Achievements celebrated at annual Honors Dinner

Carol Colburn Grigor, recipient of the Samuel Simons Sanford Award

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Samuel Simons Sanford Award winner Carol Colburn Grigor, and Robert Blocker

The Yale School of Music held its annual Honors Dinner on Sunday, May 7, welcoming students and alumni, faculty and staff, and distinguished guests to the Yale Commons for an evening of celebration. After thanking recently retired staff members for their service and acknowledging the University officers who were in attendance, YSM Dean Robert Blocker presented Carol Colburn Grigor ’69MMA CBE with the School’s highest honor, the Samuel Simons Sanford Award. Grigor, Blocker, said, “is one of America’s most generous … most thoughtful philanthropists.” Composer and former Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills congratulated Grigor via video.

Willie Ruff, recipient of the Nathan Hale Award

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Nathan Hale Award recipient Willie Ruff, and Robert Blocker

Dean Blocker, with University President Peter Salovey and Yale Provost Benjamin Polak at his side, presented longtime YSM professor Willie Ruff ’53BM ’54MM, who will retire at the end of the semester, with the University’s prestigious Nathan Hale Award. “He’s changed all our lives,” Blocker said, before attendees were shown a video tribute to Ruff’s life and work. In a nod to the man who indirectly inspired him decades ago to study at YSM, Ruff said, “I thank, most of all, Charlie Parker.” The jazz office in the Yale School of Music’s Adams Center for Musical Arts was recently named in Ruff’s honor.

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award winner Warren Lee, and Robert Blocker

Blocker presented the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award to pianist Warren Lee ’00MM and the Cultural Leadership Citation to retiring Yale Collection of Musical Instruments curator William Nicholas Renouf ’71MMA. The Collection’s director, William Purvis, accepted the Citation on behalf of Renouf, who was unable to attend the Honors Dinner. Before presenting student prizes, Blocker referenced an impressive number of awards and successes earned and realized this year by students, faculty, and staff. He recognized longtime YSM faculty pianist Peter Frankl, who plans to retire in the fall, for his dedication to the School community.

At the end of the evening, Blocker told the students in attendance, “Claim the future. It belongs to you. You will make us better.” What follows is a list of the student prizes awarded during YSM’s 2017 Honors Dinner. MORE

Published May 9, 2017
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Ethan Braun receives commission from New York Youth Symphony

braun-ethanEthan Braun, who is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Yale School of Music, is one of seven emerging composers, all under the age of 30, to receive a commission from the New York Youth Symphony through the organization’s First Music program. His work will be performed by the ensemble in March at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.

According to the New York Youth Symphony website, the organization’s “young composer competition … has been acknowledged widely as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public’s attention.”

YSM alums Nicholas DiBerardino ’15MM and Natalie Dietterich ’16MM were awarded honorable mentions. Dietterich is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts degree at the Yale School of Music. 

Braun has written music for the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, the Ictus Ensemble, the Yale Percussion Group, and Ensemble Synaestesis, among others. He has released two EPs of electroacoustic music on the experimental music label Khalija Records and has performed with the free-improvisation group Out of Your Head.

After studying at California State University, Northridge, Braun received a Bachelor of Arts degree in composition from UCLA, a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory, and a master’s degree from the Royal Conservatorium of The Hague. Braun is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition at the Yale School of Music. He actively promotes the work of his colleagues as event director for the Permutations concert series in New York City.

ETHAN BRAUN

Published October 29, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

YSM composers highlighted in Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival

kernis

Aaron Jay Kernis

The Yale School of Music is playing a significant role in the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival. This year’s festival, “Songs of the Rolling Earth,” features a slew of YSM faculty, students, and alumni, including Aaron Jay Kernis, Loren Loiacono ’12 MM, composers collective Sleeping Giant, and all 13 graduate students in the YSM composition studio.

On June 11, the orchestra will perform Simple Songs by YSM composition faculty member Aaron Jay Kernis. A mystical work for soprano and chamber orchestra, Simple Songs sets the texts of famed composer Hildegard von Bingen, Japanese writer Ryokan, and Rumi. The concert will also feature the world premiere of Loren Loiacono‘s Sleeping Furiously. MORE

Published June 7, 2016
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[ concerts ]

New Music New Haven honors Jacob Druckman Feb. 11

Druckman-at-work-webThe New Music New Haven continues on Thursday, February 11 at 7:30 pm with a program honoring the legacy of long-time YSM faculty member Jacob Druckman.

Born in 1928, Druckman became chair of the Yale composition department in 1976 and remained a professor here until his death in 1996. In the 1960s, Druckman explored the use of electronics in music composition, becoming ” a skillful exponent of electronic music” (New York Times). MORE

Published February 8, 2016
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