Yale Opera’s Liederabend offers evening of German song

Rising opera stars turn to art songs by Brahms, Mahler, Mendelssohn, J. Marx, Schubert, Schumann, R. Strauss, and Wolff

Sprague_interiorThis December, Yale Opera will continue its tradition of Liederabend, evenings of art songs focusing on a single country or language. The rising stars of Yale Opera, along with pianist Kyle Swann, will take the audience on a tour of German-language song. The program will feature music by several Romantic composers: Brahms, Mahler, Mendelssohn, J. Marx, Schubert, Schumann, R. Strauss, and Wolff. The Liederabend (German for “evening of song”) will take place on Monday, December 14 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. Admission is free. Doris Yarick-Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera. MORE

Published November 30, 2009
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Lunchtime Chamber Music December 9

lcm_emailThe Yale School of Music will present a Lunchtime Chamber Music concert on Wednesday, December 9 at 12:30 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College St., New Haven). This free event features a colorful variety of ensembles composed of graduate musicians who have come from around the world to study at the Yale School of Music. Violinist Wendy Sharp is director of the chamber music program.

Admission to the recital is free. For more information, visit the Yale School of Music website or call 203 432-4158.

Published November 27, 2009
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Pianists Peter Frankl and Wei-Yi Yang pair up in Schumann and Debussy program

Fascinating December 16 concert includes music by Schumann arranged by Debussy, and music by Debussy arranged by Ravel

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The Horowitz Piano Series at Yale presents Peter Frankl and Wei-Yi Yang, both professors of piano at the Yale School of Music, in a program of piano duets on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 8 pm. The program features music by Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy for two pianos and piano four hands, and includes performances by other faculty and alumni guest artists. Frankl has recorded the complete piano works of both composers for the Vox label.

In the program selections by Peter Frankl and Wei-Yi Yang, the connection between the two featured composers is illustrated by Debussy’s arrangement for two pianos of Schumann’s Six Etudes in Canonic Form, Op. 56, while the theme of one great composer arranging the music of another is continued with three masterpieces by Debussy arranged by his younger countryman, Maurice Ravel. The duo will perform Ravel’s arrangement of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) for piano four hands and the Petite Suite and Nocturnes, arranged for two pianos. Two pieces by Schumann complete the program, Bilder aus osten (Pictures from the East), Op. 66, and Andante and Variations, Op. 46, for two pianos, two cellos, and horn, with guest artists William Purvis, horn, and cellists Mihai Marica and Jacques Wood. MORE

Published November 25, 2009
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Vista program to illuminate music by Kodaly, Haas, Schubert

vistaThe Yale School of Music presents a concert in its Vista series on Tuesday, December 15 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Vista: A Fresh Look at Chamber Music is a part of the School’s renowned chamber music program in which diverse ensembles, coached and selected by faculty, not only perform but prepare the audience for the music they are about to hear with spoken commentary. This Vista concert will feature both strings and winds, opening with Zoltan Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, followed by Pavel Haas’s Quintet for Winds. The program concludes with Franz Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet for Piano and Strings. Wendy Sharp is the director of the chamber music program at the Yale School of Music. Mitchell Korn, a visiting lecturer, will work with the students on their spoken presentations. Korn, the vice president of community engagement of the Nashville Symphony and a senior lecturer in music and community at Vanderbilt University, will also lead one of the School of Music’s think tanks, working with students on how to prepare a community engagement event. MORE

Published November 25, 2009
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YSM students and alumni perform alongside Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble

Concert at Miller Theater shined the spotlight on composer Galina Ustvolskaya

Ustvolskaya_GalinaChicago’s versatile and dynamic Fifth House Ensemble, with several musicians from the Yale School of Music, offered a portrait of the Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya (1919 – 2006) earlier this month at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. The program featured six works drawn from four decades of Ustvolskaya’s career, including the Trio (1949), Sonata No. 6 (1988), Octet (1949-1950), Composition No. 3 (“Benedictus Qui Venit”) (1974-1975), Sonata No. 4 (1957), and Composition No. 2 (“Dies Irae”) (1972-1973).

Fifth House is an ensemble whose innovative programs engage audiences through their connective programming and unexpected performance venues. Performances are aimed at highlighting relationships between classical music and diverse art forms, as well as creating new sounds through collaborations with artists of other music genres. Student and alumni performers from the Yale School of Music included Itay Lantner, Christopher Matthews, and Jihoon Shin, flute; Alexandra Detyniecki and Carl Oswald, oboe; Micahla Cohen, Thomas Fleming, and Jeremy Friedland, bassoon; Jae-Won Bang, Holly Piccoli, and Marc Daniel van Biemen, violin; Patrick Duff, Brian Ellingsen, Eric Fischer, Joe Magar, Marc Schmied, Alex Smith, and Mark Wallace, bass; and Ian Rosenbaum, percussion. MORE

Published November 25, 2009
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Japanese translation of Boris Berman’s book released

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The Japanese translation of Professor Boris Berman’s book Notes from the Pianist’s Bench has been released by Ongaku no Tomo in Tokyo. The book has already been published in Chinese (traditional characters) and Korean.

