SOLD OUT Dinner & Russian Music / Teltházas vacsora és orosz mesterek

Our second classical concert of the season here in Huntsville is coming up on Friday. Prokofiev: Symphony No.1 “Classical”, Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.2 with the amazing Kathy Chi returning
and Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5
Join us for this powerful program of Russian music at the Von Braun Center!

On Sunday as our first Casual Classics show of the season, at the beautiful Carriage House of the Huntsville Botanical Garden, we’ll be presenting our annual dinner concert. And we are officially SOLD OUT. Everyone who will be there will find out if Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds improves digestion, and if Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings is sweet enough to make it to the Dessert Menu.

E hét pénteken a Huntsville Symphonyval, a Von Braun Center színpadán orosz mesterek műveit játsszuk. Zongora szólistánk, visszatérő vendégként, a fantasztikus Kathy Chi lesz Kanadából.
Nyitánynak Prokofjev Klassszikus Szimfóniája, a második félidőben pedig Csajkovszik Ötödikje hangzik majd fel.

Vasárnap az idei szezon első Casual Classics koncertjét tartjuk, amelyen a vacsora mellé felszolgált zenei menü Mendelssohn és Sztravinszkij egy-egy oktettje lesz, előbbi vonókra, utóbbi fúvóshangszerekre. Az évente egyszer megrendezésre kerülő koncert-vacsora rendkívül népszerű, és egy pár hete már minden jegy elkelt.

Jó étvágyat!

Le Lanaudière. Portland Festival Symphony. Sziget: Island of Freedom.

On July 9, after about 8 years, I conducted the Lanaudière Festival Orchestra again. It was great to return to conduct these amazing musicians, to collaborate with Alain Lefèvre on the piano
and to enjoy the ambiance of the amphitheater in Joliette, Quebec. Our program was the opening performance of the Lanaudière Festival 2016, an exciting mix of pieces by Tchaikovsky and Respighi.
The rehearsals were held downtown Montréal, which gave me a chance to enjoy the Montréal Jazz Festival programs every evening and also to revisit some of my favorite places in one of my favorite cities ever.

After enjoying a brief family vacation my summer season continues with free park concerts in Portland Oregon. Lajos Balogh and I share the concerts this year starting today at Cathedral Park. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be an all brass program presented at Laurelhurst Park. More symphonic and string concerts to come next weekend and the weekend after. Check out this year’s programs!

Based on popular demand Armel Opera Festival is presenting a fun 2 hour program every day at the famous Sziget Festival again this year. Scenes from Mozart’s The Magic Flute (staging by Róbert Alföldi), contemporary music improvisation with audience participation, symphonic world music with Hungarian stars, and a live crash course in orchestra conducting will be on the menu. Come and join us in August!

May, The Month Of Bells

Two concerts with Symphony Silicon Valley this weekend, one down one more to go. On the program:
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy
Debussy: Nocturnes
Rachmaninov: The Bells
This is my second time conducting Rachmaninov’s “choral symphony”. Here is my blogpost from 2013 about my performance with the Hungarian Radio Symphony with an “all about bells” theme:
The sound of the famous “Russian Bells” of course can be found in Tchaikovsky’s Overture Fantasy as well, and also in the delicate sounds of Debussy’s mezmerising Nocturnes, with female voices added to the mix of the orchestra timbres.
More bells for me in the coming weeks. In between rehearsals and performances I spent most of my time in my hotel room while in San Jose, CA. Let me tell you, I was missing out on some beautiful weather. I spent several hours preparing my score and making additional cuts to Busoni’s opera, Doctor Faust. Two semi-staged performances are coming up at the Budapest Opera. The entire opera starts with the sound of Easter Bells and ends with the sound of more bells accompanying the strange and actually pretty blasphemous apotheosis of Dr. Faust.
I am happy to have some of my Huntsville friends in Budapest for the second performance. They will be on a cruise ship on the Danube and will be stopping by in Budapest just in time to see me conduct Doktor Faust. I am looking forward to showing them around in my hometown and to spend some fun times together in my neck of the woods.

Season Opening, Gyorgy Ligeti and the Rapper

On Monday I am starting the rehearsals for two big projects with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (MR Symphony). On September 21 the orchestra opens its 70th Anniversary Season at the Palace of the Arts in Budapest with the following program:
Liszt: Les Preludes
Chopin: Piano Concerto #2 [Gergely Boganyi -piano]
Dohnanyi: Symphonic Minutes
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #5

This program is the exact replica of the very first public concert of the orchestra on October 7, 1943 conducted by Ernst von Dohnanyi himself. This concert kicks off our 70th season celebration with many exciting concerts and projects. More info here:

Two concerts are coming up the week after our season opening concert. We’ll be playing 8 brand new compositions in two concerts (chamber orchestra and full orchestra), one at Budapest Music Center (my first time conducting in this amazing new chamber music hall) on Sept 25, the other one a day later at the Palace of the Arts. After the concerts the final committee (including myself) will decide about the prize winner compositions. I got to tell you that it is going to be a difficult decision. The quality of the 8 pieces in the finals are very high and every one of them represent a very unique, personal voice. Just as a teaser: one piece is for “pianist” and orchestra, where the soloist only plays one chord at the end of the piece. Another composition employes a rapper alongside with the symphony orchestra.
This year’s New Hungarian Music Forum competition is dedicated to the great Gyorgy Ligeti. Check out the details here:

All concerts mentioned above can be heard live thanks to the Hungarian Radio. They are also available online live or after the performance for another two weeks at