Hindemith at the Yale School of Music

Hindemith+CollegiumIn the last issue of Music at Yale, the School of Music’s alumni magazine, the story about Paul Hindemith included two historical photos — along with a request for help in identifying the students in them.

We were pleased to receive multiple replies, and we can now identify the members of the Collegium Musicum in the photo at right.

Seated, left to right: Joseph Iadone, Charlotte Durkee, and Eckhart Richter.

Standing, left to right: Martha BixlerJohn Temple Swing.

(Hindemith stands at right.)

Published April 29, 2013
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YSM alum Wayne Weng wins 2013 Iowa Piano Competition


On March 9, 2013, Wayne Weng ’12AD won the Seventh Iowa International Piano Competition with his performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major.

The competition, which began in 2005, is held every two years, and is limited to competitors between 18 and 35 years of age. Twelve finalists were selected from 92 applications. The finalists performed three rounds: an initial solo recital, a chamber music recital with members of the Rawlins Piano Trio, and finally, a performance of a Beethoven concerto with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra.

According to the Sioux City Journal, Weng’s performance “was superior on all counts.” The review hailed his blend of “emotion and technical strength.”

Pianist Wayne Weng’s playing has been described as “bold, vibrant, and immensely musical” and as having “delicacy amounting to almost reverence […] through gossamer touch.”  (Wiltshire Gazette & Herald)  He has performed in Canada, the United States, England, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Serbia, Egypt, and Hong Kong, both as recitalist as well as collaborative pianist.  Mr. Weng has performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Steinway Hall, Cambridge Fitzwilliam Museum, the 100 Club in London, the Bulgarian Consulate in New York, Ruïnekerk Bergen, Brahms Museum Mürzzuschlag, Cairo Opera House, Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, Vancouver Playhouse, and the British Columbia Governor House. His concerto performances have included appearances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, and the Avanti Orchestra. He has also been featured on radio stations such as  WQXR (New York), CBC Radio, and Seattle King FM. In addition to performing, he has served as an adjudicator at the Festival on the Lake in Vancouver and the International Chopin Youth Competition in Houston.  MORE

Published April 26, 2013
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Yale Opera announces performance night casts for Iolanta

Yale Opera in Morse Recital Hall

Yale Opera has announced the performance night casts for its upcoming production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. The opera, which will be performed May 3 and 4, tells the story of a blind princess who experiences the transformative power of love.

The up-and-coming director Michael Gieleta makes his Yale Opera debut as the stage director. Timothy Shaindlin is the musical director for the production’s lush score. Doris Yarick-Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera. Click here for more information, and here to purchase tickets. MORE

Published April 25, 2013
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Mario Aschauer lectures on equal temperament April 24

mario aschauerOn April 24, 2013 at 4 pm, Mario Aschauer will present a lecture called, “Has Equal Temperament Really Ruined Harmony?” The event takes place in Hendrie Hall, Room 205. Aschauer is a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Music pursuing research for a book on Anton Bruckner’s compositional procedures.

Has equal temperament really ruined harmony, as R. Duffin’s Book of 2007 suggests? And if yes: how? This lecture will provide the theoretical and acoustical basics necessary to understand the fundamental problem of keyboard tuning and the manifold solutions theorists and musicians have come up with throughout the last four centuries of music history. There will also be a chance to listen to a harpsichord piece played in several historical temperaments.

Austrian scholar-performer Mario Aschauer has concertized extensively as a harpsichordist throughout Europe. His dissertation on German Keyboard Treatises in the Second Half of the 18th Century was published by Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel, in 2011. For recent new editions of Schubert’s Moments Musicaux, Impromptus, and Late Piano Pieces, Mario developed fingerings and provided notes on performance practice. He received his training as a conductor, musicologist, and harpsichordist from conservatories and universities in Linz, Salzburg and Vienna.

This event is presented by the piano department of the Yale School of Music.

Published April 24, 2013
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American Pianists Association names Sean Chen winner of 2013 Classical Fellowship

Further APA performance in NYC, April 25, plus broadcasts

Sean Chen performs at the APA finals. Photo by Mark Sheldon.

Sean Chen performs at the APA finals. Photo by Mark Sheldon.

The American Pianists Association has named Sean Chen ’14AD the winner of its yearlong competition. As the APA’s 2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow, Chen is the recipient of a prize valued at more than $100,000 – one of the most lucrative available to an American pianist. An international panel of judges selected the 24-year-old on April 20, after he performed Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, led by Gerard Schwarz.

During the two-year fellowship, Chen will perform recitals and concertos with orchestras around the United States, and make a solo recording for the Steinway label, distributed by ArkivMusic. Chen, who grew up in Oak Park, California, is a Juilliard graduate who is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma at the Yale School of Music, where he studies with Hung-Kuan Chen.

Chen and the four APA competition finalists – Sara Daneshpour, Claire Huangci, Andrew Staupe, and Eric Zuber – will perform at New York City’s historic Trinity Church Wall Street on April 25 in the Concerts at One series. They will give the New York premieres of five APA-commissioned works by composers Lisa Bielawa, Margaret Brouwer, Gabriela Lena Frank, Missy Mazzoli ’06MM, and Sarah Kirkland Snider ’05MM, ’06AD (the latter two both alumnae of the Yale School of Music). The following afternoon, on April 26, Chen will be featured on WGBH-FM / Classical New England’s “Drive Time Live” in his first post-competition solo broadcast.


