András Keller and Concerto Budapest to embark on UK & Ireland Tour in September with Pierre-Laurent Aimard
12 September 2023* – Croydon Fairfield Hall
13 September 2023 – Guildford G-Live
14 September 2023 – London Cadogan Hall
15 September 2023 – Cheltenham Town Hall
17 September 2023 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
19 September 2023 – Dublin National Concert Hall
András Keller conductor / Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano / *Mihaly Berecz piano
Programme includes Liszt’s Rhapsody No.2, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5, Mozart Symphony No.40 in G Minor, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No.3 and Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 ’Eroica’
András Keller and Concerto Budapest will embark on their second UK and Irish tour for September 2023. Following their successful tour to the UK last year, Concerto Budapest return for a six-concert tour including London’s Cadogan Hall, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and Dublin’s National Concert Hall. Pierre-Laurent Aimard joins them to perform Bartók’s Piano Concerto No.3 in a programme including Beethoven’s iconic Eroica and Mozart’s haunting penultimate Symphony in G-minor K.550.
One of the oldest ensembles in Hungary, Concerto Budapest’s distinguished history stretches back more than a century to their foundation in 1907. Conductor, violinist and founder of the acclaimed Keller Quartet, András Keller has been Music Director and Principal Conductor since the orchestra’s centenary in 2007. Composer-conductor Péter Eötvös became the first Principal Guest Conductor, while pianist-conductor Mikhail Pletnev joined as Resident Artist of the orchestra in 2022. Living legend of contemporary music György Kurtág is the orchestra’s Honorary President. Concerto Budapest premiered a work by Kurtág in memory of his friend Ligeti for the composer’s centenary in May 2023.
Concerto Budapest has stamped its mark on Hungarian musical life with its distinctive programming. Its extensive repertoire spans the spectrum from popular classics to contemporary works, bringing a progressive approach to their unique sound. In the past decade, Concerto Budapest has won over an increasingly broad audience base and has become a top-ranking ensemble not only in Hungary but on the international scene. They have appeared in numerous international festivals and concert series, playing in prestigious concert halls in Europe, America and the Far East and during lockdown, their digital concerts including Carpathian Rhapsody garnered international awards and were streamed to 1.5 million viewers.
As András Keller explains, ‘we don’t even have to understand the music but rather listen and feel it, and allow it to flow through us. If somebody is prepared to make this intellectual-spiritual investment, it will enrich them to the point that they will see their entire life in a completely different way’.
Highly acclaimed Hungarian musicians such as Dezső Ránki, Dénes Várjon, Barnabás Kelemen, Kristóf Baráti and Miklós Perényi regularly perform with the orchestra, in addition to returning international guest soloists and collaborators including Gidon Kremer, Heinz Holliger, Isabelle Faust, Khatia Buniatishvili, Anna Vinnitskaya, Mikhail Pletnev and Evgeni Koroliov.
Concerto Budapest’s repertoire ranges from virtuosic, large-scale symphonic works by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich to classical concertos by Mozart or Beethoven, and contemporary pieces by György Ligeti, Thomas Adès, György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki and László Vidovszky.
In 2018, the orchestra launched a major recording series covering masterpieces of music under the German label TACET. The first four albums in the series have already been released: Bruckner’s Symphony No.9, Dvořák’s New World Symphony, Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 9 and Schubert’s Symphony No.8. Their Dvořák album featuring Miklós Perényi was Recording of the Month in the German magazine AUDIO. It is expected that in the next few years there will be further releases of symphonies by Mahler and Beethoven.
‘Razor-sharp and crystal-clear transparency: Andras Keller’s interpretation of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra does not seek the grand symphonic sound, not the magnificent gesture, but the best possible transparency’ – Pizzicato on Concerto Budapest’s recording of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra
Concerto Budapest passionately believes in its presence on screen and streamed concerts to 1.5 million people during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. In 2020, András Keller partnered with Gidon Kremer Kremerata Baltica for a film directed by Imre Szabó-Stein which won the Gold Medal of Performing Arts category at the prestigious International Venice TV Awards. Their last film Carpathian Rhapsody won the Silver Trophy of the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, out of hundreds of entries from 42 countries around the globe. The all-evening black and white film, also directed by Imre Szabó Stein and based on the artistic concept of András Keller, brought Concerto Budapest together with Ferenc Snétberger, Roby Lakatos, Gábor Homoky and the Old Sounds. Premiered in the 2021 as a Christmas programme on MEZZO TV 2021, it was also recognised at the New York Festival’s TV & Film Awards. Further streams – Mozart Day, Beethoven Day and Listen to Brahms! – have featured on Hungary’s largest news portal, Index.hu, broadening their audience beyond their regular followers and supporters.
Andras Keller is the world-renowned violinist and founder of Keller Quartet, András Keller has been music director of Concerto Budapest since 2007. His appointment to head the ensemble was a decisive moment in the life of the orchestra since in addition to the continued expansion of the classical repertoire he placed great emphasis on performances of twentieth-century and contemporary works (including many premieres in Hungary). In addition to dozens of international awards, Keller was a recipient of the Liszt Prize in 1995 as a member of Keller Quartet, in 2012 he was awarded the Bartók-Pásztory Prize and Meritorious Artist Honour, and then in 2021 his work was recognized with the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious state award in the field of Hungarian culture. In 2022 he received the Prima Primissima Prize in Music Art. Since January 2016, he has been professor at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama.