The Hungarian piano player was awarded the Bartok–Pasztory Prize for her contributions at promoting the legacy of lesser known but talented figures of Hungarian classical music, especially for the rediscovery of the lifetime achievements of Erno Dohnanyi. She turned to 70 years old at the beginning of May, 2011. ”Ilona Prunyi is one of the finest representatives of Hungarian music; her features are exceptionally unique”– claimed Annie Fischer in 1974. Anybody can be reassured of the validity of Fischer’s words from the 1970s when visiting a concert of the pianist, actively playing today. Ilona Prunyi was born on the first of May, 1941 in Debrecen. She started playing the piano at the age of 6. Between 1958 and 63 she was a student of Jozsef Gat and Andras Mihaly at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She had not yet graduated when she participated at the Liszt-Bartok International Piano Competition in 1961. In addition to her national and international performances, she has produced about 50 recordings, most of which were world premiers. In her repertoire there are a great number of works of lesser known and rarely played Hungarian composers from the 19th century, such as Abranyi, Bertha, Beliczay, Mosonyi, Goldmark, Volkmann, Sipos, Gaal. She also frequently performs works she wrote for contemporary Hungarian composers, for instance Emil Petrovics, Jozsef Sari, Istvan Lang, Attila Bozay, Mate Hollos.
The pianist’s true specialty is Erno Dohnanyi’s music.