Pannon Philharmonic

Pannon Philharmonic

The Pannon Philharmonic, established in 1811, is one of Hungary’s best-known and most renowned orchestras. The orchestra was founded in Pécs, in the south of Hungary, by Mozart’s contemporary, the Viennese conductor Johann Georg Lickl. The music scene in the city, designated to be the European Capital of Culture in 2010, is based on European traditions. The ensemble is the resident orchestra of the concert hall with the most extraordinary acoustics also built in 2010, the Kodály Centre. Still, it can also boast a concert subscription series in Müpa, Budapest and regularly performs within the framework of the Musik der Meister Series of the Viennese Musikverein. The orchestra has collaborated with such international soloists as Jessica Pratt, Dejan Lazić, Andriy Yurkevych, Olari Elts, Maxim Vengerov, Gérard Korsten and Benjamin Schmid.

Also, the elite of the Hungarian music scene – Peter Eötvös, Gergely Bogányi, Dezső Ránki, István Várdai and Barnabás Kelemen, are keen to play alongside them. The ensemble is a coproduction partner of Müpa’s exclusive opera productions and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Recently, they have taken to the stage in some of the most prominent concert halls in Europe, ranging from the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Graz, Essen, Rouen, Zurich, Leipzig, Hamburg, Geneva, London, Luzern, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Ljubljana and Belgrade to the Grand Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. The audience attending the concerts of the Pannon Philharmonic, whose vast repertoire ranges from Baroque to Contemporary music, has grown massively in the past fifteen years.

As the professional partner of the Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation, the ensemble has allowed numerous young talents to introduce themselves to the public. In Pécs, the orchestra offers various programmes to all age groups of youth, so its audience base built on the next generation is also significant. At the same time, the Pannon Philharmonic by no means forgets about the elderly or people in need: many of their charitable initiatives are well-known, ranging from benefit concerts for Ukrainian refugees to EU cooperation projects specially devised for the residents of old people’s homes.

In 2024 year, the Pannon Philharmonic celebrates its 20th NAME day and the success of a national and international-standard art workshop and brand. The ensemble, never making professional compromises, will reach another critical stage on its path in January 2024. Tibor Bogányi is taking farewell from his position as chief conductor and is succeeded by Gergely Kesselyák. 

The orchestra has been awarded the internationally prestigious Le Grand Prix culturel de la Ville de Pécs, the Cultural Grand Prix of the City of Pécs, on Pécs City Day in September 2023. Since 2011 the Grand Prize has been awarded by the City Council to outstanding artists whose work contributes to the international prestige and recognition of the city and thedevelop its character as a cultural centre. The Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra has received the award for decades of high-quality artistic work along with such prominent recipients as music artists Placido Domingo, Al Di Meola, Zoltán Kocsis, Jenő Jandó and Prof. Dr. Tamás Lakner, actress Éva Vári, visual artist, Ilona Keserü and the Tanac Folk Dance Ensemble together with the Vizin Orchestra bringing international recognition to the city in the field of folk dance.

The Pannon Philharmonic is the Ambassador of quality.