HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY. The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and Sárközy Trio
4. November, Saturday - 19:00, 2023

HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY. The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and Sárközy Trio

Organised by: Koncertzāle Cēsis

István Várdai, cello (Hungary)

Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra

Sárközy Trio


Béla Bartók, Romanian Folk Dances

Joseph Haydn, Cello Concerto in C major

Leó Weiner, Divertimento No. 1

Zoltán Kodály, Double Dance from Kálló

David Popper, Hungarian Rhapsody

Johannes Brahms, Hungarian Dances No. 1 and No. 6 (arranged for orchestra)

While Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms had very little else in common, they shared a love for Hungarian folk music. Meanwhile, it was thanks to the oeuvre of Béla Bartók, who considered himself as a continuator of the tradition established by both Brahms and Liszt, that the Hungarian folklore saw its revival, reimagined in an excitingly modern tonal language. These fascinating connections will get played out at the concert in Cēsis by the famous Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra under the cellist István Várdai, its artistic director. The orchestra will be joined by the Sárközy Trio, whose repertoire of authentic Hungarian music can boast a very special timbral colour added by the sound of the cimbalom.

Above all, the unifying element in this incredibly diverse and splendid programme of the concert in Cēsis featuring both opuses by Hungarian composers and others who were inspired by Hungarian musical traditions will be the vivacity and passionate excitement added by the influence of Hungarian folk music.

For over half a century, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra has been a permanent presence among the elite of the international classical music scene; it is recognised as one of the most prominent representatives of the chamber music genre. Year after year, the orchestra has been performing at major concert halls, joined by brilliant solo musicians who highly praise the experience of working with the orchestra thanks to its exactness, diversity and versatility.

The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra takes great pride in its status as the national orchestra of Hungary, representing and promoting Hungarian culture all over the world.

István Várdai, the Artistic Director: Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, is highly regarded for his joyous energy, rhythmic vigour and elegant grace in his soulful renditions of solo, chamber music and orchestral repertoire for cello. In his third season as Artistic Director of Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, he continues to present inspiring and creative programmes. Alongside this, István welcomes world-renowned musicians at the Kapostfest Chamber Music Festival in Hungary, which he co-curates with violinist Kristóf Baráti, and continues his soloist career with leading orchestras performing repertoire from Bach to Péter Eötvös. 

In 2022/23 István Várdai plays with Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under Modestas Pitrėnas, Orchestre National du Capitole Toulouse under Domingo Hindoyan, Hungarian National Philharmonic and Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava under Lawrence Foster, as well as Liechstenstein and Bournemouth symphony orchestras. Past seasons’ highlights include engagements with Orchestre national d’Île-de-France with Case Scaglione, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Mark Wigglesworth, the Hallé with Jamie Phillipsand Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra with Susanna Mälkki. 

István Várdai and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra welcome violonists Akiko Suwanai, Liza Ferschtman, Luosha Fang, Júlia Pusker, pianists Gábor Farkas, Benjamin Grosvenor and the flautist Emmanuel Pahud in Budapest for FLCO’s series at the Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy.