20 November 2015

Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre

Last summer, I was in Budapest for a short while in order to attend a wedding. I had an extra day, and therefore I opted to take that as an opportunity to do some sight-seeing in the city. I have been to Budapest before years ago, but there were still plenty of sights around the city that I haven't visited. This time, I opted to visit the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre, which is a reconstruction of Franz Liszt's last Budapest flat on the first floor of the old Academy of Music.

Franz Liszt was not really a favorite composer of mine. That being said, I didn't hate his music. I just didn't like playing them, due to the immense technical requirements of his pieces. However, it was still a great experience to see a little bit of his life by visiting his apartment.

The museum offers an audioguide, which is immensely useful when visiting this museum. I spent more than two hours in here, because there was just plenty of things to see and listen to, even though the museum is rather small. After all, it's just an apartment, showing how Franz Liszt lived when he was in Budapest. But there were plenty of things and objects that had history in them.

In the photos above, you can see his salon, as well as his living quarters, and the area where he conducted piano lessons. He was surprisingly a very religious man, and there is even an altar in his apartment, where he prayed every day. I forgot that he was an ordained member of an order, which is reflected in some of his works.

I liked the plaque showing his office hours.

The things that I was fascinated with the most, however, were the pianos and the other keyboard instruments. There were plenty. Some were gifts to him, some were inventions, and perhaps the most innovative of them all, was the composing table, fully equipped with a small keyboard, so that he could use it when composing. That was quite ingenious indeed.

Overall, I liked my visit. It was very educational, and I learned a lot. If you're into classical music, then take the time to visit this place when you are in Budapest.


  1. I'm ashamed to say I had never heard of him.

    These type of museums/apartments always puzzled me when I was a kid. It looked like a house... but why wasn't anyone living there?!

    1. Zhu,

      Haha, I am not sure you're losing much. In the classical music world, he's a Romantic composer, more or less along the lines of Chopin, but more bells and whistles. People say he's the Paganini of piano, given how complex and demanding his piano pieces were. He is also known for transcribing all of Beethoven's symphonies into piano pieces.