A whole-figure statue of the world-famous Hungarian Romantic composer Ferenc Liszt has been inaugurated at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, courtesy of Hungarian emigré Tamás Fekete, who has been living in the Northern American country since 1956.
As Mr. Fekete told the Hungarian state news agency, the bronze statue, 2.25m in height and inaugurated some days ago, was created in Budapest by sculptor Géza Stremeny, whose works include the statue of interwar Prime Minister Count István Bethlen in Buda Castle and that of Count Lajos Batthyány, head of the country’s first government, on the Budapest square bearing his name.
The statue was transported to Toronto via aeroplane, where it was unveiled at an inauguration ceremony in the building of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Among the speakers at the ceremony was noted Liszt expert Alan Walker, Mr. Fekete recalled.
This is not the first occasion Mr. Fekete has brought sacrifice for Hungarian music; some years ago, he donated a similarly whole-figure bronze statue of Béla Bartók to the Toronto educational institution.
“I fell in love with Imre Varga’s statue of Bartók and thanks partly to personal connections, I was able to acquire the fifth specimen of the statue, which counts as the last original piece in the case of bronze statue. This was the statue I donated to the Toronto conservatory five years ago”, Mr. Fekete explained. He added that the idea of the Liszt statue was raised to him at the inauguration of Bartók’s figure by the conservatory’s rector Peter Simon, who is also of Hungarian ancestry.
In the creation of the bronze figure of the great Hungarian composer, he was assisted substantially by his brother Márton Fekete, he emphasised.
In connection with the story of his emigration to Canada, Mr. Fekete, who left Hungary in 1956, also recalled his friendship with former Prime Minister Péter Boross (1993-1994). “Péter was my classmate in secondary school. I tend to say that I made him Prime Minister because we had a conversation on József nádor tér [a square in central Budapest] in November 1956. Péter said let’s get out of here and I said one must not leave. Finally, I left and he stayed”, he explained.