100 Member Gypsy Orchestra

The 100 member Gypsy Orchestra of the Hungarian Heritage in a unique band in the world. 

Its members are mainly Gypsy musicians, besides classical music (including works from Liszt, Bartók, Kodály, etc…) they also play traditional Hungarian Gyspy music. Contrary to its name, it had 140 members at the time, and today has 138. 

The band was formed in Budapest on 2nd of November in 1985. The was conceived at the funeral of Sándor Járóka, the king of the prime musical instrument when a casual band of hundreds of people gathered together in honor of the deceased to accompany him on his final journey.
The best hospitality musicians of the country, the winners of the 1984 Swing Duel, the Honvéd Art Ensemble, the Budapest Dance Ensemble, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, the BM Danube Art Ensemble, and the Rajkó Orchestra were recruited from 138 members. Their first rehearsals took place in the theatre hall of the Hungarian Folk Ensemble.
A total of 23 rehearsals preceded the debut concert, which took place on 22nd of March in 1986, in front of a full house in the ”Patria” hall of the Budapest Convention Center as part of the Budapest Spring Festival. The concert was a great success, and the Hungarian Press of that time brought the event almost everywhere on the front page, praising the unique production in the world for a long time.

On March 18, in 2014, the 100 members of Gypsy Orchestra was included in the collection of Hungaricum under the name ” The bands world-famous artistic and arsenal practice” thereby qualifying for the Hungaricum award.