[ students & alumni ]

Samuel S. Suggs appointed assistant professor of bass at James Madison University

suggs_bwCurrent doctoral student and YSM alumnus Samuel S. Suggs ’14 MM, will join the faculty of James Madison University School of Music as Assistant Professor of Bass; his appointment will begin in fall 2016.

Suggs’ impressive list of recent accomplishments includes a feature as Musical America’s Artist of the Month (October, 2015) and a first-place win at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. He is the only bassist to win the Beijing International Music Festival Competition and was the youngest principal bassist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

 

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MUSICAL AMERICA ARTICLE

Published May 2, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Brian Vu named a winner in the 2016 Lotte Lenya competition

vu_brianBrian Vu ’14 MM, ’15 AD was awarded the top prize in the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. The win earned Vu a cash prize of $15,000, and was one of nine awards distributed for the competition which totaled $79,000.

Vu impressed the judges with a carefully thought-out program including “O Carlo, ascolta” from Don Carlo; “Bowler Hat” from Pacific Overtures; “West Wind” from One Touch of Venus; and “Where is the Life that Late I Led?” from Kiss Me Kate. The judges remarked that he displayed “…refreshing flair and vocal prowess.”

Earlier this year, Vu was named a Grand Finalist in this year’s Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, one of the most prestigious vocal competitions in the country, and will appear as the Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival this summer.

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Published April 29, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Seminole Trombone Quartet makes Carnegie Hall debut May 6

STQYSM alumni Stephen Ivany ’14 MM and Christopher Brown ’14 AD are set to make their Carnegie Hall debut with their ensemble Seminole Trombone Quartet on May 6 at 8 pm. The program, which takes place in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, features a world premiere by John Mackey alongside some of the best of the trombone quartet literature including works by Bach, Debussy, Koetsier, and more. The group will also be joined onstage by Ivany and Brown’s former teacher, YSM trombone professor Scott Hartman. STQ earned this prestigious performance opportunity by winning the recent “Noles in NYC” campaign.

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Published April 29, 2016
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Alumnus Mingzhe Wang appointed to Michigan State University faculty

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Mingzhe Wang

Clarinet alumnus Mingzhe Wang ’03 MM ’06 MMA ’12 DMA has been appointed Associate Professor of Clarinet in the College of Music at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Wang will join the faculty at MSU in August 2016.

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About Mingzhe Wang

Clarinetist Mingzhe Wang, native of Wuhan, China, first studied clarinet at the age of 9. His first public performance was at the age of 10 and by age 11 he was admitted to the Wuhan Conservatory and subsequently the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 1997, Mr. Wang came to the US to study at the Harid Conservatory of Music at Lynn University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2001. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, where he also obtained his Masters degree and Artist Diploma. MORE

Published April 28, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Lewis Spratlan wins Charles Ives Opera Prize for “Life is a Dream”

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Lewis Spratlan | Photo by Gigi Kaeser

YSM alumnus Lewis Spratlan ’62 BA, ’65 MM was recently awarded the prestigious Charles Ives Opera Prize for his opera Life is a Dream. The award given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters is one of the countries largest prizes for vocal composition. The win earned Spratlan a cash prize of $35,000, and awarded the work’s librettist, James Maraniss, a prize of $15,000.

Life is a Dream was composed in 1978 and is based on the 1635 play by Spanish playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca. The story follows Segismundo, a Polish prince who was banished as an infant by his father, King Basilio, as he returns to the kingdom of his birth only to be banished and imprisoned once again. Although a concert version of the opera’s second act won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000, it was not fully staged until 2010, premiered by the Santa Fe Opera. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times called the premiere “mystical, challenging, and viscerally dramatic,” and praised it as “an important opera, the rare philosophical work that holds the stage.” MORE

Published April 27, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Natalie Dietterich wins ASCAP Morton Gould Award

Natalie Dietterich

Natalie Dietterich

Natalie Dietterich ’16 MM, has been named one of the receipients of the 2016 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In addition to being recognized as one of this year’s winners, Dietterich is also the recipient of the Leo Kaplan Award, which was instituted in memory of the distinguished attorney who served as ASCAP Special Distribution Advisor.

Congratulating the Award recipients, Paul Williams said, “These gifted young composers ranging in age from 14 to 30 represent the bright future of American concert music. We congratulate them and extend our great appreciation to the dedicated panel of ASCAP members who selected the winners from over 700 submissions.” The composers will be recognized at the annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards event in September. MORE

Published April 19, 2016
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Ron Cohen Mann ’16 AD named semi-finalist in Ima Hogg Competition

ron-cohen-mannOboist Ron Cohen Mann ’16 AD has been named a semi-finalist in the Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg Competition. Cohen Mann is one of ten semi-finalists that will compete in June to be named a finalist, receiving the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony and receive cash prizes up to $25,000.

Cohen Mann was recently heard in the Yale in New York concert, With Pluck: Music for Harpin a performance of Pasculli’s Omaggio a Bellini with harpist Noël Wan in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He can also be heard in the Competition Winners Concert on May 10, 7:30pm at Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. MORE

Published April 15, 2016
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YSM contributes to grave-marking fundraiser for Helen Hagan

Helen-hagan-1Helen Eugenia Hagan was a concert pianist and composer who graduated from the Yale School of Music in 1912; she was believed to be the school’s first female African-American student. She was also the first black pianist to perform a solo recital at a New York venue and the first black woman to be appointed to Chamber of Commerce in Morristown, NJ. In 1919, she became the only African-American performer to travel to France during the First World War to entertain black troops.

Yet, despite her accomplishments, Hagen is buried in an unmarked grave in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery. Elizabeth Foxwell, editor of  In Their Own Words: American Women in World War I, (2015), was dismayed to learn of this, and decided to launch a crowdfunding effort to mark the grave. “Reading the reviews of her performances — these rave reviews — and then you find out she’s in this unmarked grave, I was just totally shocked,” Foxwell said.

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Published April 13, 2016
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Argus Quartet performs at Carnegie Hall

Argus Quartet

Argus Quartet

The Argus Quartet, current fellowship quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music, will perform at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on April 15. The concert is part of the Kronos Quartet’s weeklong workshop for young professional string quartets to explore new works. These works are commissioned as part of Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, a major commissioning initiative devoted to the most contemporary approaches to the string quartet. The workshop culminates in the Zankel Hall performance, which also features selections from one of Kronos’ signature works, Terry Riley’s Salome Dances for Peace.

In addition to the Riley, the concert includes music by Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Garth Knox, and Wu Man, and the Friction and Ligeti Quartets will also perform.

MORE INFORMATION AND TICKETS

(Buy one ticket and get the second one free with code KRO23736*. Doors open one hour early, and the first 200 concertgoers receive a voucher for a free drink.)

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Published April 12, 2016
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Wenbin Jin appointed Associate Director of Performing Arts for Keystone Academy

wenbin-jinPianist and YSM alum Wenbin Jin ’13 MM, ’15 AD has been appointed Associate Director of Performing Arts at the Keystone Academy in Beijing. His position, which also includes serving as the music instructor for the program, begins fall 2016. Located in Beijing’s Shunyi District, the Keystone Academy is one of China’s foremost private schools, serving students from primary through high school.

Wenbin Jin began playing the piano at the age of 5, was accepted into the China Central Conservatory of Music middle school program at 12, and entered Yale University under the tutelage of Boris Berman at the age of 18. He has performed around the world, including in the U.S., China, Holland, Italy, Canada, Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, and Australia. Jin has won top prizes in all three major Chinese international piano competitions including the Shanghai, China, and Shenzhen International Piano Competitions.

 

Published April 11, 2016
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