Time to celebrate!

Cool on the Beach, our classical music festival at lake Balaton has turned five. Our dreams come true, this summer will see the fifth string of events attracting lovers of classical music to Almádi, Tihany, Füred, Keszthely and several small villages on the northern shore of the lake from July12th to August 31st.

We never thought it would be possible to double the annual number of concerts – from 25 to 50- in just four years, but support from an enthusiastic audience and local authorities as well as success with various tenders have helped us be able to offer the public a treat of open air summer concerts where admission is free!

As usual, this summer too, the Festival opens in Budapest and after that first concert featuring Old Buda Danubia, the orchestra that has been with us in this project all the way through, we stage programs in Balatonalmádi, Tihany, Keszthely and Balatonfüred, with performances also at smaller settlements.

As far as the recent past is concerned, last year we were the official event of the Year of European Cultural Heritage and I was personally honored with the title, Ambassador of Classical Music. That made it possible for us to cross the border and make our first appearances outside Hungary.

We have been happy to have contributed to the success of the tender, Veszprém and the Balaton Region: European Cultural Capital 2023. Preparing for that great event has been in the back of our minds when putting together the program of Cool for this summer. Another guiding thought has been the fact that 2020 will be a Beethoven Year in the world. As a run-up, we are focusing on the music of the great predecessors, including Bach, Haydn and in the first place, Mozart. As Rossini said, Beethoven is the first, but Mozart is unique.

We want to raise our series of concerts, the only regional classical music festival of the Balaton area, to the rank of an internationally recognized European cultural event, and to that end, plan long term cooperation with festivals abroad. Acting upon the idea of the Cadenza Arts Management, we join a chain of European festivals that will bring our programs to all their venues as well as to the future European cultural capitals. By now we have Slovenian, Turkish, Italian, Serbian and Rumanian contacts. The latter are of special significance, as Novi Sad and Timisoara are among the cultural capitals of the coming years. The first steps of building the chain are taken this summer when the Budapest Strings features Darko Brlek, a clarinetist from Ljubljana and the Italian flutist, Massimo Mercelli, we shall be happy to have the Nemeth Quartet from Turkey and are pleased to welcome again the excellent Dutch Ensemble Cantilene with Anneke Boeke, the queen of the Baroque recorder.

Both inside and outside Hungary, our aim is to put special emphasis on the musical heritage of Bartók and Kodály, by that also opening doors for Hungarian talents to make an appearance on the international scene. Our basic aims, however, also oblige us to focus on the youngest generation and offer attractive programs to the concert-going public of the future.

In that line, our first lasting success was The Magic Flute by Mozart that has been a basic event of every Festival ever since. Dénes Gulyás created a summer version for children and we practically conquered the beach with Mozart. The three ladies emerged from the water and the wickedness of Monostatos was also drowned in water. The miracle worked: the spectators joined the performers! Bringing the children to the stage, Dénes created one of the most beautiful moments of the Festival: the young spectators-turned-into-performers fell under the spell of Mozart.

This summer, however, will bring more surprises for you, and not only for children. Our plans include several new programs and performers of international renown. As I said, we shall really celebrate!

Under “Programs’ you will find the details, complete with all the information you may need.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the events of Cool on the Beach!


É. Szabó Márta                                 Tamás Érdi

Producer of                                        Liszt Prize awarded pianist,

Cool on the Beach                             Cool Art Direcctor