2019/2020 season ticket
Zoltán Kocsis must be nodding approvingly from the celestial world to see that the subscription bearing his name starts with the music of Bartók. After playing the composer's Two Pictures, the orchestra will perform his Piano Concerto No. 3 together with soloist Dezső Ránki – possibly the finest interpreter of this piece active today. This will be followed by a performance of Bluebeard's Castle featuring Ildikó Komlósi and Krisztián Cser.
Both of them have already sung their respective roles of Judith and the Duke in many cities around the world with great success (often partnered with each other). At the second concert, the audience will get to know a work by János Koessler, Bartók's teacher at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. This will be followed by what may well be Dohnányi's most beautiful piece, Stabat Mater. Closing the concert will be a piece from Brahms, whom Koessler considered his role model: the Symphony No. 3. The third concert holds a Hungarian première in store: conducting the biblical oratorio by Swiss-born American jazz saxophonist and conductor Daniel Schnyder will be guest conductor Sebastian Weigle. After the interval, the orchestra will perform Brahms's German Requiem together with Kossuth Prize-winning soprano Andrea Rost and baritone Michele Kálmándy, who himself recently received the same illustrious distinction. The final concert is a programme of Russian music. After opening with Tchaikovsky's insinuatingly melodic Romeo and Juliet overture-fantasy, the orchestra will play Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with Arabella Steinbacher, one of the stars of the instrument as the soloist. Closing the evening will be Stravinsky's unflaggingly popular Petrushka.
Although one should not blindly believe everything one reads on the internet, this time there is no doubt about the truth of Wikipedia's description of Péter Eötvös as "one of the best known contemporary composers". We can immediately add that the 75-year-old master is also one of the most sought-after conductors in the world.
He will be conducting the first concert on the Kobayashi Season Ticket, with the first part featuring his own works, thus eloquently proving that contemporary music does not necessarily have to be a frightening experience for audiences. Indeed, it can be entertaining, without resorting to cheap compromises, like the piece Speaking Drums, in which listeners can follow how it is possible to make rhythm out of the words of Sándor Weöres's so-called nonsense poems, and out of the rhythm, a melody. And they will find out how all this sounds when performed by a dazzlingly talented percussionist/soloist, the Austrian Martin Grubinger. After the interval, Eötvös will conduct Liszt's rarely heard Dante Symphony. At the second concert, the Maisky family will play Beethoven's Triple Concerto, to be followed by Mahler's Symphony No. 1, a work that received its première in Budapest. The third concert also has a connection to Hungary, as it will begin with the Egmont Overture. In the danger-filled days of 1956, it was played over and over again on the radio, and when older people hear it, they instinctively recall the words from Imre Nagy's public address: "Our troops are fighting." Beethoven's overture will be followed by two compositions by Richard Strauss: his Oboe Concerto and Ein Heldenleben. Closing the series in the subscription will be Mendelssohn's oratorio Elias, which has once again become decidedly popular around the world.
The Ferencsik Season Ticket offers six concerts of popular and well known works alongside a few rarities. The former include Ravel's waltz fantasy La Valse and Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Waltz (early on in the opening concert), and the core of Mozart's Requiem, which so many people attempt to complete these days, but to no avail, as the audience always insists on the original version finished by Franz Xaver Süssmayr.
But fans of classical music are also always glad to hear the final orchestral songs of the elderly Richard Strauss (and of course it is always striking that these Romantic beauties were created in 1949 – after the deaths of Bartók, Berg and Weber.) Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony can also be placed at the top of this imaginary classical music hit list. At the same time, purchasers of the season ticket will also get a sense of some early 20th-century English music that for some reason is fairly unknown in Hungary (with a symphony by Elgar in the second concert, and others by Britten and Walton in the fourth), in addition to getting acquainted with Japanese musical flavours brought to us by the masterful Toru Takemitsu. As far as the soloists go, it may be enough just to highlight two of them. Maxim Vengerov will play violin at the first concert, and Andrea Rost will sing Strauss's songs. It might be wise not to put off buying these season passes...
Vigadó Concert Hall, Ceremonial Hall
Concert programmes often include concertos, frequently as the second piece in the first part. This is also the case for the four nights of the Lukács Season Ticket. Except instead of the usual piano or violin concertos, this time the audience will get to encounter some remarkable compositions. The work by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, for example, pits a string quartet against the orchestra.
In Schumann's, it is four horns taking the lead. Paul Hindemith's soloists are woodwind players, along with a harpist. And finally, the last concert in the series will feature two concertos for multiple instruments. Sándor Balassa's composition Valley of the Huns alternates between oboe and horn soloists, while László Dubrovay's work has three brass instruments blasting and blaring and producing other entertaining effects as well. In addition to the rarities, each programme also offers well known popular works too. The Czech concert will tempt listeners with Smetena's Vltava (The Moldau) and Dvořák's Symphony No. 8. Bookending Hindemith's works will be symphonies by two geniuses in their teens: (Mozart was 18 when he wrote his Symphony in A major, and Bizet composed his work at a similar age.) Joining Schumann's composition featuring four horns will be the composer's Manfred Overture and two pieces by Schubert. The final concert in the series will close with Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony.
