Erin Curtis-Dierks

KU to celebrate Franz Liszt's 200th birthday with Sept. 11-13 festival

Fri, 09/02/2011
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LAWRENCE — The world’s foremost authority on the composer and pianist Franz Liszt will lead a three-day celebration of the anniversary of Liszt’s 200th birthday at the University of Kansas School of Music, Sept. 11 - 13.

The festival, “A Liszt Odyssey,” is set to become one of the world’s most memorable and visible Liszt festivals. The KU event will feature Alan Walker, a internationally renowned authority on Liszt, and include the world premiere of a work created specifically for the festival, “The Last Resistance,” by an emerging new composer, Mohammed Fairouz, of New York City.

The celebration will include a broad array of cultural and educational events highlighting the many aspects of Liszt’s art. Visiting artists will include Massimiliano Baggio, a piano ensemble specialist from the famed Milan Conservatory.

All events are free and open to the public.

In celebration of Liszt’s life and legacy as a pianist, composer and arts patron, the KU School of Music is partnering with sponsor Reach Out Kansas, Inc., of Overland Park, as well as the Lied Center of Kansas, the Spencer Museum of Art and Bales Recital Hall, to present this commemoration.

The festival will include:

• Sunday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Student Organ Recital in Bales Organ Recital Hall

• Monday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m. to noon: A master class for duo pianists with Massimiliano Baggio in Murphy Hall’s Swarthout Recital Hall.

• Monday, Sept. 12, 12:30 p.m.: Collaborative Recital featuring Pianist Robert Koenig, visiting artist from University of California at Santa Barbara and former KU faculty member; Baritone Chris Thompson, KU alumnus; Soprano Callie Schlegel, KU alumna; Violist Peter Chun, KU associate professor of music; and Clarinetist Robert Walzel, KU Dean of Music in KU’s Spencer Museum of Art.

• Monday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Lecture by Alan Walker on “Liszt and the Keyboard: the Wizard Casts His Spells,” The Lied Center of Kansas

• Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, 7:30 p.m.: Recital, Aspects of Liszt, featuring music of Liszt and the world premiere of the Piano Sonata No. 2 (2011), “The Last Resistance,” by Mohammed Fairouz and performed by Steven Spooner, KU associate professor of music, at the The Lied Center of Kansas.

Funding for the Liszt Festival is provided by Reach Out Kansas, Inc: the Law Offices of Smithyman and Zakoura, Chartered-Overland Park, and the Zakoura Family Fund.

The funds are managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization servicing as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU.

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit

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