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The Phiharmonia Hungarica was established in 1957 by Hungarian musicians who had left their native country after the political troubles of 1956. From its first concert, given in Vienna on 28 May 1957, the orchestra won an international reputation, and two years later found a permanent home in the West German town of Marl in North-Rhine-Westphalia, thereafter receiving considerable assistance from the national and regional governments and from its new hometown. Its achievements included the recording of all the symphonies of Haydn under Antal Doráti, the honorary president of the orchestra, and its recordings continued to win international prizes and awards. With subsequent changes in political circumstances, the orchestra eventually suffered the withdrawal of official funding and gave its last concert in 2001, as audiences dwindled and its original purpose no longer needed to be served.

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