Prof. Jürgen Budday (born 1948) is is a German conductor and director of church music.
His musical focus lies in historical and contemporary vocal music and in historically informed performances of oratorios, masses and other sacred works.
He studied music education, church music and musicology at the Academy of Music in Stuttgart from 1967 to 1974.
From 1979 to 2012, he taught at the Evangelical Seminar in Maulbronn, a Protestant boarding school at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn abbey with famous former students like Johannes Kepler, Friedrich Hölderlin and Hermann Hesse, and led, from 1979 till 2013, the concert series at Maulbronn monastery as artistic director.
In 1992, Jürgen Budday was named Director of Studies, in 1995 came the appointment as Director of Church Music and in 1998 he was honored with the "Bundesverdienstkreuz" (German Cross of Merit) as well as the "Bruno-Frey-Prize" from the State Academy in Ochsenhausen for his work in music education.
In 1983 Jürgen Budday founded the Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor) with whom he won numerous national and international awards. At the Prague International Choir Festival, for example, Jürgen Budday received an award as best director.
Since 2002, he has also held the chair of the Choral Committee of the German Music Council and became director and jury chairman of the "German Choir Competition" (Deutscher Chorwettbewerb).
In 2008, he received the silver "Johannes-Brenz-Medal", the highest honoring of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg.
In 2011, Jürgen Budday was honoured with the honorary title "Professor".
In May 2013 Prof. Jürgen Budday was awarded by the Association of German Concert Choirs with the "George-Frideric-Handel-Ring" - one of the highest honors for choir conductors in Germany. Thus Jürgen Budday followed Helmuth Rilling, who was honored with the ring from 2009 till 2013.
Prof. Jürgen Budday has started a cycle of Handel oratorios that is planned to span several years, which involves working with soloists like wie Emma Kirkby, Miriam Allan, Michael Chance, Nancy Argenta, Mark Le Brocq, Charles Humphries, Stephen Varcoe (to name but a few). The live recordings of these performances, produced and released by Josef-Stefan Kindler and Andreas Otto Grimminger via their label K&K Verlagsanstalt, received highest praises from reviewers and gave Jürgen Budday's musical work international recognition.
"No conductor and no choir have so consistently recorded so many Handel oratorios as Jürgen Budday and his Maulbronn Chamber Choir." (Dr. Karl Georg Berg, Handel Memoranda Halle 2008).