Last night marked the unofficial start of the 2015 Chelsea Music Festival, a week-long exposé of Hungarian and Finnish music, food, and culture taking place all over Manhattan, with a preview event held at the Consulate General of Hungary.
The building became the site of one of the first Hungarian consul posts in the United States when it was opened in 1922, closely following an American-Hungarian treaty for friendly relations that was signed a year earlier. Despite some souring relations twenty years later at the height of World War II that prompted the departure of Herbert Claiborne Pell, U.S. Minister to Hungary, in 1942, the signed armistice of 1945 reestablished relations that have been strong, more or less, ever since.
The Hungarian Consulate General, which occupies a classical building on East 52nd Street, is normally closed to the public but was open for the preview last night, which showcased some of the Chelsea Music Festival’s musicians, performances, and featured a food tasting.
A performance from the 2013 Chelsea Music Festival, now in its sixth season. Image via chelseaartmuseum.org
The event was put on in preparation for the full Festival which begins at a launch event focusing on Finnish myths and the Hungarian-American community in Chelsea’s Canoe Studios this Friday. Other upcoming events include a jazz concert, discussions with Finnish and Hungarian playwrights, and a showcase of the Tapiola Chamber Choir in New York. Check out the program and look out for recaps and the events’ surprising locales this week.
Next, read about the Movement Festival and Detroit’s Musical Resurgence. Get in touch with the author @jinwoochong