John Miller ’07MM and students featured on WTNH-8

Picture 8John Miller ’07MM, manager of community programs at the Yale School of Music, and students from the John C. Daniels School in New Haven appeared on a Channel 8 news segment recently. Miller described the program, which began only two years ago and already involves almost 50 students. The program kicked off when the school received 36 instruments from the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Other instruments, he said, came from teachers at the school and members of the community. The John C. Daniels band students are high achievers. In the 2008-09 academic year, they performed at over 30 concerts, and many of them also study at the Neighborhood Music School.

View the video of the band’s WTNH-8 appearance HERE.

Published December 23, 2009
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Martin Jean reappointed as Director of ISM


University President Richard Levin announced last month that Professor Martin Jean has been reappointed as the Director of the Institute of Sacred Music for a second five-year term, beginning January 1, 2010.

Levin noted that faculty and staff alike expressed enthusiastic support for Professor Jean’s reappointment.  One commentator noted, “His four years show him to have a passion for the work of the Institute, and the ability not only to administer its programs but to lead it toward a fuller realization of its mission.” Another stated, “In the years that Martin has been director, he has helped to shift the Institute’s focus to further enhance the students’ academic and performance lives, and their lives in the greater ISM community.” Many praised his efforts to develop a strategic plan for the Institute’s future. In a letter addressing the ISM community, Prof. Jean said: “I am honored to accept President Levin’s offer to serve as Director of the ISM for another five-year term.” MORE

Published December 21, 2009
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New endowment fund for Oral History of American Music project

08-056_YaleMusic_485The Aaron Copland Fund for Music recently donated $500,000 to initiate an endowment fund for the Oral History of American Music project (OHAM), originally an independent project and now a special collection of the Yale University Library.

The Oral History of American Music project is dedicated to the collection and keeping of recorded memoirs of many of the most celebrated musicians and composers of the twentieth century. The organization traces its origins to 1969 when Vivian Perlis, then a reference librarian at Yale’s music library, started to conduct interviews with people who had known and worked with the composer Charles Ives. Her award-winning book based on those interviews, Charles Ives Remembered, was published in 1974 by Yale University Press. It was quickly hailed as an exemplar of how oral history could shed light on the creative lives of musicians and their place in society. MORE

Published December 16, 2009
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Recording of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion nominated for Grammy


David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion has already earned him a Pulitzer Prize in Music. Now a recording of the piece on Harmonia Mundi has been nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award. Nominated in the category of Best Small Ensemble Performance, the recording features Ars Nova Copenhagen and the Theatre of Voices, conducted by Paul Hillier. The CD was released in July of 2009. David Lang, a graduate of the School of Music, became a member of the composition faculty in 2008.

Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall especially for Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices, The Little Match Girl Passion was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The work sets Hans Christian Andersen’s fable in the format of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. According to publicity materials for the recording, Lang elevates the suffering of the little match girl with poignant, evocative music. MORE

Published December 15, 2009
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Grammy nominations for Yale alumni


Sharon Isbin

Four Yale alumni – Marin Alsop, Sharon Isbin, Maureen Nelson, and Richard Belcher – received nominations for this year’s Grammy Awards. Alsop, a graduate of Yale College, is the artistic director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the first woman to hold such a position at a major American orchestra. The other three are graduates of the School of Music.

Nelson, a violinist, and Belcher, a cellist, are members of the Enso Quartet. The quartet, formed in 1999 at the School of Music, has earned multiple honors at the 2004 Banff International String Quartet Competition and victories at the 2003 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. The ensemble’s 2005 debut on Naxos Records, a 2-CD set of Ignaz Pleyel’s six string quartets, Op. 2, garnered rave reviews. The Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance goes to their most recent Naxos release, the three string quartets of Alberto Ginastera, featuring soprano Lucy Shelton.

