Our founder

Zsolt Hamar

Conductor, honored by the Franz Liszt Award, Honorable Artist, artistic director

He was born in 1968, in Budapest. He began playing the piano at the age of six, later he was accepted as a composition student at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest.

At the Franz Liszt Academy, he was taught composition by Emil Petrovics and conducting by Ervin Lukacs and Tamás Gál. He participated multiple times in the Masterclass of Maestro Yuri Simonov.

He graduated in 1995 with First Class Honors, and in the same year, he achieved second place and the Public Price at the Eighth Hungarian Television International Conductor’s Competition.

In 1996 he again was rewarded with the second prize at a conductor’s competition in Cadequas and with the first prize in 1997 at the International Conductor’s Competition of the Portuguese Radio (EBU).

In the second half of 1997, he was appointed First Permanent Conductor of Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra based on the recommendation by Zoltán Kocsis.

In 1997 he achieved the First Price again in Trenton’s International Antonio Pedrotti Conductor’s Competition.

Between 2000 and 2009 he was the Leading Conductor and Artistic Director of the Pannon Philharmonics in Pécs, with whom he made various CD recordings of the works of Ferenc Liszt, Bartók and Mahler.

Since 2001, he regularly conducts at the Hungarian National Opera and accepts invitations as guest conductor worldwide (Opera in Frankfurt, Opera in Göteborg, Teatro San Carlo Lisbon, Teatro Cagliari…etc.)

In 2001, his efforts were rewarded by the Cultural Minister with the Franz Liszt Awards.

Between 2002-2007 Zsolt Hamar was the First Permanent Conductor of the Orchestra di Padova, with whom he conducted various European Tours besides performing in Italy.

Some examples of his various invitations abroad: Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg,  Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Russian National Philharmonics. He is often invited to various musical centers within Europe and conducted many times in Canada, the USA, China, and South Korea.

Zsolt Hamar made his debut at the Opera Zürich, one of the 10 most prestigious cultural institutions worldwide. He stayed as a Permanent Conductor for six years. Various opera and ballet premiers are connected with his name.

In 2011, he successfully habilitated at the Franz Liszt Academy.

Between 2012 and 2017 he was the General Music Director of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.

In 2016 and 2018 he participated at the International Bartók Seminar in Szombathely as professor of conducting.

From 2017 until 2020 Zsolt Hamar worked as the Music Director of the Hungarian National Philharmonics. Since 2021 he is the founder and the Artistic Director of Symphonia Hungarica.