Ferenc Vizi, pianoBorn in Transylvania (Rumania) in 1974, Ferenc Vizi started the piano at the age of nine with András Körtési in his native town of Reghin. Gérard Frémy, a member of the jury of the George Enesco competition, in which Ferenc Vizi won a special prize, encouraged him to come and study with him at the Paris Conservatoire, which he was able to do in 1992, thanks to a French government grant and the Yvonne Lefébure Foundation, and where he also studied with Cyril Huvé. In 1998, after graduating with a unanimous first prize at the Conservatoire, he entered the postgraduate performers’ course there with Jacques Rouvier, and from 2000 to 2002 went on to study with Françoise Thinat at the Paris Ecole Normale.

Ferenc Vizi has carried off a number of prestigious international prizes: the Saratov competition in Russia, the Hamamatsu competition in Japan, the Arthur Rubinstein competition in Tel-Aviv, and the Munich ARD competition, thanks to which he was invited to perform in South America, Japan and several European countries, and to record Bartók’s 2nd piano concerto with the Bayerischen Rundfunk directed by Peter Rundel for the Munich radio.

He has since performed as a recital soloist and with orchestras principally in Europe.  As a chamber musician Ferenc Vizi has also performed with Henri Demarquette, Raphaël Perraud, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabedian, Alexis Cardenas Benoît Fromanger and Richard Galliano.

Juventus Lauréat in 1995, Ferenc Vizi is regularly invited to the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. He has also performed at Radio France in Paris, at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, Festival de l’Epau, Piano à Riom, Piano à Auxerre, aux Serres d’Auteuil, Piano Passion in St Etienne, at the Musée d’Orsay, the Chopin Festival in Nohant, the Folle Journée in Nantes, the Roque d’Anthéron International Piano Festival, Piano(s) festival Lille, Festival d’Eté de Toulouse, and numerous theatres throughout France.

Ferenc Vizi performed Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto with the Wurtembergischer KammerOrchester as well as Liszt’s 1st Piano Concerto and Totentanz with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra at the « Dias de la Música » in Lisbon.  In August 2011 he made a highly successful appearance at the Festival de La Chaise Dieu where he performed Liszt’s Totentanz with the Orchestre National d'Île de France directed by Yoel Levi.

The autumn of 2011 saw the first performance at the Scène nationale de Martigues of a new programme conceived by Ferenc Vizi that brings together Liszt’s Rhapsodies and traditional Hungarian gypsy music with the ensemble Cifra. Further performances during the 2011-2012 season include the 'Lisztomanias' Festival in Châteauroux and the Dijon Opera. During the 2013-2013 season ‘Rhapsodies – Liszt and the Hungarian Gypsies’ travels to the Maison de la Culture de Bourges, Théâtre de Narbonne, Théâtre Anne de Bretagne in Vannes, the Coursive in La Rochelle, Passerelle in St Brieuc, Trident in Cherbourg and the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. 2013-2014 season engagement include La Rampe d'Échirolles in Grenoble, the Théâtre de Caen, Théâtre du Vésinet...

In November 2012, Ferenc Vizi plays Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto and Grieg’s piano concerto with the Târgu-Mures Philharmonic Orchestra from his native Romania on tour in France at the Pin Galant in Mérignac, Palais Neptune in Toulon, Cratère in Alès and at La Rampe in Échirolles.

Ferenc Vizi has recorded Beethoven’s opus 111 Sonata and Schumann’s Fantasia opus 17 for the Æon label, and 'Voyage' - works by Schubert, Liszt, and Wagner / Liszt - for Satirino records. In 2012 he recorded 'Rhapsodies - Liszt and the Hungarian Gypsies' for Satirino records, and Mendelssohn’s complete works for cello and piano with the cellist Laura Buruiana for Coviello Classics, both for release in 2013. An album of works for violin and piano by Ernest Bloch with the violinist Elsa Grether was also released in 2013

