The Liszt Academy awarded an honorary doctorate to British conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Sunday in Budapest.
“Sir John Eliot Gardiner is an acknowledged and outstanding international musician whose professional achievements have been the subject of intense attention for decades,” said Andrea Vigh, the rector of the academy. She called the conductor an iconic figure in both early music – medieval, renaissance, and baroque – research and performance.
The institution awards this honor in exceptional cases- most recently twenty years ago to the world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
The Liszt Academy “has a special importance and is essential as a guardian of the Hungarian musical heritage,” Sir Gardiner said.
“One of the greatest conductors of our time, Sir John Eliot Gardiner is a specialist in the area of the historically informed performance of music by composers such as Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, but his repertoire also includes works by Brahms, Berlioz, Massenet, Bizet, Ravel, and Schumann,” the academy’s statement added.
Sir Gardiner conducted works by Haydn and Mozart on Saturday evening at the Gardiner 80 event in the Müpa Budapest concert hall, accompanied by the English Baroque Soloists. The conductor was greeted by János Csák, Minister of Culture and Innovation.