Autobiography

In 1975, I was born in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania.

In November 1989, a month before the Romanian Revolution, I moved to Hungary with my family where I was admitted to the Bartók Conservatory as a composition and piano major. My composition professor was István Fekete Győr and my piano professor was Katalin Schweitzer.

In 1992, the orchestra of the conservatory preformed my orchestral piece Sinfonietta, conducted by Tibor Szabó, at the Liszt Academy of Music.

In 1993, I was admitted to the second year of the composition department at the Liszt Academy. My professor was György Orbán.

In 1999, I graduated summa cum laude. That same year was my first debut as a figured bass (continuo) player with the baroque and classical music-oriented Orfeo Orchestra, conducted by György Vashegyi. I have been a member of the orchestra ever since. The ensemble is famous for world premieres of numerous compositions, several opera performances and uncountable concerts both in Hungary and abroad. In 2015, Orfeo became the season’s ensemble in the Palace of Arts. Two major composing tasks are connected to my activity in the orchestra: the completion of W. A. Mozart’s unfinished opera-comedy, L’oca del Cairo (The Goose of Cairo), and the instrumentalisation of the schematic first movement of Bach’s cantata No.191. 

In 2000, as my first success, I won second prize with my two-act opera The Stork Calif, based on a Mihály Babits novel with Zsófia Balla’s libretto, at the Millennium Opera Competition of the Hungarian National Opera. 

Between 2002 and 2010, I taught score-reading, instrumentalisation and composition as a professor’s assistant at the Liszt Academy.

In 2005, the Hungarian National Opera put The Stork Calif on its repertoire, directed by Mária Harangi and conducted by György Vashegyi. There were six sold-out performances. 

In 2006, the Dohnányi Orchestra of Budafok performed my cantata The Image of God that I composed for the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence, taking advantage of Géza Szőcs’s text.

In December 2007, Hungaroton published my first CD displaying my mass composed for women’s choir, Missa Lux et Origo, and my oratorio, Cantici Fratris Sole (Canticle of Brother Sun) with the participation of the Purcell Choir and the Orfeo Orchestra under the conductorship of György Vashegyi.

In 2008, the Erdődy Chamber Orchestra and the Purcell Choir, conducted by György Vashegyi, performed St Luke Passion in Latin.

In 2009, the Dohnányi Orchestra performed my First Symphony with Judit Németh’s solo (mezzo-soprano), directed by Gábor Hollerung, in the Palace of Arts with the participation of the Pro Musica Girls’ Choir of Nyíregyháza and the Cantemus Mixed Choir.

In 2010, on the request of Debrecen City, my oratorio Missa Vanitas Vanitatum was performed at the opening concert of the Bartók International Choir Competition in Debrecen.

In the school year of 2011/2012, I taught composition at the Weiner Conservatory. 

In 2012, my Third Symphony (Birth) was performed by the Budapest Festival Orchestra and conducted by Iván Fischer, with the solo by Beatrix Fodor (soprano).

In 2012, I participated as a juror in the World Choir Games international choir contest which inspired ten thousand people in Cincinnati (USA). Later, I was a juror at several choir contests: Bartók International Choir Competition in Debrecen (2013); Budapest International Choir Competition (2014); World Choir Games, Sochi, Russia (2016) and the International Choir Composition Competition, Japan (2016). 

In 2012, the Pro Musica Girls’ Choir and the Cantemus Mixed Choir, conducted by Dénes Szabó, made my second CD which includes pieces for women’s choir and mixed choir. Many of the compositions were successfully performed on the Japanese tour the same year.

In 2013, the Amadinda Percussion Ensemble and the Pannon Philharmonics performed my Sinfonia concertante for four percussion players and an orchestra, conducted by Tibor Bogányi, in the Palace of Arts. This piece was also performed by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in 2014 in Huntsville (Alabama, USA) and by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Budapest in 2015; both times under the conductorship of Gergely Vajda.

In 2014, the Dohnányi Orchestra displayed my third CD which includes my oratorio The Image of God that I composed for the Dohnányi Orchestra and the First Symphony.

In 2015, Polina Pasztricsák (soprano) and the MR Symphony Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Gergely Kesselyák, performed the Fourth Symphony ("On Elijah’s Chariot") which was composed for Levente Szörényi’s 70th birthday and has Illés*-songs as its backbone.  Illés (Elijah) is one of the biggest beat bands of  the 1960s and early 1970s rock boom in Hungary. 

In 2015, I went on a two-week tour in Japan where, in addition to lectures I held on my compositions, several of my choir pieces were performed by excellent Japanese choirs.

At the moment, I am working as a freelance composer on a musical based on M. A. Bulgakov’s novel and Szabolcs Várady’s libretto of The Master and Margarita for the Dohnányi Orchestra, conducted by Gábor Hollerung.

I am in possession of numerous outstanding professional awards: Ferenc Erkel Award (2005); Talent Art Award (2008); Artisjus Award (2008); March Youths Award (2009); Bartók-Pásztory Award (2009); Benedek Istvánffy Award (2012, 2014).

I am married to my wife, Nikoletta Gutlébeth, a physiotherapist. Our daughter is called Hanga.