Principal music director, conductor of the gala
After completing his studies in Hungary and Austria, the Opera House's principal music director, Balázs Kocsár, reinvigorated the practice of opera performance in the city of Debrecen. The Opera's conductor is also recognised internationally, and has conducted more than a thousand performances in a dozen countries over the past decades. His wide repertoire includes works ranging in style from the Baroque to contemporary opera.
Balázs Kocsár studied conducting at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, graduating with honours in 1991. He took part in master classes led by Helmuth Rilling, Jorma Panula and Péter Eötvös, and then went on to complete his education at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, with Prof. Karl Österreicher as his adviser. From 1993 to 1999 he was music director at Debrecen's Csokonai National Theatre, where he succeeded in boosting opera performance in that city, to the great approval of both the profession and the audience. He won the Franco Ferrara Conducting Competition organised by the Teatro Dell'Opera di Roma in 1995, which brought him international recognition and numerous invitations. One of these led, in 1999, to his stint at Oper Frankfurt, where after his first successful performances, he was signed as principal conductor. He has conducted in Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, Palermo, Hamburg, Leipzig, Cologne, Antwerp, Gent and Liège, and has also made appearances in Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Poland and Russia. In 2016 was named acting principal music director of the Hungarian State Opera. Since 1988, he has conducted more than a thousand performances of more than 80 different operas, ranging from Baroque works to contemporary operas, both in Hungary and abroad, in addition to collaborating on numerous DVDs and CD recordings.