YSM launches yearlong celebration of its 125-year history

Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year and concert season, the Yale School of Music community will reflect on the School’s 125-year history and look forward to the future of music-making at Yale. While music at Yale can be traced to earlier days, it was in 1894 that the School was established and that its first degrees were conferred. To celebrate music at Yale is to appreciate and acknowledge all those who have made music here.

“In celebrating the 125th anniversary of the School of Music, we pause to reflect on the values of the faculty, staff, alumni, and friends whose work ensured an artistic legacy for us,” YSM Dean Robert Blocker said. “Now we gratefully embrace the responsibility of continuing their work and imagining new musical horizons that ignite our passion and resolve today and in future decades. Indeed, music is the currency of hope.”

This year’s Convocation, on September 5, will mark the beginning of our yearlong anniversary celebration. The School’s Board of Advisors, faculty, staff, students, and special guests will join us for a ceremony that includes performances by students, faculty, and alumni and remarks about the legacy and promise of music at Yale by University President Peter Salovey and President Emeritus Richard Levin. As always, the incoming class will be welcomed and formally installed.

This year, for the first time in more than a decade, the School will hold an alumni reunion. Graduates from all classes are invited back to campus for activities ranging from an alumni concert to a panel discussion about women composers, in conjunction with the University’s 2019-2020 Women at Yale celebration “commemorating the 50th anniversary of coeducation in Yale College and the 150th anniversary of women students at the University.” In further celebration of women at Yale, the Yale Camerata and Yale Glee Club will give the world-premiere performance in April of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and School of Music alumna Julia Wolfe on a program presented “in celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage.” The fall-winter 2019-2020 issue of Music at Yale, our biannual alumni magazine, will appropriately be dedicated to women from the School of Music.

In the spring, in partnership with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the Yale Philharmonia will join the Yale Schola Cantorum and The (London) Bach Choir on an East Coast tour, led by David Hill, with performances in New Haven, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

These and other moments will help us look to the School’s past with an eye and an ear on its future. As always, the coming concert season features music and performances by internationally acclaimed artists and the next generation of composers, instrumentalists, and vocalists. More than 250 concerts are scheduled to take place on campus, and most of those will be streamed live online for families and friends in cities around the world.

We invite you to join us in celebrating 125 years of music-making at Yale.

Watch our celebration launch video

Published August 28, 2019
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Omer Quartet is named YSM’s new fellowship quartet-in-residence

Omer Quartet

Omer Quartet

The Omer Quartet has been named the new fellowship quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music. During its two-year appointment, which begins in the fall, the quartet will be mentored by the School’s ensemble-in-residence, the Brentano String Quartet, and will coach undergraduate chamber music ensembles at Yale College’s Department of Music. The Omer Quartet, which succeeds the Rolston String Quartet as YSM’s fellowship quartet, includes violinists Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violist Jinsung Hong, and cellist Alex Cox.

The quartet won the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2013 and was a first-prize winner at the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, among other distinctions. The quartet was formed at the Cleveland Institute of Music and later served a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory. The group has collaborated with such respected artists as Sérgio and Odair Assad, Eugene Drucker, Clive Greensmith, Kim Kashkashian, Cho-Liang Lin, Ricardo Morales, and the Borromeo String Quartet, and has collaborated with composers Perry Goldstein and Sean Shepherd.

The Omer Quartet comes to Yale having served as chamber-ensemble-in-residence at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and as the doctoral fellowship quartet-in-residence at the University of Maryland. While at Yale, the quartet will be introduced to audiences in New Haven and beyond. In October, the group will perform concerts in Sudler Hall and at Carnegie Hall as part of YSM’s Yale in New York Series. In December, the quartet will perform a recital program in Morse Recital Hall.

Committed to community engagement, the quartet inaugurated a Music for Food concert series in the Washington D.C. area with the mission to support local hunger relief with a Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant. The concerts involved local and out of town guest musicians and raised almost $5,000, creating over 10,000 meals to date.

Learn more about the ensemble at omerquartet.com.

Published July 25, 2019
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Drs. Bowring and Monahan appointed to YSM’s academic faculty

Drs. Lynette Bowring and Seth Monahan have been appointed Assistant Professor Adjunct of Music History and Visiting Associate Professor Adjunct of Music Analysis and Musicianship, respectively, at the Yale School of Music. Both will begin teaching at YSM in the fall.

Bowring, who will teach survey courses and electives in music history at YSM, has been serving as an adjunct faculty member at The Juilliard School, teaching courses in Renaissance and Baroque music history. She has also taught at Westminster Choir College and in the Music Department at Rutgers University. Bowring specializes in the instrumental repertoire of the Italian Baroque, with secondary interests that include 20th-century music. She has contributed to a number of scholarly journals and has recently written an article on the implications of musical literacy for 17th-century instrumentalists for a forthcoming issue of Early Music. She has also co-edited an essay collection titled Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy. Bowring earned a Ph.D. in musicology from Rutgers University, a master of music degree in musicology from the University of Manchester (UK), and a bachelor of music degree from the Royal Northern College of Music (UK), where she studied violin. She continues to perform as a Baroque violinist.

Monahan will teach core courses and electives in musicianship and analysis at YSM. He previously served as Associate Professor of Music Theory and Chair of the Music Theory Department at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. Monahan has earned widespread acclaim for his publications, lectures, and conference presentations. His research focuses on the relationships among form, narrative meaning, and interpretation, particularly in the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, the late compositional style of Richard Wagner, and other Romantic and Classical instrumental works. Monahan’s Mahler’s Symphonic Sonatas, published in 2015 by Oxford University Press, won the Society of Music Theory’s Emerging Scholar Award. He earned a bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he also studied guitar, a master of music degree in music theory from Temple University, and a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Published July 24, 2019
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Collection of Musical Instruments closes for renovations

As the academic year comes to an end, we are looking forward to making some much-needed improvements to the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments building at 15 Hillhouse Ave. Restoration work on the exterior of the building will necessitate the Collection being closed from May 3 through fall 2019.

To prepare for the renovation work, staff at the Collection and the School of Music have worked with the construction team and with fine-art handlers to ensure the safeguarding of the Collection’s instruments.

Throughout the renovation project, Collection staff will be relocated to the Adams Center for Musical Arts at the School of Music. From there, we will continue to work on the upcoming brass-instrument exhibit, which is scheduled to open November 2019.

The Collection’s concert series will take place in 2020. Please visit collection.yale.edu for updates as they become available. For the most up-to-date news, please consider joining our email list at music.yale.edu/email-signup.

Published May 6, 2019
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Composer Andrew Norman ’09AD is named a 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist

Andrew Norman

Composer and School of Music alumnus Andrew Norman 09AD was named a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his orchestral work Sustain. The Pulitzer judges described the piece as “an absorbing orchestral work rich with mesmerizing textures and color, including washes of clustered string sounds and cascading winds, creating a virtual sound installation in which perceptions of time are suspended.”

Sustain was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the opening of the orchestra’s centennial season and received its premiere on October 4, 2018, under the baton of Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed described Sustain as “a near out-of-body acoustic experience that sounds like, and feels like, the future we want, sans dystopia.” Sustain, Swed wrote, “has done the most to redefine the modern-day orchestral experience. Its … composer has already easily become the leading L.A. (and arguably leading American) composer of his generation.” The New Yorker’s Alex Ross wrote, in November 2018, “Norman has always been a deft orchestrator, but in Sustain he reveals himself as a magician of the art.”

Read about other Yale-affiliated 2019 Pulitzer Prize awardees.

 

Published April 18, 2019
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Alumni composers win Guggenheim Fellowships

Samuel Adams and Suzanne Farrin (photo by Luke Redmond)

Yale School of Music alumni composers Suzanne Farrin ’00MM  ’03MMA  ’08DMA and Samuel Adams ’10MM are two of only 11 composers to receive the prestigious 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship. In an April 10 press release, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced that its board of trustees “approved the awarding of Guggenheim Fellowships to a diverse group of 168 scholars, artists, and writers. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-fifth competition.”

Farrin is the Frayda B. Lindemann Professor of Music and Chair at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her opera dolce la morte was premiered in 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to great acclaim. She has written works for the JACK Quartet and SŌ Percussion and won the 2017 Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in composition. Read more about Suzanne Farrin

Adams is a 2019 Djerassi Resident Artists Fellow and has previously held residencies at Civitella Ranieri (Umbria, Italy), the Visby International Centre for Composers (Visby, Sweden), Avaloch Farm Music Institute (Boscawen, New Hampshire) and Ucross (Ucross, Wyoming). He served as the curator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series from 2015-2018 and has received commissions from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall. Read more about Samuel Adams

 

Published April 17, 2019
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Winners of 2019 Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition announced

The 2019 Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition took place on Saturday, April 6. This year’s competition yielded three winners: violinist Jung Eun Kang ’18MM ’19MMA, who performed Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35; bassoonist Eleni Katz ’20MM, who performed Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F major, Op. 75; and violinist Emily Switzer ’19MM, who performed Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz. 112. As winners, these instrumentalists will perform with the Yale Philharmonia during the 2019-20 season. Oboist Noah Kay ’19MM, who performed Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto in D major, AV 144, TrV 292, and guitarist Xiaobo Pu ’20MM, who performed Malcolm Arnold’s Guitar Concerto, Op. 67, were selected as alternates.

The judges were former Metropolitan Opera Orchestra flutist and current Aspen Music Festival and School faculty member Nadine Asin, pianist and Concert Artists Guild President Tanya Bannister, and former Juilliard String Quartet violinist and current Juilliard School faculty member Earl Carlyss.

We congratulate our outstanding students and look forward to hearing them perform next season with the Yale Philharmonia.

Published April 8, 2019
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Trumpeter Kevin Cobb appointed to YSM faculty

Kevin Cobb

School of Music Dean Robert Blocker announced today that trumpeter Kevin Cobb has been appointed to the YSM faculty. Cobb will begin teaching at the School in the fall. “Kevin is a member of the American Brass Quintet and performs frequently with the New York Philharmonic,” Blocker said. “He teaches at The Juilliard School and also gives master classes throughout the country. His concert activities and discography reflect those of a renowned artist.” Cobb also holds teaching positions at New York University and SUNY Stony Brook, and at the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Colorado Summer Music Festival.

Cobb has performed with such renowned ensembles as the American Composer’s Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York New Music Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others.

In additions to his solo recording One: American Music for Unaccompanied Trumpet (Summit Records) and those made with the American Brass Quintet, Cobb appears on recordings by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Brass.

Cobb studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and earned his bachelor and master of music degrees from the Curtis Institute and The Juilliard School, respectively.

He succeeds Allan Dean, who will retire at semester’s end after 30 years on the YSM faculty. “My gratitude to Allan Dean is boundless,” Blocker said.

Published March 13, 2019
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NHSO honors YSM Dean Robert Blocker

YSM Dean Robert Blocker. Photo courtesy of the NHSO

Dean Robert Blocker was honored at the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s 125th Anniversary Gala on Jan. 25, along with former Yale University Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives Linda Koch Lorimer. The NHSO cited Blocker’s steadfast support of the symphony and his dedication to the arts in the New Haven community.

“The New Haven Symphony was delighted to celebrate not only our 125-year partnership with the Yale School of Music, but to honor the valuable contributions of Dean Robert Blocker,” the NHSO’s chief executive officer, Elaine Carroll, said. “He was selected as our gala honoree because of his many years of service to the symphony’s board of directors, his willingness to share his extensive knowledge of our field, and his wonderful artistry when he has appeared as a piano soloist with the NHSO. On a personal note, Dean Blocker is one of the first people I turn to when I have a ‘big picture’ question, and he never fails to provide immediate feedback and useful information. It was a real pleasure to see someone who gives so much be acknowledged for his outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of the symphony.”

The NHSO has been closely tied to Yale since its inception in 1894, the same year the Yale School of Music was established. Yale provided financial and organizational support, as well as composers and performers, to the growing ensemble. Woolsey Hall, commissioned by Yale in 1901, has served as the NHSO’s chief performance venue. Another important figure in the shared histories of the Yale School of Music and the NHSO is Horatio Parker, who not only served as the School’s first Dean, but served as the first conductor of the NHSO and was responsible for transforming the orchestra into a nationally acclaimed ensemble. The Yale School of Music will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding from summer 2019 through fall 2020.

Published February 8, 2019
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Hurun Report recognizes YSM with New York-China Award

YSM Dean Robert Blocker

In January, YSM Dean Robert Blocker accepted an award, on behalf of the School of Music, from the Hurun Report. The Shanghai-based media company presented New York-China Awards “recognizing outstanding contributions to the New York-China relationship.” The Yale School of Music was acknowledged “for services to music education.”

Among the other award recipients at a Jan. 23 dinner at the Harvard Club of New York City were Carnegie Hall Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson and Steinway & Sons.

 

Published February 7, 2019
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