The largest basilica in Budapest (the second largest in Hungary), the Budapest Saint Stephen Basilica was built between 1857 and 1905 and was consecrated on 19 November 1905. The Choir of St. Stephen’s Basilica was founded in 1909. The conductors of the choir were Jenő Sztojanovics (1909-1913), Dezső Demény (1913-1938), Artúr Harmat (1938-1959), Frigyes Hidas (1959-1962). László Fehér has been leading the choir since 1962.
The Choir of St. Stephen’s Basilica celebrated its 100th anniversary of the founding of in 2009, operated continuously from the foundation of the choir.
Amongst old masterpieces, motettas, masses, oratories of Des Pres, Palestrina, Lassus, Gabrieli, Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt, the choir also performs a large number of contemporary Hungarian pieces. László Fehér was the first who conducted several compositions of Artúr Harmat, Lajos Bárdos, Zoltán Kodály, Gábor Lisznyay-Szabó, Frigyes Hidas Frigyes és István Koloss.
Every Sunday on the ten o’clock Holy Mass and on important religious events the choir performs a Latin mass with interwoven Gregorian chants. Besides the liturgical service, which is the main task of the choir, it also gives independent concerts. The choir is accompanied by András Gábor Virágh, St. Stephen’s Cathedral organist. He was awarded with the annual Ferenc Erkel Composer Award by the Government of Hungary at 15th March 2017.
The first foreign tour of the choir took place in 1984. Since then the choir has completed several more tours in foreign countries such as Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and in Transylvania, Romania.
There are several CD recordings available, for more information see Recordings.