Yale Choral Artists to perform at International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Yale Choral Artists

The Yale Choral Artists, led by founding Director Jeffrey Douma, will perform music by Yale composers on Friday as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The program will feature works by Yale School of Music faculty composers Aaron Jay Kernis ’83MM and Christopher Theofanidis ’94MMA ’97DMA, former faculty composer Ingram Marshall, and alumni composers Caroline Shaw ’07MM and Michael Gilbertson ’13MM ’21DMA.

“Much of the Choral Artists’ work is devoted to new music, and after our last project featuring the music of Heinrich Schütz and Herbert Howells, we wanted to delve again into some newer works,” Douma said. “It’s an understatement to say that we have an abundance of riches here at the Yale School of Music—some of the most exciting composers in the world have studied, taught, and made music here in our own community, and many have made important and innovative contributions to the choral repertoire. The works we (will) perform on Friday are … beautiful and highly evocative: the cascade of voices in Ingram Marshall’s Hymnodic Delays, Aaron Kernis’ virtuosic Ecstatic Meditations, Caroline Shaw’s intimate and heartfelt and the swallow, Michael Gilbertson’s elegant and beautifully crafted Three Madrigals After Dowland, and Chris Theofanidis’ brilliant setting of the (musically inspired) poetry of Denise Levertov for violin and a cappella choir.”

Douma, who also serves as Professor of Choral Conducting at the School of Music and Director of the Yale Glee Club, founded the Yale Choral Artists, a project-based professional ensemble, in 2011 to “enhance and enrich Yale’s strong commitment to the choral arts.” Members of the Choral Artists perform in the United States and around the world with such organizations as Chanticleer, Conspirare, the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, Seraphic Fire, the Trinity Wall Street Choir, Voices of Ascension, and others.

The Yale Choral Artists will perform on Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m., in Morse Recital Hall.


Published June 20, 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.


Published April 11, 2017
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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.


Published August 19, 2016
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[ alumni in the press ]

Alumni appear in NYT’s Best Classical Music of 2015 list

David Kaplan | Photo by Samantha West

David Kaplan | Photo by Samantha West

When the classical music team of The New York Times shared its picks for the best performances of the year, several alumni of the Yale School of Music made the list.

Performers include the pianist David Kaplan ’07 MM, ’08 MMA, ’14 DMA, and the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, directed by Brad Wells ’98 MM, ’05 DMA. Among the ensemble’s members are Estelí Gomez ’08 BA, Caroline Shaw ’07 MM, Eric Dudley ’03 MM, ’04 MMA, ’11 DMA, Dashon Burton ’11 MM, and Virginia Warnken ’13 MM.

Composers mentioned include Shaw, Dudley, Missy Mazzoli ’06 MM, and Ted Hearne ’08 MM, ’09 MMA. Below are excerpts from the article. MORE

Published December 10, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Meet Composer Caroline Shaw, Kanye West’s New Pulitzer Prize-Winning Collaborator

Photo by Timo Andres

Photo by Timo Andres

Pitchfork | By Jayson Greene

Last week, Kanye West performed “POWER” at a Democratic National Committee Fundraiser. Before he emerged, the curtain opened on a woman alone singing wordlessly, stacking her voice into a harmonized chorale and building to an arresting peak. This was Caroline Shaw, a 32-year-old contemporary classical composer who lives in Manhattan.

Shaw is a member of the vocal octet Roomful of Teeth, which has collaborated with tUnE-yArDs. She performed on Music for Heart and Breath, a modern classical work by the Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. In 2013, Shaw won the Pulitzer for her piece Partita for 8 Voices. The year before that, she was virtually unknown outside New York City classical circles.

West’s fascination with Shaw doesn’t seem to be passing: Yesterday, he posted a reworked version of 808s & Heartbreak’s “Say You Will” that featured her anxious, ear-catching murmurs and wails. Given his track record of finding and spotlighting unexpected voices on his projects, she seems one step away from appearing on his next album. MORE

Published October 21, 2015
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[ In the Press ]

40 Under 40 2015 Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw

Crain’s New York Business | By Theresa Agovino

Caroline Shaw hoped only to introduce her work to industry elites when she submitted for a Pulitzer one of the few compositions she had written. Instead, in 2013, at age 30, she became the youngest winner of the award for music, ever.

