Katica Illényi Year Opening Concert with Friends

The many sided violinist, who also plays the Theremin, sings and tap dances, presented her audience with a New Years concert at the National Congress Centre in Budapest in company of her inspiring Friends.

They say “birds of a feather flock together” and this time we were able to experience Katica’s talent through her friends also. The Artist of Merit of Hungary and Liszt Award winning violinist, invited today’s talented performers to be her guests: Micheller Myrtill singer; Peter Sarik jazz pianist and his band,-  the Peter Sarik Trio supplemented with the guitar artist Tibor Pinter; and her brother Csaba Illényi companied her. Next to them Katica invited other friends also whom she literally learned from.  Árpád Pirovits world champion tap dancer, who is a teacher at the Hungarian Dance Academy and Hajnal Magyar the founder of Hajnal Magyar Studio performed with her. Their heartwarming mentor-mentee performances made the evening even more enjoyable. One of the highlights of the evening was when the three ladies, Myrtill, Hajnal and Katica sang the “Victory gospel” together. Katica admitted that without her teachers’ motivation she wouldn’t have undertaken such a beautiful and complex song. Listening to Katica’s perfect technique, the result proved what a viral role friends play in a human beings’ life. We congratulate Katica for her immense desire to learn – as a violinist also – which has lifted her to one of the most professional singers. Myrtill and Katica’s vocal and Theremin duet was also a moving artistic performance.  Since the Theremin is one of the world’s most difficult instruments to play on (you must hit the notes in the air without touching the instrument)  it was a huge  challenge to coordinate it with the human voice. It was a brilliant performance!

This year’s opening concert was more colorful and more compelling than usual. The performers didn’t let the audience get bored for even a second.  The genres, actors and diverse musical lineup nicely showed off that talent knows no boundaries. Katica is a true Renaissance Lady; In addition to her main instrument the violin, she is the only Hungarian artist who plays the Theremin, but her step and singing knowledge rivals with artists on the highest level. Her professionalism didn’t raise her to an unreachable height; she shared many emotional and personal stories with her audience. She introduced her guests in immense respect admitting that without their inspiration she wouldn’t have become whom she is today.

The evening didn’t miss any humor either. “Mr. Paganini ” Katica and Myrtill’s violin and voice duo or Arpad Pirovits and Katica’s step duo brought smiles to our faces. The light genres gave a great contrast to the classical pieces; the musical eras and styles bonded in Katica’s art and her perfect company. Bach, Offenbach, Bernstein, Piazzolla, Moldovan traditional violin pieces, chansons, gospels and pop hits followed one another, constantly keeping the audience interest. The concert remained at a high level throughout Katica’s and her guests  interpretation. The comprehensible classical and jazz music were easily enjoyable. With a twist, Peter Sarik and his band turned the audience of 2,000 into a strong choir, whom sang Beethoven’s Ode to Joy while he conducted. Nevertheless Peter Sarik, was the one who arranged all pieces and songs that were heard during the concert so we need to pay him a huge tribute for his work. He was able to create modern accompaniment to Bach classics, found a way to make baroque and jazz be more digestible.

Five hundred  young music students and music teachers were invited to the concert as part of a program in which Katica is involved in. It’s duty is to educate the aspiring musicians of the young generation as well as to raise awareness of domestic pieces and composers. With her professional, effortless and joyful presentation she is a perfect example and inspiration to the young.

As a closure, Katica presented a Hungarian pop song titled Azért vannak a jó barátok (“we have good friends because…” ) where she asked the audience to get involved and sing along with her.
Outstanding performances by outstanding performers during the evening. We are pleased that we were able to spend our time in such great company!

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