The Art of Mentoring

It was my privilege to found, direct and chair the Liszt-Garrison Festival & International Piano Competition [LGFIC] since its inaugural year 2005 through 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. After the inaugural year at Grace United Methodist Church, the event was held at Notre Dame of Maryland University first in 2006, and biennially since 2007. Presented under the aegis of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the American Liszt Society, the competition became widely recognized in the country and abroad. In October 2017, we held the festival and competition at The Ohio State University, in cooperation with the American Liszt Society, Ohio Chapter. The event will be from now on be known as the Franz Liszt Festival & International Competition for Piano and Duo Ensembles with Piano.

Mentoring young musicians has been my privilege throughout the years and it is the main reason I created the Liszt-Garrison Competition. The main objective of this enterprise has been to support human beings with a special passion and abilities for music.

In addition to the traditional classical repertory, the festival and competition event has taken pride in encouraging the performance of innovative works with emphasis on repertory by American composers. In 2011 — the bicentennial celebration of Franz Liszt’s birth, two world premieres for solo piano enhanced the festival performances: Angelus! by Jorge Villavicencio-Grossmann, and Calle Veneziana by Kye Ryung Park. The 2011 Collaborative Artists winners, cello and piano duo Lachezar Kostov & Victor Valkov premiered their own brilliant transcription of Liszt’s Hungarian Dance No. 2 in the competition. In 2013, I commissioned the transcription for Cello & Piano of Liszt’s Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine from the duo named above. The work was written and premiered by the Kostov/Valkov duo at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. The most recent festival premiere was the 2015 Double Rhapsody for Violin and Piano, written by American composer Andrew Gerle for violinist José Cueto and myself in celebration of the Liszt-Garrison 10th anniversary celebration.

Congratulations to the many wonderful young musicians who participated and won deserved awards throughout the years.

This enterprise was made possible with the support of wonderful friends and musicians from the Baltimore-Washington community.

Sursum Corda!

Please click here to read "A Brief History of the Competition."