The training I received at the Academy was difficult and at times harsh, but those who survived the experience emerged as real musicians.

Sir Georg Solti

Liszt Academy pays tribute to its founder with a special programme series

10 October 2021

The Liszt Academy is commemorating the 210th birth anniversary of Franz Liszt with the Liszt Birthday Festival, a large-scale programme series held between October 9-22.

On the first day of the festival, the Auer Trio will give a matinee concert at the Old Academy of Music, featuring works by Schubert, Smetana and Liszt; in the evening, Lithuanian pianist Mūza Rubacky, a member of the jury of the 2019 Bartók World Competition, will take the stage at an album release concert at the same venue. The following day, a poster exhibition reflecting Liszt's experiences inspired by Dante – the Italian poet and writer was born 700 years ago – will open at 6 p.m. in the Atrium of the main building of the Liszt Academy, followed by a literary-music programme in the neighbouring Solti Hall, featuring performances by actor Gábor Jászberényi and pianist Péter Kiss.

A series of exceptional programmes will be organized by the Liszt Museum: an English-language album containing autograph documents recently acquired by the museum will be released on October 13, and the latest research related to the master will be presented at a scientific conference covering a Hungarian and an international angle. The focus of the Hungarian topic cluster, held on October 1819, will be Liszt's relations with Hungary and the events of Hungarian music history in the second half of the 19th century. During the English-language sessions, held on 21-22 October, leading foreign Liszt researchers will present the results of their latest work, including Kenneth Hamilton, who will also give a Liszt album release concert.

The museum's current temporary exhibition, entitled Visiting with Franz Liszt in his home on Sugár út, will tie in with the programmes of the festival with an October 19 historical concert featuring Atala Schöck, Nóra Tatai and Ferenc János Szabó. On October 15-16, all of Liszt's symphonic poems will be performed for the first time in the author's own transcript for four hands: pianists and married couple Edit Klukon and Dezső Ránki have been preparing for years to perform this exceptional concert series in memory of Liszt, next to his former home. Fülöp Ránki's piano concert, featuring works by Liszt and Saint-Saëns, also promises a special musical experience.

The majority of the above events are programmes organized jointly with the Palace of Arts in Budapest as part of the Liszt Celebration. In addition to the Liszt Celebration, the sponsors include the Festival Liszt Albano in Italy, the Embassy of Lithuania and the Municipality of Terézváros.

The closing event of the festival organized by the Liszt Academy will be a concert traditionally held on Liszt's birthday, October 22, in the Great Hall; this time, the event will take place in collaboration with the György Cziffra Memorial Year. The concert will feature Kossuth Prize-winning pianist János Balázs, lecturer at the Franz Liszt University of Music, and the Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music - awarded the National Youth Orchestra title – under the baton of Gábor Takács-Nagy, the artistic director of the ensemble. The programme evokes the memorable October 22, 1956 concert by György Cziffra – born 100 years ago, an event that went down in Hungarian music history. The focus of the programme, similarly to 65 years ago, will be Bartók's Piano Concerto No.2, prior to which participants will commemorate Franz Liszt, the first president of the Liszt Academy and whose name the institution bears, with a rendition of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3. The closing number of the concert will be a performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.