This year, in 2012 the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival will turn 15 years old. The summer fest featuring mostly all sorts of concerts (jazz, film soundtracks, world music, oriental, street music etc.) is traditionally held between the last Sunday in August and the first Sunday in September, which is Aug 26 – September 04 in 2012.
Date: Aug 26 – September 04, 2012
Venues: there are various venues where the concerts and performances of the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival are held, most importantly at Dohany Street Grand Synagogue, Urania National Film Theatre, Rumbach Street Synagogue, Goldmark Hall Budapest (see the venues for each program below).
Although Budapest Summer Festival was mostly featuring programs for adults and fans of classical music concerts, this year the organizers are including trendy young bands – aimed at teens and hip young adults – amongst its performers like the world famous Israeli band, the Balkan Beat Box. To mention but a few of the highlights of the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival, here are some tasters.
The world-renowned Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra will open the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival on August 26, 2012. The chamber orchestra will be accompanied by two very talented young Hungarian violinists, the Pusker sisters (Agnes and Julia Pusker), plus one of the youngest pianist talents of the world of classical music in 2012, the 8 year-old whizz kid, Israeli Yoav Levanon. On Aug 28, in the Dohany Street Synagogue (the 2nd largest synagogue in the world), you can enjoy the performance of the Israeli legend of world music, Shlomo Bar, accompanied by his ensemble, Habrera Hativeet. Their music is the special blend of African Sephardic and Oriental traditions.
A recently discovered talent, Nikolas Takács, who has compiled his whole programme from the oeuvre of Michel Legrand, will give a concert in the Dohány Street Synagogue for the first time. The concert is also homage since the world famous composer of the Yentl and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg celebrated his 80th birthday this year. In the past years the Sephardic songs of the Mediterranean Jewry have become one of the greatest successes of Bea Palya’s repertoire. This time our guests can enjoy a new, special musical selection, including songs of Yasmin Levi, Noa and Dulce Pontes as well as Portuguese Fado music and Sephardic songs at the posh Urania National Film Theatre in Budapest. The opera fans will certainly welcome the concert-like presentation of the Verdi opera Nabucco, which will be held in the Dohany Street Synagogue on September 2, featuring prominent Hungarian artists.
You will have a chance to hear the only known Hungarian Jewish song: Szol a kakas mar (here performed by Bea Palya singer in the Grand Synagogue of Budapest in Dohany Street).
Detailed programme of the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival
August 26, 2012:
- Festival Opening: Classical Music Concert by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra at Dohany Street Synagogue Budapest at 7 pm
- The Voice of Prophets by Gabor Birta at Frankel Street Synagogue Budapest at 7 pm
- GOUBA – Gozsdu bazaar – Handcraft fair, book releases and Jewish gastronomy ay Gozsdu Courtyard in Kiraly Street, Jewish Quarter – the market is open from 10 am (entry is free of charge)
- Film Screenings (free): the works of Gyula Radó film director and István Bubryák editor-producer. The film screenings start with a conversation with the film director at 2:30 pm. At 3 pm you can watch the hour long film entitled A buried synagogue in Buda (52 min), at 4 pm there is another film, The legend – The Story of the Student Hamlet of Szeged (83 min), and finally at 5:30 pm – Faceless Shadows (entry is free of charge)
- The Day of the (Hungarian) Jewish Culture / (Magyar) Zsidó Kultúra Napja: held in Tiszafüred (a town in the Eastern countryside of Hungary, outside Budapest), organized by Tiszafured Menora Foundation (Hungarian event)
August 27, 2012:
- “Still Two in One” – A Concert by Bea Palya (Bea, our beloved singer is expecting her baby, hence the title of the concert. She will be singing joyful songs of hopeful new lives: songs by Noa, Yasmin Levi, Dulce Pontes, some film music (Life is beautiful, Vengo), beautiful songs of Anatolia and South-America, Fado and of course Sephardic songs). David Lamm – guitar, Andras Des – percussion. The concert is at Urania Film Theatre Budapest, at 7 pm
- Concert by Tzomet Orchestra (blending the sounds of the “Mizrahi” (Middle Eastern, Yemeni music) and the “Sephardic” (Spanish Jewish music), as well as the Southern Slav musical heritage, creating songs mixed with modern grooves, but on authentic instruments with improvised jazz elements) – From Jerusalem to Jerusalem concert at Rumbach Street Synagogue Budapest at 7:30 pm
- Exhibition of Israel’s finest illustrations of children’s books and Jewish manuscripts and ceremonial objects at the beautiful Szabo Ervin Library in Reviczky Street, District VIII. – inaugurated by: Ilan Mor Ambassador of the State of Israel – open from 3:00 pm. The exhibitions can be visited: 27th August – 13th September 2012 during the opening hours of the library(www.fszek.hu).
