is a versatile pianist equally at home in chamber music or solo performance both on modern,
as well as historical instruments. He resided for ten years in Switzerland performing both as soloist and collaborative artist throughout Switzerland and Germany and toured in
Australia and Europe as a member of the Swiss Chamber Soloists. His recording of Schumann’s Piano Quartet and Quintet won the coveted Prix d’Or prize for outstanding chamber music
recording. His most recent recording is a two-CD set of solo and chamber music by 20th-century composer Dmitri Shostakovitch. Dr. Abbott has served on the faculties of the Zürich and
Schaffausen Conservatories of Music (Switzerland), and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA). He has directed summer courses in both piano and chamber music in Europe as well as
in the United States for over 30 years. He regularly appears in recitals at many college campuses and music festivals across the country and often serves as an adjudicator including
serving on the jury for the final round of the MTNA national high school and collegiate piano competition. He was awarded a Bronze medal and two special prizes at the 1980 International
Music Competition in Geneva. Dr. Abbott recently completed a sabbatical project researching and performing the solo piano and chamber music of Johannes Brahms throughout the Eastern
United States. He has been a member of the faculty of Albion College, Albion, Michigan, since 2005 where he serves as Professor of Piano, Chamber Music, and Music History.
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Nancy Hill Elton
began her musical studies with piano lessons from her mother. She holds the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in both piano and vocal performance from the University of Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina where she was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the school’s highest honor, the Music Achievement Award. There she studied piano with John Kenneth Adams and voice with Evelyn McGarrity. At the University of Texas, she studied piano with John Perry and voice with Glenda Maurice and Bethany Beardslee. Additional piano study was with Frank Mannheimer for three summers in Duluth, Minnesota. She also attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, where she studied piano with Jerome Lowenthal and accompanying and chamber music with Gwendolyn Koldolfsky.
A versatile performer, Nancy has fashioned a dual career in piano and in voice. She has received critical acclaim as a piano concerto soloist and as solo recitalist, and has performed throughout the South and many other areas of the US. She has an extensive solo repertoire, but has also performed as a collaborative artist with many instrumentalists and singers over the years. Concerto performances have included Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganni, Grieg's Piano Concerto, and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy for the Musica Sacra Concert Series at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and again recently with the Buckhead Youth Orchestra. Nancy’s past presentations for the Matthay Festival have included solo recitals at Kennesaw State University and at the University of Kansas, and lecture recitals on Schumann’s Carnaval, and the Elliot Carter Piano Sonata.
A lyric soprano, Nancy has sung many leading operatic roles as well as art song recitals, and has accumulated an extensive oratorio repertoire. While she lived in Texas, she was sought by local composers for her pure tone and perfect pitch. She sang several premiers of songs by Kathryn Mischell and Priscilla Mclean. She is soprano soloist on a CD entitled Songs for Adults and Other Children (Capstone Records) by Priscilla McLean. A highlight of her vocal study was the honor of being selected through national taped auditions to study with famed soprano Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Walter Legge in a German Lieder Summer Workshop in Thunder Bay, Canada. She was also soprano soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for a Youth Concert, singing the famous aria “Una voce poco fa” under the direction of William Fred Scot. Nancy sang as soprano soloist with the Musica Sacra Concert Series of Atlanta for 12 years, She sang the leading role in Bizet’s youthful opera, Dr. Miracle, for an entire season with the Atlanta Opera Outreach Program throughout the city schools of Atlanta. Her most recent performances have included singing Liszt’s Three Songs from William Tell at the American Liszt Society Conference last year at the University of Oregon. Nancy has also branched out into singing the great standard jazz songs of the early twentieth century in retirement homes and other venues. She will present next fall at the GMTA conference with Georgia’s jazz pianist legend, Geoffrey Haydn of Georgia State University, singing songs of Gershwin, Kern, Carmichael, Arlen and many others.
In addition to her large private studio, Nancy has held teaching positions at Georgia State University, Clayton State College and the University of West Georgia. She was recently invited to join the piano faculty of the University of Georgia where she teaches applied piano primarily to piano majors. Nancy is active as an adjudicator and clinician for many piano festivals and professional organizations throughout the Southeast and is Past-President of Atlanta Music Teachers Association. In 2005 she received the Georgia Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year Award.
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Victoria Fischer Faw
received her musical education at Centenary College of Louisiana with teachers Constance Knox Carroll and
Donald Rupert, the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill (musicology), the University of Texas at Austin (Danielle Martin and David Renner), and the Vienna Conservatory in Austria as a Rotary
Foundation Fellow. In addition to performing and teaching a varied repertoire of the standard keyboard literature, she specializes in the music of Béla Bartók.
A first-prize winner of the Bartók-Kabalevsky International Piano Competition, and recipient of the Regional Artist Award of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi,
she is in demand as a performer, scholar and teacher. She is the author of a number of publications, including Bartók Perspectives (Oxford University Press), edited with
Elliott Antokoletz and Benjamin Suchoff, a chapter contributed to A Bartók Companion (Cambridge University Press) and an article in the International Journal of Musicology.
Her recordings include a solo CD of Bartók works entitled Evening in the Country. She is celebrating her thirtieth year on the music faculty at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, where she teaches
piano, piano pedagogy, chamber music, and mentors undergraduate research. She is active in MTNA and NCMTA, which was recognized as MTNA State Affiliate of the Year under her leadership
in 2020. When not at Elon, she lives with her husband, Stephen Faw, in the mountains of North Carolina.
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has received national attention since winning first prize in the 1978 Kennedy Center/Rockefeller Foundation International Competition for Excellence in the Performance of American Music. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied piano with Cecile Genhart and composition with Samuel Adler. He later studied piano with Leon Fleisher and with Dorothy Taubman.
