Artistic direction

Gergely Kesselyák

Born in 1971 in Budapest, Gergely Kesselyák began his cello studies in 1980, then took up contrabass and piano as well. Voice and theory lessons followed while he improved as a cellist, and lead the cello section in seven orchestras. From 1990 until 1995, he studied conducting at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music with Ervin Lukács and Yury Simonov.

After winning the 3rd place at the International Television Conductors Contest, Mr. Kesselyák was awarded the special prize of the National Philharmony of Hungary. His proficiency with a wide variety of repertoire from opera to musicals led to a very active conducting schedule with a number of organizations including the Hungarian State Opera, the Hungarian State Concert Orchestra and the Hungarian Youth Radio Orchestra.

Mr. Kesselyák has been conducting contemporary music for compact disc recordings since 1990, assisting in the preparation of radio and television recordings also.

In 1997 he became a founding member of the Opera Production at the National Theatre of Miskolc, where he was music director from 1997 until 2001. He was the founder-musical director of the Bartók+ International Opera Festival in 2001. Successful guest conducting appearances with the Hungarian State Opera since 1994 led to Mr. Kesselyák's appointment 

as conductor there in 2001; in 2003 he became assistant to the Music Director of the Opera.

A year later, he was appointed to be artistic director of the BudaFest Opera and Ballet Festival and was the artistic director of the Szeged Open-Air Festival from 2005 until 2012.

He has conducted more than sixty productions in eight theatres since 1993. He has been active as a stage director too since 1999; he has staged Verdi's Rigoletto, Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore and Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle in Miskolc, and was the director of the Don Giovanni production in the Opera House.

He has been active as a composer since 1987 and has concentrated on composing religious music. These works include: Easter Oratory (1987), Diae Oratory (1989), Requiem (1990), Missa Allegra (1997), and Missa di Camera (1999).

In addition to conducting appearances in Italy, Austria, Romania, the Ukraine, and Egypt, Mr. Kesselyák has appeared regularly with Hungary's leading symphony orchestras, including The National Philharmonic Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Budapest Philharmonic Society, The Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio, The MATÁV Symphony Orchestra, and The MÁV Symphony Orchestra.

Gergely Kesselyák is conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra since 2010.