Budapest Strings Celebrating Founder With Birthday Concert

Music

At the end of December, the Bartók-Pásztory Prize-winning Budapest Strings will pay tribute to their founder and artistic director, Károly Botvay, with a musical tribute. This year's soloist is the internationally acclaimed young cellist Dóra Kokas, a multiple competition winner. The ensemble's concertmaster will once again be János Pilz.

Some 46 years at the helm of the Budapest Strings, 6,000 on five continents. The beautiful songs reflect the exciting life of Károly Botvay, winner of the Liszt and Kossuth prizes.  Balázs Fülei, pianist and professor emeritus at the Liszt Academy of Music, praised the living legend at this year's Leó Weiner Memorial Prize ceremony.

"Anyone who has studied or is studying with Mr. Botvay should consider themselves lucky. His taste and values make the past present and provide a fertile framework for the future," he said.

Another interesting aspect of the concert is that in November 2021 the Hungarian state awarded Dóra Kokas the famous master instrument made by Domenico Montagnana (1686-1750) in 1730, which was selected for purchase by Károly Botvay in 1977 as a member of the Bartók String Quartet. This nearly 300-year-old instrument forms a generational bridge between the two distinguished musicians.

Károly Botvay

The program of the December 28 "Botvay 91" concert:
Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546
Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129
Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 (B flat major), Op. 18

"Károly Botvay is an important figure in Hungarian culture to whom we must pay tribute. With this program of diverse musical worlds, featuring the true gems of the three composing geniuses, we invite the audience to join us for a pause and a look back between the holidays," said János Takács, president of the orchestra's foundation.

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