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Karen Brooks Hopkins
The Power of 88 Keys: Unlocking Hearts and Minds
Thursday, July 25

Karen is a Board member and Senior Advisor to the Onassis Foundation for the Public Benefit.  She is also the Nasher Haemisegger Fellow at SMU DataArts located at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Trust of Governors Island. Karen was an employee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (“BAM”) for 36 years, serving as its President from 1999 until her retirement in 2015 when she was designated President Emerita. From 2009 – 2010, she also served as a member of the State Board of Regents for the New York State Education Department. From 2015-2017, Karen served as the inaugural Senior Fellow in Residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Karen Brooks Hopkins received honorary degrees from St. Francis College, Long Island University and Pratt Institute, as well as several international commendations including the King Olav Medal from Norway, the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France and the Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star from Sweden.  During her tenure as President of BAM, BAM was awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. In 2013, Karen was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by Crain’s New York Business.  She was also honored as a member of the first Crain’s Hall of Fame in 2015. Karen is the author of Successful Fundraising for Arts and Culture Organizations, currently in its 2nd edition.  In 2020, her memoir of her years at BAM will be published by Powerhouse Books.

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Alan Walker
Fryderyk Chopin: the Copernicus of the Piano
Friday, July 26

Even during his lifetime, Chopin was called “the Copernicus of the Piano.” It was not an idle sentiment. Copernicus, the celebrated Polish astronomer, had three hundred years earlier opened up the heavens for his successors, just as Chopin, his equally celebrated compatriot, was now opening up new worlds of sound on the piano for those who came after him. How Chopin achieved this - through his revolutionary approach to fingering, pedalling, and the unique connection he established between the human hand and the keyboard - will be among the topics of this presentation.

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, An Anatomy of Musical Criticism, and symposia on Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt.

Dr. Walker’s three-volume, prize winning biography of Franz Liszt, was a project which 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.

The Liszt biography was followed by a detailed inquiry into Liszt’s demise called ‘The Death of Franz Liszt’ (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY). It describes the last ten days of the composer's life in Bayreuth. Based on eye-witness accounts, and the unpublished diary of a pupil, Lina Schmalhausen, it tells a harrowing story of Liszt’s final illness, of medical malpractice, of family neglect, and of a callous disregard for Liszt's final wishes.

Alan Walker’s latest book is titled ‘Reflections on Liszt’ (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2005) which contains essays on Liszt’s life and work, including his lifelong connection to the music of Beethoven, the Beethoven Symphony-transcriptions, the Schubert Song-transcriptions, the Sonata in B minor, and Liszt as an Author.

For his services to music, McMaster University bestowed on Alan Walker the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. During the Liszt bi-centennial anniversary year (2011) the Government of Hungary inducted him into one of its highest civilian honours: the Knight’s Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.

For the past ten years Alan Walker has been working on a large-scale biography of Fryderyk Chopin, which was published in October 2018, to widespread critical acclaim.

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Sam Holland
NCKP:  Past, Present, and Future
Wednesday, July 24

Dr. Samuel Holland, one of the founders of NCKP, will share reflections on our 40-year legacy of piano pedagogy conferences and our future aspirations and challenges. With personal insights and experiences, Dr. Holland will celebrate our achievements and explore how our past can help shape our future.

Samuel Holland is the Algur H. Meadows Dean and an award-winning professor of music at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University. His articles have appeared in every major English language professional keyboard journal and he is the author of over seventy critically acclaimed method books and recordings distributed internationally by Alfred Publishing Co. and the Frederick Harris Music Co. He has presented hundreds of lectures and recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Holland served as founding director of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.