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Budapest Festival Orchestra among the Top Ten in the World

Hungary Today 2023.09.14.

In 2015, for the first time, Bachtrack was asked by music critics from major European and American newspapers to rank the world’s ten best symphony orchestras and ten best conductors.The vote was repeated after eight years, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the only non-Western European and non-American orchestra, finished in eighth place, reports Magyar Nemzet.

The critics ranked Iván Fischer sixth in the international top 10 conductors’ list, according to Budapest Festival Orchestra’s statement.

The critics voted the Berlin Philharmonic the best symphony orchestra in the world and its conductor Kirill Petrenko as most outstanding music director. In addition to the Budapest Festival Orchestra, three American, three German, one British, one Austrian, and one Dutch orchestra made the top 10 list.

According to the portal, the world’s best orchestras in Central Europe, in addition to the Berliner Philharmoniker, include the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

In a positive sense,

the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s position is the most surprising among the heavyweight competitors, as it is the youngest orchestra in this year’s top 10, having been founded only 40 years ago.

In the decades of the millennium, the Hungarian orchestra led by Iván Fischer has undoubtedly been the fastest to reach the world’s elite.

For nearly a decade and a half, the Budapest Festival Orchestra has been in the international symphony orchestra charts. In 2010, Gramophone music magazine ranked the ensemble as the ninth best in the world, and last year it was awarded Orchestra of the Year, after a professional rating and audience vote.

Budapest Festival Orchestra Space Dance Concert, in center, Iván Fischer. Photo via Wikipedia


The Budapest Festival 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 put it. Its aim was to make the orchestra’s concerts into significant events in Hungary’s musical life, and to give Budapest a new symphony orchestra of international standing.

Among the orchestra’s more important projects, its opera productions have been widely acclaimed. These include The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte, Idomeneo, Orfeo ed Euridice, Il turco in Italia, and the cycle of works marking the 50th anniversary of Bartók’s death.

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Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured image via Facebook/BFZ – Budapesti

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