Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent, György Kurtág, Kristine Opolais, Lawrence Brownlee, the Ballet Company of Győr and Félix Lajkó, Sergei Nakariakov and the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok. Ji, Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Lloyd Newson (DV8 Physical Theatre) and the Ballet Rambert. Sárik Péter Trio, Gábor Farkas, Freak Fusion, Ernő Kállai and János Balázs, Miklós Lukács and the Hungarian National Philharmonic. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Budapest Spring Festival, one of the most important festivals of the arts in the region, welcomes spring with an exceptional programme. In 2020 the spring of culture starts on 3 April and lasts until 19 April: in addition to the classical music concerts, visitors can enjoy countless aria recitals, opera, ballet, dance and theatre performances, jazz concerts and exhibitions. With new events added to the programme continuously, tickets are available from 6 November, 2019.
New productions, world and Hungarian premieres by emblematic ensembles and prominent soloists at a wide range of venues in the capital: between 3 and 19 April, 2020, the Budapest Spring Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary with world stars and Hungarian artists of consequence. The opening performance itself will be really special: Ballet Company of Győr, the legendary dance ensemble that also looks back on a history of four decades, joins forces with Liszt Prize-winning violinist and composer Félix Lajkó to bring a production of Giselle to the celebrations. The Hungarian premiere of György Kurtág’s Fin de partie (Endgame) also promises to be a sensation: based on Samuel Beckett’s drama, the opera had its premiere at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, and was immediately named World Premiere of the Year by the International Opera Awards, one of the most prestigious distinctions of the genre. On 10 April, it can be seen and heard at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest.
Lawrence Brownlee, one of the world’s leading bel canto singers, comes with an evening of arias, as does Kristine Opolais, one of the brightest stars of opera in the past decade. The world-famous Belgian ensemble, Collegium Vocale Gent, and its founder conductor, Philippe Herreweghe will perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion, while the eminent trumpeter, Sergei Nakariakov will appear in concert with the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok. The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and its founder conductor, Ton Koopman bring one of the greatest compositions of Handel’s Italian period, the Resurrection oratorio. Lloyd Newson, an iconic artist of physical theatre and founder of the British DV8 company, comes to Budapest with a revised version of Enter Achilles, a landmark production first presented 25 years ago. Revived in a collaboration between Ballet Rambert and Sadler’s Wells of London, the choreography will now demonstrate its abiding relevance and appeal at Trafó House of Contemporary Arts.
The figure and art of Ferenc Liszt play an important part at the Budapest Spring Festival every year. 2020 will be no exception, and the programme even features a rare musical treat. In 2018 the Staatskapelle Weimar became responsible for the world premiere of a piece by Liszt, the opera fragment, Sardanapalo. Kirill Karabits, the conductor of the Weimar premiere believes the music is magnificent and enchanting, and the discovery of the piece has opened a new chapter in the musical history of the 19th-century.
Alongside our own anniversary, we at the 40th Budapest Spring Festival are delighted to celebrate the 250th birthday of a giant of a composer, Ludwig van Beethoven; several of our concerts will feature works by one of the greatest figures of classical music. Ji, the South Korean genius of the piano amazed the Budapest audience last time with the Goldberg Variations, and now returns to the Liszt Academy with an exceptional Beethoven programme. Accord Quartet will perform the works of the legendary composer at Pesti Vigadó, Ernő Kállai and János Balázs will play a selection of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano, the concert programme of Miklós Lukács and the Hungarian National Philharmonic will include the Fate Symphony, and the Sárik Péter Trio adds a flavour of jazz to the immortal melodies.
The Hungarian capital’s premier cultural institutions and theatres join forces for the 40th Budapest Spring Festival, and the 2020 programme includes special venues as well. The Market Hall on Rákóczi tér will host an unconventional production, The City of Marias, which is based on Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera, María de Buenos Aires. The main role will be sung by Erika Miklósa, the world-famous operatic singer whose ties to the festival are countless.
Makám, the band prepares with an unconventional concert, PONT Festival, which promotes folk traditions, returns with a new edition, and a true spring festival mood will imbue the city once more, thanks among other things to the Akvárium Spring Terrace, which opens again in the heart of the city, with pop concerts and events for children.
Between 3 and 19 April, 2020, the 40th Budapest Spring Festival will add a dash of colour and superb events to the life of the city and the season. While new events continue to be added to the programme, tickets for the festival’s anniversary edition are available, from 6 November, 2019, at the ticket sales points of Müpa Budapest and BFTK, and on our redesigned website, www.btf.hu.