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"We are such stuff As dreams are made on,

and our little life Is rounded with a sleep."

(The Tempest)

Szabolcs Illés

Baroque Violinist

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According to Gustav Leonhardt, being authentic means to strive for a performance which would be easily comprehensible for the composer’s contemporary audience.

In the spirit of the above motto, when dealing with early music, it is my main goal to learn more about the performance style of different music eras, about the taste in music, aesthetics and instruments, but above all, about the authentic instrumental techniques associated with the different periods.

By learning all of these, I would like to demonstrate how a given piece of music have sounded in its own time when it still had a sense of freshness. I believe, this is the most “authentic”, and for the author the most acceptable way of performing the given musical composition. Thus, research is just as much a part of my everyday life as practicing in order to revive the old playing techniques of the violin.

Both activities still have many challenges and surprises in store for me, however, they also bring great joy, which I always try to share with my audience together with my discoveries and results.

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Szabolcs Illés is a Baroque violinist, musicologist, specialized in HIPP (Historically Informed Performance Practice). He obtained degrees in the modern and Baroque violins in Budapest and Leipzig, and a Masters in Baroque violin in Brussels, studying in the class of Sigiswald Kuijken, where he was the teacher’s only Hungarian student and the only exponent in Hungary of the world-famous Baroque violin school founded by him. Since 2009 he has performed in many events as a member of his teacher’s world-famous ensemble La Petite Bande. Since 2008 he had been the concertmaster of the Czech Hof-Musici ensemble. They worked mainly on the reconstruction and premiering of Baroque operas with authentic instruments, costumes, original scenery, without conductor. He gives concerts throughout Europe as a soloist and chamber musician, as a member of the chamber ensembles dolce risonanza in Vienna, La Moresca in Germany and Recurring Company in Hungary, with whom he has made many recordings. Szabolcs Illés released 3 solo CD-s, based on his own research, featuring French and Italian Baroque sonatas, some of which were there recorded for the first time. His 2015 disc Corelli’s Legacy was released on the Hungaroton label as well as his CD, „Les Forjerons” in 2020, with first recordings of Sonatas composed by Jean-Jacques Baptiste Anet. In 2021 he recorded the 12 Telemann Solo Fantasias with HIP violin technique. Alongside his extensive concert activity he regularly gives courses and lectures in the countries of Europe and in New Zealand. 

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