It was in 1846 when Antal Richter, the father of János (Hans) Richter, founded the Győr Men's Singing Society, which in 1862 would become the Song and Music Association of Győr, predecessor of the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra. It became the city's municipal orchestra in 1894 and remained a semi-professional artistic institution until 1968, when it was reorganised into a professional concert orchestra. Since adopting a new management and concept in 2008, the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra has undergone a renewal that has made the most recent chapter of the orchestra's existence another story of success. Their appearances in nearly all of the countries of Europe have been resounding triumphs, and they have also won acclaim on the most important music stages of Asia – in China, South Korea and Taiwan – both from the audience and within the profession. In the spring of 2009, they joined legendary – and Oscar-winning – Italian film composer and conductor Ennio Morricone for a triumphant tour of the Far East and Europe. It was another outstanding mark of professional recognition to get to serve as the resident orchestra at the Hungarian gala of the Operalia International Opera Competition organised by Plácido Domingo. Taking the orchestra's helm in recent decades have been renowned Hungarian and international conductors like Ádám Medveczky, Lamberto Gardelli, Mariss Jansons, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, Zoltán Kocsis, János Kovács, Yuri Simonov, Carlo Zecchi and Alastair Willis. The Győr Philharmonic Orchestra's rich repertoire extends far beyond the traditional classical works to embrace lighter genres as well. Serving as the orchestra's director since taking up the post in July 2008 is Géza Fúke. Its music director is Liszt and Grammy award-winning clarinettist and conductor Kálmán Berkes, who has also taught as a professor and conductor at the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo since 1992.