At their first public performance in front of a live audience Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra will perform Mozart’s Requiem on May 26 to remember the victims of Covid-19. Hungary has lost nearly 30 000 people in the pandemic. The free of charge concert will be attended by family members of victims. Free streaming has been offered to international concert halls and festivals, the memorial concert will be broadcasted by many websites, including Carnegie Hall New York, Philharmonie de Paris, Lucerne Festival, Concertgebouw Brugge, Alte Oper Frankfurt and medici.tv as well. The concert is televised by RTL Klub in Hungary.
Soloists will be Anna Prohaska (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (mezzo-soprano), Zoltán Megyesi (tenor) and Krisztián Cser (bass). A choir with the name "Ars Longa" has been specially assembled for this occasion.
“My heart goes out to the families of the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic. Numbers are horrible enough: the world has lost over 3 million people, my country, Hungary alone is mourning nearly 30 000 of them. But behind these numbers there are people whose lives ended under very sad circumstances. In their final days they had to be isolated, couldn't receive visitors, couldn't say farewell to family members. It must have been heartbreaking for their loved ones who were denied access to the hospitals, who couldn't hold the hand of their dying family member. We hope that mourners in many countries will listen to Mozart's Requiem and their pain will be eased”, said Iván Fischer, Music Director of BFO.
Tickets to the event at the Budapest Congress Center had been provided free of charge, but advance registration and proof of immunisation were required. The registration for the event has been already closed because of very high interest. The audience will wear masks during the concert.
About Ivan Fischer and BFO
The Budapest Festival Orchestra has been especially active during the pandemic. Last spring they performed a cycle of "quarantine soirees", chamber music concerts online.
In May and June 2020 orchestra members gave "serenades" to locked down residents of Budapest from court yards and streets. The short concerts were listened to from windows and balconies. Last November Ivan Fischer published an interview in FAZ, where he argued that instead of uncontrolled distancing orchestra members should regularly be tested and stay active. The Budapest Festival Orchestra has a large, growing core audience in Budapest and a worldwide reputation as one of the most excellent and innovative orchestras of the world.
Event and stream website: www.bfo.hu/covidmemorial