The versatile Hungarian musician Petra Berényi enjoys a dual career as a violist and cimbalom player, having taken degrees in both instruments from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Before moving to the United States, she performed in several contemporary music festivals in Hungary both as a chamber musician and as a participant at the International Bartók Seminar in Szombathely, Hungary, where she worked with the renowned Hungarian composer and teacher György Kurtág. She performed numerous chamber and symphonic orchestras such as Danubia Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Chamber-Symphony, Hungarian Virtuosos Orchestra, and Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2001, Berényi was honored with the Award of Artisjus Foundation for her outstanding cimbalom performances of Hungarian contemporary music. She took second prize at the Paul Lukács Viola Competition in 2002, which was organized by the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. In the same year she was an invited guest artist as a cimbalom player at the Kurtág Festival in London, England, where she performed Kurtág‘s major orchestral works with the Orchestra of the Royal Academy and London Sinfonietta.
Since moving to the U.S. in 2003, she has been associate principal violist in the Musica Nova Symphonic Orchestra in Scottsdale, Arizona, and occasionally performed in the Phoenix Symphony. She received a full scholarship three times to the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, where she served principal and co-principal viola in the Festival Orchestra.
After moving to North Carolina she became involved in different musical events in the Triangle area. She has performed frequently on different recitals and chamber music concerts at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a cimbalom player as well as a violist, and performed several times in concerts presented by Mallarmè Chamber Players. Her recent appearances were as a cimbalom player in Dracula (music composed by Raleigh resident composer J. Mark Scearce) with the North Carolina Ballet, at a Gala event in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and performances with Center City Opera at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. She became a full-time member of the North Carolina Symphony viola section in 2012.