Budapest (MTI) – The internationally celebrated Budapest Festival Orchestra staged a musical demonstration in downtown Budapest on Saturday to protest against the Municipal Assembly’s decision to reduce funding for the ensemble.
“First and foremost, we are here to demonstrate that we really love Budapest and we know that Budapest, too, really loves the Budapest Festival Orchestra,” Iván Fischer, the director, told a crowd that filled Vörösmarty Square.
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Fischer said he wanted to talk not about the past, but the future and what it is like to love Budapest. “We want a Budapest that has more music, more happiness, more love and less hate.”
He spoke out for minority groups and said the orchestra wants them to feel just as safe as anyone else in Budapest, in a friendly environment filled with music.
As a message to the Municipal Assembly, German Bass-Baritone Hanno Mueller-Brachmann and the orchestra performed the aria from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in which Sarastro says that revenge has no place in his domain.
As we wrote, at the end of April, the assembly voted to cut funding for the orchestra by 200 million forints (EUR 940,000) to 60 million.
Fischer vowed that the orchestra would not fail Budapest and would continue to perform.
At the end of the demonstration, members of the crowd joined the orchestra with their own instruments in performing a Beethoven composition.