Óbudai Danubia Zenekar (= ÓDZ; Danubia Orchestra Obuda = DOÓ) was founded in 1993 by Domonkos Héja and his musician friends. At that time, most of them, including the conductor, were students at Bartók Béla Conservatory of Music. As a result of conscious and meticulous professional workshops and regular performances, the orchestra became a renowned actor in Hungarian music scene. In 2001, the orchestra was granted the title of National Youth Orchestra and could have it for three years. In the subsequent years, the orchestra had several of the best Hungarian an international conductors as guest performers, including Ken-Ichiro, Yuriy Simonov, José Cura, Rico Saccani and Sir Neville Marriner. 2013 was an important turning point in the orchestra’s career, when Máté Hámori took over the art direction and provided a new image and strategy to the orchestra. The Orchestra’s youth program started, the number of the concerts raised and its professional judgement improved considerably.
Though the Orchestra has a past of more than twenty years, it still is one of the most youthful professional orchestras nationwide. They would always take a fresh look at the often stereotyped forms of classical music. They strive to let in their audience on the mystery of music amidst a novel and informal framework again and again. This is the purpose of the three-part portrays on composers, exclusive gastro concerts and initiation performances in gymnasiums. They pay particular attention to the musical initiation of children: each year the Orchestra stages a series of concerts in primary schools around all Budapest where the musicians make it possible for thousands of children to meet classical music. They organize an intensive program of one week to high school students that includes making personal relations, and during which younglings may get an insight behind the scenes and into the “private life” of a symphonic orchestra.
The venue of the series of concerts the Orchestra performs is the Academy of Music where they aspire to harmonize the noble traditions of the prestigious concert hall so dear to them with the innovation efforts so characteristic of them. Their seasons would always be set up by the Artistic Director Máté Hámori in a thematic manner. This is the way they became Heroes from Children, and in the 2016-2017 season they are going to examine the layers of meaning of Freedom and Home via compositions that have links to each other by diverse threads within a single concert. Their thematic and unconventional concerts have one single purpose: to deliver high-quality music to the most people possible, and, like recently, halls of Danubia concerts in the future would be crowded by bright-eyed music lovers.
In 2014, Danubia found its new and definitive home: courtesy of the Local Government of Óbuda, they acquired the building of the old cinema at Flórián Square, and now, renovated, it serves as their rehearsal hall. Their plans include accomplishing a following step in the process of renovation, by which the hall would also become suitable to perform concerts: they hope that in time, their home will become a new flagship in the cultural life of Óbuda.