hun/ eng
my basket
Add to calendar

Surprise Concert


December26, 7:45 P.M.
Add to calendar
Sold out


This year not only the program but the new sound will also be a surprise! The new acoustics are the result of the arena-like arrangement surrounding the orchestra, which, at the same time, also creates a more intimate atmosphere, as the musicians will not just be closer to the first rows but to everybody. This new auditorium will be introduced at the orchestra’s Christmas Surprise Concert.


Other information

The event is about 2.5 hours long.

About the event

Iván Fischer has found a new sound at the Budapest Congress Center. In February 2021, the Festival Orchestra’s musicians were sitting in the auditorium during a recording and it turned out that the symphony orchestra sounds marvelous from the middle of the hall in the nearly forty-year-old building. “A miracle happened on that day: in order to make a recording, the orchestra was sitting in the middle of the room instead of on the stage, and we were awe-struck. We could hear the kind of beautiful sound you find in only a couple of exceptionally lucky concert halls in the whole world”, said Iván Fischer. “We’ve been wondering about this since February. How can we regularly share this beautiful sound with the audience? We’re going to reveal this miracle at Christmas. This will be our Christmas present for Budapest and Hungary”, the music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra added.

The Festival Orchestra has performed several Surprise Concerts, where the program is announced by Iván Fischer only at the performance, right before the actual pieces. At the new auditorium of the Surprise Concert this year, the program will be enjoyed by an audience of nearly 300 people on the stage, another 250 in the chairs next to the orchestra and 1,100 in the rows. We can even witness the birth of a “multigenerational” concert form: about 50 young music lovers will be able to listen to the fantastic new acoustics, the result of the new arrangement, from the bean-bags placed among the musicians.

The new arrangement was also welcomed by the designer of the Budapest Congress Centre, József Finta, who even developed a concept with his colleague for the arena-like reconstruction of the nearly forty-year-old building. The relatively low-cost transformation could not only enrich Buda, but also Hungary with a world-class concert hall. The idea of audiences sitting around the orchestra works very well in several venues abroad. For example, the great sound of the Philharmonie Berlin, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg or the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles is partly the result of their arena-like arrangement. Please see more details in our press release at

Full description