A specialist in early choral music, Hungarian conductor and harpsichordist György Vashegyi leads two significant ensembles in Hungarian music, the Purcell Choir and the Orfeo Orchestra. Born in Budapest in 1970, Vashegyi began his musical studies with lessons on the violin, flute, oboe, and harpsichord. He made his debut as a conductor at 16, and enrolled in the Franz Liszt Academy of Music when he was 18. His principal teacher there was Ervin Lukács, and he participated in master classes taught by John Eliot Gardiner and Helmuth Rilling, graduating from the academy in 1993. He studied basso continuo with John Toll, before becoming a continuo player with Concerto Armonico and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. Vashegyi formed the Purcell Choir in 1990 for a performance of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and the Orfeo Orchestra in 1991 for a performance of Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo; both ensembles continued to give performances across Hungary at concerts and music festivals, and are well established in the Hungarian music scene. Vashegyi has directed these groups in repertoire that ranges from Gesualdo to Brahms, and he has been involved in research of Hungarian works from the 18th century. Vashegyi appears most often with his own groups, but also conducts other period-instruments ensembles, such as MusicAeterna, Concerto Armonico, and Capella Savaria, as well as many modern symphony orchestras. He has also performed with the Orfeo Orchestra at the Hungarian State Opera, with a concentration on the Classical operas of Mozart and Haydn.
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