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So Percussion joins the faculty at Bard Conservatory

The Bard College Conservatory of Music has just announced the appointment of So Percussion to its faculty. The members of So Percussion – Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting – will serve as co-directors of the Conservatory’s undergraduate-only percussion program, which will admit its first students in August of 2011. Joining them on the teaching faculty will be Greg Zuber, Daniel Druckman, and Jonathan Haas. Bard is also home to the John Cage Trust, and the members of So are excited to work more closely with them as the Cage centenary approaches in 2012.

So Percussion most recent recording, Paul Lansky’s Threads (written for So in 2005), will be officially released on Cantaloupe Music in the winter.

Published September 21, 2010
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Grad Night with the Yale Philharmonia Friday, Sep. 24

Events bring together grad students for a concert and reception

All Yale graduate and professional students are invited to the School of Music’s first Yale Philharmonia concert of the year on Friday, September 24th at 8pm in Woolsey Hall.  A block of seats will be held just for grad/prof students and their guests until 7:55pm. No tickets are required; just tell the usher that you are there for Grad Night.

Following the performance, all 21+ students are invited to a reception with the musicians in the GPSCY Lounge with food sponsored by the McDougal Center. Bring your concert program to GPSCY for free cover and $2 well drink specials.

Shinik Hahm will conduct the program, which opens with Rossini’s popular William Tell Overture. The eminent concert pianist Peter Frankl will join the orchestra for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. The program will culminate in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a stunning orchestral illustration of unrequited love colored with dreams both joyful and macabre.

Read more about the concert here. RSVP to the event on Facebook Here.

Published September 21, 2010
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Ensemble Caprice to explore Bach and the Baroque Gypsies at the Collection of Musical Instruments

“Imaginative, even powerful, and the playing is top-flight.”
New York Times

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments will present the renowned Ensemble Caprice in the opening concert of the season on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 3 pm. Under the artistic direction of flute and recorder virtuosi Matthias Maute and Sophie Larivière, Ensemble Caprice is renowned for its innovative interpretations of baroque music. The group also includes David Jacques, baroque guitar; Elinor Frey, baroque cello; and Ziya Tabassian, percussion. Based in Montreal, the ensemble will offer a program called “Bach and the Baroque Gypsies,” exploring the possible influence on Bach of Eastern European and gypsy melodies contained in the Uhrovsa Manuscript from 1730. The group delved into similar territory on its highly regarded CD Vivaldi and the Baroque Gypsies, which was nominated for an Echo Klassik award.

Wrote the Chronicle Herald after one performance: “The playing of the musicians was expressive, the dynamics pliable as putty, the plasticity of their phrasing warm and extravagant, and their virtuosity brilliant.” MORE

Published September 20, 2010
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Home Grown Stars: Yale’s Ellington Program honors performing arts schools in a free concert October 1

Groups from Neighborhood Music School, Co-Op High, and ECA will perform

The Yale School of Music and the Duke Ellington Fellowship will celebrate the contributions of three New Haven performing arts schools on Friday, October 1 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven). The jazz concert, “Home Grown Stars,” will feature current and past students from the Cooperative Arts and Humanities Interdistrict Magnet High School (Co-Op), Educational Center for the Arts (ECA), and the Neighborhood Music School.

“After 38 years of active participation in music education, the Duke Ellington Fellowship is proud to showcase these three performing institutions that are unequalled in any city that I know of,” says Willie Ruff, professor of music and director of the Duke Ellington Fellowship Program at Yale. “These institutions deserve recognition. The Neighborhood Music School grew out of the settlement house movement, and over the past century many Yale students have honed their skills as teachers there. ECA was founded later, based on a new idea – having working artists to teach high school students – and it draws on a wide range of talent. The Co-Op has had a longstanding relationship with Yale and does a great job in nurturing the talents of our young people. They represent the next generation of performing artists.”

