Silvio Scionti: Remembering a Master Pianist and Teacher

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University of North Texas Press, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 220 pages
Silvio Scionti was a zestful, colorful figure, as well as a master pianist and teacher. Stories about him, particularly about his more than ten-year career at the University of NorthTexas, are legion, and author Jack Guerry—a former Scionti student—has collected many of them in this remembrance and biography.

Scionti firmly established his reputation as a compelling pianist, whose playing has been described as powerful, vital, and full of eloquence, during his twenty-six years at the American Conservatory in Chicago. Known especially throughout the United States and Europe for his duo-piano playing, Scionti’s career flourished when he married Texan Isabel Laughlin, and the “irreproachable and irrepressible Sciontis” impressed critics wherever they played.

Lured to North Texas in 1942, the Sciontis were instrumental in the growth of the School of Music to the stature it still claims today. Scionti’s “buoyant spirit,” enthusiasm, talent, and reputation brought students to Denton from around the country. Many members of Scionti’s “student family”—themselves now professionals and teachers—have contributed their recollections to this volume including tales of Scionti’s proverbial Italian spaghetti dinners, exhausting hikes up Mount Etna, and high-speed sight-seeing along Italian mountain lanes with Scionti at the wheel of his “magnificent red Buick.”

The “indefatigable” Scionti never stopped: When he was seventy and near the end of his North Texas career, he organized a ten-day tour of five states for his eight-piano emsemble—taking the eight pianos along and assembling them at each of the thirteen cities visited. Even through his “retirement” years, Scionti still was busy teaching and opening professional doors for students who continued to seek him out.
 

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Silvio Scionti: remembering a master pianist and teacher

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Scionti (1882-1973) came to America from Italy in 1903 and soon enjoyed a multifaceted career that included teaching, solo and duo piano performances, conducting, writing, editing music, and even ... Read full review

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Contents

Acireale Naples Chicago
3
Beginnings in the United States
6
The American Conservatory of Music
8
Success as a Concert Pianist
9
A Wonderful Teacher
12
Andersen and Scionti DuoPianists
13
The First Duo
14
The Last Solo Recital in New York
15
Four Americans in Paris
101
Facing the Music at Last
102
The Viotti Competition
103
THE YEARS OF RETIREMENT
129
OutofTown Weekends
131
A New York Debut
132
Scionti the Vagabond
133
The Final Pianistic Production at North Texas
134

The End of a Marriage
16
A Fellow Countryman
17
The Chicago Musical College
18
The Irreproachable and Irrepressible Sciontis
19
Another Success Abroad
21
In New York City with Texas Beckoning
23
The AllBach Recital
27
Wartime Circumstances
28
To Denton Texas
30
THE YEARS IN TEXAS
55
The First Beethoven Festival
57
The Scionti Summers
58
Two Teams Compared
59
The Road to Piano Artistry
60
The Bach Festival
63
More Wunderkinder
65
The Honorary Degrees
67
Competition Winners
68
The Second Beethoven Festival
69
Marital Malaise
70
A Concerto Tour
71
Enter a New Student
74
More Publications More Contests
75
The SixteenPiano Ensembles
76
The Teaching Cook
77
The Euterpean Ensembles
78
Another Concerto Tour
80
Dealey Award Cowinners
81
A Dallas Ensemble
82
The Restaurateur
83
The Third Beethoven Festival
85
Concerti in Dallas and Fort Worth
86
A Trip to Europe
88
The Normal Street Conservatory
92
A Comparison
93
The EightPiano Ensemble
94
Brief Diversions
96
Concorso Pianistico Internazionale Ferrucio Busoni
99
On to Geneva
100
Scionti the Controversial Colleague
135
A New Student Another Recital A New Career
137
A Banner Year
138
A Devoted Niece
140
Sharing Students
141
Another Dealey Winner
142
Something Entirely New in Piano Lessons
143
An Honor from the Italian Government
144
The Decision to Return to Italy
145
A Farewell Party
147
The Tour Guide
149
The First Livein Student
150
Memories From a Student
151
A New Project
153
An Important Telephone Call
155
The Last of the Piano Ensembles
156
Another Texan in Michigan
158
A Student from New York
159
A Talented Pianist Turned Singer
160
A Call from Washington DC
163
The First Dunbarton Festival
164
The Lesson in the Letter
165
A Need for a Certain American Product
166
A Tour of the United States
167
Membership in the Academy of the Zealous of Acireale
168
Back to Washington Finally to Rome
169
An Unpublished Treasure
170
Practicing Again
172
The Last Recital
173
Continuing Portents of Failing Health
175
Financial Struggles
176
The Second Educo Recording
177
The Ninetieth Birthday Party
178
A Benefit Recital
180
In Paradiso
181
AFTERWORD
199
NOTES
203
INDEX
211
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Jack Guerry holds the rank of Alumni Professor of Music (Piano), one of the distinguished professorships at Louisiana State University. His B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano are from the University of North Texas where he was a scholarship student of Silvio Scionti as well as his assistant. He was granted the Ph.D. in music from Michigan State University

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