Lou Donaldson receives Ellington Medal

Lou Donaldson, the legendary saxophonist and recently named NEA Jazz Master, was awarded an Ellington Medal last Friday, October 5. Willie Ruff, the director of the Ellington Fellowship at Yale, conferred the medal during a concert featuring Donaldson and his quartet.

The concert, which took place in Morse Recital Hall, was the second event of the 2012–13 season of the Ellington Jazz Series at Yale. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the concert series.

In 1972, Yale President Kingman Brewster presented the first Ellington Medals to thirty jazz greats, including the Duke himself. That year marked the beginning of a series of extraordinary jazz concerts performed by a virtual Who’s Who of jazz: Eubie Blake, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Odetta, Joe Williams, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Greer, Jo Jones, Max Roach, Ray Brown, Charlie Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, to name just a few.

Since then, the Duke Ellington Fellowship has brought the giants of jazz to Yale’s concert halls and to the city’s public schools. Ellington Medal recipients in recent years have included Frank Wess, the Heath brothers, and James Moody.

The NEA’s biography of Donaldson reads, in part: “When it comes to a jazzy soulful groove, it doesn’t get much groovier than Lou Donaldson. His distinctive blues-drenched alto has been a bopping force in jazz for more than six decades. MORE

Published October 8, 2012
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Yale Philharmonia performs with guest conductor Peter Oundjian Oct. 19

Concert also features pianist Suzana Bartal in Bartók’s Third Concerto

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with guest conductor Peter Oundjian on Friday, October 19, 2012.Pianist Suzana Bartal ’13MM, a winner of this year’s Woolsey Competition, is the featured soloist. The concert, which includes music by Verdi, Bartók, and Shostakovich, takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall.

Oundjian, the music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, is a member of the Yale School of Music faculty and the principal guest conductor of the Yale Philharmonia.

Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino will open the program. Bartal is the soloist in Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major, a piece written as a surprise birthday present for the composer’s wife.

The second half of the concert features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 in D minor. Subtitled “The Year 1917” and dedicated to Lenin, the symphony reveals Shostakovich’s complex give-and-take relationship with the Soviet authorities.

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. Click HERE to RSVP on Facebook. MORE

Published October 8, 2012
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