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A Budapesti Fesztiválzenekar a Festival Hallban

The "bag of surprises" concerts inaugurated seven years ago have turned out to be a tremendous success, proving that there are plenty of people who, without even knowing the works or performers involved, are prepared to join in the fun, and who have enough faith in the concert organiser and conductor Iván Fischer to commit to an "adventure". We primarily recommend these bag of surprises concerts to those of our audience who are curious, young at heart, and intrigued by secrets.

This year’s concerts will be held in the Budapest Convention Center (BKK) on December 23rd (Friday), 26th (Monday) and 27th (Tuesday), the first two concerts starting at 7.45 p.m., the second one at 3.30 p.m.

The following is a reminder of some of the secrets which Iván Fischer shared with audiences in earlier bag of suprises concerts: Richard Strauss’ wonderful Legend of Joseph; the twelve-year-old Júlia Pusker’s performance in Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto; the American soprano Christine Brewer’s interpretations of Richard Strauss arias and Lieder; Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Trumpet Concerto, with the Norwegian virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger soloing; Kurt Weill’s exciting opera The Silver Lake ─ almost unknown in Hungary; Schönberg’s orchestral transcription of Brahms’ Piano Quartet; Mozart’s K.488 Piano Concerto performed by the 92-year-old Lívia Rév, who now lives in France; the showcasing of the works of Salieri, a composer known in Hungary almost only as part of the Mozart legend, the Hungarian premiere of Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, composed for birds and symphony orchestra. Two years ago the great Hungarian violinist, György Pauk, last year Alfred Brendel said good-bye to the Hungarian audience at Iván Fischer’s “bag of surprises” concerts.