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The Society offers:

  • Journal of the American Liszt Society (JALS), published annually
  • The American Liszt Society Newsletter, published biannually
  • Annual ALS Festivals
  • ALS Archives at the Library of Congress
  • Local Chapters in various geographical areas
  • Publication opportunities in JALS
  • Performance opportunities in festivals and in chapter activities
  • Paper presentation opportunities at festivals
  • Host "house concerts"
  • Networking and mutual support among performers, scholars, and music lovers dedicated to the ideas and ideals of Franz Liszt

The 2020 Festival at the University of Michigan
has been postponed!

Matthew Bengston, host of the 2020 ALS festival at the Univesity of Michigan, after consultation with UMich administration and with the concurrence of the Executive Committee of the ALS Board of Directors, has postponed the 2020 festival until 2021. The change in plans is the result of the coronavirus and the uncertainty concerning government and university regulations for next fall. The exact time of the new schedule will be posted on this website as soon as UMich schedules the event next year. The theme of the 2021 Festival of The American Liszt Society will remain "Liszt and Hungary."

At the present time, Prof. Bengston is working to switch the following events to the new schedule as soon as it is determined:

    The festival opens with authentic Gypsy music, performed by the
        Romani ensemble "Gypsy Stringz," with violinist George Batyi.
    Music of Hungarian composers inspired by Liszt
    Performances of Liszt's 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies
    The influence of the Gypsy people and their music
    Chamber music by Kocsár, Bartók, and Brahms
    Lectures by leading English-speaking music scholars
    Performances of music for piano - four hands, fortepiano, and harpsichord
    Music by lesser-known 19th century composers Székely, Aggházy,
         Végh, and Mihalovich
    Solo piano Hungarian-themed works by Liszt, Brahms, Schubert, Dohnányi,
         Kodály, and Bartók.

Announcing the 2020 Alan Walker Book Award

The fourth Alan Walker Book Award, offered triennially, will be presented for a new book in English, a translation into English, or a substantially revised new edition of a book in English that contributes to Liszt scholarship. Topics include the life and music of Franz Liszt, the life and music of a pupil of Liszt, and other Liszt-related research. The prize for the winning selection is $1500.

  • Submissions must be books published after January 1, 2017, or book manuscripts accepted for    publication with contracts signed before June 1, 2020.
  • Jury for the award will consist of a panel of American Liszt Society members, whose names will    be identified upon the announcement of the winner.
  • Application Deadline: Submissions must be received by June 1, 2020.
       Please note - this is an extended deadline!!
  • Announcement of the winning book will be approximately September 1, 2020.

    Submissions: Send two copies of books (hard copy or pdf.), or accepted manuscripts (pdf.) with a copy of the signed contract to:

        Richard Zimdars
        2020 Alan Walker Book Award
        181 Clyde Road
        Athens, GA 30605
        Richard Zimdars

    In Memoriam: Sandra Mauchley

    The Board of Directors extends its sincere condolences to Dr. Jay Mauchley upon the death of his wife, Sandra ("Sandy). Sandy and Jay were frequent performers of duo- and two-piano music at many festivals of The American Liszt Society, as well as in concerts at festivals in Montana, Michigan, Idaho, and other states. As ALS President Jay Hershberger has said, "Jay and Sandra were active Lisztians, and they started the Idaho chapter of the ALS. Sandra was lively and quick in her personality, and her youthful spirit and sparkling humor brightened all of us. She was also a very fine teacher, and she and Jay were long-time respected members of the music faculty at the University of Idaho-Moscow, as well as regulars at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana. Our hearts go out to Jay and their family."

    Long-time Member Palma Wolverton Dies in Billings, MT.

    A long-time member of The American Liszt Society, Palma Wolverton, died July 3, 2019, in Billings, MT. Palma attended many festivals of the society. For further details, please see Wolverton obituary

    Happy Birthday, Dear Alan!!

    Dr. Alan Walker, Life Member and Board of Directors Member of The American Liszt Society, turned 90 on Monday, April 6, 2020. Dr. Walker is considered by most authorities to be the world's preeminent scholar on the life and music of Franz Liszt. Anyone who has read his three-volume biography of our namesake realizes immediately that Alan thoroughly knows his subject and provides the reader with a most interesting "can't-put-it-down" writing style. This is true of his other books, including the most recent Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times, which The New York Times called "magisterial." His presentations at festivals of The American Liszt Society likewise hold the listener almost in a trance, with facts, dates and figures woven together in a story rather than a lecture.

    On behalf of the entire membership of The American Liszt Society and Liszt aficianados throughout the world, the Board of Directors salutes Dr. Walker on this milestone in his life and wishes him the best of good health and happiness as he begins his tenth decade! Happy Birthday, Dear Alan!!

