Yale Guitar Extravaganza VI: From Baroque to Electric


Featured recital by acclaimed guitarist Eliot Fisk

The Yale School of Music presents the Guitar Extravaganza VI on Saturday, March 7 in Sprague Memorial Hall and Leigh Hall. Under the artistic direction of Benjamin Verdery, renowned guitarist and longstanding chair of the guitar department at the Yale School of Music, the Extravaganza brings together guitarists for a day of concerts, workshops, lectures, exhibits, master classes, and a panel discussion. In keeping with the theme, From Baroque to Electric, the event will cover topics from the Baroque to the electric, from composing to body mapping, and will include guitars from period instruments to electric guitars. Performances will feature both students and established artists.

Highlights include Jerry Willard performing on guitars from the Baroque and Classical periods, as well as giving a master class on repertoire for those instruments. Kim Perlak and Kevin Vigil will speak on the guitar’s role in education. A panel discussion will feature composers from Yale’s esteemed faculty, moderated by Benjamin Verdery. The renowned young guitarists Seth Josel and Gyan Riley will pair up for a 5:30 pm performance. Capping off the extravaganza is an 8 pm benefit appearance by one of the world’s most eminent guitarists, Yale graduate and former faculty member Eliot Fisk.

Registration for the day’s events is $40, $30 for students and members of the Classical Guitar Societies of Connecticut and New York. Groups of six or more receive a 20% discount. Concert passes, valid for the 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm concerts, are $15, $12 for groups of six or more, $10 for students and members of the CCGS and NYCGS.

guitar_logoCheck out the complete schedule for the Guitar Extravaganza, along with biographies of presenters and performers. This event is supported by the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.


Yale School of Music presents
Yale Guitar Extravaganza VI: From Baroque to Electric
Date: March 7, 2009
Venue: Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, and Leigh Hall, 435 College Street
Tickets: Registration (includes admission to all events) $40, $30 for students and members of the Classical Guitar Societies of Connecticut and New York, 20% discount for groups of six or more.
Concert passes (for admission to the concerts at 5:30 pm and 8 pm) are $15, $12 for groups of six or more, $10 for students and members of the Classical Guitar Societies of Connecticut and New York.
Phone/web: 203 432-4158 • music.yale.edu • music.yale.edu/events

Published February 27, 2009
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Yale harmonizes music and literacy in local schools

It is Tuesday morning at John C. Daniels Magnet School. Class is in session and the building is quiet, save for faint music echoing down the sunshine-flooded halls.

Inside the music auditorium, more than a dozen sixth-grade students perch in front of music stands, flutes, clarinets and trumpets in hand. Some play Brahams, others Christmas carols.

Music classes like this one are increasingly rare in American classrooms, as budget cuts continue to threaten the scope of public-school curricula. But here in the Elm City — in a school district plagued by limited funds and a shortage of teachers — a town-gown partnership has made music a priority. MORE

Published February 25, 2009
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New Music New Haven features Aaron Jay Kernis

kernis_vThe Yale School of Music features faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis in a New Music New Haven concert at 8:00 pm on Thursday, March 5 in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. The program features Kernis’s Two Movements (with Bells), performed by violinist Wendy Sharp and pianist Julie Nishimura. Also on the program is Arcadiana, a seven-movement work by British composer Thomas Adès which will be performed by the Jasper Quartet, the graduate quartet-in-residence at the School of Music. Yale graduate composers Jordan Kuspa and Richard Harrold are also featured, with Kuspa’s Flying Solo for solo flute and a guitar duo by Harrold. New Music New Haven is under the artistic direction of Ezra Laderman.

Admission to the recital is free. For more information, visit the Yale School of Music website, music.yale.edu, or call 203 432-4158.

Among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation, Grawemeyer- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis has been on the faculty at the Yale School of Music since 2003. He has been commissioned by sopranos Renee Fleming and Dawn Upshaw, violinists Joshua Bell and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, guitarist Sharon Isbin, and institutions including the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Proms, Los Angeles, Walt Disney Company, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Museum of Natural History. Recent recordings include song cycles by soprano Susan Narucki (Koch) and orchestral works by the Grant Park Festival Orchestra (Cedille). He has received the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Prize, Rome Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and multiple Grammy nominations, and was Composer-in-Residence for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Public Radio, and American Composers Forum. He is New Music Advisor for the Minnesota Orchestra and chairman and co-director of its Composer Institute.


