Fourth Symposium on Music in Schools to take place June 6–9, 2013

Fifty Yale Distinguished Music Educators Announced

The fourth Symposium on Music in Schools will take place at the Yale School of Music June 6–9, 2013. Supported by the Yale College Class of 1957, the Symposium is a core program of the Music in Schools Initiative honoring outstanding public school music teachers from around the United States. This biennial conference allows Music in Schools to extend its reach beyond the intensive ongoing programs with the New Haven Public Schools, onto a national level.

From a pool of nearly 300 nominees representing 45 states, a panel of music professionals from YSM and NHPS selected this year’s 50 Distinguished Music Educators. The selected educators hail from 32 different states, including the first ever Symposium attendees from Kansas and Mississippi. These music teachers will travel to New Haven, all expenses paid, from across the country to attend the four-day symposium.

Workshops and discussions at this year’s symposium will focus around one main theme: The Role of Music in School Reform. The issue of school reform is a hot topic throughout the nation. Between recent programs like the Race to the Top Fund and the Common Core State Standards, districts are in ongoing discussions about what exactly our young students should be learning. Often in recent years, music teachers have been compelled to fight to keep their programs off the chopping block. This year’s Symposium aims to bring attention to the very integral role music can play in school reform.

The four-day event will open with a workshop with Richard Deasy, former director of the Arts Education Partnership, on the history of music’s role in school reform. A panel including Scott Shuler, immediate past president of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), will then deliberate current issues in school reform. David Myers, current director of the University of Minnesota School of Music, and Dantes Rameau ’07MM, co-founder of the Atlanta Music Project, will appear to discuss partnership programs between public schools and music organizations. The 50 teachers will be honored at an awards banquet at the conclusion of the weekend.

Yale Distinguished Music Educators 2013 MORE

Published March 14, 2013
Share This Comments

Wei-Yi Yang, Karen von Kunes explore Czech music and literature April 1

Wei-Yi Yang, a member of the School of Music faculty, and Karen von Kunes, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, will present “Leoš Janáček & Milan Kundera: a confluence of Czech music and literature” on Monday, April 1.

Yang will perform Janáček’s rarely-played piano cycle On an Overgrown Path, written 1900–1912, alongside two of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances for piano four hands. In the Dvořák he will be joined by pianists Xuerong Zhao and Miki Sawada, both students in the School of Music.

The event takes place at 7:30 pm at Berkeley College on the Yale campus. Contact the Berkeley master’s office (203-432-0501) for details.

This is the third and final interdisciplinary project that Wei-Yi Yang has undertaken this concert season. For more information on Karen von Kunes, click here. MORE

Published March 14, 2013
Share This Comments

[ concerts ]

Yale Cellos perform 30th anniversary concert Apr. 10

The Yale School of Music celebrates the 30th anniversary of Yale Cellos in a concert on Wednesday, April 10. Founding director Aldo Parisot will lead the Grammy-nominated ensemble in music from the baroque to the present day, including pieces by Vivaldi, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Veracini, and others.

Four virtuoso soloists will open the program, beginning with special guest Patrick Jee, a YSM graduate who is now a member of the New York Philharmonic. Jee will perform the Fantasy by faculty composer Ezra Laderman, a piece that he has recorded for Albany Records. The other soloists are Jennifer Jinhee Park, Jurrian van der Zanden, and finally James Jeonghwan Kim, whose New York debut recital this February the New York Concert Review hailed as “absolute perfection.” MORE

Published March 13, 2013
Share This Comments

David Lang to receive Hans Christian Andersen Prize

photo by Peter Serling

Composer David Lang ’89DMA is among those selected to receive this year’s Hans Christian Andersen Prize. He was selected for his composition The Little Match Girl Passion (2007), the piece for which he also won the Pulitzer Prize in Music. The recording of the work (by Theatre of Voices) received a Grammy Award in 2010.

The Hans Christian Andersen Prize is given by the H.C. Andersen Priskomite, located in Andersen’s hometown of Odense, Denmark. The award is presented annually at a ceremony held on April 2, Andersen’s birthday, to people who have contributed to the advancement of the storyteller’s works.

