The 3rd Bartók Spring International Arts Weeks will feature concerts and performances of classical, jazz, light, and world music by international and Hungarian stars, dance performances, exhibitions, and film screenings, with more than 30 programs in total, from March 31 to April 16.
The festival, which bears the name of Béla Bartók, a famous Hungarian composer, was launched in 2021 with the aim of bringing to life the composer’s legacy of thought through a wide range of genres and productions, shared CEO of Müpa Budapest and the organizer of the program, Csaba Káel, at a press conference on Wednesday.
The organizers highlighted a concert by Klangforum Wien, paying tribute to György Ligeti, who was born 100 years ago. Arriving in Budapest two days after its debut in Germany, the concert will be conducted by Péter Eötvös, a former collaborator of Ligeti’s, and will feature four concertos by Barnabás Kelemen, László Fenyő, and Zoltán Fejérvári.
Organizers Csaba Káel, CEO of Müpa Budapest and Janina Szomolányi, Operational Director of Bartók Spring (L), at a press conference on the 3rd Bartók Spring International Art Weeks in Budapest. Photo: MTI/Lakatos Péter
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the region’s best-known symphony orchestras, and its conductor Semyon Bychkov, will open the 3rd Bartók Spring International Arts Weeks with an impressive program of Bartók and Stravinsky compositions, including the latest piano work by world-renowned organist Thierry Escaich, with the participation of pianist Cho Songjin, just two weeks after its world premiere in Prague.
The Philharmonia Orchestra of London and its conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, have created a program for the festival’s closing concert, with works by Sibelius and Bartók, alongside Beethoven. The soloist for the concert will be violinist Kristóf Baráti.
The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble will perform a dance piece entitled His Cross Blossomed, while the Orfeo Orchestra and the Purcell Choir will perform Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel’s Passion, undeservedly forgotten for 300 years, conducted by György Vashegyi. The Swiss Gabetta Consort will be performing Benjamin Appl and a program of mainly Bach compositions, and there will also be world premieres.
The organizers have highlighted the diversity of genres at Bartók Spring: for example, the alternative indie rock group EELS, led by Mark Oliver Everett, will perform in Budapest for the first time, Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice is also expected to perform, while the exceptional modern jazz composer Nik Bärtsch, a Swiss pianist and composer, will perform with Hungarian musicians in the House of Hungarian Music, reflecting on Bartók’s oeuvre.
On April 10, Müpa Budapest will host a day with a photo exhibition, dance, and concerts in honor of the folk music group celebrating its 50th anniversary, and on the same day, Sara Baras, one of the greatest dancers of flamenco, and her company, will present their production Alma (Soul).
New exhibitions will also open during the Bartók Spring: a contemporary exhibition at the Ludwig Museum entitled Art after the Soá by American Boris Lurie and German Wolf Vostell, a life-work exhibition by Lajos Gulácsy at the Hungarian National Gallery, and a major selection of works by Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka at the Museum of Fine Arts.