Hungary Festival In USA

Extremely Hungary, a yearlong festival celebrating contemporary Hungarian arts and culture, kicks off this weekend with exhibition openings at The Forbes Galleries and the launch of a two-week music series at Carnegie Hall. Organized by the Hungarian Cultural Center, the festival encompasses some 100 programs held at leading cultural institutions in New York City and Washington, D.C. that trace the roots of contemporary Hungarian culture and introduce American audiences to Hungary's most influential artists and performers.

Programming ranges from exhibitions, concerts and literary symposia, to more whimsical events as a mustache contest and a modern reinterpretation of an Austro-Hungarian opera ball. Upcoming events include:

Carnegie Hall's Celebrating Hungary, a two-week series of classical, folk, and new Hungarian music beginning January 24. Performances include the New York-debut of composer Gyorgy Kurtag, the Budapest Festival Orchestra led by Ivan Fischer, and concerts by composer and conductor Peter Eotvos.

The Forbes Galleries' presentation of two exhibitions opening January 24: Zsolnay Art Pottery features 160 luminous Art Nouveau ceramics, and Great Paintings, Small Masterpieces showcases early 20th-century Hungarian painting including works by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.

The International Center of Photography's exhibition of Munkacsi's Lost Archive, which opened January 16, featuring modern prints from the recently rediscovered archive of photographer Martin Munkacsi.

Library of Congress's presentation of a specially commissioned work by Gyorgy Kurtag, inspired by the music of Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, on February 7.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' concert featuring Hungarian sensation Beata Palya, who mixes traditional Hungarian folk and Gypsy melodies with modern jazz and pop influences, on February 8.

Additional events, which further highlight the impact of Hungarian culture on American society, will be held throughout the year at partner venues in New York and D.C., including The Jewish Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, National Gallery, Newseum and the 92nd Street Y. Extremely Hungary is made possible in part by funding from the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture. The festival is co-chaired by George Soros and Kati Marton.

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