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Welcome

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

2023 American Liszt Society Festival in South Florida at
Palm Beach Atlantic University, May 18 - 21

Co-hosts José López (South Florida Chapter of the ALS, Florida International University) and Joseph Kingma (Palm Beach Atlantic University) are pleased to announce the next festival of The American Liszt Society. The theme of the Festival is "Liszt and Schubert," commemorating the 200th anniversary of the creation/publication of the "Wanderer" Fantasy, D. 760 (1822-23) and its influence on Liszt's compositional development, especially the use of thematic/rhythmic transformation as a unifying force. Equally central to the Festival is the exploration of Schubert's songs in piano transcriptions and the influence of Schubert's Czech contemporaries on the development of the quintessential short piano piece during the Romantic era.

Highlights will include:

  • Lecture/presentations by Jay Rosenblatt ("Wanderer" Fantasy); Mark DeZwaan (Liszt's editions
       of Schubert's piano works); Ben and Elizabeth Arnold (Goethe settings by Schubert and Liszt);    and Alan Walker (Liszt and the Schubert song transcriptions)

  • Works for 4-hands by Schubert, Czerny, Dvořák, and Smetana

  • A session on 19th - 20th century Czech composers

  • World Premiere of a piano work composed for the Festival by FIU's Orlando Jacinto
       García, co-commissioned by the South Florida Chapter and James Madison University's Chapter

  • Presentations of Schubert lieder and Liszt transcriptions

  • The complete Die Schöne Müllerin cycle

  • A session of songs by Afro-Cuban composer José Manuel "Lico" Jiménez (1852-1917) and        Peter Gast (1854-1918), Nietzsche's favorite composer

  • The complete Soirées de Vienne and Années de Pèlerinage Book I ("Suisse")


  • For a complete schedule as of January 18, 2023, please go to 2023 ALS Festival Schedule.

    For more information concerning fees and other details, please go to 2023 ALS Festival. Please contact Joseph Kingma for information related to registration, accommodation, travel, and José López José López for program information. We look forward to seeing you in May!


    The American Liszt Society Announces the Fifth
    Alan Walker Book Award (2023)

    The American Liszt Society is proud to announce the fifth Alan Walker Book Award. Offered triennially, the award 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.

    Submissions must be books published after January 1, 2020, or book manuscripts accepted for publication with contracts signed before June 1, 2023. Submissions must be received by June 1, 2023.

    The Jury will consist of a panel of members of The American Liszt Society and will be identified upon the announcement of the winner. Announcement of the winning book will be made September 1, 2023

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

    Richard Zimdars        
    2023 Alan Walker Book Award        
    181 Clyde Road        
    Athens, GA 30605        
    rzimdars@uga.edu        


    Chicago International Music Competition and Festival Announces 2023 Schedule

    ALS Board Members Steven Spooner and Mei Li proudly announce the 2023 iteration of the Chicago International Music Competition and Festival! Competition Dates are July 16 - 19, 2023, and Festival Dates are July 20 - 24, 2023.

    CIMC returns to an in-person competition and festival at Wheaton College in the northwest Chicago area this summer. The faculty includes some of the biggest names in the piano world, including Veda Kaplinsky, Sasha Korsantia, Boris Slusky, Hung-Kuan Chen, Hieyon Choi, Steven Spooner, Alan Chow, and many others. Application deadline for the competition is April 20, 2023.

    Further information is available at Chicago International Music Competition and Festival.


    New York/New Jersey 30th Anniversary Series

    The 30th anniversary celebration of the NY/NJ Chapter's founding continued with a recital on Thursday, January 12, 2023, with Young Artists Concert: Winners of International Liszt Competitions. The concert featured pianists Ji-Hyang Gwak, Priscila Navarro, Sébastien Pellet, and Derek Wang. The concert included works by Debussy, Liszt, Polo-Campos, and Schumann. For more information about the New York/New Jersey Chapter, please contact Gila Goldstein, President.



    Pianist Éva Polgár Performs at Carnegie Hall December 15!

    Pianist Éva Polgár, ALS board member, Co-Director of the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, and the Hungary Foundation's Cultural Ambassador of the Year, presented a solo recital on Thursday, December 15, 2022, in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. It was her Carnegie Hall debut.

    Éva bonded the musical heritage of the United States and Hungary with her program, "Evocation". Celebrating the 140th anniversary of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály's birth, the career of 19th-century pianist Franz Liszt, László Dubrovay's Hommage à Fellini (NY Premiere) and Arsentiy Kharitonov's Concert Étude, Op. 44, No. 5 (NY Premiere), "Evocation" shared the essence of Hungarian virtue and American contemporary spirit. Éva's program also included selections from Liszt's Années de pèlerinage, Books I and III; selections from Kodály's Seven Pieces, Op. 11, and his Dances of Marosszék; and Liszt's Légende No. 2: St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots.

    For more information please go to Éva Polgár recital reviewa by George Grella.

