Alumni garner faculty appointments

Thomas Novak ’91MM

Thomas Novak ’91MM was promoted to Provost at the New England Conservatory. Having served as Dean of the College since 2007, Novak will continue to oversee Conservatory faculty, curriculum, admissions, financial aid, student services, entrepreneurship, community partnerships, and relationships with performing groups and other conservatories in the U.S. and abroad. President Tony Woodcock said, “This is a testament to Tom’s tremendous commitment and significant contributions to NEC over the past ten years. Tom is an admired and respected leader and an indispensable member of my team. I look forward to his continued work and involvement in the school.”

A member of the NEC administration since 2001, Thomas Novak was hired as Performance Outreach Manager, but within a month, was appointed Acting Director of Admissions and, later that same year, Director of Admissions. In January 2003, his role was expanded to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid and Assistant Provost. Shortly after President Woodcock joined NEC in 2007, Novak was appointed to the position of Dean of the College. He has also continued to coach chamber music, often guiding NEC honors ensembles such as Quintet Royale. MORE

Published July 30, 2012
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An Interview with Violinist Peter Schuhmayer

This weekend, the Artis Quartet of Vienna performs at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival–Yale Summer School of Music in northwest Connecticut. Here’s an interview with Peter Schuhmayer, the quartet’s first violinist, from Norfolk’s blog.

schuhmayerWhen you are away touring, do you bring anything special with you to remind you of home?
I just print out photos of my family for my violin case and keep lots of digital photos in my laptop and mobile phone.

Are there any “good-luck” rituals that you observe while one the road?

When you fly what do you like to read?
Usually I read newspapers or magazines or work some things out on my laptop.

What are the most played songs on your iPod?

What is your favorite concert hall to play in and why?
There are many good concert halls around, but the Musikverein in Vienna is my favorite hall since it just takes me a 5-minute walk to my home.

Do you notice a difference between European and North-American audiences?
They are divided everywhere into the coughing, and the non-coughing. MORE

Published July 6, 2012
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Yang Jiao ’12MM takes second prize in Li Delun Conducting Competition

Yang Jiao ’12MM was awarded the silver medal in the first Li Delun National Conducting Competition, held June 18–23 in Qingdao, China. Jing Huan took home the third prize; no first prize was awarded.

The Li Delun National Conducting Competition was organized by the Ministry of Culture, the China Symphony Development Foundation, and the local government of Qingdao. As Gramophone Magazine noted, “It was hoped the event will give China a much-needed conducting focus.” Competition juror Li Xincao, the principal conductor of the China National Symphony Orchestra, was quoted as saying: “We have many [world-class musicians], such as Lang Lang and Jian Wang, but we don’t have a top conductor.” Cellist Jian Wang ’88CERT is a graduate of the Yale School of Music.

In the first stage of the competition, twelve candidates were chosen from 68 entries. Six semi-finalists were then selected to conduct the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, and Tang Jianping’s Bao Leng Diao. The three finalists then conducted a selection of Brahms, Debussy, and Shostakovich.


Published July 5, 2012
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New translation of Boris Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench

Boris Berman’s book Notes from the Pianist’s Bench has been released by Shanghai Press in a new translation. Professor Beiwha Tang of the Shanghai Conservatory has translated the book into Chinese (simplified characters).

The book, originally published in 2001 by Yale University Press, had previously been translated into Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese (traditional characters).

Notes from the Pianist’s Bench, selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice, draws on Berman’s experience as a concert pianist and educator to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation.

Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, Berman also offers insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and pedagogy.

A member of Yale School of Music faculty since 1984, Berman is the author of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas, published by Yale University Press in 2008. In 2011, he published a bilingual (English-Chinese) edition of the composer’s complete piano sonatas (Shanghai Press).

Published July 2, 2012
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