Stewart Gordon Dissertation On Cecile Genhart




Terry McRoberts



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John T. O'Brien









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Aiko Onishi




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Mary Pendleton





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Janice Larson Razaq



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Richard Reber





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Neil Rutman



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Ann Sears






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Stephen Siek





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Dan Franklin Smith



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Elizabeth Vandevander









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Paul Weeren




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John Williams







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Gary Wolf





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Matthay Festival 2015
Eastman School of Music

Recitalists and Presenters



Richard Becker

is head of piano studies at the University of Richmond. He is active as a recitalist, composer, chamber musician, and poet, and his playing has been acclaimed in Europe and America. Performing on many college campuses over the years, and frequently touring the eastern United States, he has also performed at venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the National Gallery of Art, the French Embassy, the Library of Congress, and at the Hudson River, Kemper, Virginia, and Spencer Museums. In Paris he has performed at the Salle Cortot and Salle Michelet in Paris where he has six times been artist-in-residence at Cité Internationale des Arts. Richard Becker’s music has been commissioned by Meet the Composer Grants, by grants from CRS Records, by the Peabody Trio in conjunction with the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and he has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and nominee for an American Academy of Arts and Letters award. His performances and his music have been heard on NPR, Voice of America, WNYC, WETA, WGMS, and WCVE, and at the American Music Festival of the National Gallery of Art. They have also been featured at CMS and MTNA conferences and during residencies at Marshall, James Madison, Eastern Mennonite Universities,the Longy School of Music and the Peabody and New England Conservatories and at the Eastman School of Music. He coached chamber music alongside the late Blanche Moyse and he performed and coached chamber music with members of the Shanghai Quartet during their the decade of an artist-residency at University of Richmond Richard Becker’s playing has been cited for its “powerful interpretations” by the Washington Post, for being “admirable in taste and technique” by the New York Times, and for being “brilliant and with seamless passagework and elegant phrasing” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. His playing is grounded in the tradition of Arthur Schnabel acquired during his study with the late Leonard Shure while at Boston University (M. Mus.). His teaching owes much to the relaxation methods of Tobias Matthay, learned from Cécile Staub Genhart during his years at the Eastman School of Music (B.Mus. and Performers Certificate). He taught at the University of Texas and Boston University prior to joining the music faculty of the University of Richmond in 1975. In recent years, Richard Becker’s poetry has been published by America, Columbia Magazine, Visions-International, Cold Mountain and Poetica Magazine: Contemporary Jewish Writing and Art, and his poetic sequence, “FATES,” was a 2008 chapbook of The Literary Review. His compositions have been recorded by CRS and his performances are available on Albany Records.

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Gregor Benko

is an internationally recognized piano scholar, who has done much to expand our modern understanding of historic pianism, and especially of the nineteenth century. In 1965, he co-founded the International Piano Archives in Cleveland, and its headquarters were soon moved to New York, where it developed a substantial archive of early recordings, many of which were reissued in modern format. He donated the organization’s holdings to the University of Maryland in 1977. He is credited with discovering and publishing all known recordings of Josef Hofmann, and reintroducing pianist Ervin Nyiregyházi to modern audiences. For a number of years, he has been preparing a comprehensive, scholarly biography of Hofmann, and most recently, with Edward Blickstein, he co-authored an extensive, scholarly study of Vladimir de Pachmann, Chopin’s Prophet (Scarecrow, 2013), which has been very well received.







