Major István Kovács was born on 21 June 1978 in Szeged, Hungary. He spent his elementary and secondary school years in Kistelek, where he started to play the clarinet. He soon joined the local “Id. Vándor Rudolf Brass Orchestra”, first as a member, and later as the conductor of the band.
He studied at the Juhász Gyula Teacher’s Training College in Szeged, and after receiving his Music Teacher Degree, as well as Teacher of Hungarian Language and Literature, he continued his studies at the University of Pécs earning his Music Teacher and Choir Conductor Master’s Degree. At the University of Szeged Juhász Gyula Faculty of Education he qualified as a “Professional teacher qualified in public school management”.
He started his teaching career in Kistelek in 1996, where he taught at the local Art School and Secondary School. He also taught at the University of Debrecen from 2005 to 2014.
In 2001, with the recommendation of the Principal Conductor of the Hungarian Army, he was asked to organise the Military Band of Hódmezővásárhely. He has been a regular member of the army and the conductor of the band since that time.
The Military Band of Hódmezővásárhely has given concerts all over Hungary, and they were invited to several countries abroad, including Romania, France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Sweden. The Hungarian Bartók Radio has made three concert recordings with the band so far. Their greatest classical music concert took place in the Dóm Cathedral in Szeged, when they performed the “Requiem” by Frigyes Hidas. On this occasion Major István Kovács conducted the band together with the Vaszy Viktor Choir and such outstanding soloists, like Krisztina Kónya, Boglárka Laczák, Péter Balczó and Tamás Altorjay.
Major István Kovács won the Bárdos Lajos National Conducting Competition in 1999. Besides completing his professional duties in the army, he conducts in more than fifty concerts a year with his own band or as a guest conductor with other orchestras.