Smithsonian Chamber Players perform at Collection of Musical Instruments January 23

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments will present the Smithsonian Chamber Players in their Collection debut concert on Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 3 pm. The players – Marc Schachman, oboe; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; Andrew Schwartz, bassoon; and Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano – will be joined by William Purvis, the interim director of the Collection of Musical Instruments, on the natural horn. The Smithsonian Chamber Players, directed by Slowik, is a select group of virtuosi dedicated to exploring the cultural-historical sound worlds of historical instruments found in collections like Yale’s and the Smithsonian’s.

The ensemble will perform quintets for piano and winds by Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart wrote his Quintet in E-flat major for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, K. 452, in 1784. After the piece’s first performance, Mozart wrote to his father that it was the best work he had ever written. Beethoven modeled his own Quintet (written in 1796) after Mozart’s, using the same instrumentation and the same key. MORE

Published December 21, 2010
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Yale Philharmonia offers Mahler, Berg, and Akiho’s new steel pan concerto January 21

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and conductor Shinik Hahm on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall. The concert will open with Andy Akiho’s new Concerto for Steel Pans, which received its premiere December 9 in Sprague Hall. Akiho, a trained percussionist as well as composer who has studied steel pan culture in Trinidad, will be the soloist in the piece. Akiho’s concerto was selected by the Yale School of Music’s composition faculty to be performed on this program.

Soprano Janna Baty will join the orchestra to perform excerpts from Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck. The opera, based on Georg Büchner’s play Woyzeck, was a succès de scandale at its premiere in 1925 and quickly took off across Europe. Baty, a member of the School of Music faculty, has been praised by the Boston Herald for her “voice brimming with richness and confidence.”

The concert will close with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major, called “The Titan” not for its size – though a performance requires about 100 musicians and lasts about one hour – but because Mahler originally based the work on Jean Paul’s novel of the same name. MORE

Published December 15, 2010
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Soprano Janna Baty performs music from Rossini to Rands

Baty joined by guest artists Daniel Hobbs, piano, and Sarita Kwok, violin


The Yale School of Music presents a recital by soprano Janna Baty on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Baty has been praised by the London Financial Times for her “eloquent dignity and vibrant tone” and by the Boston Herald for her “voice brimming with richness and confidence.” In this performance, part of the School’s Faculty Artist Series, she will perform with pianist Daniel Hobbs and violinist Sarita Kwok.

The program incorporates a broad range of music, beginning with Rossini’s Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc) and continuing with Debussy’s Proses Lyriques, a set of four songs on the composer’s own symbolist poetry. Baty, a frequent performer of new music, will sing Memo 7 by the composer Bernard Rands (a YSM alum), with whom she has worked in the past. The program continues with Samuel Barber’s Four Songs, Op. 13: “Nocturne,” “Monks and Raisins,” “Sure on this Shining Night,” and “I Hear an Army.” The evening will conclude with Villa-Lobos’s Suite para canto e violino, a collection of three songs for voice and violin. MORE

Published December 14, 2010
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Dantes Rameau ’07MM receives $25,000 AOL grant

Rameau and classmate Robert Gupta, violin, upon their graduation from the Yale School of Music

AOL Inc., as part of its 25th anniversary “Project on Creativity,” announced 25 grants of $25,000 each for creative work. The winners, including Dantes Rameau ’07MM, were chosen from over 9,000 applicants. The judges included Adam Weinberg, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art; entrepreneur Andy Spade; and Tim Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of AOL.

Born in Ottawa, Canada to Cameroonian and Haitian parents, bassoonist Dantes Rameau is the co-founder and executive director of the Atlanta Music Project. Rameau’s grant money will help him to further develop the Atlanta Music Project’s recently launched pilot program.

Following performance studies in bassoon at McGill University, Yale University, and Carnegie Mellon University, Rameau was an inaugural member of the Abreu Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied El Sistema, the Venezuelan National Youth Orchestra System. Modeled on El Sistema, the Atlanta Music Project is a five-day-a-week, after-school, youth orchestra program targeting Atlanta’s underserved communities. The Atlanta Music Project believes the pursuance of excellence in music studies leads to positive social change for its participants and the communities it serves.

Read about the grants in Bloomberg HERE.

Read Rameau’s blog HERE.

Published December 9, 2010
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On the Trail of Gottschalk

By Richard Rosenberg
LISTEN Magazine

In the mid-nineteenth century, American pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk traveled to Cuba. In 2010, conductor and musicologist Richard Rosenberg followed him there. Searching for Gottschalk’s lost orchestral works, what Rosenberg found was much more complicated.

Havana, the capital of Cuba, is now a dilapidated shadow of its former glory, with gaping holes in the sidewalks, crumbling buildings, dirty streets and, on every corner, a taxi driver trying to hustle you into a rusty wreck of a classic car.

