Please allow me that, apart from my regrettable ignorance of the Hungarian language, I remain Magyar in my heart and soul from birth to the grave. As a consequence, I earnestly wish to further the progress of Hungarian music.

Liszt to Antal Augusz

Liszt Academy Concert Centre

Hearing the word „Zeneakadémia” (Academy of Music) most people recall the concert hall where they had their first memorable concert experience and listened to the emblematical performers of the past era. It is also considered to be as the sanctuary of music. As for the musicians, they see the Academy as their home, where they gained their global musical knowledge, where they feel themselves as members of a large family and where they always like to return to. In fact, the Academy of Music is more than a concert venue: it is the part of the European cultural heritage, its spirit has raised Hungary into the greatest musical nations of the world. Its building, the jewel of the Hungarian Art Nouveau architecture, has been completely renovated between 2010 and 2013. Its halls have been restored to their original state with all the ornamentation and splendour and also have been equipped with technical devices that meet today’s requirements. There are more, larger and more modern spaces for both education and performances.

Not only the building but also the organization and coordination of concerts has been renewed. After the re-opening of the Academy of Music in October 2013, the Liszt Academy Concert Centre has been established which plans its own programmes and is responsible the renting of the concert venues. The Liszt Academy Concert Centre brought a new colour to Budapest’s concert life. We build on the uniqueness of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music reckoning on its workshops and talented performers. It’s especially important for us to organize as many performances as possible for our students, that is to say, for the rising generation of musicians to help them launch their career. There is a part of this work which is less visible for the audience: a Career Office has been established to help our students with career advice and to provide them with music management skills and also possibilities of domestic and foreign performances.

Chamber music plays the most important role among our programmes since both the Grand Hall and the Solti Hall creates an exceptional atmosphere for the performances: there is a close, inspiring relationship between performers and audience, in which even the most intimate musical gestures become palpable. Our goal is to restore the former prestige of chamber music with organizing concerts of the classical and new pieces of this genre performed by highly esteemed artists. We organize performance series to serve this purpose, including the festival called kamara.hu or the “Complete Works Live”, the latter was created to introduce the audience to all of the pieces composed to the same arrangement of instruments by a certain composer.

Of course, the Academy is also the home of symphonic music and remained an important concert venue for most of Budapest’s symphonic orchestras which brings exceptional quality and excellent conductors and soloists to our halls. Formed by our students the resident symphony orchestra of the Academy of Music gives each year a series of performances with highly esteemed domestic and international conductors. The organization of music competitions is also becoming more and more important part of our work. We launched the series of Bartók World Competition and Festival and this year we organize the Eva Marton Singing Competition for the third time.

The world is changing more and more quickly around us, including our relation to music: we listen to music differently, the musical variety has become wider and wider, virtually everything is available, the borders are opened, and a multitude of festivals offer almost continuous programmes. We are pleased that we can take an active part in this diversity by offering a choice of quality in music. The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music wishes to continue the noble tradition of its long-established concert halls: our aim is to present the best performers and performances in concerts where art and knowledge are the most important things – everything else needs to be left outside. At the same time we are following the latest trends in communication with the public and in ticket sales, aiming to give our audience the best experience. Our renewed website also serves this purpose and we hope that it will help to choose from our programmes.

Csonka András, Programme Director