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Romani Rhapsody | Musica Viva!

6 April | 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Members Only


Hungarian virtuoso violinist, classical master, jazz improviser, and composer Roby Lakatos & His Ensemble make their San Antonio debut with one-of-a-kind fusions of contemporary, classical and jazz elements with the folklore traditions of Hungarian Romani people.

Lakatos was born to a legendary musical family, being a direct descendant of the famous “King of Gipsy Violinists” János Bihari, who introduced Johannes Brahms to the themes for his Hungarian Dances and was admired by Beethoven and Liszt alike. Roby has stayed true to his musical legacy, performing globally and with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Randy Brecker, and Joshua Bell.

Check out this excerpt from one of their performances in Belgium:


Roby Lakatos & His Ensemble

Roby Lakatos is not only a virtuoso on the violin, but also an extremely versatile musician who is equally adept to performing classical music, jazz and the folk idiom of his home country of Hungary. He is hard to define: most often, he is described as a Gypsy violinist, a devil’s fiddler, classical master, jazz improviser, composer and arranger – and his unique artistic personality is all that. He is a universal musician combining brilliant technique that makes him one of the best violinists in the world with creativity in improvisation and composing power.

Roby Lakatos usually performs with his Ensemble consists of exceptional string instrumentalists, pianist and cimbalist and the group is often invited to play in orchestral arrangements. Roby’s Ensemble today is composed of virtuoso musicians with classical musical education who are also well versed in the folklore tradition of Hungarian Gypsies. Those guys definitely know how to warm up the audience; where to give jazz, where to crumble with the tune of the violin pizzicato, spill the piano passages and all of a sudden, they all get together and lead to the final, to an optimistic note!

Gábor Ladányi (guitar) was born in 1993 in a musician family. He studied classical music at the Zoltán Kodály Music High School in Debrecen, between 2008 and 2012. From 2012 to 2015 he studied jazz at the Kőbánya Music School in Budapest with Ferenc Tornóczky and between 2015 and 2019 on the jazz department of the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels. He is a member of Roby Lakatos Ensemble since 2020 and has his own jazz trio called Gábor Ladányi Trio.

Laszlo Boni (second violin) was born in Budapest in 1968. He studied with Roby Lakatos’s father, playing in his orchestra and earning a soloist’s diploma as a Gypsy violinist in 1987. He then spent six months in Japan, performing with a Gypsy trio that subsequently toured the whole of Europe. He worked in Antwerp from 1991 to 1994.

Vilmos Csikos (double bass) was born into a family of musicians in Budapest – his mother played the violin and his father was one of the best gypsy bassists in the country. From an early age, Vilmos was in contact with different music genres: American jazz, classical music, Romanian traditional music, etc. His favorite instrument has always been the double bass, but being too small to play at six, he was first introduced to the piano. He attended classes at the famous Dugonics School in Budapest. During that time, he won several national competitions. Vili regularly plays with Roby’s Ensemble since 2017.

Jeno Lisztes (cimbalom) was born in Budapest in 1986 and is the grandson of a famous cimbalom player. He was only four when he started studying the classical cimbalom with Agnes Szekely. He then studied classical and Gypsy music with Jeno Soros. He was still only 12 when he won the Racz Aladar Cimbalom Competition. He has been studying at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest since 2005. In 2012 he was invited to make the cimbalom part for a hollywood movie called Sherlock Holmes 2, Game of Shadows by Hans Zimmer. He is a member of Roby Lakatos Ensemble since 2006 and has his own jazz trio called Jeno Lisztes Cimbalom Project.

Robert Szakcsi Lakatos (piano) from Budapest, was part of Roby’s Ensemble from 2019. This exceptionally gifted jazz and classical pianist won the first prize of the solo piano competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2000. In 2005, he was voted best soloist at the Avignon International Jazz Festival. Robert Lakatos has already recorded eight albums for Japanese label Atelier Sawano.

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6 April
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Members Only
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