Jasper String Quartet receives Cleveland Quartet Award

Chamber Music America (CMA) announced today that the Jasper String Quartet has been selected to receive the Cleveland Quartet Award. The Jasper Quartet was the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music from 2008 to 2010.

Established in 1995, the biennial Cleveland Quartet Award honors and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career. “We are delighted that the Jasper String Quartet is being recognized for its exceptional artistic achievements, and pleased that the Cleveland Quartet Award will have a role in developing this young ensemble’s future career, ” said Margaret M. Lioi, Chamber Music America’s chief executive officer.

Originally formed at Oberlin Conservatory in 2003, the Jasper Quartet (J Freivogel and Sae Chonabayashi, violinists; Sam Quintal, violist; and Rachel Henderson Freivogel, cellist) began pursuing a professional career in 2006 as Rice University’s graduate quartet-in-residence. In 2008, the quartet continued its training with the Tokyo String Quartet as the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music.

After winning the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2008 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the Jasper String Quartet went on to win the Grand Prize at the 2008 Coleman Competition, First Prize at Chamber Music Yellow Springs 2008, and the Silver Medal at the 2008 and 2009 Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions. It was the first ensemble to win the Yale School of Music’s Horatio Parker Memorial Prize (2009), selected by the faculty for “best fulfilling… lofty musical ideals.” MORE

Published October 31, 2011
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Peter Frankl performs piano concertos on Horowitz Piano Series Nov. 16

Concert also features Linden String Quartet & tenor James Taylor

The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents a concert by the pianist Peter Frankl on Wednesday, November 16. While the series most often presents solo recitals, Frankl will be joined by the Linden String Quartet and double bassist Gregory Robbins. The recital will take place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Memorial Hall at 470 College Street.

Frankl will perform two concertos with the string players: Mozart’s Piano Concerto in F major, K. 413, and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21. Frankl will also play solo piano works of both composers: Mozart’s Menuet in D major, K. 355, and Sonata in D major, K. 576, and Chopin’s Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49.

Frankl has been described by Auditorium as “not a mere pianist, but a true artist.” The Linden Quartet, currently the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music, has been praised for its “remarkable depth of technique and brilliantly nuanced, sumptuous tonality….” (MusicWeb International). Bassist Gregory Robbins ’12MM was selected as a member of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. MORE

Published October 28, 2011
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Lunchtime Chamber Music concerts Nov. 2 & 16

The Yale School of Music will present free Lunchtime Chamber Music concerts on two upcoming Wednesdays, November 2 and 16. Both concerts take place at 12:30 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St., New Haven).

These concerts feature a colorful variety of ensembles composed of graduate musicians who have come from around the world to study at the Yale School of Music. Violinist Wendy Sharp is director of the chamber music program.

The events are free and open to the public; no tickets are required, and children are welcome. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.


The Yale School of Music is unique in that all performance faculty coach chamber music, and all students are involved in chamber music for their entire tenure at the School. Ensembles come together each semester and receive weekly coachings from distinguished faculty and guest artists. Chamber groups often perform in the Lunchtime Chamber Music concerts, which take place at both Morse Recital Hall and the Center for British Art, and in the Vista series, in which performances are enhanced by spoken commentary on the music. Students also take part in the annual chamber music competition, whose winners are featured in an annual concert on the Oneppo Chamber Music Series.

Published October 28, 2011
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YSM alumni invited to special event Nov. 15

Graduates of the Yale School of Music are invited to a special alumni event in New Haven on Tuesday, November 15.

The event will take place at 6:30 pm, before that evening’s Faculty Artist Recital. Alumni will gather at the Graduate Club (155 Elm Street) for a reception hosted by Dean Robert Blocker.

Guests are also invited to attend the recital, which features clarinet professor David Shifrin along with YSM alumni and students. Alumni performers include clarinetists Romie de Guise-Langlois and Thomas Masse, among others. The program will include music of Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, Ponchielli, Debussy, Poulenc, and Alan Shulman, plus the premiere of the complete version of Joan Panetti’s Lobgesang for seven clarinets, written for Keith Wilson.

The concert is free and open to the public. The pre-concert alumni reception is open only to Yale School of Music graduates and their guests; reservations are required.

View the invitation HERE and RSVP by Monday, October 31.

