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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.



Szabolcs Illés is a baroque violinist, HIPP (Historically Informed Performance Practice) specialist. He received his musical diplomas in Budapest, Leipzig and his Baroque violin Master Degree in Brussels,in Sigiswald Kuijken’s class, as his only Hungarian-born student, and thus the only Hungarian representative of the baroque violin school founded by his Master. From 2009 he is also a member of Sigiswald Kuijken’s  world famous orchestra, La Petite Bande. Since 2008, he is the concertmaster of "Hof-Musici" Enslemble in the Czech Republic, with whom he mainly works for the reconstruction and presentation of Baroque operas with historical instruments, costumes and original arrangements, without a conductor. As a soloist and chamber musician, he  performs on concerts throughout Europe, among others, as a member of the Austrian "dolce risonanza", the German "La Moresca" and the Hungarian "Recurring Company" chamber ensembles, with whom he has made many recordings. In 2011, he published his first solo CD with early French baroque violin sonatas under the title: "Sonate, que me veux-tu?". This recording based on his own research with some pieces being recorded first time. In 2015, his second album "Corelli's Legacy" released by Hungaroton, was compiled from works by the famous Italian master and his students. In addition to his wide-ranging concert activities, he regularly holds courses and lectures in European countries and New Zealand.


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