Budapest’s Concert Hall: A New Model?

Budapest has a brilliant new concert hall, and it was built in a novel way, writes Norman Lebrecht. “What the Hungarians have done is tear up the rulebook and build a hall on the never-never. A patch of industrialised riverbank beside the faux-bourgeois national theatre (opened in 2002) was turned over to a local developer who, with cash from Hungarian expats in Canada, knocked up the new Palace of Arts – 1,700-seat concert hall, art gallery, small theatre – for a mere 31.3 billion Forints. That, by my reckoning, is about £87 million, or rather less than it is costing to restore London’s main concert hall to a semblance of its original inadequacy.”