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Gilbert Varga

Conductor
Principal Conductor, Taipei Symphony Orchestra

  • Gilbert Varga, son of celebrated Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga, conducts with distinctive presence and flair. A commanding and authoritative figure on the podium, Varga is repeatedly acclaimed for performances displaying a broad range of colours, exquisite textures, and subtle use of dynamics. Renowned for his elegant and exceptionally clear baton technique, Varga has held positions with and guest-conducted many of the major orchestras across the world.

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  • Varga works extensively with the symphony orchestras of North America, enjoying regular relationships with many including the Minnesota Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, St Louis Symphony amongst others. In Europe, he works regularly with many of the major orchestras including the Royal Scottish National Symphony, Frankfurt Museumgesellschaft, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and in the 2015/16 season he looks forward to his debuts with the Tonkünstler Orchestra at Vienna’s Musikverein and further afield with the Macao Symphony. In May 2013 Varga was appointed Principal Conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.


    Gilbert Varga studied under three very different and distinctive maestros: Franco Ferrara, Sergiu Celibidache and Charles Bruck. In the earlier part of his conducting career Varga concentrated on work with chamber orchestras, particularly the Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra, before rapidly developing a reputation as a symphonic conductor. He was Chief Conductor of the Hofer Symphoniker (1980-1985), and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonia Hungarica in Marl (1985-1990), conducting their debut tour to Hungary with Yehudi Menuhin. He was also Permanent Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (1991-1995) and Principal Guest of the Malmö Symphony (1997-2000). In 1997 Varga became Music Director of the Basque National Symphony Orchestra, leading them through ten seasons, including tours across the UK, Germany, Spain and South America.


    Varga’s discography includes recordings with various labels including ASV, Koch International and Claves Records. His latest recording, released in January 2011, of concertos by Ravel and Prokofiev with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Anna Vinnitskaya on Naïve Records was given five stars by BBC Music Magazine.

    2015/16 season / 319 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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Selected repertoire

Adams, John
The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra


Barber
Adagio for Strings
Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, Op.23a


Bartók
Divertimento (1939)
Four Orchestral Pieces, Op.12
The Miraculous Mandarin: Suite
The Wooden Prince: Suite
Two Portraits, Op.5


Beethoven
Symphonies Nos.1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8


Berlioz
Benvenuto Cellini: Overture
Carnaval romain
Rákóczi March


Brahms
Liebesliederwaltzer, Op.52 
Neue Liebesliederwaltzer, Op.65
Piano Quartet No.1, Op.25 (orch. Schoenberg)
Symphonies (all)


Britten
Variations of a Theme of Frank Bridge


Debussy
Printemps


Dvořák
Czech Suite in D major, Op.39
Serenade in E major, Op.22
Slavonic Dances Op.46 & 72
Symphonies Nos.8 & 9


Enescu
Rumanian Rhapsodies Nos.1 & 2


De Falla
El amor brujo


Franck
Le Chausseur maudit
Symphony in D minor
Les Eolides


Glinka
Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila


Grieg
Two Elegiac Melodies
Peer Gynt Suites
Nos.1 & 2


Haydn
Symphonies (early & middle-period)


Hindemith
Noblissima visione
Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber


Holst
The Planets


Honegger
Pastorale d’été
Symphony No.2


Humperdinck
Hänsel und Gretel Overture


Kodály
Galanta Dances
Háry János


Liszt
Mazeppa (Symphonic Poem No.6)
Les Préludes (Symphonic Poem No.3)


Martucci
Notturno


Mendelssohn
The Hebrides, Op.26 ‘Fingal’s Cave’
Märchen von der schönen Melusine
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Overture
Symphonies Nos.3 & 4


Milhaud
Le Boeuf sur le toit, Op.58
La Creation du Monde


Mozart
Symphonies & Overtures (most)
Divertimento in D major, K.334


Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Ravel)


Prokofiev
Classical Symphony, Op.25
Romeo and Juliet: Suite No.2
Symphony No.3
Visions Fugitives


Rachmaninov
Die Toteninsel (Isle of the Dead), Op.29


Ravel
Alborada del gracioso
Bolero
Daphnis et Chloé:
Suites Nos.1 & 2
Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose)
Le Tombeau de Couperin
La Valse
Valses nobles et sentimentales


Respighi
Ancient Airs and Dances
Feste romane (Roman Festivals)
Gli uccelli (The Birds)


Rimsky-Korsakov:
Scheherazade, Op.35


Roussel
Bacchus et Ariane, Op.43: Suite No.2


Saint-Saëns:
Le Rouet d’Omphale, Op.31


Schoenberg
Verklärte Nacht, Op.4 


Schubert
Symphonies Nos.1, 5, 7 & 8


Schumann
Symphony No.3


Scriabin
Le Poème de l’extase, Op.54 


Shostakovich
Chamber Symphony, Op.110a
Symphonies Nos.8 & 10


Sibelius
Finlandia, Op.26
Kuolema: Valse triste 
En saga
, Op.9 


Strauss, R.
Eine Alpensinfonie, Op.64
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme: Suite
Don Juan, Op.20
Ein Heldenleben, Op.40
Metamorphosen
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op.28
Tod und Verklärung, Op.24


Stravinsky
Apollon Musagéte
Concerto in D
L’Oiseau de feu (Firebird) (1919 version)
Petrushka


Suk
Serenade in E-flat, Op.6


Tchaikovsky
Serenade for Strings, Op.48
Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6
Nutcracker, Op.71: Suite
Romeo & Juliet 


Varèse
Arcana


Veress
Threnos in memoriam Béla Bartók


Wagner
Eine Faust-Ouvertüre
Die Meistersinger: Prelude
Siegfried Idyll
Tristan & Isolde (Prelude & Liebestod)

Varga used his softly-spoken precision to magical effect in Ravel’s fairy-tale miniatures Ma mère l’oye… Then the orchestra suddenly swelled and Varga let rip in a searing account of Ravel’s frenzied La Valse… Right from a ghostly opening, Varga balanced charm with disturbing decadence, and the piece’s cataclysmic conclusion blazed with fire and fury. Truly a journey from calm to clamour.

The Scotsman

Varga proved a masterful interpreter... He pushed the symphony's emotional buttons hard, but didn't exaggerate; everything felt organic, inevitable. The conductor's flair for shaping a long crescendo proved especially admirable, making each gradation all the more gripping, each crest all the more shattering.

Baltimore Sun

Under the baton of Gilbert Varga, the orchestra gave a performance where sensitivity replaced sentimentality, and where virtuosity wasn’t used for show, but rather for a thorough exploration of the piece. His perfect shaping of the phrases, and his dynamic control of each movement left nothing to be desired, and he captivated the audience with the vitality and flexibility of his interpretation.

Frankfurter Allgemeine

Intermusica represents Gilbert Varga worldwide

Leyla Güneş
Associate Director
+44 20 7608 9927
lgunes@intermusica.co.uk

Hannah Rawson
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9928
hrawson@intermusica.co.uk

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All artists

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Stage director

David Alden

Andreas Homoki

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles