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American Liszt Society Festival

The focal point of each year's American Liszt Society calendar of events. Historically, festivals have been held at a wide variety of locations in the United States and Canada. Festivals are typically hosted by a university, a library, a local ALS chapter, or a music performance organization.

Those interested in hosting a festival should contact the President of ALS.


International festivals have been added to provide performance opportunities abroad for ALS members.

Such festivals have been held in China, Budapest, Prague, Brazil, and Italy.



"The Composer-Pianist"

The 2024 Festival will explore aspects of the work and life of composer-pianists

from Franz Liszt to Ferruccio Busoni to Marc-André Hamelin

Highlights of the Festival

Composer-pianists' work featured in performances and lectures will include: 

Liszt, Liszt's students d'Albert, Sgambati, and Zarebski,

Scriabin, Busoni, Medtner, Hamelin, Chaminade, George Walker, Kemal Gekic, 

Asiya Korepanova, Friedrich Gulda, Ronn Yedidia, and more.


 A session on improvisation will be offered.

Gregor Benko's documentary on Josef Hofmann will be screened.

Marc-André Hamelin will teach a master class and give the world premiere of a new solo piano work commissioned from him by the American Liszt Society, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Society.


 Rare programs from the collection of John Maltese and items from Georgia Museum of Art's 19th-century Russian collection depicting cityscapes and scenes from Russia at the time of Liszt's and Busoni's visits there 

and the lifetimes of Scriabin and Medtner will be on exhibit.

Performers and lecturers include Paul Barnes, Matthew Bengston, Gabriel Dobner,  Kemal Gekic,

Matthew Gianforte, Gila Goldstein, Daniel Horn, Martin David Jones, Erinn Knyt, Asiya Korepanova,

Kevin McMillan, Meeyoun Park, Derek Parsons, Eva Polgar, Dmitry Rachmanov, Evgeny Rivkin, Liza Stepanova,

Nicholas Susi, Nadejda Vlaeva, Richard Zimdars, and more.

Updated information will be posted monthly.

Why Attend a Liszt Festival?

Franz Liszt was perhaps the most misunderstood musician in the history of our art. His image has been used as a model of showmanship and shallow virtuosity. In fact, one important source on the history of piano playing includes a chapter on Liszt entitled

"Thunder, Lightning, Mesmerism, and Sex"! (Harold Schonberg, The Great Pianists.)

One has only to read a few pages of Alan Walker's monumental three-volume biography of Franz Liszt before realizing that, in truth, Liszt was a deep thinker, and he had a profound effect on the musical minds of his day.

His inspiration, genius, and generosity influenced the development of musical thought well into the twentieth century.

His was an attitude of service to his fellow musicians and to humanity.

The paradox of the notoriety of his worldly existence has, for over a century, obscured the deep religious conviction evident in his music.

The Annual Conferences, also known as Festivals, of The American Liszt Society, hosted by various universities or other organizations throughout North America, provide an opportunity to learn more about this fascinating musician through lectures, recitals, master classes, and concerts.

Often, a sumptuous banquet and informal receptions are included in the itinerary, which most often covers a three-day time span.  Perhaps equally important is the camaraderie enjoyed by Festival participants and the new musical friendships that are established as an outgrowth of the event.

Each Conference/Festival has a theme that presents Liszt's music and the music of his contemporaries and successors in public venues.

Some Liszt Festival themes have included "An Exploration of the Italian Aspect of Liszt: Spirituality, Italian Art and Poetry, and Virtuosity,"; "The Works for Piano and Orchestra,"; "Heaven on Earth: Exploring the Sacred in Music,"; "A Celebration of Liszt and Matthay"; "Liszt in Paris"; "Anniversaries and Connections"; "Liszt in Weimar"; "Liszt and the Future"; "Celebrating Liszt and Chopin"; "Liszt as Missionary,"; "Liszt and Hungary,"; and "Liszt and His Pupils." to name just a few.

The yearly Conference/Festival and its partner events will appeal to scholars, performers, and music lovers of all ages,

from professional musicians to young students.

Hopefully, by attending these festivals, an image of Liszt will emerge for you that will contribute to a reassessment of his treasury of uplifting music, his importance in the dissemination of music throughout Europe in the nineteenth century, and his beneficence that allowed both the mighty and the meek to attain a higher spiritual and musical good. We sincerely hope it will be possible for you to join us in an unforgettable musical experience!

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