    Ian Hobson Starts a Schumann Series in NYC

    Life member Ian Hobson, whose playing has been described by Gramophone as "intensely alive to expressive nuance, textural clarity and elastic shaping," recently performed the first of 15 recitals in a series devoted to Robert Schumann. The concerts, which will feature all of the composer's solo piano and chamber works with piano, take place at New York's downtown venue SubCulture (45 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012) over the course of three concert seasons, and began in February 2020 and, as of now, are scheduled through spring 2022.

    The first concert on February 19 included:
    "Fantasy Pieces"
    Fantasiestücke, Op. 111
    Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
    Fantasia in C, Op. 17

    For a review, please go to Hobson NYC concert, February 19, 2020.

    New York/New Jersey Chapter Presents Recital on
    January 8, 2020

    The New York/New Jersey Chapter presented Joseph Kingma and Yi Zhong in a piano recital on Wednesday, January 8, at the Yamaha Piano Salon in New York City. Kingma was the winner of the 2017 Ohio International Liszt Competition, and Yi Zhong was the third prize winner of the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. Their program included works by Liszt, Berlioz-Liszt, Granados, Ponce, and Rachmaninov.

    Chicago/Midwest Chapter Celebrates Franz Liszt's 208th Birthday on October 19!

    The American Liszt Society Chicago/Midwest Chapter celebrated Franz Liszt's 208th birthday with a grand evening of piano music on Saturday, October 19th, at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, IL. The concert featured world-class Chicago-based pianists performing many of Liszt's solo piano works. Performers included Jennifer Allor, Pawel Checinski, Matthew Hagle, Weiwen Ma, George Radosavljevic and Alex Yuill, as well as a special performance by young rising star, Music Institute of Chicago Academy student pianist, Eriko Darcy. Please subscribe to our ALS Chicago/Midwest Facebook Page to keep up to date with our local events.

    Oregon Chapter Offers Liszt Birthday Celebration,
    October 19, 20 and 22

    The Oregon Chapter of The American Liszt Society offered three days of dedicated to the 208th birthday of Franz Liszt. Every end of October for the past 14 years the Chapter and the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance have offered a variety of programs celebrating the music of Liszt and his contemporaries. This year's topic was "Late Piano Music by Liszt." It was a unique opportunity to experience live performances of fascinating, lesser-known works that took the listener on a journey to a different musical universe. This was definitely not your "usual" Liszt!

    This year, the chapter extended the festivities with a "Mini-Festival" including solo performances, a lecture, a masterclass and an orchestral performance with outstanding Hungarian pianist Éva Polgár. For additional information, please visit the University of Oregon School of Music website.

    San Francisco Bay Chapter's Daniel Glover
    Has a Busy Schedule This Fall

    Daniel Glover, Vice President of the San Francisco Bay Chapter, played a recital in Old First Church, with a program of music by modern Polish composers and Chopin's complete Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 28. On September 14 he appeared as soloist with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) with Amy Beach's rarely heard Concerto, composed in 1899. Dawn Harms conducted the BARS orchestra, which also performed Humperdinck's "Overture" to Hansel and Gretel and Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony. Daniel will be attending Abbey Simon's 100th Birthday Party in Genève, Switzerland.

    Chicago Chapter Welcomes Gila Goldstein for Her Recital on September 21.

    The Chicago Chapter welcomed ALS New York/New Jersey chapter president and pianist Gila Goldstein in recital Saturday, September 21, in Ganz Hall of Roosevelt University in Chicago. This world class pianist played Liszt's "Les cloches de Genève"; Six Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach; and Schumann's Kreisleriana, Op. 16.

    Madeleine Forte Performs in Ensemble Recital
    on September 15

    Madeleine Forte was the pianist in the Lillibridge Ensemble when it performed two major works by Brahms. She was joined by violinist Rafael Ryger and cellist Karen Ryger in a performance of the Brahms third piano trio in c minor, Op. 101. Madeleine and Rafael also played Brahms's second violin sonata in A Major, Op 100. The program took take place on Sunday, September 15, in the Cultural Arts Center in Hamden, Connecticut.

    2019 Festival

    Members and friends of The American Liszt Society will find the website of the 2019 ALS Festival at Arizona State University most interesting! Host Baruch Meir put together a splendid schedule of events, including a presentation of The American Liszt Society Medal to Martha Argerich!

    West Texas Chapter Activities

    The newly established West Texas Chapter of The American Liszt Society, housed at Wayland Baptist University, under the guidance of president Richard Fountain and vice president Kennith Freeman, had an exciting first year of events. ALS Executive Secretary Justin Kolb presented a memorable lecture and recital on August 30, 2018. On November 1, guest pianist William Westney from Texas Tech University presented a program including Liszt's "Liebestraum No. 2" and the 11th Hungarian Rhapsody. In the spring of 2019, chapter president Richard Fountain continued his cycle of Liszt-Beethoven symphonies, performing the Seventh Symphony and Beethoven's Op. 101 sonata on February 7, the Eighth Symphony and Beethoven's Op. 10, No. 2 sonata on March 7, and the Fifth Symphony and Beethoven's Op. 10, No. 1 sonata on April 16. For the final concert, the chapter invited faculty and students from WBU's Fine Arts department to display original artwork responding to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. The chapter also welcomed guest pianist Clara Christian from College of the Ozarks on February 28 for a masterclass and recital, featuring several movements from Liszt's first Année de Pèlerinage. To close the year, several members of the chapter made a pilgrimage of their own to Liszt's grave in Bayreuth on May 19 as part of a study tour to Central Europe.

