American Brass Quintet performs Dec. 6

“Positively breathtaking.”
– New York Times

The Oneppo Chamber Music Series at the Yale School of Music presents the “breathtaking” American Brass Quintet in concert on Tuesday, December 6. Hailed as “the high priests of brass” by Newsweek and “of all the brass quintets, the most distinguished” by the American Record Guide, the American Brass Quintet (ABQ) has created a legacy unparalleled in the brass field.

The members of the quintet – Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb, trumpets; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, trombone; and John Rojak, bass trombone – will spend two days in residence at the School of Music, where they will hold master classes and workshops with YSM brass students.

In their concert on Dec. 6, contemporary works alternate with music from much earlier times. The first half opens with a set of Baroque canzoni by Erasmus Widmann and continues with the Fantasia and Rondo of 20th-century Brazilian composer Osvaldo Lacerda. It concludes with the ABQ’s recent commission from Trevor Gureckis ’07MM. “Fixated Nights” describes the composer’s experiences with troubled sleep.

The second half of the program features a unique set of marches for brass ensemble by Classical composer Luigi Cherubini, a set of popular Renaissance chansons by Josquin des Prez, and Joan Tower’s “Copperwave,” commissioned in 2006 by the ABQ. The program concludes with a pair of Giovanni Gabrieli’s majestic canzoni. YSM faculty artists Allan Dean, trumpet; William Purvis, horn; and Scott Hartman, trombone, as well as two YSM students, will join the ABQ to perform these grand antiphonal works.


Published November 16, 2011
Share This Comments

Michael Yaffe receives national award

National Guild Service Award recognizes exceptional long-term achievement in community arts education

The Yale School of Music is pleased to announce that Associate Dean Michael Yaffe was honored with the National Guild Service Award this past Saturday, November 11. Conferred by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the award recognizes individuals who have given exceptional service to the Guild and to the community arts education movement.

Yaffe received the award at the Guild’s annual awards luncheon, held last Saturday at the national Conference for Community Arts Education. In his acceptance, Yaffe addressed the Guild’s members and proposed “a rallying cry that I hope we all can gather around and promote.”

“Arts education is the education of the emotions,” said Yaffe, “and we need that more than ever in our splintered and dysfunctional society. Emotional education can channel the anger in today’s politics. It can help us through traumas in our personal lives. It can teach us how to work together – to trust one another. And it could help to convince policy makers of the value of what we do. Over the years, I have become more and more convinced that it could be a unifying principle for all of us, in all levels of arts education.”

“Michael Yaffe is one of the nation’s leading proponents of community arts education,” said Dean Robert Blocker of the Yale School of Music. “He is responsible for transforming the lives of countless children and enriching their communities. The National Guild Service Award is a tangible expression of recognition for his unselfish commitment to music and to community arts education.”

Click HERE to read more about Michael Yaffe, the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and the award.

Published November 16, 2011
Share This Comments

Harp studio performs Dec. 3

Concert features music for solo harp plus harp duos

The Yale School of Music presents the harp studio of faculty artist June Han in a collective recital on Saturday, December 3 at 8 pm. The music will include selections for solo harp as well as for harp duo. Performers from the School of Music include Kristan Toczko ’12 MM and Grace Guo ’13 MM. Also appearing are undergraduate harpists Olivia Coates ’12 BA, Chelsea Lane ’14 BA, and Dana Schneider ’15 BA.

Han enjoys an active international career as a harpist and educator, and appears frequently with the New York Philharmonic, among other prestigious ensembles. Toczko, a winner of the 2011 Woolsey Competition, will perform the Ginastera harp concerto with the Yale Philharmonia and guest conductor Jahja Ling on April 20, 2012.

Canadian harpist and composer Caroline Lizotte composed her Raga for two harps in 2006. The work begins in the improvisatory style and strong modality of the Indian musical form. This unique and exotic piece demands a number of non-traditional methods of creating sound on the harp, such as percussive effects.

Henriette Renié’s Contemplation will be followed by Giovanni Battista Pescetti’s Sonata in C minor, transcribed for harp by Carlos Salzedo. This piece demonstrates the elegance of his style, which straddles the late Baroque and early Classical eras.

Toczko will perform the Harp Sonata by Paul Hindemith, who was on the Yale faculty from 1940 to 1953. Two French works for harp will round out the concert: Albert Roussel’s solo Impromptu, Op. 21; and Parvis, a duet by Bernard Andrés.

