Hungary's Gabor Takács-Nagy has had a major impact on musical life in his home country, in Britain, and in other countries as a violinist, conductor, and educator. For much of the first part of his career he was a noted chamber music player. Takács-Nagy was born in Budapest on April 17 of the revolutionary year of 1956. He took up the violin at eight and excelled at the country's top musical institute, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, for studies with György Kurtág, among others. Takács-Nagy co-founded the Takács Quartet with Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai, and András Fejér in 1976, and the group became a major international presence, recording for the Hungaroton label at home and for Decca in Britain. He left the group in 1992, suffering from hand problems, but was able to resume playing after therapy and founded the Takács Piano Trio in 1996 and the Mikrokosmos String Quartet in 1998. All these groups became known as strong exponents of Hungarian music (the Takács Piano Trio gave several world premieres of Hungarian works, including one by Liszt), issuing major new recordings of Bartók's music in particular.
After becoming concertmaster of the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1998, Takács-Nagy developed an interest in conducting. He formed his own string orchestra, the Camerata Bellerive, to perform at Switzerland's Festival de Bellerive in Geneva, and in 2007 he was named music director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. Since then he has held major posts with the Hungarian State Symphony and the MÁV Symphony Orchestra (Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV), of which he was chief conductor and artistic director from 2010 to 2012. With the latter group he has led several recordings, including one of music by Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas in 2017. Takács-Nagy has also served since 2011 as principal conductor of Britain's Manchester Camerata, with which he has made recordings for the Avie label. He has also been active as a guest conductor in numerous cities around Europe and beyond. Takács-Nagy holds high-profile positions as a teacher of chamber music at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.