Oct. 2: Pianist Éva Polgár to perform ‘EVOCATION’ in Evanston, IL

EVOCATION: A concert celebrating 160 years of Claude Debussy and 140 years of Zoltán Kodály. Featuring works by Debussy, Kodály, and Liszt

Pianist Éva Polgár (evapolgar.com) will tour four key cities in the US with her program EVOCATION, bringing the spirit of Hungary and Central Europe to American audiences through the compositions of Liszt, Debussy, and Kodály. As the Hungary Foundation’s Cultural Ambassador of the Year, Ms. Polgár will play the following concerts, celebrating the 140th birth anniversary of Hungarian legend Zoltán Kodály, as well as the 160 years since the birth of French composer Claude Debussy.

Kicking off the tour will be her October 2, 3 pm performance at Evanston’s esteemed Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago avenue, Evanston IL. The program will include Claude Debussy’s First arabesque and L’isle joyeuse; Zoltán Kodály’s Méditation sur un motif de Claude Debussy, Dances of Marosszék, and three movements of his Seven Piano Pieces, Op. 11; and finally, four works by Franz LisztLes jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este, Sursum corda. Erhebet eure Herzen, and Legende No. 1 and 2. Tickets are $10-30 and are available at evapolgar.ticketleap.com.

This event will be co-presented by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the American Liszt Society (ALS) and the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition.

Further stops on the tour will include:

• October 23, 2022, at 2 pm – Los Angeles, The Nixon Library – marking the release of Ms. Polgár’s new album of works by Liszt.

• December 1, 2022, at 7:30 pm – Washington, D.C. – The Arts Club of Washington

• December 15, 2022, at 8 pm – NYC, Carnegie Hall – Weill Recital Hall.

Critics praise Éva Polgár for her “intelligent interpretations” (Funzine Magazine), “emotional power” (New York Concert Review), and “vibrant technique” (American Hungarian Journal). She is a sought-after recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, educator, and adjudicator. Beyond her devotion to performing traditional piano repertoire, her creative personality particularly shines through her work in contemporary music and multidisciplinary arts. Her interest in the fusion of the arts has developed into an extensive collaboration with visual artist Sándor Vály. Their albums of experimental music inspired by literature and visual arts are released under Ektro Records and broadcast on Finnish national radio. Born and raised in Hungary, Polgár’s dedication to Hungarian culture has led her to specialize in the music of Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók. Her interpretation of Liszt’s piano works was praised by Liszt scholar Alan Walker as “A stunning performance! A real artist!” Her solo album titled Liszt: Harmonies patriotiques et religieuses was released recently under Hunnia Records. She has appeared on BBC World Service’s program “The Forum: Franz Liszt – Hungarian pianist and painter in sound” as a panelist and expert in the field. 

Polgár has toured the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Her latest concerto performances have included appearances with conductors Horst Förster at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Tamás Vásáry at the Danube Palace in Budapest, and David Jacobs at the University of Oregon. She has been recognized as Cultural Ambassador of the Year to Hungary and will give four solo recitals to promote Hungarian and Central European music culture in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. in Fall 2022. Her Carnegie Hall debut in November 2020 with violinist Kristóf Baráti and clarinetist Bence Szepesi was praised by the New York press. Other recent chamber music concerts at the Bothnia Biennale festival in Seinäjoki, Finland, and at the Hungarian Radio Hall in Budapest, Hungary, featured music of Brahms, Debussy, Bartók, and Bernstein. An avid promoter of contemporary music, Polgár actively collaborates with composers. She recently performed the world premiere of Andrew S. Lloyd’s Préludes Book II, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.

A graduate of the Franz Liszt University and the Sibelius Academy, Polgár earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Texas (UNT). She has won top prizes in competitions including the 2012 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition (LAILC). Co-directors since 2017, Katherine Hickey’s and Éva Polgár’s intent is to ensure the successful continuation of LAILC as well as to foster young musicians in the early stages of their professional careers. To support her endeavors in mentoring rising talents and promoting the musical heritage of Franz Liszt, the Hungarian Academy of Arts has awarded her a three-year grant to produce a series of twenty-nine concerts in Europe and the U.S. between September of 2020 and August of 2023.

A committed educator and adjudicator, she has taught masterclasses, presented at festivals, and adjudicated competitions such as the LAILC, the Bogotá International Piano Festival, and the Tulsa University Summer Piano Academy. After holding teaching positions at UNT and at Texas Woman’s University, Polgár has joined the piano faculty at Azusa Pacific University in California. In addition to her teaching appointment at Azusa Pacific University, she is a co-director of the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Southern California Chapter as well as the national organization of the American Liszt Society. 

For more information, please visit evapolgar.com