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Ballet, DJs and violin virtuosos: Budapest Summer Festival stages 100 shows

Running for three months from June 9th, this year’s Budapest Summer Festival showcases a wide range of attractions: opera, ballet, classical, pop and jazz concerts, and entertainment for children. Some 100 performances will be staged at the open-air stages at Városmajor and Margaret Island, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Highlights include violin virtuoso Ara Malakian, star DJ Jeff Mills and World Music icon Bea Palya. Also look out for a Great Gatsby ballet show, a symphonic concert of film music and a spectacular folk-dance gala.

Almost every day, the Budapest Summer Festival offers a great variety of shows and performances at the open-air theatres of Margitsziget and Városmajor. The summer-long event will also have puppet shows for kids at weekends at the Meseszínpad and the Szent Margit Ruins, while concerts headline Sunday evenings.

There is already a huge interest in the various events: 8,000 people have registered to take part in the festival opening, and a concert by popular Hungarian band Quimby is sold out. There are scores of things to see – here are our recommendations:

Margitsziget Open-Air Theatre

Violin virtuoso Ara Malikian should captivate the audience with his charismatic stage presence, original style and breathtaking music.

The Great Gatsby is a ballet interpretation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel – and the dance sensation of the summer. Featuring dancers from renowned international ballet companies, it is being performed for the first time in Hungary.

Star DJ Jeff Mills brings a genuine and spectacular musical curiosity to Margitsziget. In his new show, the nine planets of the solar system resound in a unique fusion of classical and electronic music.

London’s Nic Raine and the Budapest Symphonic Orchestra present live renditions of popular fantasy and science fiction films, including Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

Városmajor Open-Air Theatre

Balancing dovetailing plotlines of love and war, the Miskolc Ballet uses the unique language of dance to reconfigure this nostalgic, emotionally-charged story of a love triangle set in occupied North Africa.

Bea Palya is one of the most emblematic figures of the Hungarian music scene. Folk tunes, Gypsy, Bulgarian, Sephardi and Indian influences all influence her songs. Her unique voice and strong stage presence are guaranteed to mesmerise the audience.

Coincidance present a new take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. The performance offers a psychological interpretation and rich symbolism through the means of contemporary dance, with the help of Tchaikovsky’s music.

Flute player Eszter Horgas and the ClassJazz Band present Vivaldi’s most famous concertos with a 21st-century mindset and an orchestral accompaniment. Eszter Horgas is one of the most sought-after instrumentalists and a returning artist to the Városmajor Open-Air Theatre.

Detailed event information and tickets are available here.

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