YSM presents complete Beethoven piano concertos in 2013–14 season

This post was updated Sep. 8 to reflect changes in programming.


The Yale School of Music will present the complete cycle of Beethoven’s concertos for piano and orchestra over four concerts in the 2013–14 season. Each concerto will be performed by a different member of the Yale faculty.

The Beethoven Concerto Project begins on September 20, when Boris Berman performs the Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major on a program that also celebrates the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.


Published August 30, 2013
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Judith Malafronte teaches course in Yale Alumni College–Greenwich Library partnership

A new partnership between Yale Alumni College and the Greenwich Library will present a six-week course, Opera on Screen, taught by Judith Malafronte.

Malafronte, a lecturer at Yale in the School of Music, the Institute of Sacred Music, the Department of Humanities, and the Freshman Seminar Program, will use the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD transmissions to introduce participants to librettos and source material, the social and musical conventions of opera, dramaturgy, casting requirements, language, the rehearsal process, reception and criticism, and other relevant topics.

In addition to her Yale appointment, Malafronte has an active career as a mezzo-soprano soloist, and writes for a wide range of print and online outlets, including Opera News, Early Music America Magazine, The Classical Review, and Parterre Box.

The series is completely subscribed, with a full waiting list, but the director of Yale Alumni College, Marv Berenblum ’56, hopes to continue the course in the spring semester.

Published August 28, 2013
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Teaching Artist applications due Sunday, September 8

Reminder: For anyone who would like to work as a Teaching Artist for the Music in Schools Initiative this year, the application is due by Sunday, September 8 at 11:59pm. Interviews will be conducted from September 4-11, and new applicants can sign up for an interview as soon as you have submitted the application. Returning Teaching Artists do not have to re-interview.

We work with several hundred students at public schools throughout New Haven who are enthusiastic for another year of high quality music programming through the Music in Schools Initiative. All interested YSM students are encouraged to apply.

YSM Teaching Artists work 5–10 hours a week and are paid $25 perhour to support NHPS music teachers. Teaching Artists lead group lessons, work one-on-one with individual students, and assist with related activities like music theory and ear training. I invite you to attend the Music in Schools Initiative info session to learn more, on Tuesday, September 3, at 7:00 pm in Hendrie Hall Room 205, after the Orchestra and Chamber Music auditions.

If you have any questions about the Music in Schools Initiative or the Teaching Artist position, please contact Associate Dean Michael Yaffe or Lead Teacher Rubén Rodríguez. We look forward to receiving your application.


Published August 27, 2013
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Concert season opens Sep. 12 with DMA recital by cellist Laura Usiskin

usiskin_lauraCellist Laura Usiskin ’09AD will perform music from Beethoven to Britten in her DMA recital on Thursday, September 12. The performance, which also features pianist Katsura Tanikawa ’09MM, takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street). Admission is free.

The recital opens with Beethoven’s Variations on “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen,” WoO 46, for cello and piano. Next is Elliott Carter’s Figment, a short piece for solo cello that, in the composer’s words, “presents a variety of contrasting, dramatic moments, using material derived from one musical idea.” The first half will close with Benjamin Britten’s Cello Sonata in C, Op. 65, written in 1961. MORE

Published August 27, 2013
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McDougal Center offers events for graduate students

The Graduate Student Life program at the McDougal Center offers services and resources to foster a sense of community among students and postdoctoral fellows in the Graduate School. Most of its programs are open to graduate and professional students, including School of Music students.

Throughout the year, the directors, staff, and student fellows organize programs within the McDougal Center, across campus, and in New Haven. Graduate Student Life plans a wide variety of social events; arts, music, sports, religious, spiritual, and wellness events; family-oriented and international student activities; and public service opportunities.

Check out their website here, and sign up for their email list here.

Published August 26, 2013
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Review: Sean Chen gives powerful performance with Fort Worth Symphony

By Punch Shaw
Special to DFW.com

FORT WORTH | He seemed to remember the piece just fine.

Pianist Sean Chen, the Crystal Award (third-place) winner in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, returned to Bass Hall on Sunday to close the Fort Worth Symphony’s three-concert Russian Festival with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, the same concerto he performed in the Cliburn finals 11 weeks ago.

Maybe it was that previous experience, but the 24-year-old pianist, who grew up in California and lives in New Haven, Conn., where he is studying at Yale, certainly seemed at ease and in charge as he hung onto the knuckle-busting concerto like a veteran bronc rider who refuses to be thrown.

One of the things that separates Chen from other fellow virtuosos is his unadorned technique and matter-of-fact stage presence. He may have seemed so supremely in control Sunday because he largely eschews the showiness we often see with Cliburn competitors trying to make an impression.

Chen was smooth and confident from the concerto’s opening to its close. His abundant talent shone through, especially, in the work’s first-movement cadenza (solo), in which his playing made the statement that he understood this massive concerto and that he intended to own it.

As he moved through the concerto’s three movements, he met every challenge Rachmaninoff could throw at him and still had plenty of energy left to do justice to the piece’s keyboard-pounding finale. Chen was so dominant that the orchestra was almost was reduced to the role of bystander. But music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya and company certainly gave Chen the support he needed.

Chen followed his concerto with one of the most interesting encores Bass Hall has ever seen. After acknowledging an extended round of applause from the audience of about 1,500, Chen turned to two violinists and two cellists in the symphony and asked each of them to play a note of their choice. He then returned to his piano bench and did about three minutes of improvisation on those four notes.

It was an incredibly cool thing to do.


Published August 26, 2013
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New Wait List Policy

School of Music students will begin to register for classes on Monday, August 26. Many classes fill up very quickly.  Therefore, a new “waitlist” procedure will be instituted for academic classes.

Rosemary Gould will keep a waitlist for each class that becomes full. Once your class is full, please advise interested students to see Rosemary Gould. Rosemary will offer a space, if it becomes available, to the next person on the list.

Please do not verbally accept a student into a full class.

The Office of Student Services thanks you for your cooperation. Please let Suzanne know of any problems that develop.

Published August 23, 2013
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