[ Faculty ]

Christopher Theofanidis receives Grammy nomination

YSM alumni Martin Kuuskmann, Michael Daugherty, Joaquin Valdepenas, and David Skidmore are in nomination mix
December 7, 2016
Christopher Theofanidis

Christopher Theofanidis

Yale School of Music faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis’ Bassoon Concerto has been nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category. The piece was recorded by bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann ’02MM and the Northwest Sinfonia, under the direction of Barry Jekowsky.

“Anything like this, which has a visibility beyond the immediate circle of concert music, that’s a really good thing for the field,” Theofanidis ’94MMA ’97DMA said. “It’s kind of like the thing that both your musical and nonmusical friends know.”

Talking about his Bassoon Concerto, Theofanidis said, “It’s a piece that I wrote 20 years ago that had never had a recording until now.” Kuuskmann, whom he’s known since their time at Yale, “really championed the piece.”

Theofanidis’ Bassoon Concerto was originally a two-movement work composed in 1997. He added what is now the second movement in 2002, according to language on his website. A recording of Theofanidis’ The Here and Now for soloists, chorus, and orchestra was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007.

Other Yale School of Music alumni who have been nominated for 2017 Grammy Awards include composer Michael Daugherty ’82MMA ’87DMA, clarinetist Joaquin Valdepenas ’80MM, and percussionist David Skidmore ’08MM.

Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway for cello and orchestra was nominated in the Best Classical Compendium and Best Classical Instrumental Solo categories, and in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category alongside Theofanidis’ Bassoon Concerto. Tales of Hemingway was recorded by cellist Zuill Bailey and the Nashville Symphony, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero — who will lead the Yale Philharmonia in a program of Wagner and Shostakovich on Jan. 27, 2017.

The ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory, in Toronto) Ensemble, of which Valdepenas is a member, has been nominated for a recording of music by Jerzy Fitelberg, and Third Coast Percussion has received a nomination for a recording of works by Steve Reich. The recordings by the ARC Ensemble and Third Coast Percussion have been nominated in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category.

The 2017 Grammy Award winners will be announced on Feb. 12, 2017.

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