[ in the press ]

Playing From the Heart

China Hands, The Huffington Post Blog
By Michelle Peters

In recent years, there has been a revival in interest in classical music in China that is aiming to shake China’s traditional emphasis on technical superiority and instead emphasize emotion.

Chu Yi-bing, a world-renowned cellist who founded the China Cello Philharmonic, an all-cello chamber ensemble, recalled that as early as eleven that his music, however technically sharp, was missing a deeper spirit. “I realized that although I could play the notes better than the German music students, they could tell the historical context and emotional narratives that formed the basis of these notes.” Born into a musical family (both his parents were professors at the Central Conservatory of Music), Chu studied at the Paris Conservatory and went on to become the principal cellist of the Basel Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland.

According to Chen Xi, a violinist who attended the Yale School of Music, “whereas in the U.S., teachers care about your personality of interpretation, in China, we care about technique more.” These differences, according to Chu, can be attributed to deeper cultural distinctions. “Traditional Chinese culture advocates that we do not tell anybody what we are thinking in our hearts,” says Chu. “Our culture has told us not to share our feelings and emotions with strangers.” MORE

Published March 14, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Changing lives with music: Dantes Rameau ’07 MM

Dantes Rameau

McGill News Alumni Magazine
By Jennifer Nault

“Show me your ID,” is not the most anticipated response coming from a middle school student upon meeting his music instructor. Yet this student was likely voicing the same dubiousness shared by his peers – as they awkwardly clutched their instruments, some of them looking at musical notation for the very first time. Some instructors might be taken aback by such impudence. Not Dantes Rameau, who understood precisely why his credentials were required with this bunch.

I started musical outreach with youth while I was studying at Yale,” says Rameau, the winner of this year’s James G Wright Award from the McGill Alumni Association, a prize that honours young McGill graduates who make exemplary contributions to their communities through voluntary service. “I remember this one kid asked me if I really went to Yale. He and his classmates live in a very poor district in close proximity to the university – close, but in their minds, so far away. As black, inner-city kids, the idea of someone who looks like them going to Yale is unfathomable. In our first music class, this kid walks up to me and says, ‘show me your Yale ID,’ and so I did. I had to.

“And this is why I do what I do. When I visit these kids, I think they meet me and they begin to see that anything is within their grasp.” MORE

Published March 14, 2014
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YSM musicians win grants from American Academy of Arts and Letters



On March 5, 2014 the American Academy of Arts and Letters announces the sixteen recipients of this year’s awards in music which total $175,000. Yale School of Music students Bálint Karosi ’14 MMA and Daniel Schlosberg ’10 BA, ’13 MM, ’14 MMA both received Charles Ives Scholarships of $7500. The award is given to “composition students of great promise.”

The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts.” Each year, the Academy gives over 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers grants that range from $5000 to $100,000. Candidates for the music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy, and then decided upon by a committee.

This year, the committee of Academy members determining the music awards was chaired by Joan Tower. The awards will be presented at an official ceremony in May. MORE

Published March 14, 2014
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[ concerts ]

Yale Cellos perform annual concert April 9

yale-cellos-groupThe Yale School of Music presents the Grammy-nominated Yale Cellos in their popular annual concert on Wednesday, April 9 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall.

Aldo Parisot will lead the ensemble that he founded in a diverse program of music from the baroque to the present day. Favorite pieces by Barber, Hadyn, Bach, and Vivaldi will be performed alongside new music by Yale faculty composer Ezra Laderman.

The first half of the concert will feature solo performers. Student cellists Yifan Wu, Sohyang Yoo, and Ji Eun Lee will perform selections by Barber, Bach, and Haydn, respectively, with pianist Wenbin Jin. MORE

Published March 14, 2014
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