RECORDING PROJECT: THE COMPLETE (PUBLISHED) PIANO WORKS OF ROBERT HELPS
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This recording represents the complete solo piano works of Robert Helps (1928-2001). As of this writing (March, 2008), approx.120 minutes of Helps' solo piano music has been published, all of which is included on the Digital Media (CD). This project includes the following works: Trois Hommages, Quartet, Nocturne, Valse Mirage, In Retrospect, Three Etudes, Portrait, Three Etudes for the Left Hand, Starscape, Recollections, Shall We Dance and Image. (His few remaining pieces are officially "pending publication" and are therefore not included in this project.) Robert Helps, American pianist and composer, enjoyed a successful career on both fronts, teaching at such institutions as San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, the New England Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music and Princeton University. Helps, never the recipient of a university or conservatory degree, received private instruction from pianist Abby Whiteside and composer Roger Sessions. His recording of the Sessions' Sonatas is considered to be their benchmark performance. As a composer, he received commission and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Helps' compositions were anachronistic in style: his compositional style ranges from Post-Impressionism, Neo Romanticsim and early 20th century Atonalism, although he never engaged in serial practices. Since his death in 2001, the Robert Helps Trust has been established at the University of South Florida. Funds are being used to support the continued publishing of his scores. The Robert Helps International Composition Competition and Festival was established in 2005.