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Hungarian Musicianship

August 06, 1994

We, at the Hungarian Consulate General, are filled with pride and pleasure having the Budapest Festival Orchestra in town, performing for the American audience at the Hollywood Bowl.

Regarding conductor Ivan Fischer's statements, in relation to the Musi-scene (musician's life) in Hungary ("Hungarian Orchestra Goes Bowling on Its First U.S. Trip," July 26): As described, we do not agree with Fischer's opinion on several counts. Foremost, it is unacceptable (and simply untrue), as he stated, that there were no "top quality" orchestras in Hungary under the Communist regime.

In our opinion, Fischer is vastly erroneous, comparing a philharmonic orchestra with Communist industrial production. While it is true that a planned economy has created insufficient and inadequate products in quality, art, music and sport belong in a different category, even though Hungary has reached renowned success worldwide on both fronts.

The formerly Communist countries, if for no other reason but (merely out of) prestige, have subsidized and supported the arts well beyond their economically feasible capacity. The artists, in turn, have gladly accepted the elevated position, using their creative talents to escape from the over-politicized ways and means of daily living.

EVA RER, Consul

Los Angeles

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