The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra – the Orchestra of the Opera has announced its 2015/16 season with the aim of retaining its rank among the top concert orchestras in Hungary. Capitalising on the special and unique musical skills gained from performing opera on a daily basis, the orchestra’s selection of music for the new season ranges from baroque to contemporary, from Händel’s Messiah to Verdi’s Requiem, from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto to Kurtág’s …concertante… op. 42.
As part of the Hungarian State Opera’s season ticket scheme, the orchestra will again be performing 10 different concert programmes conducted by its Chairman-Conductor Pinchas Steinberg, Principal Music Director Péter Halász, and renowned guest conductors: Alexander Lazarev, Paul Goodwin, Lawrence Foster, John Fiore, or Arthur Fagen, who is to conduct the big orchestral finale to the Shakespeare400+ Festival in May 2016. The programmes also feature renowned international guest soloists: Sofya Gulyak (piano), Alexander Gavrylyuk (piano), Hiromi Kikuchi (violin), Ken Hakii (viola) and many more.
An exclusive and unusual series of chamber concerts entitled Royal Music Hall put on by the Hungarian State Opera and members of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra continues after a slight re-tuning. Exclusive because the venue is the Székely Bertalan Parlour, the royal salon which seats an audience of only 80, and unusual because it offers a glimpse into the life of the Opera from a unique perspective. Within the intimate setting that chamber music provides, these concerts feature musicians whose work we generally only hear from the orchestra pit.
With a history stretching back more than a century and a half, the Budapest Philharmonic is Hungary’s oldest functioning orchestra. Its first concert on 20 November 1953 was conducted by Ferenc Erkel – along with 60 further performances. The orchestra can boast the world premieres of more than a hundred works, including such curiosities as the original 1889 premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.