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The Budapest Festival Orchestra performed on a European Tour between 22 and 28 April, the first stage of which was in the Royal Festival Hall in London and was a resounding success. Leading English dailies, such as the Financial Times, the Independent and the Telegraph, all reported on the wonderful playing of the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer, and of world famous English pianist, Imogen Cooper, who also featured at the concert.

Financial Times’ music critic, Richard Fairman, wrote about the distinctive play of Iván Fischer and the 30 year-old Festival Orchestra, during which the particularly close relationship between the conductor/artistic director and the orchestra’s artists was clearly evident.  Thanks to this, he writes, artists performing individually in the orchestra can capitalise on all their skills and knowledge together at the highest possible level. This is what makes every visit by the BFO to the UK worth catching. David Nice wrote in the classical music column of the Independent. He too mentions the BFO as one of the world’s most individual orchestras, and although he asks the question of whether a national orchestra always plays the pieces of their national composers the best (in this case Bartók’s Concerto), his own answer comforts us all. Iván Fischer and the Orchestra interpret Bartók magnificently. Ivan Hewett, a journalist for the Telegraph, writes of conductor Iván Fischer in the introduction of the interview with him a few days earlier as follows: If there’s one musician who exemplifies the European ideal, it’s surely Iván Fischer.

After London, the tour continued in the Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke, followed by Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, and then went on to the Marlow Theatre in Canterbury, still in England, before finishing in the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Germany. An extraordinary success…