Pannon Philharmonic, the symphony orchestra of the city of Pécs, became a primal artistic ensemble of Hungary during the last decade. The more than 200-year old orchestra’s founder was the composer George Lickl, who moved to the city from Vienna upon the request of the bishop of Pécs, and – as W. A. Mozart’s contemporary – established the predecessor orchestra with the musical tastes and high expectations of the Viennese citizens.
Located near the Croatian, Slovenian and Austrian borders, Pécs is a regional centre for science and arts, beloved by artists due to its special sub Mediterranean climate. The city’s cultural life was boosted through the renovation and construction of new cultural venues in the European Capital of Culture project in 2010. These investments helped Pécs to establish itself on the international scene as a possible venue for internationally acclaimed events, and to be able to host the EUROPA CANTAT Pécs 2015 international choir festival.
The Pannon Philharmonic was the winner of all these changes; it has found a home as the resident orchestra of the Kodály Centre, a world class concert and conference hall built in 2010.
Since 2011 the orchestra’s Chief Conductor is Tibor Bogányi, the Resident Conductor is András Vass. The orchestra maintained a special relation with Zoltán Kocsis, who was Permanent Guest Conductor.
The orchestra is constantly present in the Hungarian capital’s musical life; it has maintained a critically acclaimed subscription series at Müpa – the Palace of Arts in Budapest for more than a decade. As a special recognition of the work of the Hungarian symphony orchestras, in 2012, the Hungarian state entitled the Pannon Philharmonic as a “National Orchestra” as one of the cornerstones of the Hungarian cultural values to be protected and eligible to be supported.
The Pannon Philharmonic is a regular guest at the most important Hungarian festivals, such as the Budapest Spring Festival, the CAFé Budapest or the Bartók Opera Plus Festival in Miskolc. Invited by Iván Fischer, the orchestra is a permanent partner for ten years in the Budapest Festival Orchestra Marathon series. The Pannon Philharmonic is a proud founding member of the Armel Opera Competition and Festival. Through this collaboration, György Ligeti’s opera “Le Grand Macabre” was premiered by the orchestra in Budapest in 2013, Peter Eötvös’s latest opera was performed in 2016, directed by Róbert Alföldi and the orchestra’s first opera production, Rufus Wainwright’s “Prima Donna” won the ARTE audience Award in 2017.
In addition to Hungarian concert stages, the orchestra accepts numerous foreign invitations, primarily to the great cities of Europe. The Pannon Philharmonic performed in the Konzerthaus and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, in Graz and Essen, the Great Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Leipzig Gewandhaus. In November of 2013, at the 7th Festival “Autumn in Normandy”, they performed Béla Bartók’s work ”Bluebeard’s Castle” and a cross section of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” rearranged by Henk de Vlieger. The latest tours led the orchestra to London Cadogan Hall, Lisinski Hall in Zagreb and to the most prominent concert halls of Switzerland (Tonhalle- Zürich, Victoria Hall – Geneva, Kulturcasino – Bern, Stadtcasino-Basel).
Due to its geographical location, the orchestra has several cooperation projects with Croatia. The Pannon Philharmonic is a returning performer in Osijek, the twin city of Pécs. The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra is an important partner and cooperates in concert exchange programmes. In 2015 the orchestra started a cooperation project with the Croatian National Theatre of Rijeka exchanging musicians and singers and more exciting plans are on the table as Rijeka will be European Capital of Culture in 2020.
In addition to the regular concerts season, the orchestra performs on holidays and for special events inside the walls of the recently renovated Pécs Cathedral or at outdoor venues. On many occasions, it accepts invitations to take part in events such as performing at the Operalia World Opera Competition, the gala held in Pécs for Croatia’s joining of the European Union and the Domingo Festival.
The guest artists and conductors of the orchestra come from the forefront of international music. In recent years, they have performed concerts with artists Oliver von Dohnányi, Maxim Vengerov, Krzysztof Pendereczki, Leopold Hager, Mischa Maisky, Fazil Say, Roby Lakatos, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Andrea Rost, Gábor Tarkövi, Andrea Lucchesini, Kostas Smoriginas, Guy Braunstein, Zoltán Kocsis, Dénes Várjon, Václav Hudeček, Paul Badura-Skoda, Howard Griffiths, Reinhold Friedrich, Xavier de Maistre, Dezső Ránki, Peter Frankl, Sharon Kam, Eva Marton, Olivier Latry, Cristian Mandeal, Gilbert Varga, Zoltán Peskó, Gábor Boldoczky, Miklós Perényi, Jérôme Pernoo, Eva Ollikainen and Nebojša Jovan Živković, Anja Harteros, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Gergely Bogányi, István Várdai, Kristóf Baráti, Olari Elts, Jessica Pratt and Riccardo Frizza amongst others.
Due to the outstanding studio technology of the Kodály Centre, the orchestra collaborates on numerous recordings in the unique acoustics of the concert hall and in its own rehearsal hall.
Kodály Centre: http://www.kodalykozpont.hu/
Tibor Bogányi – chief conductor
Tibor Bogányi is of Hungarian descent and is regarded as the most interesting and talented member of the generation of Finnish conductors. At the age of 28 he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and he remained in this position from 2003 to 2006. From 2008 he was the musical director and chief conductor of the Lappeenranta City Orchestra. In 2010 he also conducted the orchestra of the famous Lappeenranta National Song Contest held every third year.
The young conductor has already conducted all of the biggest Finnish orchestras including Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Finnish Radio, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Lahti Symphonic Orchestra. Ha has also conducted the Oulu, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Vaasa City Orchestras. Ha has also conducted several Youth orchestras and for 3 years he was the artistic director of the VIVO Youth Symphonic Orchestra.
He is renowned worldwide and has already played with the following orchestras: Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Orchester National du Capitole de Toulouse, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico State Orchestra, Macao Symphonic Orchestra, Sanghai Opera House, National Symphonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, MÁV Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Debrecen, Philharmonic Orchestra of Nagyvárad, Philharmonic Orchestra of Marosvásárhely and Savaria Symphony Orchestra of Szombathely.
He has a very broad repertoire from symphonic music via choir works to opera and ballet. He has very successfully conducted “Le sacre du printemps” of Stravinsky, Bizet’s “Carmen” and Puccini’s “Tosca”. In the autumn of 2006 he conducted Mozart’s “Cosí fan tutte” in the Finnish National Opera, in 2009 Verdi’s “La Traviata” and in 2010 Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”. In 2005 he organized and conducted a Béla Bartók series in the framework of which all of Bartók’s works have been performed, including “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle”, “The Miraculous Mandarin” and “Concerto”.
After obtaining his cello diploma he continued to study in the choirmaster class of the famous Sibelius Academy with professors Jorma Panula and Lief Segerstam. His diploma concert was the world premiere of “Hobbit” by Aulis Sallinen in the Finnish National Opera. He was a student of János Fürst in the Conservatory of Paris and afterwards he further developed his skills with Sir Colin Davis and Juri Simonov. In 1999 he won the second prize at the International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition. As a cellist he won the Weiner Leó Competition in 1996 and in 1999 the Kuhmo International Trio Competition and even today we can see him on stage either with his cello or the conducting baton.