Wed 7.11.2018 at 19:00 Kotka Concert Hall
Thu 8.11.2018 at 19:00 Kuusankoski Hall
Fri 9.11.2018 at 19:00 Kotka Concert Hall

An unforgettable evening, for sure! A little taster of the rich musical tradition of Hungary and music associated with it right here in Kymenlaakso. Hungary, its folk and gypsy music inspired many a composer in the 19th and early 20th century. Liszt called his Rhapsodies Hungarian because, he said, “The qualification Hungarian which we have applied to these Rhapsodies is due to our feeling that it would not have been just to separate in the future what has never been separated in the past.” In other words, he did not want to make a distinction between the catchy melodies of his Hungarian Rhapsodies: gypsy or folk? The blood of the celebrated gypsy band leaders also runs in the veins of Barnabás Kelemen, a leading violinist in the world today, and their legacy still lives on in the temperamental twists of Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, Ravel’s Tzigane and Bartók’s Rhapsody. The tinkling cimbalom is also an intrinsic element of the fiery gypsy czardas. Here to play it for us for the first time in Kymenlaakso is cimbalom wizard Ernest Bangó. A master of both classical and gypsy music, he has toured the world’s most celebrated concert halls, always returning to his roots in Budapest. Now, for the first time, we will also hear Brahms’s Hungarian Dances with spicy cimbalom cadenzas.


Many of the gypsy instruments probably have their origin among the Balkan Turks. One is the cimbalom, known as the Hungarian national instrument and descended from the Arabian dulcimer. It is a stringed instrument reminiscent of a Finnish kantele and is a major solo and comping instrument in Balkan folk music. A trapezoidal box, it comes in various sizes, stands on four legs and is played by striking the strings with hammers. A mass-produced, chromatic concert cimbalom was developed in the 1880s alongside the instruments for use in folk music. Learning to play the cimbalom is not made easy by the unusual placing of the strings.


Pablo de Sarasate:

Maurice Ravel:

Béla Bartók:
Rhapsody No. 1 for solo violin, orchestra and cimbalom

Franz Liszt:
Hungarian Rhapsodies No. 2 & 3

Zoltán Kodály:
Movements from the Háry János Suite

Johannes Brahms:
Hungarian Dances with cimbalom cadenzas


Olari Elts
Olari Elts


Tickets: €24/19/11 (Note: friday  9.11.  season ticket not valid)

Meet the artist at 17.45