József Balog is one of the most talented pianists of his generation. This exceptionally gifted performer was surrounded by the astonishing heritage of the internationally well-known Hungarian piano tradition established by Franz Liszt, Ernst von Dohnányi and Béla Bartók. He is praised and compared to Horowitz and Earl Wild by critics and acknowledged by the audience for his brilliant technic and very deep, sensitive musicianship. Along with the standard piano repertoire, he plays jazz-influenced classical compositions, contemporary music, and works written by rarely played composers as well. He has also earned fame for premiering a large number of contemporary pieces and he regularly holds master courses at various prominent musical institutions.
For the last 20 years, he has given more than 1000 concerts as a soloist and chamber musician in more than 25 countries accross Europe, America and Asia. He performed in well-known concert halls such as the Koch Theater (Lincoln Center) in New York, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Chan Centre in Vancouver, the Philharmonic Hall in Saint Petersburg, the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Hall in Lodz, the Lisinski Hall in Zagreb, the Musikhuset in Aarhus, the Vredenburg Music Center in Utrecht, the Kensington Palace in London, Konzerthaus in Wien, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest, the Macedonian National Philharmonic Hall in Skopje, the Brussels’s Théatre Royal de la Monnaie, the Equinoxe in Chateauroux, the Karsiyaka Opera House in Izmir, the CRR-Concert Hall in Istanbul, the TRT Radio Hall in Ankara, the Philharmonic Hall in Kiev and Opera House in Nizza. He also achieved great success at the following festivals: Shanghai China International Arts Festival, Bellagio and Lago Maggiore Festival, Chopin Festival in Mallorca, Tansman Festival, Lisztomanias in Chateauroux, Schubertiade in Roskilde, Beethoven Festival in Zutphen, Spring Festival in Russia, Liszt Festival in Sopron and Ankara, Budapest Spring Festival and, on more than one occasion the Festival Academy, Kaposfest and the Beethoven Nights staged in Martonvásár.
During his career he has appeared with a great many outstanding orchestras and ensembles including the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Budapest, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra, the Ankara Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the Ukranian National Philharmonic and Radio Orchestra, the UANL Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian State Opera House Orchestra, the Croatian National Radio Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Pécs Symphony Orchestra, and Opéra de Nice Orchestra. Furthermore, he has already been on stage with great conductors such as Zoltán Kocsis, Jesús Medina, David Nimrod Pfeffer, Győriványi Ráth György, Yeruham Scharovsky, Vitaly Protasov, Felix Carrasco, Volodimir Sheyko, Gerard Korsten, Balázs Kocsár, Tamás Vető, András Keller, Tibor Bogányi, Zsolt Hamar, Balázs Kocsár, Gergely Kesselyák and Gergely Vajda.
József has released altogether ten CD-s with Hungaroton, Brillant Classics and Convention Classic. Balog’s discography includes works by Chopin, Liszt (on Erard piano as well), Bartók, Kodály, Lajtha, Gershwin and Péter Wolf. His first album – entitled Hungaricum – won the „Liszt Grand Prix du Disque” prize in 2005, and his „Liszt: Transcendental Etudes” was chosen to be “the recording of the month” in June 2015. The 10 times international prizewinner pianist has received the “Liszt-Prize” from the Hungarian Govermnent in 2018.