CSUN Department of Music to Host American Liszt Society Festival

Classical music pioneer Franz Liszt. Image provided by Dmitry Rachmanov.

Classical music pioneer Franz Liszt. Image provided by Dmitry Rachmanov.

What happens when globally recognized musicians gather to perform in the Valley Performing Art Center’s Great Hall at California State University, Northridge? A three-day magnum opus combining aesthetics, philosophy and art called “Liszt and Russia” — the 52nd Festival of the American Liszt Society — is born, according to world-renowned pianist and CSUN music professor Dmitry Rachmanov.

Rachmanov said this year’s festival will be a wonderful experience for those who want to experience composer Franz Liszt’s influence on Russian classical music through the performances of local and global performers.

“As a preeminent virtuoso of his time, Liszt basically awakened that sleeping giant for Russian music as a classical tradition,” he said. “He exerted a huge influence on the development of Russian music. That is what we are exploring in this festival.”

From Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, guests may come experience the musical prowess of musicians such as Beijing Central Conservatory professor and international concert artist Yuan Sheng, University of Iowa music professor and concert pianist Ksenia Nosikova, CSUN’s Wind Ensemble and Symphony and many more.

Rachmanov explained that the festival’s performers represent some of the best musicians in the world, and having them perform at CSUN also showcases the university.

“The soloists will represent pianists from the United States as well as Russia, China and more,” he said. “It certainly makes me feel very proud as a member of the faculty at this institution. We wanted to showcase CSUN, and the music department in particular. We are happy to have so many world-class performers under the same roof.”

Student attendees also will be able to participate in master classes taught by expert musicians John Perry and Russia’s Moscow Conservatory senior professor and pianist Mikhail Voskresensky.

Rachmanov said the classes will give students from Southern California universities such as University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; California State University, Long Beach and CSUN a close encounter with great musicians who practice what they teach.

“We wanted to invite local students to be represented, so they can shine within the global and local perspectives,” he said.

Tickets for the Festival of the American Liszt Society are available for $20 in advance or $25 on the day of each performance. Parking is available on the south side of campus for $6 per day. For more information on the festival’s schedule and tickets, go to www.als2016.org or call (818) 677-3000.

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