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

Published November 14, 2011
Share This Comments

Yale Baroque Ensemble performs at Collection Nov. 15

Members of the Yale Baroque Ensemble will give a baroque chamber recital on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 5 pm at the Collection of Musical Instruments. Tess Isaac, baroque violin; and Colin Meinecke, baroque viola; will be assisted by Avi Stein, harpsichord; and Hannah Collins, baroque cello.

The recital will feature music of Castello, Biber, Corelli, and Bach. Robert Mealy, described by the New Yorker as “a world-class early music violinist,” is a professor of violin and early music at Yale, where he directs the Yale Baroque Ensemble as well as the Yale Collegium Musicum players.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments is located at 15 Hillhouse Avenue. This concert is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

The Yale Baroque Ensemble, directed by baroque violinist Robert Mealy, is a postgraduate ensemble at the Yale School of Music dedicated to the highest level of study and performance of the Baroque repertoire. Using the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments’ set of new baroque instruments, members of the Ensemble go through an intensive one-year program of study, immersing themselves in the chamber and solo repertoire from 1600 to 1785 to create idiomatic and virtuosic performances of this music. The Yale Baroque Ensemble is presented in a series of concerts each year, including a special appearance last spring at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as part of the Yale in New York series and an Italian tour with the Yale Schola Cantorum. The Yale Baroque Ensemble is the resident ensemble of the Collection of Musical Instruments, where it performs recitals each term. MORE

Published November 14, 2011
Share This Comments

“Vocal Britain” features music of Britten and Walton

Dec. 1 preview in New Haven; Dec. 4 in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall

The Yale School of Music presents Vocal Britain, a program of music by Benjamin Britten and William Walton, on December 1 in New Haven and December 4 in New York City. Presented by the Yale in New York series, under the artistic direction of David Shifrin, Vocal Britain will feature faculty horn soloist William Purvis, tenor Dann Coakwell ’11AD, guest conductor William Boughton, and members of the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Opera.

Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn, and strings will open the concert. Tenor Dann Coakwell ’11MM and faculty horn soloist William Purvis will be joined by the Linden String Quartet (the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music) and double bassist Gregory Robbins ’12MM.

Guest conductor William Boughton will lead a concert performance of William Walton’s one-act The Bear, featuring singers of Yale Opera and members of the Yale Philharmonia. Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen ’08BA, ’12MM plays the role of the widow Yelina; baritone David Pershall ’10MM, ’11AD plays her late husband’s creditor Grigory; and bass-baritone Andrew Craig Brown ’11MM, ’12AD completes the trio as the household’s servant Luka. Boughton, an expert in the music of William Walton, is well-known to local audiences as the music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

The Thursday preview performance takes place in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street) and begins at 8 pm. Admission is free. On Sunday, December 4, the performance will begin at 7:30 pm in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall (57th Street and 7th Ave). Tickets are available through the Carnegie Hall box office or CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800. MORE

Published November 11, 2011
Share This Comments

Yale Opera announces two new productions for 2012

Speranza Scappucci will be the first woman to conduct a Yale Opera production

The Yale Opera program at the Yale School of Music has announced two new productions for the spring semester of 2012. February will feature Mozart’s comedy Così fan tutte at New Haven’s historic Shubert Theater. In April, Yale Opera will perform Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia in Morse Recital Hall.

Speranza Scappucci will conduct Così fan tutte, becoming the first woman to conduct a Yale Opera production. Maestra Scappucci is on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera as an assistant conductor and is active internationally as a vocal coach and continuo harpsichordist.

The young Australian director Justin Way, praised for his “creative energy” and “clever and sympathetic” work, will provide stage direction. The production will feature the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, the School of Music’s premier ensemble.

Così fan tutte will be sung in Italian with projected English translations. Performances take place February 10–12 at the Shubert Theater (247 College Street). The Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 pm; the Sunday performance is at 2 pm. Tickets are available at the Shubert Theater box office, online at, or by phone at 203 562-5666.

Yale Opera’s new production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia will feature stage direction by Vera Calabria, who has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and now also works frequently with young singers as director and dramatic coach. Douglas Dickson and Timothy Shaindlin will provide musical direction.

The Rape of Lucretia will be performed Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28. Both performances take place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street), New Haven. Tickets are available through the Yale School of Music box office in Sprague Hall, 203 432-4158, or

Published November 10, 2011
Share This Comments

Guitarist Benjamin Verdery plays music by Yale composers Nov. 29

The Yale School of Music presents classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery in a Faculty Artist Series concert on Tuesday, November 29. Verdery will perform his own music as well as that of other Yale composers: Martin Bresnick, Christopher Theofanidis, Ezra Laderman, David Lang, and Jack Vees.

