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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

Chicago Chapter Announces Recital for June 1

On Saturday, June 1st at 7:30 pm at Armerding Recital Hall at Wheaton College, the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of The American Liszt Society will present a free 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 will be performing. 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 in the near future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

The current issue of the Newsletter (Volume 34, Number 2, Winter/Spring 2019) is now available on the Newsletters page. The hard copy version will be mailed May 30, 2019.

The deadline for the next issue of the Newsletter of
The American Liszt Society (Summer/Fall, 2019,
Volume 35, Number 1) is November 15, 2019.