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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Acclaimed chamber ensembles A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth to perform works by Caroline Shaw and Ted Hearne

Caroline Shaw ’07MM

The Michigan Daily | Dayton Hare

At its heart, public music making is about the way in which we exist in the same time and place as other people. It’s about how we communicate with and relate to one another. The playing of music is a conversation of sorts, an interaction undertaken between the musicians and the listeners, each member of the dialogue giving something and taking something away. It’s not a coincidence, then, that some of the most interesting and engaging music composed both throughout history and today comes from a wellspring of mutually supportive and inspiring relationships between musicians. On Wednesday night, concert goers at Rackham Auditorium will have the chance to witness the fruits of some of these relationships in a joint concert by the contemporary music ensembles A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth.

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Published April 11, 2017
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YSM composers win American Academy of Arts and Letters awards

Hilary Purrington

Three YSM alumni composers and one current student have received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the organization announced last month. Awardees were selected by a committee of Academy members including Yehudi Wyner ’50BA ’52BM ’53MM, Martin Boykan ’53MM, YSM faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis, Samuel Adler, Sebastian Currier, Stephen Jaffe, Tobias Picker, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Sixteen composers in all received awards this year from the Academy.

Carl Schimmel ’99MM earned a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, which is awarded to two composers each year. The fellowship, which comes with a $15,000 prize, was created in 1978 with an endowment from the CBS Foundation in memory the former Columbia Records president, who had died a year earlier.

Andrew Norman ’09AD received a $10,000 Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement. The Academy established the award in 1941 to encourage creative work in the arts. Each year, five artists, eight authors, four composers, and four architects receive the prize. Composers receive an additional $10,000 to facilitate a recording of their work.

Katherine Balch ’16MM and current YSM student Hilary Purrington ’17MMA each received a $7,500 Charles Ives Scholarship, which is given to composition students of “great promise.” The scholarship was created when Ives’ widow, Harmony Ives, bequeathed the royalties from her husband’s music to the Academy of Arts and Letters. Two fellowships of $15,000 and six scholarships of $7,500 are awarded each year to composers.

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,” according to language on the organization’s website. Each year, the Academy honors more than 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers with cash awards ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. The Academy also presents exhibitions of art, architecture, and manuscripts and organizes readings of new musicals.

CARL SCHIMMEL
ANDREW NORMAN
KATHERINE BALCH
HILARY PURRINGTON
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

Published April 6, 2017
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Andrew Norman ’09AD Wins the Grawemeyer Award for Music

Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman

NPR | Tom Huizenga

A rambunctious 45-minute orchestral piece called Play, by American composer Andrew Norman, has been named the winner of the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The prize, which includes $100,000, was announced this evening by the University of Louisville, which sponsors the award. Former winners include Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho and Thomas Adès.

Norman, 37, wrote Play for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, an ensemble led by Gil Rose, which premiered the work in 2013 and released a critically acclaimed recording last year. The work has had subsequent performances by three other orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic in October. In 2012, the young composer’s string trio The Companion Guide to Rome was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Grawemeyer Award Director Marc Satterwhite, who is also a composer, praised Playin a media statement for its brilliant orchestration, calling it “wildly inventive and idiomatic.” In an age of shortened attention spans, he noted how well the piece, divided into three “levels,” held the listener’s interest. “It ranges effortlessly from brash to intimate, and all points in between,” Satterwhite said. …

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Published November 30, 2016
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David Kaplan appointed Lecturer in Piano at UCLA

David Kaplan | Photo by Samantha West

David Kaplan | Photo by Samantha West

Pianist David Kaplan ’07MM, ’08MMA, ’14DMA has been appointed Lecturer in Piano for the 2016-2017 academic year at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Kaplan has appeared in programs presented by the Ravinia Festival, National Gallery of Art, Tanglewood Music Center, Mostly Mozart Festival, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among others. He is a core member of Decoda, an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and is the artistic director of Lyrica Chamber Music, a concert series in Chatham Township, New Jersey.

In March 2015, Kaplan presented New Dances of the League of David, a piano suite that juxtaposes contemporary works with Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, at Le Poisson Rouge, in New York. Among those from whom Kaplan solicited new music for the suite are Yale School of Music faculty composers Martin Bresnick and Hannah Lash ’12AD, and YSM alumni Samuel Carl Adams ’10MM, Timo Andres ’07BA ’09MM, Ted Hearne ’08MM, Andrew Norman ’09AD, Caroline Shaw ’07MM, and Augusta Read Thomas MM. Anthony Tommasini included Kaplan’s performance on The New York Times’ list of “The Best Classic Music of 2015.”

