Zsolt Hamar

Zsolt Hamar – new chief conductor from the 2022/2023 season

He was born in 1968 in Budapest. He started playing the piano at an early age. At the Béla Bartók Conservatory he acquired the basics of composition. At the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music he studied composition with Emil Petrovics and conducting with Ervin Lukács and Tomás Gál. In 1995 he received his diploma with the grade „summa cum laude“.  In the following years he won several conducting competitions, including the 8th International Hungarian Television Competition. In 1996 he won second prize in Cadaqués, in 1997 he won first prize in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) international competition and in 1999 he won the 6th Antonio Pedrotti International Competition in Trident.

At the suggestion of the chief conductor Zoltán Kocsis, Zsolt Hamar became the first permanent conductor of the Hungarian National Philharmonic in 1997. From 2000 to 2009 he was chief conductor and artistic director of the Pannonian Philharmonic Orchestra in Pécs (European Capital of Culture 2010) and from 2002 to 2007 he was the first permanent guest conductor of the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.  In 2007, he made his debut at the Zurich Opera, where he often conducted premieres as a guest conductor. From 2012 to 2016 he was General Music Director of the Hessian State Theatre in Wiesbaden.

Zsolt Hamar has collaborated with many major Hungarian and international orchestras such as the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the Frankfurt Museum Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Zsolt Hamar is also a regular guest conductor at national operas such as Opera Frankfurt, Opera Gothenburg, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon and Teatro Lirico in Cagliari.

Since 2009 he has also been a permanent guest professor of conducting department at Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he was awarded the Docent title in April 2011. As a professor of the International Bartók Seminar and Festival since 2016, he supports young talented conductors. In 2017 he became Music Director of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and since 2020 he has been working on his own project Collegium Symphonicum Hungaricum. This is a postgraduate mentoring programme for young conductors interested in expanding their knowledge. Its vision enables „young masters“ to participate in interesting workshops and opens the way for them to collaborate with new orchestras. Zsolt Hamar was awarded the Knight’s Cross and the Ferenc Liszt Prize of the Republic of Hungary.


Zsolt Hamar

The MFO concerts and operations are financially supported by

Other partners