Esztényi, Szabolcs

Hungarian-born composer, pianist, improviser, and educator, born in 1939 in Budapest, living in Poland since 1969. He studied piano with Margerita Trombini-Kazuro and composition with Witold Rudziński at the State High School of Music in Warsaw (graduating in both with honours).

As a composer and soloist he has performed in Poland and internationally at festivals such as Warsaw Autumn, Poznań Music Spring, Warsaw Music Encounters, Musica Polonica Nova, Łańcut Music Festival, Lutosławski Forum, Festival of Polish Piano Music in Słupsk, Zagreb Biennale, Budapesti Zenei Hetek, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Bergamo and Brescia International Piano Festival, Festival d'Été de Lanaudière in Quebec, Nordiske Musikdage, and Recontres Internationales de Musique Contemporaine in Metz. He has performed with leading artists such as Jerzy Artysz, Andrzej Hiolski, Heinz Holliger, Roman Jabłoński, Jadwiga Kotnowska, Halina Łukomska, Olga Pasiecznik, Jadwiga Rappé, Jerzy Witkowski, and Iwona Mironiuk (with whom he has played in a piano duo since 1999), as well as the Wilanów Quartet and Zygmunt Krauze's Music Workshop.

He has premiered numerous new works by Polish composers, including Kazimierz Serocki's Pianophonie, Rafał Augustyn's Variations on a theme of Paganini, and Paweł Szymański's Two Etudes for Piano as well as recording extensively for Polish Radio. For many years he has also collaborated with Ferenc Lantos and Mária Apagyi, founders of creative musical-visual pedagogy and the Free School of Art in Pécs, Hungary.

Since 1972, he has taught piano improvisation at the Fryderyk Chopin State Schools of Music in Warsaw and the F. Chopin Music University in Warsaw. Until 2014 he also lectured at the Music Academy in Łódź. He is regularly invited to academic centres in Poland (Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Cieszyn, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Poznań, Wrocław) and Hungary (F. Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Instrumental Music Department of the University of Debrecen, University of Pécs, Education Centre in Pécs) to lecture on creative teaching and improvisation. He runs piano improvisation courses for pupils and teachers of primary and secondary artistic schools. Since 1996, he has given lectures and workshops in piano improvisation during summer masterclasses in contemporary piano and vocal music in Bystrzyca Kłodzka and Świdnica.

His awards include the 1st prize at the 1st National Piano Improvisation Competition (1968), medal of the Polish Composers' Union for promoting contemporary Polish music (1988), Orpheus Prize from the Critics' Section of the Association of Polish Musicians for his performances of works by Tomasz Sikorski at Warsaw Autumn Festival (1989), annual award of the Polish Composer's Union (1993), and Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2009). Since 1998, he has been a professor of musical arts.