Richard Strauss Marathon

The end of January is marathon time! Not in the open air, but in pleasant concert halls where the works of a single great composer follow one another from morning till night. The series of concerts and film screening is jointly organised by Müpa Budapest and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. On this occasion, we will be introduced to the opuses of Richard Strauss, which are equally at home in the 19th and 20th centuries, as played by the cream of the Hungarian musical community.

A genius with a thousand faces and full of contradictions, Strauss was born in 1864 and died in 1949, so he could not help but be influenced by 19th and 20th century history. He wrote post-romantic works, he was able to express himself in the languages of modernism, expressionism and neo-classicism, and his work already adopted the characteristics of post-modernism even before the genre took shape. He did not create theories, instead composing with the regularity of an office worker, writing everying needed for a grand ouevre.  He inspired awe and hatred – but never ambivalence. Strauss's work is unavoidable, he belongs among the greats.

This marathon organised jointly by Müpa Budapest and the Budapest Festival Orchestra selects from the concert hall genres making efforts to place equal emphasis on celebrating known works and discovering those that are less familiar. We will hear great symphonic pieces and concertos, as well as allowing ourselves to be enchanted by choruses and songs, and the beauty of piano and chamber works. The MÁV Symphony Orchestra, the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pannon Philharmonic, Concerto Budapest and the Budapest Festival Orchestra will all take to the stage, with Róbert Farkas, Martin Rajna, András Vass, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Iván Fischer taking their turns on the podium. A succession of excellent pianists will perform, namely Dénes Várjon, János Palojtay, Emese Mali, Dávid Báll and István Lajkó. Lovers of vocal music can marvel at the voices of the Hungarian National Choir, Polina Pasztircsák and Eleanor Lyons – while the excellent musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will demonstrate their skills by performing numerous chamber productions.