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Rachmaninov's Last Living Pupil to Present Piano Workshops at LVC
01.29.13 |

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Lebanon Valley College is pleased to host Madame Ruth Slenczynska, the last living pupil of legendary pianist Sergei Rachmaninov, for a variety of educational presentations and a concert on campus. Slenczynska will conduct a master class Saturday, February 2, from 10 a.m. to noon and a workshop on practice techniques that afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m.

Slenczynska will share her insights on Chopin's "Sonata and Preludes" in a lecture at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, February 3. A piano concert in her honor featuring Dr. Shelly Moorman-Stahlman, LVC professor of music, will follow Slenczynska's appearance February 3 at 3 p.m. All events are free and open to the public and will be held in Lutz Hall of the Blair Music Center.

The concert will include Bach's "Toccata in D Major BWV 912," Chopin's "Sonata in B Flat Minor, op. 35," Prokofiev's "Toccata, op. 11," and Chopin's "24 Preludes." The audience will be treated to a special presentation as Slenczynska joins Moorman-Stahlman for Rachmaninov's duet, "Italian Polka," which Slenczynska performed as a child with Rachmaninov. All events are free and open to the public.

Slenczynska is an American-born pianist from Sacramento who made her debut at just six years old. At the age of eight, she performed in New York's Town Hall. A child prodigy, the New York Times wrote that Slenczynska was "the greatest piano genius since Mozart" and that her performance was an "electrifying experience; something nature has produced in one of her most bounteous moods."

Slenczynska later taught at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and served as an Artist-in-Residence in Taiwan. She has concertized all over the world playing with many famous orchestras and great conductors. The now 88-year-old Slenczynska continues to perform across the U.S. and in international concert halls.

"Her inspiration, stories and teaching will always be with me and in turn, always with my students and my audiences," said Dr. Moorman-Stahlman, who has studied under Slenczynska's tutelage over the past two years. "Not only is this woman an amazing musician, she is one of the kindest people I know."

Moorman-Stahlman is a professor of music at Lebanon Valley College, where she teaches organ, piano, class piano, and church music courses. Her students have received top honors in numerous competitions. Moorman-Stahlman holds music degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa. In addition to her studies with Madame Slenczynska, Moorman-Stahlman has studied with Santiago Rodriguez and John McIntyre as well as organists Delbert Disselhorst, Delores Bruch, John Ditto, and Harald Vogel.

A frequent recitalist as both an organist and pianist throughout the Midwest and East Coast, Moorman-Stahlman has garnered an impressive array of competition credits which include semi-finalist at the St. Albans International Organ Competition in England; audience prize at the Spivey International Competition; finalist in the Arthur Poister Competition; second prize in the MTNA National Wurlitzer Competition; and finalist, Region VI AGO Competition.

She has been a featured artist at major venues in Washington, D.C., New York City, and across the Midwest, receiving outstanding reviews such as "knock out performance" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, "player of technical command" by the Kansas City Star and "transcendent musical experience" by pip-org-l. She has also given many workshops and master classes for conventions, colleges, and churches.

The Harrisburg Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association is co-sponsoring the workshop.

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