The House of Hungarian Music has opened in City Park

Hungarian version of the article: Megnyílt a Magyar Zene Háza a Városligetben

January 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM

On the occasion of the National Day of Hungarian Culture, the House of Hungarian Music, completed within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project, was ceremoniously handed over in City Park. The new institution, which opened in a special building, awaits the public from 23 January 2022 with interesting music programs, an exciting and interactive permanent exhibition of music history, and a three-day program series next weekend.

After ten years of content and technical planning, then construction, the House of Hungarian Music, built within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project, opened on Saturday and awaits the public from Sunday with concerts, an interactive permanent exhibition, music pedagogical classes and many other programs, writes MTI. The 9,000-square-metres, special building was designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. 

There are breathtaking spaces in the building (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

At the opening of the House of Hungarian Music, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a keynote speech. According to the MTI, the head of government emphasised that elsewhere such institutions tend to close down, downsize and retreat due to the epidemic, while Hungarians have this impressive new institution in full light here. In addition, the House of Hungarian Music is not a lonely institution, but part of a huge cultural investment, he added at a ceremony held on National Day of Hungarian Culture.

Viktor Orbán said that according to the latest available data, the proportions of Hungarian cultural expenditures - albeit tied - are in the first place in the European Union. Hungary was in the middle in 2010, but the national constitutional turn came and we managed to get back on the lead, he said. He added that an important part of the self-image of Hungarians is that we are a cultural nation. He explained that any new building is a risk, only the first glance at the finished building can reassure us, but we all have a consensus that Sou Fujimoto did an excellent job.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a speech at the opening of the House of Hungarian Music built in the Liget Budapest Project on 22 January 2022 (Source: MTI/Prime Minister's Press Office/Benko Vivien Cher)

He sees, in the space created by the Japanese designer, we Hungarians feel at home, perhaps because the distance between the two nations, the Japanese and the Hungarian genius, is not as big as it seems based on geography. But it is also a possible explanation - he thought - that this building does not want to differ from its surroundings, but rather fits in organically, adapts and harmonises, and this is beautiful for the Hungarian eye. This approach is unique not only to Japanese but also to the finest Hungarian architectural traditions.

The Prime Minister said we must not forget “how our political opponents behaved in the matter of renewing the City Park” and it is no coincidence that “the mayor had things to do elsewhere today”. Seeing this beautiful building, the crowded lines, the many international accolades, “it is clearer than the sun, we were right,” he stressed.

The glass walls of the House of Hungarian Music let in a lot of light into the halls of the building (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

The Prime Minister recalled that in 2010, they wanted City Park to become the citadel of Hungarian culture again, and this is how the Liget Project was born, which is the largest cultural investment in Europe. Thanks are due to István Tarlós, during whose time the investments could be made, during his time the capital and the government established an oiled cooperation, "the fruits of which will be enjoyed by the people of Budapest even after many decades, and the entire Hungarian nation will be proud of it" - he said.

Viktor Orbán remarked that the Hungarian nation will never forget the name of the nation-builders, and although there have always been wheelbinders, detractors, retaliators and destroyers, to whose name no one remembers, because the Hungarian nation loses them from its memory. He highlighted: in its current form, the Liget Project is a semi-finished undertaking, an unfinished work, a torso. That is why they are very much looking forward to "Hungarian voters finally putting an end to the matter in April and ending this debate".

The building fits harmoniously into the trees of the City Park (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

The Prime Minister also spoke about the fact that today's European political debates are shedding new light on European high culture and its mission. “Globalisation versus Christian foundations, Brussels bureaucracy versus national pride, immigration versus family support, gender policy or child protection,” he listed.

He believed this was not a West-East but a new West-West conflict and, as a result, cultural alienation threatens. "But we want to keep Europe together, so we must also fight against cultural alienation," he said.

According to Viktor Orbán, therefore, we must now turn to the classical values of high culture; high culture can mediate, command respect, and demand attention “in this Babylonian turmoil”. If there is a higher goal which can be achieved with music, including Hungarian music, is suitable, then this is it - said the Prime Minister.

The Sound Dome in the House of Hungarian Music (Photo: Zoltán Balogh/MTI)

András Batta, the managing director of the House of Hungarian Music, emphasised at the ceremonial opening of the building that the masterpiece of the Japanese designer Sou Fujimoto is inspired by music and nature, which is also reflected in the design of the house.

As he added, the children coming to the House of Hungarian Music will definitely try out the music playground built next to the house, but in fine weather the outdoor stage is also waiting for the audience. Through the glass facade, you will be able to see, and entering the building, you will be able to hear the concerts inside, marvelling at the surprisingly good acoustics of the glass room, he said.

In the Varázstér (Magic Square) below ground level, visitors can play drums together, sounds and noises play a dramatic role in the Sound Dome, and in the interactive permanent exhibition everyone can meet the music of the old Hungarian villages, as well as the monks of Notre Dame, Orpheus at the River Styx, pianist Ferenc Liszt, the Bluebeard Duke of Bartók and the 20th century stars of pop music, he said about the institution.

Gergely Bogányi Kossuth Prize-winning pianist at the opening of the House of Hungarian Music completed in the Liget Budapest project on 22 January 2022 (Source: MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)

Referring to the concert program, he emphasised that representatives of various genres will be invited, so the House of Hungarian Music will not simply be a musical institution, but the heir to the former atmosphere of City Park, a real music pavilion in the middle of the park.

András Batta recalled: the preparation of the House of Hungarian Music project started ten years ago. The design, which was made with hundreds of thousands of hours of work, was followed by exemplary construction, which was completed under the direction of László Baán, Ministerial Commissioner of the Liget Budapest Project, and Benedek Gyorgyevics, CEO of the investor Városliget Zrt.

In his speech, László Baán emphasised that the handover of the House of Hungarian Music was the first major point of the Liget Budapest Project, and then thanked the many hundreds of professionals who took part in the design and establishment of this institution, which is "unprecedented not only in Hungary but all over the world".

Not only the shape of the building, but also its details are special, like the stairs leading to the lecture hall (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

He highlighted the architect Sou Fujimoto, who "dreamed of a building that was thought through in every way, fused with nature, charmingly unique, extravagant, yet harmonious and homely", the Hungarian design partner of the Japanese master, Teampannon Kft., the team of the investor Városliget Zrt. and the contractor Magyar Építő Zrt., as well as the work of András Batta, Managing Director, Márton Horn, Chief Operating Officer, and Marta Thorn, Chair of the International Design Competition.

László Baán also thanked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who strongly supported the Liget Budapest Project from the very beginning, always knowing that what would be created here would be "magically unique inside and out at the same time".

(Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

The newly opened House of Hungarian Music is "a metaphor for music as an institution and a building" that strengthens the mission of music in a more complex way than any other institution in the world, the Ministerial Commissioner said, adding that from Sunday everyone can experience what they would have lost, if "anger and hatred based on lies against the realisation had prevailed."

Turning to Viktor Orbán, László Baán finally asked the Prime Minister: as he did not let the dream of the House of Hungarian Music be destroyed, he should also support the realisation of the New National Gallery.

Source: MTI

Cover photo: The House of Hungarian Music has been handed over (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)


Hozzászóláshoz lépjen be, vagy regisztráljon!


Registration | Remember me