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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Alumni News | January 2022

Julia Wolfe by Peter Serling

Julia Wolfe. Photo by Peter Serling

We're excited once again to showcase the achievements of our alumni, to whom we offer our congratulations.


Orlay Alonso
Orlay Alonso

Pianist Orlay Alonso ’04MM and his brother, Orlando, released their debut album as the Alonso Brothers. The album, Havanesque, is the brothers’ take on the Cuban classics of the 1930s through the 1960s. Featuring original arrangements in a variety of styles, the Alonso Brothers’ recording constructs a vivid soundscape that celebrates Cuba’s diverse culture and rich, yet complex, history.

Violinist Gerald Elias ’75BA/MM authored Cloudy With a Chance of Murder, the seventh installment in the award-winning Daniel Jacobus mystery series, which takes place in the dark corners of the classical music world. The book, which was described by the Library Journal as “A musical feast for mystery and music lovers,” was published in December by Level Best Books.

a.horowitz and greg lewis
Ariel Horowitz, left, and Gregory Lewis

The Heartbeat Music Project, a nonprofit organization founded in 2016 by violinist Ariel Horowitz ’19MM ’20MMA to provide music and cross-cultural education to Diné youth (in grades K-12) on the Navajo Reservation in Crownpoint, New Mexico, received a $500,000 Accelerator Award from the Lewis Prize for Music. The award will be used to support the project’s growth and advancement over the next five years, allowing the organization, whose assistant director is violinist Gregory Lewis ’19MM ’27DMA, to address accessibility issues and serve more students. 

Molly Joyce and Ryan Lindveit
Molly Joyce, left, and Ryan Lindveit. Photo of Ryan Lindveit by Marije van den Berg

Composers Molly Joyce ’17MM and Ryan Lindveit ’19MM ’20MMA were selected for the 2022 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, a professional training program for early-career symphonic composers. In May, Joyce and Lindveit will participate in a series of rehearsals and professional-development seminars with the orchestra. The Composer Institute is overseen by composer Kevin Puts ’96MM, who succeeded YSM faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis in that role.

Organist Dexter Kennedy ’14MM was appointed director of music at Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples, Florida. There, Kennedy will serve as principal organist, direct a 12-voice professional choir, and serve as curator of Trinity’s three pipe organs. He was also named artistic director of the Music at Trinity concert series. In 2022 Kennedy plans to perform the complete organ works of César Franck on tour in honor of the 200th anniversary of Franck’s birth.   

In addition to his duties writing blogs and newsletters as editor in chief of the Classical Archives, Barry Lenson ’75MM started a classical music vlog. Among the first people he interviewed for the venture was performance artist and composer Rinde Eckert ’75MM.

Clarinetist Kenneth Long ’96MM was awarded the rank of full professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

kyra philippi
Kyra Philippi

In August, violist Kyra Philippi ’97CERT was named instructor of music and cultural and artistic awareness at the International School Laren and Laar & Berg in The Netherlands.

In November, Courtney Adrian Rodriguez ’88MM started a new position as professor of tuba and euphonium at Mahasarakham University in Thailand. The position was created to accommodate the expanding music department as students return to school from lockdowns and online learning.

Dr. Evan Rothstein 84 was appointed professor of chamber music at the Departmental Conservatory of Music and Dance in Aulnay-sous-Bois, outside of Paris. In 2021, his article "Teaching chamber music to children" was published in an e-book, Diálogos com o Som, Volume 6: Música de Câmara, by the School of Music at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

The Attacca Quartet, which includes violinist Domenic Salerni ’11MMannounced two releases on the Sony Classical label. Real Life, an exploration of electronica, was released in July and was followed in November by Of All Joys, a meditation on minimalist and Renaissance music. Real Life can be streamed online and Of All Joys is available online and in CD format.

david skidmore
David Skidmore

Percussionist David Skidmore ’08MM was nominated for two 2021 Grammy Awards as a member of Third Coast Percussion. The ensemble’s album Archetypes received a nomination in the “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” category. Skidmore was also nominated as one of the composers featured on the album, as were the quartet’s other members and collaborators. The album was also nominated in the “Best Engineered Album, Classical” category.

Pianist Alexei Tartakovsk’15AD was awarded second prize and the Deutsche Telekom StreamOn Beethoven Award at the 2021 International Beethoven Competition in Bonn, Germany.

Composer Julia Wolfe ’86MM was named Carnegie Hall's Debs Composer Chair for the organization’s 2021-2022 season. Wolfe’s large-scale compositions will be presented at Carnegie Hall throughout spring 2022.

Submit your news by March 1 to be included in our next update.