The story of the National Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra) began in 1923, with the formation of the Metropolitan Orchestra, which rapidly became one of the pillars of Hungarian musical life. After the war, Ferenc Fricsay and László Somogyi were appointed as principal conductors. During this era, Otto Klemperer also conducted forty concerts, while another regular guest was Antál Doráti. In the past few years, the orchestra has received a remarkable number of invitations to perform abroad, It has enjoyed immense successes at venues as far apart as the New York Avery Fisher Hall, the Tokyo Suntory Hall, the Birmingham Symphony Hall, the Athens Megaron Musicos and the Colmar Festival. ConcertoNet, the distinguished internet classical music journal nominated the orchestra's concert in New York in February 2003 as the winner of the Lully Prize for the best concert of the season.