Pianist Henry Kramer ’13AD ’19DMA receives Avery Fisher Career Grant

Henry Kramer

Pianist and Yale School of Music alumnus Henry Kramer ’13AD ’19DMA, the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Joyce and Henry Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, has been awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. The $25,000 award is designed “to give outstanding instrumentalists significant recognition on which to continue to build their careers,” according to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which administers the Avery Fisher Artist Program. Other 2019 grant recipients include the JACK Quartet, pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton, and violinist Angelo Xiang Yu.

Past Avery Fisher Career Grant recipients include pianist Hung-Kuan Chen, violinist Ani Kavafian, and clarinetist David Shifrin—all members of the Yale School of Music faculty. Several School of Music alumni have also received an Avery Fisher Career Grant, including cellist Carter Brey ’79, pianist Helen Huang ’09MM, bassoonist Peter Kolkay ’02MMA ’05DMA, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman ’67MM.

Kramer, who studies at YSM with Boris Berman, won second prize at the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition and has earned prizes at the Honens International Piano Competition, Montreal International Music Competition, Shanghai International Piano Competition, and National Chopin Piano Competition. He was the recipient of the Harvard Musical Association’s 2018 Arthur W. Foote Award.

Kramer has appeared with the National Orchestra of Belgium, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, and has worked with such conductors as Marin Alsop, Stéphane Denève, and Hans Graf. Prior to attending the Yale School of Music, Kramer earned bachelor and master of music degrees from The Juilliard School.

The 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grants will be presented on Friday, March 15, at 6 p.m., at WQXR’s Greene Space. The event, featuring performances by grant recipients, will be streamed live on the WQXR website.

Published March 15, 2019
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Pianist Szymon Nehring wins Harvard Musical Association’s Foote Award

Szymon Nehring

Pianist and current School of Music artist diploma candidate Szymon Nehring has won the Harvard Musical Association’s 2018 Arthur W. Foote Award, which is presented “to instrumentalists of the highest musical caliber of university or conservatory level who are about to launch professional careers,” according to language on the association’s website. Nehring will perform at a private event for association members and their guests on Feb. 2 in Boston.

Nehring “was clearly the consensus” winner among jury members this year, John Anthony Schemmer, the chairman and vice president of the HMA, said. “He’s still very young, but he has already a very decided personality of his own and he has the ability to draw in and engage the audience.”

Violinist and current YSM artist diploma candidate Sirena Huang and organist David Simon ’17MM, who is pursuing his doctorate at the School of Music (and studying at the Institute of Sacred Music), also inspired members of the Foote Award jury. They “made very favorable and distinguished impressions on us,” Schemmer said.

Previous Foote Award winners from YSM include organist Paul Jacobs ’02MM ’03AD (2003) and pianists Ryo Yanagitani ’04MM ’05AD ’08MMA and Henry Kramer ’13AD ’15MMA (2005 and 2014, respectively). Schemmer, who graduated from Yale College in 1968 with a degree in music theory and composition, said the School of Music’s “profile has been rising for several decades,” and that YSM’s students are “absolutely superb.”

Nehring is the latest to reflect that assessment. Upon reviewing Nehring’s recorded performances, one jury member said “he had the audience engaged before he began playing,” according to Schemmer, who, in turn, said that Nehring “is prepared with these pieces in the most extraordinary way.”

Nehring, who studies at the School of Music with Boris Berman, arrived at Yale in fall 2017 having won the prestigious Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel, in May. In October, Nehring was named the Personality of the Year as part of the 2017 Polish Music Coryphaeus Awards and was honored that month alongside other award recipients in Warsaw, Poland. Before enrolling at YSM, he studied with Stefan Wojtas at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The Harvard Musical Association was founded by Harvard alumni in 1837 but is not affiliated with that university.


Published January 11, 2018
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Henry Kramer wins Second Prize at Queen Elisabeth Competition

Henry Kramer

Henry Kramer

Henry Kramer ’13 AD, ’15 MMA has been awarded Second Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and Larry Weng ’12 AD, ’14 MMA was named a laureate. The competition was held in Brussels from May 2 to May 28, bringing together 76 pianists of 23 various nationalities to compete in front of a prestigious international jury. The win earned Kramer a cash prize of €20,000, and was one of twelve awards distributed for the laureates and the semi-finalists which totaled €128,500.

As laureates, Larry gave a recital on Thursday, June 2, and Henry will perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with the Brussels Philharmonic on June 10 and 11.



Published June 5, 2016
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[ students + alumni ]

Henry Kramer to join Smith College faculty

kramer_henry_webPianist Henry Kramer ’13 AD, ’15 MMA was recently appointed the Iva Dee Hiatt Visiting Artist in piano at Smith College.

