Mid way through its 50th anniversary year celebrations, Manchester Camerata is today – Monday 4 July – delighted to release a brand new, short digital film paying tribute to the remarkable career and self professed “beautiful life” of its acclaimed and much loved Music Director – Gábor Takács-Nagy who has led the orchestra since 2011.
Directed by renowned filmmaker and photographer Joseph Lynn, this stylish and stylised production marks the third in Camerata’s digital film series – Untold – first launched in 2020. Fusing music performed by Camerata musicians with film and original poetry, Untold explores and shares the individual stories of the orchestra’s “nearest and dearest” – from its musicians and collaborators to those whose lives have been impacted and improved through participation in Camerata’s year round community engagement work. Each film centres around a different person telling their own truth. Each is bound by the same goal – ‘the healing power of music’ – a phrase coined by Takács-Nagy himself, and one which has both inspired the orchestra and his career to date.
Set to a soundtrack chosen by Takács-Nagy to underscore his story, intercut with exclusive video footage from his career past and present Untold: Gábor is a very moving and personal film. In his own words, he reflects on the highs and lows, challenges and great achievements of his illustrious and colourful working life. From his early start as a violinist aged 8 – much to the delight of his parents who believed as an artist he would have a “freer life” – to his enrolment at the Franz Liszt music school in his home town of Budapest aged 18. Leading to his highly successful life as both a violinist as part of his Takács Quartet – performing over 1000 international concerts in its 17 years and latterly, and an equally successful career as a world renowned conductor and Music Leader. Takács-Nagy shares anecdotes and experiences, truths and pivotal moments in his life – many for the first time – in this beautifully shot, short film.
Takács-Nagy also opens up on the devastation he felt when he realised his professional violin playing days were coming to an end…before fate intervened to lead him on to a new path as an internationally renowned conductor. “I was in Tokyo during a concert we played Bartok’s fifth string quartet and I found that I couldn’t use the whole bow. Later in the US during a concert I found that I could use even less bow. This is one of the biggest defeats of my life. I stopped a concert and got up and left, it was like a nightmare. I was a kind of successful person that almost everybody liked and suddenly I found myself in a situation not playing very well and everybody is frustrated with me, even myself…but I was struggling and I knew it was not possible. We all agreed in our friend’s kitchen in 1992 that I am leaving the quartet – it was obvious – it was painful.”
Untold: Gábor is a celebration of life and the triumph of the human spirit. As Takács-Nagy
sums up beautifully in his own words : “I went through so many emotions but as a musician today I feel I am somewhere richer because I went through this…I am a conductor who was a violinist but I am saying I am a musician. I am still a musician.”
Untold: Gábor can be shared and viewed here: https://youtu.be/9-s7ewFPCeA
Takács-Nagy will conduct Manchester Camerata at the Stoller Hall on 23rd September in the orchestra’s Mozart, Made in Manchester Series. This is a collaborative series between Manchester Camerata and Chetham’s School of Music who – together – have embarked on a five-year project to perform and record all of Mozart’s piano concertos. It also brings together eminent pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet with Takács-Nagy, to perform at Chetham’s exceptional concert venue.