Woolsey Hall Competition April 16 showcases promising graduate musicians

Singers and instrumentalists selected in preliminary rounds to compete

The Yale School of Music presents the annual Woolsey Hall Competition on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Despite its name, the competition will take place in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven). The competition, which runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm with a break for lunch, features both instrumentalists and vocalists. Competitors are selected by Yale School of Music faculty in preliminary rounds.

Violinist Ji-Yun Han, a past winner of the Woolsey Competition, performs with the Yale Philharmonia in Woolsey Hall.

Each musician will perform for approximately ten minutes before a panel of distinguished judges. The three winners will appear as soloists with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale next season. This annual event is one of only two competitions at the Yale School of Music; the other is open to chamber music ensembles and offers the chance to perform on the School’s chamber music concert series.

The three guest judges for this year’s Woolsey Competition are Sharon Yamada, David Ohanian, and André-Michel Schub. Yamada, a graduate of both Yale College and the Yale School of Music, is a violinist with the prestigious New York Philharmonic. David Ohanian has played French horn with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Empire Brass, and Canadian Brass, and currently teaches at the Boston Conservatory. Pianist André-Michel Schub performed at Yale earlier this season as part of the Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio. A past winner of the Naumburg Competition, the Van Cliburn Competition, and the Avery Fisher Prize, Schub teaches at the Manhattan School of Music.

Admission to the Woolsey Competition is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Yale School of Music website or call the Office of Concerts and Media at 203 432-4158.

Published March 31, 2011
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The Yale Cellos premiere a new work by Ezra Laderman and perform favorites from Bach to Brubeck on April 20

The Yale School of Music presents the annual concert by the Grammy-nominated Yale Cellos on Wednesday, April 20 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven). The diverse program will feature music from the baroque to the present day, with pieces by Bach, Grieg, Stravinsky, Bright Sheng, and more.

Photo by Bob Handelman

The concert will open with a movement from a sonata by the Baroque composer Giuseppe Valentini. Two pieces from the twentieth century follow: the Tarantella from Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne and the Humoresque, Op. 5, by the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. The ensemble will then give the world premiere of Ezra Laderman’s Cello Variations, written for Aldo Parisot and the Yale Cellos.

Tibetan Dance, by the Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng, will open the second half of the program, which will also include transcriptions of music from the baroque and the twentieth century: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Dave Brubeck’s Concordia, Wojciech Kilar’s Orawa, and two movements from Vivaldi’s “Winter” Concerto in F minor from The Four Seasons.

Published March 31, 2011
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Tokyo String Quartet and guests give a benefit concert for Japan April 11

The Yale School of Music presents the distinguished Tokyo String Quartet and guest artists in a special benefit concert for Japan earthquake relief on Monday, April 11 at 8 pm in Battell Chapel (corner of College and Elm Streets, New Haven). The Tokyo Quartet, currently celebrating its fortieth season as one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles, has been in residence at the Yale School of Music since 1976. The Toronto Star has called it “an established ensemble playing as one living, breathing organism.”

The Tokyo Quartet will open the concert with a movement from Mozart’s String Quartet in D minor, K. 421, and will also play the second movement of Samuel Barber’s String Quartet, Op. 11, better known as Barber’s Adagio for strings. Also performing on the program will be colleagues from the Yale School of Music faculty: violinists Syoko Aki, Ani Kavafian, and Wendy Sharp; violist Ettore Causa, cellist Ole Akahoshi, and pianist Elizabeth Parisot.

As part of its ongoing residence at the Yale School of Music, the Tokyo Quartet mentors young chamber ensembles. The Linden String Quartet, the current graduate quartet-in-residence and the winner of numerous competitions, will perform a movement from Schumann’s Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, no. 1, and will join the Tokyo Quartet in excerpts from Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20. Please check back for updates in the concert program.

Said Robert Blocker, Dean of the Yale School of Music: “This concert – presented at the request of the Tokyo String Quartet – is a musical tribute to our longstanding friendship, an offering of hope and solace to families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured, and an opportunity for our community to acknowledge and experience the sanctity of art as a life force.”

As the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan continue to unfold, outside support continues to play a crucial role in supporting affected people. All proceeds from this concert will benefit the Red Cross, whose extensive efforts are providing relief for survivors across Japan. Read more about its response here. The concert is part of the ongoing response of the Yale community to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. To find out about other activities planned as part of this effort, go to relief.yale.edu.

The suggested donation for tickets is $20, $10 for students; all amounts are accepted. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu, call 203 432-4158, or visit the Yale School of Music concert office in Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven.