The concert will feature multiple premieres, including the world premiere of Verdery’s arrangement of David Lang’s “Little Eye,” which the composer based on the passage of time playing the game “I spy with my little eye” on long car trips with children. Jack Vees will be a guest performer in “Little Eye.”

Verdery will also give the Yale premieres of his own piece “Now and Ever” and of “January Echoes” by Christopher Theofanidis.

Several composers have composed music for Verdery, including Daniel Asia, John Anthony Lennon, Ingram Marshall, Anthony Newman, and Roberto Sierra. On this concert are Ezra Laderman’s “On Vineyard Sound” and Martin Bresnick’s “Joaquin is Sleeping” (2008), both solo classical guitar pieces written for Verdery. The program will also include “National Anthem,” a piece by Jack Vees for electric guitar and tape based on a song by the band The National.


Published November 10, 2011
Share This Comments

Associate Dean Michael Yaffe to receive National Guild Service Award

Michael Yaffe will be honored by the National Guild for Community Arts Education this Saturday, November 11. Yaffe, the associate dean of the School of Music, will receive the National Guild Service Award at the annual awards luncheon at the Conference for Community Arts Education.

The National Guild Service Award is offered for outstanding achievement to individuals who have given exceptional service to the National Guild and the community arts education movement. Past recipients include Betty Allen, Lolita and Azim Mayadas, Robert Capanna, Stephen Shapiro and Ed Farmilant. Formerly called the President’s Award, it was established in 1989.

Michael Yaffe has been dedicated to the growth of the field of community arts education for nearly 35 years. Prior to coming to the Yale School of Music in 2006, he served as executive director of the Hartt School of the University of Hartford from 1986 to 2006, greatly increasing its student population, expanding its faculty and initiating new programs to make high quality arts education accessible to all. Yaffe was a member of the Guild’s board of trustees from 1999 to 2006 and is currently chair of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollege Arts Schools. He also served on the board of the National Association of Schools of Music and was chair of its non-degree-granting commission. MORE

Published November 9, 2011
Share This Comments

Ettore Causa and Boris Berman perform Nov. 30

Concert features Shostakovich viola sonata, transcriptions of Schumann and Brahms

The Yale School of Music presents violist Ettore Causa and pianist Boris Berman in a Faculty Artist Series concert on Wednesday, November 30. Causa and Berman – both internationally acclaimed musicians in their own right – will perform duo sonatas of Schumann, Shostakovich, and Brahms, including arrangements of pieces originally written for other instrumental combinations.

The concert opens with Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70, originally written for horn but often played on string instruments, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s last work: the Viola Sonata, Op. 147. Shostakovich said that the last movement, an adagio, was written in memory of Beethoven.

The last work on the program is also a tribute to an earlier composer. Berman and Causa have made their own transcription of a cello sonata by Johannes Brahms. The Sonata in E minor, Op. 38, pays homage to J.S. Bach and uses elements of Bach’s “The Art of Fugue.”

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. For more information, visit or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. MORE

Published November 8, 2011
Share This Comments

Solomon Liang and In Hwa Lee win Alexander & Buono String Competition

Cellist In Hwa Lee ’06MM, ’07AD and violinist Solomon Liang ’12MM were selected as two of the first prize winners in the Alexander & Buono International String Competition. They will be featured as soloists in the winner’s concert on Sunday, November, 20, 2011 at Carnegie Hall.

The other first-prize winners in the college/professional division were Erno Kallai, violin, and Jay Song, cello. The second-prize winners in the division were Ann Bermont, violin; David Gale, violin; Dmitry Volkov, cello; and Hye-ri Jang, cello.

Designed to help artists further their careers, the Alexander & Buono Competitions present selected winners of the competitions in concerts throughout the world, and also as part of the annual Alexander & Buono Festival of Music. Career guidance is also offered, as well as seminars designed to help artists better understand how to manage their careers.

Violinist Solomon Liang is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Yale School of Music, where he is a student of Syoko Aki. Recent performances include Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with the New Valley Symphony. As a soloist, Solomon has appeared with the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Community Orchestra, and the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto. He received the grand prize at the Music Teachers’ Association of California Statewide VOCE Competition, Southwest Youth Music Festival, California Concert Artists Competition, as well as second prize at the junior division of the Taiwan National Violin Competition.


Published November 4, 2011
Share This Comments