The members of the Budapest String Chamber Orchestra decided in 1995 to hold a series of concerts in the middle of summer in the magnificent mirror hall of the Eszterházy Castle in Fertőd. Jolán Bak, then director of the museum operating in the castle, welcomed the idea wholeheartedly, and the series of concerts – four concerts in four consecutive days – was realized under the name HAYDN FESTIVAL. As there had not been regular musical life in the Eszterházy Castle before that, the highly successful series of concerts by the Budapest Strings in 1995started a process, which has now made the castle once again an attractive venue for rich and diverse musical programs.
In recent years, the “International Haydn Festival” in July has become one of the most attractive musical events of the summer, with all the concerts taking place in front of a full house, and the audience include regular visitors returning year after year not only from Hungary but also from Austria and Germany. The most prestigious soloists and ensembles in the domestic and international music scene has always been glad to accept the invitation, feeling honoured to be able to perform within the walls where Haydn himself used to play. At the same time, we take pride in the fact that the series of summer concerts of the Budapest Strings drew attention to the rather miserable condition of the castle, and thanks to this, a whole series of music events await music fans in a partially renovated building. Thus, it seems that the original goal of the festival, to make the Eszterházy Castle in Fertőd, just like in its heyday, once again home to lively and diverse musical events, has been met.