Sándor Mester (MS3) - Guitarist, producer
Sandor Mester MS3 realized more than 900 concerts in 21 countries in Brazil, USA, Morocco, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine, Poland, Netherlands, Finnland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Republic of Kosovo, Croatia, Slovenia and Makedonia.
Classical guitar player Sándor Mester is unique not only for being the guitar artist who gives the largest number of concerts in East Central Europe, and not only because his repertoire spans 600 years of classical music, but also because he is on a cultural mission. He has decided to bring classical music to those who otherwise would not be exposed to it. Among the big concert halls he plays in the community halls and schools of tiny villages, because he believes, and demonstrates, that music belongs to everyone.
He began learning guitar from his father and very soon achieved notable success. At the age of 17, as a student of Erzsébet Nagy, he won the top prize at Hungary's National Guitar Competition in the town of Vác. In 1992, he was admitted to the Liszt Academy of Music, studying guitar under József Eötvös and composition under Iván Madarász. In addition to his classical music studies, he participated in several popular music productions. His mentor, friend and teacher is Ede Roth. He graduated in Győr (Music Faculty of István Széchenyi University) in Ede Roth's classical guitar class.
In 1998, he invented the technology of digital improvisation, founding Digimpro Kft. in Budapest in 2000, and Digimpro Ltd. in London in 2003. Since then, world-class musicians including Robbie Williams, Roots Manuva, Erasure and Moby have used the DI technology. Sándor Mester worked on Digimpro until the Spring of 2006.
Beginning in 1995, MS3 studied under Ede Róth, whom he considers his musical mentor to this day. His solo career began in 2003. He began giving concerts in the churches of tiny villages surrounding Lake Balaton and in other parts of the Hungarian countryside. In 2005, he gave a record 150 concerts in 90 days in the Lake Balaton region - a feat unmatched in the classical music field. He repeated this series in 2006, though the 150 concert venues were now spread across the country.
Since 2003, in addition to playing in concert halls around the world, MS3 has mostly played in the churches, community centers and schools of villages and small towns. In 2007 and 2008, MS3 continued to give concerts in Hungary, as well as solo and chamber concerts in Transylvania and Bucharest. In 2007, he gave several concerts in Romania, notably in Sibiu (the year's European Capital of Culture) and in Cisnadioara, performing on open-air stages, churches, at exhibit openings and book launches. In 2008, he celebrated his 400th concert in Bucharest as part of the MS3 Baroque Trio.
In 2008, he wrote the music for and assisted in the production of "The Fidesz Jew, the mother with no sense of nation, and mediation”, a documentary by filmmaker Eszter Hajdú which caused a stir and attracted record audiences. Hajdú then made a documentary of Sándor Mester's Fall concert tour in Romania, a film entitled "Lullaby,” which aired on several major Hungarian television stations.
Beginning in 2009, the MS3 Baroque Ensemble was formed (flute/saxophone, flute, guitar and cello). The MS3 Baroque Ensemble plays the works – sonatas, theater music, dances – of French baroque composers Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), Jacques Paisible (c. 1656-1721), and Jean Marie Leclair (1697-1764). The Ensemble plays the baroque pieces rewritten for today's modern instruments, combining a traditional approach with a consciousness of the performer's freedom of interpretation.
Alongside his solo career, Sándor Mester invests a great deal of energy in assisting musicians who suffer from a disease called focal dystonia. For several years, he has been collaborating with filmmaker Eszter Hajdú on a documentary on this subject, entitled "Demon Hands”, which is filmed in Barcelona, Hanover, Hungary and New York.
In recent years, Sándor Mester has given concerts in Bratislava, Slovakia; many towns in Romania; Morocco (Mohammedia); Italy (Naples); USA (New York); Israel (Tel Aviv); and Bulgaria (Sofia). He toured for one year in Portugal, studing the works of the renowned Fado guitar artist Carlos Paredes, whose pieces are now part of his concert repertoire. In addition to Paredes' works, Sándor Mester plays sonatas by the noted Portuguese Baroque composer Carlos Seixas. He has given concerts with the legendary Portuguese actor Isabel Ruth, and on the island of Madeira, where he played for a live broadcast on the local television station (RTP Madeira).
MS3's solo repertoire spans the music of 600 years, from the Renaissance to the present day: it includes the masters of classical guitar from Spain and Italy (Ferdinando Sor and Francisco Tarrega) and South America (Heitor-Villa Lobos, Barrios); he also plays the works of Luis Milan, Franceso da Milano, Carlos Paredes, Carlos Seixas, Bálint Barkfark, Béla Bartók, as well as his own compositions. In 2006, the MS3 Baroque Trio was formed, in which many young musicians have participated: András Sturcz , Györgyi Papp, Elvira Budai (cello), István Rózsa (tuba), Dániel Mester, János Vázsonyi (alto saxophone), András Somos, Anna Détári (flute), and Éva Antal (guitar). In 2006, he gave several guitar-duo concerts with Éva Antal, including 15 of Bartók's 44 Violin Duos, the Rumanian Dances, and their own transcriptions of one of Haydn's D-Major piano sonatas. The Trio's repertoire consists of the works of Jean Baptiste Loiellet, Evaristo Dall'abaco (1675-1742), Jean-Philip Rameau (1683-1764), Georg Frederick Händel (1685-1759), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).
In 2011 he has played a series of concerts named "Concert for the Roma” in disadvantaged villages in Hungary where the Gypsies constitute the overwhelming majority of the population, and he has given a series of concerts called "Bakfark-Bartók” in settlements in four countries populated by Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Ukranie, Romania and Serbia.
On the summer of 2011 he moved to Moravia (Czech Republic) for three months. He plays fifty concerts in Koprivnice and in the surrounding villages and small towns.
In 2011 MS3 organised a big project called 'Klassik Star' for young, classical musicians from the V4 countries. He produced an online music contest as well as a chamber music tour of twelve concerts in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
In January 2012 he did seven concerts in Brazil with a great success in four cities: Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Goiania és Vitoria.
In April 2012 he had a tour in Bulgaria, Romania and Morocco. In Bulgaria and Morocco he did maserclasses for young classical guitar professionals.
MS3 produced a world music CD with DINA band at the end of 2012 and did couple of concerts in Budapest after releasing the CD with the pubisher Rózsavölgyi. On the CD you can hear Jiddisch, Hebrew, Ladino and Sephardic songs. The members of the band are Balázs Dongó Szokolay, András Dés, Diána Samu-Pandzarisz and MS3.
He played in Roma and Napoli in March 2013 then he made a long Balkan tour for three weeks in Bulgaira, Makedonija and Serbia. He was jurying in Kjustendil at the XVII. International Classical Guitar Competition.