YSM celebrates annual Elihu Day November 1

This Thursday, November 1, the School of Music will join Yale College, the Graduate School, and Yale’s constellation of Professional Schools to celebrate the second annual Elihu Day.  This event celebrates and thanks generous donors to the University.

In the inaugural event last year, students signed hundreds of personal thank-you cards at locations across the campus.

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., YSM students are invited to come by the station in front of Leigh Hall to enjoy refreshments and personally sign thank-you cards to Yale’s generous donors. (In case of rain, the station will move to the lobby of Leigh Hall.)

The event also offers the opportunity for students to learn about the School of Music’s Annual Fund and, more broadly, about the philanthropy that enables and supports a wide array of programs in the School.

Elihu Day honors and recognizes Elihu Yale, one of the founders of the University. More than three hundred years ago, he donated nine bales of goods, over four hundred books, and a portrait of King George I to the fledgling Collegiate School in the Connecticut colony. The Trustees, to show their gratitude, named the institution Yale College.

“It is interesting,” notes Dean Robert Blocker, “that Elihu Yale never saw the campus, but he invested in the future of gifted young people who would become leaders in their respective fields.”

For more info on Elihu Day, visit:

Published October 31, 2012
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Roomful of Teeth releases debut album

Roomful of Teeth, a new music vocal group founded and directed by Brad Wells ’98MM, ’05DMA, released its debut album on New Amsterdam Records on October 30, 2012. The ensemble includes a rich cast of Yale alumni: Estelí Gomez ’08BA, Caroline Shaw ’07MM, Eric Dudley ’03MM, ’04MMA, ’11DMA, and Dashon Burton ’11MM as well as current YSM/ISM student Virginia Warnken ’13MM.

Alumni composers featured on the album include Rinde Eckert ’75MM, Judd Greenstein ’04MM, Sarah Kirkland Snider ’05MM, ’06AD, and group member Caroline Shaw. MORE

Published October 31, 2012
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Marianna Prjevalskaya wins prizes at Panama International Piano Competition

Marianna Prjevalskaya ’07MM, ’10AD just won Second Prize and Audience Prize at the Panama International Piano Competition. First Prize was not awarded.

As the winner of the competition, she performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, with the National Symphony Orchestra after the award ceremony.

The competition, which takes place every two years at the Teatro Nacional in Panama City, was held October 16–23, 2012. The event is open to candidates of all nationalities between the ages of 18 and 30. MORE

Published October 26, 2012
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Pianist Jian Liu performs musical fantasies Nov. 8

DMA recital features music of Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart & more

Jian Liu

The Yale School of Music presents the pianist Jian Liu in a Doctor of Musical Arts recital on Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 8 pm. The program is an exploration of musical fantasies, including examples by C.P.E. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt.

Liu will open his performance with C.P.E. Bach’s Fantasy in C major, Wq 59/6 – H 284. Next he will play Beethoven’s Fantasy, Op. 77, one of the composer’s rare ventures into the loose, almost improvisational form.

The second half of the concert will feature Liszt’s Après une lecture de Dante: Fantasia Quasi Sonata, a virtuosic piece inspired by the reading of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. The concert will conclude with Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor, K. 397, and Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy in C major, D. 760.

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


Published October 25, 2012
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In memoriam: John Warner Swallow

John Swallow, Professor Emeritus of Music, died Saturday, October 20, 2012 after a long illness.

In a message to the School, Dean Robert Blocker wrote of the community’s “admiration and affection” for Professor Swallow, who came to the School of Music in 1965 as a Lecturer of Trombone. Swallow retired in 2001 as Professor of Trombone, adjunct, and received emeritus status.

John Warner Swallow was born in 1924 in Oneida, New York. A member of the New York Brass Quintet for many years, he was considered one the most important trombone performers and teachers in the United States. He enjoyed performance associations with the Utah Symphony under Maurice Abravanel and the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner, and was a member of groups such as Gunther Schuller’s Twentieth Century Innovations and Arthur Weisberg’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He was the subject of a doctoral thesis by Brett Arthur Shuster, “John Swallow: A Study of His Life and Influence in the Trombone World” (Arizona State University, 2002).

“John was both artist and teacher in the most exemplary fashion,” wrote Blocker, “and his ready smile and collegial manner endeared him to students, faculty, and staff alike. His distinguished contributions to YSM and to music will endure through the lives and work of students fortunate enough to have studied with him.”

According to the family, a commemorative event will be held next summer.

Click HERE for an audio interview with John Swallow by Abbie Conant.

Published October 24, 2012
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YSM pianists take home prizes in San Antonio International Piano Competition

Pianist Lo-An Lin, a student of Hung-Kuan Chen, took home the Gold Medal and the prize for best performance of a Baroque work at the 2012 San Antonio International Piano Competition this past weekend.

Mei Rui ’06MM, ’07AD earned Special Recognition and the prize for best performance of a Classical work.

As the Gold Medal winner, Lin receives not only a cash prize but a performance with the San Antonio Symphony, a solo recital performance at the Music from St. Marks concert series, a week of chamber music concerts with the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and a performance opportunity with the Fredericksburg Music Club.

The competition, which was held October 14–21 in San Antonio, Texas, is open to pianists of all nationalities between the ages of 20 and 32. The complete list of winners is posted here.