Each of the three schools will present its own set on the stage of Sprague Hall. The Premiere Jazz Ensemble from the Neighborhood Music School (NMS) is an eight-piece group composed of high school students and adults that will perform under the direction of Jeff Fuller. A nine-piece group from ECA, also directed by Fuller, will play with vocalist Erica Bryan, who is now a student at the Hartt School. A group of 15 musicians from CoOp High will play a variety of music under lead teacher Patrick Smith. A 35-voice chorus from CoOp High, under Harriett Alfred, will also perform. MORE

Published September 20, 2010
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Composer Robinson McClellan featured in DMA recital of vocal works and music for bagpipes September 30

The Yale School of Music presents the Doctor of Musical Arts recital of composer Robinson McClellan on Thursday, September 30 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). The concert will feature solo and ensemble works composed between 2007 and 2010. McClellan has a special interest in Scottish bagpiping traditions, and the recital will include two pieces for pipes: Lament for the Flowers for Highland bagpipe, and Flight of the Earls, a concerto for uilleann pipes. McClellan’s interest in vocal music is reflected in the rest of the program, which includes Gather Me, for baritone and string quartet; The Gyre, for baritone and harp, and This Ravelled Dust: Cantata for a Nuclear Age, a choral work with tenor and baritone soloists.

Because of their large forces, Flight of the Earls and This Ravelled Dust will be represented by recordings from the premieres. Live performers will include Daniel Neer, baritone; Hyewon Kim and Ju Hyung Shin, violin; Amina Tébini, viola; Sung Chan Chang, cello; Alyssa Reit, harp; and Matthew Welch, Highland bagpipe.

Admission to the performance is free. MORE

Published September 15, 2010
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Two YSM composers selected in Round Two of Project440

Andrew Norman ’09AD

As Project 440 continues, Yale composers continue to advance. Last week, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra announced that Timothy Andres ’07BA, ’09MM and Andrew Norman ’09AD were among the twelve composers selected for the final round.

The project began with 60 composer candidates and will conclude with the selection of four Orpheus commission recipients later this year. The four winners will be announced in mid-October.

Orpheus designed Project 440 in keeping with the passion for new music and for transparency of the creative process that has been a hallmark of the orchestra since its inception in 1972. The project is documented online on the WQXR website, where fans and members of the public have engaged in lively debate about each of the candidates and Project 440 as a whole.

Each composer nominee has a profile page that features samples of his or her previous work and the opportunity for the public to post reactions and comments. The website has fostered dialogue about the nature of commissioning, elements of Project 440 that resemble a popularity contest, and a number of other topics. All of the decisions regarding the elimination of candidates are made by a Selection Committee comprised of Orpheus musicians and staff as well as previously commissioned composers. MORE

Published September 14, 2010
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Linden Quartet kicks off its Yale School of Music residency with a diverse concert on October 10

“Remarkable depth of technique and brilliantly nuanced, sumptuous tonality… delivered with a palpable, infectious joy.”
– Seen and Heard

The Yale School of Music presents a performance by the Linden String Quartet on Sunday, October 10 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). The program will include Haydn’s String Quartet in D major, Op. 20, no. 4; Dvorák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, “American,” and Dark Energy by the Canadian composer Kelly Marie-Murphy.

Haydn’s quartet is part of his groundbreaking Op. 20 that earned him the nickname “father of the string quartet.” Kelly-Marie Murphy’s single-movement piece explores the idea of dark energy, an antigravity force first postulated by Einstein in 1917 as a way of explaining why the universe doesn’t collapse. The work is both melodic and virtuosic, beginning softly and gaining momentum. Dvorák wrote his “American” quartet in 1893 during a summer spent in Iowa. He later said that he would not have written the piece “just so” if he hadn’t experienced the landscapes of the United States first-hand.

The Linden String Quartet is the new Fellowship Quartet-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music. The ensemble succeeds the Jasper Quartet, who quickly became audience favorites during their time in New Haven. The Linden Quartet has recently won such prestigious competitions as the Fischoff and the Coleman, and they shared first prize in the Hugo Kauder Competition this past spring. At Yale, the members of the ensemble – Sarah McElravy and Catherine Cosbey, violins; Eric Wong, viola; and Felix Umansky, cello – study with the Tokyo String Quartet.


