the 60th annual

Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
June 14-17, 2017

focusing on

Tobias Matthay and the Piano:
Past, Present, and Future

Tobias Matthay (1858-1945)

One of the greatest piano teachers of the twentieth century, Tobias Matthay is 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.

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 2017 marks the sixtieth 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, Union University, Western Carolina University, Texas Wesleyan University, and the Eastman School of Music.

Featured Recitalists

Anderson & Roe

A former winner of the American Matthay Association's Clara Wells Scholarship Auditions, GREG ANDERSON has frequently appeared at Matthay Festivals, and this year the AMA is pleased to present Greg and his musical partner, ELIZABETH JOY ROE, who presently form one of the world's most exciting two-piano teams. Known for their adrenalized performances, original compositions, and notorious music videos, Anderson & Roe are revolutionizing the piano duo experience for the 21st century. Described as “the intense synchronization of genius” (ThirdCoast Digest) and “the most dynamic duo of this generation” (San Francisco Classical Voice), the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo aims to make classical music a relevant and powerful force around the world. Their recent album, When Words Fade (Steinway Label), was released to critical acclaim in 2012 and spent over a dozen weeks at the top of the Billboard Classical Charts, while their Emmy-nominated, self-produced music videos have been viewed by millions on YouTube. Since forming their dynamic musical partnership in 2002 as students at The Juilliard School, the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo has appeared on NPR and MTV, toured extensively worldwide as recitalists and orchestral soloists, and presented at numerous international leader symposiums. A performance by the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo was handpicked to appear on the Sounds of Juilliard CD celebrating the school’s centenary. Highlights of the 2014/15 season include tours throughout North America, Asia, and Europe; concerto performances with the Calgary Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, and Winnipeg Symphony; a new all-Bach album on the Steinway Label; and the release of their ambitious—and literally explosive—music film, The Rite of Spring. To read more about Anderson & Roe, click here.


has performed throughout the world, and has recently released a 12-CD set devoted to the 32 Sonatas and other major works of Beethoven. In 2014, he gave a much heralded performance of the Beethoven Diabelli Variations at the Matthay Festival in Fort Worth, and he has also given Beethoven presentations and master classes in Beijing and Zhengzhou, China. He has appeared frequently as a concerto soloist, and has received critical acclaim for his series of new-music solo recitals, Piano Entente, presented at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and St John’s Smith Square in London. He also recently gave a lecture-recital in the use of the pedal at the London International Piano Symposium is 2015. He is Professor emeritus of piano at The Pennsylvania State University’s School of Music, and his degrees include the DMA and M.Mus. from the Eastman School of Music, as well as the Artist’s Diploma from the Mozarteum of Salzburg, Austria. His artist-teachers included Cécile Genhart and Kurt Neumüller. He has also recently worked in Vienna with the celebrated pianist Paul Badura-Skoda regarding aspects of the Beethoven repertoire.


has performed at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, the U.S. Embassy and Thai German Cultural Foundation Auditorium in Bangkok, the AUA Language Center in Chiangmai, the Cité Universitaire in Paris, Conservatorio Superior in Tenerife, Curs International Festival in Girona, Conservatory Professional de Musica in Vila-seca, and the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen. Writing in New York's Pinault Reviews, Philip Dieckow described her appearance at Weill Hall as “a splendid performance full of nuance and high contrast, all within superb control.” She has been broadcast in Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Canada, and the U.S., and has been an orchestral soloist with the Czech Radio Orchestra, the Medford String Orchestra, the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Brookline Symphony Orchestra. Writing in the (Salem, Massachusetts) Evening News Jackie Wattenberg, praised her "play of dynamics, a constant source of color." She has recorded for Albany Records, and Centorino Productions, the SAI Recording Project, and she has recorded Books 1 and 2 of Seymour Bernstein's Birds for Naxos. She was a recipient of the Yamaha Center Européen d'Activitiés Scholarship in Paris and the Museum of Fine Arts Performance Certificate in Boston. She is a member of the faculty at The Boston Conservatory and of the board of directors for the American Matthay Association for Piano. She studied at the Boston Conservatory under Matthay exponent ChandlerGregg.

