After replacing Iván Fischer upon the maestro’s request in April 2019 with the prestigious Budapest Festival Orchestra, earning rave reviews and standing ovations in major cities and venues such as Budapest, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Paris and Luxembourg Philharmonies, Hungarian Gábor Káli positioned himself as one of the most promising young conductors.
Among highlights of the summer 2023 and the 2023/24 season, his intense opera experience led Gábor Káli to his debut with the prestigious Staatsoper Berlin, conducting Peter Eötvös’ Sleepless opera, Oper Köln (Così fan tutte) and Opéra National du Capitole de Toulouse (Onegin). As a powerful leader of symphonic formations, he guest-conducts such major symphonic orchestras as Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Staatskappelle Dresden, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Macao Symphony Orchestra.
Over the two last seasons, he is invited to the prestigious Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot, The Bartered Bride), Theater und Philharmonie Essen (Bluebeard’s Castle), Semperoper Dresden (Magic Flute), Graz Opera (Madame Butterfly) Nationaltheater Mannheim (Così fan tutte), as well as to major orchestras such as Wiener Symphoniker, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Other recent highlights include several performances of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Dresden’s Semperoper upon Christian Thielemann’s invitation, and Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien at Salzburg Festival, as well as guest-invitations to Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and RSO Wien at the Musikverein, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic orchestras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra on tour, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Kölner Kammerorchester, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Slovak Philharmonic and Taiwan Philharmonic.
As a very versatile and capable musician, Gábor Káli is also highly committed to contemporary repertoire, regularly conducting new music and premiering various works across the globe. He is particularly appreciated and sought-after for his deep knowledge of Bartók’s works, which led him to conduct the Budapest Festival Orchestra on tour.
Gábor Káli was awarded the prestigious Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in 2018. In the same year, he also won first prize at the inaugural Hong Kong International Conducting Competition.
In 2015, he took up the position of First Kapellmeister and Deputy Music Director of the Nürnberg Staatstheater, conducting Berg’s Wozzeck, Puccini’s La Bohème, Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Strauss’ Arabella and Verdi’s Otello.
Káli studied piano and conducting at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. He joined the Dirigentenforum of the Deutsche Musikrat, where he attended masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Colin Metters and Sian Edwards. He also took part in courses with Péter Eötvös, Bernhard Haitink, David Zinman and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich.
HarrisonParrott represents Gábor Káli for worldwide general management.
“Gábor Káli has wonderfully conducted the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The level of the concert was breathtaking (…). He moved himself in Bartók’s tonal language as naturally as the musicians themselves (…) offering to the audience of the Elbphilharmonie a rarely experienced moment.”
(Hamburger Abenblatt, April 2019)
“Gábor Káli succeeded in illuminating Dvořák’s “Symphony from the New World”. The young man knows how to effectively pull all the orchestral registers.”
(Die Presse, April 2019)
“The Budapest Festival Orchestra is conducted by the very talented Gábor Káli, who is making his debut at Paris’ Philharmonie. Using a committed and clear gesture, he gives this extraordinary work a wonderful reading, carried by an incandescent phrasing (…). A memorable interpretation.”