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.

Kónya István


Place of Birth
Date of Birth

István Kónya was born in Nagykanizsa, Hungary and obtained his first diploma in History and Music in 1985, whilst broadening his training with studies in classical guitar. In 1989 he joined the lute studio of Toyohiko Satoh at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. There, he gained his lute diploma in 1994, being the first Hungarian lutist to graduate. In addition to renaissance and baroque lutes, he plays the archlute and the chitarrone. Obtaining his chamber music degree in 1996, he attended master classes with Nigel North and Steven Stubbs. From 1993 he has held regular courses on the lute in Hungary. 1996-1998 lute teacher and artistic director of the Early Music Summer Academy in Szombathely, Hungary. His activities as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician have taken him all over Europe. He appears on several CDs, as well as in radio and television broadcasts. After his first solo CD entitled Lutemusic from Three Centuries, the second one Weiss: Lute Suites was released in August 2002. Kónya gave recitals in most of the major Hungarian cities and in the prominent castles (Gödöllő Royal Palace, Fertőd Esterhazy Castle, and Buda Royal Castle). He has performed in all the Hungarian Early Music Festivals: Sopron, Budapest, Zemplén, Szombathely, Gödöllo. He is a frequent guest at the Spring and Autumn Festivals of the provinces. In 2002 he participated in two international exhibitions introducing Hungarian renaissance music in Norway and Switzerland.

Besides his recital engagements abroad, Mr. Kónya has appeared at many prestigious festivals with leading ensembles, including Capella Leopoldina Graz and Armonico Tributo Austria at the Styriarte Festival (Austria), Concerto Piccolo Vienna at the International Organ Festival in Zwettl. Utrecht’s Barock (Amsterdam, Utrecht); Ensemble Gloriant (Bremen, Leiden, Rotterdam), Orchestra Sweelinck (Amsterdam), Koninklijk Conservatorium Orchestra (Hague), Ensemble Antiqua Ruhr (Italy), and le Petit Consort (Paris). He made his recital deuts in the United States with Timothy Bentch (tenor) in 2003 with great success. He performed all of Monteverdi operas with the Budapest Chamber Opera and Capella Savaria (cond. Pál Németh) in the Monteverdi Opera Festival, and also played with Concerto Armonico (cond. Péter Szűts) at the French Baroque Music Festival (Budapest) and with the Hungarian Radio Orchestra (cond. Tamás Vásáry) in The Messiah by Händel. In 2000 Mr. Kónya launched several solo series in Budapest introducing the solo and chamber repertoire of the lute. Since the summer of 2002 he has had a monthly concert in the Buda Royal Castle, performing the unknown pearls of the Hungarian, Italian, English, French, German, Austrian, and Eastern-European renaissance and baroque music. He has collaborated with a distinguished group of singers and instrumentalists, including Timothy Bentch (tenor), Mária Zádori (soprano), László Paulik (baroque-violin), Lucia Krommer (viol), Irén Lovász (folk singer), Pál Németh (broque flute), and János Bali (recorder).