Faculty pianist Wei-Yi Yang discusses his Nov. 29 Horowitz Piano Series recital program

Wei-Yi Yang

On Nov. 29, faculty pianist Wei-Yi Yang will perform a Horowitz Piano Series recital featuring Schubert’s demanding and lively “Gasteiner” Sonata. The program will also showcase music by Bach and two composers whose work he inspired, Schumann and Liszt.

Talking about the pieces that will begin the concert — Liszt’s Prelude after J.S. Bach, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, and selections from Schumann’s Four Fugues, Op. 72 — Yang said, “These two important composers of the Romantic period followed in Bach’s footsteps in the works selected here. Although some might associate Bach’s works and methods with precise craftsmanship and mathematical intrigue, here the two Romantics inherited the Baroque master’s obsession and passion in developing motifs and subjects, and grew the smallest musical seedlings into magnificent forests.

“It is striking to hear how two of the greatest Romantic composers used chromaticism and harmonic turns in the mid-1800s, lush and wayward they may be, which at times seem perfectly aligned with Baroque sensibilities,” Yang said. Their work in these pieces, he said, “encapsulates the timelessness of Bach’s vision and influence.”

Yang further explained that “Bach at his core is about the elements of song, dance, and, most of the time, a combination of both. The partitas are cosmopolitan collections of different dance movements that go straight to the heart of Baroque style in elegance and eloquence. Schubert is also always about the song (Lieder) and the dance, although in dance he is singularly obsessed with the Ländler style, which can be felt in the center movements of the D-major Sonata.”

The “Gasteiner,” Yang said, “is unusually sunny and optimistic for Schubert, although it is not without nostalgia and tenderness, while the composer spins out an unusual, virtuosic keyboard style combined with orchestral and quartet sonority and the omnipresent singing lyricism that is deeply embedded in his DNA.”

Asked about the significance of the program being centered on the key of D, Yang said, “I must confess that hearing a tonal thread is very important to me when I listen to and conceive the details of a program.”

 What’s important to him in the end is that “the audience will see and hear the prismatic aspects in music that I strive to unlock, whether it’s about tonal relationships, stylistic influences, or genre crossing.”

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Published November 21, 2017
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Boris Berman’s “Notes from the Pianist’s Bench” enhanced with multimedia elements

Fifteen years after its initial publication, faculty pianist Boris Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench (Yale University Press, 2002) has been enhanced to include audio and video clips that support the written content, which has also been updated.

“I expanded it in terms of the content,” Berman said, “but also, I added the visual and audio components.” A decade and a half after writing the book, Berman considered various pieces of feedback, and, “in some cases,” he said, “I changed my view on certain subjects.”

The “YUP approached Boris with the idea of adding audio and video components to the book,” Yale University Press publicist Alden Ferro said in an email. “Accompanying both the print and ebook versions is access to multimedia components: 20 video examples and 25 audio examples. In the multimedia edition, clicking the links takes you directly to the audio and video examples. In the print book, audio and video symbols throughout cue the reader when and which example to watch or listen to online. If a reader buys the print edition, they can gain access to the audio and video components by going to www.yalebooks.com/berman and registering for an account on the companion website.”

Ferro noted that “as in the original edition, Berman gives tips on everything from the practical matters in piano playing— sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation — to how to emotionally prepare for a performance.”

Of Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench, the late Claude Frank, who taught piano alongside Berman at the Yale School of Music, said, “Whether the subject is rubato in Mozart and Chopin, pedaling in Bach, or merely the position of the thumb on the keyboard, Boris Berman deals with it comprehensively but concisely, imaginatively and realistically. The book is neither too elementary nor too advanced for any pianist, piano teacher or piano lover. It is informative, inspiring and entertaining.”

Acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax offered, “What makes Mr. Berman’s book so persuasive and enlightening is his understanding that there is no one ‘method’ of teaching music — each relationship with a student is a process of discovery for teacher and student both.”

Learn more about the new edition of Boris Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench on the Yale University Press website.

Published November 15, 2017
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Antoine Tamestit to give viola master class April 18

Antoine Tamestit

Antoine Tamestit

The viola studio will host a master class and small private performance by Antoine Tamestit ’01 MM on Monday, April 18 in Leigh 402. Yamestit is currently a professor at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, and is in demand as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician.

His repertoire ranges from the Baroque period to the contemporary and he has performed and recorded several world premieres. As a soloist, Tamestit has worked with a variety of orchestras, and he currently plays in a string trio with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera.

He is a professor at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, and plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation. Together with Nobuko Imai, Tamestit is co-artistic director of the Viola Space Festival in Tokyo, focusing on the development of viola repertoire and proposing education programmes.

Born in Paris, Tamestit studied with Jesse Levine at Yale University and with Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes including the William Primrose Competition and the first prize at the Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme, Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2009.

