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Ford Lallerstedt


Ford Lallerstedt, organist, composer, conductor, pianist, and native of Atlanta Georgia, began his musical studies by making up pieces at the piano at age four. Improvising has always been his musical passion, and in addition to the 2002 release of his 24 Improvised Preludes and Fugues, has improvised and recorded over 200 pieces for piano as well as organ. Ford's musical career has taken him in many different directions. As a concert organist, he has performed throughout the US, including major solo recitals at Lincoln Center, New York as well as Europe, including France, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, England, and the "Bach" cities of Germany — Berlin, Leipzig, and Dresden. In his early twenties, while still a student at Juilliard, Rudolf Serkin invited Ford to Philadelphia to join the faculty of the famed Curtis Institute of Music. 

His association with Curtis, now spanning over four decades, has brought him in close contact as an instructor and mentor to many of the outstanding young artists of today, including conductors Teddy Abrams, Francesco Lecce Chong, Steve Hackman, Ludovic Morlot, Vinay Parameswaren, Michael Stern, Danny Stewart, Barbara Yahr, composers Daron Hagen, Jennifer Higdon, Jonathan Holland, Chris Rogerson, David Hertzberg, Andrew Hsu, pianist composer Sebastian Chang, violinists Johnny Gandelsman, Leila Josefowicz, Nicholas Kitchen, Maureen Nelson, clarinetist Johnny Teyssier, bassoonist and conductor Harrison Hollingsworth and pianist Yuja Wang, among many other prominent young artists. 

Truly a musician's musician, he introduced historical performance practice to the orchestral studies program at Curtis, established and conducted the Curtis Chamber Orchestra as well as his own orchestra, Wahnfried. As Chair of Musical Studies at Curtis, he introduced many innovative teaching techniques, especially in ear training. His book, Learning to Hear Musically, is still a major part of the aural studies program at Curtis. Ford continues his work at Curtis, developing a Cambridge-style tutorial-seminar program in Advanced Musical Studies. Recent seminar graduates include, guitarist Jiyeon Kim, cellist Tessa Seymour, improvisational violist Ren Martin-Doike, bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, and percussionist composer Ted Babcock He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, The Mannes College of Music, State University of New York at Purchase, and the Conducting Studies Faculty of The Tanglewood Music Center with Robert Spano and Seiji Ozawa. He also serves as pianist for his wife, former Metropolitan Opera soloist mezzo-soprano, Brenda Boozer. Together, they have performed extensively throughout the US. Ford holds Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School, where he won all prizes in organ performance and was awarded teaching fellowships in piano and solfege. His current research into the universality of the phenomenon of music in all humans develops a theoretical proposal that non-trivially connects the two great transformational-generative theories of Chomsky (linguistics) and Schenker (music) and forms the thesis for his current book, Aspects of Music, scheduled for completion late 2017. His organ, piano, and orchestral performances have been heard frequently on NPR stations throughout the country. 

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