2014 Conference


October 23-24, 2014
Wayne State College
111 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787

Commissioned Composer: Kurt Knecht

Kurt Knecht

pdf file Kurt Knecht Bio

Kurt Knecht is a composer, organist, and conductor. His compositions have been described as "funky" and "joyous" in the Washington Post, and the American Record Guide has called him a "fresh voice." His compositions have become a staple of the modern choral festival literature and have been performed at festivals and concerts throughout the world. Recent performances of his compositions include international performances at festivals and concerts in Germany, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Cuba. In the US, his music has been featured on All State festivals in over 35 states. His compositions have been performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

He is regularly commissioned and publishes with Walton and Pavane. He has received the ASCAP Plus award (2008-2012) from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. His composition Missa Prolationem was awarded the Folsom Prize for the most outstanding dissertation of the University of Nebraska in 2009. As an eclectic performer, Kurt has been a featured soloist with groups ranging from Smokey Robinson to The Florida Orchestra. Kurt also regularly appears as a concert organist and collaborative pianist. He has served as an accompanist to many of the nations leading choral conductors having performed in concert with Jo-Michael Scheibe, Jerry McCoy, Doreen Rao, Andre Thomas, Kevin Fenton, and Therees Hibbard.

He is the music director at St. Mark's on the Campus in Lincoln, NE and the artistic director and conductor of the Lincoln Lutheran Choir. He received the Bachelor of Music from the University of Tampa with concentrations in Piano Performance and Theory, the Master of Music in Composition from Southern Methodist University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition with a minor in Organ Performance from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Guest Clinician: Gail Berenson

Gail Berenson

pdf file Gail Berenson Bio

Gail Berenson is Professor Emerita of Piano at Ohio University, Athens, where she was awarded the "Distinguished Teacher of the Year" Award in 2000. Prior to coming to Ohio, she was on the faculty of the University of Illinois, Urbana. An active performer and passionate chamber music collaborator, she performs with flutist, Alison Brown Sincoff, as a member of the Ohio University Lyric Duo.

As a result of her distinguished work as a piano pedagogue, along with her reputation as an expert on musician wellness issues, she is much in demand as a performer, clinician, master class artist, adjudicator, author, reviewer and pedagogy consultant. She has performed and lectured in over thirty states and in nine countries. She was a presenter at the European Piano Teachers Conference in Manchester, England in 2005 and in Funchal, Madeira in 2006, and presented a session at the 2010 International Society of Music Education's World Conference in Beijing, China and the 2012 World Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece. This July she will be a guest clinician at the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also continues to periodically serve as a piano instructor in Yamaha's Passport to Music program, in cooperation with Crystal Cruise Lines.

Ms. Berenson began to build a reputation as a performing artist early when at age eleven she began accompanying the forty-member male chorus conducted by her piano teacher, appearing in concert throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, she continued her education at Northwestern University, completing degrees in piano performance, studying piano with Louis Crowder and Guy Duckworth. She also performed in master classes with world-renowned accompanist Gerald Moore, baritone Pierre Bernac, duo-pianists Vronsky and Babin and, at the Lucerne International Music Festival, with pianist and accomplished chamber musician, Mieczyslaw Horszowski.

Ms. Berenson is one of the co-authors of A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop Mind and Body for Optimal Performance and, as a member of the Lorenz Advisory Board she contributed to the innovative piano method, Piano Discoveries, and is co-author of "Ask the Professor". She has also authored three chapters for the fourth edition of the Lyke, Haydon, Rollin book, Creative Piano Teaching, published in spring 2011. Ms. Berenson has also written articles for Keyboard Companion, the on-line journal, Piano Pedagogy Forum and served as a contributing editor to Piano & Keyboard.

