It’s new: the orchestra gives a concert from a moving van in Budapest
As most events are canceled across the planet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Budapest Festival Orchestra wants to recover its audience.
The prestigious orchestra, led by famous composer Ivan Fischer, took to the streets with this message: Five orchestra members performed classical music in front of motorists and passers-by from a truck in post-traffic noon in the Hungarian capital on Wednesday.
The musical parade aimed to encourage Hungarians to start returning to live performances in concert halls as the pandemic wears off, after more than a year in which people were confined to their homes and forced into their online culture.
“I believe that live concerts are very important,” said Fischer. “Mostly I think now that everyone is fed up with their computers and phones, people are going to throw them away. They will start socializing, getting to know each other, kissing and talking again.”
Wednesday’s performance on the truck was also a celebration of the orchestra’s reunion with music lovers as part of an easing of government-imposed lockdowns to fight the virus. The pandemic hit Hungary particularly hard in the spring, making it for a time the country with the most deaths from the virus per capita in the world. But the number of new infections has now dropped amid one of the European Union’s fastest growing vaccination campaigns.
The five musicians played Schubert, Mozart and Dvorak as the truck transported them across the Chain Bridge spanning the Danube and past St. Stephen’s Basilica and other magnificent monuments in the city.
People on the streets stopped to enjoy the impromptu concert, applauding as the songs ended. The kids clapped to the music while the adults pulled out their phones to film the performance.
Violinist Noemi Molnar said playing in the truck was a new and strange experience for musicians.
“It was surprising that after we sat down and settled in the truck started to move under us. We’ve never had this kind of experience before. It’s new to all musicians,” he said. she declared.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra has grown into one of Europe’s leading ensembles under the direction of Fischer, who co-founded it in 1983 with the late pianist and composer Zoltan Kocsis.
After a year of foreclosure, the orchestra is now selling tickets as it resumes concerts with limited-capacity audiences, while its 2021-22 regular season opens on September 9.
“My message to music fans is not to be afraid,” said Orsolya Erdodi, general manager of the orchestra. “We will do everything possible to make them feel safe in the future. Vaccination is the key to safety in concert halls.
Maria Gal Tamasi, Principal Violinist, said: “Music moves us forward, music connects us. Now that the audience can return to our concerts, I really hope their hearts beat to the same rate as ours.