szombat.org Joint press conference of the conductor and the rabbi on their new project in the Óbuda Synagogue
As part of the new project, the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) will give three concerts in June, free of charge, in three synagogues outside Budapest – in Albertirsa, Keszthely and Mád. The three towns represent three different situations: in the neglected synagogue of Albertirsa nobody prays any more, since not a single Jew lives in the town. The beautifully refurbished building of the synagogue in Mád is also empty during most of the year, it is there mainly to fascinate tourists only. The small community in Keszthely safeguards and protects the functioning synagogue like “a pilot light”.
In the three synagogues with a relatively limited seating capacity only a smaller ensemble, the size of a chamber orchestra, can play. Talking about the program, Iván Fischer said that they were planning to play the compositions of Jewish composers.
The BFO and the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (Hungarian acronym: EMIH) jointly organise the short concerts followed by conversations, with the purpose of recalling with the locals the memories of the once prosperous Jewish community life and the Jewish-Christian cohabitation - said Iván Fischer, BFO Music Director and Slomó Köves, the Executive Rabbi of EMIH.
The costs of the free concerts will be covered from the annual budget of the orchestra – the conductor said in response to a question.
BFO in the spirit of the motto “Let Music Belong to Everyone” will also visit old people’s homes and Christian churches in June, in addition to synagogues outside Budapest.
“Let’s move out of concert halls!” – this is how Iván Fischer formulated the basic principle, and Slomó Köves added that, in the same spirit, Judaism should also be taken out of synagogues so that non-Jewish people can also learn about it, which will stop them from identifying it as something mysterious and strange.
Dates of the concerts:
All three concerts start at 7.00pm.