We are excited to be closing out this year, and this decade, with our Hungarian debut on
19 November in Budapest, one of the great European cities for music lovers. Joining the orchestra and Kristjan for our ‘Midnight Sun’ concert at Müpa Budapest will be Budapest-born pianist József Balog (pictured above). He’ll be performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto, which will be imaginatively intertwined with another celebrated Grieg work, the Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt. The concert will climax with Stravinsky’s 1945 orchestral version of his great ballet The Firebird. This was the first major work that the Baltic Sea Philharmonic performed completely from memory – a world premiere in 2017 in Visby on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland – and it started the orchestra on the journey to playing whole programmes by heart. Our ‘Midnight Sun’ concert in Budapest will be performed entirely from memory, with the musicians free to stand, move and interact dynamically with each other and with Kristjan.
We’re delighted to be collaborating with József for the first time. Born in 1979, he’s one of the most talented pianists of his generation. In the last 20 years he has given more than 1,000 concerts as a soloist and chamber musician in more than 25 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. Growing up surrounded by the amazing heritage of the renowned Hungarian piano tradition established by Liszt, Dohnányi and Bartók, József graduated from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied with Jenő Jandó. Among the orchestras he’s already worked with are the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Ukrainian National Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra.