Budapest Festival Orchestra Saved by Government

By Francisco Salazar

The Hungarian Government and the Budapest Municipality have come to an agreement to save the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

For months the orchestra has been dealing with insolvency and music director Ivan Fischer has been speaking out against the populist ideas of Hungary’s leader Vitor Orbán. Adam Fischer, Ivan’s brother, also has criticized the policies of the current leader’s administration.

In a statement, Ivan Fischer said, “I am very happy, this is a very welcome and satisfactory arrangement which puts an end to years of cuts and uncertainty and allows us to concentrate on the music.”

The orchestra released a statement noting, “An agreement has been reached between the Hungarian Government and the Budapest Municipality regarding the subsidizing of Budapest’s theatre companies. The agreement includes a 4-year subsidy agreement of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The internationally celebrated orchestra will receive 1650 Million HUF (US$5 million) from the state and 240 Million HUF ( US $7.4 million) from Budapest in 2020, and from 2021 the grant from the state will be raised to 2 000 Million HUF ($6 million).”

Fischer founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983.