Paul Hawkshaw awarded Fulbright for Bruckner research, residency in Vienna

Paul Hawkshaw

Professor of Musicology Paul Hawkshaw will be a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in Vienna in the spring of 2018. During his residency, he will teach classes at the University of Vienna’s Institute of Musicology and at the city’s University of Music and Performing Arts, in addition working at the Austrian National Library on a project titled A Bequest and a Complex Legacy: Untangling Anton Bruckner’s Revisions in Later Times, which aims to sort out the many different revisions of Bruckner’s music that have resulted from, in Hawkshaw’s words, “unauthorized tampering in Bruckner’s scores by well-meaning students and friends of his.”

According to Hawkshaw, the International Bruckner Society recently began a new Collected Works Edition under the auspices of the Austrian National Library and the Vienna Philharmonic. The New Anton Bruckner Collected Edition will eventually include new definitive scores of Bruckner’s complete works. Hawkshaw, who serves on the society’s editorial board, will work on three of the symphonies: numbers Seven, Eight, and Nine.

“In some cases,” Hawkshaw said, “previous editions had errors as a result of misreading the sources. For others, new, more reliable manuscript sources have surfaced since the older printed scores appeared.”

“The Collected Works Edition will eventually publish all his works, though that will take years to accomplish,” he said. “We are beginning with his symphonies and masses, because they are the most frequently performed. We have assembled a group of scholars from around the world to work on the individual volumes.”

The newly edited version of the Eighth Symphony will receive its world premiere at Yale on October 27, 2017, in a performance by the Yale Philharmonia under the baton of principal conductor Peter Oundjian.

“In the case of the Eighth Symphony that we are going to do at Yale, Bruckner left two versions,” Hawkshaw said. “Both will be published in the new Collected Edition and both have been published before. The Philharmonia is doing the first version, which he composed form 1884-1887 and which is the less-frequently performed of the two. The new edition, which we will perform, corrects enough mistakes in the older print that anyone who knows it well will hear the difference right away. Nevertheless, it is still very much the same score. The new edition also modernizes the way the parts are written for the players. Bruckner used a very unusual method of notating the Wagner Tubas for example. This has been updated so modern performers will not have trouble reading the music.”

Published April 5, 2017
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Christopher Theofanidis receives Grammy nomination

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.” MORE

Published December 7, 2016
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YSM guitarists launch record label, issue new releases


Benjamin Verdery

In June, Elm City Records released new albums by Yale School of Music faculty member Benjamin Verdery and alumnus Solomon Silber ’14BA ’16MM. The record label was founded by the two guitarists as a platform for “giving the public so much more than a traditional CD,” Silber said. “That’s the new paradigm we’re trying to create.”

Four projects were released with the label’s launch: The Ben Verdery Guitar Project: On Vineyard Sound, which features music by Yale composers as well as a piece by Verdery himself; Silber’s latest release, Mano a Mano; a documentary film about Australian composer Nicole Murphy’s Stolen, a work written for Silber and chamber ensemble that was inspired by Richard James Allen’s poem A Scheme for Brightness; and a recording (with accompanying video) by Verdery’s students of Terry Riley’s Y Bolanzero. The label’s website also features audio clips, videos of Verdery and Silber performing music from their new albums, and extensive liner notes.

Two additional recordings by Silber, Diabolico and Waterfront Sessions, are also available through Elm City Records. MORE

Published July 27, 2016
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In memoriam: musicologist Philip F. Nelson

Philip Nelson

Philip Nelson | Photo by Eugene Cook, 1974

Musicologist and a former Dean of the Yale School of Music Philip F. Nelson died yesterday, June 10, 2016 at the age of 88. A native of Waseca, Minnesota, Nelson graduated with a B.A. degree in music composition from Grinnell College in Iowa in 1950, and an A.M. (1956) and Ph.D. (1958) in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also received the Diplôme of the Université de Paris in 1957, and studied conducting with M. Louis Forestier at the Conservatorie National de Paris at the time as a Fulbright Scholar.

Nelson was Chair of the music department at SUNY Binghamton from 1963, until his appointment as the Dean of Yale School of Music in 1970. Under Philip Nelson’s visionary leadership, the Yale School of Music began its transformation as a major professional music school. Among his distinguished faculty appointments were, Krzysztof Penderecki, Otto-Werner Mueller, Phyllis Curtin, and Claude Frank. The Tokyo String Quartet was named the artists-in-residence in 1976, and the quartet remained an integral part of the life and development of the School until its retirement from the international concert stage in 2013. MORE

Published June 11, 2016
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In memoriam: Phyllis Curtin, soprano

Phyllis Curtin

Phyllis Curtin

Renowned American soprano Phyllis Curtin passed away on Sunday, June 5 at age 94. From 1974 to 1983, she taught voice at the Yale School of Music, overseeing the opera program. Curtin also served as Master (now Head of College) of Branford College from 1979 to 1983. Curtin was the first female Master of Branford College.

