Ryo Yanagitani ’08MMA appointed to faculty at University of British Columbia

Ryo Yanagitani ’04MM, ’05AD, ’08MMA has been appointed Assistant Professor of Piano at University of British Columbia School of Music. He will begin teaching this fall.

Ryo Yanagitani received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of British Columbia under Doctor Henri-Paul Sicsic, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music under Boris Berman, and an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute under Sergei Babayan. He recently completed his residency requirement for the Yale School of Music’s Doctor of Musical Arts Degree. In 2010–11 he was an instructor for the chamber music program at Yale.

Canadian pianist Ryo Yanagitani won the gold medal at the Tenth San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he was also given special recognition for his performance of the complete Chopin Ballades. He is also the grand prize winner of the Hugo Kauder International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, the Dr. Luis Sigall International Piano Competition (Vina del Mar, Chile), and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Ryo has made concerto appearances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Moroccan Symphony Orchestra, among others.

In addition to many solo recitals, he has been in demand as a chamber musician, performing in a wide range of settings. His most recent collaboration with cellist Dai Miyata has resulted in a concert tour of Japan, and they will be releasing a CD in the upcoming season. Ryo Yanagitani is presently an active member of the Musique a la Mode chamber ensemble in New York, specializing in the performance of new music and unusual works seldom heard in public. He is also pianist of Duo Chrysalis with cellist Jacques Lee Wood, and their collaboration has taken them on a tour of performances across the United States and Korea.


Published May 31, 2011
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Music and Book Writing Program Performs June 1 & 2

Educational Collaboration with the Yale School of Music, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and the Bridgeport Public Schools

In the Music in Schools Initiative’s engaging Music and Book Writing Program, student storytellers and illustrators come together to create their own tales. A Yale School of Music composer work with each group of students to create a soundtrack for the books.

From "An Afternoon Adventure," by students at Beardsley School in 2010

The program aims to increase students’ literacy skills and to introduce students to the arts in a creative and interactive way. The collaboration began in the 2008–09 academic year with 150 students, and it has been an immense success. This year’s program has expanded to a total of 800 students from eight schools, and the task of writing and illustrating stories has expanded to involve the students in acting and singing.

This year, the Music and Book Writing collaborations will be presented to the public in three Bridgeport performances. The stories have been written and illustrated by students. The illustrations are projected above the musicians, who perform the soundtrack live.

“Thanks so much for this opportunity with the Music and Book Writing Program – this has been without a doubt an incredibly enriching project. I have tried to spend a few minutes in classrooms when [composer] Jordan [Kuspa] is here and  have witnessed a deep level of thinking, language and creativity in children. They have enjoyed this project immensely. I also think staff have benefited from seeing how children get excited and creative and how intelligent and capable they really are. MORE

Published May 26, 2011
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Mellasenah Indira Edwards ’91MM to Head Music Department at Baltimore School for the Arts

Mellasenah Indira Edwards ’91MM, a graduate of the Yale School of Music, has been selected to head the music department at the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA), a school that provides pre-professional training in the arts in the context of a college preparatory curriculum. Dr. Edwards replaces Chris Ford; her position was approved by the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, and she will begin her new position at the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year.

Dr. Edwards, a graduate of the BSA (1985) and a faculty member there for the past two years, has extensive experience and professional training in musical performance and music education. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music (1991), and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.

Currently, Dr. Edwards is Curriculum and Program Assistant in BSA’s Office of School and Community Partnerships where she develops programming and assists in the management of the School’s TWIGS program. She also leads the BSA Orchestra. A noted violinist, she teaches violin at both the BSA and the Peabody Institute. Before coming back to Baltimore in 2009, Dr. Edwards was Chair of the Music Department at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she also taught violin.

Chris Ford, Director-Designate of BSA, commented, “I think it is very exciting to see the first BSA alumnus in a leadership role at BSA. Mellasenah has the artistic and educational reach to serve all of our students—from the most elementary to the most advanced. Thrilling times are ahead for the School for the Arts Music Department.”

Published May 26, 2011
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Achilles Liarmakopoulos ’10MM joins Canadian Brass

CB_fall_2012_01Canadian Brass announced earlier this month that trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos is joining the prestigious ensemble. Achilles, a native of Greece, is an established and award-winning trombone soloist dedicated to performing new pieces and important works revived from the archives as well as standard repertoire. He has premiered many pieces from emerging composers who have written specifically for him. Achilles has given solo recitals in the U.S.A, China, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Greece and has performed as a member of many leading orchestras worldwide. MORE

Published May 23, 2011
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Kauder Competition for Voice on June 10 features four Yale participants

Winners’ Concert to take place in Sprague Hall June 11

The Hugo Kauder Society will present its Seventh Annual International Hugo Kauder Competition in New Haven, Connecticut on Friday, June 10, 2011. Among the eight singers (all under 35 years of age) that have been selected to perform in front of a live jury are three who study at or have graduated from the Yale School of Music.