Yale School of Music presents
New Music New Haven
Aaron Jay Kernis, featured faculty composer
Program: Kernis, Two Movements (with Bells); Thomas Adès: Arcadiana for string quartet; Jordan Kuspa: Flying Solo for solo flute; Richard Harrold: Guitar Duo. With Wendy Sharp, violin; Julie Nishimura, piano; and the Jasper String Quartet.
Date/time: Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm
Venue: Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall
470 College Street, New Haven
Tickets: Free
Phone/web: 203 432-4158 • music.yale.edu

Published February 25, 2009
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Share the Music comes to city schools (originally published in the Yale Daily News)


When Austin Kase ’11 was a high school student in New Jersey, he noticed the dearth of musical instruments at public schools. To fill the void, he launched Share the Music, a program that accepts donated instruments and places them in music classrooms.

Recently, Share the Music became an official undergraduate organization, collaborating with other Yale groups, such as the Class of ’57 Music Education Project, to reinvigorate the halls of New Haven schools with the sound of music. And after receiving a $600 Sudler Grant from the Office of Masters, the group set out to make a documentary that tells the story from the group’s inception and includes interviews of teachers, students and donors in the program. The theme, members interviewed said, is to express why music education is important.

“Music education is so vital,” Naomi Woo ’12, one of the students spearheading Yale’s involvement with Kase, said. “Whenever I’m stressed, I play the piano. Whenever I have a lot of emotion, I play the piano. It’s a really great feeling and it’s a really great thing to be able to do.” MORE

Published February 25, 2009
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Malcolm Bilson inaugurates new fortepiano at YSM

Recital will feature music of Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms

bilson_v1Malcolm Bilson, acclaimed for his pioneering work in the period-instrument movement, will give the inaugural recital on the Yale School of Music’s new fortepiano on Tuesday, February 24 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall.  The program, which is part of the Horowitz Piano Series, will include Schubert’s Impromptu in F minor; Beethoven’s Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 31, no. 3; Schumann’s Forest Scenes; and selections from Brahms’s  Opp. 76, 118, and 119. Tickets are $10 to $18, students $5.  The fortepiano was built by R.J. Regier, whose Maine workshop designs and crafts fortepianos and harpsichords based on historical examples.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Yale School of Music website at music.yale.edu or call 203 432-4158. Box office hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, in the Sprague Hall lobby.

Malcolm Bilson has been at the forefront of the period-instrument movement for over thirty years. A member of the Cornell Music Department since 1968, he began his pioneering activity in the early 1970s as a performer of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert on late 18th- and early 19th-century pianos. Since then he has contributed to the restoration of the fortepiano to the concert stage and to fresh recordings of the “mainstream” repertory. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bard College and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Bilson has recorded three cycles of Mozart piano works: the piano concertos with John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, the piano-violin sonatas with Sergiu Luca, and the solo piano sonatas. His traversal of the Schubert piano sonatas was completed in 2003, and in 2005 a single CD of Haydn sonatas appeared on the Claves label. In the fall of 1994 Bilson and six of his former artist-pupils presented Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, the first time that these works had been given as a cycle on period instruments. In addition to his activities at Cornell, Professor Bilson is adjunct professor at the Eastman School of Music. He gives annual summer fortepiano workshops in the United States and Europe, as well as master classes and lectures around the world.

Published February 25, 2009
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“Madcap, Red Priest, and Angel” offers Baroque program at the Collection of Musical Instruments

With John Holloway, violin; Jaap ter Linden, cello; Lars Ulrik Mortensen, harpsichord


The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments presents “Madcap, Red Priest, and Angel,” the concluding concert in the 2008-09 Collection series, on Sunday, February 22 at 3:00 pm.  The program offers a selection of works by Leclair, Corelli, Vivaldi, and Veracini, performed by the trio of John Holloway, violin; Jaap ter Linden, cello; and Lars Ulrik Mortensen, harpsichord.

Tickets are $20, $15 for Yale staff and senior citizens, and $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available at music.yale.edu, at the School of Music Box Office in the lobby of Sprague Hall, or by calling 203 432-4158. After noon on the Friday before the concert, any tickets not yet sold may be reserved by calling the Collection  at 203 432-0825.

