Christoph Campestrini appointed Kapellmeister of Vienna’s Hofkapelle

Christoph Campestrini

Christoph Campestrini

Yale School of Music alumnus Christoph Campestrini ’92MM has been appointed Kapellmeister at Vienna’s Hofkapelle, home of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. With the appointment, Campestrini joins the ranks of the historically important and influential musicians who have been members of the Hofkapelle. He will lead the famed Hofmusikkapelle, which includes the Vienna Boys’ Choir and members of the Vienna State Opera orchestra and chorus.

“Being aware of the 500-year tradition of this institution that included Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, and Anton Bruckner is a humbling experience and at the same time requires a commitment for the highest excellence,” he said. “In addition to my work in Europe, I also look forward to continuing to come to the United States and Canada several times every season and renewing cultural ties that go back to my time at the Yale School of Music, of which I have only the best memories.”

Campestrini has worked with such internationally acclaimed artists as Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Alisa Weilerstein, Lang Lang, and Julia Fischer and has led many of the world’s renowned orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Moscow, Frankfurt, Budapest, and Vienna, and the national orchestras of Mexico and Taiwan, among others. He appears regularly as a guest conductor in the United States and Canada, having led the Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and Orchestra Métropolitain in Montreal.

Born in Linz, Austria, Campestrini studied at The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music.

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Published July 20, 2016
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Kensho Watanabe appointed assistant conductor of Philadelphia Orchestra

Kensho Watanabe

Kensho Watanabe

Kensho Watanabe ’09BS ’10MM has been appointed assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he’ll serve under acclaimed Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Watanabe studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller at the Curtis Institute of Music, earning a Diploma in 2013. As the school’s first Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow, Watanabe was mentored for two years by Nézet-Séguin and had “incredible access” to the Philadelphia Orchestra, with which he’s worked as a substitute violinist. Watanabe has directed numerous Curtis Opera Theatre productions and served as an assistant to Nézet-Séguin for Opera de Montréal’s 2015 production of Elektra.

Watanabe studied molecular, cell, and developmental biology at Yale College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 2009. He earned his master’s degree in violin from the Yale School of Music, where he studied, as he had as an undergraduate, with Syoko Aki.

“Being at Yale really sparked my interest in conducting,” Watanabe said, citing Yale Symphony Orchestra Music Director Toshiyuki Shimada, whom he assisted as an undergraduate, as a particularly supportive figure.

The summer after completing his undergraduate degree, and in the summers of 2010 and 2011, Watanabe studied with Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School and Summer Music Festival, where his interest in conducting took hold and led him to Mueller’s studio at Curtis.

In addition to his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Watanabe’s upcoming schedule includes appearances with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Métropolitain in Montreal.

Looking forward to his work in Philadelphia, Watanabe said, “I’ve really grown up with this orchestra. I’ve learned so much from this orchestra.”

Watanabe’s appointment begins with the 2016-2017 Philadelphia Orchestra season.

Published July 19, 2016
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An Tran ’16MM wins first prize at 2016 Hamilton International Guitar Competition

An Tran

An Tran

An Tran ’16MM won first prize at the 2016 Hamilton International Guitar Competition in Ontario, Canada, earning a cash prize, custom handmade guitar, and an appearance at the 2017 Hamilton Guitar Festival.

At age 12, Tran won the top prize at the Vietnam National Guitar Competition. He has since won the Lincoln Academy of Illinois’ Student Laureate Award and top prizes at the Society of American Musicians Guitar Competition, Evanston Music Club Competition, and Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra Young Artist International Competition, among others. In 2010, Tran earned the Best Overseas Student Award, which was presented by the vice president of Vietnam. In 2015, he was invited to perform Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra.

A native of Hanoi, Tran studied at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from North Park University in Chicago, where he studied with Julie Goldberg and Tom Zelle. In May 2016, Tran graduated with his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale, he also served as a Teaching Artist for YSM’s Music in Schools Initiative. Tran will begin pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Northwestern University in the fall.

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Published July 15, 2016
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Clarinetist Igal Levin joins Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra

Igal Levin

Igal Levin

Igal Levin ’13MM has been appointed principal clarinetist of the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra by new music director and acclaimed trombonist Christian Lindberg. Levin previously served as principal clarinetist of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Ashdod Symphony Orchestra, and Racine Symphony Orchestra in Wisconsin.

Levin has performed as a guest with numerous orchestras around the world including the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Shanghai Oriental Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra, Lübeck Opera, Kiel Opera, Israel Philharmonic, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Israeli Opera, and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. His appearances have taken him to such celebrated venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Berlin Philharmonie, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and Carnegie Hall.

Levin studied with Yitzhak Catap at the Israeli Music Conservatory where he graduated with honors. He earned a General Artistic Training Diploma from the Musikhochschule Lübeck in Germany and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and studied at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. His teachers have included Sabine Meyer, David Shifrin, Reiner Wehle, Steve Cohen, and J. Lawrie Bloom.

Published July 13, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Robert Bennesh founds Festival of Sacred Arts in Sweden

Porträtt Robert Bennesh

Robert Bennesh

Robert Bennesh ’14MM ’15AD, director of music at the Church of Sweden in Skanör-Falsterbo, has founded the Festival of Sacred Arts, which will launch its first season on August 11. Located in Bennesh’s home parishes in Skanör-Falsterbo, the festival seeks to provide a space in which music of various genres, art, drama, poetry, and nature intersect. The four-day event features 13 concerts, eight lectures, and other performances and exhibitions.

The festival’s name is inspired by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where Bennesh did course work while he was a student at the Yale School of Music.

