About the Performers
Pianist and Composer Haskell Small, hailed by England’s Musical Times for his “dazzlingly prodigious technique,” has concertized with great success in major European capitals, South America, Japan and China, and has been enthusiastically received by American audiences in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Spoleto Festival USA. The top semifinalist in the Johann Sebastian Bach International Piano Competition, Mr. Small has received numerous awards and has been featured in the nationally broadcast PBS special, “A Celebration of the Piano.”
Following in the tradition of 18th- and 19th-century pianist/composers, Haskell Small is also an accomplished composer who often performs his own works. Small has recorded a number of CDs, among them Federico Mompou's Musica Callada, for MSR Classics (headlined “A Golden Silence” by the Washington Post), a Gershwin disc for Centaur, a Children’s CD with narrator Robert Aubry Davis for Ongaku, and a disk of his smaller chamber works and Bach’s Goldberg Variations, both for 4Tay. He is currently preparing a recording of the Bach Partitas and also a new disc of his (Small’s) piano solo music.
Haskell Small received his musical training at the San Francisco Conservatory and Carnegie-Mellon University, and has studied piano with Leon Fleisher, William Masselos, Harry Franklin, and Jeanne Behrend, and composition with Roland Leich and Vincent Persichetti. Currently he is the Piano Department Chair of the Washington Conservatory of Music.
Narrator Betsy Small studied Creative Writing at Carnegie-Mellon University and wrote the youth musical Crystal’s Journey, which was produced at Adventure Theater in Glen Echo, Maryland. She has served as Editor-in-Chief and writer for the Lute Society of America Newsletter and is editor of “Poems of Awakening”, a book of timeless world poetry about the luminosity of the human spirit.
Ms. Small directed and played lute with The Washington Camerata for 20 years. She also set and dramatized folktales with Medieval and Renaissance music to perform in schools with her group, The Story Minstrels. Later she set Alf Hurum's 20th century piece Eventyrland (Fairy-tale Land) for piano and narrator and performed it with her husband, Haskell Small. Mr. Small's Fantasy of the Red-Eyed Creature, originally written by children and their teachers and premiered by the Mount Vernon Orchestra as part of an American Composers’ Forum Grant was later re-created and presented by Betsy and Haskell Small as a piece for piano and narrator.
Ms. Small currently teaches lute and guitar lessons and has taught yoga to children and senior citizens.
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