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Mária Albert / Gramofon.hu
In September 2014 and May 2015 the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) conducted by Iván Fischer will perform Brahms’s four symphonies. The cycle is part of the season ticket concerts of the forthcoming season. The new season will begin with the Bridging Europe festival on 10 September. Igor Stravinsky has been chosen for the starring role of the music marathon, while the next Mozart opera to be performed will be The Magic Flute.

The orchestra will again perform a children’s opera at the Bridging Europe festival, a season opener organised in collaboration with the Palace of Arts, before visiting several schools with the same music programme. Der Jasager (literally “The Yes Sayer”), a piece by Kurt Weil and Elisabeth Hauptmann, will probably be played for the first time in Hungary. The festival draws attention to contemporary German music culture, and so grand orchestra concerts will feature pieces by Wolfgang Rihm, Hans Werner Henze, Manfred Trojahn and Jörg Widmann.

The orchestra’s Mahler Evening in October will star the very fine soprano Christine Schäfer and baritone Tassis Christoyannis, known for his Mozart opera performances. Gábor Takács-Nagy will conduct a Haydn-Rossini-Vanhal-Mozart programme at the Academy of Music. The BFO’s first guest conductor will lead the orchestra, conducting a composition almost as a premiere: Olivier Cuendet was commissioned by composer György Kurtág to prepare the orchestral version of his piece entitled Zwiegespräche (Dialogues).

The three Mozart operas based on Da Ponte librettos – Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro – directed and conducted by Iván Fischer in a peculiar but pithy way have been a great hit both in Budapest and abroad. A critic of The New York Times has even mentioned The Marriage of Figaro as the best production in 2013. The Magic Flute will certainly be a bit of a surprise too; the cast has not been completely finalised, but interestingly, the music director has cast Nuria Rial, who likes to sing jazz, Renaissance and Baroque music, as Pamina.

Youth programmes offer young concert goers a number of discounts, some student season tickets for example will enable students to choose freely from the remaining seats. The Cocoa Concerts have been a notable success, and the Midnight Music series for young adults has also proved successful – remarked Orsolya Erdődy, BFO Deputy Executive Director. Due to the great interest, two Christmas concerts will be organised in the Budapest Congress Centre – announced Iván Fischer. Pinchas Zuckermann returns to the BFO, and will be the violin soloist at a Romantic evening. In addition, Hungarian audiences will have the chance to discover young talents like conductor Robin Ticciati, who is only 31 years old but is the leader of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and will remain in this position until 2018. What is more, he was announced as the music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, succeeding Vladimir Jurowski as of 1 January 2014. Despite his young age he is considered an expert in Berlioz’s music, and along with the BFO will perform the cantata entitled The Death of Cleopatra in November.