Following a six-month hiatus, the Budapest Festival Orchestra returns to the concert halls, with eleven performances in September. All musicians and staff members of the orchestra have had PCR tests done, indicating that all of them were healthy as they began preparing for the new concert season. Responding to the unusual circumstances, Iván Fischer has invented an acoustics-enhancing face mask, which will soon be available for audiences to try out.
“We are delighted to be able to perform for you once again! I was struck during the rehearsals by the fantastic experience of finally hearing the entire orchestra together again,” says conductor Iván Fischer, who is highlighting the relationship of the human voice and the orchestra as the ensemble kicks off the new season. Following concerts spotlighting works by Mahler, Beethoven and R. Strauss, the BFO’s and Müpa Budapest’s Bridging Europe festival will begin September 15, this year focusing on the wonders of British culture.
Fischer, in keeping with Mozart’s notion of making a virtue of necessity, invented a new, acoustics-improving face mask. The idea is that it makes the orchestra sound richer and more beautiful. The special device will be available for audiences from September 10. Pre-ordering is possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To assist efforts against the global pandemic, the Festival Orchestra is asking for the audience’s cooperation in three important ways; please visit the BFO website for more information about these.
- Visitors that show no symptoms of illness may visit the concerts of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Each visitor’s body temperature will be checked at the entrance.
- Before entering the concert hall, everyone will be required to disinfect their hands at the doors; touch-free hand sanitizers will be available.
- Visitors must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose in the foyer and the concert hall.
The BFO are doing all they can to ensure the safety of the audience: before each concert, the restrooms, door handles, bars, counters and other surfaces will be disinfected, and the rehearsal hall (which also functions as a concert hall) will be ventilated. Staff members and musicians who show signs of illness are not permitted to work.
The ensemble’s first comeback performances will take place September 10 and 11 at Müpa Budapest, where the program will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and excerpts from Richard Strauss’s opera, Ariadne auf Naxos. Next, the September 13 concert will highlight the relationship between nature and music: the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale) and Mahler’s song cycle Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) at this afternoon concert.