[ concerts ]

Yale Baroque Ensemble performs experimental music of the 17th century

mealey_emailThe Yale Baroque Ensemble presents Stylus Fantasticus, a concert of experimental music from the seventeenth century on Tuesday, November 10 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall.

The evening’s program reawakens an era when composers were experimenting with formal invention and creating the first sonatas of Western music. This repertoire ranges from the avant-garde music of the early part of the seventeenth century to the contrapuntal ingenuity of Henry Purcell at the end of the century. With works for one, two, and three violins with basso continuo, the program will include music by composers such as Gabrieli, Castello, Uccellini, Biber, Schmelzer, Purcell, and others.

Robert Mealy is the director of the Yale Baroque Ensemble, whose members are Benjamin Charmot and Katherine Hyun, baroque violins; Daniel Lee, baroque violin and viola; Laura Usiskin, baroque cello; and Avi Stein, harpsichord. MORE

Published October 30, 2009
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New Music New Haven 11/19 features composer Jack Vees

Program includes Vees’s “Party Talk” and premieres by other Yale composers

Vees, Jack (action)The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert featuring composer Jack Vees on Thursday, November 19 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall. The highlight of the concert will be Vees’s Party Talk, a piece written in 1996 for narrator and mixed ensemble of winds, brass, percussion, piano, organ, strings, and electric bass. The concert will also premiere music by student composers, including excerpts from Chris Cerrone’s opera Invisible Cities, Jordan Kuspa’s Piano Trio, Adrian Knight’s Work for Sixteen Strings, and Feinan Wang’s Pisces Monodrama–Chapter VII. Christopher Theofanidis is the artistic director of the New Music New Haven concert series. MORE

Published October 29, 2009
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Imani Winds performs with Jasper String Quartet

imani_vThe Grammy-nominated Imani Winds will join guest ensemble the Jasper String Quartet for a concert on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). The renowned wind quintet will perform a colorful variety of music – Bozza’s Scherzo for Wind Quintet, Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, and Villa-Lobos’s Woodwind Quintet. The Jasper Quartet, the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music, will play Haydn’s String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 76 No. 1. The concert will culminate in a piece featuring all the performers: Sierra’s Concierto de Camara, a nonet for winds and strings. Along with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Imani Winds commissioned the Concierto de Camara from the Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra in 2008. At the work’s premiere, critic David Stabler of The Oregonian wrote: “Sierra’s exuberant nonet fairly danced off the stage… preserving the integrity of each ensemble while demanding intricate interplay among individual players. The cross-court volleys amid the rushing scales were exhilarating to behold.”

The name Imani, which means “faith” in Swahili, reflects the African-American and Latin American ancestry of the ensemble’s five members: Valerie Coleman, flute; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Jeff Scott, horn; and Monica Ellis, bassoon. The members of the Jasper Quartet, named for Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, are J Freivogel and Sae Niwa, violin; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson, cello. MORE

Published October 28, 2009
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Wendy Sharp in Sunday afternoon recital Nov. 15

sharp_emailViolinist Wendy Sharp will join with pianist Julie Nishmura in a Faculty Artist Recital featuring a broad range of music from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first. Several pieces on the program are based on earlier music, including the opening work: Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, based on his ballet Pulcinella, which in turn reworked music of the Italian baroque. Flow, my tears, by Yale faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis, references John Dowland’s 1596 air of the same name. Dvorak’s Four Romantic Pieces for violin and piano are arranged from his own Miniatures for two violins and viola. Mozart’s Sonata in A major, K. 526, provides a classical anchor. The program will conclude with Jennifer Higdon’s String Poetic, a piece praised by the New York Times as “striking.” The San Francisco Chronicle noted its “rhetorical clarity and dexterous interplay between the two instruments.” The recital will take place on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 4 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven).

Admission to the recital is free. For more information, visit the School of Music’s website or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. MORE

Published October 27, 2009
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Alumni success in San Antonio International Piano Competition


Ryo Yanagitani ’04MM, ’05AD, ’08MMA and Andrea Lam ’04AD won major prizes in the Tenth San Antonio International Piano Competition. Yanagitani won the Gold Medal – the competition’s top prize – and Lam won the Silver Medal. In addition, Yanagitani was awarded prizes for the best performance of a Romantic work and of a work by a Latin American composer, as well as the prize of the junior jury. Lam was awarded prizes for the best performance of a Classical composition and best performance of a Russian work.

As the gold medal winner, Yanagitani will appear in performances with the San Antonio Symphony, St. Mark’s Music Series, and Symphony of the Hills (Kerrville).

The San Antonio International Piano Competition is a non-profit organization formed in 1983. Once every three years, it presents a unique series of events, held over a one-week period, featuring some of the finest young rising pianists to be found in the world of music. MORE

Published October 23, 2009
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Composer John Adams to lecture on campus Oct 28-29

New Haven, Conn. — Master American composer John Adams will deliver the 2009 Tanner Lectures on Human Values on October 28 and 29 at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street.  His first talk, “Doctor Faustus and His Composition: Reflections on Thomas Mann’s Fictional Composer,” will be held on October 28, and his second, “Doctor Atomic and His Gadget: Composing the American Mythology,” on October 29. Both talks will take place at 4:30 pm.

adamsRecognized worldwide for the expressive depth, technical range, and compelling themes of his work, Mr. Adams has broadened the aesthetics of contemporary American concert music, moving it away from academic modernism and toward a more expansive, profoundly humanist musical language.  His groundbreaking compositions include the symphonies Harmonium, Grand Pianola Music, Harmonielehre, and El Dorado as well as the politically controversial operas Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, based on a 1985 terrorist hijacking and murder, and Doctor Atomic, about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project.  His multilingual nativity oratorio, El Niño, was written to mark the millennium.  On the Transmigration of Souls, a choral tribute to the victims of the World Trade Center attacks, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and won three Grammys, including Best Classical Contemporary Composition.  Mr. Adams’s recent memoir, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life, has been lauded as an explication of the creative process and named a New York Times Notable Book.  In his teaching, writing, and composition, Mr. Adams has been hailed as a “philosopher/craftsman, attempting to reflect and render the truth as he observes and feels it, in all its complexity and its simplicity.” MORE

