＜About Szolnok city＞
History (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. Before the Conquest of Hungary, it was inhabited by Celts, Slavs and Avars. The Hungarians settled in the area in the 10th century. The town, named after the steward of its castle, was first mentioned in 1075. At that time, it was the capital of the comitatus Szolnok. During the Mongol invasion, the town became deserted; King Béla IV moved new settlers there, but it remained a small village for a long time. In 1550–51, when the Ottoman Empire threatened to invade the country, the castle was fortified and a town wall was built. The Ottomans besieged the castle, which was surrendered to them on September 4, 1552. The Ottomans built a mosque, a public bath, and a minaret in the town, most of which have since been destroyed. The only Turkish codex made in Hungary was copied in Szolnok. The town was freed from Ottoman rule in 1685, but it was completely destroyed during the revolution led by Prince Rákóczi in the early 18th century. The comitatus of Outer Szolnok was temporarily annexed to Comitatus Heves.
Szolnok started to prosper again in the 18th century. Control of the river Tisza and steamship traffic increased the town's importance. From 1847 Szolnok was connected to Pest by railway. Its citizens took part in the revolution against Habsburg rule in 1848-49. In the Battle of Szolnok, the Austrians were defeated by the armies of General János Damjanich. After the Ausgleich, the population and importance of Szolnok grew. In 1876, Szolnok became capital of the comitatus again. By 1879, it already had 16,001 residents.The town suffered a lot during World War I and World War II. It experienced heavy bombing in 1944, and the liberating Soviet army found only a few people left in the town. During the Socialist era, Szolnok began to prosper again. Factories were built, and touristic importance grew when a thermal bath was opened. Szolnok was granted the rank of city with county rights on November 13, 1990.
Town of county rank with 78,000 inhabitants, 100 km east of Budapest, where the rivers Tisza and Zagyva meet, at the water, land and railway junction of the Great Hungarian Plaint. It is connected with the capital by main road No. 4 and a busy railway line. It is an administrative, economic, cultural, tourism, educational and medical centre, with favourable transport conditions. Transport on water is provided by the river Tisza. The town has a sports and military airport. The town offers various cultural programmes. It is famous for its colony of artists, the nationally significant Szolnok Symphony Orchestra, Szigligeti Theatre, the Gallery with exhibitions of fine arts and applied arts, and the János Damjanich Museum. The Ferenc Verseghy County Library is an important educational centre. Also the musical life of the town is significant with choirs and folk dance groups, such as Bartók Béla Chamber choir, Kodály Chior and Tisza Dance Group. In the beautiful environment of Tiszaliget(=Banks of Tisza river) you can find a sports stadium, a modern sports hall, several tennis, handball and volleyball courts as well as the bath of Tiszaliget with chutes and an aqua-park awaiting those who prefer healthy relaxation. On the bank of the dead channel of the river Tisza a kayak-canoe course was built, which is suitable for organizing international championships and it is also the most important basis of this successful sport in the town, which can be proud of its world champions. At the Tisza-bridge, on the side of the town you can find the Damjanich Swimming Pool, the national centre of swimming and water polo. On the bank of the river Tisza, in the middle of the former 10 acre park of Versailles style, the Tisza Hotel and Medicinal Bath was built in 1928. The thermal water found here is excellent for curing rheumatic and locomotor diseases and relieving stomach problems.
Szolnok city website http://www-3.szolnok.hu/
Szalay Ferenc, Polgamester
＜About Szolnok Symphony Orchestra＞
The Szolnok Symphony Orchestra was established by conductor Bali József according to the request of the Szolnok city in September 1965, and began the career of the concert in January 30th 1966 with the program of “Don Giovanni” overture(Mozart), “Unfinished” Symphony(Schubert) and “London” Symphony(Haydn). From 1970 this orchestra was taken a part in the regular concert series by the order of the National concert association “Filharmóniá”, and also started the performances in Szigligeti Theatre in April 1971. After that the orchestra expanded the performance place since then, and the performing tour in various countries of Europe was started, such as Austria, German, France, Portugal, Finland and etc. Many conductor co-operated orchestra such as Pécsi István, Nádor László, Somos Csaba, Selmeczi György, Kesselyák Gergely, Ménesi Gergely and Rácz Márton.
Along the direction as the General music director by the city in April 2007, Szolnok Symphony Orchestra appointed to be the principal conductor the Japanese Izaki Masahiro who was no stranger to Hungary, the winner of the 8th Hungarian Television Conductors Competition in 1995 and a guest conductor appeared in the country several times, and the musical director and principal conductor of the Szombathely Symphony Orchestra in 1997-2001. By the hand of Izaki the orchestra was on the major break and came to receive the keen attention and praise from whole Hungary. Especially the orchestra were improved the name by the charity concerts in Rumania for saving children after many floods of district Déva, and are attracting attention in recent years.
From 2009 the orchestra has the independent management supported by the Szolnok city and the original orchestra fund, and the concert tour Japan in November 2009 was successfully accomplished as the only and official Hungarian orchestra for Hungary Festival in Japan, commemorating the 140th anniversary in amity agreement conclusion and the 50th anniversary in diplomatic relation revival of postwar days.
Szolnok Symphony Orchestra program in September, 2008(PDF)
Picture at the assumption of office as the general music director of Szolnok city on Liszt concert hall, in June 2007
Present Orchestral picture on the stage, Liszt concert hall at Aba-Novak cultural center, in September 2011
With 3 concertmasters, (from the left) Péter Kanyurszky, András Tallián, Dávid Pintér
The 3 resident conductors. (from the left) Zoltán Bolyky(resident conductor),
Masahiro Izaki(General music director, Principal conductor), Balázs Bánfi (Assistant conductor)
Aba Novak cultural center、the headquarters of orchestra at Hild square
The scene of 2011 / 12 season opening concert decorated at the first page of local paper “Új Néplap
Link for the Website of the Szolnok city Symphony Orchestra