    Justin Kolb Performs at Phoenicia International
    Festival of the Voice

    Pianist Justin Kolb and playwright/author Carey Harrison marked the tenth anniversary of the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice with two performances of a unique collaboration celebrating, in music and narrative recitation, the African diaspora experience so resonant across the world today. Their performances on Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4, set forth Harrison's personal story of his service as a "mole" for the African National Congress during Nelson Mandela's incarceration on Robben Island, "illustrated" by Kolb's rendition of piano music "inspired" by the African experience in the slave trade and in diaspora. The story of an undercover freedom fighter is echoed in music by composers directly descended from slaves or celebrating the slave heritage through native African lyrical melodies, polyrhythms, and the powerfully complex textures of everything from jazz to gospel. Previous collaborations of this unique pianist-and-playwright duo include the hilarious "The Seven Maladies of Ludwig van Beethoven"; "Enoch Arden," setting Tennyson's epic poem to music by Richard Strauss; and the profoundly ironic Mark Twain's "War Prayer," all presented in earlier Phoenicia Voice Festival seasons.

    Requiescat in pace: Karen Shaw

    The following is a message from ALS President Jay Hershberger.

    "It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of Dr. Karen Shaw, a long-time ALS member, devoted Lisztian, ALS chapter president at Indiana University, and the senior most member of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music piano faculty. She was stalwart in her advocacy for Liszt as an artist/teacher, and, if I am not mistaken, perhaps she was the teacher of more members of the ALS than any other single teacher in the country. The loss of Karen is, in some ways, the end of an era, and one not easily recaptured or recreated. Even toward the end of her life, she was tireless in promoting Liszt, including an ALS chapter Liszt Festival at IU that brought back a number of her esteemed students from across the country. Her students consistently held her in high regard, and she was always devoted to promoting their careers, and many of her students now hold piano positions of prominence at institutions of higher learning across the country.

    "I offer my heartfelt condolences to all, especially those of you who had the distinct privilege to study with her. Let us keep her memory alive by modeling her deep commitment to musical beauty as fellow artists and teachers."

    A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

    Requiescat in pace: Eugene Alcalay

    The following is a message from ALS President Jay Hershberger.

    "It is my sad duty to inform you of the untimely death of Dr. Eugene Alcalay, our dear Lisztian friend and colleague. Eugene died of natural causes.

    "Eugene was a rising star in The American Liszt Society. His musical artistry was deep and profound, and his commitment to the ideals of the Society was easily seen in his playing, his teaching, his interaction with friends and colleagues, and his tireless efforts with his fellow co-founder, Dmitry Rachmanov, on behalf of the Southern California chapter of the ALS. His love of music was surpassed only by his love for his family, spouse Elisabeth, and young daughter Julie. He also leaves behind an elderly mother in Israel. His facebook profile was always filled with wonderful pictures of his family. He was a proud and loving husband and father. Our hearts go out to Elisabeth and Julie with deep condolences."

    A funeral service for Eugene will take place on Monday, July 15th 2019 at 12:30 PM at the White's Funeral Home, 404 E Foothill Blvd, Azusa, CA. A memorial service for Eugene will take place on Tuesday, July 16 at 11:00 am. at the Grace Community Church, 13248 Roscoe Blvd., Sun Valley, CA. The latter event will be livestreamed at 11 a.m., PDT, Tuesday, July 16 from this link: Alcalay Memorial Service.

    The MasterWorks Festival has established a Eugene C. Alcalay memorial student scholarship fund. As of July 15, the website did not include information about the Alcalay scholarship, but keep checking that site as well as this ALS site for further information.

    Gila Goldstein Enjoys Great Success in NY Recital

    The following is a review by Donald Isler of Gila Goldstein's most recent recital.

    Though she has been the Founder-President of the New York/New Jersey chapter of The American Liszt Society since 1992, Gila Goldstein had never before been the featured artist at their regularly scheduled programs at the Yamaha showroom in New York. This was finally rectified by her recital there last night [June 25]. The Israeli-born pianist, who is Chair of the Piano Department at Boston University Music School, is always worth hearing because she's a wonderful pianist with a flair for creative programming.

    The second half of her program consisted of Schumann's Kreisleriana, a staple of the Romantic piano repertoire, and, indeed she played it with passion, and many original touches. Less common is to have as your first half one of the less often played Liszt works, followed by two contemporary works, and end with six of the preludes and fugues from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.

