Leelanee Sterrett received her M.M. degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with William Purvis, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, studying with Douglas Hill. A native of northern Michigan, she also graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. In addition to performing with the New York Philharmonic, Leelanee has been a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra as well as the La Crosse and Fox Valley symphony orchestras in Wisconsin. In 2007 she was named a Yamaha Young Performing Artist, and also received second prize in the International Horn Competition of America. She has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific and Sarasota Music festivals, and the National Orchestral Institute. As part of her Academy program, Leelanee taught in Queens at PS 13Q.
Classical Music Broadcast
Less than two months after winning the American Pianists Association’s 2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative prizes available to an American pianist, Sean Chen has been awarded the third prize Crystal Award in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The 24-year-old was the only American to reach the finals, and the first to do so since 1997, when his fellow Californian Jon Nakamatsu took first prize. Chen’s award was announced at the ceremony in Fort Worth on Sunday, following his final-round performances of Beethoven’s “Emperor” and Rachmaninoff’s Third piano concertos with theFort Worth Symphony Orchestra. MORE
WFIU Arts & Music
By Anna Coogan
WFIU’s featured artist for the month of July is choral conductor Dominick DiOrio. An Assistant Professor of Music in the Jacobs School of Music, DiOrio was educated at Ithaca College and Yale University.
DiOrio is the director of the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, a group dedicated to the performance of new works for choir. He also teaches conducting and supervises the master’s level choral conducting program. His teaching career began at Lone Star College in Montgomery, Texas, where in just three years, he tripled enrollment in the choral program.
In 2009, DiOrio was one of only 12 conductors invited to Sweden to compete for the Eric Ericson award, the world’s highest honor for choral conductors. In 2012, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a fellow of the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute. DiOrio has guest conducted choirs including the American Bach Soloists, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the Academy Chamber Choir of Uppsala, Sweden. DiOrio has prepared choruses for performances under conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Valery Gergiev, and Nicholas McGegan.
As an advocate for new music, DiOrio has premiered works by composers including Zachary Wadsworth, Tawnie Olson and Dewey Fleszar. DiOrio is also active as a composer of works for choir, including the opera Klytemnestra, produced in collaboration with Divergence Vocal Theater. He has received awards for his compositions from the American Choral Directors Association, ASCAP, and the Yale Glee Club.
WFIU will feature performances led by DiOrio in our classical music programming throughout the month of July.
Laurie Rubin, opera singer and author of “Do You Dream in Color?”, doesn’t let the fact that she’s blind stop her. She puts on her own makeup, makes jewelry, and goes skiing. “I go to movies,” Laurie says. “Amazing, blind people go to movies.”
She says that even as a young child, she knew she was blind, but didn’t know what it meant. “It’s very hard for somebody who’s sighted to explain to somebody what sight is,” explains Laurie. When she was four, Laurie began piano lessons. Laurie would sing along and create her own melodies, prompting her piano instructor to suggest voice lessons to Laurie’s mom.
When she was 14, Laurie got asked to sing at Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan’s inauguration. With her heart beating fast, she says she was afraid she would forget the words, but she got rave reviews with people calling her a “14-year-old singing sensation.” “I remember thinking,” says Laurie, “if I can do that, I can do anything.” MORE