Matthay Festival 2022

College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, Minnesota

June 22-25, 2022

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, and some special remembrances offered by Aiko Onishi

Recital by the Winners of the 2022

Clara Wells Fellowship Awards

Matthew Grossi
Beethoven: Sonata in F, op. 10. no 2 (mvmts 2 and 3)

Naren Palomino
Chopin: Fourth Ballade in F minor, op. 52

Signe Sebo Zale

Matthay Core: "Why memorize?"

On Memorizing," the fifth in a series of Six Lectures to Teachers on the Psychology of Teaching, was first published by Matthay as a separate pamphlet in 1926. Based on material in various publications and lectures, this slim 20-page booklet was very popular and continued to be reprinted long after Matthay’s passing.

With the availability of present day technological devices, is it important or even necessary that we continue to teach and require our students to memorize? Using Frank Mannheimer’s transcription of the Suite in D Major by the Baroque composer Leonardo Vinci, I will perform and discuss this quote by Matthay: "The question of memory is a first and last one in all teaching and in all learning and practicing." Examples of current publications, along with current practices and research regarding memorizing music will also be presented.

Wendy Freeland

"Remembering John Kenneth Adams: Lessons in Music and Life"

John Kenneth Adams (1934-2018) served for decades as a Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina, and as he once said, "My background is entirely Matthay." A graduate of Yale, where he studied with Bruce Simonds, he also worked extensively with Hilda Dederich at London's Royal Academy of Music, and for years he was a devoted pupil of Frank Mannheimer. A splendid pianist, he also performed and lectured for the American Matthay Association on numerous occasions. In this special presentation, Dr. Freeland, a "Mannheimer Grandchild," pays appropriate homage to the teaching principles most stressed by her former teacher.

10:30 Jim Lees

"Music for 4 Seasons"

[Program begins at 11:00]

Sibelius: 6 Impromptus, Op. 5
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Sonata (1985)
Chopin: Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22

Dan Franklin Smith

Lecture/Performance: Prokofiev's Ninth Sonata

John Perry

"Remembering Frank Mannheimer: Some Personal Memories and Insights into his Teachings"

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

(Since the house is quite small, this visit will be brief and numbers are limited. Those wishing to attend should pre-register)

LUNCH (on your own)


Special Lecture/Presentation at 1:00

Mariko Yamada, 2022 Clara Wells Alternate:

"Matthay Awareness in Japan: Translating The Act of Touch into Japanese, and its Reinterpretation"
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 the Piano Concerto No. 1 (1915-17), performed by Nicholas Susi, with Mary Pendleton Hoffer, collaborative pianist.

Panel Discussion (begins at 2:15):

Frank Mannheimer—A Life of Enduring Inspiration

Panelists to include Nancy Hill Elton, Aiko Onishi, John Perry, Janice Larson Razaq, and Signe Sebo Zale

Stephen Siek, Moderator

John Perry

Master Class with Clara Wells Fellows

Matthew Grossi
Beethoven: Sonata in F, op. 10. no 2 (mvmts 2 and 3)

Mariko Yamada
Mendelssohn: Variations sérieuses, op. 54

Naren Palomino
Chopin: Fourth Ballade in F minor, op. 52

Bettina Muehlenbeck

"Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and William Sterndale Bennett: Undiscovered Letters of Musical Admiration."
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.

4:30 Officers and Directors Meeting of the AMAP
(Meeting begins at 4:15)
Annual Meeting of the AMAP

7:30 Janice Larson Razaq

Beethoven: Sonata in E-flat, op. 31, no. 3
Schumann: Waldszenen, op. 82
Debussy: Images, Bk. I
David Abbott

All Brahms Program

Theme and Variations from the Sextet in B-flat, op. 18b
Variations on an Original Theme in D, op. 21, no. 1
Intermezzo in E-flat, op. 117, no. 1
Intermezzo in B-flat minor, op. 117, no. 2
Intermezzo in C-sharp minor, op. 117, no. 3
Intermezzo in C, op. 119, no. 3

Neil Rutman

J. S. Bach: Aria with 30 Variations, "Goldberg," BWV 988
Poulenc: The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant, FP 129
      (Played and narrated from the piano by Neil Rutman)
Chopin: Scherzo No. 4 in E, op. 54


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Last Updated on 6/15/2022
by Stephen Siek