This year’s competition included the world premiere of a work commissioned from composer Paul Moravec. Santiago Rodriguez was the chair of the jury; the other members were Lita Guerra, Boris Slutsky, Jeffrey Swann, and Ilana Vered. MORE

Published October 22, 2012
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Yale Philharmonia performs Nov. 1

Update, 10/31/2012: The performance of Koetsier’s Concertino, featuring the Handsome Dans Trombone Quartet, has been postponed to the Philharmonia’s January concert.

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale on Thursday, November 1, 2012. Shinik Hahm will conduct the orchestra, and the Handsome Dans Trombone Quartet will be the featured ensemble.

Emmanuel Chabrier’s lively España starts off the evening. The orchestral rhapsody showcases a variety of sounds and textures, from flowing melodies to rhythmic dialogues.

The program continues with a performance of Jan Koetsier’s Concertino for trombone quartet and string orchestra. The performance features the Handsome Dans Trombone Quartet, one of the winners of this  year’s Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition. The members of the quartet are Timothy Hilgert, Hana Beloglavec, Benjamin Firer, and Jeffrey Arredondo.

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, a classic of the Russian symphonic tradition, concludes the concert. Its four movements form a dramatic sequence, with a stormy beginning leading to a melodic climax that brings back the prominent motifs threaded throughout the piece.

The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven). Admission is free, and no tickets are required. MORE

Published October 22, 2012
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Boris Berman plays music from a hundred years back Nov. 7

Program highlights Scriabin, Prokofiev, Debussy

Boris Berman

Multimedia program includes Debussy, Scriabin, Prokofiev

NEW HAVEN, CT  | The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents A Hundred Years Back: music written 1912–1913, a performance by pianist Boris Berman, on Wednesday, November 7.

Featuring pieces by Scriabin, Prokofiev, and Debussy, the recital highlights the rich variety of musical styles in the period preceding World War I. The multimedia performance also features narrator Peter Francis James and projections designed by Shawn Boyle. Berman, who is celebrated for his performances of the three composers on this program, has recorded all these compositions to critical acclaim.

Berman opens the program with two sonatas by Alexander Scriabin. The Sonata No. 7 conjures mystical images of flight and feelings of rapture. The one-movement Sonata No. 9, nicknamed “Black Mass,” is considered one of the composer’s masterpieces for the piano.

Prokofiev’s Sarcasms, an example of that composer’s wild modernistic style, will close the first half of the concert.

The latter half of the program will feature Debussy’s La Boite a joujoux (The Toy Box), a witty and elegant ballet for children. The piano performance will be accompanied by narration from Peter Francis James, a faculty member at the Yale School of Drama, and visual projections of pictures by André Hellé that debuted with the original publication of Debussy’s work. The projections are designed by Shawn Boyle, a graduate student in the projection design program at the Yale School of Drama, under the guidance of assistant professor Wendall K. Harrington. MORE

Published October 19, 2012
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NYC-ARTS on Channel 13 spotlights the Yale in New York series Oct. 18

NYC-ARTS, television’s weekly primetime arts and culture showcase for the tri-state area, spotlights the Yale in New York series tonight (October 18, 2012) at 8 pm. The segment will focus on the opening concert of the 2012–2013 season, which features the Tokyo String Quartet alongside faculty colleague Ettore Causa, viola, and YSM alumni the Jasper String Quartet.

The season-opening concert takes place Sunday, October 28 at 7:30 pm in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Other highlights of the 2012–2013 season include a celebration of Mozart’s birthday on January 27, followed by a concert on April 12 featuring Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen alongside a new work by Matthew Barnson and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. The season closes on April 25 marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Paul Hindemith, the composer and former Yale faculty member.

The NYC-ARTS segment will air again on WNET-Channel Thirteen on Sunday, October 21 at noon. Additional encore presentations follow Friday, October 19 at 7 pm and Sunday, October 21 at 3 pm on WLIW; and Sunday, October 21 at 8:30 p.m. on NJTV. New episodes become available on NYC-ARTS.org every Thursday at 8:30 pm.

Published October 18, 2012
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Yale Opera performs fall scenes Nov. 2 & 3

Creative team includes stage director Hans Nieuwenhuis, musical directors Douglas Dickson & Timothy Shaindlin

The Yale School of Music presents the rising stars of Yale Opera in two evenings of opera scenes on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3. Each evening will feature a different selection of scenes from popular operas by composers as diverse as Bizet, Sullivan, Puccini, and more. Both performances will take place at 7:30 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street), New Haven.

A favorite of local audiences, the annual Fall Opera Scenes production will showcase the voice students of the renowned Yale Opera program, which is directed by Doris Yarick-Cross. This autumn’s production will also feature the work of stage director Hans Nieuwenhuis, musical directors Douglas Dickson and Timothy Shaindlin, costume designer Valerie Webster, and lighting designer William Warfel.

Each performance spotlights an assortment of comic and tragic works. Friday, Nov. 2 will feature scenes from Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Bizet’s Carmen, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, and Massenet’s Manon and Werther. The program on Saturday, Nov. 3 will feature excerpts from Puccini’s La Bohème, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Rossini’s Otello, Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.


Published October 16, 2012
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