Throughout his time at Yale, Kaplan studied with Claude Frank. Prior to enrolling at Yale, Kaplan studied with Walter Ponce at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and, by way of a Fulbright grant, studied conducting with Lutz Köhler at the Universität der Künste Berlin.

DAVID KAPLAN

Published August 19, 2016
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[ concerts ]

Argus Quartet performs works by Yale faculty and alumni Feb. 2

Argus Quartet

Argus Quartet

The Yale School of Music presents a recital by the Argus Quartet, YSM’s fellowship quartet-in-residence on TuesdayFebruary 2 at 7:30 pmThe quartet will perform works which highlight the unique sounds that can be made by playing string instruments in unconventional ways. Among the composers featured will be YSM faculty member Christopher Theofanidis, and Andrew Norman ’09 AD.

The recital begins with Béla Bartók‘s String Quartet No. 4, which makes use of several extended techniques such as large glissandi, muted passages, and the famous “Bartok pizzicato,” in which the plucked string rebounds against the instrument’s fingerboard to create a loud slap.

Next, the quartet will continue with selections from Andrew Norman‘s Peculiar Strokes, which was premiered by the Argus Quartet in December 2015. Written to highlight and explore the unusual sounds that can be made with different types of bow strokes, the collection of miniature movements that make up Peculiar Strokes is an ongoing project to which Norman has been adding for several years. MORE

Published January 29, 2016
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[ in the press ]

NYT: Composers’ collectives offer creativity and challenges

Composition Collective Sleeping Giant

Composition Collective Sleeping Giant

The New York Times | By Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

The cellist Ashley Bathgate took her bow at Le Poisson Rouge last Tuesday after the premiere of “Ash,” an evening-long work inspired by Bach’s six suites for solo cello. Then she squinted into the dimmed nightclub and made the usual hand motion of a performer beckoning the composer to share in the applause.

But Ms. Bathgate’s gesture did not just bring out a composer: It sparked a procession of dark-clothed men in their 30s who ascended the stage and lined up, smiling, behind her like a genial security detail. The men belonged to Sleeping Giant, the composers’ collective that produced “Ash” and comprises six members: Timo Andres, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Ted Hearne, Robert Honstein and Andrew Norman.

The men met as students at Yale University and dispersed to different corners of the country, each making an individual mark on the new-music scene. But for works like “Ash,” which Ms. Bathgate commissioned under the working title “Bach Unwound,” the composers come together, in gargantuan email chains and in Google Hangout sessions lasting hours, to collaborate on multi-movement pieces that seek to preserve their own voices within a common dramatic arc. MORE

Published January 17, 2016
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[ alumni ]

Alumni receive Grammy nominations

ang-darrell

Darrell Ang

Several Yale School of Music alumni were among the musicians nominated for Grammy Awards. The nominations for the 2016 awards were announced Monday, December 7.

In the category of Best Orchestral Performance, conductor Darrell Ang ’08 MM was nominated for his recording of Zhou Long and Chen Yi’s Symphony Humen 1839. The recording, which featured the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, was released on the Naxos label.

In the category of Best Choral Performance was Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings, recorded on Harmonia Mundi with Craig Hella Johnson ’90 MMA, ’95 DMA leading the ensemble Conspirare.

Brad Wells ’05 DMA and the vocal octet Roomful Of Teeth were nominated in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for Render, released on New Amsterdam Records. There are numerous YSM alumni among the members of Roomful of Teeth. MORE

Published December 7, 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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[ in the press ]

New Music Ensemble eighth blackbird Collaborates With Collective Sleeping Giant

Hartford Courant | Michael Hamadeighthblackbird

The boundaries between composer and performer crumble with each passing year. Or maybe they were fictional all along.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, eighth blackbird, one of the world’s premier new-music ensembles, performs “Hand Eye,” a six-movement work by Brooklyn-based composer collective Sleeping Giant. The concert takes place at Yale University’s Morse Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. (All six members of Sleeping Giant — Timo Andres, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Ted Hearne, Robert Honstein, Andrew Norman — have ties to the Yale School of Music.)

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Published October 16, 2015
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