We Heard Him Here in Vancouver, First

Pam’s dis­cov­ery, the Roby Lakatos Ensem­ble, who we heard with Matt and Mak­taaq at the Chan Cen­tre last year, is per­form­ing in Carnegie Hall in New York City this com­ing week.

From This Week on 96.3 FM WQXR:

The Roby Lakatos Ensemble

The Roby Lakatos Ensemble

The Roby Lakatos Ensem­ble — Pho­to by Lakatos vzw

Gyp­sy vio­lin­ist Roby Lakatos is not only a scorch­ing vir­tu­oso, but a musi­cian of extra­or­di­nary styl­is­tic ver­sa­til­i­ty. He’s a gyp­sy vio­lin­ist, a clas­si­cal vir­tu­oso, a jazz impro­vis­er, a com­pos­er and arranger, and a 19th-cen­tu­ry throw­back all at once. Click here to see how he per­forms Brahm­s’s Hun­gar­i­an Dance No. 5. Carnegie Hall presents Roby Lakatos and Friends as part of three fes­ti­val series in Stern Audi­to­ri­um this Tues­day, and the Roby Lakatos Ensem­ble is in con­cert at the State The­ater in New Jer­sey this Thurs­day. But before you see him there, hear him on WQXR. Roby and his ensem­ble join Elliott For­rest for live per­for­mances in our stu­dio on Mon­day, Jan­u­ary 26th at 4:30 P.M.

Those con­cert­go­ers in New York and New Jer­sey are in for a treat. Lakatos real­ly is a stun­ning per­former, and his ensem­ble’s Cim­balom play­er may have been the clos­est thing I’ve ever seen to a human mov­ing at super­hu­man speed. He was lit­er­al­ly a blur. It was also a rev­e­la­tion to hear the music that Brahms and Liszt based their Hun­gar­i­an Rhap­sodies on, real, alive and per­formed with the same pas­sion and agili­ty that those com­posers who heard were so thrilled by. Not only did the music that Lakatos plays have a huge influ­ence on the devel­op­ment of music in the Roman­tic era, but it’s just plain fun and nev­er boring.

My par­ents heard some Gyspy ensem­bles when they were vaca­tion­ing in Hun­gary years ago and were also blown away. It’s remark­able how this music has sur­vived all of these cen­turies intact.