The Budapest Festival Orchestra provide some of the most exiting and stimulating musical events on this year’s Edinburgh Festival programme.
Founded in 1983 by Ivan Fischer and Zoltan Kocsis it has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative musical performances worldwide. Its purpose is to serve the community, its philosophy is to share the joy of music.
Dvorak Inside Out was a relaxed presentation in the round, the Usher Hall stripped of seats and filled with beanbags for the audience to enjoy an interactive time with the orchestra asking questions and hearing more about Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony and those playing it.
The next concert – Bartok & Kodaly – offered a folk-influenced all Hungarian/Romanian programme, joined by Sir Andras Schiff on piano and the NYCOS National Girls Choir.
A group of lively Romanian Folk Dances started the evening, with conductor Ivan Fischer jigging up and down on stage at one point to the irresistible rhythms. Then followed Sir Andras Schiff to steady the mood with Piano Concerto No 3 in E Major. Some jolly light little choruses sung by the NYCOS Girls choir brought great cheers, and Dances of Galanta made a rousing end to the performance. The following evening Weber and Mendelssohn were the delights on offer.
It seems true to say that under Nicola Benedetti’s time as Festival Director we can look forward to some highly innovative and stimulating music in the years ahead. Expect to be stimulated, thrilled, inspired and informed.