Yale celebrates Adams Center grand opening

Adams Center for Musical Arts | Photo by Bob Handelman

Adams Center for Musical Arts | Photo by Bob Handelman

The Yale University community and distinguished guests on Thursday celebrated the grand opening of the new Adams Center for Musical Arts. It was an event in the stunning orchestra rehearsal hall at which a great debt of gratitude was paid to Stephen ’59BA and Denise Adams, whose continued generosity helped make the complex that bears their names a reality.

“This is a day not just for music,” Yale University President Peter Salovey said, “but it is a day for Yale University, as well, because this is a day where our University places an exclamation point on a place to study music that is second to none for graduate students and undergraduates, alike.

Peter Salovey dedicates the Adams Center | Photo by Harold Shapiro

Peter Salovey dedicates the Adams Center | Photo by Harold Shapiro

“One Yale — a place that celebrates a great college set alongside a great professional school, a place that gives our superb musicians from across all of our campus magnificent facilities to make music together during their bright college and their bright university years. We are really humbled by the extraordinary generosity and vision of Stephen and Denise Adams, our principal donors to this project … Their profound profound love of music, and of Yale, is what shines throughout this shining new light of campus architecture.”

Salovey also acknowledged the visionary leadership of School of Music Dean Robert Blocker, saying, “Every project that I have witnessed at Yale needs someone who has (an) uncompromising eye, and when that project has someone with that eye, it always comes out wonderfully. And Robert was the uncompromising eye behind this.”

In the Adams Center, Blocker sees his — and the Adamses’ — dreams for Music at Yale. MORE

Published February 17, 2017
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[ faculty ]

Wei-Yi Yang and Sarita Kwok release a new duo album on Genuin

interchangePiano faculty member Wei-Yi Yang ’95 MM, ’96 AD, ’99 MMA, ’04 DMA and violinist Sarita Kwok ’05 MMA, ’06 AD, ’09 DMA have released their first album together on the German record label Genuin.

The recording, titled Interchange: Violin and Piano Duos of the 20th Century, features works by Janacek, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Stravinsky. The album was released on Jan. 29, 2016, and is described as:

“a balancing act that both young musicians pull off splendidly, connecting long musical lines and palpably enjoying relentless rhythmic repetitions. They provide for moments of stillness as well as veritable fireworks. So it comes as no surprise that both musicians have drawn international acclaim – competition juries and the press have not stopped singing their praises! We experience first-hand the moment the lights go out and the musicians intone the first notes of Ravel’s seductive blues…”

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Published February 29, 2016
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[ concerts ]

Faculty pay tribute to composer Alfred Schnittke in Nov. 19th concert

schniktte-line-drawing

Alfred Schnittke

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents a concert of music by Alfred Schnittke (1934–1998) commemorating the 80th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Sarita Kwok, violin; Ettore Causa, viola; Ole Akahoshi, cello; and Wei-Yi Yang, piano will play three of Schnittke’s duos for strings and piano. This concert offers a relatively rare opportunity to hear a full evening of work by the Soviet composer.

Schnittke focused mainly on chamber music, particularly the human-like voices of string instruments. He developed a polystylistic approach that combined and juxtaposed styles from across eras. The violinist Midori has written that “Schnittke saw music as a chronicling of human life and of the history that shaped it.” MORE

Published November 14, 2014
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Recital by Sarita Kwok and Wei-Yi Yang rescheduled for Sunday, March 2

Sarita KwokThe Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents a recital by violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Wei-Yi Yang on Sunday, March 2 at 8 pm. This is the performance that was originally scheduled for February 3.

Kwok and Yang will perform selections by Janáček, Stravinksy, Prokofiev, and Ravel. The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

The concert will open with Janáček’s Sonata for violin and piano. Fittingly, in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923, Yale professor and composer Paul Hindemith was the first violinist ever to perform the piece. Next in the program will be Stravinsky’s neoclassical Duo Concertante.

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Published February 11, 2014
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New Music New Haven features music by Martin Bresnick and David Lang Feb. 6

Martin Bresnick

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 8 pm. The concert pairs music by faculty composers Martin Bresnick and David Lang with new works by graduate students in the school’s composition program.

The concert opens with Michael Laurello performing his own piece Rose for harpsichord and synthesizer. William Gardiner‘s Songs from Dictée will be performed by members of the Yale Baroque Ensemble and others. Bálint Karosi’s The Final Wait, a funeral cantata for solo alto and strings, will follow; the piece’s text is by Audrey Fernandez-Fraser from the Yale Divinity School.