January 2014

Press reviews"His performance is deeply ancored in the keyboard, at times bouncy, (what an extraordinary left hand!), whose seriousness is at times enlivened by a playfulness caracteristic of the composer. Vizi likes fracture and accident as much as meditation. He gives the final variations their unfathomable melanconia, making their lines sing in such a bel canto fashion, yet never distorting the text for the sake of emotion. Ferenc Vizi is like an Old Sage." Alain Lompech - Le Monde On a concert performance of Beethovens's Diabelli Variations

"Ferenc Vizi is one of those rare pianists whose poetic touch is never facile." Judith Chaine - Télérama

"A born Beethovenian, an exceptional virtuoso, Ferenc Vizi is a rumanian pianiste born in 1974 about whom we will most certainly hear more. He answers the cello motives without ever distorting the score in the Kreutzer Sonata and provides a perfect accompagniment to Henri Demarquette's bow in Prokofiev's lyrical but questioning cello sonata." Patrick Szersnovicz - Le Monde de la Musique

"…this 30 year old pianist has a pure and upright quality that immediately comes across in the music he is playing. Ones attention is instantly drawn to his uninhibited and natural performance, but above all to the irresistibly personality of a pianist for whom music seems to be above all a matter of contact and not isolation." Olivier Bellamy - Le Monde de la Musique

"...he is one of the impressive and engaging pianists of his generation. An absolute must." Jean Lukas - La Terrasse

"...a virtuoso with an extraordinary poetic presence, warm and intense playing..." Alain Cochard - Zurban


Recital ProgrammesC H A N T S   D E S   P E U P L E S
Bedrich Smetana
 (1824-1884) - La Moldau
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) - Rhapsodie Hongroise N°11
Béla Bartók (1881-1945) - Chants de Noël roumains
Franz Liszt - Rhapsodie N°14 'Fantasie hongroise'
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) - Fantasia Baetica
Astor Piazzola (1921-1992) - Tango Rhapsodie
George Gershwin (1898 -1937) - Rhapsody in Blue


Sonata Op. 27 N°1 in E flat major "Quasi une fantasia"
Six Bagatelles Op. 126
Diabelli Variations Op. 120

Bach / Busoni - Toccata et fugue en ré mineur
Cécile Chaminade - Toccata (1897)
Poulenc - Trois pièces pour piano - Fantaisie, Hymne, Toccata
Debussy - 'Pour le piano' - Prélude, Sarabande, Toccata
Schumann - Toccata op. 7
Paul Constantinescu - Trois pièces pour piano - Danse, Chant, Toccata
Enescu - Toccata et Pavane op. 10
Prokofiev - Sonate N°7 op 83 - Allegro inquieto, Andante caloroso, Toccata (Precipitato)

C H O P I N / L I S Z T
Nocturne in C sharp minor (posthumous)
Polonaise N°1 Op. 24 in C sharp minor
Barcarolle Op. 60
Nocturne in G Major Op. 37 N°2
Nocturne in E minor (posthumous)
Andante Spianato et Grande polonaise Op. 22
"Venezia e Napoli"
Legende N°2 S175
"Après une lecture de Dante"

Three Patrarca Sonnets (from the "2ème Année de Pèlerinage", Italy)
Totentanz (Paraphrase on Dies Irae) S. 525  
Second Legend "Saint François de Paule marchant sur les flots" S. 175
Three extracts from "Première Année de Pèlerinage", Switzerland S. 160 :
"Au bord d'une source"
"La Vallée d'Obermann"
Liszt / Wagner - Overture to "Tannhäuser"

Variations :
"La Vallée d'Obermann" can replace "Les cloches de Genève"
"Tannhäuser" can be replaced by the "Dante" sonata or the  B minor sonata

Nocturne in C sharp minor (posthumous)
Polonaise N°1 Op. 24 in C sharp minor
Barcarolle Op. 60
Nocturne in G Major Op. 37 N°2
Nocturne in E minor (posthumous)
Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Op. 22
Sonata "Funeral March" in B flat minor
Fantasia in F minor Op. 49
Polonaise "Héroïque" Op. 53