The singers are sopranos Amanda Hall ’10MM, Jamilyn Manning-White ’12AD, Virginia Allison Barney, and Lesley Anne Friend, tenors Kijong Wi and Jason Hiester, and baritones David Pershall ’10MM, ’11AD, and Brian Robinson, the manager of the Yale Symphony Orchestra.

The competitors in the 2011 Kauder Competition

The competitors will perform art songs composed by Hugo Kauder, as well as a selection of Classical, Romantic, and contemporary music for voice. The first prize winner will also receive a concert opportunity in New York City. MORE

Published May 19, 2011
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Marc Daniel van Biemen ’10CERT wins position with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Marc Daniel van Biemen ’10CERT has just won a position as a first violinist in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Said van Biemen, “I would like to give Yale much deserved credit for reaching this wonderful goal in my career.”

At left is a picture of van Biemen at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, where he performed on the Yale in New York series in February of 2010. MORE

Published May 18, 2011
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Xiaoxi Wu wins third place in International Mozart Competition

Wu with Julius Schmalz, president of the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce

Pianist Xiaoxi Wu ’11MM won third prize in the International Mozart Competition in Austria earlier this year.

The competition takes place in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, at the Universität Mozarteum. In its 10th edition this year, it focused on the repertoire for piano and violin. The orchestral rounds featured the Camerata Salzburg, and Dennis Russell Davis conducted the final round. Jury members this year included Robert Levin, Fou Tsong, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Jean-Bernard Pommeir, Pual Gulda, and Maria Tipo.

Xiaoxi Wu was born in 1983 in Beijing and began her study at the age of seven with Mingsun Zhou. In 2002, Xiaoxi was admitted to the Gnesins Academy of Music in Moscow, where she began to study with Alexey Skavronsky. She received her B.A. degree in 2006 and the M.M.A. degree in 2008. In 2004, she was awarded the Grand Prix at the Kiev International Music Competition, and in 2007 she was awarded a Diploma for Professional Mastery and Artistry from the Russian Composers Union. She also won third prize at the Fourth Europe-Asia International Piano Competition in memory of Stanislav Neuhaus, as well as an Honorable Diploma in the Thirteenth Piano Ccompetition in Andorra. Xiaoxi has performed in many concert halls in Moscow and has given regular recitals in the National Philharmonic Society of many cities in Russia.

Published May 16, 2011
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New edition of Prokofiev piano sonatas, edited by Boris Berman

photo of Boris Berman in Sprague HallShanghai Music Publishing House has published the complete Piano Sonatas by Prokofiev in a new performance edition by Boris Berman.

Berman, a member of Yale School of Music faculty since 1984, is a recognized authority on the music of Prokofiev. This bilingual (English-Chinese) publication contains various recommendations for performers. Berman compared the text of the sonatas with manuscripts and first editions, and corrected numerous errors that had been perpetuated by countless editions and recordings. This is the most reliable edition of Prokofiev’s sonatas currently available.

The edition is sold only in China; buyers outside of China can contact the e-mail address in Hong Kong.

Published May 16, 2011
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Yale Percussion Group performs in New Haven and New York

The Yale Percussion Group, hailed as “truly extraordinary” by composer Steve Reich, brings high-energy works by Reich and David Lang to the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 pm.

The dynamic ensemble will present the so-called laws of nature, a monumentally virtuosic percussion quartet by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang – who is both a YSM graduate and a current member of the YSM faculty. Written for So Percussion in 2002, this piece explores explore the limits of the scientific method through varied forms of fractured repetition, and features instruments built by the percussionists specifically for the piece. These instruments range from tuned metal pipes and planks of wood to teacups and flowerpots.

Fresh from their performance of Steve Reich’s Sextet in Zankel Hall last December, the ensemble will also perform Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood, a polyrhythmic tour-de-force of sound.

On Friday, May 20, the YPG will give a free outdoor performance of Lang’s socalled laws of nature in Yale’s Old Campus.


Published May 13, 2011
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Marianna Prjevalskaya wins Jaén Piano Competition

Marianna Prjevalskaya ’10AD has won the first prize at the 53rd Jaén International Piano Competition in Spain. The final round took place May 6, 2011 at the new Infanta Leonor Theatre of Jaén, with the City of Granada Orchestra directed by Stamatia Karampini. The jury, headed by the Spanish concert pianist Begoña Uriarte, included musicians from five different countries. Prjevalskaya performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11. The first prize winner receives 20,000 euros, a diploma and gold medal, the recording of a CD with Naxos, and a six-concert tour of Spain and the United States. Prjevalskaya, born in Moldavia in 1982, has been a resident of La Coruña since 1992; she is the thirteenth person from Spain to win the competition.

Tatiana Dorokhova, from Russia, won the second prize, while the third prize was awarded to the Italian Viviana Pia Lasaracina. The three winners received their awards in a ceremony at the new Infanta Leonor Theater. The 53rd edition of this competition boasted 46 pianists from 20 different countries. The contest is considered one of the most prestigious in Spain. MORE

Published May 12, 2011
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