20 magical classical music concerts for the Advent and Christmas period in 2023

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The following Advent and Christmas concerts will help make the holiday in 2023 truly intimate for you.

Magical Advent // Academy of Music (December 2, 2023)

Chiming children’s voices, the fabulous world of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, the virtuosity of string player Aleksander Simic, and a performance by the Central European Concert Orchestra await you at the Academy of Music.

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At the dawn of Advent – The Honvéd Men’s Choir’s holiday concert // Várkert Bazaar (December 2, 2023)

At the holiday concert, you will hear compositions by composers Mihály Mosonyi, Ambrož Čopi, Jan Nieland, Szergej Rachmaninov and excerpts from JS Adrián Nagy’s transcription of JS Bach’s Magnificat, Jazznificat, in which Bach’s themes are given a new look, seasoned with bluesy, funky, gospel and rock styles. The real specialty of the concert will be the four small prayers of the French composer Francis Poulenc: Saint Francis of Assisi, which reveals a unique musical world with fantastic sensitivity.

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Light and sound – Advent concert // Klebelsberg Kultúrkúria (December 3, 2023)

Advent concert in the Klebelsberg Kultúrkúria, where the Junior Príma prize-winning girl choir of Kodály Zoltán Music Primary School and High School in Marczibányi tér, known and recognized for their clear, unified, polished sound, will perform. The folk music is brought by two distinguished musicians, Ágnes Herczku and Nikola Parov, who are unique in their commitment to each other and to music. Listening to them, viewers who have kept a distance from the genre until now will not remain indifferent. After them, the instrumental music group Invocatio Musicalis will take the stage, and their music uniquely combines the world music sound world, jazz and progressive rock elements. Then, as the end of the concert, Christmas and Advent melodies of various peoples will be played from the Christmas album of the well-known Szent Efrém Men’s Choir, which will be released in November.

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Christmas musical journey from baroque to film music // MOMkult (December 7, 2023)

During the Advent season, the Solti György Zenesikola String Orchestra awaits the audience with a bouquet composed of more than 300 years of Christmas music. From Corelli’s Christmas concerto grosso to the music from the film Igazázál szerelem, the Nutcracker and Silent Night are of course not to be missed, but Hungarian Christmas folk songs will be heard as well as Rezzkesseket berókók! popular music from the movie. The string orchestra is joined by the school’s girls’ choir, as well as wind and percussion students and art teachers. The leader of the band and also the conductor of the concert is Milán Bolla, the presenter of Bartók Rádió, who will spice up the performance with many interesting things this time as well.

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Lumen Christi Gospel Choir: Advent concert (December 13, 2023)

The choir’s performance includes film theme songs, transcriptions of traditional African-American spirituals, and evergreen gospel songs. In addition to the most popular, unmissable songs, the choir’s Advent concert, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, will feature real Advent and Christmas gospels, but there will also be a brand new part of the upbeat Advent program.

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Photo: Lumen Christi gospel choir Facebook

Organ concert with opera singing and flute // Szent István Basilica (December 14, 21, 28, 2023)

The material for the concert was compiled by organist Miklós Teleki, who is one of Hungary’s best organists. The arias are performed by Kossuth award-winning artist Kolos Kováts, one of Hungary’s most famous opera singers. Eleonóra Krusic, who has performed with various orchestras countless times both abroad and in Hungary, will also participate in the concert with flute accompaniment.

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Christmas concert 2023 BudapestChristmas concert 2023 Budapest
Photo: Getty Images

The Nutcracker – Danubia Orchestra // Music Academy (December 15, 2023)

The Nutcracker needs no introduction, but you can hear this version on stage for the first time. The music is the usual, but the story was given a completely new form by one of the most widely read Hungarian writers, András Cserna-Szabó. Between the songs, we can enjoy the modern paraphrase of the original story performed by great Hungarian actors, which appeals to adults at least as much as to the usual children’s audience.

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Advent concert – Music and literature // Mátyás Church (December 16, 2023)

At the concert of cellist Judit Faludi, in addition to the works of famous composers (Vivaldi, Handel, Corelli, Saint-Saens), dramatist Armand Kautzky will also perform poems related to the Advent period. The concert will take place in one of Budapest’s most beautiful churches, the Mátyás church, where together with its guest artists, they will give a really intimate, Christmas-like concert to the delight of music fans.

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KVV Chamber Choir’s Christmas concert // Eötvös10 (December 16, 2023)

Passion, communication, humor: these are the cornerstones of the KVV Chamber Choir’s operation. Passion, because whatever they sing about, they really get into it, it’s always floating in front of their eyes, and it’s encoded in every sound they make. Communication, as they sing by heart at the concerts, leaving room for creating a relationship with the listeners and, of course, for co-creation and meeting gazes. Humor and play are an essential ingredient not only in their performances, but also in all their rehearsals and meetings – just like in life.

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Pianist Tamás Érdi’s Advent concert // Benczúr House (December 17, 2023)

Tamás Érdi lost his sight as a result of a faulty incubator. His interest in music was quickly noticed. Her teacher, Erika Becht, uses a special method to make the music “visible” to her by re-composing the pieces. The Prima Primissima and Liszt prize-winning pianist won the Louis Braille Piano Competition in Moscow at the age of 17, and after spending two years at the Vienna Academy of Music, he obtained an artist diploma as a student of Leon Feisher at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Together with audiences at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Barbican Center, his concerts have been enjoyed by audiences in 28 countries.

