“Hail to Hungary” – Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra were back in the United States on tour, and this was one of the enthusiastic shouts of approval heard from audiences already at their first concert, in the Ann Arbor concert hall, seating more than 3000. The inspiring kick-off and the standing ovation from the American audience was followed by three more similarly successful and resounding performances in Washington and New York. In the Big Apple, the BFO took the stage as part of the Great Performers concert series, with two programs in the Lincoln Center, where they also gave a special Cocoa Concert to children with autism and their families.
According to The New York Times, the Hungarian orchestra proved once again that they’re one of the world’s truly special ensembles. In awe, the author wrote about the musicians of the BFO as “an orchestra that makes such a beautiful chorus, too,” which was also evident in “the fullness and breadth” of their playing. This was “the most convincing account I’ve heard in many years of this elusive work,” Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, the critic noted. The author of the New York Classical Review also published a glowing critique of the BFO’s “clear shine.”
“As always, the players of the BFO proved themselves to be a remarkably cohesive ensemble, responding with exactitude and enthusiasm to every request that their Music Director made. They have been collaborating for almost four decades and one could not discern the slightest sign of fatigue,” Bachtrack’s critic declared.
Some chose to attend both of the BFO’s concerts in New York. They called the Dvořák line-up “uncommonly uplifting and heartwarming” (soloist: Renaud Capuçon), while the orchestra sounded “ravishing” through the Mahler program (soloist: Gerhild Romberger); it was an “unforgettable, masterful performance.”
Another important component of the tour was the orchestra’s Autism-Friendly Cocoa Concert, which Iván Fischer developed in Hungary together with the International Cseperedő Foundation. Families participating in the concert at the Lincoln Center expressed their appreciation for the event: “Iván Fischer was amazing!”; “Thank you for this interesting and inclusive concert experience!”; “I loved the way they involved the children!”
If you would like to see more of the Budapest Festival Orchestra: season tickets for our 2020-2021 season go on sale April 7; the BFO’s next performances will take place March 6, 7 and 8 at the Liszt Academy, with Jordi Savall conducting.