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

 

Programme

Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture

Eötvös: Cziffra Psodia

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Brahms: Symphony No. 2

Előadások

2024.
11.28.

Thursday
19:30

London

Cadogan Hall

Co-organizer:

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cziffra Festival

   Not available

Rachmaninov Essence 2 / The composer’s complete piano concertos

Performed by János Balázs, Concerto Budapest, conducted by András Keller

The Cziffra Festival pays tribute to the memory of Sergey Rachmaninov, born 150 years ago, with two concerts featuring all of the composer’s piano concertos. János Balázs’ gigantic enterprise is unique in the world as only a few pianists have performed all of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos in succession like this. The cycle will be complete in the evening following the Concert on 10 February, as we can enjoy Piano Concertos No. 3 and featuring Concerto Budapest led by András Keller. We can also relish Vocalise, one of Rachmaninov’s deservedly famous 14 Romances.

The master’s piano concertos are among the most difficult-to-perform works written for the instrument, challenging both the soloist and the orchestra. Rachmaninov, who possessed an incomparable virtuoso piano technique, supposedly found that his Piano Concerto No. 3 was performed by Vladimir Horowitz so flawlessly that he himself never performed this piece in concert again.

The awards of the Cziffra Festival will also be presented at the gala concert.

Host: Ádám Bősze

Subscriptions for the concerts Rachmaninov Essence 1 and can be purchased at https://www.jegy.hu/seasonticket/buy/542/10

(A joint concert of the Cziffra Festival and Concerto Budapest)

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Programme

Rachmaninov: Vocalise op. 34/14.,

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, op. 40

*** 

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, op. 30 

Előadások

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Chamber Music All Over Europe

Performers: Sandro de Palma (piano), Alexander Hülshoff( cello)

The Italian pianist gained fame mainly as a soloist in the 1970s and 80s; then, he also showed his talent as a chamber musician with a number of formations, including ensembles such as Prazak, Ebène and the Amarcorde String Quartet. His chamber partner this time is Alexander Hülshoff, a distinguished member of his generation, known all over the world for his expressiveness and sophisticated cello timbre. As a soloist, he has performed with renowned orchestras in  Asia Northern and Southern Europe. Chamber music plays a central role in his performances and recordings as the cellist of Trio Bamberg and in collaboration with many artists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Martin Stadfeld, Fazıl Say, Friedemann Eichhor, a Fine Arts Quartet and Gil Sharon.

(A joint concert of the Cziffra Festival and MOMkult)

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Programme

Schumann: Five Pieces in Folk Style, Op. 102 

Janáček: Pohádka

Britten: Sonata for Cello and Piano

 

Előadások

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Youth in Focus / Composition and Improvisation

A recital by Elemér Balázs Jr and Krisztián Oláh

The Cziffra Festival has been a dedicated supporter of future generations of performers for years. It makes an effort to help talented young people make progress not only with financial and moral recognition but also by providing them with performance opportunities and professional mentoring. The next Concert of the Youth in Focus series will feature Elemér Balázs and Krisztián Oláh, the winners of the Creative Artist Award of the Cziffra Festival in 2023.

Regarding the Concert, the Junior Prima Award-winning pianist-composer  Elemér Balázs Jr commented: “I built my show primarily around intuitive pieces. I think the depth of Chopin’s preludes basically creates an atmosphere for the Concert, made even more colourful with Cziffra’s fantastic transcription and my own recent compositions. Saudade is a Portuguese term that describes the duality of longing. This duality will be found in all the pieces.” Krisztian Oláh – also a Junior Prima Award-winning pianist-composer who also excels among the ranks of today’s young jazz performers with his instinctive improvisations – also gives a taste of his recently written pieces. Thus, the audience can prepare for a world premiere.

Admission is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, please contact us at koncertregisztracio@fszek.hu or by phone at (06-1) 411-5011, stating the number of attendees.

(Joint Concert of the Cziffra Festival and the Budapest Ervin Szabó Library Music Collection)

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Előadások

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Behind the Scenes – The Performer | an unusual piano evening with Gergely Boganyi

Featuring Gergely Bogányi, Ádám Bősze and János Lackfi

The audience normally only enjoys the final result of performing arts and has no idea of what kind of spiritual processes, soul and logic, individual habits and techniques are required for the artist to perform at the Concert, giving their best.

Pianist Gergely Bogányi, writer-poet János Lackfi and music historian Ádám Bősze discuss these matters – and the fact that performing art is also a way and a form of life and a mindset. How does an artist recharge his batteries? What are the mental and physical challenges of learning a piece? Does all this change with age? How do external conditions affect practising? These and similar questions will come up in the conversation, which provides glances behind the scenes.