    Newest Edition of JALS Now Available!

    The newest edition of the Journal of The American Liszt Society (JALS), Vol 72 (2021), was mailed to members on or about August 1, 2022. Congratulations to Editor Jonathan Kregor for his wonderdul work as editor since 2012. This will be Jonathan's last issue as editor. Claims for missing issues must be received within 90 days of the mailing date. Please send such claims as well as requests for back issues to Renata Yuill, Membership Secretary, The American Liszt Society, lisztmembership@gmail.com.

    In Memoriam: Joseph Banowetz

    "Joseph Banowetz, 87, of Frisco, TX, a Grammy-nominated pianist and keyboard studies faculty member at the University of North Texas, whose music was celebrated around the world, died July 3. Banowetz, who retired in May after teaching at UNT for 49 years, performed in more than 35 countries and appeared on 40 commercial recordings - winning the title of "a giant among keyboard artists of our time" from Fanfare Record Review. He earned Grammy nominations in 2007 for Best Chamber Music Performance with Balakirev: 30 Songs of the Russian People and in 2010 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Kletzki: Piano Concerto in D minor, Opus 22. He also received the Pan American Prize from the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., the 1987 West German Music Critics Award, and the 1992 Budapest Hungarian Liszt Society Liszt Medal. In 1984, he became the first foreign artist to be invited by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to record and give world premiere performances of a contemporary Chinese concerto - Piano Concerto, Opus 25b, by An-lun Huang. His illustrious career began when he studied in New York City with Carl Friedberg, a pupil of Clara Schumann. György Sándor, a student of Béla Bartók, was among his teachers at the Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien in Vienna, Austria, from which he graduated, and at Southern Methodist University, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He also earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His work extended beyond performance. He was an expert on the music of the Russian Romantic composer Anton Rubinstein, and he wrote numerous books that were used as standard reference guides for students. His Pianist's Guide to Pedaling won the Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award in 1985. He is survived by his husband, Alton Chan."
    ©2022, North Texan/University of North Texas. Used by permission.

    The Board of Directors of The American Liszt Society express its condolences to the family, students, and friends of Joseph Banowetz, who was a long-time member of the Board.

    New Translation of Franz Liszt's Essay Collection Dramaturgische Blätter Now Available

    There is a new translation of Franz Liszt's essay collection Dramaturgische Blätter by Allan R. Keiler and Traute M. Marshall (165 pp plus musical examples). The 13 essays deal with operas (or dramas with incidental music) from Gluck to Wagner, including French and Italian works that Liszt performed in his role as conductor of the Weimar Hoftheater during the 1854 season. While he dictated the essays in French, they underwent further revision and were then translated into German by some of his students and appeared in the local newspapers to accompany the performances. Organized into a coherent and expanded sequence and further revised, Liszt had them published in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. (The original French mss. do not survive.) This translation is based on the Critical Edition of Dramaturgische Blätter published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig 1989. A selection from this book is included in the newest edition of the Journal of The American Liszt Society (JALS), Vol. 72 (2021), which was mailed at the beginning of August, 2022.

    As a critical and incisive observer of the European opera scene of his time and an ardent advocate for Wagner and Berlioz, Liszt reflects on musical history as it happens. He also develops his thoughts on the history of opera from Hasse to Wagner, with an emphasis on the relation of libretto and music. He comments on 40 composers, many works of literature, the education of singers, and the practical aspects of running an opera house. Liszt scholars, opera historians, and opera lovers would find this collection of value. The text is available, free of charge, at the Internet Archive, by going to Dramaturgische Blätter.

    2022 ALS Festival

    The 2022 ALS Festival is now completed. You may find information about the event at 2022 Liszt Festival website.


    NY/NJ Chapter Presents 30th Anniversary Concert
    with Eduardus Halim, pianist, on Thursday, September 22, 2022


    The New York/New Jersey Chapter of The American Liszt Society celebrated its 30th anniversary with a concert featuring pianist Eduardus Halim on Thursday, September 22. The event took place in the Yamaha Piano Salon in New York City. The program included the Wagner-Liszt "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde and Liszt's Twelve Transcendental Etudes, S. 139. You can read an extensive biography of Mr. Halim at Eduardus Halim.


    Éva Polgár, László Borbély, and jazz pianist Gábor Varga
    Present Recitals in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC

    Éva Polgár, Co-Director of the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, pianist László Borbély, and jazz pianist Gábor Varga presented recitals on November 22 in Los Angeles at Zipper Hall; November 27 in New York at Carnegie Hall, and November 29 in Washington DC, at the Kennedy Center.

    Their program was entitled, "Carpathian Impressions," and featured a blend of classical and jazz piano music based on the Carpathian Valley's thousand-year-old musical heritage. The program introduced the diverse, heartbreaking, peaceful, and virtuosic nature of this ancient cultural treasure. On the wings of familiar melodies by Liszt, Bartók, and Kodály, plus improvisations inspired by the traditions of Central Europe, Hungarian classical pianists Éva Polgár and László Borbély and jazz pianist Gábor Varga took their audiences on a sensational journey!

