The Hungarian Gábor Káli, 35 years old, convinced the international jury chaired by Dennis Russell Davies during the 2018 Award Concert Weekend at the Mozarteum Foundation, where he led the Camerata Salzburg with Olga Rudyk as the soloist.


Gábor Káli, photo SF/ Anne Zeuner

“After three exciting concerts with the Camerata Salzburg and an intense discussion among the jury, we have chosen Gábor Káli as the prize winner. We are confident he will enjoy an important career,” says the chairman of the jury, Dennis Russell Davies, announcing the winner.

“I am overjoyed to have received this prize. It was a wonderful feeling for me to experience this fantastic Festival with a concert of my own. I would also like to thank the Camerata Salzburg, the jury and the wonderful audience,” says this year’s winner, Gábor Káli.

YCA 2018, Nestlé, Salzburger Festspiele, 20180805, (c)wildbild

Paul Bulcke, Gábor Káli, Markus Hinterhäuser and Dennis Russel Davies

The „Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award” was presented for the ninth time. This year, there were 90 applicants. The prize carries a cash value of 15,000 Eurosand is awarded annually to a young conductor aged 35 or below. In addition, the winner will conduct a Festival concert at the Felsenreitschule in 2019.

hires-Finalisten_YCA_2018_c_SF_AnneZeuner (1)

Jury and finalists

The further careers of recent years’ prize winners – Kerem Hasan (2017), Aziz Shokhakimov (2016), Lorenzo Viotti (2015), Maxime Pascal (2014), Ben Gernon (2013), Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (2012), Ainārs Rubikis (2011) and David Afkham (2010) – demonstrate the international relevance of this award.

Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2018: Gábor Káli

YCA 2018, Nestlé, Salzburger Festspiele, 20180805, (c)wildbild

Gábor Káli, photo SF/wildbild

Biography Gábor Káli

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Gábor Káli began playing the piano and violin at an early age. He has been the recipient of various awards, including a 3rd place in the Hungarian Piano Competition. He began studying conducting at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. In 2004 he became an Erasmus conducting student at the University of Arts in Berlin, where he later finished his studies with a diploma. He was also chosen as a member of the Conductors’ Forum of the German Music Council. He took conducting courses with Peter Eötvös, Bernard Haitink and Kurt Masur, among others. He also received an invitation from Maestro Daniel Barenboim to audition at the Berliner Staatsoper. Between 2015 and 2018 he worked at the State Opera Nürnberg in Germany as assistant music director and principal conductor, conducting numerous opera, operetta, ballet and concert performances. He has also appeared and appears as a guest conductor in the Hungarian State Opera and in concerts with orchestras in Asia and Europe. In 2018 he won the 1. Hong Kong International Conducting Competition and its orchestra prize. In April 2018 he was invited to the Boston Symphony Orchestra to conduct an audition. He will be assistant to Iván Fischer during the coming season. After Press Release.

Marijan Zlobec

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