    Liszt's "Cloches de Genève" was gorgeous, like a reverie, with subtle shadings and a playful feeling, yet powerful at other times. Next came two very contrasting works of Tamar Muskal, the first of which, Dancing With Pele, was a world premiere. Much of it is gruff and strongly rhythmic, with some interesting syncopations, and themes played off against each other. It ends with a huge welter of sound. The second piece, entitled They Are Mine, is slower and pensive, with a two against three section which reminds one of the A-Flat "Nouvelle Étude" of Chopin. Later on it has a staccato section with quasi arpeggios which begin in the left hand and are completed in the right.

    Gila Goldstein is a terrific Bach player! She uses all the natural resources of the modern piano. Her fugues are a model of clarity, and her performances include a variety of textures and colors, lightness and humor, as well as gravitas. The D Minor Prelude was vigorous and strongly propelled, to be followed by the sensuously slithering Fugue. By contrast with those contrasts(!), the slow and thoughtful B-Flat Minor Prelude led, logically, into a yet more spiritual Fugue, which came to a deeply felt and satisfying conclusion on a B-Flat Major chord.

    Ms. Goldstein played one encore, an eloquent reading of the fourth movement, the "Intermezzo," from Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien. Donald Isler. 6.26.2019

    Chicago Chapter Presents "Piano Encounters" Recital June 1

    On Saturday, June 1, the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of The American Liszt Society presented a community concert in its "Piano Encounters" series, this year celebrating women composers. ALS members Jennifer Allor, Alexander Djordjevic, Karin Redekopp Edwards, Mark Edwards, Daniel Paul Horn, George Radosavljevic, Aaron Stampfl, and Alex Yuill performed. For more information, visit the Chicago/Midwest Chapter website.

    Dossin Performs in Poulenc II

    ALS Oregon Chapter President Alexandre Dossin performed an all-Poulenc sonata recital on Saturday, May 18, in Beall Hall on the University of Oregon Campus. Dossin was joined in sonatas for violin (with Fritz Gearhart), violoncello (with Steven Pologe), and two pianos (with David Riley, piano II). For more information, please go to All-Poulenc Sonata Recital.

    University of Hartford Chapter Hosts Recital April 6

    On Saturday afternoon, April 6, Luiz and Bridget de Moura Castro presented three pianists on behalf of the ALS University of Hartford Chapter in a concert held at the New Britain Museum of American Art. The full-house audience enthusiastically welcomed performers Justin Kolb, Margarita Nuller, and Corbin Beisner. Kolb opened with a group of impressionistic pieces, which included one American work to complement the museum's current exhibit of a substantial number of works by Georgia O'Keeffe, and concluded with Ravel's "Alborada del gracioso." Ms. Nuller performed the Prélude, Choral, and Fugue of César Franck. Beisner concluded the program with Chopin's Ballade No. 3, the "Sonetto del Petrarca No. 104" ("Pace non trovo"), and the work that many Lisztians affectionately call "The Dante": "Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata."

    Justin Kolb's Recital Series a Hit In Its Third Year

    "FROM THE BENCH: Concerts with Commentary," Justin Kolb's monthly winter recital series (January - March), was again a sellout. Presented in their mountain top home by Justin and Barbara Kolb, each recital follows a theme. This year's themes were:

        Liszt and the Barefoot Carmelite
        Chopin: Confounding, Beloved, Legendary
        Music of the African Diaspora.

    Following each of the performances, the capacity audience of 55 persons enjoyed a two-hour reception replete with delicious finger foods, fine wine and the surrounding Catskill Mountain panoramas.

    Mei Li Maintains a Busy Professional Schedule

    Dr. Mei Li, Board Member of the Kansas Chapter of the American Liszt Society, is internationally esteemed for her abilities as a pianist-researcher. The award-winning musician has traveled the world performing at some of the most important performing arts centers including Carnegie Hall in New York City, Hong Kong Culture Center, XingHai Concert Hall, and Royal Albert Hall in London. Among the awards Ms. Li has won are second prize at the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in London, the Distinguished Musician Award from the IBLA International Music Competition in Ragusa, Italy, and second prize at the Golden Classical Music Award International Competition in New York.

    In addition to her abilities as an internationally acclaimed performer, she has made significant contributions in her field through her published research aided by world-renowned musicologist Alan Walker on the late works of the composer Franz Liszt. Currently, Ms. Li serves as CEO of the Chicago International Music Competition, a world-class international music competition and institute, as well as co-founder of the International Institute of Piano Artistry. She has provided leagues of musicians with opportunities to perform and learn under some of the world's finest musicians.