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Bob Berkman

is a native of Cleveland, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre at Case Western Reserve University, where he also studied piano with Jeanette Cherubini and composition with Bernard Frum. He has been associated with the player piano for most of his life. In 1975, he was hired by QRS in Buffalo, the world’s last piano roll manufacturer, where for over 30 years he produced innumerable reissues of historic roll recordings and maintained a constant flow of new recordings. His credits include rolls commissioned for the films Ragtime, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and Reds, the last in cooperation with composer Stephen Sondheim; appearances on NPR, the BBC, and CBS Sunday Morning; and the world Pianola premiere of Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf and Satie's Parade. During a two-year hiatus from QRS in the mid-1980s, Bob served on the staff of IMG Artists in Manhattan, a firm which manages the careers of top-rank classical musicians. Among his charges were violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell. Back in Buffalo, Bob spearheaded the creation of a musical library for the emerging technology of digital player pianos, recording new artists as well as converting archival roll recordings to contemporary media. This work continues to engage him. All the while he has steadily earned an international reputation as a master Pianolist, revealing to delighted listeners the expressive capabilities of the Pianola and showcasing its remarkably varied repertoire. He is increasingly in demand as a speaker and performer in lively programs ranging from the Classics to Ragtime to Rock ‘n’ Roll to the avant-garde. Elated audiences regularly attest to the contagion of his passion. Bob also appears as one half of Duo Shiddach, a unique pianola/Theremin-cello partnership with cellist Jonathan Golove. In addition to developing text and exhibits for the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, he was engaged to demonstrate the Pianola for the museum’s video archive as well as for both the Society of American Musicologists and the American Musical Instrument Society. His particular interest in the neglected area of ethnic rolls prompted him to establish the largest institutionally held collection of such rolls at the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, where he has taught and performed as a Visiting Scholar. He recently produced recordings of several mythically rare Arabic rolls for the documentary film Cedars In The Pines by Akram Khater, tracing Lebanese immigration in North Carolina, and participated in an international recording project for Dr. Darius Kucinskas of the University of Kaunas to preserve Lithuanian rolls. Klezmerola, Bob’s CD of rare Jewish rolls from his unique collection, has become something of an underground hit in klezmer circles. Bob also hosts a daily classical music program on WNED, the NPR station which serves Buffalo and Toronto. Bob Berkman's website is www.pianolaenterprises.com




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Stewart Gordon

has had a distinguished career as a pianist, teacher, writer, editor, composer, and impresario. He currently holds the position of Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California in Los Angles. As a performing pianist, he has played concerts throughout the world and recorded extensively (including the complete Preludes of Rachmaninoff), both to critical acclaim. As a teacher and author he has produced textbooks, essays, videotapes, and editions. As a composer, his musical theater works have been produced from coast to coast, and as an impresario, he has directed music festivals and competitions over the past decades in New York, Washington, and Savannah. Born to the distinguished poet and novelist Guanetta Gordon and a career military officer Lynell Frank Gordon, Stewart Gordon grew up in many parts of the world, locations where his father served in the United States Army. Thus he was able to receive music instruction from a number of different teachers, some of them very famous: Olga Samaroff, Walter Gieseking, Cécile Genhart, and Adele Marcus. After serving as a junior officer in the United States Navy for three years, he began his academic career at Wilmington College in Ohio. He then taught for more than two decades at the University of Maryland in College Park, where for six years he was chair of the Department of Music. It was at the University of Maryland that he created the international piano competition now known as the William Kapell and acted as its director for thirteen years. He then served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Queens College of the City University of New York. For Queens College he created and directed the New York area-wide Cultural Heritage Competitions, as well as the Great Gospel Competitions. Since 1988 he has served at his present academic post at the University of Southern California. At the same time he began to work with the Savannah, Georgia, community to create an annual music festival and competition. The Savannah Onstage Music Festival and the American Traditions Competition resulted, and he continued to act as artistic director for both events until 2002. Since 1979 Stewart has shared his home with Jonathan Christopher Reynolds III. They make their Southern California Home in Rancho Palos Verdes on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Stewart Gordon's web site is http://stewartgordon.com.



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Donald Hageman

has taught privately and performed in the Dayton, Ohio, area for more than fifty years. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Dayton, and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. His piano studies were with Ada Clyde Gallagher, Beryl Rubinstein, Frances Bolton Kortheuer, and Madeline Bostian Rider, a pupil of Tobias Matthay. He served as a member of the piano faculty at Wright State University from 1976-83, and for seventeen years was Director of Concerts for the Dayton Art Institute. For 40 years, he was also the Founder/Director of the Soirées Musicales International Piano Series, which which presented major artists from all over the world.. He is a past President and presently, Archivist, of the American Matthay Association, and since 1963, has appeared every year but one as a recitalist and/or lecturer at the annual Matthay Festivals held throughout the United States and in Canada. In 2004 he was awarded the organization's First Annual Distinguished Service Award. In 1999 he appeared as soloist with Dayton's Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra in performances of the Tchaikovsky G Major Concerto, and subsequently in performances of the Mozart Concerto, K. 467, and Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante. He also performed the Dohnanyi Variations on a Nursery Theme and Liszt's Totentanz, playing a 1913 Erard Concert Grand which he has restored.






