József Horváth was born in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 1975. He earned degrees in choir conducting (1999) and orchestra conducting (2001) at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy under the guidance of Petre Sbârcea, Florentin Mihăiescu, Cornel Groza and Gheorghe Victor Dumănescu. He took part in master classes taught by Christfried Brödel, János Fürst, George Pehlivanian, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Kurt Masur.
He has been a conductor at the Kolozsvár Hungarian Opera since 1999 and at the Romanian National Opera, Cluj-Napoca since 2006. His repertoire includes more than 40 opera titles as well as symphonic and oratorical works. He has guest conducted Romania’s most important orchestras as well as the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the orchestras of the national operas from Bucharest, Iași, Timișoara, the Hungarian Radio Choir and the Hungarian National Choir in Budapest, the Spanish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Madrid, the Szeged Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Miskolc, Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian National Opera in Budapest.
In 2011 he initiated and became the artistic director of the International Liszt 200 Festival held at the Kolozsvár Hungarian Opera. Presented with the Lya Hubic Award in 2009, he also won the “Best Conductor of the Year” award at the Romanian National Operas Gala in 2016 for the four premieres he had conducted in Kolozsvár during the previous season: Samson et Delila at the Hungarian Opera and Werther, Swan Lake and Nabucco at the Romanian Opera.