Katalin Koltai - guitarist

Katalin Koltai was born in Budapest. She started her musical studies at the age of 7, and began to play the classical guitar at the age of 8 in music school.

She pursued her studies in the Bartók Béla Conservatory and in the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, where she graduated in 2007 summa cum laude as a classical guitar soloist (Master degree) in the class of József Eötvös.
She also studied by Antigoni Goni in the Royal Conservatory of Bruxelles, and by Carlo Marchione in the Conservatorium Maastricht, where she graduated (second Master) in 2009.

Experiment and discovery, freedom, creating interdisciplinary performances, widening the repertoire for the guitar, bringing new music to a broader audience, expressive, meaningful and fresh interpretation and performance - this are the main features by which one could describe Katalin Koltai’s musical career.

As a soloist, and chamber musician she has been regulary performing solo recitals and chamber music concerts in several countries (Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Holland, Spain, England, Ukraine, Croatia).

She performed at such prestigious festivals and venues as Thy Chamber Music Festival - Denmark, Festival Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada - Spain, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival - Finland, Contemporary Music Festival of Young Composers, Budapest – Hungary, Greenwich International Early Music Festival -London UK, Making New Waves Festival - Hungary, Sziget Festival - Hungary, Fiesta de la guitarra -Estonia etc.

At the Festival Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada (Spain) she was invited not only to perform but also as a guitar-accompanist to work on the masterclass of Teresa Berganza.

Katalin Koltai plays very frequently chamber music with different combinations of instruments, and also created a big range of transcriptions herself.
She performs with recognized artists internationally (like Éva Bodrogi, singer; Noémi Győri, flutist, Christopher Orton, recorder soloist; Annamária Láng, actress) and founded two ensembles (Dialogue Duo - 2002 , Barefoot Musicians –2006), with whom she performs frequently ever since.

In 2007 she recorded her first solo CD, where she played a selection of solo pieces from the Renaissance to contemporary music.

One year later she made the World Premier recording of the guitar concerto by Harold Schiffmann with the Györ Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Antal Mátyás.
This second CD is distributed by North/South Recordings and Naxos.

In 2010 Katalin Koltai made recordings for the Hungarian Bartók Radio, including new Hungarian music.

Since 2008 she regularly plays in the Orchestra of the Hungarian State Opera.

Katalin Koltai is recognized not only as a concert guitarist, but also within Hungarian theatre. She cooperated in creating and presenting several interdisciplinary performances and performs new music, improvised music regularly together with actors and dancers.

Katalin Koltai is very active in the performance and comissioning of contemporary music; she has given numerous first performances, and has received several dedications.


Between 2008 and 2009 Katalin Koltai held the Dutch Ministry’s Huygens Scholarship Programme For Excellent Students.

In 2010 she received the prestigious Junior Prima Prize (Hungary) for her artistic and pedagogical work.