Notes from the Pianist’s Bench, selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title upon its publication in 2001, draws on Berman’s vast experience as a Russian-trained concert pianist and highly respected educator to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, Berman also provides many insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and the teaching of music.

The book examines such practical matters in piano playing as sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation. He gives tips on choosing editions, selecting the best fingering, memorizing, and making the most efficient use of practice time. He gives equal emphasis to issues of interpretation, discussing ways to decipher the inner content of a piece of music. And he offers suggestions about how to prepare emotionally for a performance, how to confront stage anxiety, and how to adapt teaching approaches to the individual students. Informative and entertaining, this book will be welcomed by piano students, teachers, and anyone else interested in the art of piano playing. MORE

Published November 20, 2009
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Four Yale Opera singers join Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

beethoven_paintingFour singers from Yale Opera will be the featured soloists in the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony this Sunday, November 22 at 3:00 pm. The Waterbury Symphony will present an all-Beethoven program in the Fine Arts Center at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC). Maestro Leif Bjaland, WSO Music Director and Conductor who was previously the director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, will lead the orchestra in the composer’s first and last symphonies.

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the NVCC College Choir, under the direction of Dr. Richard Gard, with guest soloists Amanda Hall, soprano; Gala El Hadidi, mezzo-soprano; Michael Paul Krubitzer, tenor; and Tyler Simpson, baritone. The program opens with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and is followed by the Symphony No. 9, op. 21 in C major.

A free pre-concert lecture will be held at 2:10 in the Mainstage Theater at NVCC. The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra invites attendees to a post-concert reception (tickets $20) where they can meet Maestro Bjaland, NVCC College Choir conductor, Richard Gard, and the guest soloists. For more information, please contact the WSO office at 203 574-4283 or visit www.waterburysymphony.org.

Published November 19, 2009
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Stephen Adams ’59 awarded Yale Medal

medalAmong the recipients of this year’s Yale Medal is Stephen Adams ’59, a member of the School of Music’s Board of Visitors and a donor whose generosity has transformed the School. The medal will be awarded tonight at the annual Yale Medal dinner.

Inaugurated in 1952, the Yale Medal is the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni and is conferred solely to recognize and honor outstanding individual service to the University. Since its inception, the Yale Medal has been presented to 272 individuals, all of whom not only showed extraordinary devotion to the ideals of the University, but also were conspicuous in demonstrating their support of Yale through extensive, exemplary service on behalf of Yale as a whole or one of its many schools, institutes, or programs. MORE

Published November 19, 2009
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New Music for Orchestra Dec. 11 features music by David Lang

lang_action_vThe Yale School of Music presents a concert of new music for orchestra, performed by the Yale Philharmonia under the direction of Shinik Hahm, on Friday, December 11 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall. The concert highlights two works by David Lang: International Business Machine and Grind to a Halt.

International Business Machine, subtitled “an overture for Tanglewood,” was written for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Boston Globe called the piece “a brisk, elegantly-fashioned work depicting today’s post-industrial computer age.” Grind to a Halt is dedicated to the memory of Jacob Druckman, Lang’s composition teacher and a longtime member of the Yale School of Music faculty. According to Lang, “One of the things that interests me very much is how certain mechanical musical tasks force players – and listeners – into a kind of concentration that can be spellbinding. The intense concentration necessary to coordinate the ensemble in Grind to a Halt is a kind of virtuosity in itself.”

Lang, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has said: “The world needs happy tunes. But for me, the interesting ideas are where those happy tunes aren’t. The interesting things are in the dark places, or in the ugliness, or in the noise or the grit.” MORE

Published November 18, 2009
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Chamber Music Society at Yale presents Bach’s Six Brandenburg Concertos in one evening

Fifth concerto will be played on period instruments

Bach_JS_emailThe Yale School of Music will present the complete set of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, performed by a conductor-less chamber orchestra led by renowned faculty performers. The set of Brandenburg Concertos, first performed in 1721, is regarded by many as the pinnacle of Baroque instrumental composition. Each concerto is scored differently and inventively, and features different instruments or sets of instruments. The impressive cast of faculty performers who will bring these masterpieces to life includes violinists Ani Kavafian, Syoko Aki, Robert Mealy, and Wendy Sharp; violist Ettore Cause, flutist Ransom Wilson, clarinetist David Shifrin, oboist Stephen Taylor, bassoonist Frank Morelli, hornist William Purvis, and harpsichordists Avi Stein and Ilya Poletaev. The fifth concerto will be performed on period instruments with baroque bows, featuring performers from the Yale Baroque Ensemble.

The concert will take place on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven) and is part of the Chamber Music Society at Yale’s concert series, directed by David Shifrin. The series occasionally expands its programming to present small chamber orchestras that play without a conductor. MORE

Published November 17, 2009
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