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Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
1095 Budapest Komor Marcell u. 1.
555-3300, 555-3301
Orchestral concerts
March 20th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
Tchaikovsky: Violin concerto in D Major, op. 35
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92
Conductor: Louis Langrée
Joshua Bell is one of today’s most successful violinists. Right from the beginning of his career this world-famous artist has been in the spotlight of attention with his recordings and concerts. One January morning in 2007 in one of Washington’s busiest metro stations, wearing old jeans, a T-shirt and baseball cap, for 43 minutes he played his fabulously expensive violin as a street musician. He played six difficult and demanding classical works as 1097 people, mainly middle-class government officials, walked past him. Most of them did not even stop or notice the extremely high artistic quality unusual in a pedestrian passage. Only a few people paused to listen to the music for a few minutes, seven people gave money and just over 32 dollars accumulated in the violin case. Only one woman recognised Joshua Bell. As far as we know Joshua Bell is not planning to appear in 2009 in Blaha Lujza Square so we can enjoy his performance of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto in a concert hall with considerably better acoustics. The excellent Camerata Salzburg, no stranger to the Budapest public, will be conducted by the leading French conductor Louis Langrée.
Prices: 15000, 12000, 9500, 7500, 5500, 3500 HUF

Joshua Bell © Bill Phelps

Louis Langrée © Benjamin Ealovega

Orchestral concerts
March 22nd
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
Bartók Evening
Bluebeard’s Castle – semi-staged performance
The Miraculous Mandarin
Following an excellent recording and a highly successful New York performance, the two famous Hungarian singers will sing again in Budapest of the hopeless love of Judit and Bluebeard. It is impossible here to list all the stages in the brilliant careers of Ildikó Komlósi and László Polgár. We shall mention only some of their engagements for the 2008–2009 season. Komlósi is singing Herodias in the Metropolitan Opera (R. Strauss: Salome), Carmen in Rome and the Verona Arena, Amneris in the Berlin and Munich Staatsoper, and in Verona (Verdi: Aida). She will appear in Cavalleria Rusticana in Cagliari (Teatro Lirico), the role of Princess de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur awaits her in Covent Garden, and she will sing Federica in Luisa Miller in the Paris National Opera. László Polgár will take the role of Raimondo in Zurich (Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor), King Marke in Birmingham (Wagner: Tristan und Isolde). In 2009 he is to sing the roles of Talbot (Donizetti: Maria Stuarda), Colline (Puccini: La Bohème) and Claudius (Handel: Agrippina) in Zurich. Besides Budapest, he will sing Bluebeard several times in Athens.
Prices: 8500, 7500, 6500, 4500, 2500, 1500 HUF

Special treats
March 23rd
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 8:00 pm
“Tonight or never!”
Fantastic, indescribably frenetic performance
The story began in a pizza place in North Berlin, where a whole group led by Max Raabe – the members of what was later to be the Palastorchester – decided to play the greatest dance and film music of the 1920s and 1930s in their own interpretation. A piano, guitar, sousaphone and drums add to the orchestra’s basic sound.

What do Oops, I did it again, Let's talk about sex and Sex bomb have in common? Max Raabe. During the festival many people can see for themselves this crazy fellow who arranges and sings today’s hits in the style of the twenties and thirties. Brilliant and very funny!
Prices: 9900, 8900, 7500, 6500, 4500, 2500 HUF

Special treats
March 24th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
Music of a Lost World
A musical tour in the world of klezmer with cantors as guides.
With: Moshe Schulhof, Tsudik Greenwald, Yaakov Rosenfeld, David Weinbach, László Fekete – voice, Tamás Dunai – narrator, Budapest Klezmer Band (artistic director: Ferenc Jávori)
Director, film: Moshe Alafi
Production: Levie Kanes
This show showcases songs performed by Cantors, music performed by a Klezmer band and video displays. The play is set in a Hungarian town. The narrator Shmuel is the son of the town’s former Rabbi. After his father’s death he returns to see what has happened to the place he grew up in and the synagogue he knew so well. He finds that nothing is left of the synagogue but a chest of relics. His exploration of its contents is accompanied by the Cantors, representing voices from the Jewish past. His nostalgic stories of life in the Jewish community in Hungary are brought to life by music and videos. This performance will be of interest to a wide audience of music lovers, both those familiar with Jewish cantorial music and those interested in widening their horizons; it will also appeal to audiences interested in history, as it provides a glimpse of the Jewish past in Hungary.
Prices: 15000, 12000, 9500, 7500, 5500, 3500 HUF