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Marie Hasse

holds a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Central Florida, where she studied with Gary Wolf. She is Head of Keyboard Studies at Polk Community College and she also teaches privately in the Winter Haven Area. She is currently the President of the Bach Festival of Central Florida, a past president of the Florida State Music Teachers Association, and she frequently adjudicates for FSMTA student events. As Southeastern Regional Junior Festivals Chairman, she is also active in the student events of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs. Ms. Hasse is presently serving as Secretary for the American Matthay Association for the second time and has frequently lectured at the AMA's annual festivals. She performs in chamber music recitals in the area and lectures on piano pedagogy. In recent years, she has worked extensively to publicize the contributions of Helen Parker Ford, a Matthay pupil who specialized in teaching his principles to younger children. Ms. Hasse is also the organist for First Presbyterian Church in Haines City.









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Terry McRoberts

is the current Past-President of the American Matthay Association for Piano. A former editor of the Matthay News, McRoberts wrote an article about Matthay for Clavíer Companion, and gave a presentation on Matthay principles for the national conference of Music Teachers National Association. He has served Tennessee Music Teachers Association as president and editor of Tennessee Music Teacher, contributed reviews of new music for Piano Guild Notes, and currently is president of the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society. He is University Professor of Music at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, where he teaches private piano and related courses, and is coordinator of keyboard studies and of concerts and recitals. A former governor of Province 15 for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, he is faculty advisor to the Iota Sigma Chapter. He performs frequently as a soloist and a collaborative musician and with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. He has made numerous presentations for the American Matthay Association for Piano, the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society, and various music teacher groups, as well as in China, Japan, Brazil, and Haiti. A church organist for over twenty-five years, he currently plays at First United Methodist Church in Jackson, Tennessee.



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Donald Manildi



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Arjola Miruku





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Aiko Onishi

was born in Tokyo and began her piano studies with her mother, Teiko, an accomplished pianist and a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. After winning a Japanese national competition, she was invited to study at the Eastman School of Music with Cécile Staub Genhart, with whom she credits her foundation as a pianist. After earning her B.M. with Distinction, Performer's Certificate, and Artist's Diploma, she continued to study with Frank Mannheimer, with whom she worked extensively over the next sixteen years. During the winter of 1964-65, she had the privilege of studying with Dame Myra Hess in London. Miss Onishi has concertized and given lectures in over 60 cities in the United States and she has played in all of the major cities in Japan. For six years she was a professor at the Toho School of Music in Japan and for twenty-one years she served on the faculty of San Jose State University in California. During those years she produced many outstanding students, some of whom have won prizes at international competitions including the Leeds, Busoni, Casadesus, Kapell, Chopin, Munich, University of Maryland and the Washington International Bach Competition. She is the author of Pianism, a highly acclaimed pedagogical work, which is available here.



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Mary Pendleton-Hoffer

is the current President of the American Matthay Association for Piano. She has performed as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral keyboardist, and accompanist in the United States, Mexico, and England. She made her London solo debut at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in 1984, and she has appeared as a soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, and the Amarillo and Lubbock Symphonies. For many years she served as Keyboardist for the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and Principal Keyboardist for the Sun Cities Symphony. She has also served as Keyboardist for The Florida Orchestra in Tampa. She is a member of many chamber ensembles, including the Bel Canto Players, and frequently performs with singers. Her summer festival appearances include the Sedona Chamber Music Festival, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and the Park City International Chamber Music Festival. She began to play the piano before she was three years old, studying with her father, Samuel Pendleton, a student of Tobias Matthay. At the age of five, she was the youngest performer ever to participate in the Berkeley (California) Bach Festival, and she later was a prize winner in the Chicago Young Artists Competition. She graduated as Salutatorian from Interlochen Arts Academy, and completed Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at Texas Tech University. She studied in England with Denise Lassimonne, Martino Tirimo and Gwenneth Pryor, completing graduate diplomas at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. She has taught at Texas Tech University, Arizona State University, and in the Maricopa County (AZ) Community Colleges. She is married to Warren Hoffer, a retired professor of voice at ASU, with whom she often performs.




