“Iván Fischer and the BFO perform miracles with children. It’s so inspiring to see how he implants the joy of collaboration through dance and music.”
(Béla B. Molnár, a member of the audience)
Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra started the large-scale Dancing on the Square project in 2015. It’s not simply about music and dancing in a group, it’s also about mutual responsibility, tolerance and respect.
The most important of the project’s participants are the children, who become real heroes for the day when they dance together in Heroes’ Square to the live accompaniment of the Festival Orchestra. Roma and non-Roma, poor and better-off children work for months towards a common goal, and they enjoy the results of being part of a real creative community.
The Dancing on the Square project is far more than a simple open-air concert. Alongside the rehearsals, we organise regional meetings and development camps with drama, music, dance and game workshops, with professional help from the Foundation for Democratic Youth. We thus enable the children to get to know one another so they can learn to trust each other and cooperate.
In 2017, we will be organising our third free open-air extravaganza.
The project is supported by EEA Grants.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra is one of the major success stories of the Hungarian music scene, being rated among the world’s top ten orchestras; the New York Times has even gone as far as to say they “might be the best orchestra in the world”. We perform regularly in the most important of concert halls, from Carnegie Hall to the Musikverein, but alongside our international successes our most important mission is to bring the beauty of classical music to every layer of Hungarian society.
We believe that music can connect people with vastly different backgrounds and directions in life. We bravely venture along untrodden paths, and each year we come up with new kinds of concerts for the youngest generation.
Our educational programme is unrivalled. We bring Choose your Instrument sessions to schools; our regular Cocoa Concert programmes are now interspersed with Autism-friendly ones; Music Castle sees us making not just music, but also instruments alongside the children; and we work with hundreds of underprivileged children during the Dancing on the Square project. Our Community concerts mean we’re making ever more frequent appearances at alternative venues, away from concert halls where we can create an intimate connection with the audience, be it in nursing homes, abandoned synagogues, hospitals, child-care institutions, or prisons.
Iván Fischer is the founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He is also the Music Director of Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester. On top of that, he has gained a reputation as a composer, with his works being performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and Austria. He has directed a number of highly successful opera productions.
As a guest conductor, he regularly conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as working with some of the great US orchestras. He is an innovator, and has been bringing the Festival Orchestra’s concerts to abandoned synagogues since 2014.
In addition to his international prizes (including the Crystal Award, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, the Ovatie Prize and an honorary membership to the Royal Academy of Music) he has also received the Kossuth and Prima Primissima Awards. In 28 March, 2015 he received the Abu Dhabi Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2016, he won the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for Best Foreign Conductor.