The piano is at the heart of the one-part evening, playing the most central part next to the conversation. Gergely Bogányi had the opportunity to learn personally from György Cziffra, take part in his masterclasses, and he passes on Cziffra’s musical legacy in his international career to this day.

(A joint concert of the Cziffra Festival and MOMkult)

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Előadások

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Olga Kern’s solo piano recital

Olga Kern is a celebrated returning artist of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, and her recital at Cziffra Festival is part of her Europe Tour. The Russian-American pianist burst into the international music scene in 2001 when she won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition as a woman for the first time in thirty years. At the age of seventeen, she also won first place in the Rachmaninov International Piano Competition but proved her talent in many other music contests as well.

With her lively stage presence, passionately confident musicality and unique technique, she captivates audiences and critics alike, which can be marvelled at in the Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy this time. The programme of her recital can also be seen as a journey in music history, as in the first half of the evening, she starts off with Beethoven’s ­ Falstaff Variations and gets to 20th-century music, ­Gershwin’s works. She dedicates the part after the intermission to Russian music, including pieces by Rachmaninov, who had a direct connection to Kern’s family.

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Offiice, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Programme

Beethoven: Variations on the duet “La stessa, le stessissima” from Salieri’s opera Falstaff, WoO 73, Schumann: Carnival op. 9, Gershwin: Three Preludes, Fascinating rhythm

***

Rachmaninov: Moment Musicaux No. 4, op. 16, Etudes-Tableaux No. 8, op. 33, Polichinelle op. 3 No. 4, 

Tchaikovsky: Meditáció op.72. no.5

Scriabin: Two Etudes, op. 42 No. 4 and no 5.,

Balakirev: Islamey 

Előadások

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ZongoRamazuri – Judit Halász and János Balázs’ concert for kids

In the case of John Balázs, we can safely say it is not surprising that there is great genre diversity in his repertoire, and he has something to say to all age groups, including the youngest ones. This usually requires nothing more than a piano, which in itself opens up such an exciting world for children that they cannot get enough of it during a concert. This time, however, Judit Halász will also join the pianist with her earworm songs. She has been dazzling generations of children for decades, so the essence of this Concert will undoubtedly be the special encounter between the two artists.

János Balázs’ repertoire and its genre diversity are legendary, while Judit Halász, a Knight of the Order of Smiles, is not only able to sing poems set to music but also clothe classical music in fairy tales.

In this way, children can explore the previously known and unknown areas of music at the matinee held at MOMKult as a completely new musical experience and enjoy it from an utterly new perspective.

(A joint concert of the Cziffra Festival and MOMkult)

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Előadások

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Youth in Focus | Concert featuring János Balázs’ students

György Cziffra entered the Liszt Academy at the age of eight after his piano playing astonished Ernő Dohnanyi. This glorious career, however, also involved many difficulties, and it is no exaggeration to say that Cziffra’s troubled adulthood began there. Perhaps the fact that, as an acclaimed pianist, he established a foundation and a scholarship for gifted young musicians can also be attributed to this.

The Cziffra Festival considers it its mission to support talented young artists: awards are annually conferred upon the best, and the Festival provides opportunities for musicians at the outset of their careers to perform both in Hungary and abroad. A unique programme of the diverse talent development activity is the concert series “Youth in Focus”, where János Balázs’ students perform, showing us the gems of their generation.

Admission is free, but pre-registration is required.

To register, please get in touch with us at  koncertregisztracio@fszek.hu or by phone at (06-1) 411-5011, stating the number of attendees.

(Joint Concert of the Cziffra Festival and the Budapest Ervin Szabó Library Music Collection)

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Fund

Featured sponsor: MVM

Előadások

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The Voice of Dignity at Cziffra Festival

Charity concert for the Hungarian Hospice Foundation

Performers: Erika Miklós (voice), Judit Halász (voice), Kati Kovács (voice), János Balázs (piano)

The concert Voice of Dignity is a joint endeavour of the Cziffra Festival and the Hungarian Hospice Foundation held at Müpa. Its proceeds will be donated to the annual maintenance of one patients’ room in the Budapest Hospice House.

At the outset, we can hear classical works and paraphrases played by János Balázs, and then the three outstanding singers –for whom it is not the first time to make music together with the Festival’s founder – will take turns on the stage. First, it will be Erika Miklósa singing opera arias and songs accompanied by János Balázs’ piano, and then Judit Halász and Kati Kovács will perform their most popular hits on Müpa’s stage.

Supporter: Prime Minister’s Office, Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt.
Featured sponsor: MVM

Előadások

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