Thursday, September 8, 2011

Festival Orchestra to Play at Critical Mass

Image stolen from
This year's Critical Mass won't be quite as subdued as I feared. The closing bike lift at Heroes' Square will feature probably the most sublime musical accompaniment Hungary can offer: the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

According to posts on the Hungarian Cyclists' Club site as well as on the Facebook page of the orchestra:
"The Budapest Festival Orchestra, as a sign of respect for the Critical Mass on Sept. 22, at the end of the event, will welcome cyclists with music in Heroes Square."
BFO Musical Director Iván Fischer includes this personal message to CM participants:
"I really like and respect Critical Mass. They give me confidence in our future."
Needless to say, that's some endorsement. And from one of the most accomplished and respected figures of Hungarian society and international arts.

A colleague who saw this news was skeptical of whether Critical Mass and classical would go together. And I can't dispute that it will be an unusual pairing. The background music at past rides has been firmly grounded in popular genres; one particular memory is of a sun-dappled bike lift a couple years ago behind the Petofi Csarnok, and having Bob Marley's "Iron Lion Zion" blasting from a boom box.

I love Bob Marley and I loved that moment, but in terms of evangelistic value, we can do better. The cycling movement already does quite well with students and old punk rockers like myself. It needs to diversify and send a message that cycling is for everyone, no matter their age, hair style or musical tastes. On this score, the booking of the BFO is more than a coup -- it rocks!

1 comment:

Jelica said...

Great stuff! I would have loved to hear the BFO at the end of the CM ride :)