Opening the event, Geza Szocs, the Hungarian state secretary for culture, described Liszt as an eminent personality of Hungarian culture, a great patriot who at the same time was a European and a world citizen. He noted that the concert had coincided with Hungary's rotating European Union presidency in the first half of 2011.
The concert featured the Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra playing Liszt's Les Preludes, conducted by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The second piece was Penderecki's Violin Concerto No 2 - Metamorphoses, performed by Russian violinist Maxim Fedotov. Penderecki had originally composed this piece for German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Closing the concert, the Concerto Budapest performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
Poland takes over the EU presidency from Hungary on July 1.