BFO
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Concert serie

Synagogue Concerts

Each season, the Budapest Festival Orchestra makes every effort to take our music out of the confines of the concert hall. In order to make music at even more unusual places, we have developed unique forms of concerts through which we can forge new relationships between ourselves and our audiences. Since the summer of 2014, our Community Weeks have seen us perform in provincial synagogues which have been abandoned or no longer serve their original purposes. We found our concerts in Bonyhád, Karcag, and Apostag to be hugely significant experiences. Our goal is to fill synagogues that were laid bare by the Holocaust, with life, music and culture once again. Tunes, stories and flavours can introduce local communities to the one-time diversity and tolerance that used to be so typical of Hungary. Our concerts will be featuring works by composers with Jewish connections, as well as klezmer tunes. As Iván Fischer summarised the essence of the concert series: “Synagogues still stand in many villages and small towns which have not had Jewish inhabitants for a long time. Some places are in ruins, while others have been turned into furniture stores or a gym. We visit these places, and give free concerts. People are curious, and the music entices them in. The orchestra plays, and afterwards a rabbi speaks about how things used to be, about how cohabitation with the Jewish community looked. With the beauty of our music and those stories we hope to bring the memories of the former Jewish community closer to those who now live near the building.” The Synagogue Concerts are a joint production by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation and the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities.

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