The early days


Franz Liszt -- the first heartthrob

Scholars and performers join forces to unearth songs from Liszt’s youth

Franz Liszt was the “it” boy of his day — one of the world’s first international superstars, known for his virtuosity on the piano, his spectacular compositions, and his personal style.  Think Clooney.  Pitt.  Perhaps an Adam Levine.  Think covers of People, posters on walls, screaming girls and general hysteria.  Had he lived today, he would have broken a million Twitter followers long ago.

In modern day classical land, we remember Liszt for his music more than his “other” stardom, and he wrote so much that a lot of his oeuvre has been forgotten.  This Sunday, however, eminent performers in Santa Barbara bring long-lost songs by young Franz to light, with a program at Music Academy of the West entitled, of course, “Forgotten Liszt“.  The new-to-us rep is sourced and researched by musicologist Dr. Michael Vitalino, a UCSB veteran currently teaching at SUNY Potsdam.  Selections include songs in multiple languages and various styles, showing the young composer’s versatility and command of the form.  Vitalino will talk about why these discoveries are important, and his talk will be followed by a 3pm concert by tenor Benjamin Brecher and pianist Robert Koenig.  Even if you don’t live on the American Riviera, the trip north will make a beautiful, likely unforgettable day.  After all, when was the last time you heard music that’s been lost for 150 years?

Tickets are a modest twenty bucks, and proceeds go to support scholarships and opera at UCSB.  No paparazzi allowed.  (OK, maybe a few.)

UC Santa Barbara
Department of Music presents

Forgotten Liszt 

Benjamin Brecher, tenor
Robert Koenig, piano


by Dr. Michael Vitalino

Hahn Hall
Music Academy of the West
1070 Fairway Rd
Santa Barbara CA 93108

Map & directions

Tickets $20 General / $10 Students

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