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Brian Preston

has been a community music education leader through his private piano studio for the past 45 years. He began teaching at age 14 having won first prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs’ pre-college piano competition of Maryland. Soon after, Preston made his concerto debut with the Baltimore Symphony. Moving to Rochester to attend the Eastman School of Music, Brian Preston first made his mark on the teaching scene while still a student himself. The Rochester Philharmonic League’s first prize in piano was awarded one of Preston’s high school students who was then invited to perform the Schumann Concerto with the Philharmonic. In 1981 Brian Preston became the first pianist since 1968 to be awarded the Artist Diploma from the Eastman School of Music where he received his Bachelor's and Master's of Music degrees under the tutelage of Cécile Genhart. While pursuing these degrees, he performed both Brahms Concerti with the Eastman Philharmonia in the Eastman Theatre. Brian Preston has performed solo concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, in the Virgin Islands, and in many of Europe's leading music centers. In 1981 he made his New York City debut at Lincoln Center with glowing reviews. A most dedicated teacher, Preston's pre-college private students have won the first prizes of competitions from international to local. Mr. Preston has balanced his private teaching with collegiate piano instruction first at Allegheny College and later Nazareth College where he has been on faculty since 1991. Brian Preston has had the privilege to work with some of the 20th century’s finest piano pedagogues. In his formative years he studied with the Peabody Conservatory’s famed director and music author Otto Ortmann, and his daughter Dorothea. His eight years of collegiate work were spent with legendary pedagogue Cécile Genhart who was so influential in shaping his teaching style and pianistic philosophy in which there is a never ending search for beauty in music-making. Mr. Preston also worked with Peabody artist faculty Konrad Wolff and Walter Hautzig during his later high school years. Along with his teaching and performing career, Brian Preston serves as the Artistic Director of the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition in Cape Vincent, New York. He is presently serving as New York State president of the National Federation of Music Clubs and has served as chair in numerous capacities for the Greater Rochester MTNA and for the Rochester Piano Teachers Guild.


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Janice Larson Razaq

is the current Vice-President of the American Matthay Association. She holds a doctorate from Texas Tech University and additional degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Illinois. Her Matthay-trained teachers include Frank Mannheimer and Cécile Genhart. A Fulbright scholar in England, she performed at Wigmore Hall in London, where she received excellent reviews. She was an award winner in the Maria Canals International Competition in Barcelona. Dr. Razaq is heard on WFMT and Minnesota Public Radio and plays concertos with regional orchestras. Solo performances range across the country. Her recent performances/presentations in the summer of 2013 included an appearance at the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Razaq is active in the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, where she has been Certification Chair, and is currently State President. She is Director of Keyboard Studies at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine where she teaches applied piano, non-credit piano, class piano and piano ensemble. She often presents lecture recitals on various topics for area music teachers groups and is in demand for judging auditions and competitions.




