Born in Budapest in 1981, pianist Katalin Csillagh was ten when she gave a performance of her own compositions in the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy of Music. As an extraordinary talent she was admitted to the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music at the age of twelve. Later she studied piano under Professor György Nádor at the Liszt Academy of Music and graduated with top honours in 2005.
In 2001 she was awarded a two-year scholarship to the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she was taught by Professors Leon Fleischer and John Perry. In the same year she also received a scholarship from the Pro Renovanda Cultura Hungariae Foundation. She completed her post-graduate studies under Imre Rohmann at the Mozarteum in Salzburg in 2008. She attended the master classes of several great musicians, such as Alberto Portugheis, Boris Berezowski, Jenő Jandó, Oleg Maisenberg, László Baranyay and Ferenc Rados, and took part in the improvisation and composition course of Messiaen’s pupil Emmy Henz-Diémand.
Her talent has been acknowledged at international competitions, winning first prize at the piano competition of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) in London in 1999 and at the chamber music competition of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, also in London, in 2007. She was awarded the Kadosa Prize at the National Piano Competition in 1998. She has had concerts in Vienna, London, Toronto, Buenos Aires, New York, Salzburg and Nice as well as at several European festivals. In 2010 she played Piazzolla for 2 pianos with Martha Argerich in London at the “Argentina 200” Festival. She has performed in the Great Hall of the Academy of Music in Budapest several times. While she was still a student, she appeared with the MÁV Symphony Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s C major Piano Concerto, which she played with her own cadenza. In 2007 she had the honour to represent Hungary at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London under the aegis of the Kodály Jubilee Year.
Her recordings have been broadcast by the Hungarian Radio and Television. Her solo CD Sonatas (SW 2000) and her chamber music CD Shades of Bach with János Vázsonyi (BMC, 2001) have scored great success in several countries. Her CD including Chopin’s 24 Preludes and Improvisations was released in 2008.
She has been teaching at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, since September 2013.