Budapest Festival Orchestra

Christmas concert – audience choice programme

Orchestral concerts

Budapest Congress Center, Grand Hall December 26, 2018, 19:45

Conductor: Iván Fischer

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About the concert

The tradition of Christmas concerts by the Festival Orchestra dates back to 1983: that year, the Liszt Academy was available only during the holidays, providing an opportunity for the ensemble to make its debut. Almost every year since then, the BFO has treated audiences to a unique holiday concert at the end of December.

The series is set to continue this year, and members of the audience will have a say in what ends up on the programme that evening. They will get to determine the line-up from a musical menu offering a broad selection of flavours. “This concert is like a present, all wrapped up. It is like when a child announces ahead of time what they would like for Christmas, but at the same time, of course, they also want to be surprised,” says the host of the holiday concert, Iván Fischer.

The Festival Orchestra may be the only symphony ensemble in the world whose musicians play orchestra pieces, contemporary and baroque chamber music, and jazz as well as folk music. They can also sing, or in some cases even dance, making music if necessary with a couple of paint cans or thimbles. It’s an orchestra for whom nothing is impossible. Like all BFO concerts, this concert of classical music will be exciting and unusual, but also celebratory.

Iván Fischer, of course, has several secret presents in store for the audience that night. As András Szecskay, member of the Festival Orchestra’s Board says: “I have great confidence in Iván Fischer’s taste, his expertise and his choices.

This is his Christmas surprise. If I had to pick something, I would only get as far as a piece that I am already familiar with. Iván takes it further, and he has never disappointed.” Another member of our audience, Tamás Barta, adds: “Every time, Mr. Fischer reveals new secrets about what the orchestra is capable of. That’s the real miracle!”