Visiting Franz Liszt at his home in Sugár Avenue

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?

 
József Rippl-Rónai:
Liszt Ferenc portrait
(Liszt Museum)

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.

      
 
          The building of the
        Old Academy of Music,1883

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.
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 l 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.

          Budapest, 25 August 2020    

                                       Domokos Zsuzsanna

 

                                                                                                         Exhibition Album of Hungarian Composers,
                                                                                                                                    1885 (Liszt Museum)