Pianists Richard and John Contiguglia win Grand Prix du Disque

Duo pianists Richard and John Contiguglia (both ’59BA, ’61MM) are the winners of the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque, awarded last October by the Liszt Society of Hungary. The award-winning disc features Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos.

The brothers noted, “Early in our career as a professional duo-piano team we discovered duos of Liszt and of Bartók that had never been previously recorded and had seldom been heard in modern-day public concerts. The duos of Liszt were only available from collections in museum archives or in rare Russian editions. We were so impressed with the quality of the music that we performed much of it on our recitals in Europe and in the United States and finally made, in the early 1970s, what came to be several historic recordings for Connoisseur Society Records. The resulting LPs have long since been unavailable and were never reissued as CDs. We are pleased to be able to offer once again the original Connoisseur Society recording of Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and a live radio broadcast recording for VARA Radio in Holland of Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 4b.”

The American Record Guide wrote, “You owe it to yourself to seek out this recording – performances of this caliber are quite rare.”

Richard and John Contiguglia are identical twins who have collaborated as a piano duo since they were five years old. Following the release of their historic recording for Connoisseur Society of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, transcribed for two pianos by Franz Liszt, now a collector’s item, critic Edward Tatnall Canby called the Contiguglias “the most profoundly musical pair of piano virtuosi of this century.” Records and Recording proclaimed that “they have given the two-piano medium a whole new dimension. The Contiguglias stand apart in a lofty world of their own, unrivaled and supreme.” Byron Belt, for Newhouse News Service, called the Contiguglias “foremost among today’s duo-pianists.” MORE

Published March 26, 2013
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One-handed violinist helps the disabled make music

CNN Ideas Series
By Brandon Griggs

The young man tucks his violin under his chin and begins to play. A hush falls over the few spectators in the largely empty opera house, who turn toward the bare stage. As his lilting notes float through the room, other people trickle in from the lobby to listen.

The young man sometimes closes his eyes as he plays, as if lost in the music. If his audience closed their eyes, too, they would never know the violinist standing before them has no right hand, only a stunted appendage with tiny stubs instead of fingers.

Which is fitting, because Adrian Anantawan prefers to be judged for what people hear, not what they see. MORE

Published March 22, 2013
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Concert features complete Brahms piano quartets April 2

The Yale School of Music presents a performance of the complete Brahms quartets for piano and strings on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Pianist Boris Berman, guest violinist Julie Eskar, violist Ettore Causa, and cellist Clive Greensmith (of the Tokyo String Quartet) will join forces for an all-Brahms program.

The concert will open with the Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26, followed by the Quartet No. 3 in C minor. In the A major quartet, the serene main theme is initiated by the piano alone and is then echoed by the strings, establishing the dichotomy of keyboard against strings. The C minor quartet is one of Brahms’s darkest chamber works, outside of the lushly tranquil third movement, and is sometimes thought to reflect the composer’s love for Clara Schumann.

The night will conclude with Brahms’s tempestuous Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 60. This piece was the first chamber work of Brahms’ that the composer played in public.

The concert is part of the Oneppo Chamber Music Series, which is directed by David Shifrin. The performance begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street). Tickets are $20–$30, $10 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

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Published March 22, 2013
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Yale Baroque Ensemble performs Dussek, Haydn, and Mozart Apr. 4

Concert explores hallmarks of European Classical period

The Yale School of Music will present the Yale Baroque Ensemble on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Directed by faculty member Robert Mealy, the ensemble will perform the works of European musical pioneers Dussek, Haydn, and Mozart.

The Yale Baroque Ensemble (YBE) is a postgraduate ensemble whose members undertake a year of intensive study. This year’s members are Holly Piccoli and Edson Scheid, baroque violin; Soojin Chung, baroque cello; and David Fung, fortepiano. MORE

Published March 22, 2013
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Yale Collection of Musical Instruments concludes season with Les Délices New Haven debut Apr. 7

“The centuries roll away when the members of Les Délices bring this long-existing music to communicative and sparkling life.”
– Classical Source (UK)

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments concludes its 2012–2013 concert season on Sunday, April 7 with the New Haven debut of Les Délices. The esteemed French Baroque ensemble will perform a program called “Age of Indulgence,” featuring music written at the dawn of an aesthetic revolution.

