Hungarian born Bálint Karosi is an award-winning composer, concert organist, and recording artist. He has won first prizes at the J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig, the first American based organist to do so, the Dublin and Miami International Organ Competitions and the Improvisation Competition of the University of Michigan. He has performed in Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Ireland and in many of the United States. His CDs include a critically acclaimed album of the Clavier-übung III by J. S. Bach, featuring the period vocal ensemble Canto Armonico that was released by Hungaroton in 2014. He is under contract with the same label to release Bach’s Kunst der Fuge - recorded on the organ, harpsichord and clavichord- in 2016, and an album of his own compositions later that year. He has also recorded another CD of the music of Bach on the Dulcian label, performing on the north German style Richards & Fowkes organ at First Lutheran Church in Boston.
Bálint Karosi is a published composer by Wayne Leupold Editions and Concordia Publishing House. His compositions have been performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, UMZE in Budapest, Musiciens Libres, the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra, Anima Musica Chamber Orchestra, Antico Moderno, the Norfolk Festival Chorus, Canto Armonico and the Boston Choral Ensemble. His recent commissions include a multi-movement work Exoplanets, for the Anima Musica Chamber orchestra in Budapest, a Festival Overture for the Wind Symphony of Concordia University in Chicago, and his second organ concerto for János Pálúr and the Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra. He has started working on his first opera, Body Works that addresses issues of identity and racism with a bi-lingual libretto by Almási András Tóth.
Bálint was recently appointed Cantor at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) in mid-town Manhattan, where he oversees an ambitious classical music program and collaborates with the visual arts and jazz ministries. Prior to this appointment, he served as Minister of Music at First Lutheran Church of Boston for eight years, where he founded and directed the acclaimed “Boston Bach Birthday,” a daylong celebration of the composer’s birthday, co-sponsored by the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and other art organizations in Boston. The festival gained significant media attention under his management, including live broadcasts on WGBH Classical New England, and featured many world-renowned performers. He also established First Lutheran’s own Bach Vespers, a series of cantata performances in a worship setting on period instruments, and co-founded Antico Moderno, an ensemble dedicated to commission and perform new works for period players, all of which he continues to be actively involved in. The premiere of his Concerto for Organ, Percussion and orchestra recently took place at St. Peter’s Lutheran church with the Spectrum Symphony and received rave reviews. Mr. Karosi has been invited to perform in Osaka, Japan in 2018, in a recital of the music of J. S. Bach, for a series of concerts dedicated to performing all the organ works of Bach by distinguished organists over a period of several years.
Bálint has completed the academic portion of his doctoral studies in composition at Yale University. He holds a Master’s degree and an Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory, two Master’s degrees from the Liszt Academy in Budapest (in clarinet and organ performance), and two Prix de Virtuosités from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève in Switzerland. He has taught music theory at Yale University, organ and improvisation at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Oberlin Conservatory. He regularly gives masterclasses and concerts in the United States and in Europe, and is under concert management with Penny Lorenz Artist Management.
Updated fall 2016
"...at First Lutheran [Boston] the full resources of the 2000 Richards, Fowkes [organ] were explored in a reconstructed 17th century Lutheran Vespers. [It] put the singing of Canto Armonico against organ selections by Hieronymous and Michael Preaetorious, which titular Balint Karosi played masterfully."
-Jonathan Ambrosino review of the AGO National Convention in Boston, June 2014 in Choir and Organ Magazine [Oct. 2014]
“In the concluding organ postlude, Michael Praetorius’s Nun lob, meine seele, Bálint Karosi inspired awe with the work’s marvelous scalar passages and fiery finish…”
-Jonathan Hall review of the AGO National Convention, Boston, the Diapason (Nov. 2014)
- WGBH Classical New England
"A most impressive musical interpreter"
- Christoph Wolff, Harvard University
External Video/Audio Links
- Bach: Prelude and Fugue in G Major
- Improvisation on Hungarian Carol
- Symphony on a Chorale by Bartok
- Bach: Passacaglia in c minor
- A concert in Hungary 2016
- Balint Karosi: Concerto for Organ, Percussion and Strings (2016)