Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra
The Hungarian Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1963 by the former students of the Franz Liszt Music Academy, is one of the most famous ensembles of the Central European region and well known in the international music scene for decades. It played in prestigious concert venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Opera in Sydney, the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Although Franz Liszt has never composed for strings, this ensemble has chosen his name as an expression of deep admiration. The first artistic director of the ensemble was Frigyes Sándor, who was also professor of the Franz Liszt Music Academy. He played an important role in the work of the orchestra. After his death in 1979, János Rolla continues his work as the artistic director of the ensemble.
"....The string group boasts the rhythmic flexibility of the smallest of ensembles, as well as the synchronized bowing and lushness associated with the larger orchestras. They seemed almost to breathe together with the music, a furtive glance from director János Rolla being as effective as a conductor's baton. And most importantly, they looked as if they were having a ball..." /The Washington Post, Octavio Roca/
Its repertory spans almost the entire history of music from Monteverdi, Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart to the romantics and to the 20th century composers. The orchestra has recorded more than 200 discs for publishers such as the Sony Classical, the CBS, the Teldec, EMI, Erato, Denon or the Hungarian Hungaroton. The orchestra was awarded the Grand Prix of the French Académie de Disque in Paris on three different occasions and has the "Record of the Year" award in Hungary many times.
The orchestra regularly tours Europe, the USA, South America, Far East, Australia and performs at renowned festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Ascona, Besancon, Moritzburg, Edinburgh, Bath, Flanders, Helsinki, Lucerne, Gstaad, Montreux, Prades and Santander. On its concerts and recordings, the Orchestra featured such world famous conductors and soloists as: Heinz Holliger, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Adam Fischer, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Maurice André, Martha Argerich, Miklós Perényi, András Schiff, Zoltán Kocsis, Dezsö Ránki, Tamás Vasary, Péter Frankl, György Pauk, Shlomo Mintz, Vadim Repin, Midori, Janos Starker, Ruggero Raimondi and Edita Gruberova.
"In more than sixty years on the concert stage, I have rarely had as much pleasure, personal fulfillment and friendly warmth than the times that I was playing or recording with my friends in the orchestra. Their devotion to the highest quality of music making, their happiness in bringing a phrase to life, in caressing the beauties of music is unforgettable. I can remember how hard it was for me to live up the standards of their performances!" /Isaac Stern, violinist/
The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra consists of 16 strings and according to the programmes a harpsichord soloist completes the ensemble, as well as wind and other instrumentalists. The ensemble that celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2008 became the representative not only of the Hungarian but the international classical music life as well and they try to make the world famous Hungarian string traditions popular everywhere in the world.