Matthay Festival 2020

College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, Minnesota

June 24-27, 2020

9:00 Welcoming remarks by Kevin Chance,
President of the AMAP, followed by a get-acquainted reception hosted by the St. Scholastica Library which will include an informal presentation:

"Frank Mannheimer: from Dayton—to London—to Duluth"

with commentary by Stephen Siek, Brad Snelling, Kenneth Huber, and some special remembrances offered by Aiko Onishi

Recital by the Winners of the 2020

Clara Wells Fellowship Awards

Signe Sebo Zale

Matthay Core: "Why memorize?" or "How do I get to the supermarket (or Carnegie Hall)?"

A fresh look at Matthay's treatise "On Memorizing," using Frank Mannheimer's transcription of Leonardo Vinci's Baroque Suite

Bradford Gowen

"A Performer's Guide to the Music of Samuel Adler"

Thoughts on a forthcoming book from Prof. Gowen, who is at present the most noted interpeter of Adler's piano music, having recorded a number of his works and given the premiere of his Piano Concerto at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony.

10:30 Jim Lees

"Water Music," a discussion and performances of works used to audition for the Van Cliburn Amateur Competition

Tobias Picker: Old and Lost Rivers
Fauré: First Barcarolle
Ravel: Jeux d'eau
Chopin: Barcarolle

Dan Franklin Smith

Lecture/Performance: Prokofiev's Ninth Sonata

Kenneth Huber

Lecture/Demonstration: "Recalling Mannheimer Principles of Pedagogy"

Frank Mannheimer’s pedagogical genius lay in his ability to sense each student’s musical and pianistic gifts. While nurturing those gifts, he simultaneously established clear precepts and principles of music making and piano playing. The voyage of that discovery in lessons was a revelation.

Kenneth Huber recalls some of those details and principles of pianism that Mr. Mannheimer emphasized, galvanizing learning for successful performance. Details always led to that “aha” moment as each lesson concluded.

A student could not ask for more.

Janice Larson Razaq

Lecture/Performance: "A Fresh Look at a Mannheimer Master Class: Forest Scenes, op. 82 by Robert Schumann"

An explanation of favorite Mannheimer maxims related to this set of pieces, which he presented in his summer Duluth Thursday evening classes. The Forest Scenes possess a unique opportunity to explore a wide variety of tempi, moods, technical challenges, touches, colors and other interpretive choices. More than a simple quoting of Mannheimer statements, this presentation will include Dr. Razaq’s own suggestions for teaching these pieces and performing them in recital.

12:00               LUNCH (on your own)

Special Visit to 2222 E. Third Street in Duluth, the former home of Frank Mannheimer, hosted by the house's current owner, Jack Cella

Followed by luncheon at Tavern on the Hill

(Numbers are limited, so those wishing to attend must pre-register)


Special Mini-Recital at 1:15

Barbara Bacik Case offers a lighter program with some of America's Music Pioneers, including works by Joplin, Confrey, Barber, and Leroy Anderson
2:00 Francis Crociata:

"Frank Mannheimer and Leo Sowerby: A Decades-Long Friendship"

A mixed-media presentation of commentary interspersed with live performances of Sowerby works dedicated to Frank Mannheimer, including portions of

The Florida Suite (1929) performed by Signe Zale,
Passacaglia, Interlude, and Fugue (1931) performed by Dan Franklin Smith
Passacaglia (1942) performed by Stephen Siek and
Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra (1915-17) performed by Nicholas Susi

Panel Discussion (begins at 2:15):

Frank Mannheimer—A Life of Enduring Inspiration

Panelists to include Constance Carroll, Nancy Hill Elton, Aiko Onishi, Richard Reber, Janice Larson Razaq, Patricia Will, and Signe Sebo Zale

moderated by Kenneth Huber

Barry Snyder

Master Class with Clara Wells Fellows

Bettina Muehlenbeck

"Art in Letters: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and William Sterndale Bennett. An affinity between the lines."
3:30 Mannheimer/Sowerby presentation continued

Panel Discussion continues

Vicky Fischer Faw:

"Articulating Bartók (the Anti-Matthay?): Understanding the Touch Notation in his Piano Works"

Béla Bartók’s two tours of England during the 1920s were met with some alarm by critics brought up with respect for the Matthay school of piano playing, many of whom viewed his avowedly percussive approach with horror. Yet Bartók (1881-1945), composer of those difficult, dissonant, and formidable piano works, spoke of inheriting “mastery of poetically colouring the piano tone” directly from Franz Liszt through his teacher Istvan Thoman. And his own recordings display an elegance and beauty that call this response into question. Pianistic touch, and the notation he developed for communicating his ideas about it, were critical concerns for him as a pianist, composer and piano teacher. This layer of notation—the articulatory signs, pedal indications and unconventional key signatures and rhythms—can be difficult to interpret. The solutions can be found in understanding the sources: the folk music Bartók incorporated, as well as his ideas about piano technique and how to teach it. Bartók’s deep study and appreciation of the folk music he collected transferred to his compositions. This, combined with his pedagogical interest in communicating folk style at the piano, resulted in a thick layer of dots, dashes and slurs, pedalings, and all manner of combinations. This presentation will share insights into what the notation means, and how to teach and play it, particularly taking into account Matthay’s The Act of Touch in All Its Diversity. Representative works will be demonstrated and explained.

Barry Snyder

Recital begins at 4:00

Scarlatti: Sonata in A, Kirk. 209
Scarlatti: Sonata in A, Kirk. 208
Mendelssohn: Fantasy in F-sharp minor, op. 28
Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch
Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales
Chopin: Nocturne in E-flat, op. 55, no. 2
Fauré: Nocturne in E-flat, op. 36, no. 4
Scriabin: Nocturne for the left hand in D-flat
Sydney Hodkinson: from Stolen Goods* (2008): No. 2, "The Chase"
Carter Penn: The Cheesegrater Rag** (1996)

*Commissioned by Barry Snyder
**Written for Barry Snyder
4:30 Officers and Directors Meeting of the AMAP
(Meeting begins at 4:15)
Annual Meeting of the AMAP

7:30 Kenneth Huber

Schubert: Impromptu in F minor, op. 142, no. 1
Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor
Soler: Sonata in D-flat
Soler: Sonata in F-sharp
Albèniz: Fęte-Dieu ŕ Séville from Iberia (Bk I)
Mozart: Nine Variations on a Minuet of Duport, K. 573
Debussy: Prelude, Bk. II, La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
Debussy: Prelude, Bk. II, La puerta del Vino
Chopin: Ballade No. 4 in F minor

David Abbott

All-Brahms Program

Theme and Variations for Piano, Op. 18b
arr. by the composer for solo piano
Variations on an Original Theme in D, Op. 21, no. 1
Three Intermezzi, Op. 117
Intermezzo in C, Op. 119, no. 3
String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat, Op. 18
arr. by the composer for piano duet
with Kevin Chance
Neil Rutman

Program to be Announced


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Last Updated on 2/1/2020
by Stephen Siek