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 festival attracting lovers of classical music to Almádi, Tihany, Füred, Keszthely and several small villages on the northern shore of tbe 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 entrance is free.

As usual, this summer too, we shall be setting off from Budapest and after an opening concert featuring Old Buda Danubia, the orchestra that has been with us in this project all the way through, we stage one week programs in Balatonalmádi, Tihany, Keszthely and Balatonfüred, with performances also at smaller settlements.

As the official event of the Year of European Cultural Heritage, this year we also appeared outside Hungary and faced new obligations, with Tamás Érdi, the Music Director of the Festival, honored with the title Ambassador of Classical Music.

We have been happy to have contributed to the success of the tender, Veszprem 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 should like 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 the future European cultural capitals. By now we have Slovenian, Turkish, Italian, Serbian and Rumanian contacts. The latter two 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 Anima Musice features Darko Brlek, a clarinetist from Ljubljana, the Budapest Strings will be playing with the Italian flutist, Massimo Marcelli, we are pleased to welcome again the excellent Dutch Baroque ensemble, Anneke Boek, while the Bruno Walter orchestra will be bringing us a Mozart violin concerto, with Orsolya Korcsolán as their soloist.

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 the 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 Monostates was also drowned in water. The miracle worked: the spectators became performers themselves!

By 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. We hope to extend that spell to all of you who either love or would like to discover classical music. What better place for that than an open-air concert during your holiday? Isn’t that cool? Especially as we really celebrate this summer, with more surprises than ever before. And not only for children. Our plans include several new programs and performers of international renown.

The details, complete with all the information you need will soon be available on our home page.

We hope to see you at the events of COOL ON THE BEACH!

Tamás Érdi

Liszt Prize winning pianist

Musical Director of COOL ON THE BEACH