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Matei Varga “It is hard to find the right words to describe the beauty of his playing…” - Paolo Isotta

Matei Varga was described as “the greatest young Romanian pianist before the public today" (Enescu Festival News) and hailed as a true heir of an incomparable pianistic tradition that includes Dinu Lipatti and Clara Haskil. Mr. Varga’s latest recording, released in 2018 by Sono Luminus and titled Early Departures was praised by BBC Music Magazine as “poignant [and] delightful” and by Gramophone’s critic Jed Distler as “a beautifully executed and engineered achievement that does [Varga] proud”. In May 2019 he made his debut at Victoria Hall in Geneva performing Chopin’s F minor piano concerto with the Orchestre des Nations and conductor Antoine Marguier and later this year he will open the 2019-20 season with the National Radio Orchestra in Bucharest, under Christian Reif.

Prize winner of the “George Enescu” International Competition in Bucharest and of the “Maria Canals” Piano Competition in Barcelona, Mr. Varga is also a recipient of the Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant in New York and the Virtuoso Prize at the Vendome Prize Piano Competition (where Elisabeth Leonskaya personally gave him a special award). In 2002, at the invitation of Gian Carlo Menotti, he made his debut at the Spoleto Festival Italy. He has appeared as a soloist and recitalist in many of the world’s leading concert halls, among them Carnegie Hall (New York), Konzerthaus (Berlin), the Auditorium du Louvre (Paris), National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and Palau de la Música (Barcelona). He has performed frequently alongside soprano Mariana Nicolesco, conductors Otto-Werner Mueller and Elio Boncompagni, and recently appeared as solo pianist with ballet stars Alina Cojocaru, Johan Kobborg and Friedemann Vogel at New York City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Mr. Varga holds degrees from the Romanian National University of Music where he studied with Ana Pitis, Ioana Minei and Sandu Sandrin, as well as the Mannes School of Music where he studied with Pavlina Dokovska and received guidance from Richard Goode and Murray Perahia among others. He is Project Manager and Artistic Advisor of the Vendome Prize Piano Competition at the Verbier Festival. He lives in New York City.

Praise for EARLY DEPARTURES (Sono Luminus, 2018)

"Varga taps into the expressive sound world of Janácek's In the Mists, employing ample rubato and generally measured tempos. Indeed he transforms the Andantino into a moody tone poem... The pianist closes with the Adagio from the Bach D Minor concerto after Marcello. The gentle inward reading realizes Varga's soothing, calming intention... [A] beautifully executed and engineered achievement, that does this talented young pianist proud." -Jed Distler, Gramophone Magazine

"[A] grand and wonderfully lugubrious new release from the young Romanian pianist Matei Varga... [Dumitrescu's] nine piano preludes recorded here are largely vivacious and full of dense keyboard intricacies that Varga exploits splendidly... Janácek’s swirling, Impressionist masterpiece...gets an appealingly fluid performance. The slow movement of Bach’s D-Minor Concerto...closes out the disc like a serene funeral benediction." - Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"The performances are exquisite... they show a fine sense of shaping a lyrical melodic line with perfect tonal control” - Rob Haskins, American Record Guide

"Matei Varga pours as much emotion into [Janácek’s] performance as I can recall hearing before on record... his ideas are powerful and convincing... [He] has certainly given us much of himself on this excellent recording, and it deserves a place on the shelf of any collection of fine piano music." - Dominy Clements, Musicweb International

“Varga’s performance of their work is a welcome document on great talents we might have watched grow into towering maturity. Tudor Dumitrescu, for example, killed at the age of 19 in the 1997 earthquake that struck Bucharest, was, by a few recorded accounts, another Van Cliburn. His 7 Preludes, Preludes in C Sharp Minor and B Minor are heartfelt works revealing a fluid writing style, and profound understanding of his instrument. His emotional maturity is striking.” - Alex Baran, The Whole Note