József Horváth was born in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in 1975. He first exhibited an interest in music at the age of six, when he started to study piano and violin. After graduating from the music high school in his native city in 1993, he went on to earn degrees in choir conducting (1999) and conducting (2001) at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy there, after studying under teachers Petre Sbârcea, Florentin Mihăiescu, Cornel Groza and Gheorghe Victor Dumănescu. Between 1994 and 2006, he took part in master classes taught by Dr Christfried Brödel, János Fürst, George Pehlivanian, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Kurt Masur. His professional development has also been significantly influenced by participating in rehearsals and concerts by various world-renowned conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Rudolf Barshai, Sir Colin Davis, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Valery Gergiev, Philipe Herreweghe, Leonard Slatkin, Pinchas Steinberg, Jesús López-Cobos, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez and Georges Prêtre. He has been a conductor at the Kolozsvár Hungarian Opera since 1999 and at the Romanian National Opera, Cluj-Napoca since 2006. His opera repertoire includes more than 40 titles. He has guest conducted Romania's most important orchestras, as well as the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Romanian National Opera, Bucharest, the Romanian National Opera, Iași, the Romanian National Opera, Timișoara, the Hungarian Radio Choir in Budapest and the Spanish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Madrid. In 2011, he became both the initiator and the artistic director of the International Liszt 200 Festival held at the Kolozsvár Hungarian Opera: at three weeks in length, this was the largest Liszt festival in Central Eastern Europe. Presented with the Lya Hubic Award in 2009, he also won the “Best Conductor of the Year” award at the Romanian National Operas Gala in 2016 for the four premieres he had conducted in Kolozsvár during the previous season: Samson et Delila at the Hungarian Opera and Werther, Swan Lake and Nabucco at the Romanian Opera. The Hungarian State Opera's new production Figaro 2.0 marks his first time guest conducting there.