Orchestral concerts
March 25th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
An Evening with the Hungarian National Philharmonic on the Anniversary of Bartók’s Birth
Debussy: Jeux
Bartók: Rhapsody for violin, Nos. 1 and 2
Bartók: Four pieces for orchestra, op. 12
Bartók: Cantata profana
Conductor: Zoltán Kocsis
With: Barnabás Kelemen – violin, Attila Fekete, János Gurbán – voice
Choirmaster: Mátyás Antal
According to the experts Debussy created his most modern and exciting score when he composed ballet music based on the search for a lost tennis ball. We will never know whether Jeux really could have been the beginning of a new period for Debussy, but Zoltán Kocsis will certainly show that it is a wonderful composition worth discovering. Few people can match his deep feeling for and understanding of the art of the French composer.
The Bartók programme within the concert timed to coincide with the birthday of Béla Bartók could be a full programme in itself. In addition to the popular violin rhapsodies it features two basic works of 20th century music. A few years ago it was still necessary to point out the exceptional merits of the Four pieces for orchestra. Today (thanks to the revelatory interpretations of Zoltán Kocsis and Péter Eötvös) the work occupies its rightful place in the repertoire and in the hearts of concert-goers. For a long while Cantata profana enjoyed the respect due to major works, but conductors seem to have neglected it in recent years. Here is the opportunity to realise that life is not worth living without such a masterpiece. We will be helped in this discovery not only by the many outstanding musicians but also by Szabolcs Brickner who scored one of the most brilliant victories of the last decade when he won the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium in May 2008.
Prices: 6500, 5500, 4500, 3500, 2500, 1500 HUF

Orchestral concerts
March 26th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
J. Ch. Bach: Lucio Silla – overture
Mozart: Piano concerto No. 18 in B flat major, K 456
Mozart: Divertimento in E flat major, K 113
Mozart: Piano concerto No. 24 in C minor, K 491
With: Piotr Anderszewski – piano
With his Budapest solo evening the brilliant Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski became one of the public’s favourites. On this occasion he is to perform two Mozart piano concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The ensemble is one of the very best; it has made many recordings with Sir Charles Mackerras and given memorable concerts and opera productions. In 2006 the Scottish Chamber Ensemble recorded two Mozart piano concertos (K 453 and K 466) with Anderszewski for a CD that was received with enthusiasm by the experts and the public. BBC Music Magazine’s critic rated it as “not to be missed”.
Prices: 9900, 8900, 7500, 6500, 4500, 2500 HUF

Orchestral concerts
March 29th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
Smetana: Vltava
Dvořák: Violin concerto in A minor, op. 53
Martinů: Symphony No. 1
Conductor: Vladimír Válek
With: Dmitri Berlinsky – violin
The Czech Republic is greeting Budapest with masterpieces of Czech music. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra established in 1926 is one of Europe’s prestigious old ensembles. It has played under the baton of such great conductors as Charles Munch, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Sir Charles Mackerras and Vaclav Neumann. Famous composers – Honegger, Khachaturian, Penderecki – also conducted the ensemble. After the Second World War it was headed by Karol Ancerl, Alois Klima and Jaroslav Krombholc and at present it is under the direction of Vladimír Válek. It is now considered to be one of the leading radio orchestras. Together with its principal conductor the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra has taken part in successful concert tours and made many recordings. Válek has recorded all Martinů’s symphonies with this ensemble.
“Our Guest the Czech Republic”

