Philip Thomson would return to his native Saint John, New Brunswick, to play concerts. He was taught by Carol O'Neil. Ms. O'Neil would teach me in grade 7 through graduation of 12th grade from Saint John High School.
Mr. Thomson captured my imagination as a young musician. First, his picture is on the piano of Ms. O'Neil. Second, when he came to play, often his concerts would feature the music of Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Third, all of this music brought me to a place of inspiration and a place where I chose to devote my life to learning, teaching and performing music.
Years later, I came across the great American pianist and pedagogue, Paul Barnes, through playing with his colleague, violist, Clark Potter at the Csehy Summer School of Music. Dr. Barnes's approach to the music of Liszt, in particular the Sonata in b minor, re-kindled that inspiration I had when I was a teenager.
Dr. Barnes has played two thrilling concerts at Cairn University where I am the dean in the School of Music and professor of music. In our conversations, we talked about bringing the American Liszt Society to Cairn University and to Philadelphia.
Fast forward a bit and here we are - we have a chapter in Philadelphia of the American Liszt Society!
And, I want you to join.
The Society offers (from the website):
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
I will be hosting a launch concert at Cairn University in the Spring 2022, where I will play the Sonata and other works by Liszt. It will be a party! We will broadcast this concert on my Twitch account. Liszt on Twitch! Yes!
And so - if you are a pianist or someone who loves the music of Liszt in the Philadelphia area, I would love to have you be a part of this incredible organization.
We are building!
One of the unique aspects of the Philadelphia Chapter will be to help you think through your career as a musician. Franz Liszt certainly knew how to be an entrepreneur in his day and in chapter meetings we will explore how he built a sustainable career as a musician for himself.
So - in short - be a part of the chapter. Click here to join our Facebook group page.