The city of Budapest has summarily cut its subsidy to the Budapest Festival Orchestra from HUF 260 million to 60m. The 80 percent reduction leaves the orchestra with the equivalent of less than 200,000 Euros ($220,000) in city support. There was no advance warning or consultation, and no reason has been given.
The orchestra has cancelled three concerts, a tour and a week of outreach concerts including the landmark synagogue concerts.
Ivan has announced a protest rally in Budapest on May 7 under the slogan ‘Budapest deserves more; a leadership that looks after the culture of this wonderful city.’
This weekend he issued a video denouncing the city’s decision. It drew 30,000 viewers in a day.
The orchestra’s much-larger state funding – HUF 1,150 million – is unaffected.