Four YSM alums win CMS Two auditions

Four graduates of the Yale School of Music were among the twelve musicians selected as the winners of this year’s CMS Two auditions.

CMS Two, a program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, offers valuable professional opportunities to performers in the early stages of major careers. During their three-year residency, members participate in all aspects of musical life at CMS, including national and international tours; radio and television broadcasts; recordings, and performances in venues including Alice Tully Hall.

From an initial pool of more than two hundred applicants from around the world, fifty-three were invited to participate in the live auditions. The four Yalies selected were cellist Mihai Marica ’04CERT, ’08AD; clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois ’06MM, ’07AD; oboist James Austin Smith ’08MM; and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum ’11AD. The other eight musicians selected were pianists Gloria Chien and Soyeon Lee; violinists Benjamin Beilman, Nicolas Dautricourt, Sean Lee, Alexander Sitkovetsky, and Areta Zhulla; and bassoonist Bram van Sambeek.

The panel for the live auditions included CMS artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han; cellist Laurence Lesser, a faculty member and former president of the New England Conservatory of Music; Anthony Fogg, artistic administrator of the Boston Symphony; Jeremy Geffen, director of artistic planning for Carnegie Hall; and additional musicians and members of the CMS artistic staff.

View the announcement on the CMSLC website here.

Published August 31, 2011
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Tokyo String Quartet premieres Jeffrey Ryan’s “Inspirare” Sep. 20

Quartet celebrates 35 years in residence at Yale School of Music, opens season for chamber music series

The chamber music series at the Yale School of Music opens its 2011–2012 season with the Tokyo String Quartet on Tuesday, September 20 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall. The concert will feature the U.S. premiere of Jeffrey Ryan’s String Quartet No. 4, “Inspirare.” The ensemble will also perform Haydn’s String Quartet in G major, Op. 77, No. 1, and Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131.

One of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles, the Tokyo String Quartet is celebrating its thirty-fifth year in residence at the Yale School of Music. The New York Times has praised the quartet for nothing less than “exemplary chamber music,” and the Toronto Star has called it “an established ensemble playing as one living, breathing organism.”

“Inspirare,” by Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan, was commissioned by Music Toronto for the Tokyo String Quartet. The title is Latin for “to breathe into.” As Ryan writes: “It is breath that has inspired this single-movement work for string quartet. The three major ensemble sections are framed by four extended solos, each with a different character and rooted in the pitch of a different open string. The spotlight is shone in turn on each member of the quartet, while the ensemble sections bring all four together in varied combinations.”

This concert series, formerly known as the Chamber Music Society at Yale, has been freshly renamed the Oneppo Chamber Music Series. The new name honors Vincent Oneppo, who served Yale throughout his rich career after graduating from the School of Music. Many people, noted Dean Robert Blocker, “are familiar with his vital role in directing the chamber music series over the years and in bringing many of the world’s finest performers to New Haven. Upon his retirement last fall, it seemed fitting to honor both him and the series in this manner.” MORE

Published August 29, 2011
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Announcing a new ensemble, Yale Choral Artists

Jeffrey Douma, director

The Yale School of Music and the Yale Glee Club are pleased to announce the organization of a new professional choral ensemble, the Yale Choral Artists. The Yale Choral Artists will be a project-based ensemble comprised of leading professional singers from around the country and will be directed by School of Music faculty member Jeffrey Douma.

Robert Blocker, Dean of the School of Music, said that “the Yale Choral Artists will enhance and enrich the School’s commitment to the choral arts. Gifted singers from throughout the nation will not only bring a new artistic voice to our concert programs but also mentor Yale undergraduate and graduate students.”

Since 2003, Jeffrey Douma has directed the undergraduate Yale Glee Club, which last season received rave reviews in the national press. The New York Times called it “One of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous,” and the Washington Post praised, “Under the direction of Jeffrey Douma, the sopranos – indeed, all the voices – sang as one voice, with flawless intonation.” Douma, who is also the musical director of the Yale Alumni Chorus and the choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, has previously served on the conducting faculties of Carroll College, Smith College, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Blocker commented, “I am delighted that Jeffrey Douma, Yale’s distinguished young choral conductor, will conduct and give artistic direction to the Yale Choral Artists. Jeff’s artistic presence is receiving international acclaim, and the professional activities of the Yale Choral Artists will further the international partnerships of both the School and the University.”