Published April 22, 2013
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Adrianna Tam selected for Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange

Choral conducting student accepted to program in Germany for 2013–2014 

tam_adriannaYale School of Music student Adrianna Tam ’13MM has been selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a year-long, federally-funded fellowship for study and work in Germany. Ms. Tam, along with Yale alumna Lauren Motzkin ’12BA, was one of 75 participants selected (from over 600 applicants) for this unique fellowship program.

Since 1984, over 1,650 Americans have been awarded this opportunity to gain cultural, theoretical, and practical work experience in Germany. 2013–2014 marks the thirtieth year of the CBYX program.

A native of Texas, Adrianna Tam graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in music. At MIT, she was an Emerson Fellow, Burchard Scholar, Arts Scholar, and the 2011 recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. This past summer she was selected to be a conducting fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, where she studied with Simon Carrington.  She is currently concluding a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at Yale, where she sings with Yale Schola Cantorum, the Yale Camerata, and Pro Musica, and serves as an alto section leader for the Battell Chapel Choir.

While in Germany on CBYX, participants will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university or professional school for four months, and complete a five-month internship with a German company in their career fields. Participants are placed throughout Germany, and have the opportunity to learn about everyday German life from a variety of perspectives.

Conceived and supported by members of the United States Congress and the German Bundestag (Parliament, the CBYX program is financially supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act. Participants come from nearly every career field, and from all over the United States.

Published April 22, 2013
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Arthur Haas performs keyboard music by Rameau and others May 8

Recital also includes music by Corelli, Geoffroy, and Alessandro Scarlatti

haas_arthurAmerican harpsichordist Arthur Haas, renowned worldwide for his performances of French baroque and contemporary music, will perform at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments on Wednesday, May 8 at 5:30 pm. Haas is a member of the Yale School of Music faculty.

Titled “Oh! The Things You Will See: Rameau Goes South”, the concert will feature early works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, one of the leading French composers of his time, and follows him in his travels southward to Italy, a country represented by composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti, who was best known for his operas.

Jean-Phillipe Rameau was one of the most influential Baroque composers of the eighteenth century. He was the leading French composer of opera and harpsichord music of his time. Initially, his revolutionary use of harmony was attacked by more traditional musical consumers; by the 1750s, however, Rameau was criticised in an incident known as the “Querelle des Bouffons,” in which those who favored Italian opera viciously attacked him as an “establishment” composer.

The concert will also include an 18th-century harpsichord transcription of one of Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerti Grossi, as well as the Suite in G minor by French composer Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy. Known for his inventive harmonies, Geoffroy was author of the largest collection of harpsichord music of 17th-century France.

Admission to the performance is free, but reservations are suggested due to limited space; the public should call 203-432-0822 to reserve seats. The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments is located at 15 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven.

This concert will stream LIVE online at music.yale.edu/media.

For more information, visit yale.edu/musicalinstruments or contact the Collection of Musical Instruments at 203-432-0822. MORE

Published April 22, 2013
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A Conjoining of Ancient Song: A World Premiere Screening

A Conjoining of Ancient Song, a new documentary by Dr. Gretchen Berland and Yale School of Music professor Willie Ruff, will receive its world premiere. The half-hour Yale documentary retraces the trajectory of a rapidly eroding form of congregational singing out of Scotland and into both African American and Native American religious song traditions.

After the screening, there will be a discussion featuring Ruff, Berland, and Yale sociologist Kai Erikson. The screening and discussion will take place Monday, April 22 at 7 pm in Battell Chapel.

Mr. Ruff’s project on congregational line singing began in 2005 at a Yale conference comparing traditions in Alabama, Kentucky, and the Gaelic-speaking Free Church Presbyterians of the Scottish Highlands. This first foray resulted in three television documentaries, a feature story for NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and a 2007 conference in Muscogee Creek Nation, Oklahoma. MORE

Published April 20, 2013
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Guitar Chamber Music Recital Presents the Classic and the Modern

On Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8 pm, the students of guitarist Benjamin Verdery will perform a concert of Guitar Chamber Music. The event will include classic and contemporary  works, including the Yale premiere of a piece by Verdery  himself. Other composers featured on the program include Leo Brouwer, Napoléon Coste, Jindřich Feld, and Manuel De Falla. MORE

Published April 19, 2013
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Naomi Woo ’13MM awarded prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Will pursue postgraduate study at Cambridge University, U.K.

Naomi Woo-410x276Naomi Woo ’13MM has been selected as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. This October, she will pursue an M.Phil. in music studies at Cambridge University, U.K., where she will research musical performance and scholarship.

This prestigious honor is extremely competitive; the fifty-one successful candidates were selected from a pool of 3,500 applicants on the basis of intellectual ability, leadership capacity, and their commitment to improving the lives of others. The new Scholars come from twenty-four different countries, and include a classically trained singer, an environmental lawyer, and a teacher of peacebuilding in Somalia. Professor Robert Lethbridge, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said, “The Scholars are truly remarkable people and showed at interview that they fit the mission of the Scholarship by their commitment to using their academic skills and leadership capacity to improve the lives of others.”

Naomi Woo, who hails from Vancouver, Canada, graduated from Yale College in 2012 with a B.A. in Music and in Mathematics & Philosophy and will receive her Master of Music degree in piano from the Yale School of Music this May. As a pianist and conductor, she has performed widely in Vancouver and at Yale. She is a Teaching Artist for the Music in Schools Initiative in inner city schools in New Haven, Connecticut.

At Cambridge, Ms. Woo will seek to unite the sometimes separate disciplines of music scholarship and performance. She said, “I want to use performance as a means of informing and enriching musicology, treating works of music as experiences rather than merely as texts, which will help connect music scholarship more closely to its listeners.”

Published April 18, 2013
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