The Budapest Ritmo, Hungary's latest and greatest world music festival, was inspired by the success of the 2015 WOMEX, which was held in Budapest. Presented by Hangvető and CAFe Budapest, Budapest Ritmo is the first world music festival in Hungary and Eastern Europe to serve as a meeting point for the region and the world, where the interaction of different cultures can become a source of renewable energy. As a consequence, the theme of the first Budapest Ritmo is encounter, chance meetings that often seem improbable and surprising: the joint performance of Armenian and Turkish, French and Japanese, Israeli and Iranian, Roma and Sami performers. New energies are certain to come into being, both on the stage and in the auditorium, with several of recent years' greatest stars of world music playing alongside the Hungarian and East European artists. The festival also offers a taste of the programme of WOMEX, the world music expo held this year in Spain: six of the bands to be featured there will captivate audiences and cause them to dance in Budapest a mere week before the event. On 13 October, the opening concert of Budapest Ritmo looks at the afterlife of Béla Bartók's collection of Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian and Slovak folk songs. The gala concert will be an homage to Béla Bartók the collector and student of folk music, who is a point of reference for world music. Bartók's work is a fantastic example of the encounter between Eastern Europe and the world, as the collecting composer worked in almost all the countries of the region, as well as in Turkey and North Africa (Algeria).
Ilona Prunyi chamber concert
Ilona Prunyi has been an active fixture on the Hungarian music scene for more than half a century, and a rediscoverer of Dohnányi's works for piano. Her openness, empathy, selflessness, impressive technical armoury and natural musicality always make her a popular choice among other musicians. On International Music Day, she gifts the audience a personal selection of pieces. The bouquet gathers together jewels from the musical repertoire of some 200 years, including the young Rachmaninoff‘s Elegie, an impressionistic piece for piano by Ravel, the Ländler Dohnányi composed in his late period in 1945, and a famous waltz of Delibes from the ballet Coppélia. Although these are not showy virtuoso pieces, they require no less technical skill. Adding to the list are three more substantial works. The protagonist of Liszt's legend is the devout saint, one of whose "most touching episodes” - as the composer put it - comes to life on the piano keyboard. The popular and evergreen Jeunehomme piano concerto by the 21-year-old Mozart is often regarded as the first fully-formed masterpiece of the Classical Viennese School, an elegant piece by a young composer that also explores great spiritual depths in its slow movement. Formed in 1998, the Solti Chamber Orchestra accompanies the pianist, who has a number of world première recordings to her name. In the second half of the evening, we will have the chance to hear a work by one of the distinctive voices of the late Romantic period in the chamber music genre venerated by Brahms, Schubert and Schumann before him. Collaborating in this performance of César Franck‘s Piano Quintet in F minor is the internationally acclaimed quartet bearing the name of Kossuth Prize-winner Barnabás Kelemen. The foursome has achieved outstanding results at numerous international competitions in the short time since its foundation in 2010. The concert will be preceded from 6.30 pm by a conversation entitled Prelude, where ticket holders will be invited to get to know the performing musician and the works to be performed more closely.
Plaid and the Southbank Gamelan Players
Most of the members of the Southbank Gamelan Players studied in Java or the island of Bali. The group often collaborates with great figures of Southeast-Asian performing art, dancers or puppeteers, as well as with artists seeking new directions, such as Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino, Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk, and English composer Alec Roth. One of today's most important Javanese composers and musicians, Rahayu Supanggah was artist in residence at London's Southbank Centre between 2006-2009. It was during this period that the idea of an extensive composition for a gamelan ensemble and electronics arose, and it was eventually premiered in 2009 with the participation of Plaid - the name under which two artists, Andy Turner and Ed Handley work together - and the Southbank Gamelan Players.