Published October 27, 2011
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David Shifrin and friends celebrate clarinet music in Nov. 15 recital

YSM performers join Shifrin in music from Mozart to Brahms to Panetti

The Yale School of Music presents clarinetist David Shifrin and friends in a Faculty Artist Series recital on Tuesday, November 15th at 8 pm. Shifrin, who just enjoyed a successful performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, will perform a diverse program including not only Mozart but also composers as diverse as Poulenc, Ponchielli, and Joan Panetti.

The program opens with Mozart’s Divertimento No. 1 in B-flat major for three basset horns – an instrument similar to the alto clarinet but with a different tone color. Shifrin, along with two of his YSM students, will play basset horns in this performance.

Recent YSM alumna Romie de Guise-Langlois will join Shifrin in Poulenc’s Sonata for two clarinets, and piano alumna Amy J. Yang will play the Brahms Sonata in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1, with Shifrin.

This concert will offer the world premiere of the newest version of Lobgesang for seven clarinets by YSM faculty composer Joan Panetti. The piece was written for Keith Wilson, the School of Music’s longtime clarinet professor (before Shifrin’s tenure), and will be performed by current and former YSM students – including Thomas Masse, now the University’s deputy provost for the arts.

The program will also include two pieces with string instruments: Alan Shulman’s Rendezvous for Benny, a piece written for clarinetist Benny Goodman, and Ponchielli’s Il Convegno for two clarinets and strings. MORE

Published October 27, 2011
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YSM alumni take home prizes in Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition

YSM alumni were among the winners of the recent Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. The annual event is open to instrumentalists, singers and chamber ensembles performing classical and non-traditional repertoire.

Among this year’s winners were the Amphion String Quartet and the string quintet Sybarite5, two ensembles whose members include YSM alumni. All winners receive a two-year management contract with with the Concert Artists Guild as well as a New York recital opportunity. Sybarite5 also won the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize.

Three of the Amphion Quartet’s members are alumni: Katie Hyun ’09AD, violin; David Southorn ’09MM, ’10AD, violin; and Mihai Marica ’04CERT, ’08AD, cello. Performing in Sybarite5 is violinist Sami Merdinian ’06MM, ’07AD. MORE

Published October 27, 2011
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Boston Museum Trio performs French & Baroque music at the Collection Nov. 13

The Boston Museum Trio performs at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments on Sunday, November 13. The program will feature baroque music from French and German composers, including Rameau, Marais, Leclair, Buxtehude, and Bach. The concert will take place at 3 pm at the Collection (15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven).

The members of the Boston Museum Trio are John Gibbons, harpsichord; Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba; and Daniel Stepner, baroque violin. Gibbons teaches harpsichord and fortepiano and directs the Bach Ensemble at the New England Conservatory. In this concert, he will play the Collection’s double-manual harpsichord made in Paris around 1740 by François Etienne Blanchet the Elder.

Jeppesen and Stepner are both graduates of the Yale School of Music. Jeppeson is the principal violist of Boston Baroque, and plays in many early music groups including the Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra. Stepner is the first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet (in residence at Brandeis University) and artistic director of the Aston Magna Festival.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, one of the foremost institutions of its kind, preserves and exhibits musical instruments from antiquity to the present. Many instruments are maintained in playing condition and are featured in performances and demonstrations in the fine acoustic of the upstairs gallery, the venue for this performance. MORE

Published October 27, 2011
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Christian Lane ’08MM wins Canadian International Organ Competition

Christian Lane, a graduate of the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, won the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC) this past weekend. The CIOC, which was held in Montreal, is the only international organ competition in the Americas in 2011.

In the finals, Lane and the other four finalists each played a 60-minute recital, the repertoire for which was left to their discretion – with the exception of the compulsory piece, Liszt’s Variations on Weinen, Klagen Sorgen, Zagen.

The competitors vied for a total of $72,000 in prizes, with a First Prize of $30,000. The prizes were awarded by an international jury. Lane’s prize will also include a three-year management contract with Karen McFarlane Artists, a CD recording with ATMA Classique, and career management and coaching from the CIOC.  MORE

Published October 21, 2011
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Yale Brass Trio performs music from the Renaissance to Rachmaninoff

Nov. 1 concert also features pianist Mihae Lee and composer Ezra Laderman

The Yale School of Music presents the Yale Brass Trio in a Faculty Artist Series concert on Tuesday, November 1. The trio brings together three Yale School of Music faculty members who have all established high-profile careers of their own: Allan Dean, trumpet; William Purvis, French horn; and Scott Hartman, trombone.