During her career on the stage in the 1950s and 60s, Curtin performed for the New York City Opera, as well as in many world-renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, and La Scala. Her repertoire included Verdi’s Violetta and Alice Ford, Strauss’ Salome, as well as Mozart’s heroines, for which she received much praise. The New York Times recently asserted that, “Ms. Curtin was noted for the purity of her voice, the sensitivity of her musical phrasing and the crystalline perfection of her diction.” MORE

Published June 11, 2016
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In memoriam: Robert E. Nagel Jr., trumpet

New York Brass Quintet From left: John Swallow, Allan Dean, Paul Ingraham, Robert Nagel, Thompson "Toby" Hanks

New York Brass Quintet
From left: John Swallow, Allan Dean, Paul Ingraham, Robert Nagel, Thompson “Toby” Hanks

Trumpeter Robert E. Nagel Jr. passed away on Sunday, June 5 at the age of 91. He was a member of the Yale School of Music faculty from 1957 to 1988, and was named Professor Emeritus in 1988.

He is best known as the founder and director of the renowned New York Brass Quintet. In addition to paving the way for brass chamber music, Nagel was an active and highly respected performer as well as a prolific composer. In 1959, Nagel founded a publishing company, Mentor Music, in an effort to make brass music more available to the public. He leaves a legacy of numerous seminal recordings such as the 1961 recording of L’Histoire Du Soldat (conducted by Igor Stravinsky) and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 (conducted by Pablo Casals).

Published June 9, 2016
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Ransom Wilson appointed Music Director & Conductor of Redlands Symphony

ransom_wilson_cond-_1The Redlands Symphony announces the appointment of Yale School of Music faculty Ransom Wilson today as music director and conductor. Dave Maupin, chair of the Symphony Board of Directors, remarked on Mr. Wilson’s appointment with great enthusiasm: “We could not be happier to welcome Ransom to Redlands. We are absolutely confident that he will elevate our wonderful orchestra to even greater heights as he takes the podium and shapes our artistic programming for years to come.”

In his first season at the Symphony, Mr. Wilson will be featuring many works and artists new to the region, while continuing the traditions of the Symphony, such as its special relationship with the works of Mozart. The newly appointed conductor will lead the orchestra for the first time on October 8 in a concert featuring works by Czech composers; Smetana, Martinů, and Dvořák.

“I have been impressed and deeply moved by this community: a city full of people who care about each other, give freely of themselves, and take pride in their beautiful place,” said Mr. Wilson. “The Redlands Symphony has had a long and successful life in the loving hands of Maestro Jon Robertson, and it is a great honor for me to accept the baton from him.”


Published June 4, 2016
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Frank Tirro speaks on his latest book in Albuquerque

With Trumpet and BibleFormer Yale School of Music Dean and Professor Emeritus, Frank Tirro, will give a talk on his most recently published book With Trumpet and Bible: The Illustrated Life of James Hembray Wilson (Pendragon Press, 2015) on Sunday, June 5. This event, hosted by Bookworks — a locally owned, independent bookstore in Albuquerque, NM — will include a book signing.

More About the Work

What was life like for an African American raised in the South in the 1880s? Were there paths to education and success for Black Americans facing the terrible prejudicial environment in the states that lost the War Between the States? And issues concerning the status of Black women surface, too. What kind of life and what possible hope might they have during the years before World War I to the years after the Second World War? Exploring these questions and illustrating one Black man’s life are but some of the many threads that Frank Tirro weaves into the fabric of his fascinating biography, With Trumpet and Bible.


Published June 3, 2016
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David Lang receives two David di Donatello Awards


David Lang

Faculty member and alumnus David Lang ’83 MMA, ’89 DMA was recently recognized at Italy’s David di Donatello Awards, receiving accolades for Best Score and Best Original Song for his soundtrack to Paolo Sorrentino’s film, Youth.

Lang also received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in the category of Best Original Song for “Simple Song No. 3” from the movie. The song, which was written as part of the score to the film “Youth,” was nominated among several trendy, chart-topping titles, including One Kind of Love, from Love and Mercy; See You Again, fromFurious 7; and Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre. Lang wrote both the lyrics and the music to the song.

Youth stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, and is the story of a retired composer and conductor who, while on holiday with his best friend in the Swiss Alps, receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday. The film has been described as exploring the eternal struggle of age and youth, the past and future, and life and death, as Caine and Keitel reflect on their lives.

Published April 30, 2016
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New endowment establishes Wendy Sharp ’82 BA Chamber Music Fellowship

Wendy Sharp

Wendy Sharp

The Yale School of Music is pleased to announce a new endowment to support the Chamber Music Fellowship program. The endowment is part of funds raised in honor of Wendy Sharp and Dean Takahashi. Sharp, an alumna of Yale College, is the director of chamber music at the Yale School of Music. Takahashi, her husband, is a graduate of the Yale School of Management who serves as senior director of the Yale University Investments Office.

The Chamber Music Fellowship program at the School of Music supports one- to two-year residencies by talented young string quartets. The current Fellowship ensemble is the Argus Quartet, which is mentored by the Brentano Quartet. Previous Fellowship ensembles included the Jasper String Quartet. In the mid-1980s, Sharp participated in the program as a member of the Franciscan String Quartet. The program was then called the Wardwell Fellowship, and the Franciscan Quartet studied with the Tokyo String Quartet, which was the faculty ensemble in residence 1976–2013. MORE

Published March 10, 2016
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