The second half of the concert opens with James Rubino‘s Progenie, also performed by members of the YBE.
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Published February 5, 2014
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POSTPONED: Violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Wei-Yi Yang perform on Faculty Artist Series Feb. 3

Sarita KwokNOTE: This event has been postponed because of weather. It has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 2 at 8 pm.

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents a recital by violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Wei-Yi Yang on Monday, February 3rd at 8 pm. Kwok and Yang will perform selections by Janáček, Stravinksy, Prokofiev, and Ravel. The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

The concert will open with Janáček’s Sonata for violin and piano. Fittingly, in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923, Yale professor and composer Paul Hindemith was the first violinist ever to perform the piece. Next in the program will be Stravinsky’s neoclassical Duo Concertante.

The second half of the recital opens with Prokofiev’s Five Melodies for violin and piano, Op. 35b, composed for the Parisian chamber music society Triton. The evening concludes with Ravel’s Sonata for violin and piano. Stylistically very different from the composer’s earlier efforts, the sonata shows influences of Satie and Stravinsky, as well as a dose of American jazz.

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Published January 29, 2014
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Arabella String Quartet performs Feb. 23

Concert features music from Haydn, Debussy, and Smetana

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents the Arabella Quartet on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The quartet’s members include faculty members Sarita Kwok, violin, and Ettore Causa, viola, along with Julie Eskar, violin, and Alexander Lecarme, cello.

The concert takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

After the quartet’s debut concert last season, the Boston Musical Intelligencer raved: “The group played like they had been together for years… with freedom, drive, and risk-taking that were quite astonishing in a debut performance.”

The program will include Haydn’s String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77, Nº. 1, Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op.10, and Smetana’s String Quartet Nº. 1 in E minor, From My Life.

Admission to the performance is free. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. MORE

Published February 14, 2013
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Feb. 13 concert features music of Martin Bresnick

“Bresnick is a major voice.”
–Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

The Faculty Artist Series at the Yale School of Music presents a concert of music by the award-winning composer Martin Bresnick on Monday, February 13. Featuring performances by pianist Robert Blocker, the acclaimed piano-cello duo TwoSense, and alumni of the School of Music, the concert is a tribute to Bresnick’s thirty years on the Yale faculty. Bresnick, a professor of composition, is also the coordinator of the composition department at the School of Music.

“Bresnick’s legacy as a teacher is secure,” writes John Schaefer on emusic, “but it has threatened to overshadow the fact that Bresnick can just flat-out write.” As evidence of this, Bresnick also the winner of such prestigious awards as the Rome Prize, a Fulbright grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among many others.

The piano-cello duo TwoSense, featuring Bang-on-a-Can All-Stars Ashley Bathgate (’07 MM, ’08 AD), cello and Lisa Moore, piano, will open the concert with “Ballade,” an homage to Brahms. Bathgate will join with violinist Sarita Kwok (’06 AD, ’09 DMA) to perform “Bird as Prophet” (1999), a piece that Fanfare Magazine considers “an expansive yet concentrated power of expression.”

Robert Blocker, the dean of the Yale School of Music, will perform “Strange Devotion,” a movement from Bresnick’s collection “Caprichos Enfaticos” (inspired by Francisco Goya’s masterful series of paintings, Los Destastres de la Guerra).

Percussionists Robert van Sice (a YSM faculty member) and Ian Rosenbaum (’10 MM, ’11 AD) will join with pianist Moore to perform the double concerto “Grace.” In the piece, writes Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times, “extended passages of halting rhythms and quizzical restraint are broken up with bursts of precise and telling gestures.”

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Published January 20, 2012
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Violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Jian Liu perform March 31

Diverse duos by Beethoven, Bresnick, Messiaen, and Prokofiev

The Yale School of Music presents a Faculty Artist Recital with violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Jian Liu on Thursday, March 31, at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven). Both Kwok and Liu are graduates of the Yale School of Music, and the Australian-born Kwok is now on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music. Liu, a collaborative pianist at the School of Music, recently performed at Carnegie Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale.

The duo will open the concert with Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, the first of the three in the composer’s Op. 12 set. They will then play Bird as Prophet, written by YSM faculty composer Martin Bresnick in homage to Robert Schumann. The first half will conclude with the Theme and Variations that the French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote as a wedding present for his first wife, the violinist Claire Delbos.

Kwok and Liu will conclude with Sergei Prokofiev’s dark, masterful Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80. Prokofiev himself said that parts of it “should sound in such a way that people should jump in their seats,” and described passages from the outer movements as “wind passing through a graveyard.”

Admission to the performance is free. MORE

Published March 8, 2011
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