The Purcell Choir

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Purcell to Bulgakov, Cziffra to clowns

Online entertainment continues as the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, with the Purcell Choir celebrating Joseph Haydn, a “The Master and Margarita” opera-musical, memorials to Hungarian piano virtuoso György Cziffra and a new production of Budapest’s Capital Circus.

Müpa Budapest has extended the period it will remain closed until March 31, and the Purcell Choir’s 30th Birthday Concert will celebrate Austrian composer Haydn’s grand oratorio “Die Schöpfung” (The Creation) on February 7. The performance will be broadcast on Müpa’s website and YouTube channel from 7.30-10pm with no interval. Admission to Müpa Budapest’s virtual concert hall at is free of charge.

This performance had been scheduled for a live showing in May 2020 but had to be cancelled.

György Vashegyi founded the Purcell Choir in 1990 for a concert-version performance of English Baroque composer Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”, and after the Orfeo Orchestra was established in 1991 the two ensembles developed into Hungary’s leading interpreters of early music.

Haydn’s “Die Schöpfung” is considered one of the most important works in the history of European music. Its first performance, which was not open to the public, as only invited guests attended, took place at Vienna’s Schwarzenberg Palace in 1798.

The 100th birth anniversary of Hungarian piano virtuoso György Cziffra will be celebrated in 15 countries worldwide. The virtual opening event of the George Cziffra Memorial Year will take place on February 9, broadcast from the Great Hall of the Academy of Music in Budapest under the title “Heritage of Cziffra”.

Pianists Gergely Bogányi, Kálmán Dráfi and Károly Mocsári, who were students of Cziffra, in addition to their piano playing will recall the musical spirituality they received from the master through their personal experiences and memories.

The evening will be attended by pianist János Balázs, who is the artistic director of the memorial year, and the host will be music historian Ádám Bősze.

György Cziffra, also known as Georges Cziffra and George Cziffra, was a Hungarian-French virtuoso pianist and composer, born in Budapest on November 5, 1921 and dying in Longpont-sur-Orge, France, on January 15, 1994.


Chopin: Impromptu in A-flat major, Op. 29
Chopin: Impromptu in F-sharp major, Op. 36
Chopin: Waltz in A minor, Op. 34/2
Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, 1ere année, Suisse – 6. Vallée d’Obermann (Obermann’s Valley)
Beethoven–Liszt: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major – 3. Menuetto. Allegro vivace
Chopin: Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 28 – 1. Prelude in C major, 17. Prelude in A-flat major
Liszt: Liebesträume
Debussy: Suite bergamasque – 3. Clair de lune
Rahmanyinov: Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32 – 12. Prelude in G-sharp minor
Ponce – János Balázs: Estrellita
Puccini – János Balázs: Lauretta’a aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi
Brahms – Cziffra – Balázs János: Hungarian Dance No. 5
J. Strauss – Cziffra – Balázs János: Reminiscences

Streaming is free of charge at the website, Facebook page and Youtube channel of the Liszt Academy, February 9, 7.30pm

The surreal story of Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov’s book “The Master and Margarita”, written in the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1940 during Stalin’s regime, will come to life in a special musical format in Levente Gyöngyösi’s opera-musical in two acts in Hungarian with English surtitles streamed from the Budapest Eiffel Art Studios on Saturday, February 13 at 7pm.

The story involves Satan appearing in Moscow in the company of a resolute talking cat and other strange characters. Some people disappear under strange circumstances, witches fly through the air and we are transported back to biblical times from one minute to the next.

Levente Gyöngyösi says: “I had wanted to write a piece where the stylistic elements of contemporary and pop music synthesise for quite a while now. Something that is easy to understand, well laid out, and modern: an experiment to do away with boundaries.”

The world premiere will be performed in a special format reminiscent of musicals, with the participation of dancers from the Hungarian National Ballet and acrobats of the Hungarian Aerial Gymnastics Association, under the direction of Vajk Szente, who is at home both as an actor in musical theatre and as a director.

See website for tickets, which cost HUF 4990.

The brand new production of Budapest’s Capital Circus titled “Dynasties” pays tribute to world-famous Hungarian artists.

The program can be watched from February 13 to April 18 and features various performers and songs every three weeks, with more than 70 Hungarian performers taking the stage.

The show will feature almost all circus art genres, with juggling, acrobats, trapeze artists, clowns, horses, powerlifting and more. Tickets are HUF 1490-2490. See website

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