August 28, 2012:
- Budapest – Brooklyn – Boldizsár László, Orsi Kozma and Gabi Szucs (the former singers of Cotton Club Singers evoke the most well-known 20th century street songs from Budapest. At this dramatized concert the audience can take part in an imaginary journey from Dohány street to the Jewish quarter of New York) at Urania National Film Theater at 7:00 pm
- A Concert by Jozsef Balog pianist (József Balog has given lots of concerts, to mention but a few, at the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Chan Centre (Vancouver), Kensington Palace (London – in the presence of Prince Charles), Palace of Arts (Budapest), Vredenburg Music Center (Utrecht), Musikhuset (Aarhus), Antonin Castle (Poland), Equinoxe (Chateauroux), Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Hall (Lodz), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Teatre de la Monnaie (Brussels), Philharmonic Hall (St Petersburg)). His piano concert starts at 7:30 pm
- Play – End of the Carnival – the two-character stage adaptation of Péter Popper’s Books (Peter Popper was Hungary’s most popular psychologist, children’s psychologist, religious thinker and public figure). The two characters: the Professor: János Perjés, the Actress: Andrea Malek. The play was directed by Tamás Bori. A confession on stage with a lot of smiles and sadness, but with the conviction that if you pay a lot of attention to animals you will learn something important about people as well… performed at the Goldmark Hall Budapest at 7:30 pm
- Cinema symphony – Film soundtracks concert by Miskolc Symphony Orchestra (John Williams’ biggest smashes like the hits from Star Wars, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter, as well as the works of Horner, Ennio Morricone and Vladimir Cosma) at Dohany Street Synagogue Budapest at 7:00 pm
August 29, 2012:
- A Concert by Shlomo Bar and the Habrera Hativeet (special mixture of African Sephardic music and Eastern traditional music) at 7:00 pm
- Lamplight – Veronika Harcsa, who is a young and acclaimed graduate of the Jazz Department of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Her jazz concert is featuring: János Kulka (actor / performs prose at the poetic concert – Lamplight is an album based on the poems of the best Hungarian poets), Bálint Gyémánt (guitar), Gábor Subic (trumpet). The jazz concert will be at Urania Film Theatre Budapest at 7:00 pm
- In the Land of Israel – The Göncölszekér Ensemble (the poems of Nelly Sachs, Paul Celan and Osip Mandelstam set to music) at the Rumbach Street Synagogue Budapest at 7:30 pm
- Orfeum – the Budapest Orpheum team offers a cheerful evening, a really diverting program. Rejoicing at the hilarious scenes of the classic comedy) at Goldmark Hall Budapest at 7:30 pm
August 30, 2012:
- Nikolas Takács – Hommage à Michel Legrand, a young talent on the Hungarian Jazz scene – at Dohány Street Synagogue at 7:00 pm
- Bori Rutkai and The Specko Jedno: Bori Rutkai being originally a video artist and a painter, will evoke a strong visual world in her concert. She is showcasing various singing styles, performs unique and energetic dances, while amusingly communicating with you, the audience(Bori Rutkai – vocals, Zoltán Mizsei – piano, Dávid Szesztay – guitar, Dániel Szereto – bass, Zsombor Dudás – drums, Németh Csaba – percussion) at Rumbach Street Synagogue Budapest at 7:30 pm
- A Concert of the SABRE Orchestra (Oriental music reviving the most beautiful motives of Israeli, Arabian and Turkish songs) at Goldmark Hall Budapest at 7:30 pm
- Mariann Falusi – Ulpius song theatre (inspired by the works of the famous Hungarian aesthete and litterateur, whose now celebrated book, A History of Hungarian Literature was once forbidden). The literary musical concert is at Uránia National Movie Theater at 7:00 pm
September 1, 2012:
- One World – Eszter Horgas flutist and Ádám Horgas concert and film screening. n addition to the works of well-known composers like Astor Piazzolla, Bizet, Gershwin and Seress they are going to present some of their own compositions as well. The songs make up a story, telling us about the world, thoughts and feelings of the Horgas siblings – at Urania Film Theater at 9 pm
- Jazz funk concert – Random Trip in Otkert Bar Budapest: concert with a DJ at the hip and cool Otkert ruin pub of Budapest. Beyond mixing the well-known styles like funk, soul, disco, hip-hop, drum’n’bass and the likes, the Random Trip club wishes to bring the current Hungarian under/over-ground performers together: Sena (Irie Maffia), Eniko Hodosi (Neo), Flora Polnauer will sing, accompanied by Jávor Delov, percussionist of Turbo, DJ Q-Cee, the amazing DJ of the Vinyl Warriorz and Pisti Bata (bass guitar) – at Otkert ruin pub, District VII, Budapest Jewish Quarter from 9pm.
