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As part of its educational programme, the Orchestra is performing the children’s opera Brundibár in several dozen schools in the autumn (hirado.hu)

Within the framework of its educational programme, the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) will perform Czech conductor Hans Krása’s children’s opera, Brundibár, at schools in the autumn. This composition opened the Bridging Europe – Európai Hidak festival in the Palace of Arts that ended on Thursday.

During the autumn “school tour”, Brundibár will be performed in several dozen schools to thousands of pupils from 10 to 14 years old. The opera directed by Eszter Novák was performed in the Festival Theatre by students of the Schola Cantorum Budapestiensis and BFO musicians. The composition and the libretto were written by Hans Krása and Adolf Hoffmeister, respectively, for a children’s opera competition in 1938.

Last year the BFO presented Benjamin Britten’s children’s opera Noye’s Fludde with almost one hundred singing and music-playing children, and it was played in many schools in Budapest and around the country for almost 4,500 pupils.

The BFO views children and youth programmes to be an important and organic part of its objectives. Each season the Orchestra plays for younger audiences on more than fifty occasions, often involving them as active participants in the productions. The Cocoa Concerts, which can now be considered traditional, are designed for small children, the “A Taste of Musical Instruments” performances are for primary school pupils, while each year the orchestra organises a musical film contest for secondary school students. The Midnight Music concerts are increasingly popular among young adults and university students – according to a press release from the BFO to the Hungarian News Agency (MTI).

In collaboration with the Palace of Arts, the Orchestra has extended its repertoire with the Bridging Europe – Európai Hidak festival, which is aimed at presenting European countries through their cultures. At the festival, where the BFO gave seven performances in a week, hidden and seldom-heard treasures of Czech culture were performed to an audience of more than six thousand people. “The Czech Republic was a great choice, I’ve already been thinking about the next country” – underlined Iván Fischer, BFO music director, in the communiqué.

The BFO’s thirtieth jubilee season was opened with Dvořák masterpieces: Requiem, Slavonic Dances, Piano Concerto and Symphony No. 8. As reported, the Baroque Evening displayed representatives of the Czech Baroque era, Vejvanovský and Zelenka, as well as the compositions by the Benda family in a new light. That evening, the Baroque ensemble of the Budapest Festival Orchestra was conducted by Nicholas McGegan, with Dominique Labelle singing the solo.