Our task is to form veritable talents who possess the necessary gifts to become masters, without attending to the ungifted mediocrity.

Liszt to Giovanni Sgambati

“Humanity needs music more than ever” - the 2020/2021 academic year starts at the Liszt Academy

2 September 2020

The festive opening of the academic year at the Liszt Academy took place in an entirely unusual manner on 31 August, in the presence of only first-year students. At the ceremony, which was broadcast on the Internet, Dr. Andrea Vigh, President of the university, delivered her inaugural address and presented awards for outstanding achievements.

“It is my great pleasure to greet our freshmen personally: I can see the sparkling eyes and I can feel the personal radiance of this new class. I am truly sorry that our senior students and our professors cannot be with us today, they can only follow the ceremony online,” said Dr. Andrea Vigh, President of the Liszt Academy, at the opening ceremony of the 2020/2021 academic year, organised in the Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy on Monday. The event was organised in this unusual manner as a result of the health protection measures introduced due to the epidemic. The President emphasized that the most important thing in the school year ahead is to be able to work safely and healthily while preserving as much as possible of personal encounters, which are essential in music education.


Photo: Liszt Academy / Dénes Erdős

The President thanked professors and students for their efforts during the spring season, thanks to which the second semester could be finished successfully. She said she was proud that, despite the state of emergency, the number of applications hadn’t declined compared to previous years, and that freshmen were not deterred by circumstances and pressed ahead with the online application process.

She highlighted that as painful as the lack of personal encounters, contact classes and live concerts was during the lockdown, it also became evident that humanity needed art in general and music in particular more than ever. She also recalled an anecdote recounting that during World War II, British Parliament wanted to end support for the arts, which prompted Prime Minister Winston Churchill to pose the question: what are we then fighting for?

The President noted that there will be hybrid education during the upcoming academic year: classes with a large number of enrolled students (such as music history, philosophy, art history) will take place online while classes with a smaller number of attendees and main subject classes will be held in the  traditional manner but with increased epidemiological measures.

Among the events organised by the Liszt Academy, the President highlighted several concerts featuring world stars, including performances by such outstanding musicians as Julia Leznheva, Il Giardino Armonico, Isabelle Faust, Wiener Sängerknaben, Kristóf Baráti and Miklós Perényi. She reminded the audience that the gala event of this year’s Bartók World Competition for composers, which attracted 348 entries from 59 countries, will take place at the end of November.


Photo: Liszt Academy / Dénes Erdős

The awards for outstanding achievements during the academic year were also presented at the ceremony.

The Héthy Apor Scholarship for the youngest generation was awarded to Anna Lilla Székely and Dániel Hodos in 2020, who are both violin students of the School for Exceptional Young Talents. The award was presented by Dr. Csaba Kutnyánszky, Vice President for Education.

The Andor Neszlényi Award, which acknowledges the most outstanding composition of the year, went to Ábel Kerekes. The award was presented by President Dr. Andrea Vigh and Vice President Gyula Fekete, head of the Composition Department.

This year, the Board of Trustees of the Liszt Academy presented the award for staff assisting the work of the institution to Mrs. Katalin Muhoray Sessler, assistant to the President, and to Miklós Török, IT specialist at the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre.

True to tradition, first-year students took their oaths during the year-opening ceremony, following which Dr. Andrea Vigh festively opened the 2020/2021 academic year at the Liszt Academy.