Gábor Káli studied piano and conducting at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music before continuing his training as a conductor in Berlin between 2004 and 2009. As a member of the German Music Council's Conductors' Forum, he took part in master classes with Kurt Masur, Colin Metters and Sian Edwards, and also studied with Péter Eötvös, Bernhard Haitink and David Zinman.
He spent several years at Staatstheater Nürnberg, first as assistant to music director Marcus Bosch, and from 2015 as the opera house’s first conductor and deputy music director. He has conducted a dozen opera productions, including Wozzeck, La bohème, Verdi’s Attila, Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, Un ballo in maschera, Rigoletto, Les pêcheurs de perles, Arabella and Otello.
His results at competitions also stand out: he took first prize at the Hong Kong International Conducting Competition in early 2018 before going on to win the prestigious Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in August of the year, which led to the opportunity to make his debut at the Salzburg Festival at the helm of RSO Wien in 2019.
In the 2018/19 season, he conducted Verdi’s Rigoletto at Deutsche Oper am Rhein and made his debut at Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In November, he took the podium with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and again conducted Die Zauberflöte, this time at the Hungarian State Opera. He also jumped in to replace the ailing Iván Fischer on four stops – Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Luxembourg – of the world-famous Budapest Festival Orchestra’s tour of Europe and America. He spent the rest of the season appearing with the Kölner Kammerorchester in Portugal and touring with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
In the 2019/20 season, he conducted the revival of Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles at Oper Graz and, at the invitation of Christian Thielemann, Semperoper Dresden’s performances of Die Zauberflöte. He also returned to the Hungarian State Opera to conduct the latter work there again. The 2019 Brucknerfest in Linz opened with a concert performed under his baton, and he is also conducting concerts by four Hungarian symphony orchestras. In addition, he is appearing in Finland (with the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra), France (with the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse), Austria (with the Brucknerorchester Linz and RSO Wien), Ireland (with the Irish Chamber Orchestra) and Poland (with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra).
The 2010/21 season will bring his debut at Munich’s world-famous Bayerische Staatsoper, Staatsoper Hamburg and the Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse, in addition to a return to Semperoper Dresden. Furthermore, he has been invited to conduct the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, RSO Wien, the Philharmonie Zuidnedeland, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and the Slovak Philharmonic.