Special Guest Presenter


is an internationally renowned concert pianist, teacher, and scholar, who currently serves as a distinguished professor of piano at Arizona State University. In 1986, he achieved the honor of Regents' Professor of Piano, and he has generously agreed to serve as a faculty sponsor for the 2017 Matthay Festival. In addition, Dr. Pagano will present a special session on the elusive question of rubato as it pertains to piano repertoire, and he will draw many insights from the writings of Tobias Matthay. A native of Brazil, he is recognized as one of that nation's greatest pianists, and in addition, he has performed throughout the world as recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist. Recognized for his mastery of the Romantic repertoire, he has also distinguished himself as a Beethoven specialist, and the New York Times has praised his performance of the Diabelli Variations as "absolutely first-class, simultaneously idiomatic and original.” In addition, he has repeatedly demonstrated a mastery of twentieth-century idioms, and he was the first pianist to perform the complete works of Schoenberg in several capitals of the world. He has performed with orchestras on several continents under conductors such as Sergiu Comissiona, Camargo Guarnieri, and Morton Gould. He has also adjudicated international competitions in Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil, the USA, and Panama.

Tobias Matthay and the Piano

When Tobias Matthay entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1871, he encountered numerous Broadwood pianos, since the RAM held a Royal charter, and Broadwood was then the most esteemed British piano manufacturer. Broadwood even supplied him with his first pianos when he began playing public recitals in 1880, and when Franz Liszt visited the Royal Academy in April of 1886, Matthay was amazed at the colors the aging pianist seemed to draw from an instrument that he had often found uninspiring. But one month later, he was so amazed by the miraculous effects that Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein created on the French-designed Érard that he even thought of purchasing one, because at the time he thought the secret of the pianist's wizardry might rest solely with his choice of instrument. Very quickly he learned that the underlying sources of artistry involved far more than a fine piano, but over the next decade, he began to study the piano's mechanisms with increased interest, an interest which informed his first revolutionary work, The Act of Touch, in 1903. By then, Matthay's instrument of choice was the German-built Bechstein (such as that pictured at left, built about 1893), a piano he preferred because as he used to say, its sound "is what you make it." Matthay greatly preferred pianos which could unleash kaleidoscopic palettes of colors, if only the artist understood the underlying principles of tone production—principles that involved an awareness of a well-adjusted action as much as of the physical laws governing muscular exertion and movement.

Special Presentations and a Guest Panel Discussion:

Understanding Pianos in the Past, Present, and Future—
their Construction, their Maintenance, and their Marketing

Since Tobias Matthay spent a lifetime teaching his students the importance of piano mechanisms and how they work, it seemed especially appropriate that the sixtieth annual Matthay Festival present some of the finest piano builders, technicians, and commercially enlightened experts in the nation. We are fortunate that the greater Phoenix area is blessed with some of the most esteemed piano artisans in America, and the American Matthay Association is honored to offer Festival attendees several distinctive events that could not be easily duplicated elsewhere. These will include a presention by ASU master technician RICK FLORENCE (upper right), who will offer an historical overview of our instrument, and our audience will even be able to experience two modern Steinways side by side, tuned in both period and modern tunings, assisted by the masterful period tunings of restorationist and technician TOM FLOWERS (below far right). A performance of Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue on different instruments by AMA President MARY PENDLETON HOFFER should provide both a highly instructive, and rarely heard, musical experience. We will also share the enlightenment of Scottsdale-based master piano designer and builder MICHAEL SPREEMAN (below left), the creator of the magnificent new Ravenscroft grand piano (the 9' Model 275 is pictured below). Michael will share some of the background that led him to create this beautiful instrument, and discuss some of the challenges that face the modern, independent builder. We will also be privileged to hear from LLOYD MEYER (below near right), the president of Renner USA in nearby Carefree, Arizona. Renner has long been recognized by many in the field as the gold standard for hammers and actions throughout the world, and Lloyd will both display and discuss some of the hammers and actions now being built by Renner which are custom-designed for American instruments—the first choice of expert restorationists throughout the United States. Lloyd, who is also a former president of both Steinway and Mason & Hamlin, will share many of his insights about craftsmanship and the commercial side of the business, insights which are sure to enlighten pianists and teachers in attendance. And the AMA feels especially honored to be able to offer the wisdom and enlightenment of JIM COLEMAN SR (upper left), one of the most esteemed living piano technicians, whose students travel to Tempe from the world over to absorb his advice and counsel. For many decades, Jim was the senior artists' technician for Baldwin, and for many years he personally supervised the building of Baldwin's Acrosonic line.