The “Age of Indulgence” program includes selections by François-André Philidor, Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville, Antoine Dauvergne, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and others. Collectively, the selections combine the wry humor of early Haydn, a little of Emanuel Bach’s Sturm und Drang, and characteristically lush French harmonies.

Les Délices, founded in Cleveland in 2006, is dedicated to performing music from France’s zenith of cultural and artistic enlightenment. The ensemble, directed by oboist Debra Nagy, also includes Julie Andrijeski and Scott Metcalfe, violins; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; and Michael Sponseller, harpsichord.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, one of the foremost institutions of its kind, preserves and exhibits musical instruments from antiquity to the present. Many instruments are maintained in playing condition and are featured in performances and demonstrations in the fine acoustic of the upstairs gallery, the venue for this performance.

The concert begins at 3 pm at the Collection of Musical Instruments, located at 15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and Yale staff, and $10 for students. MORE

Published March 21, 2013
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Members of Yale Baroque Ensemble perform Mar. 27

Violinist Edson Scheid, cellist Soo Jin Chung perform Baroque and Classical selections

The Yale Baroque Ensemble. From left: Edson Scheid, violin; Holly Piccoli, violin; Soo Jin Chung, cello; David Fung, keyboards

The Yale School of Music presents a recital by Edson Scheid, baroque violin, and Soo Jin Chung, baroque cello, on Wednesday, March 27 at 5:30 pm. The concert will include music from the Baroque and Classical periods, with selections by J.S. Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, Joseph Haydn, and others.

The program includes Corelli’s Sonta for violin and cello, Op. 5, No. 3; Bach’s Sonata in E minor for violin, cello, and harpsichord, BWV 1023; and Haydn’s Trio in A major H.XV:18.

Scheid and Chung are both alumni of the Yale School of Music who are members of the postgraduate Yale Baroque Ensemble. They will be joined by fellow YBE member David Fung, harpsichord and fortepiano. The YBE is the ensemble-in-residence at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, where the recital will take place.

Admission to the performance is free. The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments is located at 15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

The Yale Baroque Ensemble, directed by baroque violinist Robert Mealy, is a postgraduate ensemble at the Yale School of Music dedicated to the highest level of study and performance of the Baroque repertoire. Using the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments’ set of new baroque instruments, members of the Ensemble go through an intensive one-year program of study, MORE

Published March 20, 2013
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Concert features music of the Russian Thaw April 7

Note: This concert was originally scheduled for February 10 and was postponed due to the blizzard.

Boris Berman

Boris Berman, professor of piano at the Yale School of Music, will perform music from the “Russian Thaw” the evening of Sunday, April 7. The Thaw was a period of relative liberalization of Soviet cultural policies in the 1960s, and Berman, born in Soviet Russia, belonged to a small group of Moscow musicians that premiered pieces by young, nonconformist composers of the era.

Berman will discuss his work with figures such as Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Valentin Silvestrov, Tigran Mansurian, and Arvo Pärt, and will join with students from the Yale School of Music to perform selections from the composers’ music.

The program opens with two pieces by Edison Denisov: Ode for clarinet, percussion, and piano, and Three Pieces for cello and piano. Two pieces by Valentin Silvestrov will follow: the solo piano piece Elegy, and Postludium for cello and piano. The first half concludes with two pieces by Arvo Pärt, For Aleena for piano and Fratres for violin and piano.

The second half will open with Tigran Mansurian’s Testament for cello and piano. The program will conclude with two pieces by Alfred Schnittke: the Piano Sonata No. 2, and the Serenade for the unusual quintet of clarinet, violin, double bass, piano, and percussion.

Several YSM students will perform alongside Berman: clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich, violinist Shawn Moore, cellist James Kim, double bassist Gregory Vartian-Foss, and percussionists Garret Arney and Mari Yoshinaga.

