I am not exaggerating when I say that, whatever I achieved as a musician, I owe more to Leó Weiner than to anyone else. ... To me, he remains an outstanding example of what a musician should be.

Sir Georg Solti

Ticket sales commence for the spring season of the Liszt Academy

27 November 2023

The Liszt Academy’s upcoming spring season features renowned international and Hungarian performers. Spanning from January to June, the season promises a diverse array of chamber concerts, solo performances, jazz, and folk music concerts.

Tickets are now available for purchase for events organized by the Liszt Academy for the first half of 2024. Attendees can benefit from discounts of up to 25% through the discount system for the various series. After a more subdued program over the past three seasons, the institution is returning to Budapest's high-quality classical music stage with a continued focus on chamber music, in line with its traditions. While the majority of performers still hail from the young Hungarian musician demographic, international artists are making appearances in the lineup.

A special event of the season is the performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 by Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Liszt Academy Symphony Orchestra on May 7th, marking the bicentennial anniversary of the work's premiere. The ensemble, distinguished with the title of the National Youth Orchestra and comprised of students from the university, is reinforced by prominent European and domestic orchestra section leaders. The ensemble will collaborate with the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir and the Alma Mater Choir, the latter also consisting of students of the Academy. Vocal soloists will include, among others, Polina Pasztircsák and Andrea Meláth.

The String Quartets series welcomes esteemed names. The Hagen Quartet, a venerable Austrian string quartet, will present a "best of" program featuring compositions by Haydn, Debussy, and Beethoven. The innovative American ensemble Brooklyn Rider, known for following in the footsteps of the Kronos Quartet, is a highly sought-after name across the pond and it will be making its debut at the Liszt Academy. Their concert will offer a thematic concept based on the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. In addition to contemporary compositions, they will perform the String Quartet No. 8 by Shostakovich. The Keller Quartet, collaborating with pianist Dezső Ránki, will perform Schubert's Trout Quintet, along with compositions by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. The series concludes in the fall of 2024 with a performance by the French Quator Ébène, who already had a highly successful debut concert at the Liszt Academy.  The quartet that, among others, learned from Gábor Takács-Nagy and won the ARD competition, will present works by Haydn, Britten, and Beethoven.

 


Hagen Quartet

 

Several series aim to showcase emerging talent. The Y Generation series, centered around the cello this time around, features award-winning musicians like Andrei Ioniţă, the winner of the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition, the silver medalist and special prize recipient at the 2014 ARD Competition. He will perform a duet with Balázs Demény on this occasion. Gergely Devich and Fülöp Ránki will be performing classical works; cellists Flóra Matuska and Lucia Kiss, accompanied by Oszkár Varga and Imre Dani, will present a special selection.

The Competition Winners series includes performances by Carlos Vidal, the twenty-year-old Spanish cellist and the winner of the Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition, Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, the Canadian winner of the Santander Piano Competition, and Ádám Király, the winner of the Grand Piano Masters competition. The uniqueness of Király’s program lies in the fact that he has selected rarely performed transcriptions of Bartók's orchestral works.

The series continues with a concert by Valentin Magyar and the Korossy String Quartet featuring outstanding works of the piano quintet literature. First, under the subtitle "The Aesthetics of Late Times," they will perform compositions by Mozart and Elgar, and then, a selection of works by  Shostakovich and Schumann under the theme "Renewing Tradition."

The Chamber Music, So Close series presents ensembles in unique formations, including three foreign musicians whose careers have taken off—Kevin Spagnolo, Aurélien Pascal, and Théo Fouchenneret—performing a selection of late 19th-century romantic trios. The audience of the Liszt Academy may remember the Italian clarinetist Kevin Spagnolo, the winner of the 2018 Geneva International Music Competition, who made a lasting impression during the concert of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. French cellist Aurélien Pascal perfected his instrumental skills in the masterclasses of the legendary János Starker, among others. A string sextet, featuring Péter Bársony, Anna Göckel, Yuval Herz, Guy Ben-Ziony, Joel Marosi, and Daniel Mitnitsky, will provide a glimpse into this unusual genre. At the Bartók Birthday Concert, it has become a tradition for chamber formations of Liszt Academy students to perform the master's works. In the Czech-themed evening of the Kodály String Quartet, which boasts a track record spanning more than five and a half decades, the ensemble will perform compositions from Suk, Janacek, and Smetana.

 


Théo Fouchenneret, Kevin Spagnolo, Aurélien Pascal

 

On the Talent Day, organized in February, open classes and debut concerts await those interested in the institution's work, young individuals preparing for a musical career, and their parents. The day, featuring a variety of short concerts, concludes with a concert by Péter Kováts and the Liszt Academy String Orchestra, showcasing dances from different eras and nations.

The Organ in the Centre series highlights three outstanding Hungarian organists from three different generations playing the historical instrument of the Liszt Academy. László Fassang will give a solo concert in the Grand Hall after a hiatus of several years, and the uniqueness  of the event lies in the fact that, in the second half, he will improvise on topics provided by the audience. In the other two concerts, János Pálúr and Junior Prima awardee Ádám Tabajdi will take the stage.

 


Ádám Tabajdi 

 

The Black and White Colours piano series, featuring artists Tamás Érdi, Péter Nagy, and the notable young talent Alexandra Balog, promises exceptional solo performances.

Among the three concerts of the Here and Now contemporary music series, the tribute to two epochal masters is the most significant: the program of the evening entitled Eötvös/Vidovszky 80, will feature the piano pieces of the two composers. The series also includes the next concert of the traditional Amadinda Percussion Project as well as the STUDIO 5 chamber concert with duos for cello and piano by the group's composers.

The Jazz It! series also awaits fans of the genre with three concerts, among which the interactive concert by the extremely versatile Veronika Harcsa who continuously tests the boundaries of the genre and Nora Thiele, a German percussion artist, will be the most noteworthy. The concert will be performed for the first time in Hungary. The spring jazz programme will also include an album premiere concert by the Binder Quartet and a performance by Dominika Ács and Krisztián Oláh entitled Through a Glass Darkly.

 


Veronika Harcsa & Nora Thiele

 

The Folk Dance House Day, traditionally held on the first Sunday of May in collaboration with the Hungarian Heritage House and organized by former director László Kelemen, is an outstanding event of the genre. The program promises a whirlwind featuring the best of folk music and multiple generations. The thematic series entitled Cither Renaissance will introduce Zalán Csenki, professor at the university's Folk Music Department specializing in the cither, and his colleagues.

The Liszt Kidz’ Academy, designed for the age group of 8-15, awaits families with a new theme. The Music, at Your Service! series guides the audience through 17th-18th-century court music, the world of computer games, and the application of music in film and theater, under the leadership of Dániel Mona.

The detailed program and ticket purchase information is available on the concert.lisztacademy.hu/concert_series_2024 page.