Bartók for Europe Festival Held in Munich

Hungarian Composer’s Music Was Used To Promote Greater Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation

October 10th, 2016
Lilla Magyar, CD News

Béla Bartók, the world-famous Hungarian composer would have been 135 years old this year. In order to bring musicians together to celebrate the exceptional composer and the history of his music, the ’Bartók for Europe’ Festival was initiated by Concerto Budapest in partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

One of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Béla Bartók collected original Central European tunes and integrated them into western European musical styles, thereby creating his own musical language.

The festival was held for the first time in Munich, Germany, and from now on will be held every year in a different European country. Local orchestras, musicians and artists gathered to perform Bartók’s compositions, and the audience had the opportunity to experience the interplay of tradition and modernity.

Bartók was fascinated by folk music. However, his fascination was not limited to Hungarian melodies. In fact, his collection of folk songs includes more than 200,000 Romanian, Slovak, Turkish and Arabic pieces. His music is now played around the world.

The ’Bartók for Europe’ Festival started with the performance of ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’ at the Philharmonie and it was followed by the ‘Miraculous Mandarin’ by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. ‘Hungarian Rapsody’, ‘Muzsikás Ensemble’, ‘Divertimento’ by the Münchener Kammerorchester and the ‘Concerto’ by the Münchner Philharmoniker were also played at venues like the Philharmonie, Gesteig and the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche.

Julia Kadar, the spokesperson for the festival, said that the festival wanted to use Bartók as a model for a greater understanding and cooperation among peoples and nations. In his 1942 article ‘Racial Purity in Music’ Bartók wrote that “well assimilated foreign ideas offer enrichment opportunities".


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