Zsolt Bognár

Critically acclaimed concert pianist Zsolt Bognár, frequently featured on NPR, performs two pieces by Schubert and shares his story about how a special connection to Schubert brought healing solace.

“Zsolt’s musicality is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” —Carl Scaglione, New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor


Zsolt Bognár recently debuted to high critical acclaim in the US, Europe, and Japan. In 2013, he released his first album, Franz and Franz, featuring works of Schubert and Liszt, two composers into whose music Zsolt has extraordinary insight. He frequently performs chamber music with members of the Cleveland Orchestra in live NPR broadcasts and he hosts Living the Classical Life, an interview series with musicians from around the world, presented by Elyria Pictures in New York, in addition to music journalism pieces. On faculty at the Aurora School of Music, Zsolt has also been involved in technology-integrated distance learning projects for children and community service musical outreach as part of his goal to make classical music accessible to as many people as possible.


About Beautifying Darkness with Zolt on the TEDMED Blog

Which superpower would you most like to have?
To be able to sense those who suffer pain in silence, and to be able to heal them, even without words.

If you could meet your 10-year-old self, what would you tell him?
Keep dreaming, and keep playing.

What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
To walk onto stage each time is an existential confrontation with the desire to create and the desire to overcome artistic self-doubts. It never gets much easier, but lends to the intensity of purpose.

Any advice you have for your viewers?
I would challenge each person to attend a performance of classical music, and do so preferably alone, and leave their mobile phone at home. This is one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences possible. It unlocks the imagination, heals the spirit, and inspires one's own projects.