Mozart - Fantasia in C minor K. 475
Schumann - Fantasia in C major Op. 17
Chopin - Fantasia in F minor Op. 49
Liszt - "Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude" from the Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses
Liszt - "Après une lecture de Dante", Fantasia quasi sonata

Beethoven -
Variations Diabelli Op. 120
Händel -
Chaconne en Sol Majeur
Brahms -
Variations sur un theme de Händel Op. 24

2 0 th C e n t u r y
Debussy - Premier cahier de préludes
Horatio Radulescu - Sonata N°4
Prokofiev - Sonata N°7


Concerto repertoireMOZART - Concerto N°9 "Jeunehomme" K 271
MOZART - Concerto N°12 in A major K 414
MOZART - Concerto N°20 in D minor K 466
BEETHOVEN - Concertos N°s 2, 3 & 5
LISZT - Concertos N°s 1, 2 & Totentanz
GRIEG - Concerto in A minor
BRAHMS - Concertos N°1 in D minor, N°2 B flat major
TCHAIKOVSKI - Concerto N°1
BARTOK - Concerto N° 2

Ferenc Vizi can perform Beethoven N°5, Brahms N°1 and Mozart D minor K 466 at very short notice.

He is currently working on completing the Beethoven concertos cycle, as well as several new Mozart concertos.


'Rhapsodies - Liszt and the Hungarian Gypsies' with ensemble Cifra

Liszt's 14th Rhapsodie, Théâtre de Cambrai, Ferenc Vizi & Ensemble Cifra

Ferenc Vizipiano
Ensemble Cifra  
Dezsõ Rontó
, prímás (violin)
József Csurkulya (père), cymbalom
Ágoston Bartha, viola & hurdy-gurdy
Róbert Csõgör, doublebass

with guest artist József Csurkulya (fils), cymbalom

In 1859 Franz Liszt wrote "I am seeking to create an epos of Bohemian music".

Like many composers before his time, Liszt was totally under the charm of the wild, epic inspiration of Csardas that he exalts as a national symbol. Proclaiming himself to be of gypsy origin, he derives inspiration from their music when writing his famous Hungarian Rhapsodies in which the melancholic Lassan and the fiery Friska, among others, typical of Bohemian song and dance, can be clearly distinguished.

Ferenc Vizi proposes a rediscovery of this fabulous gypsy music, its vigour, its tremor, now iridescent, now poetic, and its powerful influence on Liszt's music, here his piano Rhapsodies, in which the Csardas and other popular traditional or improvised gypsy themes are performed by the ensemble Cifra.

'Chant de Table' - cymbalom and hurdy-gurdy
Liszt - Rhapsodie N°11 (piano and Ensemble Cifra)
- Rhapsodie N°10 for piano
'Pour me more wine so I can forget her'
Aïe, aïe, aïe, aïe - Gypsy Czardas
Liszt - Rhapsodie N°12 in C# minor for piano
'The old lime trees of Buda'
'The greedy Czardas'
Liszt - Rhapsodie N° 2 in C# minor (version piano, violin, cymbalom)

p a u s e

Cymbalom solo from the village of Magyarpéterlaki, Transylvania
Liszt - Rhapsodie N°9 'Le Carnaval de Pest'
'Hungarian Czardas' for hurdy-gurdy
'The poppy Czardas'
Liszt - Rhapsodie N°14 'Hungarian Fantasy' (version for piano and Ensemble Cifra) with 'The stork flies high in the sky'

1h35 plus interval

This programme has been performed in the following venues:

Théâtre de la Ville, Paris
Scène nationale de Martigues
Opéra de Dijon
Théâtre de Cambrai
Centre culturel des Portes de l'Essonne
Maison de la Culture de Bourges
Théâtre de Narbonne 
Théâtre Anne de Bretagne, Vannes
La Coursive à La Rochelle 
La Passerelle à St Brieuc
Le Trident à Cherbourg

and in the the following Festivals:

