István Kohán

István Kohán

Dave Bennett Reading István Kohán 3 minutes Next Kunqi Xie

Why I Chose Backun

"How we musicians turn music into masterpieces as the composers imagined is truly a challenging and detailed task. I believe that we need the same outstanding quality in our instruments to help us to make our craft possible. When I met the Backun team and tried their clarinets, I felt that this is the way to raise my playing to the next level. The Lumière Clarinets are the Swiss Watches of the industry. Every little detail makes you feel that you are holding a piece of art in your hand. Super easy to control, I can play exactly the way I want without any effort. It’s not a question. If you try Backun, you fall in love."


The Tokyo based Hungarian clarinetist István Kohán is one of the most exciting wind instrumental soloist of today.

Kohán launched his career in 2013 when he won the 1st prize and audience prize at the 11th Tokyo Music Competition, Japan. In 2015 he won 1st prize and audience prize at Japan’s most prestigious music contest the 84th Japanese Music Competition. The same year he won 1st prize and audience prize at Japan Woodwind Competition, 1st prize and Grand Prix at Akiyoshidai Music competition. Through the years he won 24 prizes at 15 competitions.

In 2013 he won the Junior Prima Award (Music Division). The "The Clarinet" magazine wrote about him as “The new hero of the clarinet world”. In 2017 got the Aoyama Music Award.
He has been invited to music festivals as Tokyo Spring Festival, Budapest Spring Festival, KaposFest, La Folle Journée au Japon, Suntory Hall’s Chamber Music Garden.

Playing together with artists like Peter Frankl, Víkingur Ólafsson, Julien Quentin, Kristóf Baráti, Akiko Nakajima, Michael Collins, Mathieu Dufour, István Várdai, the Kodály String Quartet, Reiko Watanabe, Ensemble Raro, the Budapest Strings,Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kioi Sinfonietta with conductors as Antonio Mendez, Ken-David Masur, Kazuki Sawa, Toshiaki Umeda, Masahiko Enkoji, Shigeo Genda and many others from. Performed several prestigious concert halls from Tokyo to New York.

In addition to his concerts and activities he is teaching as a lecturer at Tokyo College of Music. He created his own teaching system called “Kohán Method” what is helping young musicians to develop on their instruments in good mental health and confidence by understanding the deep mechanism of making music.

Mr. Kohán composes as well. He keenly expands the existing clarinet repertoire by writing new pieces what usually inspired by his musical roots. He grew up by listening his father’s playing who is an outstanding klezmer clarinetist (Budapest Klezmer Band) so this genre is like a native language for him. The characteristic and world famous Hungarian folk music is also a strongly inspirational source for his works.

In his concerts he plays his own compositions and arrangements too and also improvises. 

Mr. Kohán plays on Backun clarinets. This collaboration with the Canadian company let him to reach higher levels in his musicality with the best quality of instruments.

Performs On

Lumière Bb Clarinet

Lumière A Clarinet

Continue reading