Story of Budapest Festival Orchestra
We heard a fascinating story, how a very young orchestra made it – in only 25 years – into the top ten of the world; in an industry, where the big names are centuries old. How did they achieve this feat? Listening to Stefan, I would say: by delivering amazing art and being lucky to be led by a true visionary, Iván Fischer, who goes hand-in-hand with such great names as Lorin Maazel or Simon Rattle. What wasn’t directly said – but immediately came to my mind – running such an institution is not just about going out and selling tickets. It is mostly about creating a sense of relationship with the audience, since music making should be a way of bringing people closer together.
From an artistic point of view it’s important for any orchestra to be present in the major music centers around world. And for an orchestra as an institution, it’s also crucial that touring generates stable income. One must pay close attention to financial balance and keep in mind that it is not at any place that equally high yields can be achieved. BFO seems to manage both issues pretty well by focusing on prestigious venues in New York City and London, which helps to building the BFO brand, but also exotic destinations which help them to keep financial liquidity.
In the longer run however, the biggest challenge is how to attract young people, those who didn’t have much to do with classical music so far. My generation grew up with mobiles in hands rather than sheet music. And it is not so much due to neglect of art education in general, but because there is a large cultural shift in how we define “entertainment”. I could not name more than a handful of friends who have been to a symphonic concert. I am one of the privileged ones, who got a chance to experience, and knows about the amazing impact classicalmusic can have on you. But I’m not a typical case, and I fear there’re not enough ones to fill the concert halls of tomorrow.
Stefan Englert seems to be aware of all those challenges. He sees BFO as an artistic business venture where creativity, innovation, and experimentation are celebrated at every level. He also tries to create a respectful and supportive environment for the players who should be actively involved with operations, vision, and major decisions of the ensemble. Such a sustainable model allows BFO to produce an outstanding art and serve community for many years to come.
by Martyna Panczak
EEF presents the best of breed global successes, built out of Budapest.
This program is sponsored by the Prezi founders.
This time, we’ll dedicate ourselves to classical music and this business goes back to the age of St. Stephan. The Staatskapelle Dresden, the oldest symphonic orchestra of the world was founded in 1548. The Berlin, Munich, New Yorker and Vienna philharmonic orchestras date well back into the 19. Century. Ivan Fischer, an entrepreneurial conductor, decides in 1983 to build an orchestra which is different from the many around in Budapest. In only 25 years, he achieves a miracle. Gramophone – the world best classical music magazine – elects the Budapest Festival Orchestra into the global Top Ten!
I’ll be talking with Stefan Englert, Ivan’s partner about the next 25 years…
Program Stefan Englert will be interviewed by EEF founder Peter Záboji
Date Thursday, 22 November 2012
8.30 – 9:00 Breakfast networking
9:00 – 10:00 Interview
Venue Prezi Offices
Dress code Smart casual
Participants will be selected based upon their application: