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The Festival Orchestra is at its peak – this is how music director Iván Fischer explained the slogan of next year’s concert programme, “The BFO is flying high”, to journalists

At the press conference held in his apartment theatre in Andrássy út, Iván Fischer said that although the BFO is indeed flying high, which means that it will again be on tour in the coming season several times, audiences in Budapest and Hungary remain at the core of their concerts. The orchestra’s forthcoming season is rich and varied, as usual, he said, mentioning the performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute as a highlight of the season.

Iván Fischer’s words were also corroborated by information provided by BFO Director Stefan Englert: next season includes more than 70 concerts in the capital in major venues such as the Palace of Arts and the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. As for the financial background, the orchestra’s director reported that the state (Ministry of Human Resources, EMMI) continues to support the BFO with a substantial amount, while the capital – despite its difficult financial situation – has also maintained its previous year’s grant. But of course, sponsor companies and supporters’ clubs also contribute significantly to the BFO’s operations, and the Festival Orchestra owes its thanks to them as well.

Replying to journalists’ questions, Stefan Englert revealed that a strategic partnership between the Mezzo television channel and the BFO is currently being negotiated. At the moment, the popular classical music channel has two partners of this kind, the world-famous Concertgebouw Orchestra from Amsterdam and the London Symphony Orchestra. The plan is for the BFO to join them as a primary strategic partner.

Since the channel even intends to produce in Europe the content of programmes broadcast in Asia, this could be a huge opportunity for the Festival Orchestra.

Orsolya Erdődy, BFO Deputy Executive Director, remarked that the orchestra wishes to organise more and more outreach programmes, and bring music to the people, therefore educational and community programmes will be top priorities next season too.

Answering reporters’ questions, Iván Fischer said that due to the massive interest, his opera entitled The Red Heifer will be performed twice again in Hungary, in June at the Vígszínház. The piece will then be played four times in Berlin, as planned.