Virtuosity – An Interdisciplinary Symposium at the Liszt Academy

25 February 2016

We are pleased to announce the joint symposium of the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy and ESCOM (European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music), an interdisciplinary event to be held in Budapest, in the Art Nouveau palace of the Liszt Academy between 3 and 6 March 2016.

This four-day event will feature 40 talks and posters by musicologists and music psychologists from around the world, addressing questions such as the following:

  • What is virtuosity?
  • How virtuosity is perceived in different ways by musicians and their audiences in different cultures?
  • How might virtuosity be studied empirically?
  • What are the cognitive, neuropsychological and motor mechanisms underpinning virtuosity?
  • What is the relationship between virtuosity and creativity?
  • What is the relationship between virtuosity and enchantment (or ‘magic’)? To what extent can virtuosity be considered the making of magic? Or can be magic be made in the absence of virtuosity?
  • How might virtuosity be taught?


The language of the symposium is English. Each day will feature a keynote lecture. The opening keynote, entitled ‘Virtuosity and (some of) its delusions’ will be given by professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson from King’s College London on 3 March (Thursday) at 5pm. On the following day at noon, renowned pianist Fredrik Ullén, professor of neurosciences at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm) will talk about ‘Exceptional musical achievement and virtuosity’. The closing keynote, entitled ’The virtuoso memory’, will be given by the cellist Tania Lisboa from the Royal College of Music (London) on 5 March. Finally, the closing roundtable of the symposium will feature Irène Deliège, Jane Ginsborg, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Tania Lisboa, Richard Parncutt, and Fredrik Ullén.


Keynotes are open to members of the Liszt Academy free of charge and to others upon registration. For the full programme of the event see its website at and if you wish to attend the event, please contact Ms Máté Éva Gyöngy (virtuosity [at] lisztacademy [dot] hu) or its main organiser, Dr László Stachó (stacho [dot] laszlo [at] lisztacademy [dot] hu).