Kalman Magyar was born in New Jersey in 1973 to Hungarian immigrant parents. At the age of five, Kalman was introduced to the violin through the Suzuki Method, and went on to study for a decade with Stanley Bednar at the Manhattan School of Music’s Preparatory Division, where he also studied piano and viola, in addition to his intensive work in jazz, composition and theory. He rose to become the School’s principal violist until his graduation in 1991. Parallel with his rigorous classical and jazz training, Kalman studied at folk music camps and seminars throughout the United States and Hungary. In 1987, together with his sister Ildiko and fellow Hungária Folkdance Ensemble member Attila Papp, he founded the Eletfa Hungarian Folk Music Band, which still exists today and is one of the United States’ treasured assets of world music.