Sándor Károlyi, conductor

General information

Laureate of the 2018 International Nino Rota Conducting Competition and semi-finalist in the 2017 Fitelberg Competition, Sándor Károlyi is building a substantial reputation as a conductor of both the orchestral and operatic repertoire. Highlights in 2018 include a performance of Nabucco at the Opera House in Ulm, his debut with the INSO-Lviv Orchestra and a recording for Neos at the Megève Festival Savoy Truffle. 

In 2017 he made his debut with the Orchestre de Dijon Bourgogne, conducting Bartók’s Divertimento for strings and Schumann’s 4th Symphony. Sándor has conducted, among others, the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MAV, the North Czech Philharmonic, the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, the Collegium Musicum Orchestra, the Orchestra Magna Grecia and the Orchestra de Cordoba.

From 2014 until 2016, Sándor held the position as Music Director of the Akademisches Symphonie Orchester Wien (ASO Wien), a youth orchestra active in the viennese musical life. All projects were professionally recorded for the Orchestras own CD label. Some highlights of this collaboration include performances of Carmina Burana and a tour to Italy. As an Opera conductor, he worked with various opera companies and ensembles conducting performances of Die Fledermaus, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Nabucco, Dido and Aenas, Der Opernball, Lucia di Lammermoor and La Bohème.

Working with choirs has been a significant part of Sándor’s musical activity. He was a singing member of the renowned Wiener Singverein Choir performing with many of the world’s best orchestras and conductors in the Musikverein. He also assisted its music director Johannes Prinz during numerous projects, including tours to Russia and Japan with works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Honegger as well as performances of Gustav Mahler’s 2nd and 8th symphonies for the Salzburg Festivals in 2012 and 2013. Further Assistantships included working with Gá́bor Takács-Nagy, Ingo Metzmacher, Julian Rachlin and Guido Mancusi at international houses and ensembles such as the Geneva Opera House, the Volksoper Wien, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata and the Slovenian Philharmonic with Operas such as Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Carmina Burana and works from the wider symphonic repertoire.

In addition to conducting, Sándor also works as an opera repetiteur and Lied accompanist. He has appeared live on the Austrian radio broadcast « Oe 1 » and performed in various concerts as well as on stage in the Brahms Saal in the Musikverein.

In April 2017, Sándor received a stipend from the Eötvös Foundation to attend a conducting Workshop with Péter Eötvös in Budapest and Royaumont. On this occasion, he performed works by Kurtág and Boulez with the ensembles UMZE and Linea. Passionate about new compositions, he also performed works from Olzsewski and Batik and conducted a Big Band during a Jazz project at the Vienna Music University. For the 10th anniversary of the Musikverein’s new concert halls, he conducted the world premiere of “Fanfare” by Johannes Berauer with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sándor Károlyi received his musical education in Geneva, Florence and Vienna where he studied piano, conducting, composition and Jazz. From 2009 to 2016 he studied conducting in Vienna, where he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with honours at both the Conservatory (Prof. Georg Mark) and the University for Music and Applied Arts (Prof. Johannes Wildner). Sándor furthered his conducting studies by attending international masterclasses with Paavo Järvi, Daniele Gatti, Bertrand de Billy and Piero Bellugi. On recommendation by Mariss Jansons, he also studied with Prof. Sophie Rachlin.