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The Music Academy was founded in 1875. It was based in two other buildings before moving to its present location, a site in Liszt Square that was inaugurated in 1907. You will see that it is a neo-classic construction, combining both neo-baroque and oriental styles.
It is probably true to say though that the building’s splendid interior will grab your attention more than its facade.
You should definitely take note that above the main entrance stands a bronze statue of Franz Liszt, who gave his name to the academy and was its first president. What’s more, it is said that he was first person ever to play the piano with his arms, shoulders and back, and not just his fingers. Higher up, you will also see statues of Gounod and Bizet. The base-relieves of the exterior give a good illustration of musical history.
However, Liszt never got to see the present day building and died in 1886. Its first director was in fact Ferenc Erkel.
On entering, the first thing you will come to is a splendid vestibule, beautifully decorated with frescoes and Zsolnay porcelain mosaics, in which greenish blue and gold reflected yellow colours predominate.
The Hungarian motifs in the mosaics created by Miksa Róth are particularly worth seeing.
Also very interesting is the main hall which can hold up to one thousand two hundred spectators and is dominated by a splendid organ raised slightly behind the stage. On each side of the organ are Latin inscriptions stating ´Long live the hearts` on the left, and ´Shut up or keep silent` on the right.
This institution is not only involved in advanced music teaching, but is also the city’s concert centre. In fact, thanks to its excellent acoustics the hall is considered Hungary’s finest.
You should also make sure you do not miss the lower floor’s chimney and the lovely stained-glass windows. Neither should you leave without going up to the first floor and marvelling at the splendid fresco titled ´In the origins of art`, one of the most renowned parts of this beautiful building.
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