Mario Bihari / Slovakia
Mário Bihári is an extraordinary Roma artist.
When he was just eight years old he lost his sight; he was no longer able to practice athletics, so he devoted himself wholly to music. He started off studying in the Slovakian town of Levoča, going on to graduate from the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague. His outstanding talent as an accordionist, pianist and composer attracted the attention of the acclaimed Czech artist Zuzana Navarova. He became a member of her ensemble KOA, and went on to compose around a third of its repertoire.
After Navarova’s passing, he launched a solo career and founded the group Bachtale Apsa. Its members released two albums and appeared at over two hundred concerts in the Czech Republic and further afield. Bihári’s versatility and creativity mean he doesn’t just perform with many Czech and Slovak musicians; he also appears in theatre plays as an actor. His work captures incredible musical sensitivity originating from Roma traditions and intertwined with classical music, folk, pop, jazz and contemporary electronics. His solo performances are always a singular experience and a meeting with the artist’s stunning virtuosity in combining diverse Roma motifs with many others.
His latest project is the ensemble Mário Bihári and Friends, performing classical Roma repertoire alongside Bihári’s own compositions. The guitarist and vocalist Petr Horváth has been Bihári’s partner for many years, since the days of Bachtale Apsa. Although his guitar frequently blends into the background, Horváth’s captivating voice gives the music an unforgettable atmosphere. The rhythm section comprises two artists who also have an intuitive connection with the frontman.
Mário Bihári - piano, accordion
Petr Horváth - guitar, vocals
Standa Vít - percussion instruments
Adam Pospíšil - bass guitar, violin
The concert took place in 2015.