Born out of Franz Liszt's vision
The idea for a conservatoire in Weimar came from none other than Franz Liszt. As early as 1835, he formulated ideas for the founding of "progressive schools of music". When, as Court Kapellmeister in Weimar between 1849 and 1853, he endeavoured to establish such a conservatoire, it ultimately failed.
It was not until 1872 that Liszt's basic idea became reality in a completely different, grassroots way. Under the direction of the church musician Carl Müllerhartung, the first orchestral school in Germany was established with very close ties to the Hofkapelle - all the teachers came from there on a part-time basis - a vocational school for 14- to 18-year-old young men. In 1876, the training of young women of the same age as piano and singing teachers was added, as well as a pre-school for 10- to 14-year-old boys and girls.
Beginnings of virtuoso training beyond this from 1891 onwards did not receive greater emphasis until the 1920s, which finally led to the renaming of the State Music School as the State Academy of Music in 1930. During the National Socialist era, it stagnated considerably (around 1939 it was the smallest German conservatoire), but after 1946 it attained its usual profile and size. Since 1956 it has borne the name of Franz Liszt. However, adequate staffing and space did not become a reality until the 1990s.
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 more than 60 years and four international competitions for piano, violin and chamber music.