Botvay Károly A Budapesti Vonósok kamarazenekar alapítója

Károly Botvay

Artistic director, founder

He is a cello artist, born in Sopron on 29 December 1932. He began music lessons in his hometown, then continued his studies at Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest between 1950 and 1959 at the cello department as the student of Antal Friss and Ede Banda, also studying chamber music from Leo Weiner and András Mihály. Between 1957 and 1963 he was a member of the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, and between 1963 and 1994 its solo cellist. Between 1957 and 1977 he was a member of the Bartók String Quartet, between 1979 and 1982 of the Végh String Quartet, from 1985 to 2005 a member of the New Budapest String Quartet. From 1977 he was the founder and artistic director of the Budapest Strings Chamber orchestra, and between 1982 and 2012 their principal cellist as well. From 1978 he regularly appeared as a soloist in Western Europe’s concert halls. He was an assistant professor at Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music from 1983 to 1989, an associate professor from 1989 to 1997, a full professor from 1997 to 2003, later becoming its professor emeritus. He taught master courses in Europe and overseas. He was awarded with the Liszt, Kossuth and Bartók Béla–Pásztory Ditta Awards.

With his ensembles, he has recorded numerous albums, including all the string quartet pieces by Beethoven, Brahms and Bartók, recorded by the Bartók and the New Budapest String Quartets in Hungary and abroad, as well as 40 CDs with the
Budapest Strings, playing various musical styles from Baroque to contemporary music, which were awarded with high-ranking international awards. In 1994 it was by his initiative that the Budapest Strings’ Haydn Festival was launched at Fertőd-Eszterháza, which has been regularly held until the recent years.