Bartók for Europe – Tradition and modernity

Thursday 02 June 2016, 3.40pm

Béla Bartók was an exceptional innovator in the history of music and one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. He was a true Hungarian, and a European at the same time. The music of Bartók represents human values that the peoples of Europe are looking for at the present time. In the eyes of many European citizens, the European Union seems to have lost sight of its original ideals. It is precisely the spirit of Bartók we miss the most: preserving national character and heritage, and building an authentic and true European integration based on these roots. Europe needs an intellectual and spiritual renaissance of clear notions and a new inward balance. History has its own tempo and rhythm, and Bartók’s work embodies the notion needed for a renewal in Europe.

Bartók collected the original, traditional tunes of Central Europe (and even of Turkey) – and integrated them into western European musical styles, while creating his own complex musical language. His oeuvre and ideals reflected the inherent necessity and wish for cooperation and exchange far ahead of his time. His music is Hungarian in a European way and European in a Hungarian way, individual and special, and recognisable in each and every concert hall around the world.

The Bartók for Europe Festival is envisaged to bring these ideals closer once more to the people of Europe. The Festival is an initiative of Concerto Budapest in partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and will be held for the first time in Germany, Munich in 2016, and from then on every year in September in a different country of the European Union. Through the cooperation with local orchestras, a broad network of musicians, artists, and their audiences will have the opportunity to experience the interplay of national tradition and European modernity.