The Painters’ Festival in Kaposvár 2010
Nine twin towns were present at the annual four day Painters’ Festival which included the International EU Conference on tourism in Kaposvár from 27-30th May this year. I was very privileged to be one of the delegates for Bath. We were all accommodated at the Hotel Kapos, immediately opposite the town clock which marks every quarter of an hour and chimes each hour- LOUDLY.
Karoly Szita, the Mayor, opened the Festival at the beginning of the open-air concert in Kossuth Square. This was a concert of music played by Kaposvár’s Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Jason Thornton, the Musical Director of the Bath Philharmonic Orchestra. It included Kodaly’s “Dances of Marosszsék, Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto – well played by Victoria Braw an English oboeist and Schubert’s Ninth Symphony. The concert was well attended and the weather that evening was kind to us.
I specially remember the little boy who wandered in front of the stage and was so impressed by the players he kept trying to persuade his mother to “come and look” too.!!!!!!.
The next day was a civic welcome for all the delegates and short speeches from some of the mayors present including our own Mayor of Bath, Cllr.Colin Barrett, his wife, the Clerk to the Charter Trustees, Ann Tipper and the future Mayor designate, Shaun Mcgall. We witnessed the twinning agreement between Rauma in Finland and Kaposvár.
After a buffet lunch when we had an opportunity to talk to other delegates we enjoyed outdoor programmes including street theatre performances, various art exhibitions, a street market and workshops before eating a formal dinner in The Kapos Restaurant. Later we were treated to a very informal ride on a tourist train around the streets of the city. That was fun!
Saturday started with a visit to the Rippl-Ronai museum in the pedestrian street and was followed by a coach trip to Pécs the Cultural City of Europe 2010. A marvellous wine tasting was enjoyed at a wine-centre perched on the Mecsek hills overlooking the city. Seven or eight different wines were tasted and the conversations flowed more and more easily!
Many changes have been wrought in the centre of Pécs which have created great benefits for the city, aided by European grants. During the conducted tour we watched a procession of many bands of ex- miner musicians who marched around the centre. I then crept away to my favourite place in the Csontváry Musem, in front of his painting “The Solitary Cedar” and wondered afresh why his work is so poorly known in Western Europe.
On our return journey we visited the Szigetvár Turkish- Hungarian Monument followed by a barbeque at the Baranyi Hotel and thanks were expressed to everyone.
Most of the delegates left after breakfast the next day. The weather became cooler and very, very wet. Peter and I stayed in Kaposvár to facilitate Twinning links for another week.