Liszt At the Opera

Liszt at the Opera

Concert paraphrases on operas by Verdi, Wagner, Rossini, Mozart and Tchaikovsky

Presented by the Oregon Chapter of the American Liszt Society

And the Piano Studio of Alexandre Dossin


October 22, 2017, 7:30PM

Beall Concert Hall


This event will be live-streamed at




Elsa’s Bridal Procession from Lohengrin (R. Wagner) S. 445/2

Zaira Castillo-Ramos


Polonaise from Eugene Oneguin (P. Tchaikovsky), S. 429

Grant Mack


Miserere from Il Trovatore (G. Verdi), S. 433

Alessandro Andrade da Fonseca


Concert Paraphrase of Rigoletto (G. Verdi), S. 434

Ting-Yu Liu


Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde (R. Wagner), S. 447

Jorge Briceño




Overture to William Tell (G. Rossini), S. 552

Julianne Shepard


Reminiscences of Don Juan (W. A. Mozart), S. 418

Eduardo Moreira


Program Notes


In our era of smartphones, high-quality video and sound systems and web live-streaming, it seems strange to perform at the piano works that were composed for large orchestra, singers and chorus. Obviously, this technology was not available when Liszt composed the works you will experience this evening. These works, written over a span of 37 years (from 1838-1875) were sometimes the only chance for the audiences to enjoy music from these great operas.

Our evening starts with a scene from Wagner’s Lohengrin, Elsa’s Bridal Procession. Liszt conducted the premiere of this opera in 1850, and wrote transcriptions for four excerpts from it in the following years. This transcription was composed in 1852, and includes some original music by Liszt: the chordal introduction and the coda.

Moving to a grand scene from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Oneguin, we are transported to a completely different ambiance, reflecting the grandeur of a Russian ballroom. Liszt admired Russian music and Tchaikovsky in particular, and composed this transcription a few months after the opera’s premiere, in 1879.

Liszt composed three paraphrases on Verdi operas in 1859 (Ernani, Rigoletto and Il Trovatore). From those three, we will enjoy scenes from Rigoletto and Il Trovatore. Liszt chose one memorable moment from each opera, and explored the piano extensively, transmitting the power of those operas to 10 fingers and 88 keys. From Il Trovatore, the scene is the dramatic Miserere, from Act IV, and from Rigoletto, the famed quartet from the final act (“Bella figlia dell’ amore”). Those scenes include a duet and chorus (Il Trovatore), and a quartet of singers in Rigoletto. Liszt captures the drama of those scenes in a fascinating, pianistic way. No wonder these paraphrases became some of the most popular in the romantic piano repertoire.

The first half of this evening’s performance concludes with a powerful scene from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, Act III: Isolde’s Liebestod.  This transcription was composed in 1867, and is a faithful piano rendition of Wagner’s famous score. Liszt revised it in 1875, with only some minor changes to the pianistic texture.

After a much needed intermission, we turn to a younger Franz Liszt, and two of this most challenging works: the Overture to William Tell (Rossini), and Reminiscences of Don Juan (from Mozart’s Don Giovanni). These works, composed before his move to Weimar in 1848, require incredible technique from the performers, and explore the instrument to its maximum. The William Tell Overture was arranged by Liszt in 1838, during his visits to Italy, and Don Juan was composed in 1841. Because of its French name, one can assume that Liszt was familiar with the opera as produced in Paris during that period.  Liszt chose three main themes for this work: the graveyard scene from Act II, and two scenes from Act I. These include the famed duet “Là ci darem la mano” and the “champagne aria” (“Fin ch’han dal vino”).


