EIF 2023: Budapest Festival Orchestra: A Model for the Future, Review

Benedetti and Fischer in rehearsal
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Budapest Festival Orchestra
A Model for the Future
Nicola Benedetti with Ivan Fischer and Orchestra members
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To begin the Budapest Festival Orchestra's Festival residency, Nicola Benedetti sat on stage with the Orchestra's founder and director, Ivan Fischer. She was asking him what was innovative about their plans. One example was using the talents of the players in areas beyond the normal run of orchestral labours. To illustrate this Ivan Fischer brought on some of his players to perform early music - of Monteverdi madrigals. More players joined in to show that they can also sing. We heard Argentinian tango from another set of players, to be followed by three specialists in klezmer music from some villages in Transylvania. 

The Orchestra travels around Hungary to many of the usual type of venues but what particularly interested me was how they seek out synagogues in villages that are no longer open to locals, buildings either decrepit or in use for other purposes. There they give performances that allow people back into beautiful buildings. Remember just how many Hungarian and Romanian Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.

To add to my interest, a few days ago I had had the pleasure of watching Ivan Fischer's son Daniel rehearse his Fishhook Theatre Company in St Vincent's, and met younger brother Benjamin with their mother and Ivan's wife, flautist Gabriella Pivon.

Event: Monday 7th August 2023 at 8pm