Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra

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Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Stephen Kerner

The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra (Hungarian: Budapesti Filharmóniai Társaság Zenekara) is Hungary's oldest extant orchestra. It was founded in 1853 by Ferenc Erkel under the auspices of the Budapest Philharmonic Society. For many years it was Hungary's only professional orchestra.[1] The ensemble is an independent body, now organised by musicians of the Opera House, directed by the chairman-conductor and the board of directors. Its main concert venue is the Hungarian State Opera House, where they give around ten concerts per year.[2]

Since its foundation famous composers have given[clarification needed] concerts with the orchestra. Franz Liszt travelled regularly to Budapest and appeared as guest conductor with them;[3] among its other guest conductors over the past 150 years have been Brahms, Dvořák, and Mahler.

The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra has made numerous concert tours to other European countries, the United States, and Japan.[4]


The original members of the orchestra were drawn from musicians of the Hungarian National Theatre. Its first concert was on 20 November 1853, under the baton of Ferenc Erkel. The programme consisted of works by Beethoven (7th Symphony), Mozart, Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer.[5]

Landmark events include:

Many Hungarian composers have written works especially for the orchestra, including Erkel, Liszt, Goldmark, Dohnányi, Bartók, Kodály, Weiner, Kadosa and Szokolay. [1]

Many renowned foreign composers have conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of their works: Brahms, Dvořák, Mahler, Mascagni, Prokofiev, Ravel, Respighi, Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. [1] Other conductors to appear with the orchestra include Denes Agay, Eugen d'Albert, Édouard Colonne, Arthur Nikisch, Gabriel Pierné, Felix Weingartner, Bruno Walter, Erich Kleiber and Otto Klemperer.[5]


The chairmen-conductors of the orchestra have been:


Hungarian State Opera House, the main concert venue of the orchestra

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Budapest Philharmonic Society Archived April 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "History of the Philharmonic Society - official website of the orchestra". Archived from the original on 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica - "Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra"
  4. ^ Bach Cantatas
  5. ^ a b c d e f Eric Blom, ed., Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed, 1954, Vol.1, Budapest, p. 997
  6. ^ GOING OUT GUIDE by Richard F. Shepard , November 11, 1981, The New York Times


External links[edit]