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The Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Summer Kick-off Party at the home of Sylvia Hemingway in Bridgehampton

Former US Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken and his wife Vera, Former Town & Country Editor Kathryn Livingston Forgan, Hamptons socialites Victoria Wyman, Leah & Stanley Rumbough, Julianne Pruett & Bill Yun, singer/songwriter Cole Rumbough and others joined the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Chairman Stephen Benko and his wife Radka at the Bridgehampton home of Sylvia Hemingway on Friday, August 26th to kick-off the music season as legendary Maestro Ivan Fisher prepares to perform with his beloved orchestra at Lincoln Center on February 5th, 2017.

Victoria Wyman, Sylvia Hemingway, Steve Benkum, Kathryn Livingston Forgan

Victoria Wyman, Sylvia Hemingway, Stephen Benko and Kathryn Livingston Forgan

Radka Benko, Stephen Benko

Radka Benko and Stephen Benko

Stanley Rumbough, Cole Rumbough, Whitney Schott and James Sanderson

Stanley Rumbough, Cole Rumbough, Whitney Schott and James Sanderson

Ms. Hemingway served cocktails and hors d’oeuvre poolside as Mr. Benko welcomed guests and shared what the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra have planned for the year ahead including an evening of music at the Hungarian Consulate in October.

After the cocktail reception, Hemingway served a small dinner in celebration of her friend, Mike Lovdal’s birthday.  Other guests included: Christine & George Ledes, Dr. Kenneth Mark, Neal Batra, Whitney Schott & James Sanderson.

Sylvia Hemingway and Mike Lovdal

Sylvia Hemingway and Mike Lovdal


George Ledes, Julie Pruett Yun and Bill Yun


Dr Kenneth Mark and Neal Batra

The FBFO was formed to support the Orchestra’s work in the USA and across the world. Supporters of the Foundation raise public awareness and financial support for the BFO and have the opportunity to build a closer relationship with the Orchestra both in the States and at home in Budapest.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra is one of the international music scene’s major success stories, being rated among the top ten orchestras in the world, and according to David Allen of the New York Times they “might be the best in the world,” (1/22/15.) Its key figure is Music Director and Conductor Iván Fischer who was one of the Orchestra’s founding fathers. The BFO’s unique system works to encourage the artistic qualities of its musicians to blend together, forming an exquisitely homogenous orchestral sound.

Both audience and critics alike acknowledge the quality in the ensemble’s captivating chamber music performances, as well as the all-pervasive dynamism with which it shares the joy of music-making with the audience.

The orchestra is a regular guest at the world’s most important music venues and concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and London’s Royal Albert Hall. They have repeatedly been invited to perform at international music events such as the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Salzburger Festspiele or the Edinburgh International Festival.