Friday, 30 July, 2021 | 5:00 PM

Scott Foglesong

Elder Pianists

They’re our direct connection to the 19th century, pianists for whom Romanticism was not in the past tense, and who left us priceless recordings of their inimitable art. The technology may have been primitive, but their pianism was not.

The Elder Pianists start with Beethoven, who taught Carl Czerny, who taught both Franz Liszt and Theodor Leschetizsky, and those two taught just about everybody. Fortunately, some of those folks left us recordings. In this Piano Talk, Scott Foglesong discusses these great artists, punctuated by historical recordings from the pianists Leschetizskians Ignaz Friedman, Benno Moiseiwitsch, and Lisztian Moriz Rosenthal. Also included is a giant who didn’t study with either: Ferruccio Busoni. Finally, Scott wraps up the talk, spending a few moments with Francis Planté, who was such an Elder Pianist that he actually remembered hearing Chopin play.

About the artist

Scott Foglesong is a pianist, musician, teacher, writer, cat-lover, music history devotée, occasional computer geek, and sometime programmer. He has been on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 1978; nowadays he serves as a department chair in addition to enjoying the honor of educating some of today’s most promising young musicians. In 2008 he was named recipient of the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for excellence in teaching. He has taught Music 27 (Introduction to Music) for the Fall Freshman program at UC Berkeley since 1991, is associated with the San Francisco Symphony, both as a Contributing Writer and as an “Inside Music” lecturer for the Symphony’s weekly subscription concerts, and is Program Annotator for the California Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival, and San Luis Obispo Symphony, after formerly serving in the same capacity for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, New Hampshire Music Festival, and Las Vegas Philharmonic. Professor Foglesong was formally educated at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the San Francisco Conservatory, but his informal education continues everywhere, without cease.