The sessions will conclude with a panel discussion joined by AMA member and master teacher/technician DONALD HAGEMAN (near left) and moderated by former AMA president STEPHEN SIEK, in which all of these experts will share their insights about where the piano building industry is headed, what challenges it faces in the future, and what facts serious pianists and teachers might benefit from knowing.

The Musical Instrument Museum

Since it first opened in April 2010, musicians from all over the world have come to tour the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum, a unique institution dedicated to displaying musical instruments from all cultures. MIM was founded by Robert Ulrich, a former CEO and chairman emeritus of the Target Corporation, who conceived the idea after visiting the Musée des instruments de musique in Brussels. In collaboration with Marc Felix, a Belgian art historian and a specialist in African and ethnic art, Ulrich projected MIM as an institution affording equal representation to the instruments and music of every country in the world. Located on a 22-acre campus in northeast Phoenix, its thoroughly modern building, overseen by architect Richard Varda, contains nearly 200,000 square feet of floor space. At present, the MIM collection includes over 15,000 musical instruments and artifacts from over 200 countries, about 6,000 of which are on display at one time. The exhibits are designed to rest in “sound” alcoves, wireless hot spots where specific commentary relating only to that exhibit reaches visitors through headphones. The museum also features a 300-seat auditorium enhanced by state-of-the-art audio and video technologies. Some of the most fascinating pianos on display include a 1790 square Broadwood, a London Érard from about 1850-55, and the “first” Steinway piano, on loan from Steinway. Often known as the “Kitchen Steinway,” the instrument was built in the kitchen of Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg in Seesen, Germany, in 1836.

Festival attendees who plan to arrive by Tuesday evening, June 13, may wish to join the special tour of MIM, which will leave from the Tempe Graduate at mid-morning on Wednesday, June 14, and is open to all who indicate their preference on the registration form. The form may be found by clicking on the registration link at the bottom of this page.

The School of Music at Arizona State University

Founded in 1885, and once known as Tempe Normal School, Arizona State University, currently with 82,060 students, is the largest university in the United States, and in September 2016, for the third year in a row, it was again ranked by U. S. News & World Report as the "most innovative" institution of higher learning in America, placing it ahead of both Stanford and Princeton. The ASU School of Music, a division of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, currently enrolls more than 800 students who are pursuing bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in music, and about half study at the graduate level. The most iconic landmark in the ASU performing arts complex is the magnificent Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium (upper right), the last great public building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The School of Music (upper left), which sits directly across the street, was designed by William Wesley Peters (1912-91), Wright's son-in-law, who drew upon the resources of Taliesin West, Wright's incomparable haven for the training and nuturing of architects, located in nearby Scottsdale. Wright's widow, Olgivanna (1898-1985), supervised the building's interior design and color schemes.

All evening recitals at this year's Matthay Festival will be held in the beautiful Katzin Concert Hall (lower left), an acoustically perfect 350-seat hall which opens onto a beautiful fountain courtyard. It boasts a video and projection booth capable of making audio and video recordings, as well as a state-of-the-art digital system designed to stream concerts live on the web. It also houses both an American and a Hamburg Steinway D, as well as an Imperial Boesendorfer. Each winter, Katzin is home to the Avanti Steinway Festival and Competition, and in alternate years, ASU hosts the International Boesendorfer-Yamha Competition. The daytime sessions will take place in the ASU Recital Hall (lower right), located on the fifth floor of the School of Music, an intimate 125-seat facility that opens onto a rooftop courtyard. The semi-circular design of this hall provides a warm atmosphere, and acoustics suitable for solo and chamber performances. It also houses a beautiful new Hamburg B Steinway.