The ensemble’s first two projects, both in 2012, include a February program with guest conductor and renowned early music specialist William Christie in New York (Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall), and a June program of contemporary American music at the Yale International Choral Festival. MORE

Published August 26, 2011
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Michael Yaffe on arts education

An Emotional Education through Music

These remarks are adapted from a talk given on August 18 at the final event of the second annual Morse Summer Music Academy on August 18. The Academy’s 51 students, who are in grades 5 through 11 in the New Haven Public Schools, undertook four weeks of intensive music instruction at the Yale School of Music. Families of the students were involved throughout the summer and attended workshops to help them prepare their children for future musical experiences. While addressed to the family and friends who came out for the students’ finale performance at Sprague Hall, Yaffe’s remarks have resonance for parents and educators everywhere. They are particularly apt at this time of economic downturn, when arts programs elsewhere in the nation’s public schools are increasingly considered expendable.

These New Haven students have spent a month in the world of emotions. They’ve learned how to play their instruments better, but they’ve also learned how to express themselves better: that’s what music does. And learning about this as young people is going to affect them all their lives.

Emotion: what do I mean by that? I could mean getting angry and hitting someone. But I could also mean getting angry and playing a very loud and aggressive piece of music. And what would you rather have a young person do – hit someone, or play music? MORE

Published August 23, 2011
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Hermelindo Ruiz ’12MM wins prize in Curso de Música de Santiago de Compostela

Hermelindo Ruiz ’12MM was awarded the Andrés Segovia–José Miguel Ruiz Morales Prize at the Curso de Música de Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Ruiz was selected and invited by the organizers to take part in a two-week course entitled “Sinfonismo y Música actual” (Symphonism and Actual Music) with composer Anton Garcia Abril and orchestral conductor Maximino Zumalave. Students focused on Spanish repertoire for the orchestra and on writing their own orchestral pieces.

The Curso de Música de Santiago de Compostela was created by guitarist Andres Segovia and Spanish diplomat José Miguel Ruiz Morales.

Hermelindo Ruiz was announced as the winner of the annual Andrés Segovia–José Miguel Ruiz Morales Prize during the final convocation of the course. Ruiz said the prize is particular important to him as it “exemplifies the relevance on the dual career that I  currently pursue as both a guitarist and composer.”

Hermelindo Ruiz, a 23-year-old guitarist and composer from Puerto Rico, is the youngest recipient in history to receive the Angel Mislán Prize for promoting excellence in Puerto Rican music and culture. He has also been awarded the Governor’s Medal and numerous other prizes. His compositions for the classical guitar have been performed in Spain, Slovenia, Portugal, Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States. MORE

Published August 22, 2011
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Jihoon Shin ’09MM wins National Flute Association Competition

Flutist Jihoon Shin ’09MM won the 33rd annual Young Artist Competition of the National Flute Association. She also  won the prize for best performance of the newly commissioned work. The competition for outstanding flutists was held on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A jury selected 25 preliminary round competitors on the basis of their recorded qualifying rounds. The judges selected six semifinalists from the live preliminary auditions to compete at the 2011 convention and then chose three finalists to appear in a convention recital.

The judges awarded cash prizes to the finalists of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000. As the first-prize winner, Ms. Shin will be presented by the NFA in a performance at its 2012 convention.

Flutist Jihoon Shin, from Seoul, South Korea, earned her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Ransom Wilson. Her other principal teachers have included SoYoung Lee, Karl-Heinz Schütz, and Jean-Claude Gerard. She has won first prizes in the Friedrich Kuhlau International Flute Competition and Volos Flute Meeting International Competition” in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and was also an award winner at the Seventh Kobe International Flute Competition (2005) and Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition (2008). As an international solo artist, Ms. Shin has performed with the Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Madrid Chamber Ensemble, and Volgograd Soloists Orchestra. She has also performed numerous recitals throughout South Korea, Europe, and the United States.

Published August 16, 2011
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