2021 American Liszt Society Festival

Painting of Franz LisztWelcome! The 2021 American Liszt Society Festival at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance will focus on Liszt’s Hungarian roots and legacies. We will focus on music of the Romani people, as it influenced composers across Europe, both Hungarian and otherwise. We will open with a performance by the Gypsy Stringz with violinist George Batyi, hear and play the complete Hungarian Rhapsodies, eat Hungarian food, take in presentations by leading musicologists on verbunkos and the style hongrois, observe Hungarian dance steps, hear Hungarian chamber and vocal repertoire, and much much more!

Festival Dates*: October 15-18, 2021

Friday, October 15
late afternoon: Film showing “Piano Lessons: the Life and Art of German Diez Nieto”
evening: Gypsy Stringz performance (Rackham Auditorium)

Saturday, October 16
daytime topics: Traditional Instruments and dance, performance practice, Gershwin
evening: Hungarian Rhapsodies 1-15

Sunday, October 17
daytime topics: Early pianos, Rare Hungarian Romantics, late Hungarian Rhapsodies, Vocal music, Ukrainian themes, Dohnányi
evening: Hungarian-theme chamber music recital, music of Kocsár, Bartók, and Brahms (U Mich faculty)

Monday, October 18
daytime topics: Kodaly, Bartók, Ligeti, and Kurtág. String repertoire. More recent Hungarian works.

All events to be held in the Moore Building, except as noted.

*At this time, the University has not lifted its health restrictions on external speakers and performers. However, we plan to hold the event with the belief that these kinds of restrictions are highly likely to be lifted on fully-vaccinated participants in plenty of time for October. The UM and ALS cannot make a 100% guarantee at this time and are not responsible for changes in health restrictions related to the subsequent course of the pandemic.


Gypsy Strinz Band


Gypsy Stringz with violinist George Batyi
Eastern European music band with instruments including the violin, bass, brac and bugarija, cimbalom. led by Romani violinist George Batyi.


Jonathan Bellman, University of Northern Colorado


Jonathan Bellman
Professor of Music History and Literature of the University of Northern Colorado, author of The ‘Style hongrois’ in the Music of Western Europe.


Lynn Hooker, Purdue University


Lynn Hooker
Associate Professor of Music History of Purdue University, author of Redefining Hungarian Music from Liszt to Bartók.


Peter Laki


Peter Laki
Author of numerous articles on Bartók and other Hungarian composers, and Editor of Bartók and His World



Shay Loya
Recipient of the Alan Walker Prize. Author of Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition.


John Maltese


John Maltese
Winner of 1996 Grammy Award in the Best Historical Album category in 1996 for an extensive compilation of works by Jascha Heifetz.



Members of the American Liszt Society (ALS), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), American Musicological Society (AMS), or College Music Society (CMS) receive reduced registration rates, as shown below.

Full conference, non-member ($150)
Full conference, member of AMS, CMS, or MTNA ($125)
Full conference, member of ALS ($100)
Full conference, student ($40)
Single-day pass, non-member ($60)
Single-day pass, member of ALS, AMS, CMS or MTNA ($40)

Registering for the optional banquet (October 18) adds an additional $50.

Register now!

The Festival has made group reservations at the following hotels.  Please mention the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (American Liszt Society) when making your reservation for inclusion in the block.

Microtel 3610 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor (2.7 miles from campus) (734) 997-9100

DoubleTree by Hilton  3600 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor (2.7 miles from campus)  (734) 769-9800

Please visit the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau for information about additional hotels and ground transportation.

University of Michigan campus maps

Events will take place at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance E.V. Moore Building and Rackham Auditorium.

Questions?  Please contact Festival Director Matthew Bengtson or graduate assistant Minji Kim.

American Liszt Society