György Selmeczi


György Selmeczi
Photographer: Gáspár Stekovics
conductor, composer, stage director
György Selmeczi was born in 1952, in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). He is a composer, conductor, pianist and opera director who is comfortable and active working in nearly every branch of music. He commenced his studies at the age of five, in his home town, under the guidance of Sarolta Tulogdy, Mihály Guttmann, Miklós Szalay and Péter Vermesy. From 1971, he studied under György Halmos and Tibor Oláh at the music academy in Bucharest, before enrolling in 1975 at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest as a student of Pál Kadosa. The following year, a scholarship took him to Paris for a year to study at IRCAM with Pierre Boulez. In 1979, he returned to Paris to work at CERIS with Daniel Charles. His career started earlier at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, where he worked as a composer and conductor in 1974 and 1975. In 1976, he founded the New Music Workshop in Miskolc, where he also taught chamber music at the city's campus of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music's Pedagogical Institute before becoming music director of Budapest's 25th Theatre and of the Miskolc National Theatre. In the 1980s he served as music director of the Castle Theatre and the József Attila Theatre, both in Budapest. There, in 1989, he also re-established the Camerata Transslvanica Chamber Orchestra, and around the same time founded the Budapest Chamber Opera as well, also serving as its director. From 1991 until 1999 he was a permanent guest conductor at the Hungarian Opera of Cluj-Napoca, and between 1996 and 2000 served as music director of the Szigligeti Theatre in Szolnok. Named artistic director of the Millenáris Park and Cultural Centre from 2000 until 2002, he moved to the National Theatre in 2000 to serve as its music director, a post he filled until 2008. Since 2002, he has headed up the music department at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, and has also worked as artistic director of the Hungarian Opera of Cluj-Napoca since 2004. He also continues to serve as artistic director of the Auris Ensemble, which he founded in 1995. His activity as a composer has yielded output ranging from vocal and symphonic pieces to chamber, choral and dramatic works. He is the composer of many productions for the stage and approximately 50 Hungarian feature-length film dramas. As a conductor and pianist, he has performed concerts across Europe while making numerous television and CD recordings, as well as opera films, and he has been involved in presenting several hundred contemporary musical works. The numerous recognitions he has received over the course of his career include the Budapest Film Review's award for best film music (1983 and 1986), the Artisjus Award for best contemporary music performance (1987 and 1990), the composer's award from Keckemét's Animated Film Review (1995) and the Erkel Award (1999). In 2002, his album Liszt – Late Works won the International Ferenc Liszt Record Grand Prix. He has also received the Duna Award (2008), the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (2010) and the Bartók-Pásztory Award (2015). He was named an Artist of Merit in 2012 and in 2019 he reveived the Kossuth Prize.