    Ms. Li received her doctorate in piano performance and piano literature from the University of Kansas. More recently, her performing focus has centered on the elusive and rarely performed late works of Franz Liszt. The late piano pieces of Liszt are revelatory and prophetic, and a performer must intimately know the anguish and struggle in which these works were born. Mei has been on tour with a fascinating lecture recital of Liszt works. Her lectures shed light on the composer's final years and examine the revolutionary ideas behind his creations. Audiences and teacher groups have been fascinated to learn more about these pieces and have responded with enthusiasm to her interpretations. She will participate in a recording of Liszt's late piano works on the Life of Music record label in 2019.

    New York/New Jersey Chapter Presents Éva Polgár in Recital February 1

    Hungarian pianist Éva Polgár was the featured artist on a recital presented by the New York/New Jersey Chapter of The American Liszt Society. The concert took place on Friday, February 1, at Montclair State University, Cali School of Music, in Montclair, NJ. The program included works by Liszt, Bartók and Kodály.

    Alan Walker's Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times Now Available!

    Dr. Alan Walker, ALS Board of Directors member, world-renowned author, and the world's foremost Liszt scholar, is the author of the newly-released Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times. The result of ten years of research, this 768-page volume exhibits the compelling writing style of Walker's numerous books on Liszt, Chopin and Hans von Bülow, and periodical articles, etc. Also, the book contains "Liszt's Questionnaire Concerning His Life of Chopin", a "General Catalog of Chopin's Works," and an extensive "List of Sources." The book has already received numerous rave reviews, and is both a New York Times Book Review "Editors' Choice" and The Sunday Times (U.K.) "Classical Music Book of 2018." It is a "must read" for the serious scholar and performer of piano music in the romantic era, as well as for the avid listener of piano music in general. The book, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (New York, ISBN 978-0-374-15906-1), is available through quality bookstores and Amazon (for hard cover as well as the e-book version).

    Congratulations to Dr. Walker on this historic achievement!

    International Piano Competition Winners Perform for Chicago Chapter

    The American Liszt Society Chicago/Midwest Chapter celebrated Franz Liszt's 207th birthday by featuring International Liszt Competition winners Joseph Kingma, Chen-Shen Fan, and young rising star, Yerin Yang, performing piano works of Franz Liszt. This 8th annual event took take place on Saturday, October 27, at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, IL.

    Joseph Kingma has won awards in numerous international competitions, including First Prize in both The American Liszt Society's 2017 Franz Liszt International Piano Competition and the Monroe Symphony League's Marjorie Stricken Emerging Artists Competition. Pianist Chen-Shen Fan, Second Prize Winner of The American Liszt Society's 2017 Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, in addition to winning the Best Liszt Interpretation Award, also received the Outstanding Performance of Bach Award by the Metropolitan International Piano Competition. Pianist Yerin Yang was awarded First Prize, Best Performance of Solo Work Award, and the Young Jury Award at the 2018 Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. In March 2018, Yerin was named winner of the 2018 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. With this achievement, she will perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 2018/19 season.

    Oregon Chapter Presents Liszt Birthday Celebration
    October 22

    The Oregon Chapter of The American Liszt Society and the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance commemorated Franz Liszt's birthday on October 22nd, in Beall Hall on the UO campus. In this very interesting program, students from the piano and voice areas joined forces and offered a varied program of songs and transcriptions. The vocalists performed works by Schubert, Schumann, and Liszt, immediately followed by Liszt's transcriptions of those works for solo piano. This was a unique opportunity to experience Liszt's incredible gifts as a transcriber, while also enjoying the songs in their original setting.

    ALS Member Completes Thesis on Liszt Works

    Members may be interested in ALS member Andrew Snedden's recently completed thesis, "Vital Performance: Culture, Worldview, and Romanticist Performance Practice with Application in Franz Liszt's Consolations and Années de Pèlerinage: Premiére Année." As well as a written thesis, the research includes annotated scores and historically inspired performances on an 1867 Érard piano of the Liszt works. All are available on the Edith Cowan University website, Research Online.

    From the thesis abstract: "This thesis examines issues of historical performance in the piano music of Franz Liszt, positing cultural exegesis as an overlooked source of evidence. Philosophical biases underlying mainstream C20th performance approaches (and their inhibiting potential) are discussed. A detailed reconstruction of Romanticist style is made with attention to primary sources, including historical recordings. A nomenclature for score annotation and an analytical paradigm for identification and application of Romanticist performance characteristics are proposed. These are experimentally applied, referencing exegetical insights, in Liszt's Consolations and Années de Pèlerinage: Premiére Année through annotated scores and studio recordings on an 1860's Érard grand."

    2018 ALS Festival

    The 2018 Festival of The American Liszt Society took place October 11 - 13 at Furman University in Greenville, SC. The schedule, theme, etc., are discussed in detail on the 2018 Fesitval website.

    Péter Tóth Performs for NY/NJ Chapter on September 27

    The NY/NJ chapter hosted pianist Péter Tóth in a concert on Thursday, September 27. A native of Hungary now based in New Jersey, Péter Tóth won the first prize at the International Liszt competitions in Weimar (2000) and Budapest (2001). His program included works by Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, and Liszt. The concert took place at the Yamaha Piano Salon, 689 Fifth Avenue (3rd floor), in New York City.

