József Eötvös was born in Pécs in 1962. He graduated at the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar as the student of Roland Zimmer and studied the art of composing from Franz Just.
He regularly gives concerts in several countries of the world: he has played, among others, in Austria , the Czech Republic, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Romania, Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia, Lichtenstein, Japan and Singapore. He is invited to perform both solo concerts and orchestral concertos. He has made radio and television recordings both in his home land and abroad.
In his master courses, which sometimes concentrate on Baroque and chamber music, he carries out excellent music pedagogical activities. He is a regular jury member of international guitar competitions and the artistic leader of the International Guitar Festival in Esztergom and the Balatonfured International Guitar Festival. In his concerts, besides his own masterpieces and arrangements, the popularization of 20th century and contemporary Hungarian music plays an important role. (Among others: the works of Barna Kováts, Ferenc Farkas, Máté Hollós and Iván Madarász.) .
His arrangements are musical curiosities which are played on this instrument only by him in the whole wide world. His arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations is regarded by critics as the arrangement of the century. Following this success, he produced other arrangements as well, such as Bach’s lute works (Chanterelle), Chopin’s piano pieces 1 – 2 (Professional Music Press – Poland and Gendai Guitar – Japan ), Brahms’s 21 Hungarian Dances (MelBay) and J. S. Bach The Art of Fugue.
His compositions, which are written on the guitar and other instruments as well, are also published, such as the Willow Variations (Editions Orphée, Columbus Ohio 1991), the Five Aphorisms (Trekel Verlag, Hamburg 1997) and the Featherlets (Trekel Verlag, Hamburg 2000).
He has been a teacher at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest since 2002 and he was the first in Hungary to establish a guitar faculty at a university (music academy) level.
In 2002 he was given the Artisjus Prize for the introduction and popularization of contemporary Hungarian musical pieces and he was awarded with the Franz Liszt Prize in 2004 in recognition of his work.
His college course book titled “Thoughts On J. S. Bach’s Music And The Performance Of His Lute Works” was published by the University of Pécs in 2006