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Richard Reber









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Neil Rutman

has been praised by the Washington Post for a performance that "met the highest standards," and for "spotless articulation" that "gave the whole program unusual polish and virtuoso marks." The New York Times stated that "he won the audience over for himself with exquisite performances—both commanding and full of character." Neil Rutman has performed in over thirty countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He has appeared in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Tokyo's Bunka Kaikan, and the Schola Cantorum in Paris, with recent concert tours in the last five years of the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, Japan, and the Persian Gulf. Mr. Rutman has distinguished himself as a top prize winner in several international competitions including the Busoni, Kapell, Casadesus, Joanna Hodges, Concert Artist Guild, a first prize for his performance of the Goldberg Variations at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition, and recently, first prizes in two categories at the French Piano Institute International Competition in Paris. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and for Artistic Excellence from the Astral Foundation of Philadelphia. The latter allowed him to commission a new piano concerto by composer Albert Glinsky, which he premiered under the baton of conductor Eiji Oue. Among his recordings are two Mozart Piano Concerti with the Academy of London Orchestra, an all Poulenc CD with Emmy-Award winning actor Tony Randall providing the narration in The Story of Babar the Little Elephant, and his all-Chopin release on the Pro Musica label. Mr. Rutman has recently authored articles for the Piano Quarterly, The Piano Teacher, an interview with Aiko Onishi in Clavier, and is a contributing author to the book The Pianist's Craft. He is currently in the process of authoring a book compiling hundreds of interpretative anecdotes and imageries on specific pieces from the piano repertoire. A native of San Francisco, Mr. Rutman had his formative training under the musical guidance of Aiko Onishi. He later graduated from the Eastman School of Music and Peabody Conservatory, where he worked with Cécile Genhart, Ellen Mack, and Leon Fleisher. Mr. Rutman is Artist-in-Residence at the University of Central Arkansas. As a young man, under the tutelage of Onishi, he became acquainted with the pianistic techniques of the English pedagogue Tobias Matthay, whose ideas he continues to share and emphasize with his own students and in Master Classes. Since 2008 his students have won top prizes in numerous competitions including the East-West Artist Auditions in New York City, the Clara Wells International Competition, and the MTNA. A fine amateur boxer by avocation, Neil Rutman is the coach for the University of Central Arkansas Boxing Team. He is also a volunteer Probation Officer and mentor for juvenile offenders in Faulkner County. In 2012 Mr. Rutman was one of 30 Americans to be awarded the Martin Luther King -President Barack Obama Service Award for his work with troubled youth in his county. .



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Ann Sears

is a former President of the American Matthay Association. She also serves as Professor of Music and Director of Performance at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she teaches piano and courses in European and American music, including African-American music and American musical theater. She holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, Arizona State University, and The Catholic University of America, where her doctoral dissertation was about American art song in turn-of-the-century Boston. She is well-known for her performances and publications in American music, and has presented papers and lecture recitals at national meetings of the Sonneck Society for American Music, the College Music Society, and the American Matthay Association. Concert appearances include the Badia di Cava Music Festival in Italy, the Master Musicians Festival in Kentucky, the Sumner School Museum and St. Patrick's in the City in Washington, D.C., the Gardner Museum and the French Library in Boston, and various schools and universities in the United States. Her research interests are American art song, the concert tradition in African American music, and American opera and musical theater. A compact disc, Deep River: The Art Songs and Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh, in collaboration with Oral Moses, bass, originally on Northeastern Records, has been reissued by Albany Records; and a new disc, Fi-yer! A Hundred Years of African-American Song, with tenor William Brown, was recently released by Albany. She is currently review editor of the College Music Society journal Symposium and membership secretary of the American Liszt Society.

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Stephen Siek

is a past President of the American Matthay Association. His biography of Matthay, England's Piano Sage: The Life and Teachings of Tobias Matthay, was published by Scarecrow Press in December of 2011. He has studied with Stewart Gordon, Donald Hageman,Frank Mannheimer, and Denise Lassimonne. He has concertized extensively throughout North America and in 1986 he performed the 24 preludes of Rachmaninoff in New York's Lincoln Center. He made his London debut in 1988. His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as the American Music Teacher, the Piano Quarterly, and International Piano, and in the summer 1993 issue of American Music he presented new research concerning musical figures active in post-Revolutionary Philadelphia. He is also a contributor to the Revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the new edition of the Grove Dictionary of American Music, and his other articles include pieces for the American Musical Instrument Society Journal, Symposium (the journal of the College Music Society), and the Piano Journal of the European Piano Teachers' Association. He has also recently annotated a series of CDs for APR commemorating Matthay's pupils—including Harriet Cohen, Irene Scharrer, Myra Hess, Bartlett & Robertson, and an extensive collection of rare discs featuring Matthay's own recordings. For the Hyperion label, he has also annotated a highly praised disc of the solo works of Charles Griffes performed by Garrick Ohlsson. His highly praised recording of The Philadelphia Sonatas of Alexander Reinagle (c.1750-1809) was released on the Titanic label in 1998. Siek's interests have also extended to other areas of American history and culture, and he has published and lectured widely on the earlier work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including a three-lecture series on Wright's early work in Chicago in July of 2013. He is presently under contract with Rowman & Littlefield to complete A Dictionary for the Modern Pianist, scheduled to appear in 2015, as a component of R&L's musical instrument dictionary series. He holds the B. Mus. and the M. Mus. degrees from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. A professor emeritus of music at Wittenberg University in Ohio, he now lives in Tempe, Arizona.