    Madeleine Hsu Forte Presents Two Programs in Memory of Her Late Husband, Allen Forte, on September 9 and 16.

    Madeleine Hsu Forte presented two programs in memory of her late husband, Music Professor Allen Forte, at Yale University's Sudler Hall on Sundays, September 9 and September 16. The concerts included works from Bach to Kodály, and also featured world premieres by Lukasz Wos, Octavio Vasquez, János Kéry (Madeleine's Melting Pot), Gayle Murchison, and John Muniz (To Allen). On the occasion of the 80th birthday of Franco-American pianist Madeleine Forte, her former students traveled from Poland, Hungary, and various cities in the United States to perform solos, duos, and chamber music. Dr. Forte performed solos and chamber music with her groups, The Bel-Etre Ensemble and The Lillibridge Ensemble.

    Liszt's Opera Sardanapolo Premieres in Weimar August 19 - 20, 2018

    Under its Principal Conductor Kirill Karabits, the Staatskapelle Weimar gave the world premiere of a rediscovered Italian opera, Sardanapalo by Franz Liszt, which was left incomplete and has lain largely forgotten in a German archive for almost 100 years. For more information, please go to Sardanapolo premiere. Additional information is available on David Trippett's webpage, a New York Times article on Sardanapolo, an article in Classical-music.com, and David Trippett's article on page six of the most recent issue of The American Liszt Society Newsletter.

    Gila Goldstein Performs Recital at Montclair (NJ) State University on Saturday, June 23.

    NY/NJ Chapter President Gila Goldstein performed a recital at the Taubman Piano Festival at Montclair State University's John Cali School of Music on Saturday, June 23, 2018. The concert was co-hosted by the NY/NJ Chapter of The American Liszt Society. In addition to her activities on behalf of The American Liszt Society, Gila is Chair of the Piano at Boston University. Her recent program included works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and a World Premiere by Israeli composer, Boaz Ben-Moshe.

    New International Competition and Festival

    Steven Spooner wrote earlier about "an exciting new international competition and festival" that happened in Chicago, July 28 - August 4, 2018. "It was for ALL LEVELS and ALL AGES, but the prizes were fantastic: recording contract, cash, and a world-wide concert tour. It was held at Wheaton College, and we made it really affordable with special rates for people who are commuting. Following the three-day competition, we had a four-day festival with lessons, workshops, and daily student performances." For more information, please go Chicago International Music Competition and Festival.

    Chicago-Midwest Chapter Presents All-Chopin Recital

    The Chicago-Midwest Chapter of The American Liszt Society presented Piano Encounters: Chopin Favorites, on Saturday, May 12. The concert took take place at the Armerding Center for Music & the Arts in Wheaton, Illinois. This was the second installment of the Chapter's series, "Piano Encounters." For this event, Alexander Djordjevic, Membership Secretary of The American Liszt Society and Chapter President, was the featured soloist.

    Alexandre Dossin Performs in Chicago

    Alexandre Dossin, Vice President of The American Liszt Society, performed a recital in Chicago on Wednesday, May 2. The event was presented by the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of The American Liszt Society, and was hosted by the PianoForte Foundation. The recital took place at the Foundation's Studios at 1335 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Dossin's program included works by Chopin, Liszt, Villa-Lobos, and Gershwin.

    Ian Hobson Performs Complete Piano Works of
    Debussy and Ravel

    ALS Life Member Ian Hobson surveyed the complete solo piano music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel in a series of concerts entitled, Sound Impressions: The Piano Music of Debussy and Ravel, at SubCulture in New York City. The series concluded with concerts on April 4 and 18, 2018.

    The April 4 program included Ravel's À la manière de Borodine and À la manière de Chabrier; Debussy's Masques, D'un cahier d'esquisses, L'isle joyeuse, Danse ("Tarantelle styrienne"), Estampes. and Images, (Book 2); and Ravel's La valse.

    The April 18 program included Debussy's Pour le piano, Élégie, Pièce pour l'oeuvre du "vêtement du blesse"; Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin; and Debussy's Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon and Études.

    Madeleine Forte Performed Beethoven's "Archduke" Trio on February 25

    Madeleine Forte, pianist and ALS member, performed Beethoven's monumental "Archduke" Trio (Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97) in a concert of the Lillibridge Ensemble on Sunday, February 25, at the Cultural Arts Center in New Haven, CT. Madeleine was joined by Raphael Ryger, violin, and Karen Ryger, cello.

