Greetings, fellow Lisztians!
The American Liszt Society is excited to present its annual American Liszt Society Festival 2016 at California State University, Northridge. The combination of CSUN's strategic geographic location to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and the festival's subject matter, "Liszt and Russia," promises to bring together many top international musicians and scholars who will engage in artistic music making and give presentations of scholarly substance, all of which are of the highest order of quality in the fields of both musical performance and academic scholarship.
Each year the American Liszt Society presents its annual festivals at different campuses across the United States. As President of the ALS, I am excited for the Society to bring our annual Festival 2016 to California State University Northridge and to Southern California for the first time in our fifty-one-year history. I am particularly pleased with the high reputation of the CSUN Music Department and the spectacular facilities of Valley Performing Arts Center. This promises to be a momentous event for the ALS Society and for the Southern California community alike. The annual ALS festival is an opportunity for musicians and scholars to come together to share with the local community its passion for Liszt. I am certain that holding the festival at CSUN will provide an opportunity for the ALS to draw from the rich musical and scholarly community in the region.
The theme of this years'sfestival, "Liszt and Russia," is timely, given the current geo-political tensions that exist between the US and Russia. Liszt was an ambassador for music and cultural understanding wherever he traveled. His tours of Russia as pianist, conductor, teacher, and humanitarian-especially in terms of the influence he had upon on a whole generation of Russian pianists, teachers, and composers-are well documented in history. The 2016 ALS Festival will highlight these influences with performances and scholarly presentations on Russian composers and teachers who encountered Liszt and on Liszt's own Russian-influenced music, including presentations about Lyapunov, Scriabin, Rubinstein, Siloti, and Arensky, as well as others. Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov, director of the 2016 ALS festival, has assembled a fabulous line up of performers and scholars. The board of directors is enthusiastic about the festival and we invite all of you to consider attending "Liszt and Russia."
Jay A. Hershberger, DMA
American Liszt Society