Berlin Budapest Express at House of Music / June 2-3, 2023

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 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 electronic musician and Diagonal label head Powell.

UK producer Powell has firm footing in the contemporary electronic landscape. For his most recent release on Diagonal, 26 Lives, Powell was invited to compose for and perform with London Contemporary Orchestra at the Barbican. The resulting recording is not an album of electronics and orchestra, but one where the fusion of soundworlds is complete.

Playing alongise Powell on Friday is British musician Loraine James who has made a name for herself as a standout producer in varied musical spheres. Her third album Reflections, released on Hyperdub, “tests the boundaries of dance music not just for the sake of experimentalism, but as an expression of vulnerability and a vehicle for self-knowledge”Pitchfork.

German composer Sven Helbig combines classical techniques with a deep knowledge of electronic sound synthesis and his skills with various musical instruments. On Saturday, 3 June he collaborates with a Budapest-based ensemble to present his new album released on Modern Records, Skills — a thoughtful hymn to man’s ability to constantly reinvent himself.

Joining Sven Helbig on Saturday, is Berlin-based producer and visual artist Grischa Lichtenberger. The aggressive tone in Grischa’s sound finds its counterbalance in the emotional depth of the musical structure — a hermetic idiosyncrasy of rhythm and melodies. His recent release on Raster, Works for Last Work, blends ambient, experimental, and electronic music to create an intimate sonic universe.

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 past collaboration with Collegium Hungaricum and, of course, Sátántangó, which took place in March.

Berlin Budapest Express
Spring Edition: June 2-3, 2023
Magyar Zene Háza / House of Music
Budapest, Olof Palme Sétány 3, 1146 Hungary

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