Published March 30, 2011
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alumniVentures grant to Kim Perlak ’01MM keeps on giving

Kim Perlak ’01MM

Guitarist and professor Kim Perlak ’01MM received an alumniVentures grant in 2009-10 and wrote recently to tell YSM of the project’s successful continuation. alumniVentures, the initiative supporting efforts to advance the cause of music, began in 2008-09 and has given three rounds of grants to YSM alumni.

Wrote Perlak, “My music history and performance students at Concordia University were so inspired to volunteer in my Yale grant project that I have created a series called Music-History-Service. This annual project will encourage both students and faculty to explore the history of the music they love, and through it, make a difference in the present.”

Perlak’s latest project, “Ben and I Play For Peace,” has attracted national press. Three “Ben and I Play for Peace”  concerts will take place on April 3, 2011 at 3 pm in Austin, Tex.; Denver, Colo.; and Sarasota, Fla. The concerts will present the world premiere of a work by Benjamin Verdery, a faculty member at the Yale School of Music. Proceeds will benefit a program called Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids.

Ben Werdegar, a 13-year-old guitarist from California, has pledged to raise $1 million in partnership with Brad Blauser (a CNN Hero) to purchase wheelchairs for disabled children in Iraq. Funds raised in the April events will add to Ben’s personal total of $19,000 – which he raised by playing at his neighborhood coffee shop in San Francisco.


Published March 28, 2011
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Two conductors, two Beethoven symphonies

The Yale Philharmonia returns to Sprague Hall April 15

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with its assistant conductors, Adrian Slywotzky (pictured at right) and Yang Jiao (pictured below) on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 5 pm. While the Yale Philharmonia usually performs in Woolsey Hall, this performance will take place in the more intimate space of Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street).

The conductors will lead the orchestra in two Beethoven symphonies. Yang Jiao will conduct the iconic Symphony No. 5 in C minor, and Adrian Slywotzky will lead the Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” in F major. Both Jiao and Slywotzky are studying orchestral conducting with Shinik Hahm at the Yale School of Music.


Published March 24, 2011
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Composers Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Boykan elected to American Academy of Arts and Letters

Aaron Jay Kernis

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced earlier this month that Aaron Jay Kernis ’83MM, a graduate of the Yale School of Music and a current member of the composition faculty, and alumnus Martin Boykan ’53MM are among the ten people recently elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Academy will hold its annual induction and award ceremony in mid-May. J. D. McClatchy, president of the Academy, will conduct the presentation of awards in architecture, art, literature, and music. Rosanna  Warren, Secretary of the Academy, will induct the new members into the 250-person organization: artists Walter De Maria, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Malcolm Morley, James Turrell, and architect Robert A. M. Stern; writers Louis Begley, Michael Cunningham, and Rita Dove; and composers Martin Boykan and Aaron Jay Kernis.

President McClatchy will induct choreographer Bill T. Jones to American Honorary membership and writers Anne Carson and Elfriede Jelinek and artist William Kentridge to Foreign Honorary membership. Rocco Landesman, the chairman of the NEA, will deliver the Blashfield Foundation Address, titled “The Play’s the Thing.” An exhibition of art, architecture, books, and manuscripts by new members and recipients of awards will be on view in the Academy’s galleries from May 19 to June 12.


Published March 23, 2011
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Saturday Seminar 3/26: Navigating New Media and Digital Rights

On Saturday, March 26, the Yale School of Music will host a Saturday Seminar featuring James Kendrick, a highly respected copyright lawyer and leader in the wider conversation on new media. Kendrick will be joined by composer Aaron Jay Kernis, a faculty member at the School of Music. The seminar will take place from 11 am to 1 pm on the stage of Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street).

This special workshop will tackle issues associated with website development, as well as legal concerns related to sharing performances and compositions on the internet. Said Associate Dean Michael Yaffe, “Every musician needs to be well versed in these topics, and we are fortunate to have a guest speaker with Mr. Kendrick’s experience joining Professor Kernis for this seminar.”

YSM students are encouraged to participate, and the public can watch the live stream of the seminar HERE.

The Saturday Seminars at the Yale School of Music are dedicated to the topic of career development for musicians. In these workshop sessions, students will have the opportunity to interact with both their peers and experts in the field on a variety of issues related to pursuing careers in music. These seminars will take the form of lively discussions that will explore important questions all student musicians should consider as they look toward the future.

Topic: Navigating New Media and Digital Rights
Led by:  Aaron Jay Kernis and James Kendrick
When: Saturday, March 26th from 11am-1pm
Where: on the stage of Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall

Yale students can register online HERE.

