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Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra

Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra


The Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1923 under the name of Metropolitan Orchestra which rapidly became one of the pillars of Hungarian musical life. It was founded by Dezső Bor who was their chief conductor for fifteen years. After the Second World War, Ferenc Fricsay and László Somogyi were appointed principal conductors, and during this era, Otto Klemperer also conducted forty concerts, while another regular guest was Antál Doráti. In 1949 it adopted the name of Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra. 1952 proved to be a turning point in the orchestra’s history when János Ferencsik was appointed principal conductor. In the 1960s, a new wave of renowned conductors took up invitations to guest-conduct the orchestra, such as Ernest Ansermet, Antál Doráti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir John Barbirolli, Leopold Stokowski, Claudio Abbado and Christoph von Dohnányi. Great soloists were invited too, amongst them Sviatoslav Richter, Yehudi Menuhin, Anja Silja, János Starker and Ruggiero Ricci. In 1987, Japanese conductor Kenichiro Kobayashi replaced Ferencsik to lead the orchestra, a position he held for ten years. In 1998 the orchestra was renamed the Hungarian National Philharmonic.

Since the autumn of 1997, Zoltán Kocsis was appointed general music director of the ensemble. The orchestra, together with the National Choir and the National Music Library, moved into its new home, the Palace of Arts, in early 2005.

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