Allan Evans

Behind Arbiter is Allan Evans, who was dragged into music when first hearing the Rev. Gary Davis and became his last pupil.

Saying goodbye to Rev. Davis. We met once more, for his last lesson.
Saying goodbye to Rev. Davis. We met once more, for his last lesson.

Evans practiced and kept after decoding the music that opened into Davis’ world. Here are recent performances of his mentor’s music:

Sounds entered his head from somewhere so he began studying composition and ethnomusicology and when hearing a recording by pianist Ignaz Friedman a month after Davis’ departure in 1972, he recognized that classical music hid its lost Davises and began hunting; a research path to find Friedman led through forty countries and ended with his miraculous heir Ignace Tiegerman of Cairo who transmitted the force to Henri Barda, a Paris-based master pianist. Evans completed an exhaustive and exhausting biography on the Ignazes in 2009:

Ignaz Friedman biography

Another project was the retrieval and translation of a Liszt pupil’s autobiography: Moriz Rosenthal, In Word and Music. Rosenthal was a polymath genius who first studied piano with Chopin’s assistant, was a friend of Brahms’s, and memorized the complete poems of his favorite Heine. He kept up Ancient Greek and Latin and was Charles Rosen’s main teacher and nurtured Rosen’s literary and musical bent.

Evans teaches Historic Interpreters, a Chopin seminar, Jazz History, and World Music at Mannes College, the New School for Music New York and is co-founder, co-director of the Scuola Italiana del Greenwich Village. Other books are simmering on the stove and a recent collaboration with Beatrice Muzi on the farmer’s cuisine of Italy’s Fermo (Marche) region was reprinted, an expanded English version in the works:

La Cucina Picena