Istvan J. Balazs is a Hungarian film, TV and media composer and a voting member of the World Soundtrack Awards Academy since 2018. Istvan is known for his scores for movies such as the Award Winning “American Family Revival” (US, 2019), When To You Turn To God(HU, 2016), One Day of The Karoli Family(HU, 2017), “JUNGLE” (AT, 2019) movie. Being an active Academy Voting Member of the World Soundtrack Awards, he is working together in the Academy with composers such as Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Alexandre Desplat, Alan Silvestri, Howard James Newton, Gregson-Williams Rupert and many others in deciding who wins the Film Composer of the Year, Best Original Song written directly for a Film and Television Composer of the Year Awards by casting their votes in two rounds.
Istvan J. Balazs was born in 1980, in Miercurea-Ciuc, Romania. He started his first private accordion lessons at eleven years of age with prof. Besenyei Miklós Brass orchestra conductor and accordionist, then he starting studying piano and music theory with prof. Dr. Moldovan Cornel when he was 13 years old. After only one year of studying Istvan composed his first waltz and was also playing Lehár Ferenc operettas and Johann Strauss waltzes with a local band.
Istvan entered the world of film/media music in Budapest relatively lately in 2010, by starting composing symphonic cinematic music trailers and demos. He then was commissioned by Gábor Keleti, Film director from Budapest, to score the short movie “When Do You Turn to God (2016).
After being re-located to Vienna, Istvan was taking composition and orchestration master classes and workshops with top notch Hollywood composers such as Alexandre Desplat (2016), Danny Elfman (2017), Hans Zimmer (2018), TJ Lindgren (2018), Gabriel Yared (2019) and John Lunn(2021).
In 2016, Istvan was commissioned by B & B Productions (US), to score his first feature movie “MACK”, a dark-comedy written and directed by Bryce Taylor and Ben Wilson, which was released in 2019 in the US. Meanwhile, Istvan was also writing music for commercials, promos, continuing on scoring short movies and trailers such as “Easter Services Promo (2016), “A Day in The Life of The Károli Family (2018)” as the result of a fruitful and close collaboration with Gábor Keleti, film director from Budapest.
In September, 2018, Istvan finished the writing, recording and production of the orchestral score for the “American Family Revival” feature length Documentary directed by Handel Humphrey, which won the “Independent Spirit Award” at GCFC Film Festival (2019, US) and it was Nominated for “Most Creative Documentary” at the ICFF 2019 International Film and Music Festival in Orlando/US, May, 2019. Istvan and Handel’s close relationship started in 2017, when Istvan was first commissioned by Handel’s Production Company(Serious Shots) to score ASAP within two weeks the Geaschel’s Family Documentary – part of the American Family Revival, for submission to the 2017 CWVFF International Film Festival.
Between November, 2018 – March, 2019 Istvan was commissioned by film director Alex Lazarov (LZRV Productions) to write the orchestral score for “JUNGLE”, a feature length TV Mini-series, Drama. The international premiere screening of the “JUNGLE” was on 6th of April, 2019 at GartenbauKino movie theater in Vienna, Austria, then the movie won the Golden Nica Award in “U19 – Create Your World Category” at Ars Electronica Digital Media and Art Festival from Linz/AT, May, 2019.
Istvan is currently working on his first musical called “The Return of The King of Kings”, which will be both premiered and released worldwide in 2023.
As a composer, István started to handmade for the commissioned film score demo recordings a customised cello rosin, which could help enhance and widen the sound, colour and sonic mood palette of the recorded cello lines. Previously, he had to switch and mix between various types of different vendor’s rosins, to achieve the desired result: to be able to have a full and strong sound and sharp articulation in staccato, spiccato, staccatissimo passages, while also having at hand, warm, luminous, lyrical quality in the high registers of legato passages for maximum expressiveness.
István intends to bring a personalised, fully customisable, premium-quality, 100% fully natural, bio organic, affordable rosin to both students and professionally trained musicians, covering the needs of demanding violinists, violists, cellists and bassists. The manufacturing of the “Alfa & Omega” rosin started on 1st of May, 2022 at his home in Sátoraljaújhely, Hungary.