Home | Alexander Order | Coats-of-Arms | Articles | Latest News |

Art Gallery | Spiritual Corner


Roby Lakatos: The Hungarian Gypsy and Violin Virtuoso

By Consul B. John Zavrel


For the gypsy, there exists only one rule: "There are no rules". And if he happens to be a Hungarian gypsy with seven generations of legendary musicians in his family, one can expect only the unexpected.

In 1965, Roby Lakatos was born as a direct descendant into the legendary Hungarian gypsy violin dynasty of Janos Bihari (1764 - 1827). The family had a major influence on the development of violin music since the 18th century. Bihari was highly respected at the Royal Court in Vienna. His friends Liszt and Beethoven called him in admiration "King of the Gypsy Violinists" and "Hungarian Orpheus". Roby Lakatos is his direct descendant in the 7th generation.

He was initiated into the secrets of the gypsy music at the young age of five, by Tony and Sandor Lakatos. He gave his first public concert as child progeny at the age of nine. Roby has grown up in the musical atmosphere of his family, but also studied classical violin at the Bela Bartok Conservatory in Budapest, where he received the first prize in 1984.

As a musician of unusual musical scope - as composer, classical violinist and gypsy violinist, Roby Lakatos is at home in the Hungarian folklore as well as in classical music and jazz. This universality enables him to perform with musicians of various styles. To those who have played with him belong Stepane Grappelli, Giora Feidman, Herbie Hancock, Vadim Repin and Randy Brecker. A great admirer of his violin play is Sir Yehudi Menuhin, who during his stay in Brussels frequently used to visit the club where Roby Lakatos played since 1986.

The combination of the nomadic free spirit and classical violin education turns the young Lakatos into a go-between between the musical styles. Just as the homeless, almost always and everywhere disparaged and persecuted Romany people had to adjust time and again to the new environments and circumstances, so also their music kept absorbing new elements -- like an oak barrel used for ageing whiskey, which gives it its special and unique flavor.

When Lakatos mixes the so-called "classical music" with the magic of the Hungarian-gypsy vitality, it does not turn into a disrespectful attitude toward the higher cultural heritage, but it more reflects the deep tradition rooted in the cultural heritage of the Gypsy people and offers new, refreshing pleasures to the listener and music lover. And just as Liszt, Brahms and others used the Hungarian overtones in their compositions, so now the public profits from the confrontation of these classics with the gypsy roots. This enlivens all those men and women in whose veins still pulses at least a little bit of the blood of the wandering spirit.

Since 1996, numerous concert engagements throughout Europe left Roby Lakatos no time to play in the old club in Brussels. Instead, sold out performances have taken place in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Hungary, as well as Jordan and Marocco. The Deutsche Gramophon record company signed an exclusive contract with him. He regularly performs on Hungarian and Belgian TV programs, as well as on German radio.

His scheduled performances for 1998 include, among others: the Carnegie Hall (on September 5th) in New York, Radio France in Paris, Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Concert Hall in Amsterdam, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.



 Keep informed - join our newsletter:

Subscribe to EuropeanArt

Powered by www.egroups.com


Copyright 2001 West-Art

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, Politics and Science.