Each honoree receives a copper casting of Andersen’s book The Adventures of My Life, created by sculptor Jens Galschiødt. The award committee aims to promote the knowledge of the works of H.C. Andersen, and to present awards to individuals and organizations, who promote or interpret H.C. Andersen and his works.

This year’s award ceremony takes place at Teaterhuset in Odense, Denmark. The event will include a performance of selections from The Little Match Girl Passion. The other recipients of this year’s award are the Danish actor Christian Steffensen and the Czech duo of Mirka Cápová and Hana Hanácková.

Lang’s award citation notes: “Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story and Johann Sebastian Bach’s great passions, David Lang has through The Little Match Girl Passion added emotional, unforgettable, and last not least a modern aspects to the story about the girl, who in spite of her tragic fate, sees happiness in life.

“In the hands of music, The Little Match Girl Passion has become one of the most important and most spell-binding interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen.” MORE

Published March 11, 2013
Share This Comments

Guest conductor Peter Oundjian leads the Yale Philharmonia Apr. 5

Concert features American works of Rouse, Barber, Copland, and Adams

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with its principal guest conductor, Peter Oundjian, on Friday, April 5, 2013. The program highlights American music from the past hundred years, from Aaron Copland to John Adams. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

The performance will open with Christopher Rouse’s Infernal Machine, an orchestral showpiece inspired by the vision of a sinister but awe-inspiring eternal machine in motion for no particular purpose. Next is Samuel Barber’s heartrending Adagio for Strings, a work described by Alexander J. Morin as “full of pathos and cathartic passion.” MORE

Published March 11, 2013
Share This Comments

New Music New Haven presents new music by five Yale faculty composers Mar. 28

Featuring the works of Lang, Bresnick, Vees, Marshall and Lash

Martin Bresnick

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, March 28, 2013. The concert features new music by five faculty composers: Martin Bresnick, David Lang, Hannah Lash, Ingram Marshall, and Jack Vees.

David Lang‘s “Orpheus Over and Under,” for two pianos, is an exploration of Minimalism informed by Lang’s rock, modernist, and conceptualist influences. Dedicated to Lang’s mother, the poignant piece is about the experience of loss.

Pianist Lisa Moore will peform Martin Bresnick‘s “Ishi’s Song,” written in 2012. The piece is based on “The Maidu Doctor’s Song,” a Native American melody transcribed from a recording of a man named Ishi. Ishi was the last surviving Yahi Indian of northern California, a group that perished in the late nineteenth century.

With his Piano Trio (“Hulk Smash!”), written for three pianists on two pianos, Jack Vees offers a musical exploration of irony. The piece begins with “smashing” chords but proceeds to construct both rhythmic drive and melodic themes from the raw materials of chaos.

Ingram Marshall’s “Baghdad Blues,” for oboe and electronics, was inspired by Indonesian musical scales. The piece, which will be performed by oboist Libby Van Cleve, incorporates a melody by Munir Bashir, an Iraqi virtuoso of the Arab lute.

The concert concludes with Hannah Lash’s “Violations: The Loading Dock Project,” a 35-minute piece for three singers, two pianists, percussion, and electronics. The inspiration for the piece came from the theft of Lash’s laptop, wallet, and iPod at a music festival in 2010. The libretto explores the complex relationship between thief and victim. Lash told Harvard Magazine that the piece is about “…recognizing the intense fallibility behind what we think of as evil.”

The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Admission is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit


Published March 7, 2013
Share This Comments

American Academy of Arts and Letters honors Yale composers

Awardees include Steven Burke ’94MM, Ted Hearne ’08MM, ’09MMA, and Stephen Feigenbaum ’12BA, ’13MM

Stephen Feigenbaum '13MM

The American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor society whose members members are elected as the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United States, have announced the sixteen recipients for this year’s awards in music. This year, three Yale School of Music composers are among the recipients of these prestigious awards. The candidates for music awards are nominated by the Academy’s 250 members and selected by a committee. Steven Burke ’94MM will receive one of four Arts and Letters Award in Music. This award honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. Recipients are given additional funds to support the recording of one work. Ted Hearne ’08MM, ’09MMA is one of two composers to be awarded the Charles Ives Fellowship. Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, bequeathed to the Academy the royalties of Ives’ music, which has enabled the Academy to give these awards in composition since 1970. Stephen Feigenbaum, ’12BA, ’13MM, is a recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship. The award is given to composition students of great promise; this year, six young composers received the scholarship. Each year, the Academy honors over 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers with cash awards ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. Awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May.  MORE

