The Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra Szeged historical roots go back to the eighteenth century, its first opera performance being in 1790 in Szeged. The orchestra has been led by a number of devoted principal conductors like the young Ferenc Fricsay who have brought the orchestra into its present position as one of the leading opera and symphony orchestras in Hungary. From the 40s there were famous guest-conductors invited to the orchestra like Willem Mengelberg and Erich Kleiber on the concert podium or Pietro Mascagni, conducting his Cavalleria rusticana.
In 1969 the Szeged Symphony Orchestra was established as a separate entity by the legendary principal conductor and composer Viktor Vaszy. He created opera of a standard rivalling the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest and further developed the activities on the concert podium.