Kristóf Baráti (born 1979) is a Hungarian violinist, and is widely regarded as one of the most talented violinists to emerge in recent years.
Baráti was born into a musical family in Budapest in 1979; his mother played the violin and his father was a cellist. He received his first violin instruction from his mother and continued his studies with the founder of the famous Tátrai Quartet, Vilmos Tátrai. Throughout much of his childhood, Baráti lived in Venezuela, where at the age of 8 he performed with the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra.
In 1996, he began studying in Paris with Professor Eduard Wulfson. Wulfson, himself a student of Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, and Henryk Szeryng, passed on to Baráti the standards which his own teachers had embodied.
At one of his first notable competition appearances in 1995, the Gorizia Competition in Italy, Baráti won first prize, which would prove to be a touchstone for his future success. In the wake of a moving performance by Baráti at the Jacques Thibaud Competition, a critic wrote:
"Kristof Barati's interpretation of the Beethoven Concerto was one of the most beautiful and moving that I have ever had the privilege of hearing. It seemed almost impossible that a musician barely 17 years old could express such depths of maturity and sensibility. Beethoven's great work contains several well-known magical moments of great simplicity, which require, however, the highest level of technical and musical mastery in order to effectively communicate this effect. One of these moments occurs just after the cadenza in the first movement, when the solo violin takes up the opening theme, quietly and in the low register. After an impressive performance of the Fritz Kreisler cadenza, Barati won over the entire audience by creating one of those moments of suspense where the whole world seems to stand still. Unforgettable... It is quite possible that Barati, the 2nd prize winner, will be the violinist of the future."
In 2001, Baráti opened the Colmar Festival in France as soloist under the direction of Vladimir Spivakov. For the past three years, he has been a Guest Professor (along with Ida Haendel, Vadim Repin, and Natalia Gutman) at the master classes organized by Eduard Wulfson, first at the Château de Champs-sur-Marne and in 2005 at the Sorbonne in Paris.
At the invitation of the French Senate, Baráti gave the final concert of the "Raphael: Grace and Beauty" exhibition in the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. He performed works which demand a particular virtuosity: the two sonatas of Eugène Ysaye, H.W. Ernst's "Last Rose of Summer", and J.S. Bach's "Partita No. 3" (played on the 1734 Guarneri del Gesú "ex-Haddock").
On 18 June 2002, with the support of the Pleyel Foundation, Baráti was invited to perform a special concert in which he repeated Nathan Milstein's achievement of performing on one evening J.S. Bach's 6 Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (on a rare Stradivarius, the "ex-Cobbett" from 1706, played for the first time in France).
Baráti regularly performs in Hungary with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Ivan Fischer, and with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zoltan Kocsis.
In 2006, he made his German debut with the Berliner Philharmonie under the direction of Kirill Karabits.
In October 2010, Barati won the Sixth International Paganini Violin Competition in Moscow.
Ravel: Violin sonata no. 2; Bartók: Solo violin sonata; and Bowen: Piano sonatas no. 5. With Severin von Eckardstein (piano). (Saphir Productions 2007),
Paganini: Violin concertos 1 & 2*. With Eiji Oue, NDR Radiophilharmonie (Hannover). (Berlin Classics 2009),
J.S. Bach: Six sonatas and partitas for solo violin (Berlin Classics 2010),
L. van Beethoven: Complete Violin and Piano Sonatas, with Klara Würtz (Brilliant Classics, 2012),
Eugene Ysaye: 6 Solosonatas for violin (Brilliant Classics, 2013)