He belongs to the „new wave” of brilliant young Hungarian pianists that in the early 1970's burst onto the domestic and international musical scene and created a sensation among experts both in Hungary and abroad.
Having studied piano under the internationally famous pianist Ms Erzsébet Tusa at the Budapest Béla Bartók Conservatory, he continued his studies under professor Péter Solymos at the F. Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, from where he graduated with honours. His career was launched into global orbit in 1970, when he played with signal success the solo part of Messiaen's Piano Concerto under the conducting of Pierre Boulez at the Bayreuth International Youth Festival. He has extensively performed in almost every European country, in Cuba, USA, Canada, and Japan. He has led master courses in Finland, Italy, and Japan. Since 1972 a soloist of Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra. Has given piano recitals in around 100 various cities of the world. István Lantos made numerous recordings (e.g. for BBC, Radio France, WDR, and Canadian Radio). He is also an outstanding organist. He is a professor at the F. Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he was a rector (1994-1997), and a professor at the University in Sapporo, Japan. Editor of J.S. Bach`s „Das Wohltemperiete Klavier” published by Edition Musica. His piano and organ repertoire is especially versatile; ranges from baroque to contemporary music. For many years he has been a juror of many piano competitions. He was also in a juror of both international piano competitions organised by the Liszt Society in Poland.