In 1952 a government ordinance created the National Philharmonia, which was charged with organising the nation's concert life, extra curricular musical education for the young, and the employment of ensembles and soloists (both Hungarian and from abroad) for the performance of the classical musical literature (as well as Hungarian and other contemporary composers) to the highest standards. For this task, the Hungarian State Concert Orchestra was created, building around the existing Metropolitan Orchestra. The orchestra's self evident need for sheet music led to the creation of the Music Library to supply not just the Hungarian State Orchestra but to performers of all concerts organised by the National Philharmonia. The unique situation of the Music Library today derives from this prior task. The stock of the library had to conform to all concert life, thus is became the only specialist institution in Hungary of its type. This took on even greater importance when the regulations on concert organisation were liberalised - with the emergence of increasing numbers of concert promoters, who took advantage of the Music Library's services. In 1998, the legal successor to the National Philharmonia, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Choir and Music Library, was formed.
From this moment on, the Music Library had a dual function:
- To guarantee the sheet music requirements of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir
- To supply sheet music nation-wide.
The basic public duty of the National Philharmonic's Music Library is the provision of sheet music for participants in the nation's concerts at minimal cost. The Music Library is the only such specialist institution in Hungary. Our work enables numerous orchestras, choirs, music schools and other amateur ensembles to participate in the country's musical life, because our hiring fees are affordable by all.
The stock of the library currently stands at 13 thousand items. The bulk of these are orchestral works, which embrace concert hall repertoire from Baroque, through pre-Classical, Classical, Romantic, to contemporary works, as well as music from classical operettas and operatic arias, duets and choruses frequently performed on the concert platform.
The National Philharmonic Orchestra has its own private music library representing its core repertoire and containing its own and conductors' instructions. These are not for distribution or lending. Choir material - oratorio works, a capella choruses, and every choral work featuring in the choir's repertoire can also be found. The National Choir does not have its own separate music library, and only those works are sequestered which have been acquired since 1998. We have begun the construction of the choir's own music library.
Full scores, miniature scores, piano reductions - our stock contains scores and piano reductions of orchestral material. The library is continually being expanded with new scores. Certain works are represented by various separate published editions.
Among the stock of the Music Library are the scores of certain orchestral-choral works which in Hungary can only be found here.
The Music Library is available - as a public service duty - to all official ensembles, music schools, choirs and soloists. The conditions for all borrowings are laid out in a contract which everyone receives when the order is confirmed.
Method of lending:
The borrower (which is not necessarily the same as the performer of ensemble) orders the works, and when the loan period is over, and the music returned, the lending fee is paid by bank transfer or by cash.
Lending is a public service and for this reason, we obtain state support. This way fees are very low and affordably by everyone. Tariffs are explained at time of lending. Other services include the delivery of scores to country orchestras and ensembles by post.
WE CAN BE REACHED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: