the 58th annual

The Eastman School of Music
Rochester, New York
June 8-11, 2015

honoring the

Legacy of Two Great Teachers

Tobias Matthay (1858-1945)

The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the death of Tobias Matthay, one of the greatest piano teachers of the twentieth century, and the foremost piano teacher Britain has produced. In his lifetime, Matthay trained scores of famous pianists, including Dame Myra Hess, Dame Moura Lympany, Sir Clifford Curzon, York Bowen, and Harriet Cohen. Throughout the world, his revolutionary teaching principles were communicated to thousands more by his books, including The Act of Touch (1903), Musical Interpretation (1912), and The Visible and Invisible (1932). For nearly 50 years, he taught at London's Royal Academy of Music, and for over 40, at his own school, which became a magnet for countless numbers of pianists and teachers who established successful careers in countries the world over—especially America.

Cécile Genhart (1898-1983)

The year 2015 also marks the ninetieth anniversary both of the founding of the American Matthay Association, and the American debut of Cécile Genhart, who first performed in New York in November of 1925. Mme Genhart, who was born Cécile Staub in Basel, Switzerland, was from an intensely musical family, and her father was intimate with some of the greatest musicians of the day—including Max Reger, Fritz Kreisler, Albert Schweitzer, and Walter Gieseking—all of whom were welcome guests in their home. During World War I, she played for both Ferruccio Busoni and Eugen d'Albert in Zurich, and she also studied intensively with Emil Frey, a student of Rudolf Breithaupt. She made her European debut in Zurich in November of 1920, before relocating to Munich to attend the master classes of Josef Pembauer, eventually reaching Berlin in October of 1921, where she became close to Edwin Fischer and his wife. But though she revered Pembauer and Fischer for their musical insights, she felt profoundly disappointed that neither offered any guidance to explain how their effects were achieved at the instrument. In December of 1922, she made her Berlin Philharmonic debut to a packed house under its concertmaster, Otto Marienhagen—deputized to stand in for an ailing Fischer—performing both the Beethoven First and the Brahms Second, and the reviews were marvelous. After she married pianist and conductor Herman Genhart, they both arrived in Rochester in 1924, and less than a year after her Carnegie Hall debut, she joined Eastman's faculty in the fall of 1926. She began studying with Tobias Matthay in 1929, and in her words,"He was the greatest teacher I had ever known. ... If one of the criteria of a great teacher is the ability to make every one of his students play beautifully, then surely Tobias Matthay is master of us all."

To see the program Mrs. Genhart performed for the American Matthay Association in 1944, click here.

The annual Matthay Festivals are designed to offer participants direct and concentrated access to the Matthay teaching principles as they apply at all levels, including that of the performing artist. Daytime sessions include lectures, demonstrations, performances, and master classes, and a recital is heard each evening. The year 2015 marks the fifty-eighth annual gathering. Previous Matthay Festivals have taken place at many locations throughout North America, including the Philips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, the University of Maryland, the University of Central Florida, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, San Jose State University, Williams College, Pennsylvania State University, the University of South Carolina, Wittenberg University, the University of Kansas, Columbus State University, the University of Richmond, East Carolina University, King College, Union University, Western Carolina University, and Texas Wesleyan University. Because this year the Matthay Association is also honoring the dual legacies of two great teachers, several special events have been planned.

Special Events


will be the featured artist at this special 2015 commemorative Matthay Festival. Acclaimed the world over especially for her performances of Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff, she studied at London's Royal Academy of Music with Eric Grant, a devoted pupil of Frederick Moore, who taught at Matthay's School virtually from its founding. The Washington Post has lauded her as an artist who "never strains," adding that "even the most fiendish sections seem simple in her hands," and Harold Schonberg—after praising one of her Chopin recordings as among the best of the decade—added, "The pianist of the past she most reminds me of would be Leopold Godowsky. If I sound excited, I am."

RIGHT: Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music (Click on photo to enlarge)


will be the featured speaker at this special 2015 commemorative Matthay Festival. One of America's most noted pianist/scholars, Dr. Gordon, as Cécile Genhart's biographer, is uniquely qualified to give the Festival's opening presentation. He will also moderate a panel discussion with the participation of some of Mme Genhart's most noted students, all of whom are Eastman alums. Currently Professor of Piano and Keyboard Literature at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Dr. Gordon is the author of A History of Keyboard Literature (Schirmer, 1996)—considered by most to be the standard work in the field—and has edited all the Beethoven Sonatas for Alfred Masterworks. At present, his edition of the complete Mozart Sonatas, also for Alfred, is in preparation.

LEFT: Sibley Library at the Eastman School of Music


who has served as a professor of piano at the Eastman School since 1970, will present an opening program to begin the Festival on Monday afternoon. Prof. Snyder holds both a B.Mus. and a M.Mus. from Eastman, where he studied extensively with Cécile Genhart. In 1966, he was a triple-prize winner at the Van Cliburn International Competition, receiving the Silver Medal, as well as the Pan-American Union and Chamber Music awards. Barry Snyder has performed and given master classes across Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America. Additionally, he has performed in festivals, including Aspen, Schwetzingen (Germany), Takefu (Japan), the Vienna Summer Festival, Bechyne (Czech Republic), and Shenyang International (China). He has also appeared as a soloist with numerous major orchestras around the world. Other accolades include his listing in the book The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the United States, the Diapason D’or for recordings of the complete cello and piano works by Fauré with Steven Doane, and the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Teaching Excellence.

Special Invited Guest:

Alan Walker
"Liszt and the Keyboard"

As part of this special commemorative tribute, the American Matthay Association is proud to present internationally acclaimed Liszt scholar ALAN WALKER , who will discuss the pianism of Franz Liszt, the greatest pianist of the nineteenth century. Matthay heard Liszt when he visited London in 1886, a few months before his death, and he found the experience transformative—for it forever changed the way he thought about the piano. Years later, Matthay wrote: "Though the wrong way of playing makes possibly more noise close by . . . this will not “carry” at all compared to the correct, elastic method. This is easily heard in a larger room, and it was forcibly brought under my notice when I heard Liszt play at a reception at the Grosvenor Gallery. ... Liszt, though an old, weak man, produced .. resonant and “filling” tone, without any effort whatever." Matthay thought Liszt was the greatest pianist he had ever heard, and as Liszt's pre-eminent biographer, Dr. Walker is uniquely qualified to discuss his approach to the keyboard. Alan Walker's definitive three-volume biography of Liszt has been praised by Time as "a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival," and his most recent book is Hans von Bülow: A Life and Times.

A Special Added Attraction:

"Matthay and the Pianola"

In the autumn of 1924, composer John McEwen became the principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and within a year, Tobias Matthay, his former teacher and dearest friend, resigned from the Academy, ending a relationhip with the institution he had considered his musical home for over 50 years. Central to the conflict between Matthay and McEwen was the Pianola, an invention McEwen and many other professionals believed was destined to revolutionize musical education in Britain and throughout the world. But was the Pianola simply a "player piano?" If so, why did it evoke such enthusiasm among knowledgeable professionals, and why did so many famous artists, including Harold Bauer, Percy Grainger, and Josef Hofmann, record for it? Even more remarkably, why did famous conductors, such as Henry Wood, conduct entire piano concertos with the Pianola as the "soloist?"

Today there are few working Pianolas still in existence, so we're especially fortunate to welcome BOB BERKMAN to our program. For over 30 years, Mr. Berkman worked for QRS in Buffalo, the world’s last piano roll manufacturer, where he produced innumerable reissues of historic roll recordings and maintained a constant flow of new recordings. He will demonstrate the Pianola for us, providing a rare glimpse into the musical world that Matthay wrote about in The Visible and Invisible in Piano Technique.

A Special Colloquium on Historic Recordings:
"Bringing 'The Matthay Sound' Back to Life"

Pianists and scholars alike owe a debt of thanks to APR Records for recently releasing "The Matthay Pupils," a seven-volume series of historic reissues featuring Matthay-trained artists, including Eileen Joyce, Harriet Cohen, Irene Scharrer, Dame Myra Hess, Dame Moura Lympany, and the two-piano team Bartlett & Robertson. Perhaps the most fascinating volume in the series is the most recent, A Matthay Miscellany, which includes 19 different pianists—including Matthay himself—in performances that have been unavailable for decades, as well as recordings by major artists that were never released. To complete this unprecedented project, APR was fortunate to be able to rely on the resources of the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland, which currently houses an estimated 96% of all commercial piano recordings ever issued—with taped copies of most of the remainder—as only a portion of its immense holdings! STEPHEN SIEK, a former president of the American Matthay Association and annotator for most of the volumes in the APR series, will lead a panel which will include special invited guests, GREGOR BENKO, co-founder of IPAM, DONALD MANILDI, the present curator of IPAM, who has served in that position since 1993, and MICHAEL SPRING, the owner and president of APR and the guiding force behind the Matthay series. The panelists will play and discuss selections from the APR series, and address wider issues concerning the movement to preserve historic pianism. Of special interest to those in attendance will be a discussion and samples of recordings that most will probably not have heard, for IPAM now has all the commercial recordings made by CÉCILE STAUB GENHART, which have now been transferred to digital format. The background of this project will be discussed, and opportunities for interactive particpation from the audience will be welcome.

