Attila Kovács

Ever since I gain consciousness, I have been surrounded by music. My father is a musician graduated as a clarinetist, who founded a mixed choir in Székelyudvarhely, while my mother was a kindergarten teacher, but also played the violin and the viola. I frequented music school, where my dad chose an excellent teacher for me. He often visited my classes and practiced with me afterwards at home. I did not find it fun at all until class four, when everything started to click, and I began to be successful and more and more motivated.

It was by chance that I got admitted to the Béla Bartók Conservatory. I was in class nine in Székelyudvarhely, when I travelled to Budapest with my dad’s choir. Here, as of a sudden instinct, we decided to visit the violin teacher Éva Szily Ácsné, whom I knew her from the tours with the European Youth Orchestra, to show her my playing. That is how we ended up in Nagymező street, where IIike, the legendary porter at the conservatory told us that she was not teaching at that institution–but why would not I try the pre-admission in February?

I succeeded, and Vera Czettner became my teacher.

I was fifteen when I had to part from my family, for a distance of 600 kms, which meant that I spent lot of weekends at the dormitory, alone. I was devastated and to forget about it I did some mischief, and I was almost fired after the first month, but managed to stay there and found street music as my weekend pastime, acceptable for all. We visited the Castle district with an accordionist from Transcarpathia and a friend from Budapest who played the viola. We had a short performance with the popular Monti Csárdás; it happened several times that my case was so full of coins that the handle came off.

I was admitted to the Liszt Academy for my first try. My teacher was Natasa Soós, and I performed with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra during the academy years, due to the program where talented students could participate in projects like this. It all was such an exquisite experience that I knew if I would stay in Hungary, I would only play in that band.

A year after graduation, I went to Switzerland, to the class of violin artist Gyula Stuller, while I took part in several pilot performances in France and Switzerland. I almost remained in Zurich, but, as a result of a long process, I was not selected to play in Tonhalle Orchestra. I played with them for a few months as a substitute, anyway, when Mihály Várnagy called me saying that the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra was looking for a violinist. I still had a year left at the school of Stuller, but next day I packed and came back to Budapest. I think there are no accidental events. I was never fond of Swizterland, I felt it rather cool, as well as the people living there, but I am nothing like that. I love life, love to feel the joy of life and to share it with others.

I have been a member of the chamber orchestra since September 2010. At my arrival I was the youngest, and, although they welcomed me with warm feelings, I needed a few years to grow up to their level. At that time I did not take life seriously, I had to calm down and learn how to be a prominent member of the orchestra in all circumstances. (What helped me a lot: I became a father a year and a half ago.)
I consider myself a lucky person. As I see, most people perform their tasks because they have to, while I can do what I love to do during working hours. Furthermore, music is my hobby, too. I play bass guitar at home, listen to Marcus Miller, Stanley Clark, and Jaco Pastorius a lot, even play together with my colleague and friend Robi Horváth, who plays the piano on these occasions. Who knows, one day we may set up a band for this genre.

(Notes by Sarolta Gálfi /