Budapest Festival Orchestra
Press Releases November 07, 2014

Iván Fischer assigned important task by German government

Iván Fischer is planning the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain in the capital of Germany. The event will be attended by Angela Merkel and Joachim Gauck, among others.

The German government invited Iván Fischer, music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Konzerthaus in Berlin, to plan and direct the festive commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which will take place in the concert hall of the Konzerthaus in Berlin on 9 November 2014.

The event will be attended by Joachim Gauck, President of the Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel, Chancellor, and Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin. Amongst the invited guests will be Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union and Miklós Németh, first Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary, proclaimed on 23 October 1989. So far, Iván Fischer has not revealed any details of his plans.

One of the concerts by Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra took on historical importance in 1989. As the conductor recalls: “Those days the city of Budapest was full of excitement due to the hundreds of people fleeing the GDR, who first occupied the embassies, then were received by the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, and their future was completely uncertain.”

On 18 August 1989 the music director of the Festival Orchestra invited 400 East-German refugees to his Beethoven concert in the Budapest Congress Centre. After the concert the world-famous conductor was visited in his dressing room by a delegation of 15 diplomats from West Germany, who on the one hand expressed their gratitude to the conductor and the orchestra for their gesture, while on the other they told the conductor that in the interval they had had the opportunity to inform the refugees about the Pan-European Picnic planned for the next day. This is where the Iron Curtain started to lift and the avalanche set off.

The commemorative event on 9 November will be broadcast by several German television channels from 4pm.