Lodging and Banquet

Festival participants are responsible for their own housing arrangements. This year, a block of 30 rooms has been reserved at a reduced rate on a first-come, first-serve basis at the luxurious Graduate Hotel, 225 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, AZ 85281, (480) 967-9431, which is only two blocks from the School of Music. To obtain the special rate of $89 a night (available until May 23), please click here. The Graduate features stylish rooms appointed in a distinctive Southwestern motif, all with balconies, flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, minifridges, and coffeemakers. In addition, a great many rooms have panoramic views of Frank Lloyd Wright's last great public commission, ASU's magnificent Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium. The Graduate offers complimentary shuttles to a variety of locations, a 24-hour fitness room, a beautiful outdoor pool, and self parking for $6 per night.

The Normal Diner (middle left), which serves gourmet breakfasts and lunches, is just off the hotel lobby, and later in the day, guests may enjoy dining, relaxing, and socializing at the Tapacubo, a Mexican cantina serving lunch and dinner, with a rooftop bar (lower right) overlooking the ASU campus. If the weather should turn uncomfortably warm, guests need not worry about walking the short distance to the Music building, since they will also have access to the Orbit complimentary bus system. The Orbit's air-conditioned Jupiter line passes directly in front of the hotel every 15 minutes, and the rides are free of charge.

This year's banquet will also take place at the Graduate on Saturday, June 17, with a cash bar opening at 6 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30, an all-inclusive buffet featuring chicken and vegetarian options for a price of $32. Please click on the registration link at the bottom of this page to reserve seating.

Exploring Tempe

With a population of nearly 170,000, Tempe, Arizona, is a thriving community directly adjacent to the southern borders of Phoenix and Scottsdale, and it is bounded on the east by Mesa, a city of nearly 500,000. Long a center for business and commerce, the first Cold Stone Creamery (number 0001) is still in operation in Tempe, and until very recently, the corporate offices of U. S. Airways were housed in an impressive nine-story building in the city's downtown district. Tempe has always been renowned as a city of great beauty, and the stunning Tempe Center for the Arts, which opened in 2007, is situated on the idyllic Tempe Town Lake.

Downtown Tempe offers more than 175 restaurants, nightclubs, and retail shops to cater to city guests. The nerve center of the University's commercial district is Mill Avenue, whose many shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance of the School of Music, and offer a wide variety of dining options. Also within walking distance, just slightly east of the Music building, is the ASU Memorial Union, featuring a wide variety of less expensive options, including the Engrained Cafe, Pitchforks, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Devils' Greens, Jamba Juice, AFC Sushi, Qdoba, Pei Wei, Subway, Starbucks, and the Mozart Cafe.


Air Travel to Phoenix

The Phoenix metropolitan area is served by beautiful Sky Harbor International Airport, which is no more than twenty minutes away from Tempe and the Graduate Hotel. Sky Harbor currently serves about 45,000,000 passengers a year, and is presently serviced by 16 domestic and international airlines. Direct flights are available from nearly all major American cities, and on a typical day, over 1200 flights land at Sky Harbor. Although Festival attendees should not require a car to meet the daily schedule, Sky Harbor is serviced by all major car rental agencies, and most operate 24 hours a day. Ample ground transportation is also available.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, located about a thirty-five-minute drive from the ASU campus, also serves the greater Phoenix area. It is a major hub for Allegiant Air, which currently offers direct flights from 35 American cities, including many smaller markets, such as Ft. Wayne, Grand Rapids, and Wichita, as well as larger airports such as Cincinnati, Memphis, and San Francisco. Gateway Airport is also serviced by Alamo, Enterprise, and Hertz, as well as by all local transportation services.

For driving directions to Gammage Auditorium, located
one block from the Graduate Hotel, please click here.

Festival Program

Festival Registration

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