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Program for Matthew Bengtson – November 10, 2023

Friday, November 10, 2023 at 8 pm

download a copy of this program here.

Matthew Bengtsonpiano


Pinchas (Paul) Schoenfeld (b. 1947)
from Peccadilloes

Ingrid Arauco (b. 1957)
Meditation (Glocken)

Curt Cacioppo (b. 1951)
from Ciclo Metamorfico sul nome d’un Maestro
Getreidegasse no. 9
             Lo studio

Roberto Sierra (b. 1953)
Piano Sonata no. 13
World Premiere


Luke Carlson (b. 1983)
from Patterns
             Roundel in Red
             Little Green Zigzags

William Bolcom (b. 1938)
from Twelve New Etudes
No. 10, Vers le Silence

Roberto Sierra
from Estudios rítmicos y sonoros
Nos. 4-6

About the musician

Critically acclaimed as a “musician’s pianist,” Matthew Bengtson offers a diverse repertoire, ranging from William Byrd to numerous contemporary composers with whom he actively collaborates. He has performed concerts as both soloist and collaborator in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Hungary, in Mexico, in Washington, DC, at Monticello, and in solo recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He has been heard with violinist Joshua Bell on NPR’s Performance Today and XM Satellite Radio’s Classical Confidential. His recordings can be heard on the Albany, Arabesque, Griffin Renaissance, IBS Classical, Musica Omnia, Navona, and Roméo record labels.

Mr. Bengtson is lauded as one of the most persuasive advocates of the music of Scriabin and Szymanowski. On his complete Scriabin Piano Sonatas, the American Record Guide writes: “Big-boned pianism, rich tonal colors, and dazzling technique are on display here. Has Scriabin ever been played better? Only Horowitz and Richter can compare.” Fanfare magazine calls him “a Scriabinist for the 21st century … upon whom future generations can rely for definitive interpretations.” In 2015, he toured with the complete Scriabin sonatas, and performed in the historic centennial Scriabin in the Himalayas festival in Ladakh, India.

Equally devoted to the music of Karol Szymanowski, he has recorded a 3-CD collection of the solo piano and violin/piano duo music of the great Polish composer, together with violinist Blanka Bednarz, on the Musica Omnia label, again to critical acclaim. The duo has presented numerous all-Szymanowski duo/solo recitals across the United States and in Poland, including the Karol Szymanowski Museum in Zakopane.

Mr. Bengtson enjoys a close relationship with leading Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra, of whose music he has given numerous premieres, including his formidable 12 Estudios rítmicos y sonoros, recently recorded on the IBS Classical label in Auditorio Manuel de Falla in Granada, Spain. The disc was awarded the prestigious Melómano de Oro award. He performs in the Sierra Duo with cellist John Haines-Eitzen, with whom he recorded Sierra’s complete cello and piano music for Albany Records.

Mr. Bengtson is among today’s proponents of historical performance practice, preferring to perform music when possible on instruments from the era of the composer. He studied harpsichord with Webb Wiggins at Peabody, and fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University. His video introduction to the Viennese 5-octave fortepiano has become a YouTube favorite. His students have taken top prizes in international competitions on early pianos. Mr. Bengtson studied piano performance as a Harvard undergraduate with Patricia Zander. He also studied contemporary repertoire with Stephen Drury, and chamber music and performance practice with Robert Levin. He earned his MM and DMA degrees in piano performance at the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Ann Schein.

Renowned as a writer and music educator, Mr. Bengtson is author of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled Exploring Piano Literature: the Piano Sonata, available on Coursera, and is co-author of The Alexander Scriabin Companion: History, Performance, and Lore, available from Rowman and Littlefield Press. He is Associate Professor of Piano Literature at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where he teaches piano, fortepiano, and courses and seminars in piano repertoire, history and culture. Mr. Bengtson is a Steinway Artist.

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