“One who loves music can never truly be unhappy.”
Listening to music, singing and playing an instrument every day can all contribute to the development of speech, language and creativity, as well as to the upkeep of our spiritual health. The Festival Orchestra’s globally unrivalled programme of musical education endeavours to introduce the treasures of classical music to children, families and young adults. During these action-packed adventures, younger learners become familiar with some instruments and short tunes, while older ones get the chance to acquaint themselves with entire operas and symphonies.
The organisation of children’s and youth programmes is part of my work that I hold very dear to my heart. Whether it’s our melodies ringing around a small village during our most recent type of concert, Music Castle, or the Choose your Instrument programme in one of Budapest’s top schools, the children’s gleaming eyes show me the beauty and importance of my work.
We give them joy and experiences, and they give us love and openness. The mission of the Festival Orchestra is to share the joy of playing and listening to music with both younger and older children, whether they are from the capital or the countryside, well-off or disadvantaged, talented or less curious about music.
The 2017/18 season will see us continue our renowned and popular youth programmes. We are strengthening relations with a growing number of partner schools in order to acquaint students with the multi-coloured world of instruments and music literature, as well as to the openness and creativity of the orchestra. Among the programmes on offer you’ll find ‘Choose your Instrument’, visits to open rehearsals and children’s operas. On certain occasions, school children can enjoy our regular concerts for just 1800 Forints per ticket.
Be sure to check out the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s colourful and varied programme. (Orsolya Erdődy, Deputy Executive Director)
“Through music I can express anything I like.”
(A young participant at our Family Picnic)
For 6-8 year olds Choose yo ur Instrument This is a special programme for kids who are interested in music but have not yet decided which instrument they would like to take up. During ‘Choose your Instrument’ sessions, some of the orchestra’s musicians introduce young schoolchildren to their own instruments with a short concert, after which the kids can have a go on the instruments. The happy cries, the roaring laughter, the trombones blown at full force, the squeaking violins, the mercilessly-beaten cymbals, all echo the programme’s success.
For 8–18 year olds BFO Reaches Out! In this project, the Festival Orchestra’s musicians visit children living in the countryside. They work with them in short sessions, whetting their interests in music and becoming musicians. These visits also allow us to discover new talents. This project sees us playing chamber music in unusual venues, such as thermal baths, libraries, zoos, hospitals and prisons.
For 8-18 year olds Open Rehearsals It is not just the BFO ‘reaching out’; children can also reach out to the orchestra. Open rehearsals are a great opportunity for students from our partner schools to gain first-hand experience of how a symphony orchestra works. Children can learn tricks of the trade, find out what a conductor does and how the musicians follow his lead. To help them deal with the experience we provide a small booklet which we’ve compiled especially for the occasion. Experience shows that children simply love these visits; they sit through the rehearsals with interest and afterwards talk about them for days.
For 8–18 year olds Children’s opera Youth operas have been part of the BFO’s repertoire for years. We perform these operas in ten provincial and Budapest schools, allowing thousands of young people the opportunity to enjoy them. The productions are not exclusively for children, although in order to allow young people in the audience to identify with the pieces, child actors often perform in the operas. Our first of these productions was Brundibar by Hans Krása.
Cocoa concerts, midnight music
For 5-12 year olds Cocoa Concerts This series can now look back over more than two decades of weekend afternoons of music and storytelling in a family atmosphere, introducing the world of music to a young audience. This season, we once again welcome families to our interactive concerts, and after the music and applause have died down, the young audience will be able to queue up for polka-dot mugs of hot cocoa.
Autism-friendly Cocoa Concerts With the help of the Nemzetközi Cseperedő Alapítvány (an International Foundation to support children and their families living with autism), we have developed a unique concert format which provides a safe and fun environment for autistic children and their families alike. Before the concerts, we send some helpful materials to the families so that the children can prepare for the visual and audio effects they are going to experience.
For 18 year olds and above Midnight Music For people who prefer listening to music at night. Through our Midnight Music concerts, audiences can enjoy classical music at night-time while lounging on beanbags beside our musicians in a relaxed, open and informal atmosphere. The BFO presents this new form of concerts for young audiences, which start as late as half past 11 in the evening. These concerts are for the open-minded, who enjoy getting to know our artists under unusual circumstances and, of course, don’t mind staying up late. Aside from beautiful classical music, the audience gets short, professional and entertaining introductions to the pieces.