John Holloway has been a pioneer of the Early Music movement in Britain. In 1975 he founded the ensemble L’Ecole d’Orphée. He won a Gramophone Award in 1991 for his recording of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas. Holloway has been Professor of Baroque Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Guest Professor at the Schola Cantorum in Basel. He is on the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, Germany, and is Music Director of New Trinity Baroque, a period instrument ensemble and orchestra based in Atlanta.

Jaap ter Linden, who performs on both viola da gamba and Baroque cello, was co-founder of Musica da Camera. He has been the principal cellist of Musica Antiqua Köln, The English Concert, and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. He founded and directs the Mozart Akademie and is a guest director and soloist with the Arion Ensemble. He has led the San Francisco Philharmonia Baroque, Portland Baroque, and Amsterdam Bachsoloists. He has made award-winning recordings for Harmonia Mundi, Archiv, ECM, Deutsche Grammophon, and others, and has conducted operas at the Städtische Bühne Münster and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague.

After completing studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, Danish harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen studied with Trevor Pinnock. He has been a member of London Baroque and Collegium Musicum 90. He has recorded extensively on the Archiv, Harmonia Mundi, and Da Capo labels, and his recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on Kontrapunkt won the Diapason d’Or. As a conductor, Mr. Mortensen frequently leads the Royal Opera orchestra in Copenhagen and the European Union Baroque Orchestra. He is Artistic Director of Concerto Copenhagen and has taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich.

Published February 25, 2009
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Music program hits high notes

NEW HAVEN — Two weeks ago, fifth-grader Serena Santiago secured a coveted spot in the John C. Daniels School band.

With interest high and instruments limited, Santiago told band director John Miller she’d be dedicated to whatever he had for her.

The pitch worked. He handed her a trombone.

Serena now walks to school 45 minutes early and stays after for 90 minutes each day to practice, said her mother, Wendy Santiago. Then Serena practices again at home. MORE

Published February 18, 2009
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Yale Opera presents a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute

Tamino with the Magic Flute and the Three Ladies

Follow the sound of Tamino’s magic flute into Mozart’s bewitching fairytale opera, where good triumphs over evil, darkness gives way to light, and love conquers all.

The Yale School of Music presents Yale Opera’s new production of Mozart’s classic Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) at the Shubert Theater, 247 College Street, Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, February 15 at 2:00 pm. The creative team that created this exciting Magic Flute includes stage director Marc Verzatt and other members of the artistic staff of Yale Opera, Italian conductor Federico Cortese, lighting designer William Warfel, costume designer Thierry Bosquet (principal and men’s chorus costumes originally created for New York City Opera), and set designer Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams. The original set was built by students from the Yale School of Drama. Performers include an international cast of singers from Yale Opera, a chorus drawn from the New Haven and Yale communities, and the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale. Doris Yarick Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera.

The Magic Flute, Mozart’s last opera, is one of the most widely-performed and best-loved works in the repertory, with both comical whimsy and profound symbolism in abundance. It is actually a Singspiel, or “song-play,” with music and spoken dialogue. For this production, the spoken dialogue is in English, and director Marc Verzatt and Yale voice professor Richard Cross have collaborated on a new and often hilarious translation. The music will be sung in German with projected English translations.

The alternating casts feature the talented young singers of Yale Opera, including sopranos Mireille Asselin, Amanda Hall, Adelaide Muir, and Samantha Lane Talmadge; mezzo-sopranos Gala El Hadidi, Ana Sinicki, Emily Righter, Chrystal Williams; tenors Eric Barry, Tadeusz Szlenkier, and Michael-Paul Krubitzer; baritones David Pershall and Vince Vincent; and basses Jeremy Bowes, Damien Pass, and Tyler Simpson. Soprano Stephanie Gregory, an alumna of the Yale School of Music, will join the cast as a guest artist. The three spirits will be sung (also in alternating casts) by Yale College students Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Emily Misch, Eliza Bagg, Chloe Zale, Elizabeth Picker, and Marianne Schuck.

Tickets are $19-$41, $13 for students with ID, at the Shubert box office, 203.562.5666 or 888.736.2663, or at www.shubert.com. Senior and group discounts are available. For further information, please visit the School of Music web site at  music.yale.edu, or call 203.432.4158.