September 2, 2012:
- Play – A Century of One Minute Stories – Centenary of the birth of István Orkény one of the best Hungarian authors of prose, and one with a hell of a sense of humour (“as a newborn I might have been perfect, but from then it all went downhill”). The prose work is accompanied by music (Péter Tfirst – violin, Mihály Várnagy – tenor violin, Richárd Rózsa – violoncello, Dóra Bizják – piano. At Goldmark Hall Budapest at 7:30 pm.
- Verdi: Nabucco – concert-like performance conducted by Tamas Pal and performed with the Failoni Chamber Orchestra of the Hungarian State Opera and the Hungarian State Opera Chorus Dohany Street Synagogue at 7 pm
- The Omer Klein Trio – Kurt Weill evening: Omer`s music was described by “Ha`aretz”, Israel as “deeply rooted in Israeli, Arab and North-African music.” His compositions and improvisations combine his deep love for the Jazz tradition, his passion to explore and master the piano, and his strong connection with the sounds of his homeland. The concert will be at Rumbach Street Synagogue Budapest at 7:30 pm
- Balkan Beat Box at A38 Music Club, Budapest: It’s been two years since the release of BBB’s last album, big changes have taken place in the world and in the band’s lives – and they’ve brought it all back home with the release of Give, their most musically intense and lyrically explosive album yet. Brimming over with handcrafted beats and samples, Give yields up BBB’s most textured sonic palette of their career. “This is our most hardcore album so far,” says Tamir Muskat. “Definitely musically – there’s more of a harder-edged, electronic sound. The songs and their subjects are also kind of darker and more political.” Balkan Beat Box is performing at the cool A38 Music Club, Budapest at 7 pm
- Péter Gerendás Hungarian (Levite) guitarist / singer, and Moran Magal Israeli pianist, singer and song writer performing the Sephardic project concert at Uránia National Film Theater at 7 pm
September 3, 2012:
- The Budapest Klezmer Band and their star guest Eszter Biro. The Budapest Klezmer Band successfully combines klezmer music with classical music, creating a unique, characteristic crossover between style. The band traditionally closes the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival. The klezmer concert will be at Dohany Sreet Synagogue at 7 pm.
- Play – Budapest Episode – Monodrama about Katalin Karády, the most beloved black and white Hungarian film actress’s life (interrogated by the Gestapo). Her songs and character are still highly appreciated by Magyars. Katalin Karády played by: Emese Fáy, participating: Ági Szalóki folk singer, Director: Thomas Desi The performance is delivered by Vienna Zoon Musiktheater at Goldmark Hall Budapest at 7:30 pm
September 4, 2012:
- Anniversary Gala Evening Celebrating Tolerance at 7 pm. The anniversary gala evening of the Festival implicitly and explicitly upholds the value of tolerance using the language of the arts. At this grandiose evening the audience has the opportunity to see a real star parade. We would like to offer you tickets for a symbolic price at this evening. Tickets cost HUF 1000 for the stalls and HUF 500 for the balcony. The host of the evening is János Kulka, Kossuth Prize winner, and many other award winning artists: Eszter Csákányi, András Bálint, Elsa Valle, Andrea Fullajtár, András Hábetler, Géza D. Hegedus, Austrian-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, conducted by Adam Fisher, Rajko Orchestra, Tamás Somló, Pál Závada.
- The Klezmerész Band playing the traditional Jewish songs of Central Eastern Europe, the bittersweet beautiful songs known as klezmer music. Their repertoire includes Yiddish, Hebrew, Sephardic songs, instrumental songs and the only known Hungarian-Jewish song, The Rooster is Crowing… (Szol a kakas mar). Their specialty is the two-part song with two singers, both of them women, which is unique in the circle of Hungarian klezmer bands. The klezmer concert is performed by the Klezmeresz Band (Vocals: Judit Sós, Judit Torok, Violin: Judit Zala, Clarinet: József Kiglics, Guitar, banjo : Roland Temple, Bass, Mexican guitar: Richárd Temple, Percussion, and vocals: Péter Garaistarts). The concert will be at Frankel Street Synagogue at 7 pm.
You can buy tickets online for the events and programs of the Budapest Jewish Summer Festival on the official Zsido Nyari Fesztival site of the festival.