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Born in 1971 in Jászberény (Eastern Hungary), Erika Illési started her musical studies first in Miskolc, later at the prestigious Franz Liszt Music Academy of Budapest. A prize winner of the Academy’s Zathureczky, Hubay and Weiner competitions, still as a student he played in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and with a scholarship of Sándor Végh attended master-classes in Prague and Cracow. A frequent participant in different BFO productions, she was prize winner of the orchestra’s Sándor Végh Competition in 2004.