Gábor Hontvári is an award-winning Hungarian conductor, the holder of the Ernst-von-Schuch Prize in 2018 and the prize-winner of various international conducting competitions, including the Deutscher Dirigentenpreis and the Sir Georg Solti International Conductors' Competition.
He has been acting as the First Kapellmeister and Deputy Music Director of Mainfranken Theatre in Würzburg since the 2019-20 season. Over the past few years, he has conducted several prominent orchestras in Germany: the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Nordwestdeutsche Symphony Orchestra, the Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen, the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, and the Bergisch Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, he made his debut at the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall with the Hamburger Camerata Orchestra. In 2017, he led the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie on their South-Korean tour.
Mr Hontvári has also worked with some of the leading orchestras in Hungary, including the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2019, he made his first performance at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall (MÜPA Budapest), leading the MÁV Symphony Orchestra.
The young artist has enjoyed great success in recent years. In 2020, he achieved 2nd place at the Sir Georg Solti International Conductors' Competition in Frankfurt. In 2019, he came 2nd at the Deutscher Dirigentenpreis Competition in Cologne. In the same year, he went on to receive the Audience Choice Award and the 2nd-place prize at the Campus Dirigieren Competition for German Universities held in Nuremberg. He was winner of the 7th Conducting Competition for the Middle-German Universities in 2015. The year before he achieved 1st place and received the Audience Choice Award at the Lantos Rezső Choral Conducting Competition in Budapest.
He obtained his master’s degree and completed postgraduate courses in orchestral conducting at the highly esteemed Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar, under the direction of professor Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik. In 2015, he graduated with joint honours bachelor degree in choral and orchestral conducting from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied under professor András Ligeti, Ádám Medveczky, István Párkai and Valér Jobbágy.
Since 2016 Mr Hontvári has been a scholarship-holder at the German Music Council’s Conductors’ Forum (Dirigentenforum des Deutschen Musikrates), which provides professional training for talented young conductors in German-speaking countries. In 2018, he was awarded the Ernst-von-Schuch prize, which is an annual award issued by the Forum for the most promising young conductor in Germany.
Beyond the traditional symphonic literature, Mr Hontvári has an extensive opera repertoire. In 2019, he conducted Puccini’s La Bohème at Stadttheater Klagenfurt as an assistant conductor to Lorenzo Viotti. He has also staged various performances at the Staatsoperette Dresden, the Musiktheater im Revier, and the Landestheater Coburg. In his first year at the Mainfranken Theatre in Würzburg, besides conducting the regular repertoire pieces, he also staged two of his own productions, Peter Eötvös’ music theatre arrangement of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s play ’The Golden Dragon’ and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical ’Evita’, which were widely celebrated.
His artistic development has been heavily influenced by the courses of Daniele Gatti, Lutz Köhler and Zsolt Hamar. On the invitation of his former teacher Nicolás Pasquet, he has participated in the performances of the Landesjugendsinfonieorchester Hessen on various occasions. He has also worked as an assistant conductor to Andreas Schüller in the summer projects of the Jugend Philharmonisches Orchester Niedersachsen. He has taken over the leadership of the orchestra as of 2020.
Mr Hontvari enhanced his knowledge of early music and historically informed performance practice at the workshops of Frieder Bernius, György Vashegyi and Alessandro De Marchi. In his diverse repertoire, modern music occupies a special place. Numerous talented young composers made their debut under his conducting. Furthermore, he has participated in the contemporary music workshops of Péter Eötvös, Gergely Vajda, Rüdiger Bohn, and the Ensemble Musikfabrik.