Kalman Olah Creative Page

A native of Hungary, jazz pianist Kálmán Oláh has gained international renown as an artist who masterfully combines elements of jazz, folk and contemporary classical music. The recipient of numerous awards, he has appeared with scores of well-known artists including Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette, Ron McClure, Adam Nussbaum Randy Brecker, Steve Grossman, John Patitucci, Tommy Campbell, Andrej Ceccarelli, Paolo Fresu, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Murphy, Shelia Jordan, Palle Danielsson and Ravi Coltrane to name a few... Born in Budapest in 1970. Kálmán went on to graduate from the Béla Bartok Conservatory, completing his musical studies at Franz Liszt Music University, on whose jazz faculty he currently sits. During his student years, his unique, ecumenical approached gained him widespread recognition, winning numerous awards at competitions both in Hungary and abroad including the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. Kálmán founded Trio Midnight, an innovative jazz group that helped him earn recognition beyond Hungary as he became a regular at festivals in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere. Kálmán’s versatility as a performer is demonstrated by his passion to expand the musical boundaries and his ever-lasting quest for new forms of self-expression. He writes original music and arrangements for several hungarian and international projects, including big band and simphonic works as well as for his own formations like Kalman Olah sextet amd Kalman Olah trio since 1995. His own compositions fuse jazz and contemporary classical musicand sometimes with Hungarian folk. In 2006 he received the Franz Liszt Award from the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and was awarded Grand Prize in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers competition. His winning composition, "Always," is the centerpiece of his first U.S. release recorded with Jack DeJohnette and Ron McClure.


1989  Mieczyslav Kosz International Jazz piano competition (Poland) – 1st prize

1990  Leverkusen Jazz competition (Germany) – 1st prize

1995  Great American Jazz piano competition (USA) – 3rd prize

1995  eMeRTon award "The Best soloist of the year"

1995   Hoeilaart International Jazz competition (Belgium) – Best group & best soloist

2000  eMeRTon award "The Best group of the year" (Trio Midnight)

2001  Hungarian Jazz award (Gramofon Classica & Jazz magazine)

2006  BMI grand prize (USA) (Thelonious Monk Jazz composers competition)

2006  Liszt award

2007  Szabó Gábor award

2008  „Best jazz record of the year” – Kalman Olah trio with Jack DeJohnette & Ron McClure: Always (Gramofon Classical & Jazz magazine)

regular groups:
Trio Midnight (with Janos Egri-bass, Elemer Balazs-drums)
Kalman Olah sextet (with Kristof Bacso-sax, Mihaly Borbely-clar, Ferenc Schreck-trbn, Matyas Szandai-bass, Elemer Balazs-drums)
Attila Laszlo-Kalman Olah quartet (with Bela Lattmann-bass, Andras Mohay-drums).

recent special projects:
Kalman Olah quintet with the Miskolc Simphony Orchestra
Kalman Olah with Budapest Jazz Orchestra 

Updated:  January 19, 2009

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