Assistant Professor of Piano,
East Tennessee State University
Pianist Éva Polgár is a sought-after recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, educator, and adjudicator. She joined ETSU as an Assistant Professor in Fall of 2023 to lead the keyboard area, and to teach applied piano, piano literature, and piano ensemble courses. Critics praise her for her “intelligent interpretations” (Funzine Magazine) and “emotional power” (New York Concert Review). Her dedication to her native Hungarian culture resulted in researching Béla Bartók’s piano arrangements of his original orchestral compositions and specializing in Franz Liszt’s music. Her solo album titled Liszt: Harmonies patriotiques et religieuses was released under Hunnia Records. She has appeared on BBC World Service’s program “The Forum: Franz Liszt – Hungarian pianist and painter in sound” as a panelist and expert in the field.
Polgár has toured the Americas, Asia, and Europe, most recently as Hungary Foundation’s Cultural Ambassador of the Year. She was featured at Carnegie Hall in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Hungarian Culture Centre in London, and the Franz Liszt Museum in Budapest. Her concerto performances include concerts with conductors Tamás Vásáry at the Budapest Danube Palace, Horst Förster at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Okko Kamu at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. In the realm of cross-disciplinary endeavors, she collaborates extensively with visual artist Sándor Vály. Their experimental music albums released under Ektro Records have been broadcast by the Finnish Radio.
Polgár has won top prizes in competitions including the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition (LAILC). She has been elected co-director of LAILC together with Dr. Katherine Hickey in 2017, which empowers her to foster young musicians at their early stage of professional career. A committed educator and adjudicator, she has appeared at masterclasses, festivals, and competitions such as LAILC, the Bogotá International Piano Festival in Columbia, East China Normal University, University of Oregon, Montclair State University, and many more.
Polgár holds Master of Music in piano performance and piano pedagogy degrees from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at the University of North Texas, specializing in contemporary music performance practice. Before joining the music faculty at East Tennessee State University, she taught piano and related courses at Azusa Pacific University, University of North Texas, and Texas Womans’ University. Besides her teaching appointment, she is an elected member of Board of Directors at the Southern California Chapter and the national organization of the American Liszt Society.