The program takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (470 College St., corner of Wall Street). Admission is free. Click HERE to join the event on Facebook.For more information, contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. MORE

Published March 19, 2013
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Renowned conductor Helmuth Rilling leads Dvorak’s Stabat Mater Apr. 19

Yale Philharmonia performs with Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club

Helmuth Rilling. Photo: Jon Christopher Meyers

The Yale School of Music, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Yale Glee Club present a performance of Dvorák’s masterful Stabat Mater, led by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Helmuth Rilling on Friday, April 19, 2013. The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale will perform alongside the Yale Camerata and Yale Glee Club. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

Composed in 1877 in Prague, Stabat Mater was Dvorák’s response to the death of his daughter, Josefa, followed by the deaths of two more of his children. The ten-part masterpiece was his first composition on a religious theme since his student days, and the work is noted for its depth of emotion.

The internationally renowned conductor Helmuth Rilling will lead the performance. Rilling has said: “Music should never be merely comfortable, never fossilized, never soothing. It should startle people and reach deep down inside them, forcing them to reflect.”

The performers include the Yale Philharmonia, the Yale Camerata (a vocal ensemble sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and directed by Marguerite L. Brooks), and the Yale Glee Club (Yale’s premier undergraduate mixed chorus and the oldest musical organization on campus, directed by Jeffrey Douma).

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu. MORE

Published March 18, 2013
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Patrick Jee ’03MM wins position with New York Philharmonic

Cellist Patrick Jee ’03MM won a position with the nation’s oldest orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, last November. Jee, who has been lauded as “spectacular” (American Record Guide) and a “virtuosic tour-de-force” (New York Concert Review), will also be a featured guest soloist in the Yale Cellos’ 30th anniversary performance on April 10, 2013.

Patrick Jee holds a B.M. degree from the Juillard School and the M.M. degree from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. In 2006, he was the Grand Prize winner of the 5th Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition. That same year, he was appointed by Sir Andrew Davis as the assistant principal cellist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Mr. Jee will continue to perform internationally as a soloist and with his ensemble, the NEW Trio, whose other members are violinist Andrew Wan and pianist Julio Elizalde. In his Yale appearance on April 10, he will perform Ezra Laderman’s Fantasy for Solo Cello. Laderman lauded Jee’s recording of the work (Albany Records), saying, “Patrick Jee is a consummate soloist, charismatic, involved, and technically brilliant. He knows the cello totally.”

» www.PatrickJee.com

Published March 16, 2013
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Yale in New York presents “Serenade and Metamorphosis” in New York and New Haven

A past Yale in New York performance in Zankel Hall

The Yale School of Music and the Yale in New York concert series present “Serenade and Metamorphosis,” a program celebrating the tradition of the instrumental serenade. Concertmaster Ani Kavafian will lead an ensemble of fellow faculty as well as alumni and student string players.

The concert takes place in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Friday, April 12, 2013, at 7:30 pm. There will be a preview concert in New Haven on Thursday, April 11 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall.

The program pairs Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings with a new piece for the same instrumentation written by YSM graduate Matthew Barnson’12DMA. This will be the world premiere of Barnson’s The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying, a work inspired by Jeremy Taylor’s masterpiece of the 17th-century English cult of melancholia and the sound of Gerhard Richter painting.

Strauss’s Metamorphosen, written in the concluding months of the World War II, is regarded as an elegy for the destruction wrought on Germany by the devastating bombing of Munich. The piece features the complex counterpoint that became a hallmark of Strauss’s compositions.

The concert will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s lush Serenade for Strings, a definitive piece of the late Romantic era. In addition to concertmaster Ani Kavafian, faculty violinists Wendy Sharp and Kyung Yu will also perform in the ensemble.

Yale in New York, led by artistic director David Shifrin, is now in its sixth season. Tickets from $15–$20 are available at the Carnegie Hall box office, online at www.carnegiehall.org, or through CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800. Admission to the preview concert is free.

Published March 15, 2013
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