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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