[ students + alumni ]

Yale Composers Featured at SONiC Festival in New York City

SONiC FestThe American Composers Orchestra’s SONiC Festival, focusing on composers ages 40 or younger, returns to New York City this month from Oct. 15–23. The second edition of the festival includes music by Yale faculty member Hannah Lash, current YSM composition students Michael Gilbertson and Molly Joyce, and YSM graduates Andy Akiho, Christopher Cerrone, Reena Esmail, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, Missy Mazzoli, and Brendon Randall-Myers.

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Published October 13, 2015
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[ alumni in the press ]

L.A. Times: Classical quintet, female inmates in mutual awe at L.A. County Jail

Los Angeles Times | By Steve Lopez

The first ovation did not take long. The moment the musicians entered the room Friday morning, the audience erupted.

The spectators were seated in five long rows, roughly 85 women altogether, all of them wearing the same outfit. Dark blue pants, white sneakers and light blue tops with black stenciling on the back.

“L.A. County Jail.”

Because they can’t attend a concert at Disney Hall, L.A. Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta [’07MM] told the inmates, it was his privilege to bring the music to them. His quartet began with the first movement of Haydn’s “Sunrise,” and the reaction was immediate. MORE

Published November 25, 2014
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[ in the press ]

A Time To Celebrate

ford_andrewNew Haven Independent
By Lucy Gellman

Daniel Schlosberg stepped up to the microphone, his large sunglasses glinting even in Morse Recital Hall’s dim light. He gave a quick smile and nod to the audience. Then, with unerring confidence, he stated: “The only way to truly experience reality is to distort it beyond recognition.”

So began ladies and, the first piece in an applause-worthy lineup featuring Australian composer Andrew Ford as well as several graduate student composers in the Yale School of Music. MORE

Published April 21, 2014
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YSM composers among American Academy of Arts & Letters awardees

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced recently the eighteen recipients of this year’s awards in music, which total $190,000. The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members. The awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Faculty member and alumnus Christopher Theofanidis ’97DMA (pictured at left) will receive the Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond Award. This award of $10,000 is given to a promising mid-career composer.

Reena Esmail ’11MM will receive the Walter Hinrichsen Award for the publication of a work by a gifted composer. This award was established by the C. F. Peters Corporation, music publishers, in 1984.

Chris Rogerson ’12MM is among the six recipients of Charles Ives Scholarships of $7500, which are given to composition students of great promise.

About the Award Recipients

Christopher Theofanidis is on the faculty of Yale University and has taught at the Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School. He writes for a variety of musical genres, from orchestral and chamber music to opera and ballet. His work, Rainbow Body, has been programmed by over 120 orchestras internationally. Mr. Theofanidis’ works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and he has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony. Mr. Theofanidis has written widely for the stage, from a work for the American Ballet Theatre, to multiple dramatic pieces, including The Refuge for the Houston Grand Opera and Heart of a Soldier for the San Francisco Opera. His large-scale piece, The Here and Now, was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007. MORE

Published March 22, 2012
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New Music New Haven features the Pulitzer Prize-winning String Quartet No. 2 by Aaron Jay Kernis

“A composer of real mastery and individuality.”
–The New York Times

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 8 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (292 Orange Street, New Haven). The concert will feature faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis, whose String Quartet No. 2, musica instrumentalis, will be performed by the Jasper Quartet. musica instrumentalis is the piece that won Kernis the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Kernis has also won such accolades as the Grawemeyer Award and the Rome Prize.

The Jasper Quartet, currently in residence at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Caramoor Center for the Arts, is familiar to New Haven audiences from its two years as the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music (2008–2010).

The first half of the concert will feature music by graduate composers, beginning with Justin Tierney’s Fission for solo celeste (the instrument heard in Tchaikovksy’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”) and a piece by Andy Akiho for flute and marimba.