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Dan Franklin Smith

has served as Vice-President of the American Matthay Association. Currently residing in New York City, he recently returned from Germany where he performed in, among other venues, Kurt Weill Zentrum in Dessau and the Lucas Cranach Hof in Wittenberg. As a solo recitalist, he made his European debut at Mariefred Kyrkan in Sweden in 1997, where he received a standing ovation and was hailed by the reviewer as "unequivocally one of the most brilliant pianists I have had the pleasure of hearing and reviewing!" Mr. Smith's debut recording of the Kurt Atterberg Concerto (a premiere recording) was released in September of 1999. He offered this work for his Swedish orchestral debut in October of 1998, with Maestro Arne Johansson conducting the Sofia Orchestra. Svenska Dagbladet described his performance as marked by a "sensitive ear, strong sense of style and fine musicianship . . . more than anyone could wish for." The performance, the concerto, and Mr. Smith were featured on SVT's Musikspegeln, which was broadcast throughout Sweden soon afterwards. Other European engagements have included Oslo and Paris. His 1999-2000 schedule featured orchestral appearances in England with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and with the Sofia Orchestra in Stockholm, in addition to recitals in London, Stockholm and Leipzig. In the United States he has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician and vocal accompanist at such venues as the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Cleveland Museum's Distinguished Artist Series, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. In the 1999-2000 season he performed solo recitals in Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia, California and New York. He has also performed the Schumann Concerto with Maestro Jean-Pierre Schmitt and the Lawyers' Orchestra in NYC. Mr. Smith's work as a solo artist has been described as "breathtakingly beautiful . . . . The dazzling, agile finger work left the audience in utter awe of Smith's technical skill and beauty of tone . . . . His quiet sincere and straight forward manner relies on an economy of movement and energy which allows him introspection into the core of the music." Dan Franklin Smith's website is www.danfranklinsmith.com.


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Steven Smith

has performed recitals and concertos throughout the world and has recorded solo recitals for the French, German, and Spanish national radios, Radio 4 Hong Kong, and America’s PBS. His compact discs appear on the Cambria and Innova labels. He has given many master classes and lecture recitals for universities and teacher associations in the United States and abroad, including the University of Melbourne, Australia, Hong Kong’s Academy of Performing Arts, and Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy, among others. Recently he has focused on a comprehensive series of recitals of Beethoven’s Sonatas and other repertoire. He received critical acclaim for his series of new-music solo recitals, Piano Entente, presented at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and at St. John’s Smith Square, London. Smith was honored in 2005 with the PSU College of Arts and Architecture’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching; previously he won the Teacher of the Year Award of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers’ Association. His students have won significant national awards, including the Fulbright Scholarship and the Clara Wells Competition of the Matthay Association. In the Music Teachers National Association competitions since 1991, four of his Penn State students have been national semifinalists (Pennsylvania winners). He received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Baylor University, and his Master’s and D.M.A. degrees from The Eastman School of Music, as well as an Artist’s Diploma from the Mozarteum of Salzburg, Austria, where he was a Fulbright scholar. His teachers have included Cécile Genhart and Kurt Neumüller.


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Barry Snyder

is currently a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music, having joined the faculty in 1970. He studied piano with Vladimir Sokoloff and Cécile Genhart, and accompanying with Brooks Smith. He was a member of the Eastman Trio from 1976-82, and the Meadowmount Trio from 1989-90. In 1966, he was a triple prize winner at the Van Cliburn International Competition. He was voted Mu Phi Epsilon Musician of the Year in 1987. His discography includes 32 solo, concerto, and chamber recordings on Bay City, Golden Crest, Mercury, Gasparo, Pro Arte, Pro Viva, Vox, Fun House, and Bridge Records. He has collaborated with noted singers and instrumentalists throughout the world, including Herman Prey, Ani Kavafian, Asako Urushihara, Jan DeGaetani, Ronald Leonard, Steven Doane, Zvi Zeitlin, Bonita Boyd, Francis Tursi, Julius Berger, Sylvia Rosenberg, Paul Tobias, Charles Castleman, James VanDemark, Dong Suk Kang, and with the Cleveland, Curtis, Purcell, and Composer’s quartets. He has performed and given master classes in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Australia, Europe, Poland, Russia, and South America. He has performed in festivals in Seattle, Aspen, Schwetzingen (Germany), Takefu (Japan), Vienna, Bechyne (Czech Republic), and Shenyang International (China). He has appeared as soloist with the Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, National, Montreal, Singapore, Krakow Radio/TV, Nagoya, and Japan Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also premiered works by Syd Hodkinson, Verne Reynolds, Toshio Hosokawa, David Liptak, Carter Pann, Alec Wilder, and John LaMontaine. He is listed in the book The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the United States. He was awarded the Diapason d'Or for recordings of the complete cello and piano works of Fauré with Steven Doane. He received the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Teaching Excellence in 1975.




