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Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia

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Biography

The Hungarian Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia was formed in 1992 from members of the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra by Ibolya Toth, of the Hungarian Phoenix Studio, initially as a recording orchestra for Naxos. Under its permanent conductor, the flautist Béla Drahos, resident conductor of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra), the Sinfonia also undertakes regular public concerts.

The orchestra has among its musicians the principal wind players of major Hungarian orchestras, many of whom have already recorded concertos for Naxos, and draws on the leading players in Budapest. The Sinfonia ranges in size from a baroque string orchestra to an ensemble suitable for Haydn or Mozart, or, augmented, for performances of Beethoven. It has also recorded crossover or seasonally popular works, as on its Marco Polo/Naxos collections of popular Chinese melodies and Christmas baroque favourites.

The recordings by the orchestra of Haydn’s symphonies on Naxos have met with particularly warm critical acclaim. In addition, the ensemble has committed Vivaldi’s flute concertos, complete sets of Beethoven’s symphonies and overtures, concertos by Krommer, Stamitz and Hoffmann, cello showpieces by Popper as well as orchestral works by Cannabich, Vanhal, Dohnanyi and Lalo to disc.

The orchestra played on the complete Fidelio on Naxos Opera Classics, which was acclaimed as “One of the Top Ten Recordings of 2000” by Opera News with a whole host of superlative reviews from the entire classical music press.

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