Enikő Samu


Photos by Matt Dine


Danubia Orchestra, Budapest, 2018–21; Camerata Pelsonore, Budapest, 2013–21; Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra, Budapest, 2014–15; The International Holland Music Sessions, 2019; Kyoto Music Festival, 2021; Kaposfest, 2020

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

My earliest memory goes back to when I was 5 years old. I had kept nagging my mother that I wanted to play the violin. One day there was a concert in the church of the town we lived in, and my mother took me because she couldn’t believe that I already knew what the violin was. As we were sitting in the church, she turned to me and asked, “That’s what you really want to do? Are you sure?” I was 100% sure. Years later, I was playing in the orchestra we listened to that day.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career?

When I was 10 years old, I finally joined the local youth orchestra. It was a Friday evening when we  all gathered in the basement of the music school. That was an experience I had never had before. The moment we started playing together, I was sure I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. It has been an adventurous journey with its ups and downs, but whenever I feel discouraged I can still remember that feeling, and I play with the same enthusiasm and joy every time.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I couldn’t name one person, however I find inspiration in books most of all. Reading is a passion that I can always count on. It gives me peace, joy, and solace every time I open a book. 

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most?

I feel the music of Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Bartók very close to me. 

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it?

Bartók’s 2nd Violin Concerto tells you so much without words! You can find answers to big questions when you listen carefully. 

What has been your favorite experience as a musician?

In May 2022 I had the chance to perform Tchaikovsky’s A Minor Piano Trio with wonderful colleagues from the Bard Conservatory, Nathan Fransisco and Yun Chen. Digging into this enormous piece and then performing it was an experience I will never forget. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Favorite non-classical musician or band

My favorite band is Moonchild. I can’t wait to hear them in person!

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

Definitely the cello. I love the color of the sound, and who can resist a beautiful cello solo?

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

There are many professions I find fascinating. Lately I have been doing some reading on psychology and human rights. I found it very eye-opening. I could imagine working in one of those fields.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why?

I would invite Joseph Haydn, James Baldwin, and Charles Bukowski. I find the the three of them very inspiring. I would be interested to see how they would interact with each other.