Franz Liszt, the Hungarian composer visited Kilkenny in 1840

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Franz Liszt, the Hungarian composer visited Kilkenny in 1840 whilst on a concert tour of England, Scotland and Ireland. Following a disastrous concert in Clonmel the virtuoso pianist and his accompanying opera singers came to stay at the Victoria Commercial Hotel, High St (current AIB). Liszt was in Ireland between November 23rd (1840) and mid January 1841 and extended his sojourn in Kilkenny between concerts.

To mark his connection with the marble city, the Hole in the Wall has dedicated the month of his birth, October, as Classical Month. Liszt’s birthday is October 22nd and this will be Hungarian Day at the venue. The event will comprise an exhibition called ‘What’s the Score, Mr Liszt?’ depicting his musical notation and a piano recital (depending on availability of a pianist) at lunchtime. Lectures on Ireland’s Hungarian links and on Liszt (from 2.00 pm) will be followed by a matinee screening of two movies – Liszt: The Pilgrimage Years (Angelo Bozzolini) and Ken Russell’s Listomania will be screened (from 3.30 pm). Lunch with a Hungarian goulash flavour will be available. Entrance is free. Any concert pianists willing to play some pieces from the Liszt repertoire are welcome.

For more information on Franz Liszt please visit

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