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Michael Spring

grew up in Scotland and developed a love of classical music in his early teens, first as a listener and later as an enthusiastic amateur pianist. After initial studies in philosophy and then biochemistry at the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, he realized he could make his hobby his career and continued with postgraduate work in music, receiving a Masters in Music from the University of East Anglia, where he researched performance practice in early piano recordings and trained as a classical recording engineer and producer. Michael has worked in the record industry for 28 years, 25 spent at Hyperion Records. In addition to running the commercial side of Hyperion’s business, he has been responsible for most of the piano output. He brought such pianists as Stephen Hough, Marc-André Hamelin and Steven Osborne to the label and created the hugely successful Romantic Piano Concerto series that currently stretches to more than 60 volumes. Projects which he curated have won seven Gramophone awards; two going on to become "Record of the Year." In 2004 he took over the APR label, which specializes in re-issuing historic piano recordings; recent projects have included the complete recordings of Moriz Rosenthal and Percy Grainger and "The Matthay Pupils," a major retrospective of the pupils of the great British teacher Tobias Matthay. In 2014 Michael left Hyperion to focus more on his own label APR and to work in the record industry on a freelance basis. He has also recently served on the jury of piano competitions in Canada and Germany and given talks on historic pianism in Glasgow and Hamburg.







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Valerie Tryon

was born in Portsmouth, England, and she toured with the Northern Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the age of nine. She also broadcast for the BBC before she was 12. Having received the ARCM (Associate of the Royal College) and LRAM (Licentiate of the Royal Academy) diplomas in 1948, she then became one of the youngest students ever to be admitted to the Royal Academy of Music, where from 1950-55 she studied with Eric Grant, a student of Frederick Moore,who taught at the Tobias Matthay Pianoforte School when it first opened. She made her London début in 1953, before receiving the Academy's highest award in piano playing, and a bursary which took her to Paris for study with Jacques Février in 1955. Her place among Britain’s acknowledged artists was assured when a Cheltenham Festival recital brought her the enthusiastic acclaim of the country's foremost critics. Since then she has played in most of the major concert halls and appeared with many of the leading orchestras and conductors in Britain. Her career has latterly taken her to North America where she has appeared in such cities as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She now lives in Canada where she is the Artist-in-Residence at McMaster University, but spends a part of each year in her native Britain. Her repertoire is enormous and ranges from Bach to contemporary composers; it includes more than 60 concertos and a vast amount of chamber music. Among British composers, both Alun Hoddinott and John McCabe have dedicated works to her. She is well known for her sensitive interpretations of the romantics—Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff in particular. When the BBC launched its Radio Enterprises record label some years ago, Valerie Tryon's performance of Rachmaninorff's Etudes Tableaux, op. 39, was the first classical disc to be released. More recently she has recorded the complete Ballades and Scherzos of Chopin for the CBC's "Musica Viva" label, which Harold Schonberg of the New York Times described as “the best Chopin recording of the past decade.” Notwithstanding her involvement in the music of the nineteenth century, she retains a deep love for Scarlatti, whose keyboard sonatas she has delighted in playing in public since her childhood and early youth, and to which she remains deeply committed. Likewise, her ongoing series of the complete piano works of Claude Debussy represents a special passion: she has twice performed this important repertoire in a demanding cycle of five successive recitals. One of Ms. Tryon’s chief enthusiasms is chamber music. Two of her best-known duo partners in England were Alfredo Campoli (violin) and George Isaac (cello), with both of whom she made a number of significant recordings. Her performance with Isaac of Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata is now considered to be a collector's item. Since moving to Canada, Ms. Tryon has performed frequently with cellist Coenraad Bloemendal. Both were members of the Rembrandt Trio, with violinist Gerard Kantarjian. Valerie Tryon has been awarded several distinctions for her services to music. She was an early recipient of the Harriet Cohen Medal. More recently the Liszt Memorial Plaque was bestowed on her by the Hungarian Minister of Culture in recognition of her lifelong promotion of Franz Liszt's music. Valerie Tryon's web site is http://www.artset.net/ValerieTryon.html

