On 1 September 2019, the young Hungarian conductor Gergely Madaras (37) became the ninth Music Director of the Liège Royal Philharmonic, with whom he has performed all over Belgium and in France and South America.
Born in Budapest in 1984, Gergely Madaras was schooled in Hungarian traditional music, from the age of five, by the previous generation of authentic Hungarian Gypsy and peasant musicians. He then studied classical flute, violin, and composition. He is a graduate of the Flute Faculty of the Liszt Academy in Budapest and has a master’s in orchestral conducting from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (where he studied under Mark Stringer). In 2011, he was a finalist of the International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors and won the Arte Live Web Prize. He was Music Director of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne (2013–2019) and Chief Conductor of the Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary, 2014–2020).
He regularly appears as a guest conductor with leading orchestras such as the Philharmonia the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, the Hungarian radio orchestras, the Oslo, Copenhagen, Bergen, and Luxembourg philharmonic orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Münchener Kammerorchester, and the Academy of Ancient Music. He has conducted at the Philharmonie de Paris, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Festival Hall (London), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). He has also made acclaimed debuts with the Melbourne, Queensland (Australia), and Houston (Texas) symphony orchestras. His most recent triumphs include debut appearances with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Bournemouth Symphony, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.
In 2021-22, he makes his debuts with the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Russian National Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Netherlands Philharmonic, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Hamburger Symphoniker, and the Oslo Opera & Ballet Orchestra. He will also return to the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI for three programmes during the season, including the opening concert of the Festival Milano Musica at La Scala and a production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.
Opera. Gergely Madaras has also established an impressive reputation as an opera conductor. In 2012, he became the first Sir Charles Mackerras Fellow at the English National Opera. The fellowship culminated in his debut with the company, in which he conducted Simon McBurney’s new production of The Magic Flute at the London Coliseum. Since then, he has conducted highly praised productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Otello, La traviata, La Bohème, and Lucia di Lammermoor at opera houses such as the Dutch National Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and the Hungarian State Opera. He has a passion for rediscovering rarely performed works and has also conducted productions of Goldmark’s Ein Wintermärchen, Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Barber’s Vanessa, Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma, and Offenbach’s Fantasio. In the future, he will also make his debut at La Monnaie in Brussels.
Contemporary music. While grounded in the core Classical and Romantic repertoire and in Hungarian music, Gergely Madaras also has a special relationship with contemporary music. In recent years, he has collaborated closely with composers such as George Benjamin, Peter Eötvös, György Kurtág, Tristan Murail, Luca Francesconi, Philippe Boesmans, and Pierre Boulez He was assistant to Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy from 2010 to 2013. He has premiered, conducted, or recorded over 100 works written after 1970.
Recordings. His concerts are regularly broadcast on Mezzo TV, Medici.tv, and the RTBF. Gergely Madaras has recorded with the OPRL for the Cypres (Boesmans, 2019), Alpha Classics (Dvořák-Martinů, with the cellist Victor-Julien Laferrière, 2021), and Fuga Libera (César Franck box set, 2022) labels.