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History of the Liszt Society (3) To point out a few of the multiple objectives: It presses for the processing and publication of a scholarly and detailed History of Hungarian Music, the need for which has been long felt. It   supports,   in   cooperation   with   other   relevant   institutions,   the   musical   endeavours   of   our   time,   and   the   advancement   of   our   young performers and composers. It   assists   in   searching   for   the   hidden   material   remains   of   the   Hungarian   musical   past,   in   ensuring   a   worthy   preservation   of   the   existing   ones, and   in   setting   up   a   final   home   for   a   permanent   Liszt-Erkel   Museum. The   most   felicitous   solution   to   this   would   be   provided   by   the   premises   of the old Academy of Music. Above   all   these,   it   takes   it   to   be   its   most   urgent   task   and   duty   to   support   the   tasks   of   preparation,   organization   and   promotion   in   connection with   the   centenary   celebrations   for   our   100-yearold   Academy   of   Music   in   1975.   To   this   fine   end,   it   wishes   to   set   up   a   society   based   on voluntary   association   and   activity,   some   of   the   members   being   professional   musicians,   but   in   the   main,   the   majority   of   them,   being   friends   of music. It   will   found   its   organizational   solution,   following   the   example   of   social   organizations   that   already   function   well,   on   the   broadest   strata   of music lovers who identify themselves with the above goals. To create its financial foundations, it has three sources in mind: membership fees, donations and support from other organizations. The   idea   of   establishing   the   society   has   been   raised   in   friendly   conversations   with   the   heads   of   a   few   prestigeous   institutions,   and   to   our genuine delight it has met everywhere with a unanimous response and support. To sum up: The Ferenc Liszt Society will devote all its strength to bringing live musical culture closer to the broadest general public. We ask for assent to our proposal and for authorization to begin our preparatory work. your sincerely, Budapest, September 1972 Bence   Szabolcsi,   Dénes   Kovács,   József   Ujfalussy,   János   Ferencsik,   Dezső   Keresztury,   György   Csanádi,   Miklós   Lukács,   Viktor   Vaszy, Rezső   Trautmann,   Kálmán   Nádasdy,   Tibor   Sárai,   Kálmán   Kiss,   Pál   Pátzai,   Dr   Jenő   Rados,   Imre   Magyar,   Annie   Fischer,   József   Kocsis, Miklós Forrai "The   good   personal   relations   dating   back   to   the   Art   Ensemble   of   the   People's   Army   obviously   had   a   favourable   influence   on   the   minister, and   the   long   list   of   musician   supporters   finally   convinced   the   omnipotent   contributor   to   the   Magyar   Zenészeti   Lexikon   authorities   of   the party-state that it would be correct to support a cause which had hitherto been stubbornly opposed: Minister of Culture 1575/1972. No. I. Dear Comrade Forrai, I   agree   to   the   formation   of   the   -Ferenc   Liszt   Society,   with   the   aim   of   nurturing   the   Liszt   cult,   to   the   commencement   of   the   organizational   work concerned, and to the proposed statutes enclosed. Under the legal provisions, the inaugural meeting of the society may be convened […] Budapest, December 15 1972 With   permission   received,   the   preparatory   committee   sent   out   the   following   letter,   signed   by   Dénes   Kovács,   Rector   of   the Academy   of   Music and Miklós Forrai, to representatives of the Hungarian musical, scholarly and artistic scene, Liszt enthusiasts and friends of music: We are pleased to inform you that the Minister of Culture has assented to the reorganization of the I Hungarian FERENC LISZT SOCIETY, which   was   founded   in   1893.   Based   on   the   enclosed   objectives,   the   society   will   hold   its   inaugural   meeting   in   the   afternoon   of   May   15   1973, at the Academy of Music. This will be followed by a gala concert of works by Ferenc Liszt. We   respectfully   request   you   to   take   part   as   a   FOUNDING   MEMBER   in   the   establishment   and   subsequent   work   of   the   society.   