Budapest Festival Orchestra Members

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Pub Crawl Budapest

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The Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) is one of Hungary’s most renowned and respected orchestras. Founded in 1983 by Iván Fischer and Zoltán Kocsis, the orchestra is known for its exceptional musicality and passionate performances. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the key members of the BFO.

1. Iván Fischer – Conductor and Founder

Iván Fischer is not only the co-founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra but also its principal conductor. He has been the driving force behind the orchestra’s success, leading numerous critically acclaimed performances worldwide. Fischer’s innovative approach and attention to detail have earned him international recognition and admiration.

Tip: Watch Fischer’s masterclasses

If you’re interested in learning more about conducting, make sure to watch Fischer’s masterclasses available online. His insights and techniques are invaluable for aspiring conductors and music enthusiasts.

2. Zoltán Kocsis – Co-Founder and Former Music Director

Zoltán Kocsis, a renowned Hungarian pianist, collaborated with Iván Fischer to establish the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Although Kocsis sadly passed away in 2016, his profound impact on the orchestra’s formation and musical direction remains influential to this day. As the BFO’s former music director, Kocsis’s legacy is honored through the orchestra’s dedication to musical excellence.

Interesting Fact: Kocsis’s Recognition

In addition to his work with the BFO, Zoltán Kocsis was also recognized for his outstanding solo performances and recordings, particularly of Hungarian composers, including Béla Bartók and Franz Liszt.

3. Principal Musicians

The Budapest Festival Orchestra is composed of highly talented musicians who enrich the orchestra’s sound with their individual skills and expertise. Here are a few notable principal musicians:

3.1. Tamás Árdi – Concertmaster

Tamás Árdi is the concertmaster of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, leading the string section of the orchestra. As concertmaster, he not only plays a significant role in shaping the orchestra’s sound but also acts as a liaison between the conductor and the musicians.

3.2. János Bálint – Principal Flutist

János Bálint, the principal flutist of the BFO, is highly regarded for his exceptional flute playing. His virtuosic performances and lyrical interpretations contribute to the orchestra’s distinctive sound.

3.3. Ferenc Tarjáni – Principal Clarinetist

As the principal clarinetist of the BFO, Ferenc Tarjáni’s expressive playing and musicality bring depth and richness to the orchestra’s woodwind section.

3.4. Tamás Detrich – Principal Cellist

Tamás Detrich is the principal cellist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. His masterful cello playing adds warmth and beauty to the orchestra’s performances, particularly in the rich harmonies of symphonic works.

4. Collaborations with Guest Artists

In addition to its core members, the Budapest Festival Orchestra frequently collaborates with renowned guest artists and conductors. These collaborations bring new perspectives and enhance the orchestra’s ability to interpret a diverse range of musical styles.

Tip: Attend Live Performances

Experiencing a live performance by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, whether with its core members or with guest artists, is highly recommended. The orchestra’s energy, precision, and passion create an unforgettable experience for music lovers.


The Budapest Festival Orchestra, led by the visionary Iván Fischer, is an ensemble known for its exceptional musicality and captivating performances. From the orchestra’s co-founder, Zoltán Kocsis, to the talented principal musicians, each member contributes to the orchestra’s distinct sound. Collaborations with guest artists further enrich their repertoire. Whether you are a classical music enthusiast or a budding musician, exploring the world of the Budapest Festival Orchestra is a remarkable journey worth embarking on.

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Budapest Festival Orchestra Members