Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020, the Budapest Spring Festival is one of the most important multi-arts events series in the region, with an unparalleled selection of attractions. Next year’s festivities begin on 3 April and continues until the 19th. This month, an Advent calendar announces the upcoming highlights day by day.
Star bands and outstanding soloists, new productions, premieres and performances throughout the Hungarian capital – the 40th jubilee of the Budapest Spring Festival is constantly developing, with a number of confirmed acts promising fantastic entertainment. Alongside classical music concerts, aria evenings, opera, ballet, dance and theatre productions, live jazz and art exhibitions will be on offer at the Budapest Spring Festival 2020.
Győr Ballet & Félix Lajkó
The opening performance is a real treat: the legendary dance ensemble, the Győr Ballet, with four decades of experience behind them, perform Giselle with the Liszt Prize-winning violinist/composer Félix Lajkó.
Another promising spectacular will be the Hungarian premiere of György Kurtág’s opera Fin de Partie. Based on the Samuel Beckett play Endgame, it was performed at the Scala in Milan and immediately won one of the most prestigious awards in the genre.
Sárik Péter Trio
Throughout his career, pianist Péter Sárik, one of the country’s leading jazz musicians, has challenged himself to take almost every musical direction, his trio experimenting with the interplay between classical music and jazz. In preparation for the upcoming anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Sárik Péter Trio draws inspiration from the composer’s emblematic works in the spirit of innovation they are familiar with, unafraid to surprise the audience over and over again.
Australian Lloyd Newson, Artistic Director of one of the world’s leading physical theatre companies, brings a reinvented version of Enter Achilles, a landmark work dating back 25 years, to Budapest. This legendary show, set in a British pub and exploring the vulnerability of masculinity, has travelled to 18 countries but lost none of its impact.
His TV film adaptation received Emmy and Prix Italia awards, and he is coming to the Budapest Spring Festival with the rework created with the prestigious Ballet Rambert and Sadler’s Wells companies.
Tradition and renewal, diversity and world music are promised by the Makám band. Their three decades of history have given audiences countless unforgettable concerts, with outstanding singer soloists such as Irén Lovász, Bea Palya, Ági Szalóki, Szilvia Bognár, Ágnes Herczku and Erika Lázár on their recordings and at their shows.
Kristīne Opolais is an honoured guest at the world’s leading opera houses, appearing at the Staatsoper in Vienna and in Berlin, the Scala in Milan, the Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan in New York. She is most renowned for her delicate and complex interpretation of Puccini’s heroines, and is bringing an Italian repertoire to her concert at Müpa as well: Verdi, Cilea and Puccini will be the main attractions at her show.
Collegium Vocale Gent & Philippe Herreweghe
This world-famous Belgian ensemble performs on stage under conductor Philippe Herreweghe. The Collegium Vocale Gent are heavily acclaimed by the profession, many considering their renditions of Bach’s compositions exemplary. Since 1985, the ensemble has recorded the St Matthew Passion on multiple occasions, and will be performing it live at the Budapest Spring Festival.
Ji Yong Kim
This South-Korean pianist dazzled Budapest audiences with his performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations not so long ago. This time he returns with Beethoven’s piano works to the Franz Liszt Music Academy. The young virtuoso is one of the most exciting personalities in the current classical music scene, who was not only a child prodigy but continues to fascinate critics and audiences with his exceptional style.
The Budapest Spring Festival awaits visitors with an agenda that involves many of the arts, with events in classical music, opera, jazz, world music, dance, contemporary circus, theatre and the visual arts as well. The Budapest Photo Festival concentrates on a different classical theme of image-making each year, and 2020 will be dedicated to exploring how contemporary photography relates to the problems of representing the human body.
The City of Marías
This production was inspired by the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, and the heroine of his well-known tango opera, María, not a single person but womanhood itself in a metropolitan maze of a metropolis. We see all the stages of life as her fate unfolds: as a child, a virgin, a lover, a mother, and as a woman saying goodbye to life. The story of her misery is revealed by turns in song, verse and prose.
This article has been created in collaboration with Müpa Budapest.