...a country (Hungary) whose population, even today, is barely over ten million has produced so many musicians and so much outstanding music. I am grateful for having been born and trained there.

Sir Georg Solti

László Bársony Liszt Prize winner viola artist wins this year's Weiner Leó Memorial Prize

19 April 2019

The Weiner Leó Memorial Prize, founded by the Weiner Leó Legacy Committee at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, was awarded on the 134th anniversary of the composer's birth. Recognition is given to outstanding musicians and music teachers who have successfully devoted themselves to teaching and music for many decades in the spirit of Leó Weiner.

“Leó Weiner laid the foundations of the Liszt Academy's internationally renowned chamber music teaching, and his legacy and spirit is an integral part of our university education today.  His students include musical giants such as Sir Georg Solti”, emphasized Dr. Andrea Vigh, Rector of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music at the award ceremony.

“László Bársony has been teaching at the Liszt Academy for 50 years, since 1969. His students in Hungarian orchestras and all around the world have successfully improved the reputation of the Liszt Academy as members of orchestras, chamber ensembles and teachers in musical institutions,” said József Eötvös, guitarist, university teacher, head of the String Instruments Department. “Today, we celebrate an outstanding musician, chamber musician, and exemplary teacher”, he added.



Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi


László Bársony graduated from the Academy of Music in 1969; his teacher was Pál Lukács. In 1968 he won the first Pablo Casals International Cello and Viola Competition in the latter category. From 1967 until his retirement in 2010, he was the solo viola player and section leader in the Hungarian State Orchestra (now known as the National Philharmonic Orchestra), and also performed as a soloist in almost every country in Europe. Between 1986 and 2005, as a member of the Liszt Prize-winner New Budapest String Quartet, he travelled around the world, recording all the string quartets by Beethoven, Brahms and Bartók with the orchestra, as well as dozens of works by Haydn and Spohr. He is currently teaching at the Academy of Music as a retired university associate professor at the String Instruments Department.

The Leó Weiner Memorial Award was founded in 2004 by the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, after the legacy and property of Leó Weiner was inherited by the institution, based on the final will of his heir, Imre Schwartz. To ensure that the money went to good use, the University established a board of trustees, chaired by harpist Andrea Vigh, rector of the Liszt Academy, with members Gyula Fekete and Csaba Kutnyánszky, deputy rectors of the Academy, and pianist Sándor Falvai.



Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea Felvégi

Leó Weiner was an outstanding composer and music teacher of the first half of the 20th century. From 1901 to 1906 he was a student of János Koessler at the Liszt Academy, and from 1906 he taught first at the Fodor Music School, then from 1908 until his death at the Liszt Academy. In 1928, he organized a chamber orchestra, which operated under his direction. He retired in 1957, but he continued to teach for another year.  For over half a century, he taught several generations of instrumental artists at the Chamber Music Department; the world-famous Hungarian virtuosos were almost without exception his students. His pedagogical work was passed on in his writings as well as the living traditions he helped establish.

In recent years, renowned artists such as pianist Márta Gulyás, violinist János Rolla, and the Bartók String Quartet have received the Leó Weiner Memorial Prize.