The point is to increase gradually the level of the understanding, cultivation and practice of musical art. This task falls particularly to the new Academy.

Liszt to Antal Augusz

Beginning of the 142nd Academic Year of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music


„We can serve a cause in many ways as long as we strive for perfection in it.”- was the first sentence of the 2017-2018 Academic Year opening speech held by the President of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Dr Andrea Vigh on 4 September.

Dr Andrea Vigh commenced her address by pointing out that „the Liszt Academy has come a long and highly impressive way since it was first opened in Liszt’s service apartment.” The President called it a unique feature of the institution that there a direct line could be drawn from its founding fathers to today’s very instructors. The deep intellectual and spiritual bond which has been connecting the students and tutors to the Liszt Academy for centuries and which involves respect for our ancestors and freedom for the descendants ought to be sensed even by freshmen. 


Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi


Hungarian and international, old and new students, teachers and parents assembled in the Solti Hall of the Liszt Academy. The President of the institution, Dr Andrea Vigh, the Chancellor László Zoltán Szentgyörgyvölgyi, Vice Presidents Dr Csaba Kutnyánszky (Conducting Department) and Gyula Fekete (Composition Department) took their seats on the stage. Behind them gathered the department heads of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music: Kálmán Dráfi (Head of the Keyboard and Harp Department), Ágnes Dobszay (Head of the Church Music Department), Andrea Meláth (Head of Department of Vocal and Opera Studies), György Lakatos (Head of the Woodwind and Brass Department), Károly Binder (Head of the Jazz Department), Balázs Fülei (Head of the Chamber Music Department), Pál Richter (Head of the Folk Music Department), József Eötvös (Head of the Strings Department), Miklós Mohay (Head of the Music Theory Department) and Lóránt Péteri (Head of the Musicology Department). Beside the department heads, also the Director of the Kodály Pedagogical Institute of the Liszt Academy of Music, Dr László Norbert Nemes and the Director of the Béla Bartók Conservatory, Dr Szabolcs Benkő were present on the stage. 


The President of the Academy listed all those by name, who had received awards for their accomplishments during the summer vacation: the stage director András Almási-Tóth, associate professor of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and the head of the Opera Programme was awarded with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic (Civilian) for his high-standard achievement on 20 August. The accomplishments of the folk musician, folk viola instructor and member of the Dűvő Folk Band, Zsolt Nagy were also acknowledged with the Gold Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary on the same day.  Márton Pusko, studying in the teachers’ training programme of the Folk Music Department was recognised with the Young Master of Folk Art Award, while this year, the Order of Saint Stephen was conferred upon the pianist Tamás Vásáry by the President of the Republic of Hungary, János Áder in the Sándor Palace.

In the category ’Instrumentalist’, the trumpeter Gábor Boldoczki, member of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music academic staff was acknowledged with the highly prestigious Echo Klassik Award for his label Oriental Trumpet Concertos by the cultural institute of the Federation of German Music Industry (BVMI), the Deutsche Phono Akademie.

Dr Vigh also recalled the various competition achievements of the students of the Liszt Academy: Ádám Kiss Balbinat, who won the 1st Kalotaszeg Lead Fiddler Competition and Ildikó Rozsonits, student of the piano in the Special School for Exceptional Young Talents, who came first at the 22nd Carl Filtsch International Festival Competition for Pianists and Composers

Based on the judgement of the jury, the junior B.A. student in musicology, Péter Merényi triumphed at Müpa’s contest Sketch Award for Young Critics, while the freshman Máté Cselényi was shortlisted as one of the first ten contestants, and he received the second most votes from the public.

Tajima Ayaho, in the first year of her M.A. piano studies won 2nd prize at the 5th International Piano Competition "Ischia"

Dr Andrea Vigh reminded the attendees that 9 September was the kick-off day of the 1st Bartók World Competition. 50 young violinists were selected by the international jury to participate in the live rounds, and the President declared that „The Bartók World Competition and Festival is more than a musical challenge: it is also an academic event and festival addressed to the wider public.  What makes this competition rise above other contests is its unique structure, international scope and the Liszt Academy’s close bond with the Bartókian heritage.” 



The entrance ceremony of the Liszt Academy featured Marcell Szabó (piano) and Sára Bolyki (student of the Folk Music Department), who performed folk songs of Moldavia.  

Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi



Dr Vigh also suggested that the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music was preparing to celebrate a double Kodály-anniversary this year in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as with the Ministry of Human Resources. The festivities will involve a colourful concert- and course-schedule related to Kodály’s legacy as a composer and a music educator.

In the autumn of 2017, Bartók and Kodály will jointly determine academic life at the Liszt Academy, as was brought to mind by the President. She added that as a tribute to the 135th anniversary of Ernő Dohányi’s birth, the vernissage of Room XII would be inaugurated and also other memorial events would take place organised by the Keyboard and Harp Department.

The President of the Liszt Academy also reported to her audience that „our joint international project with the University of Music and Performing Arts of Vienna, Crosscurrents, will be carried forward, but this November, music students from Zurichwill also join the endeavour. The joint chamber music workshop of the Liszt Academy of Music and the Jerusalem Academy of Music nad Dance, Reconnections, will again hosted by Budapest in February, and we will again welcome spring with the EUphony Central European Youth Orchestra, this time organised by Graz."

She added that „As to the concerts of the Liszt Academy Symphony Orchestra, most of the students present will be participating in them anyway, but I find it similarly exciting that our most gifted students should also be presented by the concerts of the Talent Oblige series. This academic year, the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy Krisztián Kocsis’s piano recital, chamber music performed by Domonkos Csabay, Bálint Kruppa, András Kurgyis and János Fejérvári as well as the harp recital given by Mira Farkas within the framework of the series. The joint project with the Bartók Conservatory launched last year will also continue:  conservatory pupils will again take to the stage of the Liszt Academy alongside their teachers on several occasions.” The President stated that she considered concert life completely inseparable from music education, as „you can learn at least as much from a well-accomplished concert as from a class in your major.” – as Dr Andrea Vigh encouraged the 130 freshmen. Finally, the President gave voice to her conviction that if musicians are gifted and their talent is coupled with hard work, they can work wonders on the stage every time they enter.


Ádám Brandenburg, who won the Andor Neszlényi Award in 2017. Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi


Following the celebratory address, the most outstanding composition of the year was announced and acknowledged with the Andor Neszlényi Award, which in 2017 went to Ádám Brandenburg in accordance with the decision of the Composition Department of the Liszt Academy.  Dr Andrea Vigh also presented István Pávai, associate professor of the Folk Music Department with a habilitation certificate.


István Pávai. Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi


Furthermore, the first year Hungarian and international students of the Liszt Academy took their oaths during the year-opening ceremony. Before the Vörösmarty’s Szózat (Appeal) was sung, Dr Andrea Vigh officially opened the school year while encouraging the freshmen of the institution to come to concerts held at the Liszt Academy and to the Bartók World Competition and to „try to benefit as much as they can from the academic staff of the university”. 


Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi

For more photos of the entrance ceremony, please check our gallery.