    New York/New Jersey Chapter's Most Recent Concerts

    Steven Spooner was the featured artist for a NY/NJ Chapter concert on May 17 in the Yamaha Piano Salon in New York City. He performed his "pick and choose" program, with works chosen by the audience members from a list provided by the artist. According to Ny/NJ Chapter President, Gila Goldstein, "He offered five programs:

        Four Schubert/Liszt song transcriptions and the Wagner/Liszt "Rienzi"
        Three Hungarian Rhapsodies
        Four Transcendental Études
        Liszt Sonata in B minor
        "Blind date"

    "New Yorkers voted for program 1 and program 5! The latter was surprising since it didn't include any music by Liszt: Two Scarlatti sonatas, Four Chopin Mazurkas, Debussy's "La Cathédrale Engloutie," and three of Steven's pyrotechnical Etudes/Improvisations.

    "Steven's performance of all selections combined poetry and drama (there was Erlkönig!). The playing was colorful and exciting. In the Debussy we heard some incredible soft shades. The Mazurkas were particularly ravishing. It was a very daring project to undertake, and I only wish we could have heard the remaining three programs!"

    Earlier this season, the Chapter's concert series included pianist Hong Xu, who played works by Mozart and Liszt on Feburary 26, and before that, the Chapter presented pianist Yameng Huang in her New York Recital Debut on Thursday, October 5, in a program that included Beethoven's Fantasy, Op. 77; Franz Liszt's "Les Jeux d'Eau á la Villa d'Este," from Années de Pèlerinage Book III; and Beethoven's monumental "Diabelli" Variations, Op. 120.

    In Memoriam: Richard Cross

    An active ALS member Dick Cross has passed away. He attended all of the Great Romantics festivals and many stateside festivals as well. A Life member of ALS he was especially close to ALS members Justin Kolb, Gila Goldstein, David Witten, Janice Weber, Madeline Hsu Forte, and Giulio Draghi. Each of these members performed at least once at Richard and Kathleen's home. He was published in JALS and was a scholar with a passionate pursuit of the life and times of Liszt's ward and protégé, Herman Cohen, also known as "Puzzi." His self-written obituary (slightly edited) is as follows:

    "Richard Earl Cross was born April 28, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. He was the only son of Judge Earl R. Cross and Felipa Moss McKey. His family has been in America since before the American Revolution, and several of his ancestors fought in that way and in the Civil War and the First World War. Richard was raised in the Presbyterian and Methodist traditions and was later attracted to the music and liturgy of the Catholic faith. He eventually became a Roman Catholic, but always with an ecumenical orientation. Attracted to church ministry, Richard undertook seminary studies in religion, the humanities, Latin, Greek, and sacred music. He took early piano lessons at the Peabody Music Conservatory. Richard later did advanced studies in philosophy and theology at the Catholic University of Louvain/Leuven, Belgium (established in 1425). He earned a graduate degree in Theology from Louvain and in Education from Manhattan College. Richard served in parish ministry and as a seminary professor for a decade. While teaching French he led teams of students to do volunteer work on the island of Martinique. He also studied piano, theory, and Gregorian chant at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music. He later worked as learning specialist in the New York public schools and as a Hospice volunteer for 15 years. Richard was devoted to church reform and participated in interfaith activities with the Muslim community of Westchester. He was honored in 2006 by the American Muslim Women's Association 'for his commitment to building bridges of understanding among our diverse communities.' Richard was also a published composer, essayist, and translator. As a member of The American Liszt Society, he researched and wrote about the 19th-century musical world of Franz Liszt. In 1969 Richard's marriage to his beloved wife Kathleen Marie Stanton was witnessed by a family friend, the future Archbishop of Washington, DC, James Cardinal Hickey. Richard and Kathleen spent their years together as a pastoral music team in their home parish of Transfiguration. Richard is survived by this precious wife Kathleen, their son Christopher Joseph and his wife Millie, and grandchildren David Earl and Isabel Marie Cross."

    In Memoriam: Anton Kasanof

    From Justin Kolb, we learned that "Our ALS member who attended two or three festivals, Anton Kasanof, passed away April 23 after a few years of neurological and physical debilitating Parkinsons Disease. Let's remember that he was the man who, as Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Moscow, hosted Vladimir Horowitz on his famous return to Russia. 'Tony' also finessed the emmigration of Vladimir Feltsman from Russia to the US. Tony was a good friend of Bridget & Luiz de Moura Castro, Jay Hershberger, Giulio Draghi, and Ádám György, and a dear close friend and local neighbor to Barbara and me. A sad day here in the Catskills. His condition was so extreme that we actually lost Tony 2 years ago." The members of The American Liszt Society extend their condolences to Anton's family and friends.