“I thought the $50 entrance fee was cheaper than taking people out for drinks,” quipped Ms. Shaw, who learned the violin from her mother as a child in North Carolina and later branched out into singing and composing.

She won a Grammy in the best small ensemble category in 2014 as part of the singing group Roomful of Teeth, which recorded her Pulitzer-winning a cappella work, Partita for 8 Voices. The honors led to more prestigious gigs for one of the city’s most sought-after talents, whose credits include performing with the Trinity Wall Street Choir and Paul McCartney.


Published April 13, 2015
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[ in the press ]

WQXR’s Meet the Composer: Caroline Shaw Lives Life Beautifully


Caroline Shaw began her love affair with music at the age of two, when her mom started teaching her violin. Throughout her childhood, Caroline had a lesson every Wednesday afternoon, and sang and played in school and at music camps, falling for chamber music by Mozart and Clara Schumann. Caroline always made things; when she was bowled over by a Brahms sonata, she’d try and figure out how to construct her own sonatas. As a young adult, she continued on a rigorous, violin-centric path, earning both undergrad and masters degrees in violin performance from Rice University and the the Yale School of Music.


Published September 30, 2014
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Boston Globe: Caroline Shaw ’07 MM finds freedom with A Far Cry, Roomful of Teeth

carolineshaw2Boston Globe
By David Weininger

Last week, Caroline Shaw found herself playing a benefit concert at the Hudson Opera House, a performing arts space a few hours north of New York, where she lives. She was playing second violin in a string quartet that was performing music by David Longstreth, of the band Dirty Projectors. It was sort of a quirky gig, one that took a lot of time to prepare and didn’t pay much.

It was not, perhaps, the first place you’d expect to find a much-feted musician who last year, at 30, became the youngest composer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, for her eight-voice composition “Partita.” But Shaw, who describes herself as a low-key, private person, has been determined not to let the music world’s highest-profile award change her life. Playing the Hudson show was a part of that plan.

“I did it because I wanted to play quartets with friends, meet a new person, see a new place, just figure out another corner of the music world,” said Shaw in a recent phone interview. “No one knew that I’d won a Pulitzer Prize; I was just the second violinist in this quartet at this gala benefit.” MORE

Published May 9, 2014
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[ in the press ]

NYT In Performance: Caroline Shaw

The New York Times

“I don’t really call myself a composer,” Caroline Shaw told Zachary Woolfe, writing for The Times, despite the fact that she won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music for “Partita for Eight Voices,” a vocal work that Mr. Woolfe described as a “dazzling, emotionally generous take on a Baroque dance suite.”

Indeed, Ms. Shaw is a seemingly tireless performer, working as a violinist with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble and as an alto in vocal ensembles like the Trinity Choir and Roomful of Teeth — which performed “Partita” in its premiere in November at Le Poisson Rouge. (She is scheduled to perform with the American Contemporary ensemble and with Roomful of Teeth in February.)

Here, Ms. Shaw performs an improvisational work with violin, voice and a loop station.


Published January 22, 2014
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Feast of Music: Conversation with Roomful of Teeth’s Brad Wells ’05 DMA

Feast of Music
By Peter Matthews

RoomfulofTeethIt’s been an exciting year for contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, whose debut album (New Amsterdam) — including Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices — is up for three GRAMMY Awards this month, including Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. I had the chance to sit down a couple of weeks ago with Roomful of Teeth’s Founder and Director, Brad Wells, to talk about the group’s working methods and influences and why they’re not “a &$%ing choir!” (Note: Roomful of Teeth will be performing as part of the upcoming Winter Jazzfest at Judson Memorial Church next Friday, January 10 at 945 p.m. Tickets and info here.)

On Starting Roomful of Teeth: There were these hard lines that had been drawn between classical voice pedagogy and everything else. The mentality was: keep everything else out, because everything else is an inferior use of the voice. But, thinking about how long people have been using their voice in different parts of the world, how could those other techniques be wrong?  MORE

Published January 6, 2014
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