BARBARA LISTER-SINK, internationally acclaimed pianist and teacher, is a graduate of Smith College and holds the Soloist Diploma and Prix d’Excellence from the Utrecht Conservatory, and the Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. A former member of the Artist Faculty of the Eastman School of Music and former keyboardist for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, she has also taught on piano faculties of the Amsterdam Muziek Lyceum, Duke University, and the Brevard Music Center and is currently Salem Distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Music at Salem College. Her piano teachers include Margaret Mueller, Clemens Sandresky, Edith Lateiner-Grosz, John Duke and Guido Agosti. Lister-Sink has appeared frequently with many of the world’s most distinguished musicians and chamber music ensembles, most recently with the Ying Quartet. She has performed throughout North America, Europe and in Australia, and in the New Hampshire, Skaneateles, Brevard and Chautauqua summer music festivals. Her performances have been broadcast on NPR, CBC and Radio Netherlands.
As a teacher, Lister-Sink is acknowledged as a global leader in injury-preventive keyboard technique. Her DVD Freeing the Caged Bird – Developing Well-Coordinated, Injury-Preventive Piano Technique won the distinguished 2002 Music Teachers National Association-Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award and was praised as “A monumental work!” by Vladimir Ashkenazy. At Salem College, she directs the US’s first fully accredited Professional Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique. Lister-Sink’s recent appearances as performer and clinician include the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago, the Performing Arts Medicine Association Symposium in Snowmass, CO and the New South Wales Piano Teachers’ Festival in Sydney, Australia. In July 2016, she will be a presenter at the International Society for Music Education Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Lister-Sink, also a visual artist, especially enjoys creative collaboration with artists, poets, dancers, and composers in premiering experimental and mixed-media works.
'The Garden of My Heart'
lyrics; music by Barbara Lister-Sink ©2016
If you travel down the highway, just seven miles from town
You will find a little farmhouse with honeysuckle round.
It’s almost been forgotten, its orchard stands forlorn.
But the roses of the garden were there ere I was born
It was in this little garden I took such sweet delight
As the hummingbirds and daisies danced in the breeze and light.
Its paths that lay before me in shade so cool and green
Are the very paths I long for now that the world I’ve seen.
Now this garden of mimosa, of rose and columbine,
Is surrounded by the symbols and signs of modern times.
A highway roars beside it, a factory lies near
And the pure song of the woodthrush, scarce can it reach my ear.
As I wander through this garden remembering days behind,
How the children and their laughter within its shade entwined.
My tears flow with its passing, but joy will not depart.
For its roses now will bloom in the garden of my heart.
Where you can see this artist's work:
'... the Pattern Sings in Crystal Constellations'
Performance and Concert
July 8th, 2016
Artist’s Statement for “Garden of My Heart” (Radio Dream Voice)
which will be performed as part of the '... the Pattern Sings in Crystal Constellations'
In the 1960s, the quiet 2-lane road that had divided the 200-acre farm my Grandfather Fitzgerald bought in 1910 became Interstate 85—one of the main transportation arteries on the East Coast. Unfortunately, the house my father built on that farm was only a stone’s throw from the highway. The noise and pollution levels increased throughout the 70s’, 80’s and 90’s to such an extent that we could not sit outside and hear each other talk. My mother-- a musician, teacher and gardener who loved to work outside-- was especially effected by the noise. Ironically, my father’s nervous system was spared because of his severe hearing loss. Coming home over the decades was bittersweet because of the incessant roar of the highway. Winters were better because we could stay inside by the fire, away from the
noise. The Interstate had virtually split the farm wide open, making it almost impossible to get to the other side. We rarely saw our good neighbors across the road. Interstate 85 was also a catalyst for profound change in Linwood, one of the oldest farm settlements in North Carolina. Amtrak built a 52-track switching station nearby and the historic village homes and picket fences were torn down to build a large bridge over the railroad tracks.
Some farmers sold out to the state to create an industrial mega-site nearby. Other valiant farmers have held on to their land. Ultimately, “progress” seems to have won, an inevitability in modern times. But it is a triumph not without its tragic side.
As a child, I had grown up playing in that nearby farmhouse, the barnyard and in my Granny Fitzgerald’s lush flower garden near the mimosa tree and the orchard. Many of the flowers were taller than I was. In wandering along the garden path I entered another world of the senses—bees buzzing, flowers nodding, butterflies lighting on my shoulder, all in dappled sunlight. Over the years, the memory of that garden came to symbolize all things peaceful, safe and beautiful. So the melody and lyrics for “Garden of
My Heart” came to me in the 1980s as I struggled to accept this inevitable change of things that had meant so much to me as a child. I had witnessed helplessly the inevitable decay of the farmhouse and buildings that my grandfather worked so hard to build by hand. Only recently, thanks to my collaboration with Sam Taylor, have I come to realize that those things that I loved before the highway destroyed so much of our lives are still very much alive. But they reside safely in my memory and in my heart, as easily recaptured as the fragrance of old roses or the song of a mockingbird.
June 24, 2016