June de Toth
Hungarian-American pianist June de Toth has championed the piano music of Bela Bartok throughout a critically acclaimed concert career in the United States and Europe.
She has just released a 5CD box set of Bartok's Solo Piano Works on the Eroica label. She is the first woman to record a box set of Bartok’s greatest solo piano works.
In October, 1995, she performed an "All Bartok" recital at the Bartok Memorial House in Budapest, Hungary. She was the only American artist invited by the Hungarian government to take part in this 6-week International Festival of Bartok's works, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death.
She also performed Bartok's music in previous appearances on the European national radio networks of Portugal and Yugoslavia.
She featured his "15 Hungarian Peasant Songs and Dances" in her premiere recording on the Da Vinci label of RCA Victor Red Seal Records.
In her Town Hall debut, she presented the first public "All Bartok" recital in New York City, which was attended by Bartok's son, Peter.
Her Carnegie Hall debut featured Bartok's Sonata 1926.
She won rave reviews for her performance of Bartok's Third Piano Concerto with the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra.
June de Toth's interpretation of Bartók's solo piano music is decidedly her own. She expresses a lyrical and romantic vision of his early poetic works, which were very much influenced by the French impressionist composer Claude Debussy. Her playing also emphasizes the melodic beauty of the Hungarian and other Eastern European folk songs which Bartók wove so masterfully into his compositions.
June de Toth won two major European piano competitions, resulting in scholarships to the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Her teachers included Rudolf Firkusny, Friedrich Gulda, Carlo Zecchi, and Kurt Leimer (nephew of Karl Leimer, the acclaimed pedagogue of Walter Gieseking).
She was also awarded First Place in the International Piano Concerto competition in Salzburg, which resulted in a highly coveted debut performance with the Mozarteum Orchestra, playing the Brahms Piano Concerto in B-flat.
The appearance, a critically acclaimed triumph, led to recitals in Italy, France, Yugoslavia, Spain and Portugal, where critics hailed her as "the best musician sent to us from the States."
She has appeared as guest soloist with symphony orchestras in Portugal, Italy, and (former) Yugoslavia; and in the United States with the Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Sun City, Detroit Women's, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras.
She made her television debut on PBS-TV in 1991 with an "All Mozart" recital. A full color professionally recorded video tape of this performance is available.