Gergely Madaras is Music Director of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne, and Chief Conductor of the Savaria Symphony Orchestra in his native Hungary.
Born in Budapest in 1984, Gergely first began studying folk music with the last generation of authentic Hungarian and Transylvanian Gipsy and peasant musicians at the age of five. He then went on to study classical flute, violin and composition, graduating from the flute faculty of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, as well as the conducting faculty of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, studing with Mark Stringer.
Besides his versatile musical activities, Gergely retains a deep passion for Magyar music, and is an ambitious advocate of Bartók, Kodály and Dohnányi, both at home and abroad. Having conducted nearly all the orchestral repertoire of these composers, he makes regular performances, recordings and broadcasts of this œuvre with such orchestras as the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Hungarian National and Warsaw National Philharmonic and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestras.
While Gergely is grounded in the core classical and romantic repertoire, he maintains a close relationship with new music. At the age of 18, he founded a festival for young composers in Budapest with his wife, flautist Noemi Gyori. During its 6 year run, the festival oversaw the première of 120 compositions by 47 composers.
Following a masterclass, Gergely became the assistant conductor of Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy between 2010 and 2013. In recent years, he has collaborated closely with George Benjamin and Peter Eötvös, and premiered, conducted and recorded over 100 compositions written after 1970 at the helm of such orchestras as the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and at festivals such as MiTo Settembre Musica, Wien Modern, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music and Lucerne Festival, to name but a few.
Gergely has established a fine reputation as an opera conductor as well. In 2012 he was chosen from among 80 candidates to be the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Fellowship at the English National Opera. The fellowship culminated in his debut with the company, where he conducted Simon McBurney’s new production of Magic Flute at the London Coliseum. His performance was hailed as “terrific” by The Telegraph.
Since then he has conducted highly praised productions of Le nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute, Otello and Traviata at De Nationale Opera Amsterdam, Grand Théâtre de Genève (with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande) and the Hungarian State Opera. Prompted by a keen interest in re-discovering rarely performed works, Gergely has also conducted fully staged productions of Ein Wintermärchen by Goldmark, Peer Gynt by Grieg, Vanessa by Barber and Offenbach’s Fantasio, among others.
Having forged strong professional relationships throughout Europe, Madaras regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Copenhagen and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras as well as with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester, Academy of Ancient Music and BBC Singers. Further afield, he has made highly successful debuts with the Melbourne, Queensland and Houston Symphony orchestras.
Upcoming highlights include Gergely’s debut at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Music of Today series of the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, the opening concert of the 2018 Milano Musica Festival at La Scala with the Filarmonica della Scala, as well as his debut at the Paris Philharmonie with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. 2018 will mark his first and return appearances with the Hallé, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Orchestre National de Montpellier, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Grand Thèâtre de Genève, as well as the closing concert of the 2018 Malta International Arts Festival with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gergely became the music director of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne in 2013, following his success as one of three finalists at the 52nd Besançon Conducting Competition. During his years in Dijon he nearly tripled the orchestra’s regular audience and reconnected the organization to its home city by reshaping the repertoire and re-integrating the ensemble into the main season of the Dijon Auditorium. Since 2014, he also holds the position of principal conductor with the Savaria Symphony Orchestra, where he has also succeeded in doubling the number of subscribers and has introduced a programme especially designed for young audiences, bringing them closer to masterpieces through interactive introductions and explanations, together with the participation of the full orchestra.
In addition to nurturing new audiences, keeping a lively connection to the younger generation of professional musicians is essential to him. In 2002, at the age of 17, he founded the Budapest Youth Symphony Orchestra together with Noemi Gyori. The ensemble consisted of 60 young professionals, and actively toured for three seasons in Hungary, Germany and Switzerland. Between 2010-2012 he held the prestigious Junior Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, a position he was chosen for from over 120 candidates.
Since the end of his tenure, he annually returns to work with the different orchestras and ensembles of the RNCM. He also maintains a close relationship with the European Philharmonic of Switzerland, an international orchestra assembled by alumni of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, who hold positions at the world’s top orchestras. Future projects include a joint concert between the orchestras of the Royal Academy of Music (London) and Tokyo Geidai at Suntory Hall, and a gala concert with the Symphony Orchestra of the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.