Born in Hungary, Karoly Sziladi began violin lessons at the age of five with Béla Lukás, Assistant Conductor of the Budapest Opera House Orchestra. In October of 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, Karoly, along with his parents and one sister emigrated to Canada and settled in Kingston, Ontario.
Following his high school graduation, Karoly received a full three-year scholarship to the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. In 1967 Karoly received his Artist Diploma with Honours. Karoly was on the staff of the Royal College of Music in Hamilton while playing in the Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as teaching the Suzuki Method which he acquired in the Edmonton Suzuki school. Karoly was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for three wonderful, unforgettable summers.
In 1969 Karoly joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as one of its founding members. He is married to Judith and they have two children, Karoly Jr. and Emma, and one granddaughter through Emma. He taught violin to both his children for 15 years. Karoly Jr. plays as an extra violinist in the NAC Orchestra along with his father, something Karoly Sr. is extremely proud of.
For the 50th anniversary of the Hungary Revolution, Karoly Sziladi was one of 50 eminent Hungarian-Canadians honoured in a photo exhibit by Tony Hauser.