The Budapest Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Iván Fischer, played to a sold-out audience that included Edie Falco and Twyla Tharp at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall on Sunday. The program opened with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 played on period instruments—Maestro Fischer wife, Gabriella Pivon, among the performers. The evening’s soloist, pianist Dénes Várjon, received standing ovations as did the whole Orchestra.
Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra hosted a gala diner following the concert with Daisy Soros presiding as the evening’s honorary chair and Kathryn Livingston Forgan, Christine Schott Ledes, and Kati Marton as the evening’s gala co-chairs. Dinner guests included Tony Bechara, Ambassador and Mrs. Donald Blinken, Nancy Brinker, Noreen Buckfire, Susan Gutfreund, Sylvia Hemingway, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Lehrer, Governor and Mrs. George Pataki, Sana Sabbagh, Jean Sharfiroff, Stephanie Stokes, and Barbara and Donald Tober.
The 2018 gala committee included Susan Bender, Stephen E. and Radka Benko, Nicolette Pathy Bingham, Ambassador and Mrs. Donald Blinken, Ildiko Butler, Aaron Feinstein, Sylvia Hemingway, Ambassador and Mrs. Andrew Jacovides, Caron and Geoffrey Johnson, Andrew and Heidi Lee-Komaromi, Ambassador Ferenc Kumin, Doctors John and Daisy Merey, Mrs. Terez Rowley, Aniko Gaal Schott, Laine Siklos, Stephanie Stokes, Mr. and Mrs. David M. Tobey, and Sylvia Tóth.
Maestro Fisher used the occasion to announce the inaugural Vicenza Opera Festival and a performance of Verdi’s Fallstaff, concerts, and a dinner hosted by Countess Caroline Valmarina and her family. Like the concert, the October Festival will soon be completely sold out.
The Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s mission is to support programs of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Members have the unique opportunity to build a closer relationship with the Orchestra both in the United States and in Budapest through special events with Maestro Iván Fischer and the Orchestra. The Friends support major programming initiatives of the Orchestra including Dancing on the Square, Community Weeks, U.S. touring, a Juilliard Apprentice Program, as well as chamber music concerts with important visiting Orchestra members in Manhattan residences.