High-ranking Japanese delegation holds talks at the Liszt Academy

7 September 2023

The delegation – led by Hajime Furuta, the governor of Gifu Prefecture – held discussions with Dr. Andrea Vigh, rector at the Liszt Academy, about continuing the nearly 30-year-old cooperation as well as the participation of the institution at a festival in Japan next year.

The other members of the Japanese delegation included Jitsuhiro Yamada, president of the Gifu Japan-Hungarian Friendship Society, and Ikuo Nojima, president of the Gifu Prefectural Assembly. Representing the Liszt Academy, pianist Sándor Falvai, professor emeritus and former rector, cellist Csaba Onczay, professor emeritus, and violinist Vilmos Szabadi, associate professor, took part in the discussions.

Thanks to the close cooperation of the parties, the three Hungarian artists have given a large-scale concert every summer for the past 29 years in the Salamanca Hall in the city of Gifu, near Nagoya. In addition, each year they have held a one-week master class for young Japanese students, who typically come from the big universities in Tokyo (Geidai, Toho), from Nagoya, Osaka as well as many other parts of the Asian country. At the end of the course, the students have the opportunity to take the Liszt Academy entrance exam in front of the instructors, after which they first start their studies in Budapest as part-time students. After the first year, most of them remain in Hungary and continue their studies as BA, MA or soloist students.


photo: Liszt Academy/János Posztós 


The collaboration was established for three instruments (piano, violin, cello), and in the past nearly three decades, 671 Japanese students have participated in the master courses of the three Hungarian instructors, and 114 Japanese students have studied at the Liszt Ferenc University of Music as exchange students. This year, 11 students passed the entrance exam, of which five applied for violin, four for piano, and two for cello studies. This number shows that the Liszt Academy plays an outstanding role in the musical training of young Japanese talents who intend to study in Europe. It was highlighted that the students are happy to come to Budapest to study under the excellent professors of the Liszt Academy.

At the meeting, Dr. Andrea Vigh expressed her thanks for the cooperation, emphasizing the values created by this long-lasting relationship.

Governor Hajime Furuta expressed his joy at being able to visit the Liszt Academy, which he described as world-famous on several occasions. He emphasized that among the hundreds of Japanese students who participated in the master classes or studied at the Budapest-based institution, many have built a career in international performing arts. He noted that his reason for visiting Hungary was to receive a prestigious state award from the government for fostering relations between the two countries, and expressed his conviction that the existing and fruitful cooperation with the Liszt Academy was an important pillar of these relations.


photo: Liszt Academy/János Posztós


The governor also spoke about the large-scale festival to be organized in Gifu next year, similar to the Veszprém - European Capital of Culture even series. He added that organizers would like to have a joint event with the Liszt Academy to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their collaboration.

Ikuo Nojima noted that the last nearly thirty years of joint work is the fruit of the perseverance and enthusiasm of the three Liszt Academy lecturers mentioned above, and expressed his hope that they would all be able to attend next year's festival.

The essence of pedagogical success is the transfer of knowledge and tradition, the parties concluded at the meeting. The result of three decades of joint work is that the first students are now teaching those who applied in recent years, who can thus be considered the "musical grandchildren" of the three Hungarian professors.