The Yale Camerata, directed by Marguerite L. Brooks, will sing choral music by Jordan Kuspa and Reena Esmail. Kuspa’s A Dream within a Dream is for four-part mixed choir. Esmail’s White Key for eight-part choir is based on Carol Muske-Dukes’s poem of the same name. Says Esmail, “White Key evokes the feeling of suspension. A woman makes the difficult journey by plane back to her home after receiving the news of her husband’s sudden death. As she is suspended in the air between two cities, she is also suspended between two lives, between a beautiful past and the uncertain present.”

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Published April 5, 2011
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New Music New Haven features Ezra Laderman’s Piano Sonata No. 2

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). The concert will feature faculty composer Ezra Laderman and his Piano Sonata No. 2, written in 1956. The four-movement work will be performed by Adela Hyeyeon Park, a graduate of the School of Music who has been praised for her “very sensitive” (Washington Post) and “highly nuanced” (Lucid Culture) playing. The program includes another piano piece by a faculty composer, Ingram Marshall’s Authentic Presence.

The concert will open with several new works by graduate composers from the Yale School of Music: Justin Tierney’s Chains for solo marimba, performed by the dynamic percussionist Candy Chiu, and Andy Akiho’s Love Lost Lust Lone, performed by the ensemble Loadbang. Reena Esmail’s Two Tones for violin, piano, and voice is based on the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Omar Surillo’s Blanket is a slow, sustained work for electric guitar, saxophone, keyboard, and laptop. Chris Rogerson combines ancient and new sounds in his solo cello piece Bradwell-on-the-Sea, inspired by the site (in Essex, England) of the oldest active church in all of Great Britain. Daniel Wohl’s Saint Arc is a piece for cello and electronics. MORE

Published February 25, 2011
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Yale Philharmonia features composer Martin Bresnick in concert of New Music for Orchestra Dec. 9

Other works in the Sprague Hall concert include Andy Akiho’s concerto for steel pans and Reena Esmail’s Aria with Hindustani vocalist Meena Shivram

The Yale School of Music presents its annual New Music for Orchestra concert with the Yale Philharmonia on Thursday, December 9 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven).

The concert will feature Pan Penseroso, a flute concerto by faculty composer Martin Bresnick. Renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, also a member of the YSM faculty, will perform the solo.

Also on the program are several pieces by second-year graduate students in the Yale School of Music’s prestigious composition department. Andy Akiho, whose virtuosity on the steel pans was just featured in a November 12th On Common Ground concert, will play the solo in his own Concerto for Steel Pans. Meena Shivram will be the Hindustani vocalist in Reena Esmail‘s Aria. Also on the program are Adrian Knight‘s Comblé and Omar Surillo‘s Partner in Crime. Adrian Slywotzky and Yang Jiao, conducting fellows at the School of Music, will each lead one work on the program. Shinik Hahm is the resident conductor of the Yale Philharmonia.

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Published November 18, 2010
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New Music New Haven opens the 2010-11 season with featured composer Christopher Theofanidis

Concert also highlights three Yale alumni who will be showcased at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge October 11

Christopher Theofanidis

The Yale School of Music presents the first New Music New Haven concert of the year on Thursday, October 7 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. The concert will feature faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis, lauded as “an unusually skilled, communicative composer” by the Baltimore Sun. On the program will be his string quartet Visions and Miracles, written in 1997, whose three movements explore a rich multiplicity of musical sources and techniques. Of the composer, the Washington Post has written: “What impresses me about Theofanidis… is his ability to blend several musical languages once thought to be mutually exclusive… the results are enormously attractive.”

Also on the program are works by up-and-coming composers from the Yale School of Music: current student Reena Esmail and alumni Jacob Cooper, Christopher Cerrone, and Robert Honstein. This segment of the program will include Cooper’s new Cello Octet, Esmail’s Piano Quintet, Cerrone’s Averno: A Fragment for voices and mixed ensemble, and Honstein’s rock-inspired song-without-words Why are you not answering. MORE

Published September 10, 2010
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