August 2015 Convention
Washington, D.C.

How to Give a Pre-Concert Talk

The NFA Research Committee presented an informative and inspiring panel discussion on pre-concert talks. Jessica Raposo, Kyle Dzapo, Julie Hobbs, Nancy Toff, and Mihoko Wantanabe provided excellent advice for this sometimes-challenging topic. To begin researching a program, panelists suggested starting with using Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, CD liner notes, and personal correspondence with the composer to find out information on the background of each piece and names of performers associated with premieres.

Other helpful suggestions included knowing your audience, using a microphone if possible, using visual aids, and at all times including information that will help the listener appreciate the music better. The tips shared at this session will certainly help generate fantastic pre-concert talks in the future!

From left: Jessica Raposo (at mic), Mihoko Wantanabe, Kyle Dzapo, Julie Hobbs, and Nancy Toff.

photo by Karen Large

—Karen Large