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Published April 15, 2016
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Violinist Kevin Lawrence gives master class Nov. 17

lawrence_kevinKevin Lawrence, a violinist and a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, will give a master class at Yale on Tuesday, November 17. The class takes place 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Kevin Lawrence has been praised for his “vibrant intensity” (The Times, London) and playing “supremely convincing in its vitality” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). He has performed in the United States and Europe in such venues as Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and in Houston, Chicago, London, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Rome, Prague, Bucharest, Sofia, St. Petersburg, and Amsterdam, where the Dutch press described him as “simply miraculous” (Het Vaderland). In the fall of 2003 he made an extensive recital tour of Europe, including concert appearances in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Italy. MORE

Published November 16, 2015
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Clarinet master class with Roeland Hendrikx April 14

hendrikx-roelandThe clarinet studio will host a master class with Roeland Hendrikx on Tuesday, April 14. Roeland Hendrikx is the clarinet soloist of the Belgian National Orchestra.

The class will take place in Leigh 402 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. MORE

Published April 1, 2015
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Guest musicians to give a tango workshop April 1

Hector del Curto, bandoneon

Hector del Curto, bandoneon

The Yale School of Music presents a tango workshop on Wednesday, April 1 at 12:30 pm.

The workshop will be led by Pablo Aslan, bass; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion; Hector del Curto, bandoneon; and Alex Brown, piano. The four are also among the performers in the Letters from Argentina concert on March 31.

In the first half of the workshop, the leaders will demonstrate instrumental tango techniques. The second half will feature performances by Yale School of Music students. MORE

Published March 31, 2015
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Pierre Henri Xuereb to give viola master class March 24

Xuereb_Pierre-HenriPierre Henri Xuereb will give a viola master class at the Yale School of Music on Monday, March 24. The class will take place at 4 pm in Leigh Hall, Room 402.

The class will feature four YSM violists, all students of Ettore Causa, working with Xuereb on selections from their repertoire.

Isabella Mensz will play Hindemith’s Sonata for Solo Viola (1937); Hyeree Yu will play Enescu’s Concert Piece with pianist Anton SmirnoffR. Danielle Wiebe will play Reger’s Suite No.2 for solo viola, and Xinyi Xu will play the first movement of York Bowen’s Viola Concerto, Op. 25, with pianist Michael Noble. MORE

Published March 15, 2014
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Yale Opera presents a master class with baritone Alan Held Dec. 9th

Held_Alan_B&WThe Yale School of Music presents a master class with acclaimed baritone Alan Held on Monday, December 9, 2013. The event takes place at 7 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven. Mr. Held will coach singers in the Yale Opera program in a variety of operatic repertoire.

Internationally recognized as one of the leading singing actors today, Mr. Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Paris Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, and the Teatro alla Scala. MORE

Published November 6, 2013
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Yale Opera presents master class with Alan Held

On Tuesday, February 26 at 7 pm, renowned bass-baritone Alan Held will work with several singers from Yale Opera in public master class. Esteban Cordero, tenor; Stephen Daniel, baritone; David Leigh, bass; Nikhil Navkal, tenor; and Brian Vu, baritone, will perform for Mr. Held. The class will also feature pianists Douglas Dickson and Timothy Shaindlin.

The master class takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street. The event is free and open to the public.

Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Paris Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, Teatro all Scala, Teatre del Liceu, Hamburg State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Netherlands Opera, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, and Teatro de la Maestranza. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen, Leporello in Don Giovanni, The Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Jochanaan in Salome, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, and the title role in Wozzeck and Cardillac.

Equally at home on the concert stage, he has performed with the world’s leading orchestras including The Berlin Philharmonic, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The BBC-Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The Paris Orchestra, The Kirov Opera Orchestra, and The Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared at the Salzburg and Tanglewood Festivals as well as the BBC Proms. He has worked with such distinguished conductors as James Conlon, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jeffrey Tate. MORE

Published February 25, 2013
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Concerts & master classes with clarinetist Charles Neidich, pianist Robert Levin

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments presents clarinetist Charles Neidich and pianist Robert Levin in a series of performances, master classes, and workshops next week.

The duo will perform a program featuring works by Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Clara Schumann (1819–1896), and Johannes Brahms (1833–1897). Those performances take place Sunday, December 2 at 3 pm and Monday, December 3 at 8 pm. The program features Robert Schumann’s Soiréestücke, Op. 73 (the original version of the Fantasiestücke); Brahms’s Sonata in F minor, Op. 120, no. 1; Clara Schumann’s Romances, Op. 21; and the Brahms Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 120, no. 2

Mr. Levin will be bringing a historic piano made in 1869 by Johann Baptist Streicher. This is the same type known to have been owned and used by Johannes Brahms himself during the last twenty-four years of his life. For tickets, please visit music.yale.edu/concerts or call the Collection at 203 432-0822.

Master Classes & Lectures

All master classes and lectures are free and open to the public.

Robert Levin: “Improvising Mozart”

A lecture-demonstration on the style and techniques of Classical-era improvisation, given on the Collection’s Könnicke piano, ca.1795.
When: Sunday, December 3, following the concert (approx. 5:30 pm)
Where: Collection of Musical Instruments, upstairs keyboard gallery

Charles Neidich: “Old is New, New is Old” MORE

Published November 29, 2012
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