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Budapest Festival Orchestra: Concertino J. S. Bach, Shostakovich, Schönberg

Budapest, Liszt Academy Concert Center — Grand Hall

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About the Event

Immerse yourself in the stunning architecture of Budapest's breathtaking Liszt Academy Concert Center for the ultimate concert set to awake your understanding of classical music.

Travel from the Baroque era to the mid‐20th century in one captivating evening with the Budapest Festival Orchestra's Concertinos series. Under the esteemed direction of János Pilz, a distinguished winner of the 2011 Sándor Végh Competition, the series spotlights smaller, intimate masterpieces. Our program begins with Bach's uplifting First Orchestral Suite and jumps forward to Shostakovich’s hauntingly beautiful Sonata for Violin and Piano, arranged for string orchestra and percussion. Daniel Bard, a fervent champion of chamber music and one of BFO’s lead concertmasters, graces the solo. The finale showcases Schönberg’s evocative work, a tumultuous love tale.

In the German courts of the 18th century, French‐inspired music was the rage. Catering to noble tastes, the orchestral suite (or 'ouverture' in French) emerged: spirited, dance‐evoking compositions, with Bach crafting four such pieces. As expected from Bach, he intertwined French and Italian stylistic nuances, producing a suite that’s as vibrant and unpredictable as the composer himself.

The globally‐acclaimed violinist, David Oistrakh, was gifted Shostakovich's Sonata for Violin and Piano on his 60th birthday in 1968, which soon evolved into one of Shostakovich’s most profound late compositions. With an initial andante movement anchored on a twelve‐tone theme, its somber tones vary between the cynical and the chilling. Even the heroic interlude of the middle movement eventually gives way to tension, punctuated occasionally by a delicate waltz. The final movement, unnervingly subdued, features the violin's theme accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

Schönberg’s String Sextet 'Transfigured Night,' inspired by a poem by Richard Dehmel, paints a tale of love, betrayal, and acceptance in just over thirty minutes. As Dehmel's poem narrates, under a moonlit sky, a woman reveals to her lover her pregnancy from a previous liaison, evoking an outpouring of love and understanding from him. Schönberg’s composition beautifully encapsulates this poignant narrative in a tapestry of emotive music.


  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066
  • Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich – Sonata for violin, Op. 134 (transcript by Mikhail Zinman and Andrei Pushkarev)
  • Arnold Schönberg – Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op. 4
Program is subject to change


Orchestra: Budapest Festival Orchestra
Concertmaster: János Pilz
Violin: Daniel Bard

Liszt Academy Concert Center

The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music was founded in 1875 by Liszt himself, and was initially called the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music. Today, the building is home to a prestigious conservatory and fine concert hall, and houses the Liszt Collection, comprising the composer’s manuscripts and books. The institution's dual objective - to provide cultural education and cultural entertainment - makes it unique. The 'New Academy' is located in a grand Art-Nouveau building dominated by the statue of Liszt, one of Budapest’s architectural gems. The season offers not only classical concerts, but also jazz, folk, and contemporary music performances.


Liszt Academy Concert Center, Liszt Ferenc tér 8., Budapest, Hungary — Google Maps

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