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He was born in 1968 in Budapest. He started playing the piano at the age of six and then studied composition at the Béla Bartók Conservatory. He graduated from the Liszt Ferenc University of Music in Budapest in the class of Emil Petrovics and was taught by Ervin Lukács and Tamás Gál. He has participated in Yuri Simonov's master class several times.

He entered the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, as a composer student of Professor Emil Petrovics. He won an award at the Zoltán Kodály Composition Competition and was commissioned to write the music for the Zoltán Kodály State Foundation.

He continued his training as a conductor, being appointed assistant conductor to the Academy's own symphony orchestra.

He graduated with first-class honours in music theory, with similar honours in 1994 as a composer and in 1995 as a conductor.

He graduated with excellent results, won 2nd place in the same year and won the audience award at the 8th International Conducting Competition of the Hungarian Television. He worked with Lord Yehudi Menuhin at the World Music Day Gala Concert. Menuhin later wrote: He is one of the most dynamic, accurate, intelligent young conductors I have ever heard.

He won second prize at the conducting competition in Cadaques, Spain, and in 1997 he won first place at the Portuguese International Radio Conducting Competition.

At the suggestion of music director Zoltán Kocsis, he was appointed the first permanent conductor of the National Philharmonic.

He scored first at the 6th International Antonio Pedrotti Conducting Competition in Trento.

He is the leading conductor and artistic director of the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra in Pécs, with whom he made a CD recording of the works of Ferenc Liszt, Bartók and Mahler.

The Minister of National Cultural Heritage awarded the Ferenc Liszt Prize for his work. From 2002 to 2007, he was the first permanent conductor of the Orchestra Verdi in Padua e del Veneto, touring in several European countries in addition to Italy. Some of his many foreign performances are: Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Russian National Philharmonic. He is a frequent guest at many music metropoles in Europe and has conducted several times in Canada, the United States, China, and South Korea. Since 2001 he has been a regular conductor at the Hungarian State Opera House, fulfilling guest conductor requests worldwide: Frankfurt Opera House, Gothenburg Opera House, Teatro San Carlo Lisbon, Teatro Lyrico Cagliari, etc. 

He made his debut at the Zurich Opera, an art citadel of one of the 10 most prestigious opera houses globally, where he was a permanent conductor for six years. Numerous opera and ballet performances are associated with his name.

He successfully completed his Habilitation at the Liszt Ferenc University of Music.

He held the position of principal music director at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.

In 2016 and 2018, he was a professor of the conducting course of the International Bartók Seminar and Festival in Szombathely.

Music Director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungary.

Founder and artistic director of the postgraduate institution Collegium Symphonicum Hungaricum, where he trains and teaches several young musicians and conductors. 

He became the chief conductor at the Moravian Philharmonics Orchestra, Olomouc.

Zsolt Hamar became lecturer at the University of Szeged, Bartók Béla Faculty of Arts.

Zsolt Hamar

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