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Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay and Min-Jung Kym

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Zsolt-Tihamer VisontayMin-Jung KymZsolt-Tihamér Visontay and Min-Jung Kym started working together as a duo in 2009. They were brought together by a common love for mixing both popular repertoire with pieces that are not so familiar, along with the desire to play chamber music with a like-minded musician. After only a year performing together, the duo made their Wigmore Hall debut in December 2010 with a programme that typified their musical aims - two well-known violin sonatas by Beethoven (Kreutzer) and Debussy alongside the seldom-performed early 1903 sonata by Béla Bartók. The performance attracted a glowing review on classicalsource.com ("remarkably assured and sympathetic... the execution throughout the recital was of a poise and assurance." More performances followed and the duo now offers fascinating and wide-ranging repertoire from Beethoven to Bartók, from Saint-Saëns to Arvo Pärt, whose 80 birthday will be marked in 2015 by the duo offering the composer's Fratres and Spiegel im Spiegel.

One of Europe’s most promising rising stars of the violin, German-Hungarian violinist Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay studied at the music school in Magdeburg, the Schloss Belvedere Music School and the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Weimar. In 2005 he became concertmaster of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), performing under conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis, and a year later also became concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Altenburg-Gera. He has led orchestras such as the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Hamburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.

In 2007, at the age of 24, Zsolt became joint concert master of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Since then, his solo engagements with the Orchestra have included performing The Lark Ascending under both David Hill and Sir Andrew Davis. He has recorded the John Jeffreys Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia and Paul Bateman. In addition, he has also acted as violinist/director with the Philharmonia and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Established as a sought-after chamber musician, he has performed and recorded Bartók’s Contrasts with Mark van de Wiel and Yefim Bronfman; and has recently recorded Rachmaninov piano trios with Mats Lidström and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Collaborating with those artists already mentioned as well as many others including Jamie Walton, he performs in major venues such as the Mozartsaal, Vienna, Salle Gaveau, Paris and Wigmore Hall, London.

A former Purcell School scholar, Steinway Artist Min-Jung Kym made her London solo concert debut at the age of twelve with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. She has performed extensively around the USA, Europe and at major concert venues and festivals in London and throughout the UK. She has also appeared at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Heifetz Society in Los Angeles and the Holders Festival in Barbados. An invitation to perform Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto Philharmonia Orchestra in 2008 was received with such enthusiasm that she was immediately invited to perform with them again the following season.

Min-Jung was the ‘pianist of choice’ for the masterclasses of the legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci and has also enjoyed successful collaborations with the Haffner Ensemble and Pierre Amoyal and Adrian Brendel. Past performance highlights have included performances at the Emilie Bustani Hall in Al Bustan, Lebanon, a concert tour in Germany with Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay and the world premiere performance of Stuart MacRae’s Poems for Angus, with the principals of the Royal Opera House and soprano Susan Bickley. Other engagements have included performances at the Salerno Opera House (Italy), the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Gran Canaria, the National Museum of Korea in Seoul and the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

Min-Jung’s performances have led to collaborations with international designers, such as Zuhair Murad in Lebanon and Lie Sang Bong in South Korea who have sponsored dresses for her. There will be a collaboration this season with the Paris based Brazilian designer, Gustavo Lins.

Photo of Min-Jung Kym: Nilu Lizadi

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