“150 Years of the Vigadó” – Budapest – Hungary

 

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January is the Ballroom season  … The first public dance ball was held 150 years ago!

Coming up … „Back to the Future”

Just a year before the 150th anniversary of the VIGADÓ, the “Hungarian Academy of Arts” was officially opened on March, 14. 2014. with an exhibition commemorating the oeuvre of Imre Makovecz, the founder of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

The building’s predecessor, the Redoute and Vigadó originally was intended to be a Ballroom of dance and at that time there was no such right size of place. In 1865 the Vigadó Overture solved this gap by opening the Ballroom to the first public dance.

The Vigadó operational HQ’s of the Hungarian Academy of Arts is celebrating this year its 150th anniversary of the opening and shoots off with a series of programs in the frame of: “150 Years of the Vigadó”

The Hungarian Academy of Arts is proud to contribute to the Jubilee bonded rich in past of the Vigadó, and just as in 1865 celebrated within a  series of programs for over a month …  so remembering the past, this year on its 150 anniversary, the public body also decided to round mark the anniversary by handing over many cultural programs.

One of the outstanding event in January will be on Thursday, January, 29. at 8.15 p.m. with live broadcasting from the Royal Opera House – London „Giordano: André Chénier”  in the Chamber Hall.  

Venue: District, V., –  2. Vigadó Square – Budapest.

Naturally, the multi-applicability had the advantage in the early years and in a short time the most successful international composers also were performing at the Ceremonial Hall. To-day still functioning as a „center of artistic” – Vigadó Concert Hall in Budapest and also known as a sophisticated building in Europe.

The Vigadó Hall is the only venue in Hungary to have six branch of arts showing in one day at a time. In the building around the historic spaces can be held, visited different productions and sites, as: conference, concert, exhibition, library, Chamber Hall, Vigadó Gallery, coffee-house.

If these „Walls” could speak over a handful of unique events …  ice balls, fancy-dress parties … etc.

Some backgrounds … Most luxurious ball to be hosted at the Vigadó was the one organized by the National Rowing and Sailing Association in 1870, with a rich order of dances, lavish props, a sailor-suit military band, and a goldfish pool. The most noteworthy ball was the one commemorating István Széchenyi, known in Hungary as “the greatest Hungarian”. In 1867 Emperor Franz Joseph attended the banquet hosted by the Vigadó in honour of his coronation, and it was also here that Budapest was born by the merger of the old cities of Pest, Buda and Óbuda (old Buda).

The Vigadó hosted the first all-Liszt concert in Hungary in 1869 At his celebration of his half-century artistic career, Liszt was presented with a gold laurel wreath and a number of foreign awards, including honorary membership of the St. Petersburg Academy of Music. In 1875 Liszt and Wagner co-organized a concert to raise funds for the construction of the Bayreuth Theater (Festspielhaus) – Germany.

The Vigadó also hosted performances by: Johann Strauss Jr.,Mascagni, Dvořak, Debussy, Arthur Rubinstein. Ernő Dohnányi had his first solo concert here. Béla Bartók and Annie Fischer made their debuts here in 1905 and 1932 respectively. Richard Strauss conducted from the rostrum of the Vigadó several times, and Prokofiev also appeared on its stage as a pianist.

Beside classical music, jazz had also found its way into the music ears within the Vigadó programs. Teddy Sinclair conducted the Savoy Orphée band with a flashlight as a baton in 1928. Also the outstanding twenty-four-piano jazz concert was organized  by the Saxon Concert Office during the spring of 1937.

From among the Hungarian conductor celebrities, János Ferencsik conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time here in 1938. The last foreign guest conductor to appear here before the end of the war was Herbert von Karajan in 1944.

World-famous performers who stepped on stage at the newly reconstructed Vigadó, included György Cziffra, Dénes Kovács, Eszter Perényi, Miklós Szenthelyi, and Sviatoslav Richter. Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi conducted the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra here as well.

Update by Aggie Reiter

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