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Happy Birthday, Liszt!

Liszt concerts in Bayreuth, Paris, Prague, Vienna, Vilnius and Seoul: It seems that the whole world has listened to Liszt tunes on the eve of the Hungarian pianist and composer's 200th birthday on October 22.

Child prodigy, piano virtuoso, heartthrob and enchanter of Europe’s concert halls: Franz Liszt was one of the most dazzling musical personalities of the Romantic era and the composer of a gigantic oeuvre. On the occasion of the his bicentenary the coordinator of the Liszt Year 2011 in Hungary, the Hungarofest Nonprofit Kft. KLASSZ Zenei Iroda and the Hungarian Music Council initiated the establishment of an international cooperation and within this frame it proclaimed the ’World Liszt Day project’ on the 200thanniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt. As a highlight of the project, a monumental work in Liszt’s oeuvre, Christus oratorio was performed in concert halls around the world, including Bayreuth, Budapest, Paris, Prague, Seoul, Vienna and Vilnius, under the direction of internationally renowned conductors.

Celebration continues this week: in Washington DC, for instance, Budapest’s Festival Orchestra will perform Béla Bartók’s almost unknown, strongly Liszt-influenced 1903 Piano Quintet on Oct 25, sponsored by the Embassy of Hungary and the Library of Congress, and conducted by Iván Fischer.

Réka Alíz Francisck

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