The Hungarian bass, István Kovács, studied at the Franz Liszt Music School in Pécs, then he went to Budapest and Zürich to continue his studies with László Polgár. In the latest years he studies with Sherman Lowe in Venice. In 1997 he was a leading prize winner at the ĄSchubert and the Music of the XX. CenturyĒ Competition in Graz, where he also won a special prize for the best Schubert interpretation. In 1998, he was awarded the prize for the best singer in the category oratorio-song at the Francesco Vinas International Competition in Barcelona. At the ARD Competition in Munich 1998 he was given a special sponsorship award and in 1999 he was awarded 3. prize at the Salzburg Mozart Competition. Kovács was heard at the ARD Competition by Claudio Desderi, who invited him to sing in six productions at the Teatro Regio in Torino in the season 1999/2000, among others in The Rakeís Progress- Father Trulove, LíItaliana in Algeri- Haly, Wozzeck by Gurlitt- Der Kapitaen, Lucia di Lammermoor- Raimondo.
In 2000-2001 season, István Kovács sang the role of Raimondo and the role of Nanni in LíInfedeltá delusa by Haydn at the Hungarian State Opera, the title role of Don Giovanni at the New Theatre in Budapest, and Béla Bartókís Cantata Profana with Heinz Holliger in Stuttgart. He was Publio in La Clemenza di Tito at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and he also sang there the role of Apollonio in Cestiís Il Tito under William Christie. At the Salzburger Festspiele 2001 he sang the Mass in C minor by Mozart with the Mozarteum Orchestra under Ivor Bolton, in December 2001 he stepped in George Frideric Handelís Messiah with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Herbert Blomstedt. In 2001-2002 season, he sang at the Frankfurt am Main Opera Angelotti in Tosca and the role of Nummer 5 in the production of Das Verratene Meer by Henze. At the Hungarian State Opera he sang the role of Guglielmo. He sang Requiem by Mozart at the Sleswig-Holstein Festival in August 2002 and in November B. Bartókís Cantata Profana with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester under Heinz Holliger. Toured Germany, Austria France and Italy with G.F. Handelís Messiah under Helmuth Rilling in December 2002.
In 2003, István Kovács sang Don Giovanni at the Miskolc Opera Festival, Guglielmo in the Hungarian State Opera, Elias by Felix Mendelssohn in Budapest, as well as the Credo by Pendereczki in Stuttgart and Berlin under Pendereczki.In November 2003 he sang the role of Timur in Pucciniís Turandot at the Berlin State Opera unter den Linden. He sang Die Jahreszeiten by Haydn under Helmuth Rilling in Milan, J.S. Bachís Weihnachts-Oratoriium (BWV 248) and Bluebardís Castle by B. Bartók in Budapest.In 2004 he sang J.S. Bachís h-moll Mass (BWV 232) under Helmuth Rilling, F. Mendelssohnís Elias and J.S. Bachís St Matthewís Passion (BWV 244) in Budapest. Kovács sang the role of Selim in Rossiniís Il Turco in Italia at the St. Moritz Opera-Festival and in summer 2004 he sang and played the role of Bluebard in Bluebardís Castle by B. Bartók in a film production for the Hungarian Television. In 2004-2005 season, he sang Stabat Mater by Dvorak in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, F. Mendelssohnís opera Der Onkel in Boston and Essen, Haydnís Creation in Budapest. He was invited to sing the role of Timur in the Berlin State Opera unter den Linden, the title role of Mozartís Don Giovanni and Kaspar in Freischütz in Budapest, and G.F. Handelís Belshazzar in Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid. He sang c-minor Mass of Mozart at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. He was invited to sing the role of the Monstre in Ibertís Persée et Andromede and the role of Bluebard in B. Bartókís Bluebardís Castle at the Tatro Massimo, Palermo.
In 2006, István Kovács was on tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, sang L.v. Beethovenís 9th Symphony in Milan with Herbert Blomstedt, sang Schumannís Der Rose Pilgerfahrt in Stuttgart with Heinz Holliger and The Creation by Haydn with Bruno Weil. He sang 4. Tentatore and 2. Cavalliere in a DVD made by Teldec from the Pizzettiís opera Assassinio nella Cattedrale in Bari. In 2007-2008 he sang the Requiem by Mozart with the Tafelmusik orchestra under Bruno Weil, he was Bluebaerd at the Round Top Festival in Texas USA, he sang Zweiten Gralsritter in Parsifal at Teatro San Carlo di Napoli and the Messiah by G.F. Handel in Rome with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma.
In 2009-2010 season, István Kovács sang Lord Sidney in Il viaggio a Reims by Rossini in Toulouse, Nancy, Montpellier, Avignon and other French opera theaters, Escamillo concertant in Solingen Germany, Verdiís Requiem in Hungary, Maometto II. di Rossini in Bremen and Istanbul, Bluebeard in B. Bartókís Bluebeardís Castle in Tokyo and Attila in Verdiís Attila in Aquilea-Italy. In the 2010-2011 season, he will sing F. Mendelssohnís Elias, J.S. Bachís Mattheus-Passion (BWV 244) in Budapest, J.S. Bachís h-moll Messe (BWV 232) and Arthur Honeggerís Jean díArc with Helmuth Rilling in Caracas.