Hungarian Rhapsody

Norbert Kael internationally renowned concert pianist, is one of the most influential artists of “crossover” style. His concerts represent an intriguing combination of the two musical styles. His captivating passion, style and colorful repertoire, are widely popular among audiences around the world. Norbert has already performed “sold out” evenings in Madrid, Rome,Copenhagen, Bukarest, Moscow, Delhi, Cairo, USA, and Cancun, Mexico. Mr. Kael received his first degree at the prestigious Ferenc Liszt academy of Music in Budapest. After graduation Norbert received the highest scholarship to Berklee College of Music, in Boston,
USA, where he had the opportunity to study jazz with such great artists as Laszlo Gardony and Joe Lovano. Boston audience could hear Norbert's playing in such places as Regatta bar, Berklee Performance Center among other concert venues throughout the USA. After moving to New York, Mr. Kael diversified his musical skills by learning from such masters as Seymour Lipkin and Matti Raekallio on the classical side as well as Kenny Barron, and Wynton Marsalis on the jazz side. Norbert has been pursuing the idea of combining classical and jazz styles since his early musical studies. Norbert approaches the selected classical pieces with creativity, taste, and respect, that way he keeps the original melody and character, but yet he puts it into a new dimension. Recently he performed at the The Calcutta School of Music. The event was organized  by the Embassy of Hungary and Balassi Institute, Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, New Delhi and The Calcutta School of Music.

How did you get started in playing piano?

I started playing the piano at 7 my parents enrolled me to music school. Interestingly I didn’t like it until I was about 12. Then I discovered Keith Jarret, the American pianist, I just loved his music.

Who have been some of your greatest influences in shaping your identity as a pianist?

Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, on the jazz side, and Andras Schiff, Arthur Rubinstein, Radu Lupu, Evgeny Kissin on the classical side.

Where do you turn now when you’re looking for artistic inspiration? Which composer do you feel the deepest connection with?

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt Bartok, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin.  Actually Bach, Chopin, and Bartok

How important to you is it that improvisation figures in the music that you’re making?

Really important. All my compositions have optional improvisational section. If someone doesn’t want to do it, it’s possible  just playing the written part, but less fun.

What has been the most memorable performance of your career so far?

Hard to tell, all of my performances are very memorable, I’m blessed with great audiences

You had the opportunity to study jazz with great artists such as Laszlo Gardony and Joe Lovano. Is there anything that you retain from your student days at the Berklee College of Music, any particular piece of advice or wisdom that has stayed with you?”

Yes Seymour Lipkin told me at Juilliard, to really believe my playing and just go ahead.I really liked it.

Do you have any upcoming projects or collaborations that you’d like to share?

I’m setting up a recording with my trio. This is going to be our 2nd cd, also I’m creating a project with a Hungarian folk singer who won Grammy. We are going to do a fusion of jazz and Hungarian folk music in a new way.

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