She is a Past President of Music Teachers National Association, an association of 22,000 members. She has also held the position of President-Elect and President, Vice President, Chair of the 2002 and 2003 MTNA National Conference Committees, has served on the 1996 and 1997 Conference Committees and was one of the founding members of the MTNA Pedagogy Committee. She represents the United States and the piano area as a member of the International Society of Music Education's Forum on Instrumental and Vocal Teaching. She has held several national posts with the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and has chaired the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy's Wellness for Pianists Committee. A past president of the Ohio Music Teachers Association, she holds MTNA's Master Certificate in piano and piano pedagogy and was the recipient of the 1999 OMTA "Certified Teacher of the Year" award and the 2004 OMTA "Collegiate Teacher of the Year" award. In recognition of her significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession, she was awarded an MTNA Foundation Fellow Award in 2007. Her students are performing and teaching in independent studios and on college faculties throughout the world.

Guest Artist: Mark Salman, pianist

Mark Salman

pdf file Mark Salman Bio

Hailed as a "heroic virtuoso," and "a dazzling performer," Mark Salman's performances have been described as "powerful," "astonishing, exacting and evocative," "dramatic," "wildly imaginative" and "touchingly lyrical." Of his performance of Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata one authority stated, "there are probably only five or six pianists in the world who can play [it] as perfectly." His performance of Liszt's transcription of the Beethoven Seventh Symphony was named one of three "Performances of the Year" by the Seattle Weekly.

Mr. Salman's performances have taken him to Europe, Asia, Canada and throughout the United States. He has performed in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, has been the subject of profiles in The New York Times and has been featured in numerous radio and television broadcasts in the U.S. and in China. His account of his meetings with and playing for Vladimir Horowitz appears in David Dubal's book, Evenings with Horowitz. Mr. Salman was a co-founder of the Delmarva Piano Festival in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which ran for seventeen seasons. His performances have included his debut at the Newport Music Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, an eight recital series devoted to the works of Franz Liszt in Seattle, three recitals featuring Schubert's final three sonatas, a complete cycle of Beethoven's five piano concertos and Choral Fantasy with Orchestra Seattle, "A Chopin Celebration," a series of three recitals celebrating the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, and five recitals in honor of Liszt's 200th birthday. Mr. Salman is regularly heard as a concerto soloist with northwest orchestras, including Orchestra Seattle, Auburn Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Cascade Symphony, Federal Way Symphony, and the Northwest Sinfonietta. As a chamber musician, he appears regularly with Simple Measures. Mr. Salman is a Steinway artist. He is on the faculty of the Seattle Conservatory of Music.

Besides his wide-ranging repertoire, Mr. Salman is perhaps best known for his expertise on Beethoven, having performed the complete cycle of the thirty-two piano sonatas on both coasts as well as in 18 broadcasts on KING-FM in Seattle. In production is Beethoven and his 32 Piano Sonatas - A Musical Universe, a sixteen-part video series featuring Mr. Salman's performances of the complete sonata cycle, hosted by the noted author and commentator, David Dubal. DVD volumes one and two have been released on the Great Composers label.

Mr. Salman's recordings include his newest release, Schubert Late Sonatas, two all-Chopin CDs, including Chopin's Intimate Art: The Mazurkas, Mozart's Piano Concertos K. 488 and K. 503 with the Northwest Sinfonietta, the Transcendental Piano, featuring works by Alkan, Beethoven and Liszt, two DVDs in the series Beethoven and his 32 Piano Sonatas - A Musical Universe as well as American Interweave, featuring contemporary American works for cello and piano. Also available in limited release are the first four live performances from his 2004-2005 Liszt series and his Beethoven concerto performances with Orchestra Seattle.

Mr. Salman is a native of Connecticut, where he began his studies at the age of eight and made his recital debut at eleven. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he studied with Richard Fabre and Josef Raieff. He previously attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for two years, where he concentrated on chamber music and composition, studying with the noted composer, John Harbison.

Hotel Information

Super 8 Motel
NMTA Conference price $49.99
(reservations by October 8 for discount; 20 rooms held)
610 Tomar Drive, Wayne, Nebraska
For reservations call: 866-454-3213
Direct Line: 402-375-4898

Cobblestone Inn and Suites
NMTA Conference price $77.90
(reservations by October 8 for discount; 20 rooms held)
505 Tomar Drive, Wayne, Nebraska
For reservations call: 888-693-8262
Direct Line: 402-833-1300

Summer Bulletin and Conference Registration Form

pdf file 2014 NMTA Summer Bulletin and Conference Registration Form

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