In 1943, conductor Ernst von Dohnányi founded the Symphony Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio and Television. Today, that orchestra, , part of the Hungarian Television and Broadcasting Organisation, is known as Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (= HRSO), and outside Hungary as the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. Its concerts are still broadcast in Hungary and elsewhere.
After World War II, the Orchestra was established after the World War II and under its Principal Conductor György Lehel has won some distinction. Through its frequent broadcasts and its recordings it has become widely known, and its tours have taken it to the countries of Eastern and Western Europe as well as to the USA of America and Canada. The Orchestra has toured 45 countries on four continents thus far. The Orchestra regularly plays at the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy and the Budapest Convention Center.
The Orchestra has worked with some of the most distinguished conductors and soloists of our time, in concert and on recordings, including Otto Klemperer, Carlo Zecchi, István Kertész, Aldo Ceccato, Peter Eötvös, Claudio Abbado, Lamberto Gardelli, Antal Doráti, Georg Solti, Sir John Barbirolli, and Leopold Stokowski. Since its founding, the orchestra's Music Directors have been János Ferencsik (1945), Tibor Polgár (1945), Lázló Somogyi (1951), György Lehel (1956), and András Ligeti (1989). Tamás Vásáry was Chief Musical Director of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1993 to 2004 and since 2004 has served as lifetime honorary Chief Musical Director. Vásáry has recorded a L.v. Beethoven symphony cycle with the Orchestra for Hungaroton. In September 2006 Iván Fischer assumed the GMD position of Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He started Budapest Wagner Days project at the Palace of Arts, Budapest in 2006.
The Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Budapest Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the best in Europe, right up there with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The Orchestra enjoys a reputation for its interpretations (playing and recording) of the Hungarian symphonic literature, especially works by living composers. It has been bestowed much praise from critics worldwide, especially for its L.v. Beethoven concert series.