artists in the world. She is the only Hungarian artist that plays the mysterious instrument in concert. It is called the untouchable instrument since it isn’t needed to be touched to give a sound.


At her charity concerts she draws attention to how much we depend on each other, the importance of selfless help. She participated in City Mission in Budapest by the request of the Catholic Church. At Győr the Evangelic Lutheran Church invited her to help the work of the Red Cross. Currently she is participating in the work of the International Foundation called Nurture the World, which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to ensure nutritious meals for hungry children around the world.


Anikó Illényi /Switzerland/ Winterthur-Stadtorchester principal cellist
Ferenc Illényi /USA/ Houston Symphony Orchestra first violinist
Csaba Illényi graduate of the Vienna Academy of Music
In 2010, they gave a concert at the Palace of Arts, accompanied by the Dohnanyi Symphonic Orchestra


Artist of Merit of Hungary award March 15th, 2015.
Franz Liszt award March 15th, 2014.
Artisjus award 2010.
eMeRton award 2002.

Music studies:

1991. Franz Liszt Academy of Music classical violinist / violinist teacher degree
1986 – 1991. Franz Liszt Academy of Music,
1982 -1986. Franz Liszt Academy of Music, preparatory school – class for special talents, Teacher: Dénes Kovács
1982 – 1986. Béla Bartók Music School – general education studies, music studies at Franz Liszt Academy of Arts.
1984 – 1985. despite her young age she was admitted to study at Detmold Music College, Musikhochschule Detmold in West Germany
Teacher: Tibor Varga
1980 – 1981. Switzerland / Sion, – international „Festival Tibor Varga” violin master class.
1971 – 1982. violin studies – violin private student Teacher: Ferenc Illényi violinist of the Opera House in Budapest. Started to play the violin at the age of 3.

Other studies:

2014. Summer Theremin Academy, France – Theremin master class
2014 – phonation – Hajnal Magyar Studio
2013 – starts learning to play on the Theremin
1996-2004 jazz dance – Béla Földi (Budapest Dance Theatre )
1994. acting – Operetta Theatre Studio in Budapest
1992-1996. jazz singing – National Entertainment Center
1991- classical phonation
1991-2014. tap dance


(audio és video) national and international presentations:
2015. Around the world in 80 days
2014. Live in Budapest
2014. The Stephane Grappelli Tribute
2014. Live at the Thalia Theatre
2013. Reloaded Jazzy Violin
2013. World Famous Movie Songs and Evergreens
2012. Around the world with a violin
2012. Classic violin
2012. Katica Illényi and her Siblings at the Palace of Art sin Budapest
2010. Songs of Love
2008. The Jazzy Violin
2007. Concert at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music
2006. Live at the Palace of Arts Budapest
2005. Honeysuckle rose
2002. Premier

Concert recordings:

2015. New Years Concert – Around the world in 80 days
Palace of Arts Budapest Béla Bartók National Concert Hall January 4th, 2014.
Győr Philharmonic Orchestra
Guests: Anikó Illényi, Csaba Illényi, Andras de Laszlo
Conducted by: István Silló
2011. Live in Budapest
Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall December 16th, 2011.
Győr Philharmonic Orchestra
Guest: Csaba Illényi
Conducted by: István Silló
2010. Katica Illényi and her Siblings Concert
Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall December 4th, 2010.
Dohnányi Symphony Orchestra
Guests: Anikó Illényi, Ferenc Illényi and Csaba Illényi.
Conducted by: István Silló
2010. Concert at the Comedy Theatre Budapest with Judit Faludy and Miklós Szenthelyi May 10th, 2010.
Hungarian Virtuoso Orchestra
2009. Love Songs
Tivoli Theatre April 29th. 2009
2008 Concert at the Thalia Theatre
Thalia Theatre December 6th, 2008
2008. Stéphane Grappelli Tribute
Thalia Theatre December 8th, 2008.
Guest Csaba Deseő
2007. Spring Concert at the Academy of Music
Academy of Music May 10th. 2007.
Guest Csaba Illényi
Conducted by: István Silló
2006. Concert at The Palace of Arts
Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall February 5th, 2006
Ferenc Erkel Chamber, Kornél Fekete-Kovács and the 5 Brass
Guest: Csaba Illényi, Árpád Pirovits, Bolyki Brothers
Conducted by: István Silló
2004. Let’s play the strings
Thalia Theatre November 25th, 2004.

Main theatre roles:

Frederic Lowe: My Fair Lady (Elisa) Toronto 1998.
Jerry Bock: Fiddler ont he roof (the violinist) Budapest, Madách Theatre 1997.
Karinthy-Aszlányi-Gyulai Gál J.-Romhányi: 7 slaps in the pace (Maisie Terbanks) Budapest, Karinthy Theatre 1995.
Szirmai: Mágnás Miska (Countess Rolla) Toronto 1993.
Kálmán: Czardas Queen (Countess Stasi) Toronto 1992.
Lehár: Land of Smiles (Mí) New York 1991.


Joga and bodyART
Practicin yoga and bodyART regularly since 2007, has helped her develop her flexibility, strength, concentration, endurance, sense of balance, stability, patience and awareness and skills that are the inevitable base of
harmonic motion and consciousness.

She has been a vegetarian for 20 years.


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