The Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer is setting off on a tour of Asia, reaching the most important cities of Chinese cultural life in the coming weeks. The concert series will begin in Hong Kong with two BFO concerts to be performed in the concert hall of the elegant cultural centre seating 2100 people – which is the pride of the city. The next stop will be the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, then the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, which has been the venue for unforgettable concerts in recent years. The tour will end in Taiwan with two concerts performed at the National Concert Hall in Taipei
According to cultural experts, people in the countries of the Far East are taking a growing interest in Western classical music. The striking economic development of China at the turn of the century led to the progress of arts as well as to a huge increase in the number of modern concert halls and world-class classical music performances. It took Shanghai only five years to turn the Grand Theatre into one of the bastions of classical music in Asia. The representative cultural centres of Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities already attract the most excellent musicians and orchestras, and even the BFO will not be playing for the first time as a guest performer in large Chinese cities.
This time, however, the Festival Orchestra will not only play in elegant concert halls, but at the initiative of Iván Fischer, the musicians will also participate in numerous special programmes. In Shanghai, a whole day will be dedicated to playing music in orphanages, secondary schools, children’s hospitals and elderly homes. In Hong Kong, one artist of the orchestra, József Bazsinka, will give a master's course at an arts festival, while Stefan Englert, managing director of the BFO, will give a lecture to cultural managers in Beijing.
There is huge expectation regarding the Festival Orchestra’s tour in China. As one of the critics of Time Out Shanghai put it: “Iván Fischer and the outstanding Budapest Festival Orchestra bring a rich, must-see programme to Shanghai...”