Published February 12, 2009
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Award-winning Jasper Quartet performs Mozart, Bartók, Schumann

jasper_v_email1The Yale School of Music presents a recital by the Jasper String Quartet, the fellowship quartet-in-residence, at 8:00 pm on Monday, March 2 in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall.  The program ranges from Mozart to Bartók, with Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet in C major, K. 465; Bartók’s String Quartet No. 3; and Schumann’s String Quartet in A major, Op. 41, no. 3. Fresh from winning four of chamber music’s most prestigious prizes, the Jasper String Quartet is currently studying at the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of the Tokyo String Quartet. The ensemble – J Freivogel and Sae Niwa, violins; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson, cello – has garnered praise for the “tight ensemble, choreographed playing and driving energy in their performance” (Yellow Spring News).

Admission to the recital is free. For more information, visit the Yale School of Music website, music.yale.edu, or call 203 432-4158.

Formed at Oberlin Conservatory in 2003, the Jasper String Quartet recently completed graduate work at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Its members are now enrolled in the Artist Diploma program at the Yale School of Music. At Yale, they serve as graduate quartet-in-residence, a position they held for two years at Rice. In 2008, the Jasper String Quartet won the Grand Prize and the Audience Award at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Grand Prize at the Coleman Competition, First Place at the Yellow Springs Competition, and the Silver Medal at the Fischoff Competition. Festivals include the Aspen Music Festival’s Advanced String Quartet Program, Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Emerson International String Quartet Workshop. They have appeared at the Kennedy Center, Harris Hall (Aspen, Colo.), Vigeland Museum (Oslo, Norway), Lake Louise (Canada), and on the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music and Santa Fe Pro Musica Series. The Jasper String Quartet’s members hold degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin College, Rice University, and the New England Conservatory. At Rice, they were mentored by James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith. The quartet is named for Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. For more info, visit www.jasperquartet.com.

Published February 12, 2009
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Memorial concert to honor Jesse Levine

Event will feature spoken tributes and performances by colleagues and students


The Yale School of Music presents a memorial concert in honor of Jesse Levine on Sunday, February 22 at 4 pm in Battell Chapel, 300 College Street in New Haven.  In addition to spoken tributes and remembrances will be performances by Levine’s former colleagues and students. Performers from the Yale School of Music will include the Yale Cellos, conducted by Aldo Parisot; Syoko Aki, violin; Frank Morelli, bassoon; pianists Joan Panetti, and Elizabeth Parisot; and several of Professor Levine’s viola students.  Levine’s longtime colleague and musical partner, pianist Morey Ritt, will  also perform.

Admission to the memorial concert is free. For further information, please visit the School of Music web site at music.yale.edu, or call 203 432-4158.

Jesse Levine, violist, teacher, and conductor, was known for his loyalty, devotion, sense of humor, strength of convictions, and compassion. He was Professor in the Practice of Viola and Chamber Music and coordinator of the String Department at the Yale School of Music since 1983. He was principal violist of the Buffalo, Dallas, Baltimore and New Jersey symphony orchestras, and was the music director of several orchestras, including the New Britain and Norwalk symphony orchestras, Orquesta del Principado de Asturias, Chappaqua Orchestra, and the Feld Ballet. Known for his work in contemporary music, he was frequently invited to conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic in its annual North American New Music Festival and participated in the annual June-in-Buffalo Festival. In the dual role of conductor/teacher Mr. Levine conducted the National Youth Orchestra of Spain, the Youth Orchestra of Andalucia, and the Youth Orchestra of Catalonia. As a member of the Bruch Trio he recorded the music of Max Bruch, Rebecca Clarke, Jean Francaix, Gordon Jacob, and Mozart for Summit Records.

Mr. Levine previously served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Stony Brook and Purchase, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He presented master classes at conservatories and  festivals throughout Spain and France. Jesse Levine studied principally at Mannes College of the Arts. He also studied conducting with Igor Markevitch in Monaco. Early career highlights included summers as principal violist at Tanglewood, performing the Stravinsky elegy on stage with the composer (and introducing him to his mother), as well as several missions to Argentina as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department. Jesse Levine is survived by his wife, Jill Pellett Levine, his sons Alexander and Josh, and his sister Lisa Nowakowski.

Published February 6, 2009
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