Katica Illényi violinist, singer and dancer

This week’s respondent is Katica Illényi, a Liszt Award performer, who plays classical music, jazz, famous songs and melodies of the most beautiful and sophisticated light music on her violin. Besides these, she beautifully sings and dances.

 – What was the most memorable moments of your career?

There were many memorable moments, it’s very difficult to choose one! But I’m sure that I will always remember when my siblings and I had a concert in the Palace of Arts. That performance was a high point both spiritually and professionally in my life.

– How did your first love determine your future relationship?

There wasn’t any impact on my future relationship, though psychologists say that the first love has. I was lucky, because I have only good memories about him and it makes me really happy to think about this adolescence period.

– Besides Hungary, where would you like to live?

I’d like to live in a Mediterranean place where people do not hurt constantly each other, the people are friendlier than at home. But the cultural life should be at least as high quality as the concert halls and theaters at home. Is there such a place?



– How much did your environment influence your career choice? Was there a celebrity or a role model who motivated you?

It has absolutely defined my life that my father was a violinist in the Opera House Budapest, he was my first teacher until college. My parents took me to concerts, opera performances, ballets several times in a week and of course everybody in my family can play musical instrument. I was born in this environment, so I could not have chosen anything else. My violinist idols in my childhood were Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin and of course there were many others as well. Later I have listened Stéphane Grappelli’s recordings, who was a French violinist. Grappelli’s style has an enormous impact on my violin career until this moment. My singer idol was Luciano Pavarotti. My favorite dancers are Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis. All of them are great singers, artists and actors. However, the greatest miracle for me was Michael Jackson! Every moment he did on the stage was a perfection.

– Which is your favorite book and why?

Nowadays I am reading The Power of Now from Eckhart Tolle, which should be known by everyone. Everybody should keep Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, because he teaches us not to live in our past and not to worry about the future, but to live the moment. It is a simple idea and if we can do this, it will completely change our life!

– What do you think about your personality?

I have a positive approach to live, I am outgoing and talkative. People don’t make me disappointed, because I know exactly who’s a good-will and who hasn’t. This really helps me in my relationships. I try to avoid conflicts, so my work with my colleagues is really pleasant, but if there is a confrontation, I admit it very hardly, even if it is justified. With this, I can really make my life difficult. I can’t bear defenselessness, so that is why I said and say NO. I listen to my intuition, this works better than my rational side. I’m lost at official matters, I’m inexperienced and defenseless, I need help.

– What are you most afraid of?

The war …

– How much have your childhood dreams been fulfilled?

My childhood dream was to become a ballerina, but this has not been fulfilled, though I can feel the joy of dancing on the stage. All my other dreams have become true. Of course, it’s very important to have dreams which can be fulfilled. I’m lucky, because I have only realistic dreams, which I could fulfill with persistent practice and work.

– What’s your opinion about the donation lines and their effectiveness? Have you ever performed at a charity event?

I find it really important to help others in any way. I’ve regularly charity concerts, this is my own way for helping others. I also enure free tickets for students who learn music and for their parents and for teachers. I believe and I know that people love to give and it makes me really glad how people can help each other in difficult periods. How nice is that there’s something good in every trouble!

– Do you think that vanity is a positive or a negative characteristics? How much do you consider yourself a vain person?

Vanity is a very dangerous characteristics, because all of its consequences are dangerous. Especially when it appears with power. I received a strict education from my parents, they didn’t allow me anything related to vanity. It’s my vanity that I never go out untidily, it is really important for me. I take care of my appearance, I do a lot of sports, I think it is really important how a person appears mainly who are on the stage! In this case we can talk about positive vanity. For me, it is absolutely not important whether I win or not a debate or whether someone likes me or not or whether someone says good or bad things about me. These are used to be important for me, but now they aren’t. Of course, I try to do my best and those people’s opinion are important who are credible to me. I look at those people pathetically who are always interested in other people’s opinion. That can be awful!

– What are you most proud of?

From spiritual point of view, I am proud of my intuitions, because I have very strong intuitions and I can cope with people easily. This helps me a lot on the stage and in my private life as well. Because of this, I can help others and I can also have a good relationship with them. From professional point of view, I’m really proud of the fact that if I start doing something I do it fanatically and I never give up.

–  What was the biggest disappointment in your life?

When I was a little kid, I realized that my parents also are defenseless and they could not protect me forever.

– What do you think about the fashionable diets? How do you eat?

I’m not fond of fashion. We have to figure out what is good for our body. I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years and I don’t eat cheese. I don’t eat greasy or too oily food. If I don’t keep these, I become ill. But this does not mean, that eating like this is good for everyone. People need to pay attention to their body and they have to know what is good for them. We have to be careful, because we have only one and we don’t get another one.

Katica Illényi will be offering tickets free of charge to his students, teachers and parents on music concerts in Budapest on December 22nd, which can be requested here:


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