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Iván Fischer made his dream come true when he founded the BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA (BFO) in 1983 together with Zoltán Kocsis. From the very beginning, the ambition of the ensemble has been to share music of the highest quality and to serve the community in the most diverse ways.

The BFO is rated among the top ten orchestras in the world. The orchestra regularly performs at the most important concert venues on the international music scene, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican Centre in London. They have repeatedly been invited to perform at international festivals such as the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Edinburgh International Festival. The BFO has won two Gramophone Awards. It was nominated for a Grammy in 2013 for its recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and won the Diapason d’Or and the Italian Toblacher Komponierhäuschen prize for its recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in 2014. The BFO received the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for Best Foreign Symphony Orchestra in 2016.

The BFO’S innovative concerts, such as the Autism-friendly Cocoa Concerts, Surprise Concerts, and musical marathons, are well known around the world. The Midnight Music concerts attract young adults, while the Dancing on the Square project integrates disadvantaged children. The orchestra promotes free Community Weeks and co-produces the Bridging Europe festival with Müpa Budapest.

Iván Fischer conducts and directs the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s opera productions. These have been invited to the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, and the Abu Dhabi Festival. The Marriage of Figaro was ranked first on the New York Magazine list of the best events in classical music in 2013. The Vicenza Opera Festival, founded by Iván Fischer, was inaugurated in the autumn of 2018.