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“The streets of Budapest are so much friendlier”


“The streets of Budapest are so much friendlier”

Quarantine Minutes with János Pilz

We launched our series, entitled “Quarantine Minutes,” so as not to lose touch with one another even during these difficult times. We spoke with our musicians to hear how they are dealing with their new circumstances in light of the coronavirus epidemic. How have their lives changed? Are they able to find anything positive in their situation? What music do they recommend for you? How have they transformed their ways of making music? We hope you enjoy hearing from violinist János Pilz.

What music would you recommend for our audiences while they are isolated at home? What do you listen to and what do you like to play to improve your mood?

A difficult question...when it comes to the classics, I listen to any kind of music as long as it is good and captures my attention. We, musicians, like to listen to music which we do not play, or is not our genre; many of us like jazz, folk music or even popular music. I am a fan of classical music; I am particularly fond of early Baroque music, but I also enjoy listening to other music, including some of the great performers of the last century.

What do you do in the time you otherwise would have spent with the orchestra? With whom do you make music at home, and how?

I have not had to make up for anything. I have to get ready for the Quarantine Soirée performances: each piece is a new task that rounds out my day fairly well. This also involves a great deal of practicing at home.

Have you learned anything new during the quarantine? Have you perhaps picked up any new habits?

I have not picked up any new habits, although my life has, of course, become a little different. I have more time, for instance, to be outdoors, not to have to hurry anywhere, and to better observe the things around me.

What do you miss the most right now?

Our personal relationships do become narrower after two weeks, despite having the internet and the telephone. And even though everyone has more time, I miss the face-to-face meetings with family and friends.

What do you like about the quarantine?

Apart from the uncertainty of the situation right now, I appreciate the fact that at this slower pace, we have more time for everything. I don’t miss the constant hurry. Also, the streets of Budapest are so much friendlier because of the reduced traffic; it would be nice if this were to last...

Is there anything in your life for which you never had time before, but always wanted to do - and now you’ve been able to try it?

For better or for worse, I am somewhat familiar with this feeling: I had two accidents some years ago, and while that was not technically a quarantine, they did force me to take some time off. I also learned then how interested I was in information technology, which is something that comes in handy these days.

Tune in to our Quarantine soirées! Visit our website and Facebook page every evening from 7:45 p.m. If you would like to support our series, we would appreciate it very much.