Critics praise Éva Polgár for her “intelligent interpretations” (Funzine Magazine), “emotional power” (New York Concert Review), and “vibrant technique” (American Hungarian Journal). She is a sought-after recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, educator, and adjudicator. Beyond her devotion to performing traditional piano repertoire, her creative personality particularly shines through her work in contemporary music and multidisciplinary arts. Her interest in the fusion of the arts has developed into an extensive collaboration with visual artist Sándor Vály. Their albums of experimental music inspired by literature and visual arts are released under Ektro Records and broadcast on Finnish national radio.
Born and raised in Hungary, Polgár’s dedication to Hungarian culture has led her to specialize in the music of Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók. Her interpretation of Liszt’s piano works was praised by Liszt scholar Alan Walker as “A stunning performance! A real artist!” and she has been featured at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Hungarian Culture Centre in London, and the Franz Liszt Museum and Research Center in Budapest. Her performance of Bartók’s Three Burlesques, Op. 8, was broadcast on Austrian national radio. Her solo album titled Liszt: Harmonies patriotiques et religieuses was released recently under Hunnia Records.
Polgár has toured the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Her latest concerto performances have included appearances with conductors Horst Förster at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Tamás Vásáry at the Danube Palace in Budapest, and David Jacobs at the University of Oregon. Her Carnegie Hall debut on November 24, 2020, with violinist Kristóf Baráti and clarinetist Bence Szepesi was praised by the New York press. Furthermore, she has concertized with Klára Csordás (voice), Márta Ábrahám (violin), and Vilmos Szabadi (violin) among other renown artists. Her long-standing duo partner is Lisa Bost-Sandberg (flute), with whom she recorded Asha Srinivasan’s virtuoso opus, Utthishta. Other recent chamber music concerts at the Bothnia Biennale festival in Seinäjoki, Finland, and at the Hungarian Radio Hall in Budapest, Hungary, featured music of Brahms, Debussy, Bartók, and Bernstein.
An avid promoter and enthusiastic entrepreneur of contemporary music, Polgár is a founding member of the InterSpheres Trio, a new music ensemble dedicated to commissioning and premiering new works by composers from around the world. Their repertoire ranges from Pierre Boulez to rising composers. They performed the world premieres of compositions by Daniel Tramte and Balázs Horváth in their first international concert and educational tour to Hungary. Polgár actively collaborates with composers as a solo musician as well. She is currently preparing for the world premiere of Andrew S. Lloyd’s new set of piano preludes, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment, at the University of Texas at San Antonio in March of 2021.
Polgár has won top prizes in competitions including the 2012 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition (LAILC). Co-directors since 2017, Katherine Hickey’s and Éva Polgár’s intent is to ensure the successful continuation of LAILC as well as to foster young musicians in the early stages of their professional careers. To support her endeavors in mentoring rising talents and promoting the musical heritage of Franz Liszt, the Hungarian Academy of Arts has awarded her a three-year grant to design a series of twenty-nine concerts in Austria, Hungary, and the U.S. between September of 2020 and August of 2023.
A graduate of the Franz Liszt University and the Sibelius Academy, Polgár earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Texas (UNT). Her former mentors include Jenő Jandó, Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris, Lívia Rév, Orsolya Szabó, and Adam Wodnicki. A committed educator and adjudicator, she has taught masterclasses, presented at festivals, and adjudicated competitions such as the LAILC, the Bogotá International Piano Festival, and the Tulsa University Summer Piano Academy. After holding teaching positions at UNT and at Texas Woman’s University, Polgár has joined the piano faculty at Azusa Pacific University in California. In addition to her teaching appointment at Azusa Pacific University, she is a co-director of the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Southern California Chapter as well as the national organization of the American Liszt Society.