Circa, the brilliant Australian contemporary circus company is coming to Budapest again, WorldService Project, one of the most innovative groups of the British jazz scene makes an appearance, Mesi Guessous, with the participation of the Ballet Company of Győr and the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, adapts Béla Bartók’s collection of Arabic music, the great young pianist, Dániel Villányi brings a special programme to his spring concert, and as a new venue, the soon-to-be-opened House of Hungarian Music will present an exciting folk music programme at a festival that is eagerly awaited by many.
The second Bartók Spring International Arts Weeks starts on 1 April 2022, and offers weeks of entertainment with the best Hungarian and international artists, world-famous companies, exceptional soloists, new productions and unconventional performances. Fascinating new productions are now added to the programme, with the return to Hungary of the globetrotting, hugely successful contemporary circus company, Circa, who bring a breathtaking show that is based on Stravinsky’s iconic The Rite of Spring. Founded in Brisbane in 2004, the company has conquered almost fifty countries on six continents, proving to millions of people that they know everything about circus and physical theatre, the magic of acrobatic movements that push the boundaries of physics, about risk-taking, trust, strength and beauty on the stage. Sacre, directed by Yaron Lifschitz, epitomizes the true essence of the company’s art, as will become evident to the festival audience on 17 April, at Müpa Budapest.
The events already announced will have made the Bartók Spring a red-letter holiday in the calendars of many jazz fans, but the festival has another surprise in store: one of the most distinctive groups on the British jazz scene, the WorldService Project, which has been active for more than a decade, will be coming to Budapest. Led by singer-keyboardist Dave Morecroft, the quintet debuted its fifth studio album, Hiding in Plain Sight at last year’s London Jazz Festival, to a rapturous reception from critics and audiences alike. Each of the group’s concerts pushes the boundaries of genres and is an exercise in farce, offering up really inventive music with a dash of satirical humour: their concert at the Opus Jazz Club on 2 April promises to be another unmissable treat!
While the Bartók Spring seeks, above all, to represent the creativity, outlook and spirit of its eponym in the most diverse genres, Béla Bartók’s own works should not be missing from the programme of the festival. The melodies recorded by the world-famous Hungarian composer are still influential in folk and classical music, and continue providing inspiration for the composers and performers of jazz and world music. In addition to the music of Hungary, Bartók also had a keen interest in the melodic riches of the surrounding peoples and of more distant lands: his Arabic collection from North Africa is an exceptionally rich material. This is the inspiration for the special total art production entitled Pure Source, which will feature, among others, Mesi Guessous, the Ballet Company of Győr, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble and the Kodály Philharmonic Debrecen, and will explore some characteristic pieces of Bartók’s œuvre through the connection between Arabic and Hungarian music, with a special focus on the relationship between music and dance. Bartók 1914, an evening at the House of Hungarian Music, celebrates the composer’s last great collection expedition to Transylvania: the concert will be hosted by the Magos Band, who are dedicated to the folk music of the region, and their guests will be data providers from the villages Bartók visited, musicians from Magyarpéterlak, who are well-versed in the music of the Székely villages along the Nyárád, as well as Ágnes Langer and Balázs Fülei.
For classical music lovers, the concert of young pianist Dániel Villányi promises unforgettable moments: a graduate of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar and the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv, the outstanding musician has been a soloist with the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra and has enjoyed great success in concert halls in Chemnitz, Weimar and Berlin, as well as in Vienna, Salzburg, Geneva, Zurich and Brussels. At the Bartók Spring, he will appear on the stage of the Budapest Music Center, performing a gem of a sonata each by Bartók and Prokofiev, along with two Bach suites.
Tickets are now on sale for the Bartók Spring, while events are continuously added to a programme that already includes the concerts of Branford Marsalis, Julia Fischer and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent, Jaimie Branch, Uri Caine, Péter Eötvös, David Fray and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the premiere of the FrenÁk Company, Anthony Roth Costanzo’s aria concert, the performance of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Batsheva Ensemble, Recirquel Budapest and María Pagés.