Biography

Gergely Madaras holds both the position of Music Director of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne and that of Chief Conductor of the Savaria Symphony Orchestra in his native Hungary. Working widely throughout Europe, this season Gergely makes highly anticipated debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, The Hallé, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Württembergisches Kammerorchester, Ulster, Hungarian National and Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestras among others. As a result of immediate re-invitations, he also returns to conduct the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, BBC Symphony and Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Hungarian State Opera.

 

In recent seasons Gergely Madaras has forged strong professional relationships in the UK and Germany, working with such orchestras as the BBC Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras, Royal Scottish National and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, Academy of Ancient Music, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Münchener Kammerorchester and the Ensemble Resonanz. He has also travelled further afield for his recent Australasian engagements with the Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia orchestras, and made his North American debut with the Houston Symphony.

 

Besides possessing extensive experience in the symphonic repertoire, Gergely is also establishing a fine reputation as an opera conductor: in 2012 he became the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Fellowship at the English National Opera (supported by the Philip Loubser Foundation), culminating in an invitation by ENO to conduct Simon McBurney’s new production of Magic Flute in London. Since then he has conducted highly praised productions of Figaro, Magic Flute, Otello and Traviata at such houses as De Nationale Opera Amsterdam, Grand Théâtre de Genève and Hungarian State Opera. Prompted by a keen interest in re-discovering rarely performed works, Gergely has also conducted fully staged productions such as Ein Wintermärchen by Karl Goldmark, Peer Gynt by Edward Grieg and Vanessa by Samuel Barber.

 

Despite a grounding in the core classical repertoire, Gergely Madaras has also been exceptionally active on the international contemporary music scene with regular appearances at festivals such as the Wien Modern, MiTo Settembre Musica, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music and Lucerne Festival Academy. He has worked closely with Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös and George Benjamin, and conducted over 100 pieces written after 1970. Together with his wife, Noemi Gyori, he has also founded the IKZE Festival (Contemporary Music Festival of Young Composers) in his native Hungary. During the 6 years of the Festival’s existence over 120 pieces were commissioned by 47 composers under the age of 35, performed by over 210 young musicians.

 

Gergely was born in Budapest in 1984, and started his musical education at the age of 5, studying Hungarian folk music on the violin and double-bass. He spent long periods in Transylvania in his early years, to learn from the most authentic and widely renowned peasant and gipsy musicians in different villages. This has shaped his attachment to traditional Hungarian music early on and inspired his involvement in the rebirth and re-discovery of Hungarian folk music traditions taking place mostly in Budapest during the ’90-s. Parallel to this, he has started to study classical flute and composition, and by his mid-teenage years, he turned his attention exclusively to classical music. This culminated in two masters degrees from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (studying conducting with Mark Stringer), and from the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest (flute studies with Henrik Prőhle). Following his academic years, in 2010 he won the widely renowned Junior Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he spent two years under the guidance of Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron.

 

During these years, he also studied at the Aspen Music Festival in 2008 with David Zinman, and was the recipient of the 2009 Seiji Ozawa Fellowshipin Tanglewood, studying with James Levine and Stefan Asbury. In 2010 he took part in a masterclass at the Lucerne Festival Academy with Pierre Boulez, which resulted in an invitation from Boulez to serve as his assistant conductor between 2011 and 2013. In 2012 he also participated in masterclasses with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, then with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons.

 

In 2011 Gergely was one of three finalists at the 52nd Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors, and won the ARTE Live Web prize. That same year, he received the Junior Prima Prize, the most prestigious award in Hungary presented annually to outstanding young artists.

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"...it sounded consistently lively and colorful under the dynamic baton of Hungarian-born Gergely Madaras; (...) his easy command of both stage and orchestral forces revealed a major talent..."
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