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Balázs Kocsár

kocsar_balazs_foto_emmer_laszlo_JÓVÁHAGYOTTBalázs Kocsár was born in Budapest in 1963. He studied  composion at Bela Bartok Music School before starting his choral and orchestral conducting studies at Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, as a student of István Párkai and Ervin Lukács, respectively. He got his first class honour degree in 1991. After attending several master courses of Helmuth Rilling, Jorma Panula and Péter Eötvös, Kocsár finished his extended studies at Vienna Music Academy, under the guidance of Prof. Karl Österreicher.
In 1989 he won the Third Prize of the 6th International Conducting Competition hosted by Hungarian Television. At the request of the great Hungarian opera singer József Gregor, he conducted the orchestra of the Szeged National Theatre between 1990 and 1993, while from 1991 to 1994 he joined the National Philharmonic Orchestra – led by Ervin Lukács – as an assistant conductor. Between 1991 and 1999, working as music director at Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen, he successfully revived the opera life in the city, winning the applause of the professionals and the audience as well. In 1999 he was awardet with Franz Liszt award. Furthermore, in 1995 he won the Franco Ferrara Conducting Competition hosted by the Rome Opera House that brought him a number of invitation and international acclaim that led him to the Frankfurt Opera where he became first conductor after his successful debut. He conducted several music ensembles of Milan, Firenze, Rome, Venice, Palermo, Hamburg, Leipzig, Cologne, Antwerpen, Gent and Liège , touring in Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Poland and in Russia. In 2004 he returned to Debrecen for another eight-year period to lead the three most relevant musical ensembles of the city: the Debrecen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Opera Company of the Csokonai Theatre and the Kodály Choir. His responsibility were to raise the standards of these ensembles to a higher professional level and to integrating them into the the European cultural systems and processes, and he successfully completed this goal. In 2010 he started teaching at the University of Pécs as an assistant professor. In 2015 he was appointed the head of the Institute of Music at PTE Faculty of Arts. Between 2011 and 2013 he was the music director of the Budapest Spring Festival. From 2016 he worked as the acting music director of the Hungarian State Opera while in 2017 he was appointed to that position. Since 1988 he has conducted more than eighty different operas from baroque to contemporary works what means more than a thousand performances in Hungary and abroad. Furthermore, a great number of DVDs and CDs have been recorded with his contribution. In 2017 he gained the Artist of Merit of Hungary award.