Budapest Festival Orchestra
Press Releases June 04, 2016


The Management of the Budapest Festival Orchestra has recently preformed a thorough investigation into which concerts, tours and other projects will need to be cancelled, following the General Assembly of Budapest’s 77-percent cut to the orchestra’s funding (from 260 million HUF to 60 million HUF). The BFO’s music director, Iván Fischer, has already announced the list of threatened concerts through a video message.

The management’s decision is as follows:

- The Budapest Festival Orchestra will still be going on their Baltic tour. The Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs believes that the Budapest Festival Orchestra performing abroad is hugely significant in terms of cultural diplomacy. After the Ministry decided to reimburse the tour’s 60-million-Forint deficit, the Hungarian orchestra will still be able to visit the highly prestigious festivals in Vilnius, Riga, St. Petersburg and Ravenna.

- To minimise 2016 losses it was inevitable that the Festival Orchestra would have to cancel their November 2016 concerts with Dmitri Kitayenko. The orchestra has already informed its audience of this change, and will refund the value of the ticket or make another concert available as ticket-holders wish. The refundable amount can also be used to support the BFO’s under-threat youth programmes.

- During the 2016–17 season, the BFO will be unable to finance the school opera, an event closely associated with the beginning of a season and which, according to the original plans, was to have taken place for free in ten schools in and around Budapest.

- The BFO has also been forced to go back to organising just two Community Weeks this year, as opposed to three. The first Community Week took place in April, the next one will be in June. Contrary to the original plans, the September Community Week has been cancelled.

- Without external assistance, the Festival Orchestra would also be unable to finance its Choose Your Instrument series - a free event for its partner schools. However, since educational activities are a top priority for the orchestra, we intend to make up the missing amount through an international fund-raising campaign. In order for the programme to continue uninterrupted through the autumn of 2016, the orchestra will need to raise the required sums by 10 August.

- To continue with Midnight Music, another top-priority BFO series designed to cater to young people, will require external funds, meaning the fate of the next Midnight Music concert in December also depends on the success of the fund-raising campaign. The deadline for this is also 10 August.