Minister of Music (2007-)
Described as “ferociously talented” by WGBH Classical New England and praised as “a most impressive musical interpreter” by Christoph Wolff, Boston based Hungarian composer and organist Bálint Karosi continues his quest for new avenues of meaningful musical expression through his work in composition, interpretation and improvisation He has appeared as a soloist at venues such as the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Béla Bartók National concert Hall in Budapest, the Rudolforium in Prague, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Victoria Hall in Geneva and the Essen Philarmonic Hall. He has been featured at major music festivals including the 2013 Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, the 2010 International Bach Festival in Leipzig, the 2009 Boston Early Music Festival, the 2001 Magadino Organ Festival in Switzerland and he has performed in historic venues such as the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the Marienkirche in Lübeck and the Dom in Freiberg, Germany.
As an organist Mr. Karosi captured media attention when he became the first American-based organist to win the 16th International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany. He also won first prize and audience prize at the Dublin International Organ Competition, the Miami International Competition, the Arthur Poister Organ Competition in Syracuse, and second prize at the American Guild of Organist’s National Young Artist Competition and the St. Maurice d’Agaune Competition in Switzerland. He was awarded the Junior Prima Prize for young artists of extraordinary achievement in his native Hungary and the Westfield Concert Scholar Award by the Westfield Center at Cornell University.
A respected teacher of keyboard improvisation, Mr. Karosi serves on the faculty at Boston University and UMass Boston, and is in demand as a private organ and improvisation instructor. In 2012 he won first prize at the University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition and was featured in an improvisation duel with renowned Dutch improviser Sietze deVries at the National Concert Hall in Budapest. He also won a prize at the Brno International Improvisation Competition and the Rochette prize at the Conservatoire de Genève.
Mr. Karosi’s embraces eclecticism in his own music drawing on French-impressionism, avant-garde, tonal and atonal elements, and minimalism. Mr. Karosi’s commission for the National Concert Hall in Budapest, ‘Consonances for Organ and Symphony Orchestra’ was performed by the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra in 2006, followed by a subsequent commission of his ‘Orpheus’ Harp,’ a cantata based on a poem by Czeszław Miłosz. The former work has been aired on Pipedreams on Minnesota Public Radio and NPR. His compositions have been published by Wayne Leupold Editions and Concordia Publishing House. Mr. Karosi’s current projects include an organ symphony, a cantata, a piece for Pierrot ensemble, and a work for symphony orchestra.
An active conductor, Mr. Karosi has been invited as a guest conductor for the 2013-14 season of Bach at the Sem in St. Louis, Missouri, and frequently conducts his own compositions. He conducted his Orpheus’ Harp at the National Concert Hall in 2010 and recently conducted the Yale New Music Ensemble and the Yale Baroque Ensemble in New Haven, CT. Mr. Karosi is also a committed church musician who regularly leads performances of choral and instrumental works at the First Lutheran Church of Boston where he has built and directed a thriving music program since 2007. He founded the yearly “Bach Around the Clock” festival in 2007 that draws thousands of people for a day-long series of concerts in partnership with WGBH Classical New England and other art organizations in Boston.
Mr. Karosi began his musical studies in his native Hungary as a clarinet player. He won second prize at the 2002 Prague Spring International Clarinet Competition, and subsequently performed as a soloist with the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Liszt Academy Symphony Orchestra and played for the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Fabio Luisi, subbed for Boston Ballet, and played historic clarinet with Boston Baroque. Mr. Karosi holds an Artist Diploma, and a Master of Music in Historical Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, two Masters of Music in clarinet and organ performance from the Liszt Academy of Music and two Prix de Virtuosité from the Conservatoire de Geneve. Currently he is pursuing a doctoral degree in composition at the Yale School of Music, where his composition teachers include David Lang, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis and Martin Bresnick.
Balint’s other interests include philosophy, Nonviolent Communication, theoretical physics, fishing and cooking.