Dr. Victoria Harris Lectures on Adolph von Henselt?s Pianoforte Method

April 06, 2010

Dr. Victoria Harris presented a guest lecture on 'The Long-lost Pianoforte Method of Adolph von Henselt' last evening Presser Recital Hall at Mount Union College.


Harris served as professor of piano and organ, chair of the music department for two years and director of preparatory division-community music program at Mount Union College from 1986 to 2004.

Her love for music led her to study the life of Adolph von Henselt, an 18th century German pianist and music teacher. Every two years, Germany has a three-day von Henselt Festival and last October Harris had the pleasure of presenting a lecture there in German. She also donated copies to the Festival of Henselt's pianoforte in three different languages. When Harris first acquired a copy of Henselt's pianoforte, it was written in Old Russian and she translated it into Russian, English and German.

Harris also described von Henselt's methods of teaching and talked about his specific teaching methods when teaching piano and organ to his students. These included instilling stringent training and practicing habits in students. Teachers must pay attention to the detail of their students' work. Also, that it is essential to develop good hand positioning from the beginning. Harris believes his pianoforte method will help students learn how to play the piano, even on their own.

Henselt's music was popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. 'Adolph von Henselt's music is unknown now, but in his time he was ranked highly by his music peers and everyone around him,' said Harris.


Harris concluded by performing some of his works.

Currently residing in Payson, Arizona, she is active in numerous music organizations and is a contributing writer for Keyboard Companion magazine. She is a teacher to 40 piano and organ students and active in her church choral society.

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