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Corwin Slack

Katica Illenyi --Crossover sensation in Hungary

November 25, 2007 at 8:25 PM

I have a friend, Ferenc Illenyi, who is a member of the Houston Symphony. Ferenc is a fabulous violinist. He plays everything brilliantly. I got to wondering whether Ferenc had ever posted on Youtube so I did a search and -- surprise!!-- I found his sister, Katica. Katica is talented and beautiful and she or others have posted a few clips that are worthy of your attention:

I won't embed the others but these are all quite good

Her partner in the Bach Double must certainly be her younger brother. He is the image of Ferenc.

She talks about her background and upbringing in her web site.

To me this is what it means to be a crossover artist. Not just a PR creation but someone with real talent.

From Joe S.
Posted on November 25, 2007 at 9:06 PM
Wow. She's really talented! I'm not an expert, but isn't crossover music kind of like modernizing or setting a modern beat to something like Bach? This seems more like Grapelli. I like it. Lev Polyakin, of the Cleveland Orchestra, has a couple AWESOME crossover-jazz albums. He's an amazing jazzer.
From Ray Randall
Posted on November 25, 2007 at 9:29 PM
Two things: This is weird, when I start to scroll down to read what Corwin wrote the writing disappears into white.
I wonder what her violin is? It sounds interesting.
From Corwin Slack
Posted on November 25, 2007 at 9:48 PM
I am no expert in crossover but I thought that it was an artist from one genre who performed in other genres.
From Mara Gerety
Posted on November 25, 2007 at 9:59 PM
How is she "crossover"? She's playing jazz in the first 2 clips and classical in the second 2. That's just being able to play well in multiple genres; crossover is when you start mixing genres together.

I like her though, especially that "Chanson des Rues" she plays on the second clip. Reminds me of some of the stuff Laurent Korcia plays on "Doubles Jeux"--now THAT is a good album, btw. :)

(P.S.--hi Joe!) ;-) ;-) ;-)

From Mara Gerety
Posted on November 25, 2007 at 10:02 PM
eh, sorry Corwin, you beat me to the post and now I look like a grumpy kvetch--no, as far as I know "crossover" refers to a mixing of styles in one performance. Someone like Katica is just multi-talented. :)
From Corwin Slack
Posted on November 25, 2007 at 11:27 PM
From Wikipedia on Crossover:

"Within the classical recording industry the term "crossover" is applied particularly to classical artists' recordings of popular repertoire such as Broadway show tunes, or collaborations between classical and popular performers such as Sting and Edin Karamazov's album Songs from the Labyrinth. Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra (1969) and Gemini Suite Live (1970) are early examples of this, and Metallica's S&M (1999) is a more recent example."

It seems the word can mean what you want it to me. Katica Illenyi was trained in the classical idiom at Ferenc Liszt Academy. She apparently still plays classical (witness the Bach)

From Samuel Thompson
Posted on November 26, 2007 at 8:48 AM
Ferenc is such a great violinist - and a great person, too. Played a couple things with him when I lived in Houston and took a lesson with him once. Smart man.

Thanks for sharing this,

From Carolyn Ohlbaum
Posted on November 26, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Thank you so much for sharing this! She's wonderful!! Excellent violinist plus strong stage presence plus delightful personality plus lots of charm. I can well understand why she is a sensation!


From Jasmine Reese
Posted on November 26, 2007 at 2:33 PM
Yeah, Regina Carter is considered cross-over because she was trained classically but "crossed over" to Jazz. I think the term is also applied to people who mix genres together.
From Corwin Slack
Posted on November 26, 2007 at 4:10 PM
I have to admit that I don't know how popular she really is in Hungary. I presume quite popular based on the size of the audience visible in one of her clips and a few things on her web site.

Whatever her real popularity I think she is sensational!

From Mayra Calvani
Posted on November 27, 2007 at 6:19 PM
I really enjoyed the clip. Thanks for sharing!

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