Hungary in the 1960s

In the late sixties I was like every other teenager in the world.  I loved music and I wanted to be a rock and roll star.  That was my dream.  My reality was much different.  I was living in Budapest Hungary under a strict Communist regime.  Fortunately I had a gift, my musical talent was prodigious and I was consigned to study to the point of mastery one of the most beautiful instruments in the world.  There are indeed worse fates.  My grade school and middle school years I studied at the famed Bela Bartok Music Conservatory in Budapest. I was then enrolled in the esteemed Franz Liszt Music Academy where I graduated with honors. Music consumed my life and it was to be my life.  It was however, not my passion.  What I wanted more than anything else was to live in the greatest country in the world – I wanted to live in America.

From Budapest to Portugal to New York City

In 1968 I fled Hungary.   I went first to Portugal where I played the organ in a local church as I waited for my papers.  One year later I flew to America and went immediately to New York City.  I attended Julliard and played at Carnegie Hall while I indulged my other passion: food.  During the next twenty years I opened seven restaurants in New York City.  Perhaps Mr. Trump even knows of one (insert names).  It is while I owned these restaurants that I developed my improvisational style of playing.  As I shared my music with my customers I was living the dream I had always dreamt.  Since 9/11 however, that dream for many of us has changed and so have we.  I moved to Arizona but continued opening restaurants and playing the piano but things did not seem the same.  The country had changed.  But today, I am more encouraged than I have been for twenty years.

Education and Training

  • Bela Bartok Music Conservatory, Budapest, Hungary – Honors Program
  • Franz Liszt Music Academy, Budapest, Hungary – Master’s Degree Concert Pianist and Professor
  • Julliard Scholl of Music, New York, NY – Master’s Program under Ilona Kabos

Performances and Accomplishments

  • Carnegie Hall (Year) – Received standing ovation for his performance
  • Concerts – Peter has played around the world including venues in Brussels, Vienna and Zurich.
  • Scores and Soundtracks – Composed and orchestrated soundtrack for the film “A Woman for Our Time, St. Elizabeth of Hungary”
  • Music and CDs – Currently there are six CDs available on Amazon, iTunes and streaming services including Spotify and Pandora
  • YouTube – Over 21,000 Subscribers on the YouTube channel and the songs have been viewed over 3 million times
Peter Vamos


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