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Whatʼs on

Fun things to do in Budapest for the next two weeks.

King Lear endures family troubles at the Opera House.


February 12-13, MOM Sport Center

Two hundred Hungarian winemakers will be showing their wares at this year’s Borjour, which is being touted as the largest wine tasting festival of the year, featuring over 600 wines. The festival will also include stands with Hungarian culinary specialties. Entry to the event is HUF 10,000 and includes unlimited tasting and your own tasting glass.


February 13, Hungarian State Opera House

Contemporary composer Aribert Reimannʼs reworking of the tale of “King Lear”, which is considered Shakespeareʼs darkest tragedy, is being brought to the stage by Ferenc Anger, based on the legendary production by director JeanPierre Ponnelle. This opera in two acts is presented in German with Hungarian and English subtitles.


February 18, Liszt Academy  Concert Center

In 1987 final-year students of the Freiburg College of Music established the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in order to play 17th and 18th century music on period instruments in a historically informed manner. Today the ensemble is one of the best-known early music orchestras in the world. They frequently perform under the baton of famous conductors such as Hungarian Ádám Fischer, although they are most commonly directed by their concertmaster, Gottfried von der Goltz. In addition to orchestral works by Mozart, this program will feature several opera and concert arias with performances by German baritone Christian Gerhaher and Italian clarinetist Lorenzo Coppola.


February 18, A38

N.O.M. is an acronym for the Russian “Informal Youth Organization” (Neformalnoe Obyedinenie Molodezhi), used by the official Soviet press in the 1980s. The band first appeared in St. Petersburg in 1987 as an absurdist-ironic answer to the overwhelming number of “rock” bands in post-soviet Russia. N.O.M. takes the many musical clichés and mixes it with satirical theatrics to produce a strong emotional effect with their unusual combination of traditional Russian melodies, rock, progressive rock and opera. The show will open with Hungarian absurdist art punk band Tudósok.


February 19, Palace of Arts

Dutch-born Ton Koopman is widely considered one of the greatest performers of Baroque keyboard music and Dutch Baroque organ music in particular has been a perennial feature of his career. Renowned as an organist, harpsichordist and conductor, he is also the founder of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and an outstanding interpreter of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. More recently, Koopman has dedicated special attention to lesser-known Dutch masters, as well as the classic works of French harpsichord, which will also feature in this evening’s performance.


February 20, Mathias Church

The Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra was originally formed in 1988 by students of the Liszt Music Academy. This string orchestra works from an impressive repertoire with an emphasis on composers from the Romantic era. In the past decade the orchestra has performed more than 500 concerts all over the world working with some of the most renowned international soloists and conductors. This performance will be held at the recently renovated Mathias Church on Castle Hill.


February 22, Palace of Arts

Schubertʼs “Unfinished” Symphony is a popular, yet enigmatic work that will be performed by renowned Hungarian ensemble, the MÁV Symphony Orchestra under conductor Zoltán Kocsis. Smetanaʼs “The Moldau” is a musical journey along the Czech Republicʼs main river and will be presented along with Rachmaninoff’s lesser known “Symphony No. 2”, which the composer wrote in his early 30s.


February 24, Liszt Academy

Concert Center Leading soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has the gift of extraordinary musicality, sensitivity and a sense of drama, coupled with outstanding vocal abilities and a strong stage presence. Otter is considered a master of Baroque music and for this performance she will present works by Telemann and Händel. Coming from a distinguished family with Polish, American and Hungarian ancestry, Otter founded Les Musiciens du Louvre in 1982 in order to revive French Baroque operas. The ensemble has operated with the official support of the city of Grenoble since 1996. MAÄK QUINTET February 26, BMC This Belgian avant-garde jazz collective supports a wide range of international collaborations but the Maäk Quintet is its core project. Their style is largely unclassifiable and the diverse backgrounds of each performer contributes to the free-form nature of the group. Their tendency is to play acoustic performances while encouraging interaction with their audience.


February 26, Jurányi Inkubátorház

Bilingual theatre company Scallabouche, led by Briton Alexis Latham and composed of a mix of foreigners and Hungarians, offers a rare occurrence of English-language theater in Budapest. On February 26, the group will present a one-off production of “Storyroom”, a night of improvisation that relies on audience participation to construct its narratives. Three actors will engage audiences for 75 minutes with nothing but a handful of words and objects provided for them by the audience at the beginning of the show.