History of the International Haydn Festival Haydn Festival 2016
Haydn Festival 2015
Haydn Festival 2014
Haydn Festival 2013
Haydn Festival 2012
In 1995 the members of the Budapest Strings chamber orchestra decided to organize a series of concerts in the wonderful Hall of Mirrors at the Esterházy palace at Fertőd [Esterhaza]. The then curator of the palace museum, Jolán Bak, was very happy to go along with the idea, and a series of four concerts - on successive days - came to fruition with the name HAYDN FESTIVAL. Since before this there had been no regular musical life at the Palace of Esterhaza, and the 1995 concerts given by the Budapest Strings were extremely successful, a process was begun whereby concerts were held each summer leading to the situation today where the Palace has become once again a venue that attracts a rich and varied selection of musical events.
The "Budapest Strings International Haydn Festival" has since grown into one of the most prestigious musical events at the Palace. Already in 1996, its second year, it appeared before audiences with a planned series of concerts still valid today: 10 days of concerts with 7 or 8 different types of ensemble (orchestra, chamber, solo). A common feature of these concerts is that at least one Haydn composition should be included, surrounded by music from the periods before and after that of the composer, in this way highlighting the musical greatness of Joseph Haydn.
After the success of the second Festival, the members of the orchestra - seeing the growing interest and anticipating the difficulties of organizing the concerts - asked Kálmán Strém, a concert organizer of great experience, to organize the "Budapest Strings Haydn Festival", which he willingly undertook to do. (The newspapers often incorrectly state that Kálmán Strém was the founder of the Haydn Festival, but in fact he was not; he joined it in its third year as the organizer.)
In recent years the July "International Haydn Festival" has become one of the most attractive musical events of the summer, every concert playing to a full house. Many of those who attend the Festival return each year, visitors coming not just from Hungary, but from Austria and Germany as well. Renowned soloists and musical ensembles from Hungary and abroad are pleased to be invited to take part, feeling it a privilege to perform within the same walls where Haydn himself once played. At the same time we can say that the Budapest Strings' summer concerts have drawn attention to the neglected condition of the Palace, thanks to which today a whole series of musical events welcome music lovers to a building which is being restored. It looks therefore as though the original goal can be achieved: that of making the Esterhaza Palace once again the home of lively and varied music-making, as it was in its heyday.
In July 2009 the Budapest Strings was celebrating a double jubilee at Esterhaza: the 200th anniversary of the death of Joseph Haydn, and the 15th anniversary of the "International Haydn Festival". The jubilee was unforgettable as world famous artists were invited and a gripping concert program was provided.