Winners of 2018 Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition announced

The 2018 Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition took place on Sunday, April 8. This year’s competition yielded three winners: tubist Jacob Fewx ’18MM, who performed Arild Plau’s Concerto for Tuba and Strings; pianist Sophiko Simsive ’18MM, who performed Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15; and flutist Jungah Yoon ’19MM who performed Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 283. As winners, these students will perform with the Yale Philharmonia during the 2018-19 season. Cellist Samuel DeCaprio ’18MMA was selected as an alternate, and violinist Ariel Horowitz ’19MM received an honorable mention.

The judges were violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv, who serves as assistant professor of violin and viola and coordinator of strings at the University of Connecticut, André-Michel Schub, who is on the piano and chamber music faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and New York Philharmonic bass trombonist George Curran, who is a faculty member at Rutgers University and the Manhattan School of Music.

We congratulate our outstanding students and look forward to hearing them perform next season with the Yale Philharmonia.

Published April 9, 2018
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Achievements celebrated at annual Honors Dinner

Carol Colburn Grigor, recipient of the Samuel Simons Sanford Award

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Samuel Simons Sanford Award winner Carol Colburn Grigor, and Robert Blocker

The Yale School of Music held its annual Honors Dinner on Sunday, May 7, welcoming students and alumni, faculty and staff, and distinguished guests to the Yale Commons for an evening of celebration. After thanking recently retired staff members for their service and acknowledging the University officers who were in attendance, YSM Dean Robert Blocker presented Carol Colburn Grigor ’69MMA CBE with the School’s highest honor, the Samuel Simons Sanford Award. Grigor, Blocker, said, “is one of America’s most generous … most thoughtful philanthropists.” Composer and former Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills congratulated Grigor via video.

Willie Ruff, recipient of the Nathan Hale Award

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Nathan Hale Award recipient Willie Ruff, and Robert Blocker

Dean Blocker, with University President Peter Salovey and Yale Provost Benjamin Polak at his side, presented longtime YSM professor Willie Ruff ’53BM ’54MM, who will retire at the end of the semester, with the University’s prestigious Nathan Hale Award. “He’s changed all our lives,” Blocker said, before attendees were shown a video tribute to Ruff’s life and work. In a nod to the man who indirectly inspired him decades ago to study at YSM, Ruff said, “I thank, most of all, Charlie Parker.” The jazz office in the Yale School of Music’s Adams Center for Musical Arts was recently named in Ruff’s honor.

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award winner Warren Lee, and Robert Blocker

Blocker presented the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award to pianist Warren Lee ’00MM and the Cultural Leadership Citation to retiring Yale Collection of Musical Instruments curator William Nicholas Renouf ’71MMA. The Collection’s director, William Purvis, accepted the Citation on behalf of Renouf, who was unable to attend the Honors Dinner. Before presenting student prizes, Blocker referenced an impressive number of awards and successes earned and realized this year by students, faculty, and staff. He recognized longtime YSM faculty pianist Peter Frankl, who plans to retire in the fall, for his dedication to the School community.

At the end of the evening, Blocker told the students in attendance, “Claim the future. It belongs to you. You will make us better.” What follows is a list of the student prizes awarded during YSM’s 2017 Honors Dinner. MORE

Published May 9, 2017
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YSM students receive grant from Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Venture Creation Program


Left to right: Igor Lichtmann, Jiwon Sun, Lydia Consilvio, Chris Garwood, and Felice Doynov

A group of five Yale School of Music students have received a grant from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Venture Creation Program to create a Practice Portal designed to foster dialogue about effective approaches to practicing. The grant includes a $1,000 cash investment and enrollment in YEI’s five-week series of lean-startup workshops. Grantees are also connected with YEI’s network of mentors and a dedicated student Venture Creation Advisor from the Yale School of Management.

The YSM students — oboist Lydia Consilvio ’17MM, flutist Felice Doynov ’17MM, guitarists Chris Garwood ’17MM and Igor Lichtmann ’18MM, and violinist Jiwon Sun ’17MM — developed their project idea after having related discussions during a course taught by YSM’s coordinator of career strategies, Astrid Baumgardner.

“A huge part of our daily life consists of practicing, three to eight hours a day for most people,” Doynov said. “And if we’re not practicing as effectively as possible, we’re not getting better as quickly as possible. What we want to do is use modern technology and the resources we have at Yale to bring musicians valuable information in an online community that focuses on practicing.”

Doynov and her colleagues are in the process of launching a website and have been uploading content to Practice Portal Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Doynov said they hope to launch a Practice Portal app, as well.

“The Venture Creation Program,” according to the YEI website, “was created to catalyze and support the growth of new, early-stage ventures at Yale. It is dedicated to providing resources for entrepreneurial teams to commercialize promising, unique products or services.”

