Budapest’s Liszt Academy of Music reopens its doors on Tuesday evening, following two years of renovation.
The opening ceremony, which coincides with the 202nd anniversary of the birth of its founder, Franz Liszt, will be attended by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and several officials from the Hungarian Government as well as by Lady Solti, widow of the world famous Hungarian conductor George Solti. An almost three metre tall statue of conductor George Solti will also be unveiled at the event in front of the Academy.
The Academy renovation project is part of a large-scale cultural strategy, Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog stated, adding that the Government’s goal is for Budapest to become a metropolis for music, with six venues capable of accommodating nearly 8000 people.
The 138-old building’s 26-month restoration project was realised through the work of more than a thousand people, including over a hundred restorers. Experts managing the renovation have received the Knight Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit for their outstanding work, the Ministry of Human Resources announced. The Academy is equipped with modern, state-of-the-art technology, while also respecting the institution’s past, Minister Balog said. He also highlighted the outstanding cooperation between the Hungarian Government and NGOs in realising the renovation.
President of the Liszt Academy András Batta said that the university will move into the building in January 2014, and stated that it is not only the infrastructure which has been renewed, but also the spirit of education.
Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, Christopher Cotton, currently in Budapest for the event, called the reopening important for the future of Hungary’s talented young musicians and emphasised that Hungarians can be proud of the academy. Alexander Sokolov, Rector of the Moscow Conservatory, also a guest of the event, stated that their institute is also due to be renovated for its upcoming 150th anniversary to which the Hungarian academy’s experience will prove extremely useful.
Photo: Gergely Botár