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Alan Walker

is Professor Emeritus of Music at McMaster University, Canada. Before settling in North America he was on the staff of the Music Division of the British Broadcasting Corporation in London. He has broadcast for the BBC, for the CBC, and for CJRT-FM (Toronto), and gives regular public lectures on the music of the Romantic Era, a period in which he specializes. His thirteen published books include A Study in Musical Analysis, An Anatomy of Musical Criticism, and symposia on Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt. Dr. Walker’s three-volume, prize-winning biography of Franz Liszt, published by Alfred A. Knopf (New York), was a project which took him twenty-five years to complete, and for which the President of Hungary bestowed on him the medal Pro Cultura Hungarica. The biography also received the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize, presented by HRH The Duke of Kent in London. Time Magazine hailed the biography as "a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival". The Wall Street Journal called it "The definitive work to which all subsequent Liszt biographies will aspire." The Washington Post selected it as a Book of the Year. Two other books on Liszt have meanwhile followed. The first is called "The Death of Franz Liszt" (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY). It describes the last ten days of the composer's life in Bayreuth. Based on eye-witness accounts, and the unpublished diary of a pupil, it tells a harrowing story of the final illness, medical malpractice, family neglect, and a callous disregard of Liszt's final wishes. Then came "Reflections on Liszt" (Cornell University Press), a sequel to the 3-volume biography, and deals with certain topics in greater depth than the biography itself could accommodate. These include Liszt’s myriad connections with Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann; his work as a teacher and editor of the music of others; and his published writings. The book ends with "An Open Letter to Franz Liszt", which the Times Literary Supplement called "an affectionate and stylized farewell from a biographer to a great subject." Alan Walker’s latest book is a long-awaited biography of Hans von Bülow, Franz Liszt’s leading pupil and the world’s first virtuoso orchestral conductor. Published by Oxford University Press in December 2009, the book is the first biography of Bülow ever to appear in the English language. The European Piano Teacher's Journal extolled it as 'a magnificent long-overdue biography... and as unputdownable as the latest historical novel by Mary Renault'. The Washington Times praised it as “a superb biography... and a treat to read”. For more information, see Alan Walker's personal archives with many letters to and from musicians. In January 2012, the Government of Hungary bestowed on Alan Walker one of its highest honours: the Knight's Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.


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Signe Sebo Zale

is the current treasurer of the American Matthay Association for Piano and is an active performer both as soloist and collaborator. A student of Céecile Staub Genhart and Frank Mannheimer, Mrs. Zale attended the Eastman School of Music and was awarded Bachelor of Music with Distinction and Master of Music degrees in performance and pedagogy. While at Eastman, she performed as a soloist with the Eastman Rochester Orchestra, was awarded a graduate assistantship and taught class piano. After several decades of maintaining a large independent piano studio in Rochester, New York, Mrs. Zale earned a Master of Science degree in counseling from the University of Rochester and served as a school counselor and administrator for eighteen years. At the time of her retirement in 2000, she was the Director of Counseling responsible for the K-12 School Counselor program in the Churchville-Chili School District. Mrs. Zale has presented three lecture/performances at the annual Matthay Festivals, most recently at the 2014 Festival at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Texas. Mrs. Zale is also a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, International Professional Music Fraternity and was a featured soloist at the 2008 Mu Phi Epsilon International Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2011, she was awarded the Orah Ashley Lamke Distinguished Alumna Award by the fraternity. As a District Director, she mentors the Mu Phi Epsilon collegiate chapters at the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, and SUNY Binghamton.



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