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.