“The artistic idea of the festival is to inspire the visitor to seek for the sacred in different art forms, in conjunction to each other, and in relation to nature,” he said. “What one finds sacred is highly personal and we hope this will be the starting point for interesting discussions.”

Since his appointment to the Church of Sweden in the fall of 2015, Bennesh has been developing a unique music program at the two medieval churches of Skanör-Falsterbo. Through grants, he has raised approximately $80,000 to develop the festival, forming partnerships with the local and provincial governments as well as other parishes, the diocese, various businesses, and individuals. MORE

Published July 12, 2016
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Seolyeong Jeong takes third-prize at inaugural New York Piano Competition

JeongYale School of Music student Seolyeong Jeong MM ’17 collected two top prizes at the inaugural New York Piano Competition, winning the award for Best Performance of a 20th Century Composition, as well as third-prize overall in her age group. For the competition, 12 winners were selected from a pool of 30 candidates in two categories: ages 12-17 and 18-25.

The competition, organized by the New York Piano Festival and led by founder and artistic director Alexander Beridze, distributed more than $20,000 in awards and scholarships. Beridze spoke of the excitement surrounding the competition in a recent press-release, saying, “For us this has been the most amazing year to date. After seven years of running a festival we launched a Piano Competition … and right away received over 100 entries from all 14 different countries.” The jury for the competition was comprised of eight internationally renowned pianists, including Yale’s own Arthur Haas.

Seolyeong’s third-place result earned her a slot at this evening’s winner’s concert, presented in the famed Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as well as a cash prize of $1,000. To get to this stage, Jeong had to pass through two rounds of competition, including a video round and a live round in New York. Each stage involved performing a demanding range of repertoire, including six separate works ranging from the Baroque to the 20th century. For the live round, Seolyeong performed Robert Schumann’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op.11; Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite, arranged by Guido Agosti; and Tai-Bong Chung’s Sungnyemun.  MORE

Published July 1, 2016
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Victor Wang to join Charlotte Symphony Orchestra as principal flute

Victor Wang

Victor Wang

Victor Wang ’14 BS ’15 MM has won the position of principal flute in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. His appointment will begin in the fall of 2016.

Originally from Rochester, NY, Victor recently completed a year as an inaugural member of The Orchestra Now, a new training orchestra that performs at Bard College and around New York City. Victor is an alumnus of Yale College, where he earned a Bachelor of Sciences in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, as well as the Yale School of Music, where he graduated with a Master of Music in flute performance.

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Published June 28, 2016
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Domenic Salerni joins Dalí Quartet and wins silver in the M-Prize Competition

Salerni

Domenic Salerni

Domenic Salerni ’11 MM has been appointed first violinist of the Dalí Quartet, an ensemble that is known particularly for its excellence in Latin-American repertoire.

Furthermore, as a part of the septet Foundry, Salerni and YSM alumni Ian Rosenbaum ’10 MM ’11 AD, Andy Akiho ’11 MM, and Samuel Suggs ’14 MM, won second prize in the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition in the open division. Foundry is an ensemble that crosses and transcends genres, innovating new sounds through the synthesis of contemporary classical techniques and jazz, reggae, Caribbean, and Soca.  The M-Prize Competition (through the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance) awarded Foundry $7000.

THE FOUNDRY
DALI QUARTET
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Published June 28, 2016
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Sarah Ford ’16 MM joins Colorado Springs Philharmonic as principal horn

SarahFord_Headshot

Sarah Ford

Sarah Ford ’16 MM has been appointed principal horn of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic; her appointment will begin in fall, 2016. The Colorado Springs Philharmonic is led by Josep Caballé-Domenech who succeeded Lawrence Leighton Smith, the former music director of Yale Philharmonia. Smith was also the first music director of Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

Originally from Guilford, CT, Sarah earned her Bachelors of Music degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts – Rutgers University, where she studied with Douglas Lundeen, Denise Tryon, Eric Reed, and Jerry Peel. Her summers have been spent in programs such as the NSO Summer Music Institute, the Maine Chamber Music Seminar, the Pierre Monteux School, the National Music Festival, and Kendall Betts Horn Camp. In May 2016, Sarah graduated with her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with William Purvis.

Published June 20, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Scott Morris ’96 MM elected Music Department Chair at CSU Dominguez Hills

Scott Morris

Scott Morris

The California State University Dominguez Hills Department of Music has announced that Scott Morris ’96 MM has been unanimously elected by the faculty to serve as its next Department Chair. Morris had previously served as the Supervisor of Guitar Studies for the past decade at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Morris is responsible for a number of exciting new hires at the department including Julian Coryell (guitarist, producer, and member of Alanis Morrisette’s band), Matthew Greif (member of the GRAMMY-winning LAGQ), and David Isaacs (classical guitarist). He also directed the 2007 GFA Convention and Competition at CSU Dominguez Hills as well as a number of guitar festivals and events.

Scott Morris is an accomplished classical guitarist with numerous commercially available recordings on record labels such as AIX Records, Eroica Classical Recordings, and Centaur Records. He is also the author of the popular guitar method book series Classical Guitar Complete: From Basics to Bach (MidShelf Music Publications). His latest project is a book of his original arrangements and CD recording of the music of Erik Satie entitled Phonology: The Music of Erik Satie for Guitar. AIX Records released the recording and MidShelf Music published the book of scores. The project featured rare French guitars by makers such as Bouchet, Friedrich, Rohé, Ligier, and Field supplied by Guitar Salon International. GRAMMY-winner Andrew York joined him as a guest artist on the recording.

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Published June 15, 2016
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