Kassie Tucker, YEI’s program director, said the students who conceived Practice Portal are “trying to be innovative in a not-always-innovative space” and are trying to improve on an area that’s a “pain point” for many musicians.


Published November 18, 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.


Published June 28, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Jake Fridkis ’14 MM Named Principal Flute of Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

fridkis_jakeJake Fridkis ’14 MM has been appointed principal flute of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He was previously serving as principal flute of the South Dakota Symphony.

About Jake Fridkis

With experience as a soloist throughout the world with concerto appearances in United States, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Fridkis has served as guest principal flute with Symphony SONG (Korea), the Princeton Symphony, and the Cleveland Philharmonic, and has appeared with the symphonies of St. Louis and New Haven. He recently performed with Fort Worth in August 2015, and praised by the Star-Telegram as “extraordinary in all three concerts” and “the talk of the town.”

Fridkis earned his master’s degree in flute performance from the Yale School of Music in 2014 and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at Yale, studying with Ransom Wilson. He is a member of the New York based new music ensemble Le Train Bleu, led by Ransom Wilson. Jacob previously studied at The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was awarded a Presidential Merit Scholarship as a student of Joshua Smith.

A winner of Yale School of Music’s 2013 Chamber Music Society competition, Jake’s other recent highlights include being named an artist in residence at the Banff Music Centre, flute fellowship at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen two summers in a row, studying with Mark Sparks; and performances at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York and Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony. Jake made his NFA convention debut at age 15 premiering Gary Schocker’s flute duet “French Toast” with his brother Gabe and the composer on piano.


Published October 30, 2015
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[ Students & Alumni ]

Flutist Meera Gudipati ’17 MM joins New Haven Symphony Orchestra

meera-gudipatiMeera Gudipati ’17 MM has won the position of Principal Flute in the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

Gudipati recently started her studies at the Yale School of Music as a first-year Master of Music student, and is studying with Ransom Wilson. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., she attended the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, and received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. MORE

Published September 24, 2015
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[ faculty ]

Ransom Wilson, Peter Frankl record CD together on Nimbus

Ransom Wilson

Faculty members Ransom Wilson, flute, and Peter Frankl, piano, have teamed up to record Works for Flute and Piano, released in June on the Nimbus label. The recording includes duos by Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann.

The disc opens with Beethoven’s Serenade for flute and piano in D major, Op. 41, an arrangement of the Serenade, Op. 25. This is followed by Schubert’s Introduction and Variations on “Trockne Blumen” from the song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin, D. 802.

Concluding the recording is a collection of Schumann pieces: Three Romances, Op. 94; the songs “Widmung,” Op. 25, No. 1, and “Meine Rose,” Op. 90, No. 2; and another Romanze (No. 5 from Spanische Liebeslieder, Op. 138).

Peter Frankl, piano

For more information about the repertoire and its history, visit this page.

Published July 6, 2015
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[ alumni ]

Jake Fridkis to be principal flute of South Dakota Symphony

fridkis_jakeJacob Mende-Fridkis ’14 MM has won the position of Principal Flute in the South Dakota Symphony.

About Jake Fridkis

Flutist Jake Fridkis has performed as a soloist throughout the world with concerto appearances in United States, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil and most recently in Woolsey Hall with the Yale Concert Band. He has served as guest principal flute with Symphony SONG (Korea), the Princeton Symphony, and the Cleveland Philharmonic, and has appeared with the symphonies of St. Louis and New Haven. MORE

Published May 22, 2015
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[ alumni ]

Isabel Gleicher wins Myrna Brown Flute Competition

Izzy_Gleicher.jpgIsabel Lepanto Gleicher ’14 MM won first prize in the 30th annual Myrna W. Brown Artist Competition. The event, held by the Texas Flute Society, took place in Denton, Texas on May 14 and 15, 2015.

The winner of the competition receives a cash prize and is invited to appear as a guest artist at the Texas Flute Festival the year following the competition.


Flutist Isabel Lepanto Gleicher is a versatile performer who enjoys a career filled with a variety of music. She has performed internationally in venues including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, and the Galapagos Art Space; the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China; the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan; and in the Rolston Recital Hall at the Banff Center in Canada. MORE

Published May 22, 2015
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[ alumni ]

Enrico Sartori ’05 MM wins position with BBC Scottish Symphony

sartori_enricoEnrico Sartori ’05 MM has won the principal flute position with the BBC Scottish Symphony.

Italian flutist Enrico Sartori maintains an intense concert schedule as a soloist in Europe and the U.S. At the beginning of the 2009 season, Mr. Sartori made his Carnegie Hall debut as a winner of the Artist International Competition. His performance at Weill Recital Hall received an unanimous standing ovation. MORE

Published April 8, 2015
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