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Gilbert Varga, conductor
Gilbert Varga is one of Europes most sought-after conductors. Having extensive experience in both chamber orchestra and symphonic repertoire, Varga has held positions with several orchestras and guest conducted major orchestras throughout the world.
London-born Gilbert Varga studied violin from the age of four with his father, Tibor Varga, the famous Hungarian violinist. After an accident brought an abrupt halt to a promising solo career he studied conducting under three very different and distinctive maestros - Franco Ferrara, Sergiu Celibidache and Charles Bruck.
The earlier part of Varga's conducting career concentrated on work with many chamber orchestras throughout Germany and France including extensive work with the Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra. From 1980-1985 Varga was Chief Conductor of the Hofer Symphoniker and between 1985-1990 Chief Conductor of the Philharmonia Hungarica in Marl, with whom he toured throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In 1990, his final year as Music Director, he conducted their debut tour to Hungary with Yehudi Menuhin.
Since that time, Vargas reputation as a symphonic conductor increased and he was swiftly invited to conduct several prestigious European ensembles including the Munich Philharmonic, the radio orchestras of Cologne and Frankfurt and the Gurzenich Orchestra. From 1991-1995 he was Permanent Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and from 1997 until 2000 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Malmö Symphony.
North America has also welcomed Vargas exemplary baton technique. In recent seasons he has had hugely successful debuts with Minnesota and St Louis Symphony Orchestras; he has also conducted the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, Los Angeles and St Paul Chamber Orchestras and has appeared twice at Aspen Music Festival. In South America, Varga appeared at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in the summer of 1999, returning in May 2000 during a tour of South America with the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra. Further afield, Varga has made successful appearances with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo and the Sydney Symphony.
In Europe Varga has worked with most major symphony orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony and Hallé Orchestra. In 2001-2 Vargas European engagements included Orchestre National de Belgique, RAI Turin, Gothenburg Symphony (with whom he made a successful recording with trombonist Christian Lindberg) and performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival with his own Euskadi Symphony Orchestra.
Forthcoming engagements include his debut with the orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper and re-invitations to the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Orchestra of Santa Cecilia (Rome), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, , WDR Cologne and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Vargas discography includes recordings with ASV, Discover Records, Tring (The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Collection) and Koch International (Munich Chamber Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony).
The 2002-3 season marks Vargas fifth as Music Director of the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra.
February 2003/466 words
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