Berkes Kálmán

Kálmán Berkes obtained his degree as clarinet player at the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy in Budapest. His teachers include Béla Kovács, György Kurtág, András Mihály, Albert Simon and Frigyes Sándor. He studied conducting from János Ferencsik and Giuseppe Patane. He won the Silver Prize of the International Contest of Geneva in 1972, and additional prizes of chamber music contests in Belgrade in 1974, and Munich in 1975.

He worked as principal clarinet of the Hungarian State Opera, the Philharmonic Society and the Budapest Festival Orchestra between 1972 and 1993. He was a member of the Budapest Chamber Orchestra between 1973 and 1983. He was the founder and art director of the Budapest Wind Ensemble in 1982, and the conductor of the Hungarian Chamber Orchestra of Virtuosi between 1988 and 1992. He held master classes in the United States, Canada, England, The Netherlands and Finland. He has been a professor of the Musashino Music Academy in Tokyo and the leading conductor of its symphonic orchestra since 1992.
He was a permanent guest conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra from the autumn of 2004 to December 2006.

He has been the Art Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Győr since April 2009.

He regularly plays in concerts in Europe, South America and Japan. He is a frequent guest of major music festivals.

His partners include Zoltán Kocsis, Dezső Ránki, András Schiff, Jenő Jandó, Miklós Perényi, Maurice André, James Galway, the Takács and Keller Quartets.
He has made several recordings for Naxos, Hungaroton, Decca, Telefunken, Harmonia Mundi and EMI. He was awarded the gold medal of the Grammy Prize jointly with György Pauk and Jenő Jandó in 1995.