Budapest Festival Orchestra
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Budapest Festival Orchestra
To find an orchestra filled with a feeling for the profoundest traditions of its central European heritage yet keeping its playing ardent is as exceptional as is the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
As for the Budapest Festival Orchestra, one might be in a fix to know what to admire more: the exquisite inflections of the string, or the colors and pungencies of the woodwinds.
Founded by Iv?n Fischer over 25 years ago, Budapest Festival Orchestra stands out distinct to have won international accolades. The Orchestra has created an outstanding reputation for itself through recordings and numerous international tours over the years.
With musicians hailed from the cream of Hungarys younger players, the Budapest Festival Orchestra was formed in 1983 by Iv?n Fischer and Zolt?n Kocsis. Fischers partnership with Budapest Festival Orchestra has proved to be one of the greatest success stories in the past 25 years of classical music.
At the moment, he is serving as a Music Director of the Orchestra as well as Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. Emphasizing chamber music and creative work for each orchestra member, the Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra introduced several reforms, developed intense rehearsal methods for the musicians.
Ivan Fischer formed an ensemble by demanding the highest standards from musicians through intensive rehearsals. Fischer made the orchestras initially three or four concerts per year significant events in Hungarys musical life, and to give Budapest a new symphony orchestra of international standing.
Intense international touring and a series of acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics and Channel Classics notably contributed to Iv?n Fischers reputation as one of the worlds most visionary and successful orchestra leaders. After having recorded on Hungaroton, Quintana, Teldec, Decca, Ponty and Berlin Classics, the Budapest Festival Orchestra signed an exclusive recording contract with Philips Classics in 1996.
The Philips Classics issued a recording of Bart?ks The Miraculous Mandarin that earned the Budapest Festival Orchestra a Gramophone Award. The Miraculous Mandarin was also chosen as the recording of the year by Diapason and Le Monde de la Musique. The Orchestras recording of Mahlers Symphony No.6 has been nominated for the Grammy Award, while their Mahler 2 received the Gramophone Award.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra has now become not only a vital part of Budapests music life but also a frequent and much appreciated guest at the worlds most important venues of musical excellence. Between 1992 and 2000, the Orchestra extended its work to a full season, operating under the aegis of the Budapest Municipality and the new BFO Foundation.
The year 2003 saw the Budapest Festival Orchestra signing a cooperation agreement with the label Channel Classics. That year, the BFO also made their debut tour to South America including two concerts at the world famous Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, a concert in Rosario, Argentina, a concert in Montevideo, Uruguay and two concerts in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The BFO worked overtime to establish its reputation as Hungarys entry in the Euro-orchestra stakes, while keeping up a stream of recordings, tours and a constant media presence. In 2005 the ensemble launched its annual Budapest Mahlerfest. They also started their annual marathon featuring each year a different composer in 2008.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra puts great emphasis on the performance of new music. The ensemble performs many world and Hungarian premieres, mainly included Ustvolskaia, E?tv?s, Kurt?g, Sch?nberg, Holliger, Dor?ti, Copland, Adams, Dohn?nyi. Also, numerous outstanding figures from the international music scene have performed with Budapest Festival Orchestra.
These include Sir Georg Solti, Yehudi Menuhin, Kurt Sanderling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Gidon Kremer, S?ndor Vegh, Andr?s Schiff, Heinz Holliger, Agnes Baltsa, Ida Haendel, Martha Argerich, Hildegard Behrens, Yuri Bashmet, Rudolf Barshai, Kiri te Kanawa, Radu Lupu, Thomas Zehetmair, Vadim Repin, Helen Donath, Maria-Joao Pires, Richard Goode and others.
The BFO regularly commissions new works by eney, S?ry, Lendvay, Vajda, M?rtha, Melis, Vidovszky, Tihanyi, Orb?n, L?ng, Gy?ngy?si, Csemiczky, Dubrovay. The Budapest Festival Orchestras opera productions are widely acclaimed which include The Magic Flute, Cosi fan tutte, Idomeneo, Orfeo ed Euridice, Un Turco in Italia etc.
The ensembles other important projects include the cycle of works marking the 50th anniversary of Bart?ks death, the cycle of Mahler symphonies over several years, the series of performances for the centenary of Brahms death, a Bart?k-Stravinsky cycle and a Liszt-Wagner cycle.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra has developed and introduced new types of concerts, cocoa-concerts for young children, surprise-concerts where the program is not announced, and one forint concerts where Ivan Fischer talks to the audience.
Fischer has also founded several festivals, attracting tens of thousands of people. The BFOs major festivals include a summer festival in Budapest on baroque music and the Budapest Mahlerfest.
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