If you are a classical music aficionado, this summer provides you with a host of great opportunities to immerse yourself in it throughout Budapest and in the countryside, too. Pop-up concerts spattered throughout the capital, free concerts by the world-renowned Festival Orchestra, or a month-long festival in the City Park: here are some of our recommendations.
Zenélő Budapest (Musical Budapest) is held for the fourth time this year, with 600 miniconcerts in 10 scenic locations for three months – all for free – from 25 May to 12 August.
Important landmarks will regularly transform into concert venues for 20-minute long recitals, including the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Great Market Hall or the Music Fountain at Margaret Island.
The concerts promise an extraordinary range of music catering to diverse tastes. To give a few examples: there will be Transylvanian folklore at Vajdahunyadvár; nostalgic melodies by a sax ensemble at Várkert Bazár; classical pieces in jazz reorchestration at Kunsthalle; and a harp-violin duet in front of the legendary Gerbeaud Confectionery at Vörösmarty square.
But for those who prefer the traditional long-format, there will be full-fletched concerts starting at 11 am on Sundays in the courtyard of Várkert Bazár. One of the highlights here will be the Chopin and Liszt recital of renowned pianist Gergely Bogányi on 3rd June.
More information on the exact schedule and programme of the concerts can be found here.
Community Week of the Festival Orchestra
The internationally renowned Budapest Festival Orchestra, under the guidance of conductor Iván Fischer, is truly one of the world’s best, and they have just closed a particularly great season, with raving reviews from New York to Rejkjavik. This is why it is so remarkable that they have decided to return and give 24 free concerts during their Community Week in the remotest areas of Hungary.
As szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu reports, there will be three types of concerts. A bunch of them take place in churches and synagogues, including Szeged and Zalaegerszeg as well as small villages. The concerts entitled Zenevár (Music Castle) are designed for children and will travel to, among other places, Őcsény and Monor. Finally, Játékidő (Playtime) is for the elderly, bringing the joy of music to old people’s homes both in the capital and the countryside.
The Festival Orchestra then officially closes its season on 17 June with the TérTáncKoncert in front of the Basilica. Another staple of Fischer’s civic commitment, the TérTáncKoncert initiative has been celebrating diversity and tolerance since 2015. The free concert will include more than 500 young people from disadvantaged regions of Hungary, dancing together to Brahms’s Hungarian Dances.
More information on venues and times can be found here.
Musical Festival of Vajdahunyad Castle
Organised for the 27th time, this festival takes place in the atmospheric courtyard of the unique architectural setting of Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park, Budapest, from 2 July to 2 August with concerts on Mondays and Thursdays.
The festival will be opened by the King Saint Stephen Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of Tchaikovsky. The gala evening of 5 July looks promising, too, with soprano Ingrid Kertesi’s performance of arias by Mozart, Verdi and Bellini. And the famous Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra gives the closing concert, playing a bunch of popular pieces like Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody and Erkel’s Palotás.
More information on the programme and tickets can be found here.
Featured image: https://www.facebook.com/vajdahunyadvarinyarizeneifesztival