Published September 13, 2010
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New Music New Haven opens the 2010-11 season with featured composer Christopher Theofanidis

Concert also highlights three Yale alumni who will be showcased at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge October 11

Christopher Theofanidis

The Yale School of Music presents the first New Music New Haven concert of the year on Thursday, October 7 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. The concert will feature faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis, lauded as “an unusually skilled, communicative composer” by the Baltimore Sun. On the program will be his string quartet Visions and Miracles, written in 1997, whose three movements explore a rich multiplicity of musical sources and techniques. Of the composer, the Washington Post has written: “What impresses me about Theofanidis… is his ability to blend several musical languages once thought to be mutually exclusive… the results are enormously attractive.”

Also on the program are works by up-and-coming composers from the Yale School of Music: current student Reena Esmail and alumni Jacob Cooper, Christopher Cerrone, and Robert Honstein. This segment of the program will include Cooper’s new Cello Octet, Esmail’s Piano Quintet, Cerrone’s Averno: A Fragment for voices and mixed ensemble, and Honstein’s rock-inspired song-without-words Why are you not answering. MORE

Published September 10, 2010
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Slideshow: Academic Convocation September 2

The 2010-11 academic year officially began last week. At the Academic Convocation in Sprague Hall on Thursday, September 2, University Provost Peter Salovey installed the entering class of the Yale School of Music. Ian Oliver, the pastor of University Church in Yale, gave the invocation. Robert Blocker, Dean of the Yale School of Music, addressed the incoming class with a talk called “Preserving Humanity.”

Dean Blocker gave the Cultural Leadership Citation, a special award from the Yale School of Music, to Yale alumnus Frederick Iseman, Yale College alumnus of the Class of 1975.

In a Yale School of Music tradition, the assembly sang Schubert’s “An die Musik,” a song about music’s transformative power. Faculty members Elizabeth Parisot, piano, and Ole Akahoshi, cello, played through the song before the audience sang Richard Cross’s translation.

The second portion of the program featured performances from faculty and alumni. Violinist Brian Lewis, the Class of ’57 Visiting Professor, joined with faculty pianist Wei-Yi Yang in Brahms’s F.A.E. Sonata. Alumnus Ryosuke Yanagitani ’04MM, ’05AD, ’08MMA performed piano pieces by Debussy and Sancan. Eric Barry ’10MM, tenor, and David Pershall ’10MM, baritone, sang duets by Bizet and Puccini, accompanied by faculty pianist Douglas Dickson ’88MM, ’89MMA.

Convocation continued with a reception at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Published September 8, 2010
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Tokyo String Quartet opens 2010-11 Chamber Music Society season Sep. 28 with Schubert, Webern, and Mozart

Guest artist Ettore Causa appears in Mozart’s Viola Quintet in C major

The Yale School of Music presents the Tokyo String Quartet in the first concert of the Chamber Music Society season on Tuesday, September 28 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven). The Tokyo String Quartet, currently celebrating its fortieth season as one of the world’s foremost ensembles, has been in residence at the Yale School of Music since 1976. The ensemble’s first performance of 2010-11 will open with Schubert’s String Quartet in E-flat major, D. 87 and will continue with two miniature works by Webern: the Langsamer Satz and Six Bagatelles. Guest artist Ettore Causa, professor of viola at the Yale School of Music, will join the quartet for Mozart’s Viola Quintet in C major, K. 515.

The New York Times has praised the Tokyo String Quartet for nothing less than “exemplary chamber music,” and the Toronto Star has called it “an established ensemble playing as one living, breathing organism.” Ettore Causa, who joined the Yale School of Music faculty in 2009, has been widely praised for his unusually beautiful tone. His first recording was crowned with the 5 Diapason, and his second quickly earned wide praise. MORE

Published September 7, 2010
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