Artist database

This is the Artist Database of BMC, which includes information about composers, musicians, orchestras, choirs and groups that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary, as well as information about releases recorded with them.

Pannon Filharmonikusok (Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra)

Orchestra, choir, ensemble

+36 72 242 793
+36 72 213 513
Further contact
Pannon Filharmonikusok - Pécs
H-7621 Pécs, Király u. 19.
ZenePark-próbaterem: 72/311-222

The Pécs Syimphonic Orchestra as a fully autonomous art institution was founded in 1984, lead by conductor and art director Tamás Breitner, counting 92 member artists. The Orchestra has been maintained by the Town of Pécs ever since.

Beside the classical-romantic programme of Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Puccini, Tamás Breitner also liked to include operas by Wagner in his repertoire, and promoted staging 20th century and contemporary operas, too. Based on the nearly complete works of Bartók and Kodály, Tamás Breitner's 20th century Hungarian repertoire was completed by pieces by Ferenc Farkas, Pál Kadosa, Rudolf Maros, Endre Szervánszky, Ferenc Szabó, István Szelényi, Kamilló Lendvay and Sándor Balassa. After 19 years of work in the position of music director of the town Mr Breitner retired, maintaining his leading status at the theatre.

Mr.Péter Szkladányi, who had been director of the Pécs Symphonic Orchestra since 1 January 1989, then contracted Mr.Howard Williams as leading conductor and art director. Howard Williams released huge but so far latent artistic energies from the Orchestra. As art director of the ensemble, he systematically opened up towards late romantic works composed for big orchestras, and took a prominent part in the presentation of compositions by 20th century foreign composers in Pécs. He actively participated in the performance of works by contemporary Hungarian composers (eg. Balassa, Kalmár). His major merits are associated with the interpretation of works by composers such as Dvořak, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. In 1993 Howard Williams was given the "Pro Civitate" Award of the Town of Pécs, as a reward for his artistic work in Hungary, and the recognition of the Copyright Office for his commitment to the most recent Hungarian music.

Following the four-year period of professional work directed by Howard Williams, which brought about substantial development in the performance of the orchestra, director Péter Szkladányi contracted Nicolás Pasquet, another conductor coming from abroad. He continued the far-reaching developing work started by Howard Williams. His term as a leading conductor between 1993 and 1996 was characterised by outstanding concerts based on meticulous workshops. As art director, he began a programme series built on compositions by rarely played pieces in Pécs and carried on with it throughout his term. His interpretations of Shostakovich, Bruckner, and Schumann were truly exceptional. The Orchestra started a series of recordings under Pasquet's direction in 1994, which launched the ensemble's international career with more than 100.000 copies published. On the initiative of Naxos - Marco Polo Records, the Orchestra recorded the complete symphonic works of László Lajtha, which was world premiere on CD.

After the issue of the CD the Pécs Syimphonic Orchestra was granted the Bartók-Pásztory Award in 1998 for the universal promotion of Hungarian musical culture.

In September 1997 Howard Williams was again requested to take over the position of leading conductor and art director. During the next three years he followed the same principles which determined his first term in Pécs. He conducted memorable oratorial concerts in the Cathedral of Pécs, completed his series comprising all the symphonies by Mahler, and never ceased to conduct contemporary Hungarian compositions. This programme included six compositions by Sándor Balassa, most of them world premiere, as well as pieces by László Dubrovay, György Orbán, and Zsolt Durkó.

After Howard Williams's retirement, and breaking the twelve-year tradition of having a foreign leading conductor, the young and extremely gifted Hungarian conductor, Zsolt Hamar took over the direction of the Pécs Symphonic Orchestra. With several first prizes at Hungarian and international conductors' competitions, and tremendously successful concerts behind him, Zsolt Hamar was already a prominent artist in Hungary.

The 2003 season brought some significant changes in both the personnel and structure of the Orchestra. Director Péter Szkladányi retired after 18 years of directorship, and assisted the Orchestra' work as honorary director from 1 January 2003 until his death.

The new managerial team started the transformation of the Orchestra according to plans by art director Zsolt Hamar and new director Zsolt Horváth. The changes were also confirmed in resolutions by the City Council.

In conformity with the new structural conception of the orchestra, the broad range of tasks including concert activity in Pécs and the wider region, and participation in the theatre's musical programme are to be performed by two ensembles from 1 September 2003: a concert orchestra counting 73 members and a so-called Symphonietta with 22 members.

The possibility of professional renewal and further improvement of quality was rendered by the excellently guided strategic work of the past two decades, and the eminently skilled artists engaged with the ensemble during the past ten years. In accordance with the new strategic goals determined by the management, the Orchestra is to take a greater part in regional concert activity from the jubilee season on (concerts in Kaposvár, Szekszárd, Eszék), and even launch their own subscription concert series in Budapest.

From 1 January 2004, the Orchestra celebrating its 20th anniversary is continuing its high-standard professional work under the name of Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra - Pécs, a new name being an important part of a new image.

Current performances of Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra
Koncertkalendárium (
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
1993 Rahmanyinov, Szergej: Zenekari művek
(Rachmaninov, Sergey: Orchestral works)
Hungaroton HCD 31551 Own
conducted by Howard Williams
1994 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 1.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 1)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223667 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
1994 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 2.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 2)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223668 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
1995 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 3.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 3)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223669 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
1996 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 4.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 4)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223670 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
1997 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 5.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 5)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223671 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
1997 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 6.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 6)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223672 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
2000 Lajtha László: Zenekari művek 7.
(Lajtha, László: Orchestral Works Vol. 7)
Marco Polo (Naxos) 8.223673 Own
cond. by Nicolas Pasquet
2003 Inspiration Magánkiadás DLCD 225-226 Own
2003 Balassa Sándor: Pécsi Concerto Op. 61; Négy arckép Op. 56; 301-es parcella Op. 58
(Balassa, Sándor: Pécs Concerto Op. 61; Four Portraits for Orchestra Op. 56; Parcel No. 301 Op. 58)
Hungaroton HCD 32161
2005 Mahler, Gustav: Titan Hungaroton HCD 32338 Own
2010 Integro / Grandeur BMC Records BMC CD 177 Own
2014 Csajkovszkij, Pjotr Iljics: Rococo Variations Brillant Classics 94876