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Black Tie International:
The Budapest Festival Orchestra's 20th Anniversary Gala
 Maria Luisa Frisa, Jean-Christophe Babin, Lucia Boscaini, Bonnie Clearwater, Stefano Tonchi,Gloria Marina Bellelli.  Photo by World Red Eye
 Maria Luisa Frisa, Jean-Christophe Babin, Lucia Boscaini, Bonnie Clearwater, Stefano Tonchi,
Gloria Marina Bellelli. 
Photo by World Red Eye


The Budapest Festival Orchestra directed and conducted by legendary Maestro Iván Fischer returned to Carnegie Hall on Thursday, February 18th to celebrate its 20th Anniversary in New York.


Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Chairman Stephen Benko and Gala Co-Chairs Sylvia Hemingway and Kati Marton welcomed guests including Ambassador Donald Blinken and Mrs. Vera Blinken, Ambassador Ferenc Kumin, Daisy Soros, Peter and Jamee Gregory and Adrienne Vittadini to hear a performance from the orchestra David Allen of The New York Times wrote “might be the best in the world.”


Romanticism dominated the first part of the concert with Weber’s overture to his supernatural opera Der Freischütz. Virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin played Liszt’s technically daunting Piano Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev’s brilliantly scored, melodic and emotionally compelling Symphony No. 5 —one of the greatest 20th-century symphonies - concluded the program.


Following the performance, guests including George Ledes, Christine Schott-Ledes, R. Couri Hay, Jana Bullock and Stefan Englert headed to the Weill Terrace Roomfor a Gala dinner and reception catered by Starr Catering Group. During the reception Stephen Benko and Maestro Ivan Fischer both made short speeches to thank attendees and the Friends of the Orchestra for their 20 years of support and service.  


Supporters of The Budapest Festival Orchestra include Laszlo and Petra Balassy, Radko Benko, Noreen and Ken Buckfire, Stephen Fuzesi, Jr., George Kellner, David and Julie Tobey, Sylvia Toth and Tim Warner, Chairman Emeritus,


The Budapest Festival Orchestra is one of the international music scene’s major success stories, being rated among the top ten orchestras in the world. Its key figure and founder is the legendary Music Director/Conductor Iván Fischer.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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