The Budapest Festival Orchestra, regarded as a vital element in Hungary's music life, will be bringing vibrancy and colour to the stage here with two concerts this month. The musical events mark the welcome return of one of the world's most celebrated musical ensembles, which last performed here in 2000. Conductor Ivan Fischer and pianist Zoltan Kocsis formed the orchestra in 1983 with the aim of bringing together the best of Hungary's younger musicians to create a new symphony orchestra of international standing. Initially, the plan was to give only three or four concerts a year, but the orchestra was soon extending its schedule to fill an entire season, and performing to capacity audiences. The orchestra is a much loved feature on the international concert circuit, and has performed at the world's leading centres of musical excellence. The ensemble's profile was further raised when it was awarded a recording contract with Philips Classics, which has resulted in a string of coveted awards. Under the baton of music director Mr Fischer, the orchestra continues to earn praise for its classic opera productions, and its emphasis on new music. The concerts in Hong Kong are expected to attract a large audience of discerning music lovers. The concert are on Saturday, June 19, at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre concert hall and on Sunday, June 20, at the Sha Tin Town Hall auditorium. Both start at 8pm. Internationally famed cellist Mischa Maisky will be the soloist in the Saturday concert. The programme includes Ravel's popular La Valse, Schumann's Cello Concerto in A Minor, and Beethoven's Symphony No 4 in B-flat Major. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will be guest artist at the Sunday concert, featuring Bartok's Hungarian Peasant Songs, Sz100, Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major, and Brahms' Symphony No 4 in E Minor. Tickets are priced from $150 to $680.