Italian Cultural Institute, Giuseppe Verdi Hall
Season ticket preview from Csaba Somos, choir master of the Hungarian National Choir
Dear Audience,
The most significant event in our previous season was the creation of a season ticket for the Hungarian National Choir, something that led to an incredibly exciting period for us all. Encouraged by your feedback and our experiences during the concert series, we will continue our journey with even greater energy and faith with our Pászti Season Ticket!
Once again, we want to see the Hungarian National Choir – Hungary's largest professional concert choir – take centre stage, showcasing the diversity of the group performing in a wide array of configurations.
It is rare, in fact, for a concert to feature such different configurations, as we will see in the opening concert of the Pászti Season Ticket. In the first half of the concert, however, the choir will sing a cappella, performing what is perhaps Josef Rheinberger's most beautiful piece, the Mass for Double Choir in E-flat major, and Levente Gyöngyösi's brilliant Gloria (a movement taken from Missa Quinque Auctorum). After the break, we will have the pleasure of being joined by the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of Schubert's Mass No. 6 in E-flat major. The conductor for the evening will be Csaba Somos.
The second concert of our season ticket will present a programme of a cappella music, with a selection of lyrical chansons of various origins and inspirations counterbalanced by dramatic ballads. The concert programme therefore promises a contrast with pieces from two groups of distinctive genres, featuring masterpieces from Ravel, Hindemith, Ligeti, Solti and Wolf. The pieces will have two chorus directors, Zoltán Kocsis-Holper and Csaba Somos. Since the foundation of our group, we can say that several guest chorus directors have been observing us on a regularly basis. Their artistic work and outlooks have had a significant effect on the performance of the singers in the Hungarian National Choir. One such chorus director is the Italian Carlo Montanaro, and during Lent, in the third concert of the Pászti subscription, he will conduct Italian church music alongside our group and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. With the help of some superb soloists, we will have the pleasure of listening to oratorios from Verdi's Quattro pezzi sacri and Stabat Mater from Rossini. At the Knight of the Ice Fields concert, the Hungarian National Philharmonic and Choir will perform some monumental Russian music. We are delighted to inform you that our musical director, Zsolt Hamar, has agreed to conduct the concert, as some remarkable pieces from Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev bring the Pászti subscription to a close.
Dear Audience, We count on your support for our concerts and wish you some unforgettable musical experiences!
Müpa Budapest, the Rehearsal Room of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Featuring artists of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hungarian National Choir

The Open Rehearsal Room series has been a tradition of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra for many years, and has always been hugely popular. The events for this series do not take place in the usual large concert hall. For these evenings, we invite the audience to the orchestra's rehearsal room.
The artists of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hungarian National Choir have prepared some true musical delights, which will be performed in chamber music configurations. Both the venue and the selection of pieces offer a far more authentic and intimate concert-going experience for the audience.
These occasions are also very special for the artists of our respective groups, as they have the chance to select most of the pieces to be played and also enjoy an opportunity to create a far more direct relationship with the audience.
The series will also have a special new feature for the 2019/2020 season. While in recent years members of our orchestra and choir have appeared separately, this season the two groups plan to delight the audience with a joint production.
Müpa Budapest, Festival Theatre
The upcoming series of Musicmania will be all about the diversity of music – in relation to genre. There are – surprisingly – as many unique styles as there are genres in classical music. One genre differs from another not only in terms of the playing style, but also in terms of the language of the music, the mode of expression, the message and even the way that message is told.
There is a difference, then, when an instrumental soloist responds to an orchestra, and another when a singer's aria complements or counters the accompanying music. We will try to track the evolution of the genre of symphonies in a single concert. We examine how, from simple beginnings, a symphony is transformed into a musical process that tells a series of life stories. From the huge repertoire of symphonic music, we will be able to explore every little detail of this ever-changing and wonderful world. We strive to find the key to the joy of listening to music, identifying even the tiniest elements in the creation of music as we enrich our own worlds in the process. Concertos: On this occasion, we will examine the incredible variety of concertos. We learn what differentiates a violin concerto from an oboe concerto and a cello concerto from a bassoon concerto. But along with the differences, we will also seek to identify lots of tiny similarities, helping you to feel closer to the genre, understand it and hopefully come to love its very essence. Finally, we will also enjoy a conversation between four instruments with a performance of Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante.
Concert and oratorio arias: Lyrical music is one of the most natural of genres; anyone who listens and understands the words can comprehend it. So then why would the same text come up time and time again with different music? What could the reason be? In this concert, we try to provide an answer to this question with the aid of the soprano Klára Kolonits.
The creation of a symphony: We endeavour to reconstruct the process in music history by which the orchestral overture has, over the years, taken on more and more meaning, becoming in the hands of Hadyn the most important genre in musical history. What makes this genre (and form) so irresistible, what opportunities does it offer to composers, and how have they managed to write so very many? Every one is different, yet there is still something that unites them all, something that allows us to say that this is without question a symphony!