Published October 22, 2009
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Yale to host National Collegiate Choral Organization conference


Yale University will host the third National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) conference on November 5-7, 2009. The event will feature a broad variety of activities: concerts by Yale and visiting choirs, open rehearsals, lectures, panel discussions, and meetings of national officers and board members. One of of the weekend’s featured events will be the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s new choral symphony, the Symphony of Meditations, on Friday, November 6. Kernis himself will conduct the performance, which will bring together the Yale Philharmonia, Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club, and Yale Schola Cantorum. The concert will take place in Woolsey Hall at 8 pm; click here for more details.

Visiting choirs include the Vassar College Women’s Chorus (Christine Howlett, conductor), Centenary College Camerata (Julia Thorn, conductor), the Colorado State University Chamber Choir (James Kim, conductor), Indiana University of Pennsylvania Chorus (James Tearing, conductor), SUNY Oneonta Chamber Singers (Timothy Newton, conductor), the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (Jameson Marvin, conductor), the Smith College Glee Club (Jonathan Hirsh, conductor), the University of Maryland Chamber Singers (Edward Maclary, conductor), Mansfield University Concert Choir (Peggy Tettwiler, conductor), the University of  Missouri University Singers (R. Paul Graham, conductor), Utah State University Chamber Singesr (Cory Evans, conductor), and the California State University Long Beach Chamber Choir (Jonathan Talberg, conductor).

The NCCO is an organization serving college and university choral conductors. It held its first conference in 2006 in San Antonio, and the second conference took place in 2008 at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. With a membership of over 400, the organization’s mission is to address the specific needs of college and university choral musicians. Click here for a conference schedule, or visit the NCCO’s website.

Published October 22, 2009
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East Coast premiere of new Aaron Jay Kernis symphony

Yale presents the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s major new work, the “profoundly spiritual” Symphony of Meditations

Kernis, Aaron JayThe Yale School of Music, Institute of Sacred Music, and Glee Club will present the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Symphony of Meditations, a major new work in the repertoire for orchestra and chorus, on Friday, November 6 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall. Kernis himself will conduct the performance, which will feature the Yale Philharmonia (Shinik Hahm, conductor), the Yale Camerata (Marguerite L. Brooks, conductor), the Yale Schola Cantorum (Masaaki Suzuki, director), and the Yale Glee Club (Jeffrey Douma, director). The vocal soloists, all emerging artists in the Yale Opera program, are Amanda Hall, soprano, Joseph Mikolaj, tenor and David Pershall, baritone. The performance will take place during the 2009 convention of the American Collegiate Choral Organization, hosted by Yale University.

The hour-long, three-movement Symphony of Meditations was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. After its first performance in June under the baton of Gerard Schwartz, the piece was warmly received by the audience and hailed by the press. The Examiner called it “a complex, ambitious and, overall, brilliant undertaking… there is much to praise about this multi-textured, profoundly spiritual composition.” Gathering Note said, “Kernis has constructed a major new symphony that gives notice to everyone that the form is not dead …nothing less than a serious and worthy composition.” MORE

Published October 21, 2009
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Fall Opera Scenes: the plots

On October 30 and 31, Yale Opera will present two evenings of opera scenes. To whet your appetite, here are synopses of the scenes to be performed. All synopses are by Grant Meachum. Tickets to the Opera Scenes range from $8 to $12 and are available online or at the box office (203 432-4158).


Navarraise 012 webLE NOZZE DI FIGARO Act II
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, KV 492

Prior to the scene: Figaro and Susanna are to be married.  Susanna is troubled by the Count’s romantic interest in her, but Figaro is confident the Count can be outwitted.  The Count is frustrated by Cherubino’s constant flirtations.  Marcellina, Basilio, and Bartolo are plotting to force Figaro to marry Marcellina to settle an old debt.

The Countess laments that her husband no longer loves her.  Figaro and Susanna hatch a plot to change the Count’s behavior: they will schedule a romantic meeting between the Count and Susanna but send Cherubino (disguised as a women) instead of Susanna.  Cherubino sings a love song he has written for the Countess and Susanna begins to dress him as a woman for the meeting with the Count.  Before the dressing is finished, the Count arrives; Cherubino hides in a closet, but the Count is suspicious that the Countess is hiding a lover there.  The Countess claims Susanna is in the closet but refuses to open the door.  As the Count leaves to get tools to break down the door, Susanna sneaks into the closet and helps Cherubino escape out a window. MORE

Published October 19, 2009
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Alfred Brendel lecture with musical examples

Unique program by legendary pianist on November 11 will be followed the next day by a public master class

Brendel_webThe Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents a lecture by the eminent pianist Alfred Brendel on Wednesday, November 11 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall. Titled “On Character in Music,” the lecture will argue that atmosphere is no less important in music than elements such as form and structure. Brendel will focus on the music of Beethoven as seen through the comments of Czerny. Brendel compares the pianist’s task to that of a character actor identifying with different roles, with an ever-widening awareness of the staggering emotional and psychological variety great music has to offer. Though Brendel has retired from full-time performing, his lecture will include musical examples he will perform on the piano.

The next day, Thursday, November 12, Alfred Brendel will work with graduate pianists from the Yale School of Music in a public master class on the stage of Morse Recital Hall. MORE

Published October 16, 2009
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