    Los Angeles International Liszt Competition held
    November 19 - 20, 2022!

    The 17th biennial Los Angeles International Liszt Competition has now been completed. A list of winners will appear on this website approximately December 15, 2022. For more information, please see LAILC 2022.

    Elyse Mach's Interview of Liszt's Great-Grandaughter

    Those of you who read the most recent issue of The American Liszt Society Newsletter, which was mailed out the week of July 18, may remember reference to Elyse Mach's interview with Liszt's great-grandaughter, Madame Blandine Ollivier de Prévaux. A copy of this interview is available here: Elyse Mach interview with Madame Blandine Ollivier de Prévaux. This article originally appeared in Clavier, September 1971, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of James Rohner, then-publisher of Clavier.

    Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition Announces Winners

    Drs. Caroline Hong and Ryan Behan, co-directors of the Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition (FLIPFAC), are pleased to announce the names of the Laureates of the 2021 Virtual Edition of the FLIPFAC competition! Each winner will receive a free membership in The American Liszt Society for the 2022 calendar year.

    The FLIPFAC Directors' Team, in consultation with the 2021 FLIPFAC Jury, were unable to award a first prize this year, but the Team added two prizes for the Ohio Call Composition.

        1st prize    No First Prize Awarded
        2nd prize   Ji Hyang Gwak ($1500)

    A prizewinner of numerous competitions, pianist Ji-Hyang Gwak has garnered international praise for her versatility, energy, and technical mastery. Her most recent achievement was in the 2021 Lyon International Music Competition in France, where she won third prize and received concert engagement from the Association Frédéric Chopin à Lyon. Gwak was the frst prize winner of the Sicily International Piano Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, MFMC Rosamond P. Haeberle Memorial Piano Award, High Point University International Piano Competition, Michigan MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition, and Eastman Concerto Competition. She was also a semi-finalist at the Concours musical international de Montréal, and the Ricardo Viñes International Piano Competition. Gwak holds a BM in piano performance from Seoul National University and an MM in piano performance and literature from The Eastman School of Music. She is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance under the tutelage of Professor Christopher Harding. (jihyanggwak.com)

        3rd prize   PengCheng He ($750)

    PengCheng He has been hailed by Vladimir Krainev as an "extremely talented young pianist with unbelievable technique." During the Ravinia Music Festival, Menahem Pressler remarked, after hearing Pengcheng's Beethoven Op. 106 and "Archduke" Trio, that "...not only the "Hammerklavier," but everything he touched is beautiful." PengCheng He has appeared as both soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. He was the first prize winner of the 9th Taipei International Chopin Competition, and a participant in the 16th edition of the Warsaw Chopin International Competition, where he advanced to the second round. He also won the first prize of American Protege. He holds a BM degree from The Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Marc Silverman and Solomon Mikosvsky, on with full scholarship, and was awarded the Helen-Cohn Award there for his outstanding work in chamber music. In 2015, he was admitted by Leon Fleisher with a full scholarship to the The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. In 2016, he was invited to play at the Ravinia music festival and performed a solo concert at the Chicago Cultural Center, which was broadcast by WFMT in Chicago. In 2017, he played the complete Beethoven 32 Piano Sonatas in a marathon recital at The Peabody Institute as one of five students of Leon Fleisher. Currently, PengCheng is pursuing his DMA degree at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he is a full scholarship awardee. He is under the guidance of James Tocco and Dror Biran. He will play all Beethoven 32 sonatas at CCM during the 2021-2022 season.

    Best Liszt Interpretation Award
                      PengCheng He ($500) Ballade No. 2

    Best Interpretation of the Winning Ohio Call Composition (Dolores White: "Sound Echoes")
        1st prize    Sonny Yoo ($500)
        2nd prize   PengCheng He ($250)
        3rd prize   Sunghwan Kim ($125.00)

    A day-by-day schedule of events in the October 2 - 3 Festival is available at FLIPFAC Program. A nice poster announcing the event may be found at flipfac. The FLIPFAC website is FLIPFAC.

    The next Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition will take place in 2023.



    Newsletter Vol. 38 No. 1 (Summer/Fall 2022) will be mailed shortly after January 22, 2023. Included will be interviews with ALS board members Gabriel Dobner, Éva Polgár, and Richard Zimdars, plus an interview with Dr. Marialena Fernandes, retired Professor of Piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Information about the upcoming festival in Florida, changes in administrative personnel, and the winners of the most recent Los Angeles International Liszt Competition will join Member News, Chapter News, and other regular features of the newsletter. Your contributions to the newsletters, such as your professional activities, students' achievements, interviews, etc., are most welcome and encouraged! Please send information as an email or editable pdf to e.rath@comcast.net. Photos should be high res b/w or color. Thank you.