After winning the American music prize, Mr. Gowen made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall and recorded an album of American music for New World Records; in the spring of 1998 this recording, Exultation, was re-released as a CD with additional, newly recorded pieces included. On Memorial Day 1980, he performed Aaron Copland’s Piano Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer; the next year he performed several more times with that orchestra under Mstislav Rostropovich and Maxim Shostakovich. In January 1985 he performed the world premiere of Samuel Adler’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. In 1998 he played at the MTNA national convention, and he performed and gave a masterclass in the 70th birthday celebration for Leon Fleisher at the University of Kansas. In 2000, he gave the world premiere of the Piano Sonata of Judith Lang Zaimont.
Mr. Gowen's numerous chamber music performances have included appearances at the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival. He has also appeared with cellist David Soyer, with the Kronos Quartet, and with the Guarneri Quartet. He has made many duo appearances with his wife, pianist Maribeth Gowen, including a 1997 Schubert bicentennial concert at the National Gallery of Art devoted to the composer’s four-hand works.
He wrote for over twenty years for the Piano Quarterly and Piano & Keyboard, and he made a number of recordings for the Piano Quarterly. In 2002 he wrote a major series of three articles on twentieth-century American piano music for the London-based International Piano. Mr. Gowen has served as a judge for several international piano competitions, including the Kapell, the Gina Bachauer, and the Sydney, and he was a member of the Advisory Committee that created and ran the Seventeen Magazine/General Motors National Concerto Competition.
Since 1981 he has been on the faculty at the University of Maryland. For three years he taught also at the Levine School of Music (Washington, DC), and in 2005 he joined the faculty of the Washington Conservatory of Music. He is one of the 48 pianists featured in Benjamin Saver's 1993 book The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA.
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is one of America's most distinguished pianists and teachers. She was born in Tokyo and began her piano studies with her mother, Teiko, an accomplished pianist and a graduate of the
New England Conservatory of Music. After winning a Japanese national competition, she was invited to study at the
Eastman School of Music with Cécile Staub Genhart, with whom she credits her foundation as a pianist. After earning her B.M.
with Distinction, Performer's Certificate, and Artist's Diploma, she continued to study with Frank Mannheimer, with whom she worked extensively
over the next sixteen years. During the winter of 1964-65, she had the privilege of studying with Dame Myra Hess in London. Miss Onishi has
concertized and given lectures in over 60 cities in the United States and she has played in all of the major cities in Japan. For six years
he was a professor at the Toho School of Music in Japan and for twenty-one years she served on the faculty of San Jose State University in California.
During those years she produced many outstanding students, some of whom have won prizes at international competitions including the Leeds, Busoni, Casadesus,
Kapell, Chopin, Munich, University of Maryland and the Washington International Bach Competition. She is the author of Pianism,
a highly acclaimed pedagogical work which has been praised throughout the world.
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Janice Larson Razaq
is a former president of the American Matthay Association. She appears nationally in recitals including performances on the “Live from Landmark”
series on Minnesota Public Radio, on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series from the Chicago Public Library, broadcast live on WFMT Radio, and on
KOHM Radio in Lubbock, Texas. She has been a featured recitalist/lecturer with the Mannheimer Piano Festival at the University of
Minnesota in Duluth several times, and her performances there have been rebroadcast on Minnesota Public Radio. Her performance of Gershwin’s
Rhapsody in Blue with the Elgin (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra was acclaimed by critics as “powerful and dazzling”. Dr. Razaq makes
frequent appearances as Artist-in-Residence in concerto performances with the Harper Symphony Orchestra in Illinois and has also played with the
Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra in Duluth. Solo appearances have been at colleges and universities in Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, Arizona,
Tennessee and North Carolina. She has performed for the American Matthay Association for Piano several times. “Let’s Understand Tobias Matthay’s
Relaxation Technique” was the title of her presentation for a recent Canadian Federation Music Teachers Association national conference in Halifax.
As a young pianist, Dr. Razaq received second place in the Women’s Association of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Competition. A Fulbright
grant took her to the Royal Academy of Music in London to study for three years with Matthay pupil Hilda Dederich. She received the
Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Academy. Her London debut recital at Wigmore Hall received excellent reviews.
She was an award winner in the Canals International Competition in Barcelona.
Dr. Razaq received her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance from Texas Tech University, studying with William Westney; a Master
of Music Degree from the University of Illinois, studying with Stanley Fletcher; and a Bachelor of Music Degree with Distinction from
the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Cécile Genhart. Early studies were with Ruth Rogers, and lessons for several summers were with Frank Mannheimer.
Both Ruth Rogers and Frank Mannheimer took turns residing in the Duluth home which Mr. Mannheimer owned.
Dr. Janice Larson Razaq is a past President of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, and past Director of the East Central Division of MTNA.
She is Director of Keyboard Studies at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, and has also taught at Dominican University
in River Forest, Illinois.
Dr. Razaq presents lecture/demonstration/recitals for the Illinois State Music Teachers Conferences. Recently
she gave sessions entitled “Teaching Piano Should Imply Teaching Injury Prevention in Practice and Performance” and “The Sometimes Misunderstood
Relaxation Technique of Tobias Matthay”. She gives many lecture demonstrations for local area groups of ISMTA, and for the American Matthay Association.
Dr. Razaq is an esteemed adjudicator as well as college professor and private teacher. She plays chamber music with CSO members and was
a featured soloist at Stringfest held at Illinois State University. She is a published feature article author for the late Keyboard Companion
magazine, and has written book reviews for the American Music Teacher magazine.
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