The Classical Rock Star
BY MICHELLE PAYER
Every few hundred years, a classical pianist appears to shake up the establishment. Remember Franz Liszt? Well, no, we’re not that old, but he brought the house down in his day, turning the piano to face the audience and giving robust performances to cheering crowds. Enter the new classical rock star for this millennium: Balázs Havasi, known worldwide simply as “Havasi.”
Looking every bit the rock star—with spiked hair, custom leather jacket and distressed jeans— Havasi is a Hungarian composer, musician and showman who’s the only virtuoso pianist to sell 500,000 concert tickets worldwide in 10 years, performing on nearly every continent and recording 10 original albums. Dubbed “a rock star among classical pianists,” his 10 solo shows at Miami’s New World Symphony sold out in a matter of days. Eight-thousand South Florida fans clamored for more, and Havasi is delivering with his first American symphonic arena show —and new composition premiere—March 21 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. Seminole Tribe of Florida tribal citizen and concert promoter S.R. Tommie says about the show, “This is a story of many who have lost loved ones, land, culture, and language through struggle, yet remain with the tenacity to stand tall. We believe this premiere will be world-changing and touch the hearts of many, making it a movement of unity for all people.”
Why is South Florida so close to your heart?
I love the people here, the vibe and how they react to my music. When I play here, the audience starts to cheer and whistle. I tell stories, I talk about my deepest thoughts and the audience responds with emotion, which inspires me.
What can people expect from this show?
It’s classical music meets Las Vegas. It will be the biggest show I’ve ever had and the world premiere of a new composition. I’m bringing the best musicians from Europe: vocalists, violinists, classical musicians, a flautist who’s performed at Carnegie Hall, Hungarian folkloric musicians, and the rock drummer, Endi, to join me onstage for a memorably intense experience.
Why did you choose Hard Rock Live?
This is the coolest place on earth at the moment. Everyone in Europe is talking about The Guitar Hotel; it’s the biggest news and incredibly special that I can have my concert here in this brand-new state-of-the-art arena with the most modern technical and acoustic equipment. There isn’t a venue like this in all of Europe.
To learn more, watch videos and buy tickets to the March 21 concert, visit havasiofficial.com.