Istanbul, Sep 16 () - One of the world’s largest orchestras, the 100-person Budapest Gypsy Orchestra, will perform at Istanbul’s Ülker Sports Arena on Nov. 21.
At a press conference held on Sept. 8 to launch the concert, Budapest Gypsy Orchestra manager Farkas Beke Nandor said they had previously performed in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir and they would be in Istanbul once again with great honor.
“We are informed about painful events in Turkey and we are very sorry, too. We want to share a nice concert with our audience; we want to make them forget these events during our performance” he said.
Speaking about the orchestra, Diana Kalkanoğlu said, “The orchestra will celebrate its 30th birthday in Istanbul. This is not a regular symphony orchestra; it is completely made up of string instruments. Also, it is the world’s only band that plays without looking at notes. Some of its members have been in the orchestra since its establishment. The orchestra also includes award-winning and world famous virtuosos.”
She said the concert would be full of surprises such as kemancha, adding that the well-known folk song “Fıldır Fıldır Hayriye” would also be performed by the orchestra.
Performance without partitions
According to music critics, the orchestra, which is considered the world’s most famous and biggest gypsy orchestra, has so far given more than 1,000 concerts. The 100-person orchestra performs without partitions.
The band plays classical music by Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly, Hubay, Erkel, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sarasate and Strauss as well as Hungarian gypsy music, melodies and folk songs.
Virtuosos like Oszkar Ökrös and Jozsef Lendvai Csocsi, who are the world’s best players of a piano-like instrument called the spinet, are also members of the orchestra, which is made up of 60 violins, nine violas, six cellos, 10 counter basses, nine clarinets and six cymbals.
The orchestra was formed in 1985. It was deemed worthy of the “Hungarikum” medal, given by the Hungarian parliament in 2014. Winning the grand award at the 45th Carthage International Music Festival, the orchestra entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000.
It has so far released 21 CDs and five DVDs and is the holder of platinum and golden record awards.