Photo: Attila Nagy / Müpa Budapest

02. 05. 2023.

Remarkable Premieres, Uplifting Moments, Hungarian and International Stars: This Year’s Bartók Spring Was a Great Success

The seventeen days of this year’s Bartók Spring International Arts Weeks were marked by a wide range of genres, Hungarian and world premieres, and several sold-out shows that brought the house down.

In April, a number of venues in Budapest awaited visitors with the true festival atmosphere. ‘We are proud that the Bartók Spring, a by now familiar and much-anticipated programme series presented by Müpa Budapest, was again able to attract a wide audience this year, and the feedback encourages us to continue the work of passing on Bartók’s spirit to an even higher standard next year, and bring the best productions of the Hungarian and international art scene to the audience,’ said Csaba Káel, CEO of Müpa Budapest. The event series presented world premieres such as Benjamin Eredics’s music for ballet, Levente Gyöngyösi’s oratorio, Nik Bärtsch’s pieces, and Frau Holle, Dániel Csengery’s opera for children. The Hungarian premieres of the Bartók Spring included a dance performance by Sara Baras, a piano concerto by Thierry Escaich, and a concert by György Vashegyi, the Orfeo Orchestra and the Purcell Choir, who played Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel’s Passion, which had not been performed for centuries. ‘In addition to productions specifically conceived for the festival, it is our mission to provide space for performances that will continue to attract audiences in the long term. Dániel Csengery’s opera for children will be added to the repertoire of Müpa Budapest, and Benjamin Eredics’s Castles, Warriors, Frontiers will be complemented with dance for the Liszt Fest,’ said Janina Szomolányi, Müpa Budapest’s Festival Operations Director.
The organizers also make a point of accommodating co-productions between foreign and Hungarian artists; Kristóf Baráti took to the stage as a soloist at the Philharmonia Orchestra’s concert, and the same spirit informed the joint concert of the Klangforum Wien, Barnabás Kelemen, László Fenyő and Zoltán Fejérvári, who paid their tribute to the work of György Ligeti under the baton of Péter Eötvös. The region’s premier world music showcase, Budapest Ritmo, again offered a wide range of genres and styles to enjoy over four days, while the fans of pop music were dazzled by the performances of Damien Rice and the EELS. Of the exhibitions that opened during the festival, the displays of two icons of Hungarian art, Lajos Gulácsy and Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka are still open.
The ensembles whose performances were streamed live on the online channels of the Bartók Spring included the Czech Philharmonic, who gave the opening concert of the festival, Muzsikás, who celebrated their 50th anniversary, and Mazaher, who play traditional zar music. The Bartók Spring had its magazine again available in Hungarian and English, published both in print and online. The festival’s blog takes you behind the scenes (as well), while the streams of the Festival News and other behind-the-scenes videos from the event series can be found on Facebook and YouTube, until we are back with the next festival.