Liszt is to piano playing what Euclid is to geometry.

Alan Walker

May master classes aplenty at the Liszt Academy

25 April 2014

Guest professors this spring are Guy Ben-Ziony, Michael Vaiman, Tamás Varga, Ildikó Kertész, Nelson Goerner and Sylviane Deferne, as well as Nicholas Daniel.


The courses in May are kicked off on the 2nd and 3rd of the month by Guy Ben-Ziony who holds a viola master class in classroom X of the main building on Liszt Ferenc Square. The Israeli-born musician started playing violin at the age of nine, and four years later, aged 13, he took up the viola. He finalized his higher education studies under Tabea Zimmermann and Tatiana Masurenko in Frankfurt and at the Leipzig College of Music. Among his many great achievements he won the special prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition (2000), and second place at the DAAD Competition, Frankfurt (2001). Ben-Ziony has performed as soloist with Israeli and European orchestras, and due to his very broad repertoire he has been booked in great concert venues including the Musikverein of Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berliner Philharmonie, London's Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall. At the moment Guy Ben-Ziony is professor of viola at the Leipzig Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Musikhochschule, although he also holds regular master classes in Germany, Sweden, Austria, Great Britain, Turkey and Israel. Active participation in the Liszt Academy course (2-3 May 2014) – full details of which can be found by clicking here – is only open to students of the Liszt Academy; however, anyone interested in just attending the master class is welcome to apply to szabo.agnes[kukac] latest by 28 April (no charge).



The master class of Michael Vaiman, professor of violin at the College of Music, Cologne, is scheduled for 6-8 May 2014. Michael Vaiman was born in Odessa and he attended the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow where his professors were David Oistrach and Semyon Snitkovsky. He settled in Israel in 1989, where he started teaching at Tel Aviv's Rubin Academy of Music. He is a regular guest at concert halls in Europe, the United States, Japan, Israel and Russia, he has performed as soloist with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonics under the baton of Yuri Simonov, the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and with conductor Yuri Bashmet. He is a regular participant at festivals organized in Kuhmo, Finland, and Tours, France, at the New York Summit Music Festival, where he has played with such great artists as Paul Badura-Skoda and Yuri Bashmet. Michael Vaiman has been professor of violin at the Cologne Musikhochschule since 1999, and he regularly holds master classes in a variety of institutions including the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music. His students have gone on to play in many orchestras around the world. Active participation in the Liszt Academy course (classroom X of the main building on Liszt Ferenc Square) – full details of which can be found by clicking here – is only open to students of the Liszt Academy; however, anyone interested in just attending the master class as a passive participant is welcome to apply to szabo.agnes[kukac] latest by 28 April (no charge).



Tamás Varga's violoncello master class starts in the Chamber Hall of the Old Academy of Music on 8 May, and continues on the following day in classroom X of the main building on Liszt Ferenc Square. The cellist has played with the Wiener Staatsoper since 1998, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since 2001, although he also has a reputation globally as a soloist. He graduated from the Liszt Academy in 1992 as a student of László Mező, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. In 1989 he won a prize at the Prague Spring festival, followed by the Duino International Cello Competition and at several other major matches. He has given solo recitals and chamber music concerts all over Europe, in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Japan. For years he taught at the International Orchestra Institute Attergau, and he regularly holds courses around the globe. Camerata Tokyo, Naxos, Hungaroton, King Records and Cavalli Records have published more than 20 albums by the Hungarian. The Liszt Academy master class (8-9 May) of Tamás Varga can be registered for by students of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in active roles, although the sessions are open to outside students taking part in a non-active manner. Applications – active participants should include the title of the piece they are interested in playing – can be made to Ágnes Szabó at szabo.agnes[kukac] by 30 April 2014.



In the list of guest professors it is the turn of Ildikó Kertész, specialist of the Baroque flute, to hold a master class in room 125 of the Ligeti building between 19-21 May. Soloist with the Orfeo Orchestra and member of the Campinela ensemble, the musician has already run master classes at the Juilliard School (New York), Curtis Institute (Philadelphia) and Rice University, Houston, and she has played with the English Baroque Soloists, Concerto Cologne and Les Adieux. Her discs include flute sonatas by Kleinknecht and Krebs, Haydn's Sun Quartets and Mozart's quintets for flute. The master class by Ildikó Kertész (19-21 May) in the Liszt Academy is free of charge for students of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and Bartók Conservatory; the fee for participation with active status for anyone else is HUF 5000/day, and passive status HUF 2500/day. Applications can be made with Baroque and modern instruments, and the musician is also interested in receiving registrations from chamber ensembles. Completed applications forms can be submitted in person to Dóra Orosz (Bp. 1077 Wesselényi u. 52, office VI.), or by e-mail to orosz.dora[kukac]


Sylviane Deferne

The Liszt Academy is organizing a Liszt workshop with broad international participation, also in May but in a different form to the usual master classes. Constituting part of the "Liszt and Bartók Years of Pilgrimage" project, the workshop is run by professors Kálmán Dráfi and István Lantos as well as professors from the college of music in Geneva Nelson Goerner (pictured below) and Sylviane Deferne, from 20th to 24th May 2014. The workshop focuses on Liszt's works inspired by Switzerland and Hungary, that is, the Années de pélerinage cycle, the works collected in the first volume of which were composed by Liszt in the very early days of his teaching career in Geneva, and some works of the third volume were inspired by his teaching career in Hungary. In addition, highlighted topics of the workshop include the Hungarian Rhapsodies reflecting the impact of Gypsy music in Hungary, and late Liszt compositions (besides these, applicants can bring other Liszt works).


Nelson Goerner

Besides attending the piano master class the participants of the workshop will visit sites in Budapest that preserve the memory of Liszt, with particular regard to the Liszt Museum, and they will take a walking tour of the inner city stopping at places and buildings had have intimate associations with Liszt. This tour will be facilitated by a special mobile application acting as a guide. Furthermore, the workshop includes a musicology lecture by Philippe Dinkel, rector of the Geneva academy, on the oeuvre of Liszt and the background to his works. Thanks to the generous support of the Swiss Contribution Fund, participation on the courses in both active and passive roles is free of charge. However, those interested in taking an active part in the courses must complete the Application Form (pdf / doc), which has to be returned by 10 May 2014 at the latest. Students just interested in hearing the classes do not have to make a written application in advance.


Finally, Nicholas Daniel arrives at the Liszt Academy on 31 May 2014. The oboist started his career at the age of 18, when he won the BBC's "Young Musician of the Year" award. In the course of a long and successful career he has played together with the world's leading orchestras and conductors. As well as being a recognized exponent of the Baroque and 19th century repertoire he is also a dedicated disciple of contemporary music, and is associated with the premieres of many works by primarily Anglo-Saxon composers. He acted as conductor at the 2004 BBC Proms festival heading the Britten Sinfonia, of which he is a founding member. As conductor he has worked with several German and Scandinavian ensembles as well as the Budapest Strings, he is oboist with Camerata Pacifica based in California, and artistic director of the Leicester Festival. As a committed chamber musician he is a founding member of both the Haffner Wind Ensemble and Britten Oboe Quartet; he is a regular partner of pianist Julius Drake and the Maggini and Lindsay string quartets. He teaches in the UK and Germany, including at the Trossingen University of Music, and he was appointed artistic director of the Dartington International Summer School in 2014. He holds the Queen's Medal for Music. Application conditions for the course in classroom X of the main building on Liszt Ferenc Square will be published shortly on the website of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music (, where full details of all the master classes are also available.

Due to technical reasons the masterclass of Nicholas Daniel has been postponed to Fall 2014.