The Sembrich
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Simon Mulligan at The Sembrich. Photo credit: YM Photography

Frank La Forge and the Art of the Accompanist

Frank La Forge and the Art of the Accompanist

—Lecture-Recital Celebrating Sembrich’s Longtime Pianist —

 BOLTON LANDING, NY —  A lecture-recital by pianist Richard Masters entitled “A Rare Talent:  Frank La Forge and the Art of the Accompanist” is slated for Wednesday, July 19th at 1:30 pm at The Sembrich.  Tickets are $20.  As seating is limited, reservations are strongly recommended.

Masters explores the life and art of Frank La Forge, Marcella Sembrich’s longtime pianist and examines La Forge’s contribution to the modern art of accompanying.

The program also features soprano Ariana Wyatt and includes selections of both songs and piano works from Sembrich’s recital repertoire.

Richard Masters is a soloist, opera coach, chamber musician and orchestral pianist based in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he is Assistant Professor in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech.

Arianna Wyatt’s recent opera engagements include appearances with Glimmerglass Opera, Santé Fe Opera and the Juilliard Opera Center.  Ms. Wyatt won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Western Region.  She is currently assistant professor of voice at Virginia Tech.

On display this season at the Sembrich museum—and of related interest to this lecture-recital—is a bronze bas-relief of choristers originally belonging to La Forge.  The circumstances surrounding the gifting of this art piece to Madame Sembrich are detailed in La Forge’s autobiography:

“Once Madame came and said ‘I have a surprise for you,’” recounts La Forge. “Knowing what would please me more than anything else, she produced her word book and sang about twenty-five songs of our old repertoire. That experience was something never to be forgotten and it almost was the last time I heard Madame Sembrich sing.”

“As Madame Sembrich sang, she often looked at the bas-relief of the choirboys which hung on my wall,” continues La Forge.

“After she had finished this impromptu recital, she asked me where I had obtained that beautiful reproduction, and expressed so much enthusiasm over it that after her departure I took it down from the wall. Before she arrived at her own home the aforesaid bas-relief was awaiting her there.”

This bas-relief, along with other exhibits related to various luminaries in Sembrich’s circle, is on current display at the Sembrich studio through September 15th.