Teacher & Mentor

Throughout the years Dr. Roldán has enjoyed answering students and/or professional performers and researches who have contacted her on various subjects, in particular about the music of Carlos Guastavino, whose Cantilenas for piano were the object of her doctoral studies. In addition to maintaining contact with the composer for over a decade before his death, the composer maintained correspondence, approving and celebrating her study and interpretation of the Cantilenas, as well as other performances and recordings of his music by Roldán, all facts that make her an ideal source of information for English speakers and musicians in general. See Sonus.  

Nancy Roldán’s creation of an important event mirrored her teaching and life-quest as mentor and allowed the implementation of ways to support young musicians “human beings with special passion and abilities for music.” Known as the Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition, the enterprise was organized with the goal of supporting young professionals in their careers.  Participants who so chose, were hosted by members of the community. Different from other competitions, all contestants were required to attend educational and exciting concert presentations by expert professionals of international repute, who many times served as judges of the competition. Acting as representative of the winners, Nancy Roldán made sure awardees of the competition were featured in different venues via Performance Opportunity Awards, prizes made possible in collaboration with fellow colleagues and concert organizers in the USA and also abroad. In addition, she produced two albums featuring winners of the competition: the first CD featured 2005 and 2006 winners performing on the Steingräber piano Shawn Tirrell’s piano company provided for the 2006 event; the next two-CD collection featured Best-Liszt-Interpretation-Performances and was produced honoring the Bicentennial of Liszt’s birth. Contestants and prize winners were encouraged to charitably share their talents in hospitals or retirement homes as well.

In addition to the traditional classical repertory, the festival and competition event took pride in encouraging the performance of innovative works with emphasis on repertory by American composers, thus also supporting these 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 Kostov & Valkov premiered their own brilliant transcription of Liszt’s Hungarian Dance No. 2 in the competition. In 2013, Dr. Roldán 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 authors 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 Nancy Roldán in celebration of the Liszt-Garrison 10th anniversary celebration.

To the founder’s delight… “the search for remarkable musicians, humanitarian artists who are aware there is something to share beyond the prowess of performance, has not been in vain.”

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

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