Prices: 8500, 7500, 6500, 4500, 2500, 1500 HUF

Orchestral concerts
March 30th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:30 pm
Schumann: Genoveva overture, op. 81
Beethoven: Piano concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F Major, op. 90
Conductor: Daniel Harding
With: Fazil Say – piano
Anyone who has seen and heard live or on DVD the Aix-en-Provence festival productions directed by Peter Brook (Don Giovanni) and Patrice Chéreau (Così fan tutte) will certainly have noticed the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and its young conductor, Daniel Harding. The Oxford-born young man first attracted attention as assistant to Sir Simon Rattle, then to Claudio Abbado. From 2003 he became music director of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and from 2007 director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He conducts leading ensembles and is a regular guest at prestigious festivals. Milestones in his career as an opera conductor have been two productions at Covent Garden (Britten: The Turn of the Screw; Berg: Wozzeck) and the première of Idomeneo in the Milan Scala (2005). Harding conducted the Wiener Philharmoniker in a performance of Don Giovanni at the 2006 Salzburg Mozart celebrations. He will appear in Budapest with the virtuoso Turkish pianist and composer, Fazil Say who, as ambassador of the year in 2008 represents the main goals of the EU initiative “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue”.
Prices: 9500, 8500, 7500, 6500, 4500, 2500 HUF

Mahler Chamber Orchestra © Elisabeth Carecchio

Daniel Harding © Eisuke Miyoshi

Special treats
April 2nd
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 8:00 pm
Nigel Kennedy Quintet
An exhilarating musical journey inspired by jazz, world, rock and folk by one of the world's greatest violinists.
Members of the quintet: NIGEL KENNEDY – violin, Adam Kowalewski – double bass, Tomasz Grzegorski – tenor saxophone, Krzysztof Dziedzic – drums, Piotr Wylezoł – piano
World famous British virtuoso Nigel Kennedy has enjoyed huge popularity for over 25 years and is unquestionably one of the greatest violinists of all times. Thanks to a brilliant technique, exceptional talent and radiant personality, he is equally at home in classical and contemporary music and jazz. On his visit to Budapest, he and his quintet take us on a journey inspired by jazz, folk and world music.
Prices: 15000, 12000, 9500, 7500, 5500, 3500 HUF

Orchestral concerts
April 3rd
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:45 pm
Sibelius: The Oceanides – symphonic poem, op. 73
Prokofiev: Piano concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 16
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 (Rhenish ) in E flat major, op. 97
Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis
With: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet – piano
The guest conductor of the Festival Orchestra will be the extremely versatile Sir Andrew Davis. He is equally at home in Baroque, Romantic, Viennese classic and contemporary music. For years he was the artistic director of the famous Glyndebourne Opera Festival, currently he is music director of the Chicago Opera House and artistic consultant to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared with practically all the leading international orchestras, from the Berlin Philharmonic through the Concertgebouw Orchestra to the Chicago Symphony.
He will accompany Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in Prokofiev’s second piano concerto.
Prices: 9900, 8900, 7500, 6500, 4500, 2500 HUF

Sir Andrew Davis © Jim Four

April 5th
Palace of Arts - Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, 7:00 pm
Vienna State Opera
Mozart: Don Giovanni – concert performance
Don Giovanni: Ildebrando D`Arcangelo
Commendatare: Dan Paul Dumitrescu
Donna Anna: Krassimira Stoyanova
Don Ottavio: Saimir Pirgu
Donna Elvira: Aga Mikolaj
Leporello: Wolfgang Bankl
Zerlina: Alexandra Reinprecht
Masetto: Zoltán Nagy
Conductor: Ádám Fischer
By his own admission Ádám Fischer likes conducting opera best of all, and Budapest audiences have been able to experience the beneficial consequences of this preference many times. The outstanding conductor has been co-operating since 1973 with the Austrian institution representing the peak of opera and on this occasion he will conduct the guest performance by artists of the Wiener Staatsoper.
The “opera of operas”, Mozart’s masterpiece has been disturbing thinking people for over two hundred years. Both performer and listener again and again come up against mysteries to be solved at any points in the texture of this music drama. And since no one has yet solved them all, each new performance holds out the joy of discovery.
Prices: 22000, 17500, 15500, 10500, 6500, 4500 HUF

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