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 functioning orchestra, being 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 organized now from 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 yearly.[2]

Since its foundation famous composers gave concerts with the orchestra, Franz Liszt was traveling regularly to Budapest appearing as guest conductor with them,[3] but over the past 150 years among its guest conductors were Brahms, Dvořák, Mahler as well. The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra had made numerous concert tours to other European countries, the United States and Japan.[4]


The members of the first original 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 program consisting 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]



External links[edit]