Franz Liszt’s correspondence with the Comtesse Marie d’Agoult, herself a celebrated historian and the mother of Liszt’s three children, has only recently been made available in anything like respectable form. A decade ago French scholar Serge Gut, together with Jacqueline Bellas, published a ‘definitive’ edition of the surviving Liszt-d’Agoult letters, thereby replacing the heavily edited and incomplete edition of the 1830s.
Working closely with Gut, Michael Short has translated the entire correspondence into English. adding new footnotes and references in the process.
The bulk of the translated correspondence containing more than 400 of the letters will soon be available in an edition from Pendragon Press. As such it will join Pauline Pocknell’s edition of the Liszt-Agnes Street-Klindworth Letters and Short’s own edition of Liszt letters in the Library of Congress as No. 12 in Pendragon’s "Franz Liszt Studies Series" edited by Michael Saffle.
: Born in Totton, England in 1944, Michael Short was educated at Westminster School and then at Aiglon-College, Switzerland, where he specialized in modern languages. On returning to England, he worked in advertising, rising to be co-director of an international consultancy.
At the age of 40, he relinquished this position, having decided to devote himself to research in music and, especially, that of Liszt. In 1991, he published a brief article on a piano work of Liszt, establishing its correct dating. This led directly to his being approached by Dr. Leslie Howard, with respect to a collaboration on a new Thematic Catalogue of the Works of Liszt, which is now reaching a conclusion after over twenty years of work. He has subsequently published a number of articles in the Liszt Society Journal of Great Britain and elsewhere, as well as editing for Pendragon Press The Liszt Letters in the Library of Congress as part of the Liszt Studies Series and producing, with Leslie Howard, Franz Liszt: A List of Works, as a preliminary revised catalogue, without musical examples, as part of the Quaderni dell' Istituto Liszt, Bologna.
He lived for a number of years in South Africa and, latterly, in France. He has also participated in Liszt conferences in Budapest and Rouen, both as speaker and as observer and will continue to do so where possible.