first violinist, singer, band leader
„If it wasn’t for this music, I wouldn’t have touched a violin ever again.”
Son of ethnographer István Halmos, he was acquainted with folk music at an early age, but started learning classical violin. He has travelled to Transylvanian villages countless times, which proved formative not only musically, but also in outlook. Comissioned to play at village weddings and parties several times: Halmos knows and appreciates the customs and music of village culture inside-out.
“I was born in Budapest, in 1969. I had been going attending music school for 8 years before I started playing folk music, in 1984. Béla Halmos, who is not family despite the surname, took me first to a folk summer camp in Püspökladány where I got to know the band Téka.
I decided to go to Téka’s own camp the same summer. In the autumn dance houses started off: Muzsikás played on Tuesdays, Téka on Fridays. Another band that left a lasting impact on me is Ökrös. They accompanied Bartók dance ensemble at the time, and had band rehearsals three times a week. I attended whenever I could, playing with them for 5 years until 1989. It’s not an exaggeration to say I had the violin in my hands all the time. I first visited Transylvania, the village of Szék in 1985. Since then going there has felt like going home, I remember they had dancing in three streets in those days. Hearing the band of Palatka was the next great experience. The way they played music was just incredible, giving the listener shivers. Those musicians, many of them have passed away unfortunately, had amazing knowledge and skill. At the same time, the dance house life in Budapest was going full gear, we met almost every night.
We set up Tükrös Ensemble with Péter Árendás in 1986. We have played at Téka’s summer camp every year since 1987. In 1990 we did a field trip to Szatmár, where I was blown away by the Kisari band. Their violinist was quite old at the time, his technique was slightly worn, but the style impeccable. The recording we made could evoke how the music could have sounded back in the day. We have made more field work since then, but this one still is the dearest to me. I started teaching in Párkány in 1996, in Pilicsaba in 2000, and since 2007 I have been teaching singing in a secondary school.