The Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will commemorate its 80th anniversary on December 19 at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall of MÜPA Budapest.
Márton Devich, Director of Bartók Radio and Managing Director of the Hungarian Radio Art Ensembles, expressed:
We aimed to curate a program that reflects our essence while being exceptionally beautiful and representative.”
The anniversary concert, featuring conductors Tamás Vásáry, János Kovács, and Ricardo Frizza, will include masterpieces such as
Franz Liszt’s Les Préludes, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42, and Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.
Over its 80 years, the orchestra has been led by illustrious conductors, including János Ferencsik, László Somogyi, György Lehel, and Ádám Fischer.
Conductor János Ferencsik during a recording session with the Radio Symphony orchestra in 1983. Via Fortepan / Szalay Zoltán
Devich highlighted the significance of the 80th-anniversary book, co-authored by Ferenc László, offering an engaging and comprehensive history of the orchestra. Noteworthy contributions from artists like György Geiger and violinist Ildikó Fodor enrich the visual narrative, featuring special photos of young talents like Zoltán Kocsis and Dezsőr Ránky.
Ferenc László, co-author of “On the Wavelength of Music,” acknowledged the book’s challenge:
presenting the orchestra’s institutional history and capturing its inner life.
The surviving orchestra diary provided insights into not just concerts and recordings but also the orchestra’s interpersonal dynamics and assessments of conductors and artists.
György Lehel conducting the ensemble in Studio 4, 1976. Via Fortepan / Szalay Zoltán
Emphasizing the orchestra’s uniqueness among symphonic ensembles, László and Devich sought to contextualize its journey within the broader scope of Hungarian history in the 20th century and the turn of the millennium.