Published March 23, 2011
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Members of Bach Collegium Japan give master classes at Collection of Musical Instruments

Members of the Bach Collegium Japan will offer a series of master classes on Saturday, March 26, before their performance that evening of Bach’s Mass in B minor. The three master classes will take place Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm at at various Yale venues. All are open to the public without charge.

Vocal class

Gerd Türk, tenor, and Peter Kooij, bass (pictured at right in a photo by Marco Borggreve), will give a vocal masterclass featuring members of the Yale Schola Cantorum in the Great Hall of the Institute for Sacred Music.

Gerd Türk is a sought-after soloist who tours Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan, North and South America, and Australia. He has been a member of prestigious ensembles such as Cantus Köln and Gilles Binchois and is also an opera performer. He has made over 100 recordings on Sony, Erato, BIS, BMG, Virgin, and Harmonia Mundi France. Türk is a professor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland and gives master classes throughout Europe and Asia.

Peter Kooij in an active soloist throughout the world who has made over one hundred recordings for Philips, Sony Classical, Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, EMI, and BIS. He is the artistic director of the Ensemble Vocal Européen. Kooij  has taught at the Sweelinck Conservatorium (Amsterdam), Musikhochschule (Hannover), and the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He has given master classes in Japan and throughout Europe.

Music for Strings and Keyboard

Ryo Terakado, baroque violin, and Hidemi Suzuki, baroque cello, will give a masterclass on music for strings and keyboard instruments. Held in the upstairs gallery at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, this class will feature members of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. These performances will feature the Collection’s 1881 Erard grand piano and its Blanchet harpsichord (pictured at left), made in Paris ca. 1740.


Published March 22, 2011
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Bach Collegium Japan performance March 26 to benefit earthquake relief in Japan

Yale Institute of Sacred Music presents Bach Collegium Japan and music director Masaaki Suzuki in Bach’s Mass in B minor

Masaaki Suzuki (photo by Marco Borggreve)

The renowned Bach Collegium Japan, conducted by its founder Masaaki Suzuki, will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor at Woolsey Hall (500 College Street at Grove Street, New Haven) on Saturday, March 26 at 8pm. The Yale Institute of Sacred Music presents this concert to benefit Yale’s relief efforts for the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. All proceeds from ticket sales and donations received at the performance will be forwarded by Yale to the Red Cross for its relief work in Japan.

Bach Collegium Japan was founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to period instrument performances of great works from the baroque period. Since 1995 it has acquired a formidable reputation as one of the world’s most exceptional ensembles of its kind, particularly through its acclaimed recordings of Bach’s church cantatas for the BIS label.

Music director Masaaki Suzuki is a member of the faculty of the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He and the Bach Collegium Japan are touring North America this month performing Bach’s Mass in B minor.

The March 26 benefit performance will feature Hana Blazikova and Rachel Nicholls, sopranos; Clint van der Linde, countertenor; Gerd Türk, tenor; and Peter Kooij, bass. Bach scholar Markus Rathey, an associate professor of music history at Yale, will give a pre-concert talk at 7 pm in the Presidents Room in Woolsey Hall.

Tickets to this benefit performance are $15, $8 students. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit music.yale.edu or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. For information about Yale’s relief efforts, please visit relief.yale.edu.

Published March 22, 2011
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Yale Jazz Ensemble performs benefit concert at the John C. Daniels School on April 4

Featuring the Yale Jazz Ensemble, directed by Thomas C. Duffy

In the twilight of the evening, John C. Daniels School will hold a benefit concert, Jazz Under The Stars, on Monday, April 4, at 7 pm. The hour-long concert, featuring the Yale Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Thomas C. Duffy, will take place in the courtyard at John C. Daniels School (JCD).  Audience members are welcome to bring blankets or cushions.

All proceeds from this benefit concert will go to purchase new, high-quality instruments for JCD band students.  These instruments will provide the opportunity for more advanced playing, and they will go with the students as they matriculate at high school and beyond.

The Yale Jazz Ensemble, a seventeen-piece big band, will perform a wide variety of music, from the music of standard swing bands to progressive jazz compositions. The concert will also include a special performance of Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek,” arranged by Garth Neustadter, featuring vocalist Stasha Rosen.

Thomas C. Duffy is the Director of Bands at Yale University and a professor at the Yale School of Music.  Dr. Duffy will lead the YJE and will invite selected John C. Daniels students to perform with this prestigious ensemble. According to Duffy, “We are proud to support the mission of John C. Daniels School.  It is our hope to contribute to the musical education to these aspiring student musicians.  Plus, it is a wonderful way to contribute back to our community.”


Published March 22, 2011
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