The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra is the oldest and most illustrious of Hungary's orchestras. It was founded in 1853 by Hungarian composer Ferenc Erkel, who led the orchestra until 1871. He was followed by Hans Richter (1871 - 1875), Sándor Erkel (1875 - 1900), István Kerner (1900 - 1918), and Ernst von Dohnányi (1919 - 1944). Since World War II, music directors have included Otto Klemperer, János Ferencsik, András Kórody, and Rico Saccani. Composers such as Liszt, Brahms, Goldmark, Mahler, Bartók, Kodály, and Dohnányi all wrote works for the orchestra. The members are chosen from among the best players at the Budapest Opera House. The orchestra performs in this opera house, where it offers one of the longest-running programs of subscription concerts in Europe (since 1853). The ensemble has toured throughout Europe, the United States, and Japan, and has done extensive recording.
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