Convocation 2016 Celebrates “Transcendent Yale Legacy”

YSM Dean Robert Blocker | Photo by Harold Shapiro

YSM Dean Robert Blocker | Convocation 2016

In his Convocation address, titled Music: A Transcendent Yale Legacy, School of Music Dean Robert Blocker told incoming and returning students, faculty, staff, and guests that “transcendent qualities are born and nurtured by people. Yale University and the School of Music are a collection of voices, a community and society of mutual learners. We, along with our predecessors, came here to better prepare ourselves to repair the world.

“It may surprise some of you to know that when the Yale Corporation voted to establish a School of Music in 1894, they also approved a Bachelor of Music degree that was open to women and men,” Blocker said in his remarks during the September 8, 2016, ceremony. “Cynics might say that not offering a Bachelor of Arts in Music retained the exclusivity of Yale College as a male enclave, but I find it a lot more interesting and compelling that music was Yale’s very first commitment to diversity and inclusivity.”

Celebrating the “transcendent voices” that have shaped the School’s legacy, Blocker recognized Ellen and Carl Stoeckel, Helen Hagan, Elaine Toscanini, Aldo Parisot, and Willie Ruff, among others.

“These transcendent musical voices of Yale and their cultural leadership transform lives, enrich communities, and bring hope to a broken world,” Blocker said. “Yale’s sons and daughters entrusted some of humankind’s treasures to us so that the transcendent qualities of character and mind, of light and truth – Yale’s motto, lux et veritas – can live through each of us and can bring hope to our planet. That is our responsibility, and it is our joy.” MORE

Published September 12, 2016
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Ralph Kirshbaum receives honorary doctorate from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Carol Coburn Grigor, left, a member of the Yale School of Music's Board of Advisors, and Ralph Kirshbaum, in Glasgow, Scotland

Carol Colburn Grigor ’69MMA, a member of the Yale School of Music’s Board of Advisors, and Ralph Kirshbaum, in Glasgow, Scotland

Cellist Ralph Kirshbaum ’68BA was one of three acclaimed artists to receive an honorary degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in July. Jeffrey Sharkey ’88MM, the school’s principal, recognized Kirshbaum with an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree during graduation ceremonies on July 5. Actor David Tennant and choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne were also recognized.

“David, Sir Matthew and Ralph are all world leaders in their fields and we’re thrilled to celebrate their achievements,” Sharkey was quoted in a news release as saying. “This creates also a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with such inspirational individuals as they prepare to enter into the professional world in their own right.”

A former student of Aldo Parisot, Kirshbaum has worked with many of the world’s most renowned ensembles and artists. For three decades, he performed and recorded in a trio with violinist György Pauk and YSM faculty pianist Peter Frankl. He is the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello and chair of the string department at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He taught previously at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and, in 2012, founded the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Kirshbaum, a Texas native, to a five-year term on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Published August 16, 2016
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Aldo Parisot leads the Grammy-nominated Yale Cellos on April 13


Parisot conducting Yale Cellos

The Yale School of Music presents the Grammy-nominated Yale Cellos in their popular annual concert on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30 pm.

Aldo Parisot will lead the ensemble that he founded thirty-four years ago in a diverse program of music from the Baroque to present day, including the world premiere of “Parisot,” a three-movement work written for the Yale Cellos by Yale faculty composer Martin Bresnick. MORE

Published April 4, 2016
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[ in the press ]

Interlude: Revered Cellist Aldo Parisot full of ‘Fogo’

parisot_aInterlude | By Janet Horvath

Exuding Fogo or fire, Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot continues to be an immense musical force with a busy schedule at the Yale School of Music. He teaches thirteen students and conducts the Yale Cellos. One of the greatest cellists of all time, he has performed in chamber music, in recital, and as soloist with the elite orchestras of the world and eminent maestros including Leonard Bernstein, Sir John Barbirolli, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Monteux and composers Paul Hindemith and Hector Villa-Lobos. Parisot has premiered numerous cello works including Villa-Lobos Cello Concerto No. 2, which was written for him. Parisot played the work with the New York Philharmonic in 1955, Parisot’s first performance in America, and Villa-Lobos was present. In addition to his teaching at Yale he was on the faculty of the Mannes, Peabody and Juilliard Schools.