On behalf of the Oregon Chapter of the American Liszt Society, thank you for your presence this evening, and we hope you will join us in future events. For more information, please visit


Alexandre Dossin

Vice President, American Liszt Society

President, Oregon Chapter of the American Liszt Society

Professor, University of Oregon School of Music and Dance


Biographical information


Costa Rican pianist Jorge Briceño has participated in several solo recitals in venues such as Costa Rica’s National Auditorium and National Theater, Eugene O’Neill Theatre, and the Ruben Dario National Theatre in Nicaragua. Among his professors are Lic. Rigoberto Tablada, Lic. Higinio Fernández, Dr. Manuel Matarrita, Lic. Leonardo Gell, and Dr. Jason Kwak. Jorge Briceño holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Costa Rica and a Master’s degree from Texas State University. In 2013, Mr. Briceño was a laureate in the VII Maria Clara Cullel International Competition. Currently, he is a second-year Doctoral Student and a Promising Scholar Award recipient at the University of Oregon, where he studies under the instruction of Dr. Alexandre Dossin.


Zaira Castillo first started playing piano at the age of 10. She has always felt a deep passion for music from the start. Born in Oregon, Zaira has participated in numerous OMTA festivals and received various awards, including performances at the state level. She first began her studies as a Piano Performance major at the University of Oregon in 2014. She is especially fond of contemporary and modern music and has collaborated and performed pieces of various composers in Oregon Composers Forum. Zaira is currently studying under the direction of Dr. Alexandre Dossin.


Alessandro Andrade da Fonseca started his music studies in Campo Belo, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Later, moved to Belo Horizonte where he finished his Undergraduate in piano Performance, at Minas Gerais State University, under the direction of Miriam Bastos. In Brazil he worked as a private piano teacher, a chamber music and solo performer and also with the Minas Gerais Symphonic Orchestra. He won several prizes in Brazilian piano competitions between 2010 – 2014, including the Arnaldo Estrella Competition (2nd prize). He also participated in many Music Festivals in Brazil, including FEMUSC, Poços de Caldas Music in Mountains Festival, and others.   He moved to Eugene in 2015 after being admitted to the Masters degree in piano performance under the direction of Dr.  Alexandre Dossin. He is in his first year of doctoral studies in piano performance.


Ting-Yu Liu is currently studying with Alexandre Dossin at University of Oregon. Ms. Liu was born in Taiwan. She started to learn piano at age six, and entered a music-gifted class in her childhood education. She received her Bachelor degree in piano performance from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and Master of Music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music.


Grant Mack received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA studying under David Kaiserman and Marc Taslitt. In 1984 Mack received the Gramma Fischer scholarship for the study of opera and vocal coaching at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.  In 1987 Mack moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, becoming the pianist for the Honolulu Symphony, a frequent guest artist with Chamber Music Hawaii, and adjunct faculty at Hawaii Pacific University, teaching chamber music and piano.

After being invited to perform the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with the Southwest Washington Symphony Orchestra in 2014, Mack returned to the Pacific Northwest and, in 2015, began doctoral studies at the University of Oregon, pursuing a degree in Collaborative Piano with Dr. David Riley and a Piano Performance degree with Dr. Alexandre Dossin.

Mack enjoys spending time with his family and all things Science Fiction.


Eduardo Moreira was born and raised in Porto Alegre (south Brazil), where he started having piano lessons at the age of 6. He graduated in music from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and has his Master of Music degree from the University of Strasbourg, France, where he lived for almost 6 years. He also has a Diploma of Specialization in Piano Performance (with the highest honors) and Chamber Music from the Conservatory of Music and Dance of Strasbourg. His recitals include several cities in France and Brazil. He has also played as a soloist with the Orchestras of Porto Alegre and Bahia. He won several prizes in national piano competitions (Brazil). He is a fourth-year doctoral student at the University of Oregon under the direction of Dr. Alexandre Dossin. He is the winner of the 2016 UO Concerto Competition and performed Prokofiev’s 2nd piano concerto with the UO orchestra last April.


Julianne Shepard was born in Glendale, Oregon, and began studying piano at age four with her grandmother. Throughout her childhood, she was given opportunities to play for churches, weddings, choirs, and musicals. At age seventeen she moved to Eugene and completed her B.M. in piano performance under professor Alexandre Dossin at the University of Oregon. She is now continuing her study under Dossin as a second-year masters student. She also enjoys teaching piano lessons and performing with local choirs, and is beginning to study composition.