Saggini: From what I see on YouTube, your recitals must be very entertaining. Can you describe one? And do you have a traveling orchestra or do you use local musicians?
Illenyi: In my concerts, I play the violin and the theremin. I also sing and tap dance. Between my musical pieces, I tell entertaining stories to the audience. The most important thing for me is that people have a good time during my concerts. When I plan a new concert selection, it usually takes a year till I am ready to perform it because of all the time I spend learning, practicing, rehearsing, and working out all the details.
For concerts, most of the time I use local musicians, and I always work with my favorite conductor István Silló. Playing with the Péter Sárik jazz trio is also gratifying for me. A lot of times I perform with only my pianist István Bundzik, who is an outstanding jazz/classical musician.
Saggini: Being a dancer, as well as a thereminist, what do you think of the Terpsitone? Do you think it could be an engaging addition to your shows?
Illenyi: No, I never thought about that because I never saw a Terpsitone, and I also don’t know how it works. I just read about it in a book that is about Leon Theremin’s life.
Saggini: Since you are about to embark on a U.S. tour, is there a message you would like to convey to your American fans?
Illenyi: I like American people because they are very open and friendly. You can feel this already at the first moment when you arrive at the airport. They are just different than people in Europe. It doesn’t mean of course that European people would not be friendly, but anyhow you can feel the difference in the first moment. And this is also true when I perform for the American audience. So my message for the people living in the US would be: I can’t wait to meet you again in person because playing for you gives me so much joy & fun!!! ☺