Inside YSM: Krists Auznieks, composer

Krists Auznieks

Meet composer and DMA candidate Krists Auznieks ’16MM, who spoke to us recently about what drew him to the Yale School of Music.

“I wanted to study at YSM firstly because of the faculty,” he said. “I highly value their diversity, and the prospect of being able to study with all of them was one of my main motivations. The relatively small size of the composition department means that it really is a community. We know one another’s music and we get to hear it at various points in its development. It is absolutely fascinating to see your peers grow and develop. It teaches one not only about musical development within a single piece of music, it reveals larger patterns behind the path of a young composer. It helps to see how regardless of the variety of aesthetic camps present on a single campus there are fundamental commonalties that our paths share, both humanly and musically. The composition department is a miracle within a miracle. The sheer talent that I am surrounded by is truly humbling. We see one another in the composition seminar every Thursday but you read about all of them in The New York Times or see them on TV over the weekend. That’s how high Yale composers’ presence is in the ‘real world.’ This is not an isolated department. Rather, it is constantly engaged with the world, with other spheres of human activity, with other arts and artists.”

Auznieks has also tapped into the vast resources the wider University has to offer.

“My opera ‘NeoArctic,’ which was premiered couple of months ago at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, talks about the Anthropocene and climate change, and I would not have been able to go into such depth if I did not have the resources that Yale could provide: countless talks given on the campus on the topic, availability of the specialists in the field — these were the resources that allowed me to attain the depth of knowledge that was necessary for the production of such a complex work,” Auznieks said. “Another work that grew directly out of my studies at Yale is the project that I am currently doing with the Contemporaneous ensemble in New York. It involves texts from philosophy and East Asian religions that tackle concepts of the self and nothingness and these ideas grew directly out of the corresponding courses that I took at Yale.”

Auznieks’ “Light Stills” will be performed on an April 13 New Music New Haven concert featuring music by YSM faculty composer David Lang and graduate-student composers.

(Photo by Girts Ragelis)

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Published March 24, 2017
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Inside YSM: Ashley Hale ’18MM, trumpet

Ashley Hale ’18MM

Meet YSM student trumpeter Ashley Hale ’18MM, who recently spoke with us about how she came to choose the Yale School of Music.

“I must admit, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to attend grad school,” Ashley said. “I was so ready to be done with classes and stuff that I hadn’t thought of it. There I was at the beginning of my last year of undergrad and I did not have any plans. I decided to audition for schools and see what happened. I was asking around for recommendations of schools because I had not done much research. I applied to YSM on the recommendation of my teacher at the time, Roy Poper. Once I got here, I was pleasantly surprised with how little it feels like school. I’m only taking two classes but I am involved with many outside-of-class activities. I go to class in the morning then teach in the New Haven Public Schools as a Yale Teaching Artist, get to make music with my brass quintet, and sometimes rehearse with the Yale Philharmonia. I am loving my life here at YSM and am so glad I decided to apply!”

Ashley talked specifically about studying with YSM faculty trumpeter Allan Dean.

“Studying with Mr. Allan Dean has been great!” she said. “He has such a strong concept of phrasing with everything he does. I am always amazed with his reasoning for each musical idea he has. Phrasing is definitely something I need to think more about and I’m looking forward to learning much more from him.”

Of taking advantage of all that the School, the University, and the city have to offer, Ashley said, “The campus is so pretty and I’m really enjoying New Haven. It is great to be able to study in a cute place as well as a brand new building. I have not taken any classes within the University yet, but I might look at some language classes later, if possible. I love being able to utilize the libraries and immense resources on campus. There are so many places within the School of Music that I love. I like to spend time in the recording studio (CSMT) working on different projects, as well as the music-composition lab in Leigh Hall.”

#insideYSM

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Published March 24, 2017
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YSM musicians featured in Essex Winter Series program

purvis

YSM faculty hornist William Purvis

The Yale School of Music will be well-represented when the Essex Winter Series kicks off its 40th season on Sunday, Jan. 8. Along with YSM faculty hornist William Purvis, the series’ 2017 Fenton Brown Emerging Artists — percussionist Sam Um ’17MM, trumpet players Aaron Plourde ’17MMA and Nozomi Imamura ’17MM, trombonist Matthew Russo ’12MM, and tubist Joseph Guimaraes ’18MM — will perform an arrangement of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Plourde, Purvis, and Russo will also perform as a trio on the program, which features an impressive roster of musicians and a diverse collection of works.

