Imre Kalman born on March 2, 1964, was already nine years old when he entered, quite by chance, the music school in his birthplace, the small town of Zenta, in Vojvodina province of Serbia. It was his first teacher, Jozsef Laki, who enticed him to study the violoncello.
Early successes in sundry Yugoslav competitions prompted the thirteen year old youngster to take music and study under the supervision of Gavrilo Anika.
It was his exceptional talent and dedication that, in 1979, brought an invitation to continue his music education at the School for music talents in Cuprija, an elite music school in former Yugoslavia.
In August 1980 Kalman Imre met the renowned French musician and pedagogue, André Navarra, who invited him to join his class at the music Academy at Detmold, Germany. The years of strenuous studying that followed, exacting maximum application, perseverance and dedication from young musician, determined Kalman’s future and colored his whole life. Andre Navarra, as a soloist of word fame, performing intensively all over the world, could only intermittently attend to his students at Detmold, so it was his assistant Marcio Carneiro, who took over the day-to-day task of working with the young talented cellist.
After having been awarded a diploma in music art in February 1985 Kalman returned home to do his military service. It was a difficult period – a whole year without his instrument – and it took him another year to recover his previous form.
Postgraduate master’s studies / Konzert –Examen/, along with assistantship at the Music Academy at Detmold took four years, between 1986 and 1990. During that time Kalman played, as a soloist, in the chamber orchestra of world-famous violinist Tibor Varga, and had ample opportunities to perform along the renowned maestro in concert.
In early 1990 Kalman was appointed a solo cellist in Cologne’s Rundfunk Orchester – West Deutschen Rundfunk, but soon afterwards, in the spring of the same year, he decided to give up his chosen life path. It was a decision made under the pressure of long years of discontent and bitterness, the last blow coming at a moment of failure. For months afterwards he did not even touch his instrument.
A chance meeting in 1990 with renowned Finnish Cellist – Arto Noras – who acquainted Kalman with a technique previously unfamiliar to him led to complete turn-about in Kalman’s life a vigorously renewed energy. By the end of that year he had completed his postgraduate studies and won the degree of Master of Music.
Soon afterwards he launched on a career as a soloist, and on over thirty tours performed in prestigious concert halls of important cultural centers in most European countries, in Indochina, and the Far East.
Since the year 2000 Kalman has held the post of Head of the Chairfer violoncello at the music school of Music Art of the Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad, and has returned to live in his native town of Zenta.
Zenta is a small town in the province of Vojvodina, the northern-most part of Serbia and Montenegro. This region, the famed area between the Danube and Tisza rivers, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Celtic, Avar people, Huns, passed through it. It was the eastern times of the Roman Empire and with time became Hungarian territory, for over the hundred years it was under Turkish occupation. Zenta was first mentioned in records dating from year 1216 A.D.
The outcome of the Battle of Zenta, fought on September 11, 1697, left its imprint on the subsequent history of Europe. The glorious victory of Prince Eugene of Savoy over the Sultan Mustapha II is still celebrated, as their feast-day, by the citizen of Zenta.
In summer 2004 Imre Kalman was invited to Ukraine. He held masterclasses and performed concerts at Stoljarskji-Conservatory for Music and at Kiev University for Music and Arts.
During three weeks of studying under the artistic leadership of Imre Kalman the participating students - all exeptionally gifted -were given the opportunity to supplement their studies and to witness Imre Kalman`s high standard of peformance as well as his dedication to teach the vast repertoire for cello.