Chief Conductor, "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra
Artistic Director, Musica Ricercata
Artistic Director, Musica Ricercata Festival
Gabriel Bebeşelea is the Principal Conductor of the "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca.
Admired for his enthusiasm and musicality, his reputation grew substantially and rapidly over the last years, establishing him as a fast-rising star of the conducting world.
Highlights of the 2019/20 concert season include his debuts with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Tonkunstler Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In addition, forthcoming engagements include returns to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov" and the Ulster Orchestra.
Recent highlights include appearances at venues such as the Musikverein Vienna, Cadogan Hall London, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall Moscow and the Santa Cecilia Hall in Rome, and with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov", the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra.
With the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, he recorded a CD featuring George Enescu's rediscovered oratorio "Strigoii" (The Ghosts) and his “Pastorale - Fantaisie pour petite orchestre” (edition curated by Gabriel Bebeşelea). The CD was released under the label Capriccio in September 2018.
At 32 years of age, Gabriel Bebeşelea is recognized as “one of the most gifted conductors born in the last decades in Romania” (George Enescu Festival Journal, September 7th 2011) and is winner of the first prize of the "Lovro von Matačić" Conducting Competition (Zagreb 2015) and the first prize in the “Jeunesses Musicales" Conducting Competition (Bucharest 2011). Gabriel Bebeşelea was semifinalist of the “Donatella Flick” Conducting Competition of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2014 and semifinalist of the Gustav Mahler Competition of the Bamberg Symphony in 2016.
A notable opera conductor, Bebeşelea was named Principal Conductor of the Romanian National Opera of Iaşi in 2011, becoming the youngest ever Principal Conductor in Romania. In 2015 he was named Principal Conductor of the National Romanian Opera House of Cluj-Napoca. In 2014 he was presented with the “Best Conductor” award at the Romanian National Opera Houses Awards.
Recent highlights that cemented his good reputation as an operatic conductor includes conducting the new production of Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Tsar's Bride" at the Perm Opera and Rossini's "Il viaggio a Reims" at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. The performances have been highly acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. With the "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca, Gabriel Bebeşelea presented semi-staged performances of Richard Wagner’s "Das Rheingold" and "Die Walküre".
Gabriel Bebeșelea is known to devote himself to researching and rediscovering music and he is responsible for uncovering several long forgotten or neglected musical masterpieces. In 2018, to bring such music to light, he founded the ensemble Musica Ricercata - an international artistic collective dedicated to the historically informed performance of music spanning from the baroque to modern eras, with an emphasis on early music. Besides being the Artistic Director of Musica Ricercata, starting 2019 he is also Artistic Director of the Musica Ricercata Festival in his hometown of Sibiu.
In 2015, Gabriel Bebeşelea studied with two of the world's most appreciated conductors: Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival at Easter and with Kurt Masur at the Aurora Classical Festival.
Furthermore, in 2011 he was awarded a scholarship consisting of an internship at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, where he had the possibility to assist at the rehearsals and concerts of some of the most representative conductors nowadays: Mariss Jansons, Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Philippe Herreweghe, David Zinman and Eliahu Inbal.
In 2010 he graduated with "summa cum laude" from the Cluj-Napoca Music Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting as a pupil of Petre Sbarcea. Two years later he graduated the Master’s Degree Program of the National University of Music Bucharest as a student of Horia Andreescu’s Orchestra Conducting Class.
In 2018, Gabriel Bebeşelea obtained his PhD with "summa cum laude" at the National University of Music Bucharest for his Doctoral thesis "The Research of the Compositional Manuscripts, Premise and Stake of the Conducting Interpretation" under the guidance of Prof. Dan Dediu.
He currently resides in Vienna where he graduated the Postgraduate Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, at the class of Prof. Mark Stringer.
Photo: Ionut Macri