On 2 February, 2020, Müpa Budapest, the BFO and prominent musicians of the Hungarian musical scene will come together to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of revolutionary, visionary and brilliant composer and superstar of classical music Ludwig van Beethoven. Though now it is possible to complete a marathon in under just 2 hours, the organizers decided to set a more comfortable pace and give genuine fans a chance to enjoy the composer genius’s music for a solid 11 hours. The detailed program is available from today, while tickets go on sale from 30 October.
Not a day goes by without a Beethoven symphony or piano concerto being performed somewhere in the world. According to Beethoven, “There is no rule which cannot be broken for the sake of beauty.” Luckily for us, he broke quite a few, and left over 650 compositions to posterity.
The 13th joint marathon of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Müpa Budapest will feature countless iconic pieces including several Beethoven sonatas and six of his symphonies performed by top local ensembles and soloists. Symphony No. 7 will be conducted in a unique set-up: the four winners of BFO’s and Müpa Budapest’s first amateur conductor competition will lead the BFO in one movement of the symphony each at the closing concert of the marathon day. There were altogether 117 applicants ranging from 20 to 80 years old, including an engineer, a postman, a building services engineer, a television professional, a porter, a child therapist, a ticket controller, a hematologist and a lawyer. The second round will take place in early November, when the four enterprising amateur conductors to participate in the big day in February will be selected.
The line up for the marathon will include prominent ensembles such as the Danubia Orchestra Óbuda, MÁV Symphony Orchestra, Győr Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Strings and Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra. Júlia Pusker will be there, who, to quote international reviews “lives and breathes in music and speaks in the language of violin”; Miklós Perényi and Dénes Várjon will be performing together at the Festival Theatre, Zoltán Fejérvári is bringing two piano sonatas to the marathon, Kristóf Baráti and Klára Würtz will be playing the Kreutzer Sonata. Keeping with the tradition, the musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will give a chamber music concert, while families and children can enjoy György Lakatos’s children’s concert at noon.
In addition, students of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music will be giving free concerts in the Glass Hall throughout the day, and there will be screenings in the auditorium of Müpa Budapest.
The marathon day will feature eleven concerts of forty-five minutes each at Müpa Budapest. Chamber music pieces will be performed in the Festival Theatre, and orchestral pieces in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall. Tickets cost HUF 1,500 per concert, but if you buy tickets for four different performances, you’ll get the fourth ticket for free.
In previous years, the joint marathon hosted by the BFO and Müpa Budapest has spotlighted the works of Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven, Bartók, Mozart, Schubert, Dvořák, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn and Schumann, Brahms, Leonard Bernstein and most recently Debussy and Ravel.
The program of the Beethoven marathon is available on the websites of Müpa Budapest and the BFO. Tickets go on sale on October 30 at 10 a.m.