We are happy to present our first project in Hungary, the Berlin-Budapest Express. Over two weekends in June and September, Hungary’s new House of Music will host this celebration of contemporary music from around the world.
There is perhaps no other cultural area where Hungarian art has made a bigger impact than in music. A number of Hungarian composers and musicians – among them Ferenc Liszt, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, György Ligeti and Zoltán Kocsis – have made their mark on the universal language of music, yet Hungary lacked a centre to provide a comprehensive overview of the treasures of their legacy in the global context of music history.
The House of Music Hungary designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has a tripartite structure in regard to both its architectural and institutional organisation. On the underground level, places have been allocated to permanent and temporary exhibitions in an area of more than 2,000 square metres.
The two interior spaces on the level of the park are suitable for hosting live music events, concerts, and workshops. In the open-air garden area, people can have a pleasant conversations while enjoying concerts and performances on an open-air stage. The upstairs level houses the library providing a place for quiet study, learning and education with works primarily on popular music, as well as music education rooms with workshops bringing young people closer to music.
The Berlin-Budapest Express will take place across the House of Music’s indoor and outdoor stages, allowing us to make the most of the warm weather. Before or after attending the Berlin-Budapest Express, you can visit the beautiful Széchenyi Thermal Baths – the city’s largest and oldest medicinal spa, which is just an 8-minute walk from the venue.
As the name of the series suggests, we encourage our guests and artists to travel from Berlin to Budapest via the scenic rail routes, allowing you to experience the physical connection between the cities on this journey. Alternatively, there is also a direct bus from Berlin. We recommend staying at our partner hotel mamaison, which is only a 10-minute walk from the venue.
Performing in June is German classical composer Sven Helbig with a local Ensemble, electronic music producer Grischa Lichtenberger, hyper dub affiliate Loraine James, and British singer/songwriter L.A. Salami. For the second weekend in September, we will present performances from Berlin-based computer musician Jessica Ekomane, Catalan vocalist Marina Herlop, Slovenian folk trio Širom, and American voice artist Holland Andrews. The Berlin-Budapest Express will also feature a range of local musicians.
With lots to offer in the way of music, culture, and history, Budapest is the perfect place to escape Berlin for the weekend. We are excited to connect with such a culturally rich country through the Berlin-Budapest Express. This project highlights our growing relationship with Hungary, exemplified in our upcoming collaboration with Collegium Hungaricum and, of course, Sátántangó, taking place at the end of March.