Artist database

This is the Artist Database of BMC, which includes information about composers, musicians, orchestras, choirs and groups that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary, as well as information about releases recorded with them.

Oláh Kálmán


Place of Birth
Date of Birth
Further contact

Jazz Pianist Kalman Olah, a native of Hungary, has gained international reputation as an artist who masterfully combines the elements of jazz, folk and contemporary classical music. Kalman, a recipient of numerous awards, has appeared with artists including Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker, Pat Metheny, Steve Grossman, Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci, Tommy Campbell, Ron McClure, Stefano Di Battista, Jay Leonhart, Daniel Humair, Andrej Ceccarelli, Paolo Fresu, Kenny Wheeler, to name a few.

In 1990, Kalman founded Trio Midnight, an innovative jazz trio that helped him to earn recognition and made him a regular at such prestigious events as the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, the Marciac Jazz Festival in France, the Getxo Jazz Festival in Spain and the Ciney Jazz Nights in Belgium. Kalman's versatility as a performer is demonstrated by his passion to expand the musical boundaries and his ever-lasting quest for new forms of self-expression: he has recorded ten albums in different - sometimes unconventional -formations (Jazz Trio with Strings, Solo with Chamber Orchestra, Piano-D.bass duo, Solo, etc.) and made special appearances on 12 other recordings.

Kalman Olah was born in 1970 in Budapest, Hungary. He completed his musical studies at the Jazz Faculty of the Béla Bartók Conservatory. His unique voice gained him an early recognition and he started to play in different formations throughout his student years.

Kalman has won numerous awards including the Jury Prize at the Leverkusen International Jazz Competition in 1990, the Grand Prize at the Kalis International Jazz Pianist Competition in Poland (1991) and the eMerRton Prize "Best Soloist of the Year" - Hungarian Radio (1995). He was voted "Best Soloist" at the Hoeilaart Jazz Competition and was a Prize Winner at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida in1995. In 2001, he received the prestigious "Hungarian Jazz Prize" from Gramofon Magazine, a leading Jazz and Classical Music publication in Hungary.

In 2000, Kalman became a member of the Jazz Faculty of the Liszt Music Academy of Budapest.

As a composer, Kalman has played and recorded his originals ever since his first album. His compositions fuse jazz and contemporary classical music with Hungarian folk. Kalman's critically acclaimed Concerto for Jazz Orchestra, was performed in February 2001 at the Hungarian Radio, with the collaboration of the Budapest Jazz Orchestra. Concerto reflects Olah's devotion to contemporary music, and it was noted as "a truly original composition", and a "unique and fresh re-interpretation of a melodic and harmonic world that was created by Bartók and Stravinsky".

In 2001, Kalman collaborated with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra for the Korean label Good International Co. on a special "cross-over" project: a rendition of Bach's Goldberg Variations with Olah's improvisations over Bach's original themes. His most recent trio record, 'Contrasts and Parallels' was published by the Japanese label, MA Recordings in 2003.

In 2006 he was awarded the Liszt Prize, and the Composers Award of the Thelonius Monk Jazz Institute in Washington with his song called Always - In memoriam Dezső Ablakos-Lakatos. In 2019 he received the Ferenc Erkel Prize.

Current performances of Kálmán Oláh
Koncertkalendárium (
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
1989 Debski-Vasvári Group: Back in Nang Krém SLPM 37285 Own
1989 No-Spa Jazz Quintet: Elrendeződés
(No-Spa Quintet: Getting together)
Hungaroton SLPX 37378
1990 Things & Tony Lakatos: Mother Nature Jazzpoint JP 1028
1991 No-Spa Quintet: Dry Dreams Bouvard & Pécuchet GBP 002
1994 Kőszegi Imre Trió: Drummer's Dreams YVP Music yvp music cd 3044
1995 Oláh Kálmán Sextet: Night Silence Bouvard & Pécuchet VBP 031 Own
1995 László Attila Band: The Only One Bouvard & Pécuchet VBP 030
1995 Trio Midnight With Strings: Expected and Found Fonó Records FA-026-2
1997 Trio Midnight: Live In Budapest JOKA PJ 1035
1999 László Attila Band: Smart Kid BMC Records BMC CD 034
1999 Oláh Kálmán: Moments from My Life Binder Music Manufactory BMM 9803 Own
2000 Trio Midnight featuring Lee Konitz: On Track Wellington-Universal WELL CD 2000 Own
2000 Agostino Di Giorgio Quartet featuring Kálmán Oláh, Ron Seguin and Michael Lambert: AD2000 Fonó Records FA-903-2 Own
2000 Kalman Olah, Mini Schulz & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra: Bach - Goldberg Variációk GOOD International co. GI-302 Own
2000 Trio Midnight feat. Steve Houben: Friends Meeting Ciney Jazz Night
2001 Kalman Olah, Mini Schulz & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra: Sketches from Bach Cello Suites GOOD International co. GOOD 3039 Own
2002 László Attila Band: Once upon a Time BMC Records BMC CD 076
2002 Oláh Kálmán & Lehel Péter feat. Budapest Chamber Simphony, Trio Midnight: Hungarian Rhapsody GOOD International co. GI-3052 Own
2003 Kálmán Oláh Trio: Contrasts and Parallels MA Recordings M065A Own
2003 Ötödik Dimenzió Mandel Produkciós Kft.
2004 László Attila és barátai: On the Broadway TOM-TOM Records
2005 Hungarian Jazz Store BMC HMIC BMC PCD 016 Not for sale - only for promotion / 4 CDs
2005 Trio Midnight meets Lee Konitz: Live at Dinant Jazz Nights NetAktiv Records NA 001
2005 Live in Concert Magánkiadás B01 DVD
2005 Örömkoncert 2005
(Concert of Joy 2005)
Magánkiadás DVD - Not for sale
2006 Szakcsi Generation with Jack DeJohnette and John Patitucci: 8 Trios for 4 Pianists BMC Records BMC CD 126
2006 Oláh / Bacsó / Boisseau: Fitting BMC Records BMC CD 121 Own
2006 Attila László and Friends: Just Trust TOM-TOM Records TTCD 85
2007 Blues egy trombitásért Magánkiadás AE521268
2009 Babel TOM-TOM Records TTCD 120
2011 Sketches of Pangea BMC Records BMC CD 180
2012 Bacsó Kristóf Quartet: Nocturne BMC Records BMC CD 195
2014 Új utakon - Oláh Kálmán, Orbán György és Tóth Péter művei
(New Directions - Works by Kálmán Oláh, György Orbán & Péter Tóth)
Hungaroton HCD 32755