There’s a real trust between myself and the musicians, and with this comes an openness to taking risks – creative risks that help us achieve the unimaginable. The composer feels an emotion and finds the notes for it – we performers have to find the spiritual values behind each note. This drives me musically – I am not a genius but hopefully have antennas to them.
Gábor Takács-Nagy, Music Director
Gábor Takács-Nagy, Manchester Camerata’s Music Director, began to study the violin at the age of eight. As a student of the Franz Liszt Academy, he won First Prize in 1979 in the Jeno Hubay Violin Competition and later pursued studies with Nathan Milstein. His chambermusic teachers at that time were Ferenc Rados, András Mihaly, Zoltán Székely, Sándor Végh and György Kurtag.From 1975 to 1992, he was founding member and leader of the acclaimed Takács Quartet performing with the legendary artists, Lord Menuhin, Sir Georg Solti, Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Paul Tortelier, Gidon Kremer, and Andras Schiff and was regularly invited by Sviatoslav Richter to his festivals. The Takács Quartet made many recordings for Decca and Hungaroton. In 1996, he founded the Takács Piano Trio and made world-premier recordings of works of Hungarian composers Franz Liszt, Lászlo Lajtha and Sandor Veress.
In 1998 he established the Mikrokosmos string quartet with compatriots Zoltan Tuska, Sandor Papp and Miklos Perényi, recording in 2008 the complete cycle of Bartok’s string Quartets for which they were awarded the ‘Excellencia’ prize by Pizzicato Magazine. In 1982, he was awarded the Liszt Prize.
Gábor is considered one of today’s most authentic exponents of Hungarian music, and in particular, that of Béla Bartók.
In 2002, following in a long-line of Hungarian musical tradition, Gábor Takács-Nagy turned to conducting, creating in 2005 his own string ensemble, the Camerata Bellerive as orchestra-in-residence at the annual Festival de Bellerive in Geneva. In 2006 he became the Music Director of the Weinberger Kammerorchestra and in August 2007, the Music Director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. The VFCO performs every summer in the Verbier Festival and also in numerous European and Asian cities throughout the year. With the VFCO he regularly collaborates with Martha Argerich, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Vadim Repin and Emmanuel Ax as well as singers Frederica von Stade, Barbara Bonney and Angelika Kirschlager. A DVD of the performances of Beethoven’s 2nd piano concerto and Shostakovich’s concerto for piano, trumpet and strings with Martha Argerich, David Guerrier and the VFCO was released in June 2011.
From 2010 until 2012 he was Music Director of the MAV Symphony Orchestra Budapest and recorded as world premier the epic “Bards of Wales” oratorio by Karl Jenkins. Since September 2011, he is Music Director of Manchester Camerata, and since September 2012 is Principal Guest Conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. From January 2013 he will also be Principal Artistic Partner of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
Gábor is a dedicated and highly sought-after chamber music teacher. He is Professor of String Quartet at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva and International Chair in Chamber Music at the Royal Northern College of Music. In June 2012 he was awarded honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.