Tradition since 1872
It was Franz Liszt who first had the idea to establish a school of music in Weimar: already in 1835 he had thoughts about the establishment of "progress schools of music". Highly-qualified instrumentalists had to be sought after, in order to make the orchestras efficient enough for the new music of their time.
For a long time Liszt fought to establish a training centre for orchestral musicians in Weimar, but it was first in 1872 that Liszt's pupil Carl Muellerhartung realised this dream and established the first orchestral school in Germany.
Training on all orchestral instruments, the piano and conducting were available and extra areas were soon added such as: voice, opera and theatre, composition, teacher training for instrumental and voice teachers as well as the expected training of genuine virtuosos. Therefore the training centre was first called "Orchestra School", then "School of Music and Orchestra", later "Orchestras-, Music and Opera School" and finally "Music-, Opera and Theatre School".
In 1947 the theatrical department closed again (although the opera school remained). In 1948 musicology was recognised as a viable academic subject and was integrated into the mandatory academic fields - the curriculum as we know it today was thereby complete. Since 1956 the school bears the name of its initiator.
In the 1990's, the four historically important centres of the LISZT University which were scattered around the city were interlocked. All the buildings were renovated and furnished to provide suitable conditions for music tuition.
Thus the main building of the school – the Fürstenhaus am Platz der Demokratie - is a direct neighbour of the Weimar market place. In this building, which was built around 1770, the departments for string and piano, the library and the school management can be found.
Likewise, the monastery building (the Klostergebäude Am Palais) situated in the city centre is the location where school music and church music are taught.
A beautiful view over the city and the Ilm can be seen from the imposing school centre (Hochschulzentrum am Horn), which accommodates the jazz, brass, and woodwind departments, music education, musicology, arts management and the Thuringian National Music Archives.
Behind the old walls of all of these buildings are modern premises, which are completely co-ordinated to meet the needs of their users: The modern concert hall in the Fürstenhaus and the rehearsal rooms for ensemble am Horn offer adjustable acoustics and a direct connection to the recording studio. The sound screens in the classrooms are highly updated.
The fourth location is surely the most picturesque: The singers, guitarists and accordionists learn and practice in the old houses (Kavaliershäuser) in the park of the Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere).
The Music High School Schloss Belvedere, whose pupils receive tuition exclusively from teachers and professors of the LISZT University is also situated there and provides optimal conditions for the preparation of future study.
An essential part of teaching is public performance: the university organises more than 300 concerts and performances a year, plus the traditional Weimar Master Classes for 60 years and four international competitions for piano, violin and chamber music.