The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra (Budapesti Filharmóniai Társaság Zenekara) (= BPO), founded in 1853 by the Hungarian composer Ferenc Erkel, is the oldest and one of the most prestigious Hungarian orchestras today as well as being considered one of the leading orchestral ensembles in Europe. Its long and rich musical history and traditions have been formed by outstanding musicians including János Richter, Gustav Mahler, Johannes Brahms, Ernst von Dohnányi, János Ferencsik and others.
The BPO is made-up of the finest members selected from the Budapest Opera House. The Orchestra' home, the Budapest Opera House, is one of the best known symbols of Hungary's rich cultural history. It is here where most of the concerts of the Orchestra take place, a part of them offered as subscription concerts which is a tradition introduced and maintained (seven years prior to the Wiener Philharmoniker) since 1853.
The BPO is also famous for its performances of Works - some of them written originally for the Orchestra - by such composers as Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Goldmark, G. Mahler, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály and Dohnányi. The BPO has made numerous concert tours in most of the European countries, the United States and Japan, all to critical acclaim.
Without a Music Director for many years, the BPO is particularly proud and happy to have been associated with Rico Saccani as its Music Director and Artistic Adviser since 1997 and under his artistic direction has not only enchanted Hungarian audiences but also resumed its foreign guest appearances, tours and recording activities.