The mission of EWS is “to bring the finest music, in live performance, to the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline Region during the winter months and to cultivate its appreciation to the widest audience,” according the the series’ website. The Emerging Artists program offers young, up-and-coming musicians the opportunity to perform in schools and retirement homes in the Connecticut River Valley and along the shoreline. MORE

Published January 7, 2017
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[ students & alumni ]

Faculty, Alumni, and Students Receive NEA Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the recipients of their Art Works Grants for 2016, and several faculty, alumni, and student composers are among the awardees. The organization awarded $27 million for arts projects across the United States, and the first round of FY 2016 funding inaugurates the next 50 Years of National Endowment for the Arts Support.

The NEA defines “Art Works” as referring to three things: the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences, and the fact that art is work for the artists and arts professionals who make up the field. The NEA recognizes these catalytic effects of excellent art, and the key role that arts and design organizations play in revitalizing them. MORE

Published March 1, 2016
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[ general ]

Vivian Perlis to be honored by Society of American Music

perlis_tapes-300x202Vivan Perlis, founder of Yale’s Oral History of American Music (OHAM), will be honored at a special concert held during the Society of American Music’s 42nd Annual Conference in Boston, Mass.

The concert, performed by pianist Alison D’Amato and soprano Tony Arnold, will notably feature songs by Charles Ives (the subject of Perlis’s first interviews), and early interviewee Virgil Thomson. The rest of the event will include American song repertoire by composers featured within the OHAM archives.

Since its founding by Perlis in 1969, OHAM has amassed a collection of over 2600 audio and video recordings of interviews with major musical figures, including Aaron Copland, John Cage, Steve Reich, Duke Ellington, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. It has grown to become one of the most predominant collections of such interviews in the United States. MORE

Published February 24, 2016
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[ announcements ]

Yale School of Music launches its first massive open online course

Sebastian Ruth

Sebastian Ruth

The Yale School of Music is pleased to announce the launch of its first massive open online course (MOOC), “Music and Social Action.” Taught by MacArthur Fellow Sebastian Ruth, the course asks vital questions about musicians’ responses to the condition of the world.

Sebastian Ruth is the founder and artistic director of Community MusicWorks, a nationally-recognized organization that connects professional musicians with urban youth and families in Providence, Rhode Island. It has been hailed as a “revolutionary organization” by the New Yorker and in 2010 received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, conferred by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Ruth has received a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for “creating rewarding musical experiences for often-forgotten populations and forging a new, multifaceted role beyond the concert hall for the twenty-first-century musician.” Community MusicWorks was the inspiration for New Haven’s own Music Haven, which provides free instruments, lessons, classes, and ensemble and leadership development opportunities to young people (ages 6–18) from low-income New Haven neighborhoods. MORE

Published February 22, 2016
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[ concerts ]

Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon makes his Yale debut Feb. 17

Dénes Várjon

Dénes Várjon

The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents a recital by Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon on Wednesday, February 17 at 7:30 pm.

Várjon, hailed as “a musician of unusual power” by the Washington Post, comes to the Yale stage the day after performing at Carnegie Hall. His concert will offer a diverse program that includes works by Haydn, Schumann, Janácek, and Chopin.

Opening the program is Franz Josef Haydn‘s Sonata in E minor, Hob. XVI/34, in which the composer exploits the dynamic range of the fortepiano — then a newly invented instrument that offered more variation in volume than its predecessor, the harpsichord. MORE

Published February 12, 2016
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[ adams center ]

More construction photos: Adams Center for Musical Arts

Construction continues on the new Adams Center for Musical Arts, with the addition now up to the first floor.

Interior studs, mechanical piping, and electrical conduit are being installed. Suspension for ceilings on the second floor (south side) are being installed from scaffolding. Temporary heating is in place for winter work.

NOV23 5770-web MORE

Published December 17, 2015
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[ master classes ]

Yale Opera presents master class with Alan Held Dec. 14

Held_Alan_B&WThe renowned bass-baritone Alan Held will work with several singers from Yale Opera in public master class on Monday, December 14 at 7 pm. The class will feature performances by Paweł Konik, bass-baritone; Dean Murphy, baritone; Anne Maguire, mezzo-soprano; Zachary Johnson, baritone; Andrés Moreno, tenor. Soprano Natalia Rubis is the alternate.

Douglas Dickson and Timothy Shaindlin will accompany the singers. The master class, which is free and open to the public, takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). MORE

Published December 11, 2015
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[ buildings ]

Adams Center for Musical Arts: Construction Photos

Demolition and construction work continue on Hendrie Hall and the future Adams Center for Musical Arts. Excavation has begun at the north side of the building for the addition. Floor holes for attachment of ceiling support for the floor below have been completed in many rooms.

hendrie-jul17-5153 MORE

Published July 24, 2015
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