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Xinmin Evening News
Right after Christmas in 1983 at the Concert Hall of Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest Hungary, a special concert was being held.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by young and talented conductor Ivan Fischer and co-founded by Ivan Fischer and his fellowman Zoltan Kocsis, presented their premiere. From the moment the Russlan and Ludmilla-Overture by Glinka was played, the newly-born orchestra showed their superb artistry and enthusiasm. Probably Fischer hadn’t imagined then that through the following 25 years of hard training and well trying, the orchestra would grow into an orchestry quoted by „Gramophone” as ranking the world’s top 20 symphony orchestras, where its place would be the 9th, way above some orchestras who were considered „grandfathers” or even „great-grandfathers” of BFO. At such accomplishment, Fischer himself is proud to announce that „this is a fantastic record in terms of our work.” On March 12th, this legendary orchestra will present a concert at Shanghai Grand Theater, so as for the audience to once again witness its development.

A young orchestra as BFO is, it has stood out among numerous music rivals within a short period of time, to which Fischer being the core person had contributed all his focus and dedication. At the early establishment of the orchestra, there lacked harmony among the musicians; Fischer went out of his way to encourage the orchestra members to practice chamber music in an unfixed combination, based on his advanced studying experience in Austria. Under unique training approaches of Fischer, the orchestra became more mature and hamornious.

Since the founding of BFO, Fischer has been leading his members through active exploration in various music fields from Baroque to modern times. Most Chinese music fans got to know the orchestra through its albums of folk music pieces, especially through their perfect interpretation on pieces by Hungaruan composers such as Liszt, Bartok and Kodaly, which have won prizes for the orchestra, including that on Gramophone. Fischer was apparantly considered „Hungarian music expert”. However, the Hungarian conductor is more ambitious than that. He was quoted as saying,”Music comes from the soul, which produces similar feelings towards beauty even under different cultural background.” To him, BFO ought to be an internationalized orchestra, and therefore the music pieces played by the orchestra have broken the country boundaries and become interesting and empathetic to the members of the orchestra.

Under such conception, the orchestra has always kept a diversified and original repertoire, more than half of which are pieces by German and Austrian composers, including Beethoven, Mahler, Richard Strauss, etc.