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Szabolcs Zempléni was born in Budapest on January 8, 1981.
At the age of thirteen, he began to study horn with Pálma Szilágyi in Budapest. He later continued his studies with Ferenc Tarjáni at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. In 2002, Zempléni moved to Berlin, where he attended the Hanns Eisler Hochschule for music, studying with Christian-Friedrich Dallmann and Markus Bruggaier.
Szabolcs Zempléni has taken part in master classes with Francis Orval (USA), Froydis Ree Wekre (Norway), Friedrich Gabler (Austria), Eyal Vilner (Israel) and Adam Friedrich (Hungary), among others.

At the age of only seventeen, Szabolcs Zempléni was awarded both First Prize and a special award at the Concertino Praga. He also won the First Prize at the International Horn Competition in Békés, the Second Prize at the International Horn Competition in Markneukirchen in 2000, and the First Prize at the International Horn Competition Brno in 2001.

In 2005, Szabolcs Zempléni won the First Prize at the International ARD Competition in Munich.
Since then, Zempléni has been in great demand as a soloist, performing in the Czech Republic, in Italy, China, Japan, Thailand, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and in the USA under the direction of conductors such as Ivan Fischer,Yakov Kreizberg, Jonathan Nott, Daniel Raiskin and Michael Sanderling.

He performed already at the most famous concert halls, like the Auditorium in Rome, the Carnegie Hall in New York, Philharmonie Gasteig in Munich, and the Bartók Hall in Budapest.
He has also performed with the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Münchener Kammerorchester, the Camerata Salzburg, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen among others.

An avid chamber musician, Zempléni has worked with partners such as Andrej Bielow, Wassilij Lobanov, Christian Zacharias, Dénes Várjon, András Keller and the Atos trio.