Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok
The Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok, the youngest professional orchestra in Hungary, was founded as a youth orchestra in 1970. Through the years most members of the orchestra became students of the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest as well as young artists and music teachers. The orchestra has borne the name of the world famous Hungarian composer and conductor, Ernõ Dohnányi since 1989, thus committed itself to the promotion of his works. Supported and maintained by the Municipality of Budapest, the orchestra was qualified to be a professional symphony orchestra in 1993.
In recent years the orchestra's role in Hungarian music life has become increasingly significant. Every season they run 4-5 concert series at the Liszt Academy of Music, the Municipal Concert Hall (Vigadó) and the Town Hall of Budafok, presenting the most significant pieces of the international repertoire with highly renowned Hungarian and international guest conductors and soloists. The orchestra lays great emphasis on less frequently heard masterpieces of the music literature, particularly that of the 20th century and of Hungarian contemporary composers. Thanks to the conscious educational activity of the orchestra a large number of outstanding orchestral musicians have gained professional praxis in the ensemble during the past decade.
Concertmasters, soloists, first wind players and over fifty recognised instrumentalists of many of the greatest Hungarian orchestras have started their career as musicians of the Dohnányi Orchestra. The ensemble is sought after as performer of representative, festive events of Hungarian companies, institutions. They frequently appear at events organised by the agency "Hungaria Concerts" and at the New Year's Concerts at the Hungarian State Opera House.
Within a very short period of time the orchestra has become a regular performer of the international concert scene. Still as a youth orchestra they gave highly successful concerts at festivals in Munich, Ulm, Strasbourg and Valencia. In 1990 they participated in a tour of several weeks organised by CBS and TELE5 Television Companies in Spain. They performed for thousands of spectators at the New Year' s Concert of the Rome Santa Maria Maggiore Cathedral. The highlight of the youth ensemble's career was a three-week Mexican tour in 1992. The year after they took part at the "Sonoptikum 1993" Festival in the Frankfurt Alter Oper already as a professional orchestra, they gave a concert at the Rheingau Festival in the summer of 1995, and in the summer of 1996 the ensemble performed in Gelnhausen (Hessen, Germany) within the framework of the "Hessentag" celebration series. In February 1998 the ensemble gave concerts in Lisbon. In 1998 they went on a summer tour in Spain and in December they were touring the Netherlands, where they gave a concert at one of the world's most prestigious concert halls, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The ensemble performed at a festive concert on the national day of Hungary at the Hannover Expo 2000. The performance of the orchestra was a smashing success at the Gala Concerts of the 1st Choir Olympics in Linz (Austria) in July 2000, and in 2004 (08.-16. July) at the 3rd Choir Olympics in Bremen. After these Gala Concerts the ensemble went on a successful tour in France (17.-24. July 2004) and in this year (10.-15. March) in Italy and in France.
The Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok has released many CD recordings. They have taken the highly successful recording of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on a concert tour in the Netherlands in April 1996. Their next recording, "Orchestral Fireworks" includes virtuoso pieces for symphony orchestra, while their last releases "Happy New Millennium", Happy New Year 2001, 2002 and New Year's Concerts 2003, 2004 include popular compositions. In 2001 they recorded Bartók's Concerto and Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus.