[ faculty ]

Willie Ruff receives major award from New Haven Arts Council

Photo by Harold Shapiro

Photo by Harold Shapiro

Longtime YSM faculty member and alumnus Willie Ruff ’53 BM, ’54 MM will be the recipient of a major award from the New Haven Arts Council: the C. Newton Schenck III Award for Lifetime Achievement in and Contribution to the Arts.

A musician and scholar of wide-ranging interests and influence, Professor Ruff has been on the faculty at the Yale School of Music since 1971, and has also served on the faculty at UCLA, Dartmouth, and Duke University. He is the founding director of the Duke Ellington Fellowship program at Yale, and his work in bringing jazz artists to Yale and New Haven public schools earned him the Governor’s Arts Award in 2000. In an article earlier this year, the New York Times called Ruff “a kind of emissary from the jazz world for four decades” at Yale.

The award announcement noted:

In addition to sharing the concert stage with some of the most iconic names in jazz, Yale School of Music professor Willie Ruff has served music and our community as an educator, an explorer, a writer, and an ambassador, inspiring audiences and connecting new generations of performers to history and possibility.

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Published December 2, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Andrew Norman on Loving ‘Star Wars’ and Pushing Musical Boundaries

Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman

New York Times | By William Robin

When Andrew Norman was growing up, “Star Wars” was the only film his family owned on video. “We watched it every weekend for, seriously, years on end,” he said in October, during a short hike up a steep hill near his home. Fascinated by John Williams’s classic score, Mr. Norman decided when he was young that he wanted to be a composer.

If not quite as eagerly anticipated as “The Force Awakens,” the premiere of Mr. Norman’s latest work — “Split,” a mercurial piano concerto written for Jeffrey Kahane and the New York Philharmonic, on Dec. 10 at David Geffen Hall — is still a major event in the music world. With an uncanny gift for daringly theatrical symphonic writing, Mr. Norman has found increasing support among major orchestras and praise from critics. His quasi-symphony “Play” (2013), a recording of which was released last year, is already regarded as a modern classic.

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Published December 2, 2015
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