Tribute to a Hungarian Legend

Tribute to a Hungarian Legend / / Hommage to Cziffra

János Balázs, who is not only heir to the legacy of the Hungarian-born legendary pianist György Cziffra but also a globally celebrated pianist in his own right and a favourite of festivals and international concert halls, will play solo at the concert jointly given with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra within the framework of the international programme of the György Cziffra Festival. Besides compositions by Smetana and Brahms, the first piano concerto by the Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös, who is already well-known to the London audience, will feature on the programme. Cziffra Psodia, Eötvös’ first piano concerto dedicated to János Balázs, which represents the Hungarian musical traditions nurtured by folk music and also features the cimbalom, will be in the centre of the night. It will be preceded by the overture of the Czech Bedřich Smetana’s three-act opera – also showing the characteristics of the Central European musical universe, which was first performed in 1866. In the finale, the audience can relish Symphony No. 2  – under the baton of Alexander Shelley – written by Johannes Brahms, who himself was so impressed with the motifs of Hungarian music that he devoted several compositions to its themes, which have since become some of the most popular works in the history of music. The piano concerto, Cziffra Psodia, which will now be presented to the British audience for the first time, is the first concerto in Peter Eötvös’ oeuvre, which the master dedicated the work to János Balázs and the unfolding of his artistic essence. The piece was written in 2021, the 100th birthday of György Cziffra. It is a work motivated by personal experience and evokes memories of childhood. Through the moments of the legendary pianist’s life, it commemorates the development of this incredibly talented artist, whose life was not free from humiliation, exile and the storms of history.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cziffra Festival jointly present the concert.

Sponsored by the Gabor Bethlen Fund Management Ltd., Prime Minister’s Office



Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture

Eötvös: Cziffra Psodia


Brahms: Symphony No. 2





Cadogan Hall


Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cziffra Festival

   Not available