Visiting Franz Liszt at his home in Sugár Avenue

29 May 2020

Upon entering Franz Liszt’s former home at the Academy of Music, visitors are immediately touched by the master’s spirit channeled through his personal belongings, instruments and different portraits hanging on the walls.

Upon entering Franz Liszt’s former home at the Academy of Music, visitors are immediately touched by the master’s spirit channeled through his personal belongings, instruments and different portraits hanging on the walls. How did he live here? What were the rooms arranged like between January 1881 and April 1886, when Liszt actually lived within these walls? We have made an attempt to reconstruct what the neighborhood and the building looked like in the 1880s, when Liszt moved in. The exhibition shows who and how prepared the service apartment for him as described in one of his letters. We also know what his schedule looked like. His daily activity included praying, composing, teaching, tending to official duties, correspondence, caring for his students and engaging in everyday conversations with his guests and fellow professors. He often welcomed prestigious guests, organized soirées and intimate whist-parties with friends during which they often consumed a bottle of fine cognac. Instrument makers, publishers, musician friends, owners of the visiting cards left behind and people from descriptions and letters come to life in our exhibition. We also offer a closer look at the social life of the time by taking our audience into Liszt’s own salon and the adjoining chamber hall. The memories of contemporaries, guests, and students recall some of the exceptional moments from the life of the old master living in Budapest. These recollections allow us to look at Liszt as a teacher and as a dedicated president fighting to promote and improve the Academy. Liszt in Budapest was known as a cordial host, a composer working hard on completing some of his compositions, an abbé in deep devotion, the pianist meeting with fellow musicians for chamber music and living an overall joyful life socializing as a passionate card player with the wish to win.

The exhibition was put together by the associates of the museum: Zsuzsanna Domokos, Anna Peternák, Ágnes Watzatka, Zsuzsanna Kovács, Dóra Bodrogai, Krisztina Halász, Máté Cselényi, Júlia Fedoszov, Lilla Bokor, Miklós Török, Fanni Molnár, Ágnes Páldy. Installation by Tímea Bősze.

Lending institutions:

Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism

Stamp Museum

Kiscell Museum

Hungarian National Gallery

Hungarian National Museum – Hungarian Historical Gallery

Budapest City Archives

National Széchényi Library – Manuscripts Archive

National Széchényi Library – Music Collection

National Széchényi Library – Theater History Collection

Munkácsy Mihály Museum – Békéscsaba

Blaskovits Museum

Collection of Mátyás Stróbl

Memorial Collection of the Hungarian State Opera House

Berzsenyi Dániel Library – Szombathely

Cimbalom Workshop of Ákos Nagy

Museum of Applied Arts

Liszt Ferenc Research Library

Archives of the Academy of Music

Kalocsa Archdiocesan Archives