The Budapest Festival Orchestra is rated among the top orchestras in the world. The orchestra regularly performs at the most important concert venues of the international music scene, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna and the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican Centre in London. They have repeatedly been invited to perform at international festivals, such as the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Salzburg Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival.
Iván Fischer is the founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He is an honorary conductor of Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester. In recent years he has also gained a reputation as a composer, with his works being performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and Austria. He has directed a number of successful opera productions, and, in 2018, founded the Vicenza Opera Festival.
„The Budapest Festival Orchestra has, under its director of music Iván Fischer, become one of Europe’s most important ensembles… Fischer is a dynamic leader and refuses to play by the book – which is why he gets the results he does.“
BBC Music Magazine, September 2021
„It’s one of those performances that makes one think of the piece differently and that in itself is cause for celebration and reassassement.“
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians who became acquainted as part of the European Community Youth Orchestra (now EUYO). There are now about 60 members of the COE, who pursue parallel careers as principals or section leaders of nationally-based orchestras, eminent chamber musicians, and as tutors of music.
From the start, the COE’s identity was shaped by its partnerships with leading conductors and soloists. It was Claudio Abbado above all who served as an important mentor in the early years. He led the COE in staged works such as Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, and conducted numerous concerts featuring works by Schubert and Brahms in particular. Nikolaus Harnoncourt also had a major influence on the development of the COE through his performances and recordings of all of the Beethoven symphonies, as well as through opera productions at the Salzburg, Vienna, and Styriarte festivals.
Currently, the Orchestra works closely with Sir András Schiff and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who are both Honorary Members, following in the footsteps of Bernard Haitink and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
The COE has strong links with many of the major festivals and concert halls in Europe including the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Kammermusiksaal der Philharmonie in Berlin, the Cologne, Luxembourg and Paris Philharmonies, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. In partnership with the Kronberg Academy, the COE becomes the first-ever Orchestra-in-residence at the Casals Forum in Kronberg from 2022. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is also Orchestra-in-residence at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt from 2022.
With more than 250 works in its discography, the COE’s CDs have won numerous international prizes, including two Grammys and three Gramophone Record of the Year Awards. Their most recent release is an archive recording of the Schubert Symphonies, performed at the Styriarte Festival in Graz in 1988 with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, released by ICA Classics. The 4-CD box-set has been enthusiastically received by the critics internationally, and we have now released a second box-set of archive recordings with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, featuring works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. In January 2022, we also released all of the Sibelius Symphonies on DVD and BluRay, conducted by Paavo Berglund at the Helsinki Festival in 1998.
The COE is a private orchestra which receives invaluable financial support from particularly the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and a further number of Friends including Dasha Shenkman, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, the Rupert Hughes Will Trust, the Underwood Trust, the 35th Anniversary Friends and American Friends.
„There are worse ways to start the day than with four Mozart Salzburg divertimenti: all the better when performed in Salzburg and with such distinction and evident affection as was brought to them by soloists from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.“
Seen and heard international, 26th January 2020
„At its end, this “dream team” of players and conductor took thunderous applause.“
26 November 2022 Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall – 30 November 2022 Isarphilharmonie Munich – 3 December 2022 De Singel, Antwerpen – 4 December 2022 Kölner Phlharmonie
Antonio Pappano, conductor / Janine Jansen, violin M. Ravel: “Le Tombeau de Couperin” for orchestra S. Prokofiev:Violin concerto no.1 op.19 A. Dvořák: Serenade for orchestra Z. Kodály: “Dances from Galánta” for Symphony Orchestra
“One would like to experience this great troupe more often.”
Münchner Merkur, 2 December 2022
“This was woodwind playing at its finest with tight ensemble and beautiful phrasing.”
bachtrack, 5 December 2022
31 May 2022 Dresdner Musikfestspiele – 1 June 2022 Philharmonie de Luxembourg – 3 June 2022 Kölner Philharmonie – 5 June 2022 Musikverein Wien – 7 June 2022 Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor / Magdalena Kožená, mezzosopran / Andrew Staples, tenor R. Strauss: Metamorphosen. Study for 23 solo strings TrV 290 G. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde. A symphony for one tenor and one alto voice and orchestra
“The Dresden guest performance of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Sir Simon RattIe, however, once again stood out clearly from the concert series.”
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, 2 June 2022
“There was long, frenetic applause at the end.”
Sächsische Zeitung, 2. June 2022
“The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, once founded by Claudio Abbado, with conductor Sir Simon Rattle – with all caution – relies on very direct access. This resulted in a quasi instrumentally revealing music theatre.”
Der Standard, 8 June 2022
6 October 2019 András Schiff J. Haydn: Overture to L’isola disabitata in G minor, Hob Ia:13 / Haydn: Piano Concerto No. 11 in D major / Symphony No. 88 in G major F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 / Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 “The Italian”