Liszt Academy and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire celebrate 25 years of their cooperation

1 June 2023

This year marks the jubilee of the Weingarten Scholarship, which has enabled students from the two institutions to spend a semester at each other's universities, building an extraordinary network of contacts and experience.

The 25th anniversary will be celebrated with a gala concert and reception at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 4 June, featuring performances by past recipients of this quarter of a century. Altogether, around 80 students have taken part in the programme, which has enabled 1-2 young talents each year to study at each other's institutions for six months.

A special feature of the Weingarten scholarship for piano, violin or voice studies is that it remains available within two years after graduation. The programme currently provides a grant of GBP 10 000 for a six-month period (half of which is for tuition fees and half for housing support).

From September on Liszt Academy’s students Gabriella Rea Fenyvesi (MA1 in Opera, class of Andrea Meláth) and Bertalan Robotka (MA2 in piano, class of Balázs Kecskés and András Kemenes) will study in Birmingham, while pianist Venesca Yapson and violinist Alastair Legg from the Conservatoire will participate in classes at Liszt Academy. 

The Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust, which runs the scholarship programme, was established as a bilateral partnership between the two music universities to promote postgraduate studies. Its founder and namesake, Joseph (József) Weingarten (1911–1996), was a student at Liszt Academy in Budapest, studying with Zoltán Kodály, Leó Weiner and Ernst von Dohnányi. He moved to the UK in 1934 and completed his career as a pianist there.  He later became a lecturer at the Royal Birgmingham Conservatoire, and left a legacy to promote professional links between the two institutions.