On Friday, Feb. 17, Allen Reiser presented a lecture/recital "Facets of Liszt" at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre.
About 80 rapt listeners were treated to performances of a variety of Liszt's works, from the mighty Sonata in B minor to the playful concert étude "Gnomenreisen" or Gnome's Dance, from the contemplative Bénédiction de Dieu dans la Solitude to the expansive Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13.
Mr. Reiser, a well-known Calgary concert pianist and teacher, introduced the program with a short biography of Liszt, and related each piece to the various stages and preoccupations in his life.
Comments from the audience were enthusiastic, and included praise for Mr. Reiser's performance, as well as for the piano - a Kawai grand - recently reconditioned by the College with support from the East Kootenay Music Teachers' Association (EKMTA). Thanks to the College Guest Lecture Fund for sponsoring this presentation and to the Symphony of the Kootenays for providing a door prize, two tickets to the Symphony concert of February 25, featuring the Joe Trio.
The weekend continued with a master class on Saturday morning, as Mr. Reiser used his teaching expertise to assist six piano students from Creston and Cranbrook.
Students and observers were delighted with his comments, helpful tips and gentle wit. In the afternoon, Mr. Reiser presented a workshop on pedalling in Romantic music. While it seems a limited topic, the implications are enormous for teaching and performing, and approximately 15 participants, including teachers from Nelson, Creston, Fernie and Cranbrook, received advice and information to take back to their own students and performance practice.
The weekend garnered over $350 for the EKMTA's Scholarship Fund. Thank you to the College of the Rockies, the BC Registered Music Teachers' Association and other donors who supported these events.