Pannon Philharmonic

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Director - Zsolt Horváth

A marketing economist musician has a rare vocation combination among the cultural managers working in Hungary.  The 43 -year-old economist and trumpet artist was born in Zala County, graduated from high school in Pécs, and after he had completed his studies, he settled in Pécs. He got his degree with honours at the Academy of Music in Vienna in 1999, and another as a marketing manager economist at the University of Pécs, Faculty of Economics in 2002, From 1996, he has been a trumpet artists of the Pécs Symphony Orchestra; was a trumpet teacher of the Art High School of Pécs and the University of Pécs. As a teacher, was a very successful, his students won several national music competitions. Between 1997 and 1999 he was an organizer and founding member of several art festivals (International Trumpet Days, George Cziffra Memorial Festival). From 2003, he has been the director of the Pécs Symphony Orchestra, then of the Pannon Philharmonic. His name has alloyed to the organizational innovation that has enabled the Pannon Philharmonic’s artistic renewal.

The result of his work is of the introduction and efficient application of the orchestral management process, on equivalent standard of quality as the music professional niveaou, cultural innovations and co-operation initiatives. Led by him, the Pannon Philharmonic has become the country's outstanding musical ensemble, as the only Hungarian symphonic orchestra, it has tripled its audience. He introduced such highly successful series as the Pannoni Series at the Palace of Arts in Budapest, which has been a sold-out subscription concert series for 10 years, for an orchestra from not Budapest uniquely in Hungary. Under his direction, the Pannon Philharmonic founded its Lodge, the New Year's Message Gala Concert, the Music for Music concert, the Music Festival concert; initiated many social charity and civil programmes. 

He launched the orchestra’s conscious public educational programme, which led to it that the ensemble offers musical programme to every age group, from not-yet-born babies trough toddlers to young people: the Panno Belly-Dwellers Programme, the BeanSack concerts, the SnailHouse, the Help, Classical Music! series, the Music by ... film music series. On his initiative, for the youth, it started a so-called crossover series, overarching the genre borders between jazz, popular music, film music, combining Latin American Latin music, with huge success. Founding the KlasszJazz Creative Workshop, the orchestra recorded and released the works of its home composer, Kornél Fekete-Kovács, the internationally renowned composer and jazz musician, under his direction, published by the BMC Records. In 2011, the CD was awarded the Fonogram "Jazz Album of the Year".

The orchestra began its sponsoring activities under his direction; due to that Pannon Philharmonic currently has besides the 26 League members close to 50 constant supporters. On his initiative, the orchestra is a founding member and professional partner of one of the today's most international collaborative art projects, the ARMEL Opera Competition and Festival with MEZZO Television project. Thank to his efforts, the Pannon Philharmonic has performed of at several national and international representative events, which convey the cultural values of Pécs and Hungary around the world.

Under his lead, the orchestra became a member of the South-Transdanubian Cultural Industry Cluster and the Hungarian-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce; it maintains intense and continuous relationship with Croatian cities and artistic ensembles.

As the director of the orchestra, he actively participated in the ECC proposal material preparation; as the creator of the programme description of the concert hall to be built under the project, as a member of the plan contest jury, and as the music professional partner of the feasibility study, he can be considered as the regarded as the one with the most detailed knowledge of the key investment of the ECC. He helped to write the Cultural Strategy of the City of Pécs, as the leader of the music industry group. He was a member of the Arts Council of the European Capital of Culture; in recognition of his work, in 2010, he was honoured with a ministerial honourable mention.

Thank to his efforts, the Pannon Philharmonic has become a nationally and internationally new-positioned orchestra, well-known and renowned by the music -loving public, the citizens of Hungary and our region, as well as for the music professionals. The Pannon Philharmonic does consciously planned marketing and communication activities. Part of this activity is the media communication in Budapest and nationwide, which makes nearly 200 press releases related to the orchestra’s season series in Budapest and hundreds of programme advertisements and interviews about the South-Transdanubian events, every year. The marketing activities of his management are outstanding in the Hungarian cultural life. In recognition of the work, the Music Art Institute of the University of Pécs invited him as guest lecturer of the topic of art management.

On his initiative, there is a   manifold cooperation going on between the Pannon Philharmonic and the University of Pécs and between the orchestra and the Bishopric of Pécs. As a result, the orchestra provides practicum places for music students of the University of Pécs, has artistic cooperation with the several faculties of the university, and participated actively in the worthy celebration of the Bishopric’s 1000 years of existence.

As the winner of the 2008 Baranya County Prima Award, the orchestra became one of the potential candidates for Prima Primissima Prize. It is also due to his direction and conceptual decisions that the Pannon Philharmonic’ achievements can be represented not only by numbers (of concerts, audience, revenue, etc.); it can also boasts with the public’s laudation and joy. In 2009 in recognition of his work, he received a City Hall Commemorative Medal award for "his successful work and exemplary professional achievements in order to establish and maintain the stability of the Pannon Philharmonic orchestra."

On the request of the Mayor of the City of Pécs, he supervised in terms of music profession the building of the Kodály Centre, which was being built in the frames of the Pécs 2010 European Capital of Culture. The orchestra’s moving in the Kodály Centre at the end of 2010 and the smooth preparation for the for program structure, in accordance with the EU standards, then the  organizational restructuring of the non-profit business incorporation, happened  under his direction.

Under his leadership, the Pannon Philharmonic had a large anniversary celebration series from 2 January 2010 to 9 December 2011, the day of the foundation - 200 events over 100 weeks.  On his initiative was launched the exploration of the oeuvre of the, the founding conductor, George Lickl in 2007; as a result, he orchestra  remembered for the founder with presenting opera, which has been  forgotten for 200 years. To honour the jubilee, the Hungarian Post issued a stamp to commemorate the playing symphonic music in Pécs. During the jubilee, he founded the Pannon Lifetime Membership in recognition of elderly musicians’ more-decade-work in the orchestra; and established the Pannon Philharmonic portrait wall in the Kodály Centre.
He was the first in Hungary who used organizational trainings for internal organizational development; he maintains active and collaborative relationship with the elected representatives of the orchestra (Arts Council, Union).
He is board member of the Hungarian Association of Symphony Orchestras. In June 2011, he was appointment as Director for another five years, after winning a tender.

Event Calendar

Serse, or The Gods Must Be Crazy Here

3. May, 19:00 | Kodály Centre

Conductor: Balázs Kocsár

Giuseppe Verdi: Macbeth

3. May, 19:00 | National Theatre of Pécs

Conductor: Kovács János és Oberfrank Péter

1MoreChance! Series for the Ones in Need

4. May, 10:00 | Kodály Centre

Conductor: András Vass

Marie and Elgar

4. May, 19:00 | Kodály Centre

Conductor: András Vass

Marie and Elgar

5. May, 19:30 | Béla Bartók National Concert Hall (Palace of Arts)

Conductor: András Vass

Classical Kobayashi

13. May, 18:00 | Kodály Centre

Conductor: Kobajasi Kenicsiró