Theatres, concert halls in Budapest
ACADEMY OF MUSIC
(Zeneakadémia, VI., Liszt Ferenc tér 8.)
The Academy, officially called the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, was founded in 1875. Its first president was the composer himself, who made a significant contribution to the creation of the institution, while the first director was Ferenc Erkel.
It is not only for music and artist training, but also a centre of
Budapest's musical life. The present art nouveau building, completed in 1907,
has the most decorative interior of this style.
The grand hall with fine acoustics seats 1,200 people, while 400 music-lovers can sit in the small hall.
It is worth buying a concert ticket just to adore the beauties of the building.
HUNGARIAN STATE OPERA HOUSE
(Magyar Állami Operaház, VI., Andrássy út 22.)
The opening performance of the Opera House was held in the neo-Renaissance
building, the jewel of the avenue, in 1884 after nine years of construction.
The staircase and the auditorium of the palace, designed by one the best architects of those days Miklós Ybl, are decorated with frescos of eminent Hungarian painters such as Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Károly Lotz.
The first director
was Ferenc Erkel, Gustav Mahler held this post for several years, and Puccini
directed the premiere of two of his operas. Renown guest conductors include Otto
Klemperer, Sergio Failoni and Lamberto Gardelli. It is still among the best
opera houses of Europe.
Well worth a visit even for those who do not especially like operas.
Daily guided tours.
M1 Opera, Bus 4
PEST CONCERT HALL
(Pesti Vigadó, V, Vigadó tér 2.)
On the site of the Redoute, destroyed in 1849, the Pest Concert Hall, a masterpiece of Hungarian Romantic architecture was opened in 1865, and has been the venue of significant events.
The second largest concert hall of Budapest has
seen the appearance of such celebrities as Franz Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Richard
StrauB, Bartók and Kodály.
Concert hall is open only on events. Apr-Oct elegant operetta gala concerts. Downstairs is the Vigadó Gallery, and a brasserie-restaurant.
M1 Vörösmarty tér Tram 2
HUNGARIAN NATIONAL THEATER
(Nemzeti Színház, IX, Róth Miksa u.)
On March 15, 2002, the edifice that had been longed for for decades threw open its gates. For our free, democratic, European nation, what did it mean, this National Theatre? Nothing but that: theatre. Its mission: to instill openness, tolerance, and curiosity in spectators - with special attention to younger generations that somehow received no time ever since the system change. For their sake, we must create a new, empathetic cultural medium.
The construction of the National Theatre, on the basis of plans by architect Mária Siklós, began on 14 September 2000, and, after a construction process of record-breaking speed, was completed in a little over 15 months. The artists were able to take possession of the building on 2 January 2002, when rehearsals began for the inaugural performance on 15 March. In functional terms, the theatre is divided into three parts. The central part comprises the auditorium, with an almost circular ground-plan, and the studio theatre. This part is surrounded by the areas for audience members, and the U-shaped technical wing bordering the main stage. The theatre is surrounded by areas for parking. Together with the open-air stage, the area of the theatre is 20,844 square metres.
PALACE OF ARTS
(Művészetek Palotája, IX, Róth Miksa u.)
When the Palace of Arts, Budapest and Hungary's long-awaited new cultural hub, opened in 2005, it was built to represent more than a hundred years of Hungarian cultural history. As a conglomeration of cultural venues, the building has no precedent in 20th century Hungarian architecture and has no peers in the whole of Central Europe.
The three institutions housed in the building - the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall at its core, the Ludwig Museum nearest the Danube and the Festival Theatre on the far side - were all constructed in parallel over a period of 28 months as part of a highly sophisticated and carefully coordinated project.
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