Parisot is a man of contrasts. Soft-spoken with a wicked sense of humor, he owns a red sports car with the license plate “Fogo,” wears dark glasses, a cigarette constantly dangles from his bow hand, and his support of his students is unwavering. I had the privilege of seeing him in action. “These are not master classes,” he declared, “they are mastery classes.” Recently, we had a conversation. MORE

Published November 25, 2015
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Aldo Parisot leads the Yale Cellos in concert on Wednesday, April 15

yale_cellos1Aldo Parisot will lead the Grammy-nominated ensemble that he founded over thirty years ago in a diverse program of music from the baroque to the present day. The works will range from classics by Arcangelo Corelli, J. S. Bach, and Edvard Grieg to newer works by Ezra Laderman and Dave Brubeck. TICKET INFO

The concert begins with the Allegro agitato from Edvard Grieg’s Cello Sonata in A minor, performed by Chang Pan, a second-year master’s student of Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music. Assistant professor of cello Ole Akahoshi, who performed a duet with Yo-Yo Ma in Woolsey Hall in January, will then perform the Partita for Solo Cello by Ezra Laderman.

Laderman, who passed away on February 28, was a prolific composer who served as dean of the Yale School of Music from 1989 to 1995 and later as professor of composition until his retirement in 2013. His longtime connection with the Yale Cellos was particularly rich, and over the years Aldo Parisot and the Yale Cellos performed and recorded a number of works Laderman wrote for the ensemble. MORE

Published March 24, 2015
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[ In the Press ]

Cellos and jokes

Yale Alumni Magazine | Mar/Apr 2015
By Kathrin Lassila

If Yo-Yo Ma and fellow master cellist Aldo Parisot ’48Mus were a comedy duo, there’s no question who would be the straight man and who would deliver the punch lines. Ma and Parisot made it clear to a packed house at Woolsey Hall on January 13, in an unusual performance: they sat onstage and chatted.

The occasion was a concert to benefit a School of Music fund for cello students—and to celebrate Parisot. He’s Yale’s longest-serving faculty member and should probably be classed as an official Yale treasure. His bio is full of impressive lists. Born in Brazil, he has soloed with the great orchestras and conductors of the world, toured the globe many times, recorded with fine-arts labels, taught at leading US conservatories. MORE

Published March 12, 2015
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Yo-Yo Ma performs at Yale, awarded Sanford Medal (photos)

Yo-Yo-Ma-198-web Cellist Yo-Yo Ma visited Yale on Tuesday, January 13 to perform a sold-out benefit concert in Woolsey Hall. Ma, who received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University in 1987, joined forces with Yale cello faculty Aldo Parisot and Ole Akahoshi as well as the Yale Philharmonia.

The event opened with Jean-Baptiste Barrière’s Sonata in G major for two cellos, for which Ma paired up with Assistant Professor of Cello Ole Akahoshi.

Ma then performed J.S. Bach’s Suite No. 3 in C major for solo cello to a rapt audience. MORE

Published January 16, 2015
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[ In the Press ]

Yo-Yo Ma Performs Benefit Concert for Yale Cellos

Cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Aldo Parisot

Cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Aldo Parisot

Yale Daily News | By Stephen Lewis, Staff Reporter

Last night, internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma shared the stage with Yale faculty and students for his first performance at the University since 1987.

Ma’s performance, which took place in Woolsey Hall, was a benefit concert for the Yale School of Music cello program. Ma performed six pieces that featured Yale professor of cello Ole Akahoshi and members of the Yale Philharmonia. Yale professor of conducting Toshiyuki Shimada highlighted Ma’s role as an ambassador of classical music in addition to his legacy as a musician, adding that he thinks Ma’s return for a second performance speaks to the importance of Yale in the cello world. MORE

Published January 15, 2015
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Yo-Yo Ma to perform benefit concert at Yale January 13

Yo-Yo Ma | Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Yo-Yo Ma | Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whose artistry and wide-ranging interests have earned him the adulation of audiences worldwide, will come to Yale University to perform a special benefit concert in Woolsey Hall on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Appearing at the invitation of legendary cellist and Yale professor Aldo Parisot, Yo-Yo Ma will perform a suite by J.S. Bach for solo cello, in a duet with Yale assistant professor of cello Ole Akahoshi, and as a concerto soloist with members of the Yale Philharmonia conducted by Mr. Parisot.

Of special interest, Yo-Yo Ma will interview Aldo Parisot onstage after intermission in what should be a lively and informative conversation between two masters of the cello who have enjoyed a warm friendship for many years. MORE

Published November 17, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Bach’s In Good Hands

Parisot-550x374New Haven Independent
By Lucy Gellman

Nonononono.” Aldo Parisot said with a sudden lowering of his hands, bringing a panoply of bows, all fiercely swinging to Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto No. 4 in F minor” (“Winter”) from The Four Seasons, to an abrupt halt.

“Somebody screwed it up. Was it you?”

A single finger pointed to the chest of a young cellist, who seemed to tighten his grip around the bow as he nodded solemnly.

There is much to know about Parisot, the founder and director of the Grammy-nominated, internationally recognized Yale Cellos. Two facts stand out this time of year. MORE

Published April 8, 2014
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