Photo: Bernd Hendrickx

Erika BUDAI was born in Tienen (BELGIUM) daughter of Hungarian engineers.She received her first choral training at the age of six, concerting with several choirs in Hungary and the United States of America. She studied Latin-mathematics in secondary school. In the meantime she received her first musical training at the Academy of Music in Tienen, where her classes included music theory and harmonics under Ludo HULSHAGEN, violin under Yvonne DISPA and piano under Thérèse WAGEMANS. At the age of 18, she graduated for piano with greatest distinction, receiving the Golden Medal of Tienen and the Belgian Silver State Medal.

Erika BUDAI began her music studies at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven (BELGIUM) where she studied piano under Levente KENDE. She also joined the singing class under Dina GROSSBERGER as well as traversal flute under Carl LENSKI.

She joined SABAM, the Belgian Authors and Composers Association, as composer and author in 1986. Since 1990 she has studied at the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels, where she received First Prizes in music theory, music history and harmonics under Marcel DE JONGHE, electronic music under Eric FEREMANS and film music composition under Walter Christian ROTHE, film music composer in Hollywood.

Erika BUDAI won First Prizes in the “Music Competition for Young composers” in Brussels (BELGIUM) in 1992 as well as in 1993. She pursued further studies in counterpoint and fugue under Ludo CLAESEN, receiving additional training in composition and orchestration from Kurt BIKKEMBERGS and Piet SWERTS.

With a scholarship, Erika BUDAI attended master classes in composition in Darmstadt (GERMANY) in 1996. These classes where conducted by Karl-Heinz STOCKHAUSEN, Wolfgang RIHM and Brian FERNEYHAUGH, among others. She also joined master classes in the international choir under the British conductor Sir Timothy BROWN (Mount Scopus University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL, 2010, Torino, ITALY in 2012, Akko, ISRAEL in 2013, Berwang, AUSTRIA in 2016 and Horto, GREECE in 2017).


As a composer, Erika BUDAI has received commissions for a number of compositions, including works for the Belgian Radio and Television Choir under the direction of Vic NEES and Johan DUIJCK. Her first piano quartet “Male Cocktail” was performed at the Béla Bartók-house in Budapest (HUNGARY, March 2000)

Her Cantata “Sounds of Earth” was performed at the Festival of Flanders in Courtrai, Belgium in 2003. She currently has some 160 compositions to her name, mostly choral and chamber music pieces. Her composition works are mainly edited in BELGIUM by Euprint (Heverlee) First Class Projects (Sint-Amands aan de Schelde) as well as in the NETHERLANDS by Intrada (Heerenveen).


As a co-operator of the Antwerp Concert Association “Crescendo”, Erika BUDAI has been active as a choir conductor in Berlin (GERMANY) and in Pontmain (FRANCE) from 1999 until 2004.

Since 1998, Erika BUDAI has served as a jury member for the International Youth Festival in Neerpelt (BELGIUM) as well as for other regional composition and choir competitions. Since 2009, she is also a jury member at the International Music Festival in Lecco (ITALY), Bratislava (SLOVAKIA) and Split (CROATIA).

Since February 2012 she is a Board member of the Béla Bartók Archive at the Royal Library of Brussels (BELGIUM). Erika BUDAI teaches harmonics and music composition at the Music Conservatory of Leuven (BELGIUM). Since 2006 she is the main organizer of the composition platform “Kleine Amadeus”, where her students from the composition class get the opportunity to perform their own new compositions.