Erkel Chamber Orchestra
THE ERKEL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
The Erkel Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1985 by freshmen of the Béla Bartók Music Conservatory in Budapest. The master and artistic leader of newly formed ensemble was Lili Áldor, the concertmaster has been Esztár Lesták Bedő since the very beginning. Half a year after their formation, in 1986 they achieved an exceptional First Prize at a chamber orchestra competition organized by the Belgian Royal Family, followed by two others in 1988 and 1990 in Valencia, Spain. The orchestra’s first subscription concert series was held at the Liszt Academy of Music in 1989. Their first great audience success came – with six encores – in Valencia, Spain: the orchestra was to appear as Honorary Guest Orchestra of the 1992 Gala Concert.
They bursted into the Hungarian musical scene in 1992, when accompanying Leonidas Kavakos and Péter Nagy at Kavakos’ first Budapest concert, playing Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto and Double concerto without a conductor. The critically highly acclaimed concert was followed by an other with Mozart’s Violin concerto in A major. The Chamber Orchestra has been resident orchestra at the József Szigeti International Competition, in 1994 at the International Flute Competition, then in 2000 at the International Harpsichord Competition. Ferenc Rados, professor of the Liszt Academy of Music has greatly contributed to the orchestra’s professional improvement by leading many orchestral rehearsals.
In 1997 they performed works of Hungarian composers at the live radio concert series of the European Broadcasting Union that was broadcast in 18 countries. In 1998 they performed a Jean Francaix memorial concert featuring Claude Francaix, György Lakatos and Lajos Lencsés. In 1999 they have toured with enormous success in China, with cellist Miklós Perényi as their soloist.
In their performance of Mozart’s two g minor symphonies (K. 183 and K. 550) in 2002 the critics seemed to recognize tones that harbinger the 21st century.
The repertoire of the orchestra encompasses all the works from early baroque to 21st century music that form the basis of standard concert practice. They have world premiered or premiered more than 25 works. The orchestra is greatly devoted to contemporary music. In 2005 they played the world premiere of the Flute concerto of famous American harpsichordist, pianist, and composer Anthony Newman at the Budapest Spring Festival, conducted by the composer. Many young composeres have dedicated works for the orchestra. They are eager to perform with young Hungarian soloists. In 2006 they recorded concertos of Sperger an Wanhall for Hungaroton featuring Zsolt Fejérvári, previous double-bass player of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. In 2002 they recorded the volin concertos of Michael Haydn with young Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen, while in 2006 the orchestra played all of Mozart’s violin concertos in two recitals at the Palace of Arts, Budapest. A concert DVD was released by Hungaroton.
They give 70 to 80 concerts annualy, most of wich – because of the ensemble’s beautiful, gentle sound – are broadcast on the Hungarian Radio. In addition to home concerts the orchestra has been on tour in several European countries (France, Belgium, Rumania, Spain etc.). They are regularly reinvited to most venues.
To name a few of their guest performers: Leonidas Kavakos, Peter Damm, Toby Hoffmann, Anthony Newman, Claude Francaix, Lencsés Lajos, Sass Sylvia, Perényi Miklós, Nagy Péter, Lakatos György, Vukán György.