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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Alumni News | September 2022

Noel Wan

Noël Wan

Join us in congratulating our alums, who’ve shared with us news of their recent accomplishments.

Guitarist and composer Gulli Bjornsson ’17MM ’18MMA was appointed Associate Professor of the Practice of Electronic Composition at the University of Kansas School of Music.

Amy I-Lin Cheng 98MM 99AD was appointed Assistant Professor of Music (a tenure-track position) in the Piano Department and Piano Chamber Music Coordinator at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater & Dance. 

In July, violinists Cameron Daly ’18BA ’20MM and Gregory Lewis ’19MM ’27DMA joined the Callisto Quartet, YSM’s fellowship quartet-in-residence. Grand Prize winners of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Second Prize winners of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Callisto Quartet has also received prizes at the Bordeaux, Melbourne, and Wigmore Hall competitions. The group is managed worldwide by Kanzen Arts.

On Aug. 12, the Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing released Born, an album that features two works by composer Michael Gilbertson 13MM 21DMA: Born and Returning.

Maureen Hurd Hause

Maureen Hurd Hause ’96MM ’97MMA ’02DMA was named Associate Director of the Department of Music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Hause served as Interim Associate Director at the institution during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The score for The Real Charlie Chaplin, the first foray into film scoring for composer Robert Honstein ’04BA ’10MM ’14DMA, was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition. The Real Charlie Chaplin can be seen on Showtime.

In July, guitarist JIJI ’17MM signed with Kirshbaum Associates Management. In fall 2023, JIJI will begin serving as Associate Professor at Indiana University.

On Oct. 28, composer Molly Joyce ’17MM will release a third album on New Amsterdam Records. The album features disabled interviewees responding to what care, access, and interdependence mean to them.

Pianist Simon Karakulidi ’21MM ’22MMA won second prize at the inaugural Samson François International Piano Competition in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.

A recording of Cloud Ossuary, a new symphonic work by composer Douglas Knehans ’93MMA ’96DMA garnered terrific reviews and nine international recording awards. One reviewer on the classical music blog Planet Hugill wrote: "Cloud Ossuary is a striking and fascinating work, full of gorgeous textures and colors, yet throughout it is clear that Knehans brings a strong structural underpinning to the beauty, making for a satisfying symphonic work."

Pianist Chungho Lee ’21MMA won second prize at the San Francisco Artciál International Piano Competition, which was held online in July and August.

Jenny Lee ’18MM was appointed Adjunct Instructor of Piano at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music for the 2022-2023 academic year.

On July 8, Donald Nally conducted the professional choir The Crossing in the premiere of Beloved of the Sky by Tawnie Olson ’99MM ’00AD. The multimovement work is set to texts by Canadian artist and author Emily Carr. The piece was commissioned by the Barlow Foundation for The Crossing, Seraphic Fire, and the BYU Singers.

Clarinetist Seunghee Lee ’92MM ’94AD released a new album, Aspire, with bandoneonist and composer JP Jofre and the London Symphony Orchestra. The album’s centerpiece is the first concerto ever written for the clarinet and bandoneon, which was commissioned by and written for Lee.

Osiris Molina
Osiris Molina
Rene Izquierdo
Rene Izquierdo

Osiris Molina ’98MM and René Izquierdo ’99MM ’00AD collaborated on Cuba, Alabama, an album of works for clarinet by Cuban composers. The album features music by Paquito D'Rivera, Andrés Alén, Javier Zalba, and two premiere recordings of works by Leo Brouwer, including a work commissioned by Molina and Izquierdo for clarinet and guitar.

Gregory Peterson ’85MM was named Professor of Music and College Organist Emeritus at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, upon his retirement in May. In recognition of his teaching career, which spanned more than 30 years and three institutions, former students and colleagues commissioned a new organ work in his honor from American composer Libby Larsen.

Pianist Marianna Prjevalskaya ’07MM ’10AD was appointed to the faculty at East Tennessee State University succeeding Esther Park ’12AD ’13MMA ’17DMA, who was appointed to the faculty at Columbus State University. Park succeeds Henry Kramer ’13AD ’19DMA, who was appointed to the faculty at the University of Montreal.  

Pianist Anthony Ratinov ’20BS ’22MM ’23MMA won third prize at the San Francisco Artciál International Piano Competition, which was held online in July and August.

Composer Dr. John Sichel 85MMA 95DMA has been named artist-in-residence at Capulin Volcano National Monument in New Mexico.

Simeon "Moni" Simeonov
Simeon "Moni" Simeonov

Violinist Simeon “Moni” Simeonov ’06MM ’07AD was appointed the Edelman Chair of Chamber Music at the Colburn School.

Several YSM alumni participated in the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions. Violist Marlea Simpson ’19MM won second prize in the strings and harp category, and clarinetist Juan Esteban Martinez ’21MM won first prize in the woodwinds category. Double-bassist Matthew Peralta ’21MM ’22MMA earned an honorable mention. “The Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions (SOPA) Excerpt Competition provides Black and Latinx orchestral musicians the unique opportunity to audition for a panel representing several orchestras seeking to identify musicians for invitation to auditions, pre-advancement at auditions and/or placement on substitute player lists,” the organization explained. “Initiated and designed by Weston Sprott and Titus Underwood in partnership with Sphinx Organization, the goal of this initiative is to place Black and Latinx musicians in American orchestras.”

Double-bassist Changwoo Sohn 96MM, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, gave a volunteer performance at Joeten-Kiyu Public Library in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.

Violinist Matheus Garcia Souza ’14MM performed the New York premiere of Christopher Stark's Fire Ecologies with Unheard-of//Ensemble at the Gowanus Canal (literally on the water). The 50-minute multimedia piece incorporates images of the 2020 California wildfires. The commission was made possible by Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program.

Alexa Stier
Alexa Stier

Pianist Alexa Stier ’21MM ’27DMA was named a winner of the Virtuoso & Belcanto Concerto Competition.

Tubist Antonio Underwood ’87MM recorded two CDs, Tone Poem XIII: Sunday's Window and Tone Poem XIV: Continuation. The albums were produced by Underwood’s music label, Tone East Music Technology LLC.

Noël Wan ’16MM was appointed Assistant Professor of Harp and Entrepreneurship at Florida State University, where Wan will lead the harp program and join the College of Music’s entrepreneurship cohort. Wan won the gold medal at the 12th USA International Harp Competition in July.

Martin Wittenberg ’04MM founded his own artist management firm, Wittenberg Artists. Based in New York City, Wittenberg Artists represents such established names as Gidon Kremer and Steven Isserlis, as well as such newcomers as violinist Stella Chen, cellist Seth Parker Woods, and conductor Naomi Woo ’13MM.

Pianist Lucas Wong ’06MM ’07MMA ’12DMA was appointed Visiting Professor of Vocal Coaching at the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Jae In Yoo ’22MM won eighth prize at the 12th USA International Harp Competition.

In July, pianist Seho Young ’21MM ’22MMA won the bronze medal at the New Orleans International Piano Competition.

Guitarist Daniel Zanuttini-Frank 22BA 23MM won first prize at the Concorso Musicale Nazionale "Villa Oliva."

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