Alsop’s recording for Naxos of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was nominated for Best Classical Album. In addition, the album’s producer, Steven Epstein, was nominated for Best Producer of the Year, Classical. And Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto, which Alsop and the London Philharmonia Orchestra recorded on Alsop Conducts MacMillan, Adès, & Higdon, was nominated for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. MORE

Published December 14, 2009
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Michael Compitello ’09MM receives Fulbright

Michael Compitello, a graduate of the Yale School of Music, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student scholarship to Germany in Musical Instrument Training, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced. Compitello, a percussionist, is one of over 1,500 U.S. citizens who is traveling abroad for the 2009-2010 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Compitello was a 2009 recipient of the Yale School of Music Alumni Association Prize.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people – 111,000 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 183,000 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States – with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. MORE

Published December 8, 2009
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Alumni Spotlight: Robert Stevenson ’39MM

stevensonRobert Stevenson ’39MM is still going strong at the age of 93. A professor emeritus at UCLA, he continued to teach well into the 1990s and is still an active scholar. His most recent book, South American National Anthems and other area studies was published this October.

Upon completing his study at YSM, Stevenson received a $2000 Charles Ditson Fellowship to study with Igor Stravinsky. His 23 private composition lessons – which cost $25 each – took place during the 1939-40 academic year, when Stravinsky was teaching at Harvard.

In addition to his MM degree from Yale, he also holds a PhD in composition (University of Rochester), STB (Harvard), ThM (Princeton Theological Seminary), and BLitt (Oxford). Among his many honors are the Gabriela Mistral Prize (1985), the Award of the Lifetime Achievement Citation by the Sonneck Society for American Music (1999), the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeritus Award (UCLA, 2004), and honorary memberships in the American Musciological Society (2002), the International Musicological Society (2006), and the Society for Ethnomusicology (2007), a unique achievement. He has received the highest faculty award from UCLA, previously awarded only to Arnold Schoenberg, and highest award given by the Yale School of Music, the Sanford Medal.

Stevenson has published 27 books and over 300 articles.  His main area of inquiry has been the study of Latin American colonial music; he has also extensively researched music in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, discovering documents to aid in the reconstruction of cathedral music history.

Published December 7, 2009
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New Britain Symphony tribute to Jesse Levine

Faculty and alumni of the Yale School of Music participate in performance


Violist Jesse Levine, a longtime member of the Yale School of Music faculty, died just over a year ago. His presence in Connecticut also included 20 years as the conductor of the Norwalk Symphony for 20 years and just over two seasons as music director of the New Britain Symphony. The latter orchestra, conducted by Levine’s longtime friend Maurice Peress, organized and performed a creative musical tribute to him at Central Connecticut State University on Sunday, November 22.

Performers included clarinetist David Shifrin, pianist Peter Frankl, and cellist Ole Akahoshi, all faculty colleagues of Levine’s from the School of Music. Shifrin played the finale from Mozart’s clarinet concerto, and Frankl performed Bach’s Concerto in F minor. Ole Akahoshi and YSM alum Mihai Marica joined together in Vivaldi’s double cello concerto in G minor. Other performers included the pianist Morey Ritt, Levine’s longtime recital partner.

In its review, the Hartford Courant praised the concert as a “labor of love” for “voicing a collective sense of loss, but also in voicing an appreciation for the life that Levine lived.”

Published December 4, 2009
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Premiere of Give, a new work by Benjamin Verdery

verdery_hBenjamin Verdery’s newest work, Give, premiered October 29 at the Hochschule for Music and Theatre (HMT) in Rostock, Germany. Verdery himself, a faculty member of the Yale School of Music, performed a broad range of music, and several of his compositions were performed by students from the HMT.

Verdery composed Give for Thumas Offermann and the HMT guitar ensemble. The piece, which develops material from his previous composition Peace, Love, and Guitars, is dedicated to the memory of US Senator Edward Kennedy, who passed away in August. Peace, Love, and Guitars was written for classical guitarist John Williams and jazz guitarist John Etheridge. MORE

Published December 2, 2009
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Yale Opera’s Liederabend offers evening of German song

Rising opera stars turn to art songs by Brahms, Mahler, Mendelssohn, J. Marx, Schubert, Schumann, R. Strauss, and Wolff

Sprague_interiorThis December, Yale Opera will continue its tradition of Liederabend, evenings of art songs focusing on a single country or language. The rising stars of Yale Opera, along with pianist Kyle Swann, will take the audience on a tour of German-language song. The program will feature music by several Romantic composers: Brahms, Mahler, Mendelssohn, J. Marx, Schubert, Schumann, R. Strauss, and Wolff. The Liederabend (German for “evening of song”) will take place on Monday, December 14 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. Admission is free. Doris Yarick-Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera. MORE

Published November 30, 2009
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