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Zoltan Racz was born and educated in Budapest, Hungary, where he began to play the accordion in 1955. His music teacher was Professor Gyula Pázsik, now a lifetime friend. In the 1960s Zoltan was concert master of the Hungarian State Accordion Orchestra and toured with the group in Italy, West Germany and Switzerland. Zoltan earned a Bronze medal in the 1963 Accordion World Championship in Baden Baden, West Germany and won first prize in the highly competitive and popular Hungarian TV talent show (Ki mit tud) in 1964. In the same year he won a Gold medal in the Internationale Akkordeonwettbewerb (East European Accordion Championship) in Klingenthal, East-Germany. In 1968 he went to West Germany and played in Delmenhorst, Stuttgart, Munich and Hamburg as an "Alleinunterhalter" (as a soloist) and with noted musicians, like Kálmán Vörös (violin), Anton Karas (zither) and Frankie Holiday (guitar).
In 1970 Zoltan moved to Washington DC, where his partners included the critically acclaimed violinist, Kálmán Banyák, as well as Al Martinez, Géza Lakatos, Fred Ballerini, Bruno Nasta, Jon Nazdin and Vladimir Fridman.
From 1974 to 2004 Zoltan was an International Broadcaster for the Voice of America
In Washington as a musician, Zoltan made numerous recordings with many different artists, among them Theodore Bikel, Adrienne Cooper, Caron Dale, Robert DeCormier, the Grammy Award winning Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Frieda Enoch, Robyn Helzner and David Maddox. He has performed as a featured soloist with the Prince Georges Philharmonics, the McLean Youth Orchestra, the Arlington Symphony, the Post-Classical Ensemble, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony, other orchestras and chamber groups. He has played for productions at the Hartke Theatre in Washington and The Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC, at the Theater of the First Amendment of George Mason University in Fairfax VA, at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and at The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia. He played at Arena Stage in Washington DC, CenterStage Theater in Baltimore and the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach/Florida. He was the founding member of the international group, Gypsy Strings, and recorded the group's two albums, "Music of Planet Earth" and "Olé Guapa". The Gypsy Strings played together for many years at elite Washington, DC events including several White House gatherings and Presidential Inaugural Balls.
Zoltan has three bright and musically talented children, Victoria, a gifted singer, guitar and flute player, working on her PhD in international public policy at Pittsburgh University; Nicholas, a dynamic drummer with a master's degree in psychology, currently with the University of Memphis; and Phillip, a bass player in New York, after years at the University of North Texas in Denton and the New School in New York.
Zoltan now lives in Florida where he continues to play music on a regular basis. He often takes a few months off to travel the country and to visit family and friends in his Airstream trailer.
Contact call: 772-708-5841. Email ZOLTAN RACZ with comments or questions.
Copyright © 2005, Zoltan Racz & Natalia Sirotina