Bálint Karosi



Minister of Music (2007-)





Bálint Karosi has served as Minister of Music at First Lutheran church since 2007. He is an award-winning concert organist, composer and advocate of the art of keyboard improvisation in historic styles. He has appeared as a soloist at 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 Philarmonie, and has been a soloist at the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, the Boston Early Music Festival and the Magadino Organ Festival in Switzerland. He has performed in historic venues such as the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the Marienkirche in Lübeck, the Cathedrals in Speyer, Geneva, Freiberg, St. Albans and at Christ Church in Dublin. He has released three CDs by Hungaroton, Dorian and Dulcian labels.

Mr. Karosi captured media attention when he became the first American-based organist to win the 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.

Balint Karosi’s compositions include chamber music, cantatas, art songs, works for the organ and sacred and orchestral music. He was commissioned recently by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project for Existentia in memoriam Sándor Weöres, for symphony orchestra, to be premiered January, 2015. His Triple Concerto for Harp, Guitar and Cimbalom is scheduled for a performance in April, 2015 in Budapest by Musicians Libres. The Hungarian State Opera has commissioned an overture for orchestra to be premiered in 2016. His Concerto for Organ and Symphony Orchestra, commissioned by the National Concert Hall in Budapest was premiered in 2007 by the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra with the composer as soloist. The performance was subsequently broadcast on NPR’s Pipedreams. His Orpheus’ Harp, a solo cantata for tenor, harp, organ, violin and percussion, based on a poem by Czeszław Miłosz was premiered at the National Concert Hall in Budapest in 2010 by the acclaimed Hungarian tenor, Szabolcs Brickner, violinist Kristóf Baráti with László Fassang as organist.

In 2013-2014 He has collaborated with poet Kai Hoffmann-Krull in two cantatas for choir, orchestra and soloists: Lines of a Page, commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Words of Beginning, written for the 175th anniversary of the First Lutheran Church of Boston. He is currently collaborating with the acclaimed stage director and librettist András Almási-Tóth to write an opera based on a Hungarian folk tale. His song cycle Poems of the Night, and his Dancescapes for symphony orchestra has earned him the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He is also the recipient of the Hungarian Junior Prima Prize.

A devoted teacher of organ, improvisation and music theory, Mr. Karosi has taught at Boston University and UMass Boston, the Oberlin Conservatory and the Yale Department of Music. He has been an advocate of the art of keyboard improvisation since he started playing the organ at age seventeen. His doctoral thesis Rhetoric and Schemata: Improvising the Chorale Prelude in the 18th-century Lutheran Tradition investigates the pedagogical, cultural and methodological role of the Lutheran Chorales in teaching improvisation in the eighteenth century.

Karosi has completed the academic portion of his doctoral studies at the Yale School of Music. He earned Master’s degrees from the Yale School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and a Prix de Virtuosité from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève. He is under management with Penny Lorenz Artist Management.


5 Responses to Bálint Karosi

  1. MartinH says:

    Wow, many hidden gems on this site, I just listened to the organists’s bach-horror-piece: http://www.flc-bostonmusic.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Jesu-Christus-unser-Herr.mp3 (btw, rather Heiland than Herr as we know): bravo! (and completely live!, the majority of organsists wouls need say 20 cuts to sound that way..).
    And finally a good sounding baroque style organ in america in a well sounding church(!) (as i was in nyc all organs were horrible…. for organs one should better go to saxony or ostfriesland..
    I’m sure I will discover more soon!

    • bkarosi says:

      Dear Martin,
      thank you for your comment, it is very encouraging. True, most American organs don’t play Bach as well as the original ones in Saxony and North Germany or the Netherlands, but there are exceptions, one being at FLC. I am fortunate to be the organist on this magnificent instrument. I hope that you can visit us live one day! Thanks for checking out this site.
      Balint Karosi, Minister of Music

  2. MartinH says:

    Dear Balint,
    yes, we’re blessed here in germany with good baroque (style) organs, I recently played in Störmthal, small but sweet (and the americans try to copy this one, don’t know if they will succeed :) http://www.constellationcenter.org/downloads/Publications.htm).
    I just listend to the hymn playing, very inspired also (I’m somewhat unsatisfied with most of the youtube hymns..).And most of the hymns are known here also of course (as it is even the case in Japan!) Yes, I know, there are a few good organs in that style in America also, on my US trip I even could play (privately) Christ Church Rochester and Cornell!

    All the best for your work!
    PS I found this site via your splendid performance of BWV 540 on youtube (searching for inspiration of my playing..)

  3. bkarosi says:

    Thanks Martin,
    so where are you in Germany? I play concerts there in the summer, and I was hoping to return there in 2014. Hope to cross paths with you and play again on an original baroque organ..

  4. MartinH says:

    Dear Balint,
    so sorry for the late reply, I missed this entry totally! Wrote you an email..


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