Over 200 Years Old, With all the More Vitality


The 210-year-old Pannon Philharmonic fosters a centuries-long musical tradition in a state-of-the-art and dynamic framework. In December this year, the orchestra is awaiting the audience with its festive jubilee concert.

The Pécs-based musical ensemble has become of central importance in the Hungarian music scene, reflected by widespread international acclaim. It is the only non-Budapest-based orchestra in Hungary to run a hugely successful subscription series in Müpa for 15 years.

It is a true breakthrough in the history of Hungarian music that the Pécs-based orchestra will have the opportunity to perform in the grand hall of the Musikverein on six occasions, within the framework of the long-standing Musik der Meister series between October 2021 and June 2023. The orchestra can thank its high standards and quality for the invitation.

The resident orchestra of the Kodály Center in Pécs will celebrate the 210th anniversary of its birth with a homage to founder Johann Georg Lickl in a festive jubilee concert in Pécs, the Baranya county seat, on December 9, and in Müpa in Budapest on December 10.

The legal predecessor of the ensemble was the Music Association, founded in 1811 by Lickl, a contemporary of Mozart and a student of Haydn, who had moved to Pécs. The association gave its first concert on December 9, 1811. In the early 19th century, Lickl was already a celebrated composer in Vienna and was offered a position by the Bishop of Pécs in 1806.

Intense Music Life

The young master’s presence catalyzed an intense music life in the city. Lickl employed musicians from Vienna and soon turned the ensemble into Hungary’s best orchestra. The close and vigorous musical relationship between Vienna and Pécs of old, when compositions premiered in Vienna soon followed on the stage in the Baranya county seat, cannot be revived fully through the Musik der Meister series, but it undoubtedly keeps Lickl’s tradition alive.

In December, the opening piece of the festive jubilee concert will be the orchestral version of a four-hand piano sonata written by Lickl himself. The transcription for a symphony orchestra was carried out by the ensemble’s permanent conductor, András Vass. The night will continue with Brahms‘ burnished “Piano Concerto in D minor,” representing a serious technical and mental challenge for the soloist. The event will conclude with Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” simultaneously revealing to us the joy of visual art, the Russian universe of legends, and Romantic program music.

The audience will see and hear the acclaimed concert pianist Nelson Goerner on the stage, with the orchestra will be playing under the baton of the chief conductor, Gilbert Varga. The National Cultural Fund of Hungary is funding the production.

For further information, please visit our website at https://www.pfz.hu/en.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of November 5, 2021.

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