When the programme of the 5th Festival Academy Budapest “Family Trees” was completed in March last year, we didn’t suspect at all what a year and a half were ahead of us. The pandemic thwarted our intents, but we wouldn’t give up our plans. Last summer, we did organise a festival titled “Relief” with the kind participation of seventy musicians, either Hungarians or artists residing in Hungary (between the first two waves of the pandemic, we could indeed take a short breath of relief). Still, we would not give up on “Family Trees”. We re-designed its programme according to the original concept but with numerous new performers for the 6th Festival Academy Budapest. We are profoundly grateful to providence, to our sponsors, supporters and the festival’s team exerting incredible effort for being able to return with a programme selection richer than ever. Such legendary artists have accepted our invitation as Gidon Kremer, Ferenc Rados or Joshua Bell, and such friends will join us as Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Vilde Frang, Jonathan Cohen, Nicolas Altstaedt, Kristóf Baráti , István Várdai … along with many others.
Due to the pandemic, however, our Ilona Fehér International Violin Competition for young violinists with Shlomo Mintz as head of the jury had to be postponed again. Still, in December, Miskolc will host the Jenő Hubay Violin Competition for violinists under 20 years of age from the Visegrád Four and the neighbouring countries. True to our traditions, masterclasses will take place also this summer, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, they won’t be publically accessible.
So, why is the motto of this year’s festival “Family Trees”? Because for us, besides (and above) music, family comes first: the roots that we grew from, our branches where our fruits are born. Our ancestors and our descendants, in their tangibility and figuratively too. Not only our parents and grandparents but also those great ancestors who bequeathed on us our classical music traditions, thanks to whom we can feel that – regardless of our various countries of origin – while making music, we all belong to the same family in the world of music.
Katalin Kokas and Barnabás Kelemen
Artistic Directors of Festival Academy Budapest