The most important class, however, for me and for hundreds of other Hungarian musicians, was the chamber-music class. From about the age of fourteen, and until graduation from the Academy, all instrumentalists except the heavy-brass players and percussionists had to participate in this course. Presiding over it for many years was the composer Leó Weiner, who thus exercised an enormous influence on three generations of Hungarian musicians.

Sir Georg Solti

International Liszt Piano Competition at the Liszt Academy in September 2016


Pianists born after 1 January 1984 can submit applications for the 14th Liszt Competition (organized by Filharmónia Magyarország) by 2 May 2016.

Filharmónia is once again organizing the International Liszt Piano Competition on the occasion of the 205th anniversary of the birth, and 130th anniversary of the death of Liszt. The competition is being held in the Liszt Academy between 2-11 September 2016. It is arranged in four rounds: pre-selection, qualifier, semi-final and final. During the pre-selection procedure the jury listens to recordings sent in to determine the top 85 competitors making it through to the qualifying stage. The list of approved artists is published on the competition website on 1 June 2016. Twelve people get through to the semis, and six to the final.

The recording attached to the application must include one etude and any other piano piece by Liszt. Those getting through to the qualifying round and semi-finals are expected to perform the Transcendental Etudes and compulsory pieces from the Années de pèlerinage series, respectively opera paraphrases, as well as freely chosen Liszt works, duration 30/50 minutes, while the six competitors in the final are required to perform the Sonata in B minor, Danse Macabre, or one of two piano concertos, which the jury designates after the semi-finals (competitors appear twice in the final). The winner of the competition receives €15,000 in prize money, second place €12,000, and third place €9000; the audience prize is worth €6000.

The three-member editorial panel chaired by Zoltán Kocsis with Kálmán Dráfi and János Mácsai is responsible for putting together the competition programme. György Kurtág accepted the post of honorary president of the jury, which is chaired by Kun Woo Paik (South Korea), with other members being Michel Bèroff, Péter Frankl, Leslie Howard, Cyprien Katsaris, as well as pianists Kálmán Dráfi, János Kovács, János Mácsai and Károly Mocsári.

Young artists born after 1 January 1984 from any country are welcome to apply for the competition. The precise conditions of application and the application form are on the competition website. Entries may be submitted by e-mail or post until the deadline of 2 May 2016. Applications sent in by 15 April 2016 receive a €40 discount off the standard registration fee of €180.