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Symphonia Fantasia / Christmas concert in Pesti Vigado (December 17, 2023)

The Symphonia Fantasia Christmas concert offers a real classical music treat. We can hear the best of baroque and romantic music, as usual in a short and changing order of styles, seasoned with musical references and stories by conductor Gergely Ménesi. A rarely heard Verdi overture, two bravura mezzo-soprano arias, the pizzicato playing of the violinists and the virtuoso double bass playing of a young talent will be a special experience for the audience. And the end of the second part creates an inspired Christmas atmosphere for holiday preparations. And, of course, you can’t miss the joint singing of the well-known Christmas carol arranged for the orchestra.

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Budapest Festival Orchestra: Baroque concert – Scarlatti, Hasse, Telemann, Pisendel, Händel (December 18, 19, 2023)

Baroque curiosities, authors waiting to be discovered, great heroes, striking items, arias, concertos and, of course, baroque gestures – half a dozen musical rarities will be performed at the BFZ’s pre-Christmas early music concert. This time, the ensemble and the violin concerto will be led by Rachel Podger, called by The Times “the unsurpassed British glory of the baroque violin”, the opera and cantata parts will be performed by Rowan Pierce. The BBC Music Magazine critic described the young soprano’s voice as clear, strong, flexible, sparkling and warm. One of the most renowned experts in baroque movements, Sigrid T’Hooft, is responsible for the unmissable spectacle. The program features the forgotten member of the Scarlatti family, the opera composer Hasse, the prolific Telemann, the violin virtuoso Pisendel and the world-famous Händel already in his lifetime.

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Wiener Sängerknaben – Christmas Concert // Müpa (December 20, 2023)

For lovers of choral culture, the Wiener Sängerknaben, the group of Vienna Boys Singers, which has already given concerts in Hungary many times, gifting its audience with a lasting experience, is a concept. This time, the legendary choir is not coming alone, but together with Chorus Juventus, formed from former members. The program, performed by the two choirs, fits the theme of the holiday of love in a manner worthy of the genre of the Christmas concert.

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Advent concerts 2023 BudapestAdvent concerts 2023 Budapest
Photo: Müpa Budapest

Recirquel: Solus Amor (December 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 2023)

The new production of Hungary’s number one new circus company, Recirquel, talks about only love: the only and ancient energy that spans time and space and connects us all. Directed by the artistic director Bence Vági, Solus Amor, the monumental performance in the language of “cirque danse” created during many years of joint work with the troupe, draws its strength from our age’s longing for nature and wonder.

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Danubia Orchestra: Classic Christmas 2023 // Congress Center Budapest (December 21, 2023)

One of the highlights of the year is the Danubia Orchestra’s traditional Christmas concert, where in addition to the most beautiful Christmas classics, this time a real diva, Adrienn Zsédenyi, will light up the holiday. One of the most renowned Hungarian pianists, József Balog, will also perform with them, playing variations of Dohnányi’s sensational and humorous “Hull a pelyhes”.

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Christmas lights – The Szent Efrem Male Choir’s album presentation concert (December 23, 2023)

In 2023, the Szent Efrem Male Choir will make a Christmas album for the first time in its history, and its large-scale presentation concert will be held in the Várkert Bazaar. The concert program, enriched with a spectacle suitable for the occasion and program, will include Christmas and Advent songs from Hungarian, Anglo-Saxon, Northern European and Carpathian peoples, but also famous secular melodies – for example Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or Silent Night – will also be played. in special processing. The album Lumen – Christmas Lights will be played in its entirety at the album launch concert.

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The Nutcracker and the Melodies of the Holiday – Christmas with the MÁV Symphony Orchestra // Academy of Music (December 23, 2023)

The conductor of the concert, István Dénes, is also a composer. He arranged Beethoven’s famous and popular Moonlight Sonata in the summer of 2016 and conducted it for the first time at the traditional Beethoven concerts held at Martonvásár. There, Rezső began his musical career as a bassoonist, then graduated from the Academy of Music’s composition major. A prolific composer, five albums have been released so far and he has been awarded seven different music awards. He started covering Christmas carols in 2015, and the series has been growing ever since. The plot of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker, takes place at Christmas, and the suite composed of details of the dance play is an eternal piece of Christmas concerts. Prokofiev approaches winter from a different angle, his music depicts the journey of the Troika, a traveling sleigh pulled by three horses, speeding through the endless Russian snowfields.

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More Nutcracker performances in Budapest in 2023:

Secret concert with Iván Fischer // Budapest Congress Center (December 26, 2023)

The program will only be revealed at the concert location!

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Actually Christmas 2023 – symphonic concert show // MVM Dome (December 28, 2023)

When Christmas is about to end, but the tree is still standing, when our hearts and souls are still full of intimate moments, when the everyday life has not yet started again, the Budafoki Dohnányi Orchestra offers a Christmas atmosphere with symphonic music, dance, aerialists, visual shows with. In the highly technical arena of the MVM Dome, the most popular international Christmas tunes drawn from the worlds of classical music, jazz and pop, choir, band and soloists ensure an unforgettable experience.

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Advent concert 2023 BudapestAdvent concert 2023 Budapest
Photo: László Tyukodi

The article is in Hungarian

Tags: magical classical music concerts Advent Christmas period

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