Published March 6, 2013
Share This Comments

Two YSM pianists will compete in 2013 Cliburn Competition

This year’s Cliburn Competition will feature two YSM pianists, Sean Chen ’14AD and Lindsay Garritson ’10MM, ’11AD. The two are among the thirty young musicians selected through a jury screening who will compete May 24 through June 9, 2013 in Fort Worth, TX.

Chen, 24, is a student of Hung-Kuan Chen at the School of Music. Garritson, 25, studied with Boris Berman for her Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma.

In the preliminary round, all competitors will perform two 45-minute solo recitals. Twelve semifinalists will be selected to perform a 60-minute solo recital, including the commissioned work by YSM faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis ’97DMA, and a piano quintet with the Brentano String Quartet. The six finalists will perform two piano concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.

All performances will be streamed live in their entirety and available on-demand at Additional media exposure will be generated through a documentary film, to be aired nationally on PBS; radio broadcasts; and commercial recordings produced and distributed by Harmonia Mundi U.S.A.

Sean Chen, second-prize winner in the 2011 Seoul International Music Competition, has performed with orchestras including the Indianapolis Chamber, New West, Suwon Philharmonic, and Juilliard Orchestras. He has presented solo recitals in Indianapolis, New York, Albuquerque, Miami, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Taipei. Among his other awards are MORE

Published March 5, 2013
Share This Comments

Russian pianist Ekaterina Derzhavina performs at Yale Mar. 28

“…A real celebration of musical thought.”
–Saratov SP (Russia)

The Yale School of Music presents a special recital at the Whitney Humanities Center by the eminent Russian pianist Ekaterina Derzhavina on Thursday, March 28, 2013. Critics describe Derzhavina’s skill as “phantasmal and musical” (Westfälische Rundschau) and as “a real celebration of musical thought” (Saratov SP).

Acclaimed in Europe as one of the finest pianists of her generation, Derzhavina is a First Prize winner of the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition in Germany. Her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Varations received the 1999 Choc du Monde de la Musique award in Paris. The German label Profil recently released her nine-CD set of Haydn’s complete piano sonatas.

Derzhavina will perform a diverse program of music by Alban Berg, Joseph Haydn, Olivier Messiaen, and Franz Schubert. The concert opens with Berg’s Sonata, Op. 1, in which the traditional sonata form is clouded by unstable chromatic tonality, followed by Haydn’s Variations in A major, Hob. XVII:2.

Derzhavina will then perform selections from Messiaen’s deeply spiritual Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus, a highlight of the composer’s early period. The evening will close with Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 142.

This concert takes place at 8 pm at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St). Admission is free. For more information, visit or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. MORE

Published March 5, 2013
Share This Comments

Yale Summer School of Music – Norfolk Chamber Music Festival announces 2013 season

June 22 – August 17: 2013 Norfolk Festival to feature six string quartets

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Yale School of Music, celebrates its 72nd season this year with performances and residencies by six internationally esteemed string quartets alongside students and young professionals from around the world.

From June 22 to August 17, Norfolk will host a roster of string quartets including: the Artis Quartet, the Brentano Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Jasper String Quartet, the Keller Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. The Tokyo String Quartet, which is retiring this year, will play its last concert on July 6 at the festival. On August 3 the Emerson String Quartet will perform its New York area debut concert with the group’s new cellist, Paul Watkins.

Norfolk director Paul Hawkshaw says, “Our mission at Norfolk is to cultivate the performance and teaching of chamber music at the highest level. We always want our audiences, students, and performing artists to have fun exploring the chamber music repertoire, and this year we are especially fortunate to have a truly international group of performers for our audiences to enjoy.” MORE

Published March 3, 2013
Share This Comments