    In Memoriam: Reginald Gerig

    From an e-mail sent by Dr. Daniel Paul Horn, Treasurer of The American Liszt Society:
    Reginald Gerig passed away early Thursday morning, January 11, 2018, at Windsor Park Manor, a retirement community in Carol Stream, Illinois where he had been living for some time. Born at Fort Wayne, Indiana on April 20, 1919, Reg graduated from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in 1942, after which he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay while serving in the Navy during World War II. He studied at The Juilliard School with Sascha Gorodnitzki and Carl Friedberg, and taught briefly at Eastman's community music school before returning to Wheaton as professor of piano in 1953. While teaching at Wheaton, he also served as organist of the College Church in Wheaton; the grand pipe organ in the Church's sanctuary is named in his honor. He is remembered by pianists everywhere for his book, Famous Pianists and Their Technique, republished a few years ago by Indiana University Press. He was an enthusiastic member of The American Liszt Society, serving at one time as treasurer and membership secretary. The Society honored him for his service at the 2014 Festival at James Madison University, at which time a special video greeting from him was shown. He was the devoted husband of Irene, universally known as "Connie," who preceeded him in death; he also leaves behind a son, Reginald, Jr., formerly librarian for the United States Supreme Court, a daughter, Sarah, and one grandchild. He also leaves behind generations of grateful students, colleagues, fellow church members, and friends, who remember his gentleness and kindly spirit.

    In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Morrow

    From Alan Walker, we learned earlier this year that Robert ("Bob") Maxwell Morrow passed away February 5, 2018. "His funeral service was on Saturday afternoon, February 17, in Christ's Church Cathedral, Hamilton Ontario, the site of numerous concerts held during past Great Romantic Festivals. During his 20-year tenure as Mayor of Hamilton (the longest serving Mayor of that city), Bob proved to be a staunch supporter of the arts, and especially of music. He was a lifetime member of The American Liszt Society. Members of the ALS will recall the occasion during a Great Romantics Festival when some of them got parking tickets for leaving their cars outside the church where a piano gala was in full flow. At the festival banquet that night the mood was glum until Bob announced that if the tickets were collected and brought to his office on Monday morning, he would annul them and waive the fines. I still recall the round of cheers that the announcement caused."

    Benefit to Aid Victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

    ALS member Nancy Roldán organized a benefit concert to aid victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Entitled "Puerto Rico: After the Hurricane," the program took place on Sunday, January 21, 2018 in Hood College's Brodbeck Music Hall, 401 Rosemont Avenue, in Frederick, Maryland. Hood College hosted the event.

    Known as the "Island of Enchantment," Puerto Rico was exposed to the fury of Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017. It left the entire island devastated.

    The concert featured the following performing artists:

        Gustavo Ahualli, Baritone
        Faculty, Catholic University of America

        José Miguel Cueto, Violin
        Faculty, St. Mary's College of Maryland
        Concertmaster, Concert Artists of Baltimore

        David Lester, Double Bass
        Alumnus, Hood College

        Edward Polochick, Piano
        Faculty, Peabody Conservatory, The Johns Hopkins University
        Artistic Director, Concert Artists of Baltimore

        José Ramos-Santana, Piano
        Faculty, Catholic University of America

        Nancy Roldán, Piano
        Faculty (Ret.), Peabody Conservatory, The Johns Hopkins University
        Founder, Liszt-Garrison Festival & International Competition.

    "Legacy": Theme of 2017 Franz Liszt Festival &
    International Piano Competition

    "Legacy" was the theme of the 2017 Franz Liszt Festival & International Piano Competition, which took place October 12 - 15. Formerly known as the Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition, and founded by Dr. Nancy Roldán, the event has moved from the Baltimore/Washington Chapter environs to the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus OH. A detailed history of the event and a comprehensive website, including a detailed schedule, may be found at 2017 Liszt at Ohio State. Dr. Caroline Hong, ALS Ohio State Chapter President, is Director and Competition Chair of the event. The postal address is Dr. Caroline Hong, ALS Ohio President, Weigel 110, 1866 College Road, Columbus, OH 43210, and the e-mail address is alsohio2017@gmail.com.

    Abbey Simon Autobiography Now Available

    An autobiography by Abbey Simon (co-authored with ALS member Dr. Garnet Ungar), entitled Inner Voices, is available through amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions. There was a book launching and signing at Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon in NYC on October 20, 2017.

    Newest ALS Chapter Founded in Southern California

    Eugene Alcalay is President of the newest ALS chapter, which is located in southern California. Dmitry Rachmanov serves as Treasurer. The Chapter had its Inaugural Concert at the Azusa Pacific University School of Music, with both Drs. Alcalay and Rachmanov as soloists in September 2016. This was followed in November by a recital presented by ALS member and South Florida Chapter President José López, who served on the jury at the 2016 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, also held at Azusa. The Chapter, in partnership with the LA Liszt Competition and APU, also hosted two more events for Liszt Competition winners in March 2017: a Winners Recital and a Winners Master Class (presented by Alcalay), both at the School of Music.
    Congratulations and best wishes to our newest Chapter!

    The Newsletter Page of this website is only partially available. Issues marked *** indicate that the publication with that number is unavailable at the present time. We hope to reprint those missing issues by June 1, 2020. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    The deadline for the next issue of the Newsletter of
    The American Liszt Society (Winter/Spring, 2020,
    Volume 35, Number 2) is May 15, 2020. Earlier submissions are strongly encouraged!!!