Périgord Noir
Lisztomanias de Châteauroux
Voûtes Célestes en Vendée

Forthcoming concerts:

5th November - Théâtre de Caen
7th November - La Rampe, Echirolles, near Grenoble

Ensemble Cifra

Dezsõ Rontó - prímás (first violin) was born in 1963 into a family of gypsy musicians in Miskolc. His brothers Róbert and Attila are also professional musicians. Dezsõ started learning the violin at the age of 7 and later studied at the town conservatory. In 1980, he became the first of the ‘prímás’ of the Rajkó Orchestra in Miskolc. In 1986, he was a founding member of the 100 Violin Gypsy Orchestra. In 2001, he was winner of the famous Budapest ‘prímás’ competition. Since the age of 20 he has been playing with gypsy orchestras throughout Europe and in the USA.

József Csurkulya (senior) - cimbalom, was born in 1944 in Magyarpéterlaka, Transylvania. He started playing the cimbalom with his family at a very early age. By the age of 14 he was performing with the ensemble Maros in Transylvania. As well as his activities as a musician, he dedicates himself to restoring and building cimbaloms and is also a master of string making.

Ágoston Bartha - viola & hurdy-gurdy, was born in 1956 in Budapest. It was in the 1970s that he started to be interested in traditional music. Since then he has become viola and hurdy-gurdy player in several ensembles and as of 1990 has been leader of the ensemble Cifra, happily returning to the free, itinerant life of travelling musicians. He has produced the ensemble's recordings since 1997 and collects pre-war 78 LPs of Hungarian gypsy music, of which he is proud to have one of the most important collections.

Róbert Csõgör - double bass, was born in 1966. He studied cello at music school and became a proficient performer of traditional music at a very early age. He has gone on to play with several ensembles playing alternatively violin, three string viola and double bass.

József Csurkulya (junior) - cimbalom, was born in 1974 in Marosvásárhely near Targu-Mures in Transylvanian Romania. His family is a cimbalom dynasty. At the age of 8 he started to play in the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble in Targu-Mures and after studying percussion at the conservatory there went on to perform with the Targu-Mures State Philharmonic Orchestra. When his family moved to Budapest he studied cimbalom making and performance at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music where he graduated and soon started to teach cimbalom and chamber music. Since 2000 he has been playing traditional Hungarian, Balkan and Near-Eastern music, as well as electronic music and jazz with ’Besh o droM’ - www.beshodrom.com


Programme with Hermine Horiot, celloimage
Photo rights reserved

Concerning the cellist Hermine Horiot, Ferenc Vizi confides: 'She is one of people who is at the center of things, who lives within the very heart of music, who fuses with the music in all humility. This has made a very strong impression on me.'

FAURE - Elegie pour violoncelle et piano Op. 24
SCHNITTKE - Improvisation pour violoncelle solo (1993)
CHOPIN - Polonaise Op. 26 N°1 en do dièse mineur
SCHUMANN - Fantasiestücke op 73 pour violoncelle et piano
CHOPIN - Sonate pour violoncelle et piano Op. 65


Photos Adrien Alleaume

CD 'Voyage' | Liszt, Schubert, Wagner | Satirino Records

image Ferenc Vizi on YouTube

imageFerenc Vizi on iTunes

Listen to live recordings of Ferenc Vizi:

Schumann Fantaisie Op 17 part 1
Schumann Fantaisie Op 17 part 2
Schumann Fantaisie Op 17 part 3

Mozart Concerto N°12 K.414 - Allegro

Bartok Concerto N°2 - Allegro
Bartok Concerto N°2 - Adagio - Presto - Adagio
Bartok Concerto N°2 - Allegro molto

Photos Adrien Alleaume






Photos Adrien Alleaume


Ferenc Vizi & Ensemble Cifra
Photos Arthur Forjonel