Virtually all of the scholarly work I accomplished was due to the support and encouragement of four men, and because of their generosity and patient guidance, I want to recognize their contributions to my work, particularly the preparation of the Urtext of Christus
My friend and dissertation director Frank Cooper
, known to me and many others simply as “Cooper,” instigated The Project by suggesting that I offer to create a new score of Christus for the American Liszt Society 2005 Festival, which was held at the University of Nebraska. It seemed like a fine enough idea at the time. And, given my ignorance as to what exactly is involved in preparing a major (fourteen movement) oratorio for large orchestra, six soloists, chorus and boychoir, I eagerly dived in. After several months, and several tens of thousands of Dean Hipp’s dollars, I casually inquired of Cooper if, when he proposed The Project, had he had any idea as to how much time and money would be involved. Cooper blithely replied, “Of course not. I never did anything like this before.”
In the intervening years, Cooper has been an entertaining dinner companion, a reliable source of useful information, an inveterate writer of letters of reference, and a good friend. Thanks to him The Project survived my dark hours of doubt and indecision; thanks to him I have an ongoing relationship with Bärenreiter; thanks to him I slept two-three hours nightly for weeks on end; and thanks to him I have a much better understanding of the history of music and its relation to the other arts. Between Cooper and my late teacher Albert Fuller, I imagine most everything there was to know about the arts could be found between them. Bravo, Cooper!William Hipp
, Dean-emeritus of the University of Miami Frost School of Music invested significantly in The Project with the instructions to “Get it done.” According to all who would be quoted, such patronage (and it was patronage) was unprecedented in the history of the school. Because of Dean Hipp’s support I was able to travel to Europe several times, order countless photographs and slides of manuscripts and 19th-century scores; I hired a swarm of undergraduate students to help input and proof the massive score (more than 400 printed pages, not including the piano reduction or parts).
Moreover, when my coursework suffered due to the demands of The Project, Dean Hipp ran interference with the parties involved and deflected not an inconsiderable amount of heat from my direction. He was (and still is) unfailingly polite; gracious in spirit; always willing to help; and an exceedingly kind man. It is not an overstatement to say that without Dean Hipp The Project would have never achieved fruition and the musical world be deprived of Franz Liszt’s masterpiece Christus
. A thousand thanks to you Dean Hipp.