The Budapest Festival Orchestra was created in 1983 by Iván Fischer and the late Zoltán Kocsis. It plays since then an important role in the musical life of the Hungarian capital and is a unique ambassador of Hungary around the world. Dimitri Kitaenko returns in November for four concerts to this orchestra. He conducted the BFO for the last time in 2014 during several concerts which were enthusiastically received by the audience.

This time the program comprises Shostakovich’s First symphony, Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody for piano and orchestra as well as Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini.
Two concerts will take place at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, the third one at the Kodaly Hall in Pecs. The last concert is scheduled at half past eleven at the renovated Castle Bazaar (Hungarian: Várkert Bazár), one of the new attractions at the foot of Castle Hill.

The soloist is the pianist Lilya Zilberstein born in Russia, who started her international career in 1987 after winning the Busoni contest in Bolzano. With Dimitri Kitaenko she plays Rachmaninov’s Paganini Variations which were composed in 1934 within a few weeks. It’s the last orchestral work, in which he uses the piano as solo instrument. The variations use a theme from Niccolo Paganini’s 24th Caprice. This work is based on one of the simplest musical ideas, the cadence, and can easily remembered by the salient rhythmic form. Paganini’s theme has inspired numerous composers, among them Johannes Brahms and Franz Liszt.