For this performance, which explores music from the Renaissance to today, they will be joined by pianist Mihae Lee.

The concert will begin with early English music and works by the French Renaissance composer Guillaume Dufay. Ezra Laderman’s Trio for Brass, written in 2005, will offer a 21st-century contrast. Laderman, a faculty colleague of the performers, is a former dean of the School of Music, the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a composer who has won three Guggenheim Fellowships, the Prix de Rome, and Rockefeller and Ford Foundation grants.

Fans of the Romantic period will enjoy Rachmaninoff’s Elegy for trombone and piano and Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces for horn and piano. The concert will conclude with tangos by Astor Piazzolla, which – along with the early Renaissance pieces – were transcribed for brass trio by Allan Dean.

The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street). Admission is free. MORE

Published October 18, 2011
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Wendy Sharp performs music of Beethoven, Bielawa, and more

Nov. 6 concert also features pianist Joel Wizansky

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents Wendy Sharp, violin, and Joel Wizansky, piano in concert on Sunday, November 6th at 4 pm. The program brings together music related to words in various ways, from a suite based on Shakespeare to a piece incorporating narration.

The concert opens with the brief Scherzo by Johannes Brahms based on a motive of the pitches F, A, and E. Next comes a suite of incidental music for Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” The suite is an early work by Erich Korngold, who went on to become a leading composers of film music.

The first half closes with a piece by 2009 Prix de Rome recipient and Yale alumna Lisa Bielawa. Her “Meditations” for solo violin are drawn from her larger work, “The Lay of Love and Death,” whose name and texts come from Rainer Maria Rilke’s epic poem contemplating the loss of innocence. The composer will recite Rilke’s poetry between the movements for solo violin.

The second half of the program features Beethoven’s virtuosic and passionate “Kreutzer” Sonata in A major, Op. 47. This sonata is considered, along with the Third Symphony, to demonstrate the beginnings of Beethoven’s revolutionary turn to the Romantic. Among the many artists who have been inspired by this sonata is Leo Tolstoy, whose novella The Kreutzer Sonata in turn inspired a painting, a play, and several film adaptations.

Admission to the performance is free. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.


Wendy Sharp, award-winning violinist, performs frequently as a recitalist and a chamber musician. In demand as a teacher and chamber music coach, she is on the faculties of the Yale School of Music and California Summer Music, and maintains a private studio.  For nearly a decade, Ms. Sharp was the first violinist and a founding member of the Franciscan String Quartet. As a member of the quartet she toured the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and was honored with many awards including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Press and City of Evian prizes at the Evian International String Quartet Competition. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, she attended Yale University, graduating summa cum laude with distinction in music, and received her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sharp has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Dartmouth College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Choate Rosemary Hall, and has participated in the Aspen, Tanglewood, Chamber Music West, Norfolk, Britten-Pears, and Music Academy of the West festivals. Ms. Sharp is currently the director of chamber music at the Yale School of Music, where she has also served on the violin faculty since 1997.

Joel Wizansky is acclaimed by audiences and musicians alike for his combination of fiery intensity and probing musicianship. The Washington Post wrote of his “emotional and rich performance, sparkling runs, beautiful phrasing, and dramatic interpretation.” After his debut with the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, he went on to win numerous awards, including first prize in the Helen Hart International Piano Competition and the Yale Gordon Competition and fifth prize in the Marguerite Long International Competition. He has performed frequently in recital and with orchestras in the United States, Europe, Taiwan, and Korea and has been heard in broadcast performances in New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago. His first solo compact disc, “A Brahms Recital,” was released in 2001 on the MRC label. He is also a noted chamber musician and collaborator, and has performed in duo recitals at Carnegie Hall, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and many other venues. He has served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory and is currently a staff pianist at the Yale School of Music.

Composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in musical composition. She moved to New York two weeks after receiving her B.A. in literature in 1990 from Yale University, and became an active participant in New York musical life. She frequently takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Gramophone reports, “Bielawa is gaining gale force as a composer, churning out impeccably groomed works that at once evoke the layered precision of Vermeer and the conscious recklessness of Jackson Pollock,” and The New York Times describes her music as “ruminative, pointillistic, and harmonically slightly tart.”

Published October 18, 2011
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