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Budapest Festival Orchestra

Budapest Festival Orchestra

The Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hungary's leading orchestra, is conducted by Iván Fischer.



Dvorak: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9 - "From The New World"
Dvorak: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9 - "From The New World"
The Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer performs Dvorak’s 8th and 9th Symphonies. 

UNI058  

Dvorak: Slavonic Dances
Dvorak: Slavonic Dances
The Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer perform Slavonic Dances composed by Dvorak. 

UNI059  

Dvorak Symphony No. 7, Suite in A Major
Dvorak Symphony No. 7, Suite in A Major
One of Dvorak's mastepieces and a hidden treasure 

CCS SA 30010  

Brahms Symphony No. 1 / Haydn Variations
Brahms Symphony No. 1 / Haydn Variations
An outstanding performance of Brahm's monumental work 

CCS SA 28309  

Beethoven Symphony no. 7 (1812)
Beethoven Symphony no. 7 (1812)
Beethoven Symphony no. 7 and works of his contemporaries Rossini, Weber and Wilms 

CCS SA 25207  

Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major
Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major
A wonderful performance of Mahler's 4th Symphony 

CCS SA 26109  

The Budapest Festival Orchestra

The orchestra was formed in 1983 by Iván Fischer and Zoltán Kocsis, with musicians "drawn from the cream of Hungary's younger players," as The Times of London put it. Their aim, through intensive rehearsals and demanding the highest standards from musicians, was to make the orchestra's initially three or four concerts per year significant events in Hungary's musical life, and to give Budapest a new symphony orchestra of international standing.

Between 1992 and 2000, extending their work to a full season the ensemble operated under the aegis of the Budapest Municipality and the new BFO Foundation, formed by fifteen Hungarian and multinational corporations and banks. From the 2000/2001 season onwards the orchestra is operated by the BFO Foundation, which the Budapest City Council regularly supports under a contract renewable every five years. In 2003 the Ministry of Education and Culture declared the orchestra a national institution supported by the state.

The Festival Orchestra is nowadays not only a vital part of Budapest's music life (usually performing to capacity audiences) but also a frequent and much appreciated guest at the world's most important centres of musical excellence: Salzburg (Summer Festival), Vienna (Musikverein, Konzerthaus), Lucerne (Festival), Montreux, Zürich (Tonhalle), New York (Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall), Chicago, Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl), San Francisco, Montreal, Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Hong-Kong, Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées), Berlin, Munich , Frankfurt (Alte Oper), London (BBC Proms Festival, Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall), Florence (Maggio Musicale), Rome (Accademia di Santa Cecilia), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Madrid, Athens, Copenhagen, Prague (Prague Spring Festival), Brussels (Flamish Festival) and Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon), among others.

After having recorded on Hungaroton, Quintana, Teldec, Decca, Ponty and Berlin Classics, the orchestra signed an exclusive recording contract with Philips Classics in 1996. Its recording of Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin received the Gramophone Award, while Diapason and Le Monde de la Musique chose it as their recording of the year. Recordings of Liszt's Faust Symphony and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra were chosen among the year's five best orchestral discs by Gramophone. In 2003 the BFO signed a cooperation agreement with the label Channel Classics. Their recording of Mahler's Symphony No.6. has been nominated for the Grammy Award, their Mahler 2. has received the Gramophone Award.

Numerous outstanding figures from the international music scene have performed with the orchestra: Sir Georg Solti (who was the orchestra's honorary guest conductor until his death), Yehudi Menuhin, Kurt Sanderling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Gidon Kremer, Sándor Végh, András 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.

Among the orchestra's more important projects, its opera productions have been widely acclaimed: The Magic Flute, Cosi fan tutte, Idomeneo, Orfeo ed Euridice, Un Turco in Italia, the cycle of works marking the 50th anniversary of Bartók's death, the cycle of Mahler symphonies over several years, the series of performances for the centenary of Brahms' death, a Bartók-Stravinsky cycle and a Liszt-Wagner cycle in January 2004. In 2005 the orchestra launched its annual Budapest Mahlerfest, in 2008 its annual "marathon" featuring each year a different composer.

The ensemble places great emphasis on the performance of new music: performing many world and Hungarian premieres (Ustvolskaia, Eötvös, Kurtág, Schönberg, Holliger, Doráti, Copland, Adams, Dohnányi). The orchestra regularly commissions new works (Jeney, Sáry, Lendvay, Vajda, Mártha, Melis, Vidovszky, Tihanyi, Orbán, Láng, Gyöngyösi, Csemiczky, Dubrovay).

To promote the artistic development of its members the BFO has developed regular chamber music and chamber orchestra series alongside its major orchestral concerts. The Sunday afternoon chamber music events, the "Cocoa Concerts" for young children, the Haydn-Mozart series, where soloists of the concertos are members of the orchestra, as well as their annual open-air summer concerts have all quickly become favourites of the Budapest music audience

Ever since its foundation 25 years ago, the BFO's Music Director has been Iván Fischer.

Click here for the biography of soprano Miah Persson.


For further information - http://www.bfz.hu/hirek/bfz_hirek_en.php
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Five new Studio Master downloads
15 January 2010
from Channel Classics
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New 24-bit downloads from Channel Classics
25 June 2009
Rachel Podger, Pieter Wispelway and Ivan Fischer
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Praise for new Mahler download
01 May 2009
Budapest Festival Orchestra album is "surely the stuff of dreams"
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Welcome Channel Classics
09 April 2009
new download label added
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The Times
outstanding performance
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The Independent
nakedly impassioned
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ClassicsToday.com
5 Stars
Artistic Quality: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10
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The Guardian
leaves you feeling enriched and exalted
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Classic FM
this recording and the sound quality is superb
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ClassicsToday.com
5 Stars
Surely the stuff of dreams
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Guardian
Highly recommended
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Gramophone
5 Stars
Gramophone Editor's Choice
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OpusHD.net
A great, a truly great Mahlerian. Bravo!
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BBC Radio 4
Best of 2008


ClassicsToday.com
"Ivan Fischer's Beethoven Seventh surely ranks with the best among recent performances. it doesn't get much better."


BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
"First-class recording; comfortable, beautifully played and recorded Seventh Symphony"


The Guardian
5 Stars
"...without question, among the greatest ever recorded. Utterly compelling."
more >>