The Franz Liszt Academy of Music is a concert hall and music university in Budapest, Hungary. It was founded by pianist and composer Franz Liszt on November 14, 1875.
Teaching at the Academy began in Liszt’s apartment. In 1879, the Hungarian state obtained a neo-Renaissance building on Andrássy Avenue which is known now as the Old Music Academy. It was the scene of the institution’s first golden era, where the great promises of the new Hungarian music – Dohnányi, Bartók, Kodály, Weiner – first studied composition.
In 1907, the Academy moved into its present art nouveau building, and under director Ödön Mihalovich developed into a comprehensive institution of world standing. Shortly after, a new era in the history of the Academy began: Dohnányi, Bartók, Kodály and Hubay implemented major changes in the institution.
During the World War II, Bartók and Dohnányi left the country, after the 1956 revolution, the very best musicians of the Academy – Solti, Doráti, Fricsay, Cziffra, Anda, Zathureczky, Annie Fischer among them – were scattered round the world. Kodály stayed in Hungary and his initiatives implemented revolutionary changes in the Hungarian music pedagogy.
There was a profusion of talents during the 1960s, when Ligeti, Kurtág, Eötvös, Frankl, Vásáry, Pauk, Perényi, Marton, and Polgár started their careers. A milestone of those days was the establishment of a jazz department. Famous alumni of the 1970s included Kocsis, Schiff, Ránki, Jandó.
Ever since its foundation, the Academy has been the most prestigious music university operating in Hungary. It has recently established a new, independent Folk Music Faculty. The Franz Liszt Academy of Music is as much a living monument to Hungary’s continued musical life as it is to the country’s musical past.