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Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra concert to include live relay at Cultural Centre Piazza (with photos)

     The Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra from Hungary, also known as the 100 Gypsy Violins, will give the first performance of its debut China tour at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on October 25. Featuring 100 outstanding musicians, the concert will enchant audiences with the joy and passion of Gypsy music.

     The concert is one of the events under the "Vibrant Hong Kong" theme of the "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign. To provide an opportunity for more members of the public to enjoy this spectacular music event, screens will be set up at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza for an outdoor live relay of the concert. Admission for the live relay is free.

     A Hungarian proverb says, "You can make a peasant drunk on a glass of water when a Gypsy violin is playing". Gypsies are so sensitive to music that they can play intuitively, and audiences can feel Gypsy music as much as they can hear it.

     The programme of the concert will include traditional Gypsy and Hungarian music as well as popular classical works by Brahms, Johann Strauss Jr, Sarasate, Tchaikovsky and more. The audience can also listen out for the cimbalom, a Hungarian instrument requiring exceptional skill to master and rarely seen in Hong Kong.

     The world-renowned Hungarian orchestra emerged out of an improvised performance by Gypsy musicians gathered from around the country for the funeral of legendary Gypsy soloist Sándor Járóka in 1985. With Laszlo Berki as the orchestra's first artistic director and conductor, the cream of Hungary's Gypsy musician dynasties was drawn to join, forming an orchestra comprising 100 musicians playing violins, violoncellos, double basses, the cimbalom and clarinets.

     A passionate embodiment of Hungary's musical soul, the orchestra has gone on to be acclaimed globally for its extraordinary technique and feisty interpretations of classical pieces and traditional works without scores. The orchestra has toured more than 30 countries, inspiring audiences in leading concert halls including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Geneva Victoria Hall and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.

     The concert by the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra is one of the programmes of "World Cultures Festival 2013 - Lasting Legacies of Eastern Europe" presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The concert will be held on October 25 at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Limited tickets priced at $200, $300, $400, $500 and $600 are available at URBTIX.

     Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Other booking discounts of up to 20 per cent are available.

     Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets or at the festival website

     For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Internet bookings can be made at Telephone credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999.

Ends/Saturday, October 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:00


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