News & Reviews


CONTACT: Matthew Bengtson, 215-704-4600;
Publicist, Trish Doll, Publicity Works, 717-445-6377

Pianist Matt Bengtson does the circuit

A Polish foundation tops the list of concert performances for this busy keyboard artist

Reading, PA - (September 18, 2006) - Fresh back in Philadelphia from a spate of September performances in Newtown, PA, the University of Pennsylvania, Baltimore, King of Prussia, and Pottstown, pianist Matthew Bengtson resumes a busy schedule of out-of-town concerts from fall through Christmas season. On Sunday October 1 at 3 p.m., inside An die Musik Concert Hall at Charles and Centre Streets in Baltimore, MD, Bengtson will join the Tononi Quartet in a performance of Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A major. At Cumberland County College at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, Bengtson will perform a solo recital featuring the works of Medtner, Faure, Chopin, Debussy, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Schubert. CCC is located at 3322 College Drive in Vineland, NJ. And on Friday November 3, at 4 p.m. inside the Marshall Auditorium of Haverford College, Bengtson will perform alongside tenor Thomas Lloyd and Richard Stone, lute and theorbo, in a mixed-period program consisting of works by d’India, Strozzi, Schubert, Berlioz, Monteverdi and Purcell. Lloyd is the college’s director of vocal music, and Stone is the director of the Swarthmore Baroque Ensemble. Bengtson will be performing on a Nanette Streicher copy fortepiano built by Thomas and Barbara Wolf and generously loaned by Rutgers University, Camden.

Promoting Polish culture

Back in Philly, the pianist caps his schedule with a recital for The Kosciuszko Foundation’s annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 17, 2006 at 4 p.m. The organization’s Philadelphia Chapter sponsors and hosts a variety of Polish cultural events throughout the year. The Foundation itself is a nonprofit organization named for Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko and is based in New York City. It was established in 1925 to encourage and promote the study of Polish culture, history, language, and tradition in the United States. Joined by violinist Blanka Bednarz, Bengtson will perform the music of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. Szymanowski re-invigorated Polish music education and established a contemporary Polish idiom in his music that inspired a whole generation of Polish composers. Attracted by the wide range of moods in this composer’s music, Bengtson has immersed himself in Szymanowski, enough to record on compact disc all twenty-two of Szymanowski’s mazurkas.

Bengtson has a growing number of compact discs to his credit, having also recorded the works of Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok and Scriabin. A recent review of Bengtson’s Scriabin playing stated, “Only Horowitz and Richter can compare to what Bengtson achieves on this disc” (American Record Guide). Bengtson has soloed with a number of symphony orchestras in addition to being a regular recitalist and participant in worldwide piano competitions. He teaches at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges and at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves on the piano staff of the Curtis Institute of Music. Despite a demanding schedule, Bengtson finds time for some competitive chess and golf. A FIDE master (FM), he competes internationally with some of the world’s finest chess masters and won the Midland Open, a Grand Prix event in England. He has won several amateur golf tournaments and has a 3 handicap. He is also a co-president of the Penn Go Society.

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