[ in the press ]

I Care If You Listen: Five Questions with David Shifrin

shifrin_teachingRob Wendt asked 5 questions to David Shifrin (clarinetist, artistic director) about the legacy of Paul Hindemith—a member of the YSM faculty 1940-1953—and the central idea of a Carnegie Hall concert happening tomorrow, Friday, November 22, as part of the Yale in New York series. Indeed, the concert will feature music by Hindemith and several of his Yale students, including Alvin Etler, Lukas Foss, Mitch Leigh, Mel Powell, and Yehudi Wyner.

David Shifrin, welcome back to New York! The playful and inventive Op. 24 Kammermusik pieces (1922) date from well before Hindemith’s time at Yale, and yet they sound very ahead of their time, anticipating the later work of composers like Roger Sessions. Still in his twenties, the composer could not have known he would one day expatriate himself from Germany. How do these youthful compositions fit in with Hindemith’s overall legacy?

I have to confess that the selection of this work to open our program is a somewhat personal one. In my experience as a young clarinet student, Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik was among the most often studied and performed woodwind chamber music works. It almost defines the medium of the woodwind quintet. Stylistically and architecturally, it is near perfect, combining jazzy rhythms, expressive harmonies, amazing colors both blending and contrasting orchestration of the five diverse wind instruments.

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Published November 21, 2013
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[ in the press ]

Regional Spotlight: Jasper String Quartet

jasperMinnesota Public Radio
By Steve Staruch

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — All seems right with the world when listening to the Jasper String Quartet’s performance of one of the sunniest string quartets Haydn ever composed.

From an Oct. 12, 2013, Chamber Music Society of St Cloud recital, the Jasper String Quartet distills warmth and an all-encompassing brightness in the Op 76 No. 5 string quartet. This week’s Regional Spotlight is 18 minutes of bliss!

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Published November 21, 2013
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[ concerts ]

Wall Street Journal: Tuning Up to Pay Tribute to a Master

Hindemith_teaching_SpragueNo matter what they play, most young musicians at some point study the work of the 20th-century composer Paul Hindemith.

“Just about every instrument has a Hindemith sonata,” said David Shifrin, a clarinetist and professor at the Yale School of Music. “He wrote such a broad cross-section of music.”

Hindemith, who lived from 1895 to 1963, was principally a violist, but could play virtually every instrument he wrote for. Over the decades, his composition style changed from romantic to modern, emphasizing counterpoint, but he also created comic works, such as a parody of a string quartet or a takeoff on Wagnerian opera. Born in Germany, he came to the U.S. in 1940 and found a musical home at Yale, where he taught from 1940 to 1953. MORE

Published November 21, 2013
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In the Press: Yue Chu sees Westport piano competition as a performance opportunity

chu_yue_webThe Hour Online
By Mike Horyczun

When Yue Chu participated in the Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition in Westport two years ago, he was excited about the opportunity to perform. The pianist, who began studying piano at an early age in Beijing, China, and won his first performance competition at age eight, was the first prize winner of the 2011 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition, at age 26. He returns this year as the event’s Honorary Chair, when the 2013 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition, presented by the Connecticut Alliance for Music with support from the Westport Arts Center, takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23 and 24, at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, in Westport. MORE

Published November 21, 2013
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