Budapest Festival Orchestra
Press Releases April 05, 2016


Between two major European tours and concerts in Hungary, the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) is organising its fifth Community Week to take place between 17 and 23 April. Chamber ensembles from the BFO will be performing at 21 venues in the space of a week, from Komló in Baranya county to Téglás in Hajdú-Bihar. We have expanded the free concert series to include the children’s Music Castle programme, which the orchestra will be bringing to students at the School of Mobility Improvement on Budapest’s Mexikói út and to residents at the SOS Children’s Village in Orosháza.


Leonard Bernstein was one of Iván Fischer’s most important mentors. “He was versatile,” Fisher says. “He was a composer, a conductor, an educator, a humanist, and a genuinely deep thinker. From him, I learned that music is not a competitive arena of single-minded people. I’ll never forget what he said: ‘I love music, but I love people even more’.”

Bernstein’s ideas are a perfect reflection of the reasons for Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra deciding, two years ago, to launch their Community Week programme. The fifth Community Week takes place between 17 and 23 April.

The aim of these weeks is to bring classical music to people who are not in the position to make it to a concert hall in Budapest. These include the elderly, for whom the sound of a violin is often the best medicine, as well as disadvantaged young people from rural areas, children with physical disabilities, church communities, and inhabitants of small towns and villages.

New programme: Music Castle

During the spring concert season, the Festival Orchestra will be bringing its playful new Music Castle programme to the Mexikói út Mozgásjavító (mobility improvement institute for children with physical disabilities), to Orosháza, where residents and friends of the SOS Children’s Village will be in attendance, and to Téglás in Hajdú-Bihar County. An important element of this interactive and integrative programme gives young audience members the opportunity not only to get to know the orchestra and its instruments, but also to make and play their own musical instruments. The leader of the programme, BFO violinist Erika Illési, wrote that: “It is a gift for me to be able to share music and the joy of music-making with children so often. We go to schools, to arts’ centres, to disadvantaged villages. Because learning music is very important – music develops the art of hearing and nurtures the knowledge of how to listen. This is what connects the internal with the external, the invisible with the visible.”

The BFO is continuing with its series of concerts in abandoned synagogues. This time around, venues range from the impressive synagogue in Karcag, which is about to undergo renovation works; to the synagogue in Apostag, winner of the Europa Nostra award; and the Eger synagogue, which stood empty and disused until the mid-1980s, but today serves as a modern exhibition hall. Mini-lectures about the synagogues and the history of the Jewish communities who used to live there will supplement these special concerts, where you'll even get to taste flódni cake. (The Synagogue Concerts are a joint production by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation and the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities.)

As in previous years, three church communities will also get the opportunity to enjoy the BFO’s music, played on authentic baroque instruments, this time in Komló (Calvinist), Kecskemét (Lutheran) and Soltvadkert (Lutheran). The Bach cantata repertoire, which we have played at previous Community Weeks, has been expanded to include arias, a motet, and a sonata by Rosenmüller.

On this occasion, the orchestra’s chamber ensembles will be performing for residents of 12 nursing homes, from Bátaszék through Ormosbánya to Budapest, including 3 institutions run by the capital city.



17 April, 4:00 pm.

Synagogue, Karcag - Kertész József u. 7.

19 April, 6:00 pm.

Synagogue Gallery, Eger- Kossuth u. 17.

20 April, 6:00 pm.

Faluház (community centre), Apostag - Iskola u. 5.


21 April, 6:00 pm.

Lutheran Church, Soltvadkert, Kossuth u. 2.

22 April, 6:00 pm.

Lutheran Church, Kecskemét, Arany János u. 1.

23 April, 6:00 pm.

Calvinist Church, Komló, Bajcsy Zs. u 7.


19 April, 3:00 pm.

Mozgásjavító Óvoda, Általános Iskola (Mobility Improvement Kindergarten and Primary School), 1145 Budapest, Mexikói út 60.

20 April, 2:00 pm.

City Cinema, Téglás, Kossuth u. 61.

21 April, 2:00 pm.

Petőfi Művelődési Központ (Arts’ Centre), Orosháza, Concert hall, Kossuth L. u. 3.


19 April, 10:00 am.

Ceglédi Idősek Otthona (Nursing Home), 2700 Cegléd, Bajcsy Zs. u 1.

19 April, 10:00 am.

Fővárosi Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona

(Budapest Municipal Nursing Home), 1031 Budapest Ányos u. 3.

19 April, 2:30 pm.

Veresegyház Városi Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona (Municipal Nursing Home), 2112 Veresegyház Fő u. 106.

20 April, 10:00 am.

Egyesített Szociális Intézmény I

. számú Idősek Otthona (1st Unified Social Institution Nursing Home), 8000 Székesfehérvár, Rákóczi út 34.

 20 April, 10:30 am.

Egyesített Szociális Intézmény és Árpád-házi Szent Erzsébet Idősek Otthonai (Unified Social Institution and St Elizabeth Árpád Nursing Homes), 2400 Dunaújváros, Dunasor 15.

20 April, 10:30 am.

Ormosbányai Idősek Otthona (Nursing Home), 3743 Ormosbánya, Ady

Endre u. 33.

20 April, 3:00 pm.

"Szivárvány" Otthon (‘Rainbow’ Nursing Home), 7140 Bátaszék, Bezerédi u 7/B.

21 April, 2:30 pm.

Fővárosi Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona (Budapest Municipal Nursing Home), 1173 Budapest, Pesti út 117.

21 April, 3:00 pm.

Szent Gellért Senior Apartmanház, 1115 Budapest, Bikszádi u. 53-55.

21 April, 3:00 pm.

Fővárosi Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona (Budapest Municipal Nursing Home), 1103 Budapest, Gergely u. 85.

21 April, 3:00 pm.

Schweitzer Albert Szeretetotthon (Nursing Home), 1146 Budapest, Hermina út 51.

22 April, 10:30 am.

Heves Megyei Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona (Heves County Council Nursing Home), 3291 Vámosgyörök, István király út 1.