Not so in the 1850s, when Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1826-1869) visited Cuba. At that time, the American was known internationally as a virtuosic, flamboyant pianist and composer—a sort of Elvis Presley of the Victorian era—and Havana was one of the premier centers of Western culture. The elegant 1837 Teatro Tàcon (now the Teatro Garcia Lorca) was one of the finest theaters in the world, and it was there, in 1859, that Gottschalk presented a “monster concert” with more than six hundred fifty musicians on the massive stage. Gottschalk took frequent trips to Cuba, his first lasting a year (1854-55). He traveled to Havana and many cities beyond, composing, conducting and enjoying his time as a cultural tourist. MORE

Published December 5, 2010
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Live Streaming Brings Audiences to the Concert Hall

When clarinetist Sara Wollmacher, a second-year student at the Yale School of Music, gave her degree recital recently, the audience stretched far beyond the concert hall.

While Wollmacher performed in Sprague Hall, her grandmother – Julia Wollmacher, 95 (pictured at left) – was able to watch the live video stream of the performance online.

Many international students have enjoyed the benefits of the live stream, with families watching from as far afield as Egypt and Korea.

Published December 1, 2010
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Yale Percussion Group plays high-energy program of Reich Sextet and more

The Yale School of Music will present the Yale Percussion Group on Friday, December 10, 2010 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Renowned percussionist and educator Robert van Sice directs the ensemble, which has been called “something truly extraordinary” by composer Steve Reich.

Reich’s Sextet for keyboards and percussion is on the program, which also features Thierry de Mey’s intricately choreographed Musique de Tables, James Wood’s visceral Village Burial with Fire, and Mauricio Kagel’s Dressur. The theatrical Dressur thoroughly engaged New Haven audiences when it was performed in the Chamber Music Competition Winners’ Concert last May.

This concert is a free preview of the YPG’s Yale in New York concert at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, December 12. The members of the Yale Percussion Group, all graduate students at the Yale School of Music, are Yun-Chu Candy Chiu, Michael Compitello, John Corkill, Leonardo Gorosito, Ian Rosenbaum, and Adam Rosenblatt. MORE

Published November 29, 2010
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Yale School of Music presents Chaos and Order: dance suites from the French baroque, December 6

Program directed by celebrated early music specialist Robert Mealy

The Yale School of Music will present Chaos and Order, a concert of orchestral dance suites from the French baroque, on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Robert Mealy, “New York’s world-class early music violinist” (The New Yorker), will direct graduate instrumentalists from his Baroque performance practice class. The concert will feature three brilliant and inventive orchestral suites from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including incidental music from Lully’s Thésée and Rameau’s Pigmalion. The evening also includes a rare performance of Jean-Féry Rebel’s unusual ballet Les Elemens, a work that opens with a depiction of chaos in which all the notes of the scale are sounded at once. Rebel’s ballet suite goes on to illustrate the various elements (earth, air, fire, and water) that form the world, along with that most important element of all: love. MORE

Published November 23, 2010
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2010-11 alumniVentures winners announced

Sarita Kwok, chair, alumniVentures committee

Dean Robert Blocker recently announced the 2010 alumniVentures awards, the grants that the Yale School of Music offers to its alumni for projects that follow the simple criterion: to advance the cause of music.

In thanking the alumni committee that recommended the recipients, the Dean acknowledged their work and the identification of outstanding projects that truly advance the cause of music. Sarita Kwok, chair of the alumniVentures selection committee, joined the Dean in thanking the committee members for their service to the Yale School of Music and its alumni. The committee members this year were David Kurtz, Richard Lalli, Emily Payne Veletzos, and Robert Weirich.

The largest grant this year went to Kelly Dehnert ’86MM, to support the only university-level band program in Malawi. The African country of 15 million people has only two university-level music programs, one of those at the African Bible College (ABC). These students are primarily underprivileged with limited opportunity to develop musical skills. Yet almost half of the student body at ABC is involved in the school’s music programs, including music theory, appreciation, keyboard, jazz, traditional African combos, bands, and choirs. Funds will be used to build new practice facilities for the band and provide for instrument repair.

Another substantial grant went to Dantes Rameau ’07MM to support the Atlanta Music Project. The year‐round, 5‐day‐a‐week, after‐school youth orchestra program targets at‐risk youth from grades 1 through 12, and is modeled on Venezuela’s El Sistema program. Students are provided with instruments, instruction, classes, and performance opportunities.

View the complete list of 2010-11 winners HERE.

Published November 23, 2010
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Vista program offers a fresh look at chamber music by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Widmann

The Yale School of Music presents Vista: A Fresh Look at Chamber Music on Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall. Part of the School of Music’s renowned chamber music program, Vista features diverse student ensembles that have been selected and coached by faculty. Each ensemble not only performs but also offers insight into the music through spoken commentary. Wendy Sharp is the coordinator of the chamber music program and the director of the Vista series.

This Vista program includes Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from L’histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), with violinist David Radzynski, clarinetist Wai Lau, and pianist Kuok-Wai Lio; Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in C minor, performed by violinist Soo Ryun Baek, cellist Arnold Choi, and pianist Joo Hyeon Park; Jorg Widmann’s Fünf Bruchstücke, with clarinetist Ashley Smith and pianist Aura Go; and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, performed by violinists Joo Hye Lim and Edward Tan, violist Timothy LaCrosse, cellist James Kim, and Lindsay Garritson, piano.

The recital will stream live. Admission to the performance is free. For more information, visit or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

Published November 22, 2010
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