Bálint Mohai - Bassoonist


Bálint Mohai was born in 1989 in Budapest. He started playing the bassoon at the age of 12 under his father Tibor Mohai and Tamás Pécsi. After that he was taught by József Vajda at the Béla Bartók Conservatory. At the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest he learned from István Hartenstein during his Bachelor’s and graduated with honours. For his MA and Post-Graduate courses he studied under Prof. Eckhart Hübner at the UdK Berlin University and finished them “Summa cum laude”.

He gave his first concert as a soloist at the age of 16 with the Béla Bartók Youth Orchestra at the Franz Liszt Academy and since then he worked with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, Concerto Budapest Orchestra, Budapest Strings, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Odorheiu Secuiesc Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hundisburg Summer Academy Orchestra, Brandenburg Youth Orchestra or the Csík Chamber Orchestra. He worked together with famous conductors such as János Kovács, András Keller, Imre Kollár, Ádám Cser, Leos Svárovsky, Ondrej Olos, Gábor Horváth, Gábor Werner, Johannes Klumpp, Alexandre Myrat, Dorin Frandes, Kálmán Szennai, Stanley Doods and Alexander Apolín.

After winning First Prizes at the national bassoon and chamber music competition he gained his first international victory in 2008 by winning the 1st Prize and the Special Prize for the best interpretation of the commisioned composition at the 42nd Concertino Praga International Bassoon Competition. In 2010 he was one of the winners of the Franz Liszt Academy Talent Competition and also won the Erasmus Scholarship. In 2011 he won the International Competition for Wind Instruments Emsbüren and in the same year also won the 16th International “Talentinum” Music Forum for Young Artists in Zlín. In 2012 he was a finalist at the EBU New Talent International Music Competition (founded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin in 1969) – this was the first time in the history of the competition for a bassoon player to become finalist. This same year he won the German DAAD Association’s one year scholarship. In 2013 he became a scholar of the Ad Infinitum Foundation and the Sir Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Fonundation. In 2014 he was awarded the DAAD Grand Prix by the UdK Berlin. In 2015 he won the 2nd prize at the Paris Grand Prize Virtuoso Comoetition. In 2016 he won a special prize at the 1st Berlin Rising Stars-Grand Prix Music Competition. In 2019 he accepted a Golden Award at the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition in Combined Wind category. As part of the prize he will be giving his debut concert at the Carnegie Hall’s Weil Chamber Hall in the 2020/21 season.

During his studies he took masterclasses from bassoon artists such as Klaus Thunemann, Dag Jensen, Sergio Azzolini, Eckart Hübner, Gustavo Nunez, Pascal Gallois, Milan Turkovic, Carlo Colombo, Georg Klütsch, Eberhard Marschall, Frank Morelli, György Lakatos or György Keszler.

Since 2014 he is the solo bassoon player of the Hungatian State Opera Orchestra. Sicne 2019 he is also first bassoon player in the Concerto Budapest Orchestra led by András Keller. In 2018 with three of his colleagues from the Hungarian State Opera he founded the Budapest Bassoon Trio which was created with the goal to introduce the many tones and versatile voice of the bassoon. They gave their debüt concert in the Autumn of 2018 at the Nagyszeben Ars Hungarica Festival. Since then they are giving more and more concerts throughout the country.

In 2017 he founded the Budapest Wind Quintet with his long time friends. Their debut concert was in 2017 at the Marble Hall of the Hungarian Radio. Since then they performed on many Hungarian stages and also at the Christophori Piano Salon Berlin and also in Transylvania. Between 2017-2019 they consecutively won the NKA Advisory Boards for Arts scholarship.

He is a founding member of the Musiciens Libres chamber ensemble and a member of the Ensemble Mini chamber ensemble. For 7 years he was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra led by Vladimir Ashkenazy, for one season a part of the Schleswig-Holstein Youth World Orchestra, for three seasons a part of the Santander Summer Academy Orchestra. Whith these orchestras he traveled around the world and recorded many CDs and performed at numerous festivals.

From 2015 to 2019 he got experience as a teacher at the Vienna Conservatory’s Hungarian department in Budapest and from 2016 to the present he necame a guest masterclass artists of the famous online portal ’Play With a Pro Online Academy’. He gave numerous masterclasses in Berlin, Budapest, Győr, Bukarest and Csíkszereda.

He is a regular guest at music festivals such as Kaposfest, Santander Summer Music Festival, Emsbüren Music Festival, CAFe Budapest Festival, European Weeks in Passau, Hundisburg Summer Festival, Budapest Spring Festival and the Young Euro Classic Festival.

He recorded solo and chamber music pieces for ARS Production, Hungaroton, Ongaku Records, MR3 Bartók, Bavarian Radio, NDR, MDR, SWR3, Swiss-Italian Classical Radio, Hungarian TV, Duna TV, Slovak TV, Czech National TV and BBC3 Radio London where his solo recordings are regularly aired since 2014.

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