We   look forward to hearing from you, if possible within two weeks, in order to facilitate proper preparations. Answers   to   the   letters   sent   out   poured   in,   as   clear   proof   of   the   avid   interest   of   the   general   public.   They   seemed   to   respond   to   the   same question   that   the   19th   century   Hungarian   poet   Mihály   Vörösmarty   had   put   in   1841   in   his   ode   addressed   to   Liszt   -   "Have   you   a   word   for   the ailing   land?"   -   and   to   answer   with   a   clear      affirmative.   Of   the   addressees,   101   considered   it   a   "great   honour"   to   be   invited   to   be   founding members, 63 undertook to be so "with thanks", and many of them added an expression of agreement and delights. The   inaugural   meeting   took   place   on   May   15   1973,   in   the   Small   auditorium   of   the   Ferenc   Liszt   Academy   of   Music.   It   declared   the   Ferenc Liszt   Society   established,   adopted   the   statutes   after   certain   amendments   had   been   proposed,   and   elected   the   presidium   of   the   society. Mme   Blandine   Ollivier   de   Prévaux,   a   great-granddaughter   of   Liszt's   from   Paris,   attended   the   meeting   and   was   elected   honorary   president; Dénes   Kovács,   Rector   of   the Academy   of   Music,   became   president,   Ministers   Dr   György   Csanádi   and   Dr   Rezső   Trautman   were   elected   co- presidents,   and   Miklós   Forrai,   the   instigating   spirit   behind   the   rebirth   of   the   society   became   general   secretary,   a   post   he   held   until   the autumn of 1991, when he was elected co-president. The   fostering   of   the   intellectual   heritage   of   Ferenc   Liszt,   the   great   Hungarian   genius,   so   that   it   may   turn   into   a   public   cultural   possession   in Hungary   and   abroad."   This   definition   contains   three   words   -   Hungarian,   intellect   and   culture   -   that   can   be   used   and   accepted   in   their   true sense at last. Rather than following events chronologically, let us now review how the tasks laid down in the statutes have been implemented. The   National   Ferenc   Liszt   Society,   like   its   predecessors   in   the   last   century,   held   gala   concerts   every   year   to   mark   the   birth   of   Liszt;   this tradition   has   been   revived   by   the   society   in   1973.   In   1975   it   founded   the   Grand   Prix   International   Liszt   du   Disque,   which   has   since   retained a   prestigeous   place   in   the   world   among   record   companies   and   performers.   The   prizes   are   awarded   by   a   jury   of   noted   Hungarian   musicians and music historians, and distributed each year in the Great Hall of the Academy of Music, before the gala Liszt concert. A   select   list   of   the   prizewinning   conductors,   orchestras,   musicians   and   record   companies   demonstrates   dearly   the   high   rank   of   the international Ferenc Liszt Grand Prix: CONDUCTORS: Sir Thomas Beecham, Leonard Bernstein, Antal Doráti, János Ferencsik, Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Muti, Sir  G. Solti. ORCHESTRAS: Concertgebouw   Amsterdam,   Berliner   Philharmoniker,   Boston   Sympony   Orchestra,   Hungarian   State   Symphony   Orchestra,   I   Hungarian Itadio Orchestra, Orchestre dc Paris, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. PERFORMERS: Vocalists:   Hildegard   Behrens,   Hermann   Prey.   Organ:   Marie-Claire   Alain,   Jean   Guile.   Piano:   Claudio   Arrau,   Lazar   Berman,   Jorge   Bolet, Alfred   Brendel,   Ferruccio   Busoni,   Georges   Cziffra,   Vladimir   Horowitz,   Leslie   Howard,   Jenő   Jandó,   Zoltán   Kocsis,   Maurizio   Pollini,   Dezső Ránki, André Walls. RECORD COMPANIES: Decca,   Deutsche   Grammophon   Gesellschaft,   EMI-Angel,   EMI-Electrola,   EMI-Pathé   Marconi,   Hungaroton,   NipponColumbia,   Philips,   RCA, Quintana.
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