In December 1981, the members of a small chamber orchestra – established by 8 teachers of Frédéric Chopin Music School from Gödöllő – decided to debut performing baroque music at the Christmas Festival of the town. That is how the Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra’s history began. This orchestra was the legal predecessor of the institution that engages more than 70-80 musicians. The orchestra celebrated its 30th anniversary in December 2011. During the decades it became a bright spot in the cultural life of the town, as well as an institution that provides both the audience and the performers with valuable amusement.
Most of the founding members of the orchestra are still teachers of Frédéric Chopin Music School. The former string orchestra and its successor have being sponsored by Gödöllő community since 1986.
5 years of workshop and the significant extension of the chamber orchestra led to the appointment of a principal conductor.
László Tolmácsy was the first conductor; Pál Farkas was assumed the post in 1988.
In 1995, Gábor Horti was invited as principal conductor. His music directorship was distinguished by a remarkable professional improvement. Due to the intensive summer workshops, the unwaveringly thorough preparation and the expansion of the repertoire a permanent symphony orchestra was born with performance capabilities of the highest quality.
The same year a baroque concert was performed, directed by János Bali, who is an expert of the baroque music. Under his direction, the orchestra prepares a new performance each year, including compositions of Bach. Mr. Bali’s dynamic and innovative approach, as well as his flawless sense of style guarantees the authenticity and the success of the concerts.
1997 signals a new era for the institution, as its first recording was released by Architekton PLC. The first album, labelled Royal Court Music From The 18th Century was followed by a unique album presenting the Viennese classical symphonies in Hungary. The first CD includes compositions of Mozart, Haydn, Dittersdorf and Csermák, all conducted by Gábor Horti. On the second album the Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra plays works of Druschetzky and Zimmermann, led by János Bali.
The intensive summer workshops which take place in collaboration with renowned Hungarian conductors and guest artists including Tamás Gál, Gergely Ménesi, Ádám Medveczky and Gábor Horváth are closed by highly successful concerts on the stage of the Royal Castle of Gödöllő.
Since October 2001, the permanent concertmaster of the Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra is Juniki Spartakus, who has proved his reputation as an outstanding musician. Previously, he worked as either principal violinist or concertmaster in well-known Hungarian ensembles, with regular guest appearances in the Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie, Austria. He has also collaborated in several chamber music performances as the concertmaster of Weiner-Szász Chamber Orchestra from Budapest. Juniki Spartakus’ activities as a soloist include performances of Mozart’s, Beethoven’s, Brahms’ and Paganini’s Violin Concertos. He is a frequent guest artist with various regional and foreign orchestras, too.
In addition to his performing career, he has been concertmaster of the Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra since becoming a Gödöllő resident. In this role, he serves as an invaluable member of the orchestra through his unparalleled artistry.
The Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra also acts as inspirational catalyst in the popular education of the Gödöllő area, welcoming the youth with lively and engaging concerts designed to provide deeper insight and further connection to the music. The orchestra preserves its deep engagement with Frédéric Chopin Music School, thus providing the most talented soloists of the new generation of musicians with an opportunity to perform with the orchestra.
From July 2003, the Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra functions as an independent institution. Nurturing the legacy of Frédéric Chopin Music School’s chamber orchestra, these days it participates in the development and implementation of new initiatives and projects under the auspices of Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra Foundation.
In January 2010, Gábor Horváth, teacher of the Liszt Academy of Music and Szent István Music School was invited, whose long-standing relationship with the orchestra led to his appointment as music director and principal conductor.
Today, the Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra plays a leading role in the cultural life of Gödöllő and the neighbouring communities, advocating for the transformative power that music can have.