Winter has definitely arrived, and we can start feeling the magic atmosphere of the darker and chillier nights. A perfect way to spend the evening is by going to a classical music concert or opera. If you are a classical music fan or even a novice, you will certainly find your favourite place in Budapest. Let us recommend the best places in Budapest which offer world level classical music performances.
If you think of classical music, first of all you would think of the Hungarian State Opera House. If you see the gorgeous neo-renaissance building already from the moment it comes into sight, and especially if you step in, you will understand why. The fairy-tale like building was built in 1884, and is a real treasure box. According to the legend Emperor Franz-Joseph said that the Opera House was not to be as large as the one in Vienna, thus it is really smaller, but he did not say anything concerning the beauty of the building. The red and gold splendour of the main theatre is stunning, you easily believe the legend that at night the cherubim which decorated the ceiling comes alive and plays symphonies. The Opera House hosts approximately 20 premieres a year, and has many favourites on its programme, such as the most popular operas of Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner. Check out the website of the Opera House to see the variety of the programmes! It is important to know that in addition to the Opera House, another building houses opera performances in the city as well. The Erkel Theater is a bit further away from Andrássy Avenue in the 8th district. It is a building which has a completely different modernist style, mammoth capacity, and perfect acoustics. The tickets are rather cheap compared to international standards but the performances are world class with great set and costumes, similarly to the State Opera House.
The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music is a university and concert centre and is one of the primary institutions of Budapest. It was founded in 1875, thus its roots go back to the birth of the metropolis of Budapest. The present building of the Academy of Music, in the heart of the city, is an art nouveau building of exceptional beauty from 1907. The building houses five concert halls, thus this institution has become the hub of classical music life of Budapest. The building has recently been refurbished outside as well as inside, so you can enjoy its original beauty if you decide to go to one of the great concerts. Every night there is a performance by the most talented musicians of Hungary or by visiting international artists, or even by the young talents of the Liszt Academy. The teaching of music also takes place here, at the Academy of Music. All areas, such as classical music, church music, jazz, folk, composition or music teacher training happen here. This unique atmosphere can be captured if you sit in a concert in the Great Hall of the academy along with other people yearning for a great classical music experience.
The Palace of Arts (also called Müpa in Hungarian) is a unique cultural centre, a true 21st century building, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its existence this year. It hosts high quality productions performed by renowned Hungarian or international artists. The building houses the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall which has been ranked among the best performance spaces in the world, thanks to its excellent acoustics. Everyone in the concert hall has a perfect acoustic experience due to the special technique. This concert hall has another particular feature too. It has one of the largest concert organs worldwide. The place is a regular venue to the Hungarian National Philharmonic and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. There is a smaller hall as well, called Festival Theatre where a wide range of events are performed such as concerts, dance shows, even contemporary circus performances. The award-winning building is one of the sights of Budapest today, especially at night when it is illuminated and plays in different colours. The interior of the building is also worth a visit as this modern building has elegance and modernity at the same time, with its wide staircases and open interiors.
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