The Budapest Spring Festival is the largest best-known arts festival that Budapest offers. You’ll love it if you have a thing for classical music, jazz, world music or dance, theatre and the visual arts. A true trademark event for the city, the festival attracts a large art-loving international crowd from around the globe each year. Let us walk you through the highlights – feel free to turn to Maverick staff with any questions about the festival or other cool events in the city.
The 38th Budapest Spring Festival takes place between March 30 – April 22, at venues that are worth checking out even if you’re in town on other dates: to name the most important ones, Müpa Budapest and the Liszt Academy, Budapest Music Center, Uránia National Film Theatre, Budapest Jazz Club and Akvárium. In total, around forty venues offer over one hundred events around town.
In 2018, the festival also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein – staging the opera ‘A Quiet Place’ on April 9 at Müpa. Piano is also in special focus, featuring Martha Argerich with a Mendelssohn-Chopin program (April 12), young virtuoso Danyiil Trifonov (March 31), along with Grammy-winning Yefim Bronfman with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and Yuja Wang.
Jazz lovers can look forward to an album release concert by the InFusion Trio on April 1, the Chopin University Big Band on April 3, Kurt Elling (April 21) and The Bad Plus (Apil 16). The Feast of Hungarian Jazz (!!!) takes place on April 8 and 9, in the much-appreciated Budapest Jazz Club.
In terms of dance, Trafó hosts Alexander Vantournhout and Bauke Lievens (April 12, 13, 14), and a whole day’s worth of dance feast entitled All Hungarians’ Dance takes place in Papp Laszlo Sportarena – with lessons in traditional Hungarian dance.
If you love theater, you’ll really enjoy the performances of the Madách International Theater Meeting – such as Švejk: The return, Oedipus Rex, (both from Russia), The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Tin Drum from Berlin, Longing from Estonia, MIGRAAANTS – Or There’s Too Many People on this Damn Boat from Romania or Woyzeck from Budapest. But even if you’re into contemporary circus, you’ll find something: Hotel Paradiso by Familie Flöz, portraying a nightmare in a respectable mountain hotel with lots of black humor.
Exhibitions not to miss during the festival include the 36th Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition (from March 30 at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center), a costume and photo exhibition called NAGY>ON (April 3-20), and an exhibition on contemporary Ukranian art entitled Permanent Revolution (from April 5). A new addition this year is the Budapest Art Week, April 17-22, with guided gallery and museum visits, performances and presentations – this is really cool as it concentrates first and foremost on the contemporary art scene.