The Budapest Festival Orchestra is more than music, its story is just as much about the courage to stand up for civil initiatives, as this artistic institution is run by the BFO Foundation, an independent civil organization. The history of the BFO exemplifies the possibility to create and maintain enduring values in cultural life by joining the forces of the public and the private sector in society.
A new chapter began in the life of the BFO when in 1992, based on an agreement concluded between the BFO Foundation, established in the same year, and the Municipality of Budapest, the BFO became the permanent orchestra of Budapest. The agreement, unprecedented not just in Hungary, but in the entire region of Eastern Europe, shared obligations and responsibilities: the Municipality was to pay for the salaries of musicians and management, whereas the Foundation was to bear all other expenses. In order to ensure artistic autonomy, the Music Director was to be appointed by the Foundation, while the Managing Director by the City Council, on the recommendation of the Foundation.
In spite of a marvellous start and tremendous artistic success, this “shared maintenance” gradually became the source of an increasing number of problems and conflicts. Therefore, after seven years, based on a new agreement with the Municipality of Budapest, the Foundation took over the maintenance of the Orchestra. As of autumn 2000, the BFO is owned and operated by the BFO Foundation alone.
What is worth knowing about the Foundation?
Its main main objective is to provide the material, legal and personal conditions for the operation of the Orchestra, as well as to ensure its artistic exellence by appointing its Artistic Director. The Foundation’s main body is the Board of Directors. Its members are individuals fond of music, civilians, citizens of Budapest, if you like, who find it important that Budapest and Hungary should have an orchestra of world renown. They are all volunteers. Not only do they work for free, but they also support the orchestra financially as far as possible, because they consider it an honour to be part of this great endeavour.
The Foundation is a non-profit organization of pre-eminent public utility, its finances are open, transparent and audited.
Chariman of the Board:
István Boros, György Granasztói †, Edina Heal, Miklós Marschall, Konstantin Schimert, Tamiko Soros, János Strohmayer, András Szecskay, Sylvia Tóth, Hubertus von Wulffen, Izabella Zwack, Zoltán Varga
Members of the Supervisory Board:
Csaba László (chairman), Pál Jalsovszky, Beáta Juvancz, Ádám Terták
Chairman of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Association:
András Batta, Gábor Bojár, Károly Dán, János Dávid, László Donáth, Zsófia Dornbachné Zachár, Botond Elekes, Mária Feuer, Kinga Göncz, Gábor Győző, Charles Huebner, Péterné Jüttner, Mihály K. Varga, David Kirkby, Mihály Kökény, Aladár Madarász, Bálint Nagy, Károly Nagy, József Péter, Gergely Prőhle, János Schiffer, Imre Sívó, Éva Sólyom, János Sziklai, László Tihanyi, Mark Wodlinger
Founders of the BFO Foundation
Budapest Bank * Municipal Gas Works * Shell Hungary * Philips Hungary * Coopholding * ÁB-AEGON Insurance Company * Inter-Európa Bank * Interag * Kereskedelmi és Hitelbank * PricewaterhouseCoopers * Hibtrade International Ltd. * Általános Értékforgalmi Bank * BNP-Dresdner Bank (Hungary) * MATÁV * HungarHotels * Mavad * Budapest Festival Orchestra Association