Gergely Tóth-Vajna, the young keyboardist, physician and conductor, was born is Miskolc. His musical gifts were apparent early on. Gergely’s studies started with the piano at the town’s music school, followed by trainings on percussion and string instruments as well as composition under the tutorship of Gergely Barta.
Afterwards, he continued his studies at Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music on organ specialization. Gergely received multiple accolades from the town and the county for his accomplishments in academy and sports (for instance, finishing second place in Biology OKTV after his twin brother, and winning the national championship and Junior Olympics in fencing twice).
Gergely pursued higher education in the field of medicine at Semmelweis University in Budapest. He participated in the renewal of the institution’s cultural life, namely by partaking in the creation of the university’s first classical music album at the iconic Studio 6 of Magyar Rádió. In light of these activities, he was granted the Kerpel Prize in 2013, the most prestigious award a student of the
university can receive. Gergely graduated summa cum laude in the next year.
The magazine La Femme nominated him as one of Hungary’s 50 most talented youth in 2015 for crossing the boundary between the worlds of science and art. In 2017, Gergely became a student mentor in the same programme.
Conducting has been a part of his interests for a long time. He had the opportunity to learn from such masters of the art as Riccardo Muti (Italian Opera Academy, Ravenna), Daniele Gatti (Amsterdam), Péter Eötvös, Gergely Vajda, Jorge Mester, Alpaslan Ertüngealp, Ádám Medveczky and András Ligeti, among others. While studying in the USA (via the Campus Hungary grant), Gergely had the honour of being part of one of the world’s greatest symphonic ensembles, the Cleveland Orchestra, thanks to Franz Welser-Möst, who later invited the young conductor to Staatsoper in Wien for a trial period. Other such instances include the Grammy-winner Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra etc. Currently, he is tutored by Gábor Hollerung on the subject in Budapest.
His unwavering passion and desire for music has driven Gergely to pursue master’s courses in multiple instruments, such as organ and improvisation in Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Italy, having learned from notable masters and perfected his musical capabilities. Other instruments have gripped his attention as well, e.g. harpsichord, clavichord and fortepiano (Malcolm Bilson, Richard Egarr), with relevant courses in Hungary, Finland, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The diverse insights gathered from the courses noted above are employed in various concerts: Gergely has performed in several countries and places, sharing the exceptional joy and nurturing power of music to many nations of the world. To name a few: England, Sweden, the USA, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Romania, the Netherlands and of course, most major cities in Hungary. His visits include such iconic places as St. Thomas Church in Leipzig (the resting place of J. S. Bach) or the famous Handel & Hendrix in London. He also performed during the ceremonial feast of the 2017 Széchenyi Award laurates. Gergely debuted in April 2018 on the Budapest Spring Festival in the Hungarian National Museum’s assembly hall.
Gergely has been the founding music director and conductor of Hungarian baroque orchestra Harmonia Caelestis since its formation in 2015, in which he plays the harpsichord, the organ and fortepiano. The group performs both chamber music and in orchestra. Gergely, along with his twin brother, Zsombor stated as their mission the promotion of piano four hands, which manifested in the formation of Piano e Forte Duo, their shared project. The first album of the duo was released in November 2016 titled A Quattri Mani. In June 2018, they recorded English harpsichord music, and in November of the same year, pieces for two harpsichords and fortepianos are to be recorded.
As of 2019, Gergely is a student at the Royal College of Music, London, in the fortepiano programme.
Beside his musical ventures, he has been a board-eligible paediatrician at Bókay Clinic. In addition to his medical services, Gergely also participates in the training of students, is an active author of publications and chapters in textbooks, and regularly appears on conferences.
As a teacher of Gergely put it: „Dr Gergely Tóth-Vajna, through his accomplishments and his successful, inspiring and progressive appearances on local and international forums, has enriched his audience on several fronts and has proven the exceptional value of his contributions to society. Only the most extraordinary are capable of maintaining such a high mastery over seemingly divergent but
altogether complementary fields, gaining the admiration of the elderly and setting a worthy example for both the peers of today and the youth of tomorrow.”