Zoltán Kocsis N
In 1983, he co-founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra with Iván Fischer, and since 1987 has regularly conducted. He is also a recognised composer. He is deeply committed to contemporary music and has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with, amongst others, György Kurtág, giving world premieres of numerous Kurtág compositions, some of which are dedicated to him.
In Autumn 1997, he became general music director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Hungarian State Orchestra). As a result, the orchestra's repertoire has broadened considerably, and since his appointment, several works have been given their world premiere.
In recent years, he has toured many European countries, the United States and Japan with the orchestra as both conductor and soloist, and enjoyed immense critical acclaim.
In January 2004, Zoltán Kocsis was bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cannes Midem, where he also received the distinguished French honour, Le Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France's minister of culture, awarded for his supreme efforts popularising French music and for the entirety of his work as a musician. In March 2005, his work was, for the second time after 1978, acknowledged with the Kossuth Prize.