The Eastman School of Music

Founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman, the Eastman School of Music is one of the preeminent conservatories in the world, emphasizing a long tradition of superb professional-level performance and music scholarship. Some of the daytime events will occur in Eastman's East Wing rehearsal hall 415. In addition to two concert grands, EEW 415 features WiFi internet connection, an AV Cabinet, CD Playback, iPod and laptop hookup, and a data projector which projects on the wall. Other daytime activities will occur in Hatch Recital Hall. Hatch Hall is the newest Eastman hall, having opened in December 2010. With 222 seats, it has outstanding acoustics, and state-of-the-art acoustical and multimedia technology, including Internet, audio, and video. The evening recitals will be held in the beautiful Kilbourn Hall, considered by many to be one of the finest chamber music halls in the world. Opened in 1924, Kilbourn Hall was built by George Eastman and dedicated to the memory of his mother, Maria Kilbourn Eastman. Three stories high and decorated in the Venetian Renaissance style, the 444-seat hall is well known for its remarkable beauty, pure acoustics, and excellent sight lines. It contains a 4-manual, 90-rank Skinner organ.

                      TOP LEFT:
Hatch Hall at the Eastman School of Music (Click on photo to enlarge)

Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music (Click on photo to enlarge)

                      BOTTOM LEFT:
Eastman East Wing 415 (Click on photo to enlarge)

Lodging and Banquet

Participants are responsible for their own housing arrangements. A block of rooms has been reserved at the
Hilton Garden Inn, Rochester at 155 E. Main Street, Rochester, NY (585) 232-5000. The hotel is located about three blocks away from the Eastman School, within easy walking distance. Rooms with one king or two queen beds are available at the festival rate of $124 per night (plus 14% city and state tax). The Hotel is providing Festival participants booking by phone with a special code, "AMAFP," to guarantee the preferred rate. If booking online, please click here. The Festival rate will be available until May 8 or until the rooms are sold out, whichever comes first. This special rate presumes a minimum two-night stay, and will be good from June 7 through June 12.

Those desiring slightly less expensive lodging may also be interested in the Quality Inn at Rochester Airport, located at 1273 Chili Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624 (585-464-8800). They offer clean, comfortable rooms for $110 a night plus tax (14%) for either king or double queen, including breakfast. There is a 10% discount for seniors and AAA members, and the Inn also offers both a free airport shuttle and a free shuttle to the Eastman School. Choice members should book online for the best deal. Others may either book online or deal directly with the hotel. For those with a car, it's an easy 5-10 minute drive to Eastman on expressways, but please be advised that parking downtown for all day and evening will be about $10.00.

This year's banquet will be held on Thursday, June 11, at 6 pm, preceded by a cash-bar reception beginning at 5:30, at The Rochester Club Ballroom, 120 East Avenue, Suite 201. Built in 1896, The Rochester Club stands in a landmark building in Rochester’s popular East End Cultural District. Retaining its 19th-century beauty and architecture, the Rochester Club Ballroom’s vaulted ceilings, adorned with original Waterford crystal chandeliers, surrounds diners in an elegant Victorian atmosphere. Dinner will include a salad, a chicken entrée with a vegetarian option, dessert, and complimentary tea and coffee. The price is $32 including tax and gratuity. The Rochester Club is just around the corner from the Eastman School, less than a 5-minute walk. Those interested should register for the banquet in advance by following the link below.

Travel to the Eastman School of Music

The city of Rochester is served by the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), which is serviced by most major airlines, and is approximately 6 miles from the downtown area. Taxis and various shuttle services are easily available. Those staying at the Hilton Garden Inn should not require a car for the duration of the Festival.

For driving directions to Eastman, please click here.

For driving directions to the Hilton Garden Inn, please click here.

Festival Program

Festival Registration

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