• Biography

Gabor KALI

1st Prize (2018)
Orchestra Prize

After replacing Iván Fischer upon the maestro’s request in April 2019 with prestigious Budapest Festival Orchestra, earning rave reviews and standing ovations in major cities and venues such as Budapest, Hamburg ElbPhilharmonie and Paris and Luxembourg Philharmonies, Hungarian Gábor Káli positioned himself as one of the most promising young conductors.

In 2019/2020, he is invited to conduct Mozart’s Magic FLute at Dresden’s Semperoper upon Christian Thielemann’s invitation. This follows Káli’s 2018 huge success at Deutsche Oper am Rhein, conducting Verdi’s Rigoletto. In summer 2019 he performs at Salzburg Festival with ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna. A live recording of the concert will be released in Summer 2020 from the Salzburger Festspiele. The same year is accepted invitations by Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse in France and Polish National Radio Symphony.

In the coming seasons, his intense opera experience leads him to make his debut in prestigious Bayerische and Hamburg Staatsopers. Other coming highlights establish himself as a powerful leader of symphonic formations, with first invitations to major orchestras such as French Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre National de Lille, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Slovak Philharmonic and Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic orchestras. He is also invited back to the RSO Vienna to conduct in the Musikverein in Summer 2021.

Past performances include invitations to Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra on tour, Irish Chamber Orchestra

As a very versatile and capable musician, Gábor Káli is also highly committed to contemporary repertoire, regularly conducting new music and premiering various works across the globe. He is in particular greatly appreciated and sought-after for his deep knowledge of Bartók’s works which led him to conduct Budapest Festival Orchestra on tour.

Gábor Káli was awarded the prestigious Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in 2018. In the same year he also won first prize at the inaugural Hong Kong International Conducting Competition.

In 2015, he took up the position of First Kapellmeister and Deputy Music Director of the Nürnberg Staatstheater, conducting Berg’s Wozzeck, Puccini’s La Bohème, Janacek’s From the House of the Dead, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Strauss’ Arabella and Verdi’s Otello.

He studied piano and conducting at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. He joined the Dirigentenforum of the Deutsche Musikrat, where he attended masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Colin Metters and Sian Edwards. He also took part in courses with Péter Eötvös, Bernhard Haitink, David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich.


Works conducted in the Competition:

Round 1

Beethoven: Egmont Overture, Op 84 (excerpt)
Rossini: The Barber of Seville Overture (excerpt)

Round 2 – Semi-finals

Bartók: Divertimento (excerpt)
Chopin: Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, Op 21: II Larghetto (excerpt)
Beethoven: Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67 (excerpt)

Round 3 – Finals

Chan Hing-yan: November Leonids – for Orchestra
Beethoven: Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67