Ethan Braun receives commission from New York Youth Symphony

braun-ethanEthan Braun, who is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Yale School of Music, is one of seven emerging composers, all under the age of 30, to receive a commission from the New York Youth Symphony through the organization’s First Music program. His work will be performed by the ensemble in March at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.

According to the New York Youth Symphony website, the organization’s “young composer competition … has been acknowledged widely as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public’s attention.”

YSM alums Nicholas DiBerardino ’15MM and Natalie Dietterich ’16MM were awarded honorable mentions. Dietterich is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts degree at the Yale School of Music. 

Braun has written music for the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, the Ictus Ensemble, the Yale Percussion Group, and Ensemble Synaestesis, among others. He has released two EPs of electroacoustic music on the experimental music label Khalija Records and has performed with the free-improvisation group Out of Your Head.

After studying at California State University, Northridge, Braun received a Bachelor of Arts degree in composition from UCLA, a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory, and a master’s degree from the Royal Conservatorium of The Hague. Braun is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition at the Yale School of Music. He actively promotes the work of his colleagues as event director for the Permutations concert series in New York City.

ETHAN BRAUN

Published October 29, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Guitarist Rupert Boyd ’08AD releases new album

Rupert Boyd

Rupert Boyd

Classical guitarist Rupert Boyd ’08AD has released a new solo CD, Fantasías, on the Little Mystery Records label. The album was first released in Boyd’s native Australia and was released in the United States in June.

Guitar Salon International uploaded three videos featuring tracks from the recording, including Astor Piazzolla’s Otono Porteno, the album’s opening track.

Boyd’s playing has received overwhelmingly positive reviews both in the United States and in Australia. In the words of The Canberra Times, “Boyd handles shifts in style and period with aplomb … this whole disc is a high-quality achievement by one of Canberra’s impressive talents.” The guitar review site Minor 7th also heaped praise on the album, writing that “the recording took place in an English church and one can almost see the smile of satisfaction and approval on God’s face as if in validation of Boyd’s flawless technique and expressive interpretation. Fantasías is a ‘must hear’ experience for the avid classical guitar audience …  You won’t be disappointed.” MORE

Published October 21, 2016
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Zhenni Li ’14AD wins second prize at Edvard Grieg International Piano Competition

zhenni-li

Zhenni Li performs during the International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition

Pianist Zhenni Li ’14AD recently won Second Prize and took home the Orchestra’s Prize and a cash award at the 2016 Edvard Grieg International Piano Competition, in Bergen, Norway. The Orchestra’s Prize is awarded by members of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, with which Li performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 58, during the final round of the competition in September.

The biennial competition, now in its 15th year, requires participants to perform solo and chamber music by Edvard Grieg and other composers, offering the ascendant pianists an opportunity to perform Grieg’s works in his hometown.

“It turned out to be the most wonderful experience one can imagine,” Li said of performing two of Grieg’s songs in the semifinal round of the competition. “The first few rounds were held next to his house and facing his hut, where he composed. Very inspiring.”

MORE

Published October 18, 2016
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Yale Opera presents Oct. 17 public master class with Alan Held

Alan Held

Alan Held

Acclaimed bass-baritone Alan Held will present a master class on Monday, October 17, at 7 pm, in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. The master class will feature performances by students from the Yale Opera program including bass-baritone Stephen Clark, baritone Bryan Murray, soprano Sylvia D’Eramo, and tenors Lucas van Lierop and Luis Aguilar singing works by Mozart, Massenet, Corigliano, Handel, Carlisle Floyd, Bizet, Donizetti, and Tchaikovsky. Douglas Dickson and Timothy Shaindlin will accompany the performers. The master class is free and open to the public. MORE

Published October 17, 2016
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Poet laureate Robert Pinsky to set scene for final Laderman work at Yale

Robert Pinsky | Photo by Eric Antoniou

Robert Pinsky | Photo by Eric Antoniou

New Haven Register | By Joe Amarante

Ezra Laderman came out of retirement to work at Yale in 1988. The composer then spent more than a quarter-century at the School of Music, serving six years as dean. He retired from Yale in 2014 and died in 2015.

But his influence continues. Saturday brings a world premiere of his last completed work, Voices, which is based on Dante’s Inferno and will include a libretto by former United States poet laureate to the Library of Congress Robert Pinsky. The free event will be at 7:30 p.m. at Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall on College Street.

“I’m glad to learn that the program will include the words of the libretto,” said Pinsky. “I think that will be helpful, as people listen to Ezra’s splendid composition.”

Pinsky, who worked closely with Ezra Laderman on the piece, published (in 1995) his own translation of the 14th-century poet Dante’s odyssey through hell, called The Inferno of Dante. …

FULL ARTICLE

Published October 14, 2016
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Transformative Juilliard President Will Step Down After Three Decades

Joseph Polisi | Photo by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Joseph Polisi | Photo by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

The New York Times | By Michael Cooper

One of the most influential offstage figures in the New York arts world is stepping down. Joseph W. Polisi [’73MM, ’75MMA, ’80DMA], who transformed the Juilliard School during three decades as its president, announced on Wednesday that he plans to leave the post in June 2018.

Mr. Polisi, 68, has kept Juilliard at or near the top of any list of the world’s most important conservatories. And during his tenure as the school’s longest-serving president, he instituted a number of sweeping changes to adapt to big shifts in the worlds of culture and education at a time when the job market for even the best-trained artists was more uncertain than ever.

Mr. Polisi built Juilliard’s first dormitory to foster a sense of community at what had always been a commuter school; oversaw the school’s expansion during Lincoln Center’s recent renovation; and added programs in jazz studies and historical performance.

He proved himself a prodigious fund-raiser: The value of the school’s endowment fund had grown to about $930 million as of June, from about $63 million soon after his arrival in 1984. And in recent years, Mr. Polisi has started a series of sometimes controversial projects to create fresh revenue streams for the school, including building a new Juilliard in China. …

FULL ARTICLE

Published October 13, 2016
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YSM students perform in London

From left: Sun-A Park, Laura Park, Sophia Mockler, Eric Adamshick, Joshua Newburger, and Jessica Pray

YSM students, from left, Sun-A Park, Laura Park, Sophia Mockler, Eric Adamshick, Joshua Newburger, and Jessica Pray

This past week, students from the Yale School of Music, along with YSM Dean Robert Blocker and Director of Communications and Alumni Affairs Donna Yoo, traveled to London where they gave concerts, for Yale alumni and friends, at the Royal Automobile Club and the Royal College of Music. As part of the visit, which was made possible by Helen Chung-Halpern and Abel Halpern ’88BA (each is a member of YSM’s Board of Advisors), Blocker presented a master class to graduate and undergraduate student piano trios at the Royal College of Music.

The YSM students who traveled to London are violinists Sophia Mockler ’17MM and Laura Park ’18MM, violist Joshua Newburger ’17MM, cellist Eric Adamshick ’17MM, pianist Sun-A Park ’16AD ’17MMA, and soprano Jessica Pray ’17MM. Mockler, Laura Park, Newburger, and Adamshick performed as the Béla Quartet. MORE

Published October 6, 2016
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