Budapest Spring Festival - growing strong

The flowers are blooming and so is culture in Budapest. The city's regular Spring Festival has come around again for the 35th time. Visitors from home and abroad prepare for a cultural extravaganza highlighting national composer Franz Liszt, which will take place at venues across the city, and fill every day between April 10th and 26th

A fuller view of the events of the Festival, covering 17 days, and including 170 events, held at 43 different venues across the city, is available in our Cultural Budapest section, but here we give a few highlights: 

Some of the sights not to be missed include a grand festival-opening parade will be held on Saturday 11th April, starting at 11am from 3 separate locations (Elisabeth Bridge, St Stephen's Basilica and Deák Ferenc Square.) More than 600 performers will converge and march the city, stopping at spots along Andrássy Avenue before arriving together at Heroes Square for a combined, multi-discipline art performance to remember! Also At Heroes Square, the larger-than-life "Budapest" sign will be attracting plenty of interest, and providing some great photo opportunities. In addition, a nearby red concert booth gives an unusual chance to try your hand at being an orchestral conductor!

 There will be a photo exhibition by Hungarian Academy Award-winning cinematographer, entitled "Photographed by Vilmos Zsigmond", giving insights into the vision behind movies like the Deer Hunter and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, at the Ludwig Museum.

Many big-name stars will be gracing the stage – such as Saxophonist David Sanborn, this time playing the lead in his band, visiting a range of jazz, blues and pop classics.

 Latvian Mezzo-soprano singer Elīna Garanča will be performing a range of operatic arias in French and Russian, with the stirling accompaniment of the British Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Dante Xperience will be a wonderous recreation of Franz Liszt's symphony and that of Tchaikovsky, in the grandest hall of the Palace of Arts. The Budapest Opera will show a premier of a long-awaited Aida, the classic Verdi Opera dealing with love and war in the age of the Pharaohs, directed by János Mohácsi and starring István Kovács and Erika Gál.

The 'Hungarian Wedding Feast' will be marking its silver anniversary, at the Papp László Sport Arena. This singing, dancing recreation of a country wedding was first shown in 1991, on the day of Hungary's first free elections. It became an instant hit, and is now reshown by popular acclaim on the 24th April.