Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
Members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which under the leadership of the conductor Ivan Fischer has become a world-class ensemble and one of Hungary’s most important cultural exports, is planning a demonstration on Saturday to protest a steep cut in funding from the city of Budapest.
While the orchestra gets most of its support from the state, it also receives aid from the city. The orchestra said that its municipal aid was reduced by more than three-quarters last month, cutting its overall budget for the current year by 7 percent. The orchestra said that it planned to cancel some concerts in Budapest and community and education projects.
Mr. Fischer has emerged as an outspoken figure in Hungary as the country has drifted rightward in recent years. In 2013 he performed his opera “The Red Heifer” there that served as a rebuke to what some saw as a growing tolerance for anti-Semitism in the country.
In The Times of London this week, Richard Morrison raised the possibility that there was “a more sinister reason than austerity” behind the recent cuts. He quoted a statement from the mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos, that warned that if Mr. Fischer “is not capable of putting a stop to his demanding hysterics, threats and troublemaking, we shall have to rethink our support.”