IVÁN FISCHER: BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA SOARS
Budapest, 4 April 2014, Friday (MTI) – The Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) has announced its programme for the 2014/15 season. As intimated by music director and conductor Iván Fischer at the orchestra’s press conference on Friday, his orchestra is flying high just now, scaling musical peaks.
In his apartment theatre (childhood home) in Andrássy Street, Iván Fischer added that despite going on tour next season as well, the Hungarian concerts for regular Hungarian audiences are most precious to them.
It was also stated that one of the coming season’s highlights will be the performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute directed and conducted by Iván Fischer in the Palace of Arts.
The season will begin with the Bridging Europe festival, organised in collaboration with the Palace of Arts, which is focusing on German music culture this year. Besides this, another highlight will be Johannes Brahms’ music, with the season’s programme featuring each of his four symphonies. In the winter, the orchestra will perform Messiaen’s large-scale Turangalîla-Symphonie, almost 90 minutes long, as well as the well-known Surprise Concerts at Christmas, by popular demand.
2015 will start with two significant programmes: the traditional whole-day music marathon will feature pieces by Stravinsky performed at the Palace of Arts, and The Magic Flute will also be performed around this time.
In addition to Hungarian concerts, the BFO will again perform as a guest orchestra in the world’s leading concert halls during the new season: they will be on tour in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, and even in South America – Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina – and, for the first time, in Abu Dhabi.
Stefan Englert, BFO Director, revealed the orchestra has its primary base in Budapest, thus next season includes more than 70 concerts in the capital with major venues such as the Palace of Arts and the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music.
The director considers the orchestra’s financial situation to be healthy and stable. Similarly to the previous season, the government will provide substantial support for the BFO’s activities, and Budapest has also offered more or less the same grant as in the previous year. Sponsor companies and supporters’ clubs are a major source of income too – he added.
Orsolya Erdődy, BFO Deputy Executive Director, remarked that the orchestra is continuing its music teaching programmes in the coming season. “From the Cocoa Concerts for small children to Midnight Music aimed at people between 18 and 35, we will launch a wide range of programmes in this area” – she explained.
Orsolya Erdődy emphasised that the orchestra really wants to go beyond performing in traditional concert halls, and “reach young people and those living under difficult circumstances”. As part of this, they will visit schools, and continue delivering master courses as well as concerts entitled “The BFO Comes Knocking” around the country. She recalled that the orchestra recently performed in the juvenile prison in Pécs.
BFO Deputy Executive Director said grand season tickets for 9 to 10 performances are still available, but shorter, thematic season tickets – Baroque, Viennese Classicism – as well as flexible and cheap student season tickets are also on offer. There are now family season tickets with a discount for the Cocoa Concerts, she said, adding that they plan to hold such concerts for autistic people too.
Replying to journalists, Stefan Englert revealed that a strategic partnership may soon be concluded between the Mezzo television channel and the BFO, thus making the Hungarian orchestra the third of this kind after the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Answering reporters’ questions, Iván Fischer said that Hungarian audiences will have the chance to attend his opera entitled The Red Heifer at the Vígszínház on two occasions in June. Following that, the piece will travel to Berlin, where four performances are scheduled, he added.
The BFO’s concert programme for 2014-2015 is available from Friday on the orchestra’s website (http://www.bfz.hu/), while season tickets will be on sale from 10 April.