Franz Liszt: The Cultural Ambassador of the 19th Century

February 23, 2012

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Dr. Alan Walker

Dr. Alan Walker is professor emeritus of music at McMaster University, Canada. Before settling in North America he was on the staff of the Music Division of the British Broadcasting Corporation in London. He has broadcast for the BBC, for the CBC, and for CJRT-FM (Toronto), and gives regular public lectures on the music of the Romantic Era, a period in which he specializes. His thirteen published books include A Study in Musical Analysis and An Anatomy of Musical Criticism.

Dr. Walker’s three-volume, prize-winning biography of Franz Liszt, published by Alfred A. Knopf (New York), was a project that took him twenty-five years to complete and for which the President of Hungary bestowed on him the medal Pro Cultura Hungarica. The biography also received the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize, presented by HRH The Duke of Kent in London. TIME Magazine hailed the biography as "a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival." The Wall Street Journal called it the "definitive work to which all subsequent Liszt biographies will aspire." The Washington Post selected it as a Book of the Year.

Recorded Thursday, February 23, 2012 at the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Northeastern Illinois University.