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The first (c-moll) symphony of FELIX MENDELSSOHN – BARTHOLDY and then the second (B-major) piano concerto of Johannes Brahms shall be heard at the following full orchestra concert of the BFO. Arcadi Volodos, the Russian descent soloist, is a pianist with international reputation and his brilliant play is compared to that of Horowitz by the profession. The conductor of the orchestra, Gérard Korsten, who was born in South-Africa, has also visited all the large concert halls of the world. He will conduct the Festival Orchestra for the seventh time.

Gérard Korsten, who was born in South-Africa in 1960, received his diploma as a piano artist at the American Curtis Institute and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. First he was invited by Sándor Végh to be the leader of the orchestra (concertmeister) of the Camerata Academica in Salzburg, then, between 1987 and 1996, he fulfilled the same function, leading the European Chamber Orchestra, while devoting more and more time to his conductor activities. He frequently conducts the orchestra of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the British Hallé Orchestra, the Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, and the Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie. He is a very successful opera conductor: in 1997 and 1998, he was the lead conductor of the Opera House in Pretoria, and between 1999 and 2003, he was the music director of the Opera House in Cagliari. Recently, he appeared on stage, besides others, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, while he directed the new production of Cosí fan tutte at the Scala in Milan. After six, very successful previous performances, Korsten shall conduct the Festival Orchestra for the seventh occasion.

Arcadi Volodos

He was born in Leningrad in 1972, and continued his studies in his city of birth, in Moscow, Paris and Madrid. His comet-like career did not start by winning one of the large competitions: the attention of one of the leaders of the Sony Company, who was visiting Paris, was called to the Russian pianist studying in the city. “One meets a talent like Volodos only once in life.” – was the opinion, which was immediately followed by a contract for recording. The CD, which came out in 1997, containing piano adaptations, became a great success (Gramophone award, award of the German Music Critics). From this point in time onward, we can speak about an undiminished success story. Solo concert at the Carnegie Hall (its live recording also received all the possible awards) and invitations to the large orchestras and festivals. The critics compare the play of Volodos to that of Horowitz: brilliant technique, solutions free of conventions and formalities but always serving the music, and special talent to enchant the listeners. This is the first time when Volodos appears on stage together with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

The pieces of music of Mendelssohn and Brahms shall be conducted by Korsten on the 17th, 18th and 19th of February 2012 at the Palace of Arts (Művészetek Palotája).