Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music is celebrating 140 years since its foundation with the inauguration of its stunning new lighting arts system to illuminate the building’s façade this weekend. The institution, situated on the Budapest square also bearing the world-famous Austro-Hungarian composer’s name, has been renovated on a budget exceeding HUF 13 billion.
Saturday, 14 November, with mark the 140th anniversary since teaching began at the Hungarian capital’s Academy of Music, which was first housed in the apartment of Ferenc (Franz) Liszt (1811-1886) on Hal tér and then in a corner building on Andrássy út. Later, the institution was relocated to the Secessionist palace that currently serves as its home. Wherever it was operating, it spread the fame of Hungarian music culture across the world through its school-founding artist-teachers and their extraordinarily talented disciples, as well as international stars appearing on the stage of the institution’s Grand Hall.
The anniversary will be marked not only with concerts but also a photo exhibition compiled from treasures concealed in photo archives on those who followed in Liszt’s footsteps to write musical history.
Speaking at the opening of the series of festive concerts and events on Thursday evening, Andrea Vigh, the institution’s rector, said that it is touching to think how different the world was back when the Academy of Music was established in 1875. Although no trams were running back then and the towns of Pest, Buda and Óbuda were only united to form Budapest since two years, the legacy left by Liszt and his fellow artists continues to live within the institution’s walls, she said.
“In addition to fostering traditions, we must not loose sight of the fact that Liszt was a cosmopolite capable of constant renewal. We have conveyed this openness so far and will continue to do so in 2016″, Ms. Vigh said.
The festive lighting system was completed as one of the final elements of the Academy’s HUF 13bn refurbishment scheme to highlight the anniversary. A total of 216 state-of-the-art LED illuminators and floodlights were installed hidden into the façade of the building and on surrounding candelabra, on a budget of HUF 55 million. The lighting system, completed this summer, will highlight the building’s ornate features and flood the Academy’s grand façade facing Liszt Ferenc tér, as well as stretches of the building’s façades facing Király and Dohnányi utca towards the square, every Saturday evening from 14 November onwards.