Pianist Albert Frantz (’98 B.M.) has released a CD of the piano works of Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-188) on the Gramola Vienna label. Specific information regarding the CD can be found here.
Albert began playing the piano at the unusual age of seventeen, sparked by a sudden and passionate discovery of classical music. Under the tutelage of Steven Smith at Penn State, where he sacrificed mathematics and science studies in favor of music and philosophy, he won first prizes at the 1995 Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition and Penn State’s concerto competition (with Maurice Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major) after having played the piano for only four years. In 1998, after winning local, state and national piano competitions, Albert became the first pianist to win a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Vienna (with Roland Batik at the Vienna Conservatory) in nearly a decade.
In Vienna, Albert served as assistant to the world-renowned pianist and musicologist duo Paul and Eva Badura-Skoda, and he studied with 19th-century performance specialist Sally Sargent as well as Carlo Grante. Still living in Vienna, Albert is now a published scholar and has been invited to numerous universities as guest lecturer and recitalist.
In addition to the Viennese classics and chamber music literature, his repertoire includes challenging works of neglected Romantic composers such as Alkan and Godowsky. Albert records for the Gramola label and is a Bösendorfer Artist.