The Budapest set the standard for mid-20th-century chamber ensembles. It toured Europe, the Middle East and the United States extensively. After World War II, its players took advantage of the new long-playing record technology and its recordings were praised widely. The Budapest recorded extensively for the HMV and CBS labels, and included in its projects were the Beethoven cycle and the bulk of the Classical and Romantic literature.
The Budapest Quartet relocated to the United States when WWII voided their contracts in Europe, making their base in various universities and the Library of Congress.
The Budapest set the standard for performance of Beethoven's string quartets, both live in recorded. This eventually led them to become artists in residence at UB from 1955-1966. At that point they were the most popular and famous quartet, with 55 record albums published by Columbia and two million copies sold and playing in many famous venues and festivals. They retired in 1967.