“Naïs” a sublime finale for MÜPA’s Early Music Festival

Jean Philippe Rameau’s late-Baroque opera “Naïs” (1749) served as the luminous grand finale of MÜPA’s recent Early Music Festival, which featured six concerts with international artists in the field of early music performance practice. From February 19 to March 4, soloists like countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and soprano Simone Kermes, and the groups Europa Galante, Ensemble Artaserse, Bach Consort Wien, and Budapest’s own Purcell Choir and Orfeo Orchestra eloquently demonstrated the tightly structured and highly ornamented … Continue reading

Berezovsky Thrills Budapest With “Rach 3”

That almighty Russian piano training! It’s akin to Olympic-level sports discipline that guarantees the gold. Following in the footsteps of the great Russian pianists like Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Horowitz, Emil Gilels, piano giant Boris Berezovsky blew into Budapest to perform “Rach 3” (vernacular for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor) with his astounding Olympic expertise at the Liszt Academy on Feb. 18 and 19. And what a mighty wind it was. With the … Continue reading

Lang Lang Leaps from Languorous to Lounge

Pianist Lang Lang, the wunderkind now in the prime of his global career, enjoyed a sold-out house at MÜPA’s Béla Bartók Hall on Nov. 14, where he played a solo recital that pretty much rang true to the scuttlebutt bandied about him for years. Episodes of serious artistry were mixed with a somewhat alarming penchant for the kind of histrionics which harken back to the likes of Daniel Helfgott, if not Harpo Marx. First the … Continue reading

C!RCA – What Will Have Been

Circa is Australia’s leading contemporary circus, and under director Yaron Lifschitz, their award-winning works have been seen in 34 countries across six continents. They are currently touring three different shows across Europe and after last night’s terrific What Will Have Been, at Trafo, I wish I could see them all. Early on we are treated to a stunning display of vertical rope work by Lauren Herley, whose contortionist skills were on full display. Whether leaping from the top of the … Continue reading

Infinita

The enchanting, joyful, Infinita by Berlin based, Familie Flöz provided another dose of cultural delight, courtesy of the Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival. Infinita is about the beginning and end of things. A puzzle of life and death in which the first struggles of a baby and scenes from childhood, are interwoven with moments from the end of life. The play debuted in 2006, and ten years of performance and stellar reviews prove that the story is timeless. Not an evening to dally over a pre-show … Continue reading

The Birth of Color

Making it’s world premiere, the Birth of Color at the Kiscelli Museum, is a must see event at this years Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival. A long time fan of choral music, this promised something new, a Frequency Opera; music developed specifically in the frequency ranges associated with different colors. More than this, the choir and music surrounding a centrally seated audience, would deliver a frequency field that we would, as promised by creator Honora Foah, experience in … Continue reading