- eMeRTon, Artisjus, Franz Liszt Award winning Hungarian violin and theremin player, vocalist.
- Artist of Merit of Hungary
- Outstanding Artist of Hungary
- Member of Hungarian Academy of Arts
Born: 17 February 1968 Budapest
Genres: classical, jazz, world music
Instruments: violin, theremin
Years Active: 1993-
Labels: EMI Records, IKP Music
She was born into a classical musical family. Her mother is a remedial school teacher, who plays the piano very well. Her father, Ferenc Illényi – Katica’s first teacher – played in the Hungarian State Opera House. He decided to bring up all four of his children to become musicians. Since the age of 3, hours of practice was a natural thing for Katica and her three siblings; Ferenc, Anikó and Csaba.
At the age of 14 she was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, to the class of “special talents”. Her teacher was Dénes Kovács. She graduated at the Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music. During university (Franz Liszt Academy of Music), she already played in the orchestra of the Hungarian State Opera and Erkel Theatre. In 1991 she obtained her master’s 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. She wanted to play with her whole being. Therefore, she decided that besides playing the violin, she will also sing and dance. She started to attend phonation classes and 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. 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.
1999 was a turning point in her life, when she was invited to perform in solo in different television shows. Since then, she gives self-organized concerts, one-woman shows each year, always with a new repertoire, mixing classical pieces, jazz and easy listening music. At her concerts, gems of classical music, movie soundtracks, well known jazz and Broadway melodies can be heard.
Next to Bach, Csajkovszkij, Paganini, Dvořák, Gershwin, Morricone, Michel Legrand and John Williams, Hungarian composers like Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Franz Liszt and Leó Weiner pieces are played also.
She introduced a mysterious instrument, called Theremin to her audience on the 4th of January 2014. at her New Year’s Eve concert which took place at The Palace of Arts Béla Bartók Concert Hall.
The Theremin is a mysterious instrument, because it doesn’t need to be touched while playing.
Next to classical music, she is committed to high quality popular music. At her concerts, she sings, plays the violin, the theremin and she also tap-dances. With entertaining anecdotes, she pilots her audience from one music genre to an other. Entertainment, interactive communication with the audiance are her prime elements. Her goal is to aquainting quality music with the listeners.
„I believe it’s not true that people don’t like classical music, they just don’t know it.“
Her versatile 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 composer‘s music, classical music, sophisticated jazz and quality popular music to broad social layers.
Her purpose is to enhance the long-established reputation of the Hungarian musical culture internationally.
In 2010, she was chosen to be one of the artists to represent Hungarian culture worldwide.
Since 2014, Member of the Music Department of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
At her charity concerts, she draws attention to the importance of 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.
Katica has three siblings, who are also musicians. In 2010, they gave a concert at the Palace of Arts (Budapest), accompanied by the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok.
Anikó Illényi - principal cellist of Musikkollegium Winterthur, Switzerland
Ferenc Illényi - violinist Houston Symphony Orchestra, USA
Csaba Illényi - violinist, graduated of the Vienna Academy of Music
Hungary's Outstanding Artist 2020
Artist of Merit of Hungary 2015
Franz Liszt Award 2014
Artisjus award 2010 (Society Artisjus, is the association of music composers, songwriters, authors, writers, poets and music publishers.)
eMeRTon Award 2002 ( Hungarian National Radio)
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.
2020. Jubilee Concert
2019. Lullaby - Beautiful Melodies by Contemporary composers
2018. Tango Classic
2017. Katica Illényi & Friends
2016. New Year Concert at Royal Ballroom with Budapest Strings
2015. Around the World in 80 days
2014. Live in Budapest
2014. The Stéphane Grappelli Tribute
2014. Live at the Thália 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 - Sisters and Brothers at the Palace of Arts, Budapest
2010. Songs of Love
2008. The Jazzy Violin
2007. Spring Concert at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest
2006. Live at the Palace of Arts Budapest
2005. Honeysuckle rose
2019. Jubilee Concert - Budapest Congress Center
2018. Tango Classic, Celebration Hall of Vigadó
2017. Katica Illényi & Friends Budapest Congress Center
2016. New Year Concert at Royal Ballroom with Budapest Strings
2015. New Years Concert – Around the World in 80 days
2014. Palace of Arts Budapest Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
2011. Live in Budapest, Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
2010. Katica Illényi - Sisters and Brothers at the Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
2010. Concert at the Comedy Theatre Budapest with Judit Faludy and Miklós Szenthelyi & Hungarian Virtuoso Orchestra
2009. Love Songs, Tivoli Theatre
2008. Concert at the Thalia Theatre
2008. Stéphane Grappelli Tribute, Thalia Theatre
2007. Spring Concert at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music
2006. Concert at The Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
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.
Yoga, StabilityTraining and bodyART
Practicing yoga, StabilityTraining and bodyART regularly since 2007, has helped her to 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 since 1996.