Pannon Philharmonic

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Zsolt Hamar

Zsolt Hamar

The Music Director Who Renewed the Pannon Philharmonic


The conductor, who was born in 1968, was six years old when he began playing the piano; and then he studied music composition at the Béla Bartók Conservatory. He graduated at the composition faculty of the Academy of Music in Emil Petrovich’s class; at the conducting faculty, Ervin Lukács and Tamás Gál were his teachers.

In 1995, he graduated with honours; the same year, he won the 2nd second prize and the audience prize at the 8th International Conductors' Competition of the Hungarian Television. In 1996, he also won the second prize at the conducting competition in Cadaques, Spain; in 1997, he finished at the first place at the International Conducting Competition of the Portuguese Radio. From 1995, he worked with Tamás Vásáry for a year; between 1996 and 1997, he was a teacher at the Academy of Music. As a conductor, he has visited almost all of the country's symphony orchestras; he regularly conducts at the Hungarian State Opera. Recommended by Zoltán Kocsis, music director in the fall 1997, he was appointed as the first permanent conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

In September 1999, he won the first prize at the 6th Antonio Pedrotti International Conducting Competition in Trento, again. It shows his international success that he is regular guest of the concert halls of Europe, and even the United States and Japan. He was Lorin Maazel's assistant at the Salzburg Festival, conducted Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari. From autumn 2000, he was the chief conductor of the Pécs Symphony Orchestra and held the artistic director job, too. From autumn 2001, he was a conductor of the Hungarian State Opera; from the same year, a regular guest conductor of the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.

In 2001, the Minister for National Cultural Heritage awarded a Ferenc Liszt Prize for his work. From 2004 until 2007, he was the first conductor of the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto; regularly performs leading the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, and in Basel, Merano and many musical centres of Europe. With the Pannon Philharmonic in 2005,  tehy recorded a CD of the 1893 Weimar version of Mahler’s Symphony No.1, published by Hungaroton. In 2006, in recognition of his work, he was given a Knight's Cross Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. In 2007, he debuted at the Zurich Opera, the citadel of arts, which counts as one of the world's 10 most prestigious opera houses.


The aim of the Pannon Philharmonic, renewed in 2003 was to create high quality, interesting and innovative productions of classical music. The institutional renewal meant artistic and organizational, innovation, as well. The artistic revival was marked by the name of Zsolt Hamar, the Liszt-Prize-winning conductor, music director of the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra. The introduction of thorough professional preparation system, programs extended with contemporary musical works, programs responding to cultural and societal needs, and creatively unique high-quality projects brought the increase of the professional level. The nine years of Zsolt Hamar as music director created a high demand for professional standing, in the orchestra, which also provided the stable basis for further development.

Event Calendar

Across Continents

22. Feb, 19:00 | Kodály Centre

Conductor: Gilbert Varga

E.ON Concert Series: Across Continents

23. Feb, 19:30 | Béla Bartók National Concert Hall (Palace of Arts)

Conductor: Gilbert Varga

Artist Entrance 3 – Music Within Arm's Reach

1. Mar, 19:00 | Kodály Centre


2. Mar, 16:00 | Pécs Zoo

SnailShell 6 – Woodwinds from Brass

3. Mar, 15:30 | Kodály Centre

SnailShell 6 – Woodwinds from Brass

3. Mar, 17:00 | Kodály Centre