Originally from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Henry Kramer is a budding presence on the concert stage both nationally and internationally. A winner of Astral Artists’ 2014 National Auditions, Mr. Kramer was also a top prizewinner in the 2010 National Chopin Competition, the 2011 Montreal International Music Competition, and the 2012 China Shanghai International Piano Competition, as well as the recipient of the Harvard Musical Association’s 2014 Arthur Foote Award. MORE

Published June 22, 2015
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[ students + alumni ]

Annual concert to feature prize-winning pianist Henry Kramer

kramer_henry_webDo SavannahBy Linda Sickler

Henry Kramer started playing piano when he was 11, after he discovered he could play his favorite songs by ear.

His mother put him into lessons, and today he is a concert pianist who has won several international prizes. Kramer will be the guest artist at the 2014 Joseph Pramberger Memorial Piano Concert on Aug. 8 at Messiah Lutheran Church on Skidaway Island, where he will perform works by Bach, Brahms, Chopin and Schumann. MORE

Published August 6, 2014
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[ students & alumni ]

Henry Kramer receives Foote Award from Harvard Musical Association

kramer_henry_webThe Harvard Musical Association has selected pianist Henry Kramer ’13 AD, ’15 MMA to receive the prestigious Foote Prize. The Arthur W. Foote Prize is awarded to performer(s) of the highest musical caliber of university or conservatory level who are about to launch professional music careers.

Arthur W. Foote was a longtime, enthusiastic member of the Harvard Musical Association. He taught, composed, performed and lived close by the Association’s building on Beacon Hill. In honor of Foote’s musical legacy, the Harvard Musical Association each year bestows the Arthur W. Foote Award. This prize is used to honor a young artist or ensemble currently studying on the East Coast, and to bring such musicians to perform on the Association’s stage. MORE

Published January 2, 2014
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[ in the press ]

The Yale Philharmonia Plays at Yale’s Woolsey Hall

Krzysztof_Penderecki_webBy Allison Geisler

On Friday, classical music lovers need to get themselves to Woolsey Hall at Yale, as guest conductor Krzyzstof Penderecki leads the Yale Philharmonia. The first half of the concert features Penderecki conducting two of his pieces, Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima and his Symphony No. 2. In between, Toshiyuki Shimada takes over conducting duties, to lead the Philharmonia in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which will feature current Yale School of Music student Henry Kramer as the piano soloist.


Published October 29, 2013
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[ concerts ]

Guest conductor Krzysztof Penderecki leads the Yale Philharmonia Nov. 1

Penderecki Conducts Penderecki concert, April 30, 2010

NEW HAVEN, CT  | The Yale School of Music presents the  renowned composer and conductor Krzyzstof Penderecki in concert with the Yale Philharmonia on Friday, November 1, 2013. Penderecki, who was a member of the YSM faculty from 1972 to 1978, will lead the orchestra in two of his own compositions.

The program also features a Prokofiev piano concerto with soloist Henry Kramer and guest conductor Toshiyuki Shimada. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven). MORE

Published October 4, 2013
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Henry Kramer, Antoine Malette-Chenier win 2013 Woolsey Competition

_MG_0225-1Henry Kramer, piano, and Antoine Malette-Chénier, harp, are the two winners of this year’s Woolsey Concerto Competition. Kramer played Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.2, and Malette-Chenier played the Harp Concerto by Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. The two will perform their winning pieces with the Yale Philharmonia during the 2013–2014 season.

Violinist Yoon Won Song was selected as an alternate winner in case (for whatever reason) one of the two winners cannot perform. Song played Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Two honorable mentions were also awarded: to Phillip Browne, horn, for his performance of Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No.2and Zhenni Li, piano, for her performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.3.

The adjudicators of the competition were Peter Wiley, cello, Robert McDonald, piano, and Lawrence Isaacson, conductor and trombone. They noted that they “were impressed with the high level of performance of everyone involved.” The annual competition was held last Saturday.

kramer_henry_newHenry Kramer, originally from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, has been lauded as “triumphant” and “thrilling” (The New York Times) and “technically effortless” (La Presse, Montreal). He was a top prizewinner in the 8th National Chopin Competition and the 2011 Montreal International Music Competition. Most recently, Henry garnered the top prize and prize for the Best Performance of Strauss Lieder at the 6th China Shanghai International Piano Competition. He holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Yale School of Music, where he received the Charles S. Miller Prize for the outstanding first-year pianist. He currently studies with Boris Berman.

Antoine Malette-Chénier began his harp studies with Caroline Léonardelli, the principal harpist for the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Since 2008, he studied with Caroline Lizotte, second harp chair of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, at the Conservatoire de musique de Trois-Rivières. Antoine has won two first places at the Canadian Music Competition, two bursaries from the National Arts Center Orchestra, and first prize at two concerto competitions, which took him for orchestra tours as a soloist in Canada and Hungary. He was a guest artist for the 2007 Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and recorded for Radio-Canada the same year as a winner of the Young Artists Competition. Antoine was invited to perform at the 11th World Harp Congress in Vancouver in July 2011. He is currently a student of June Han at the Yale School of Music. MORE

Published April 17, 2013
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YSM pianists share top prize in Shanghai International Piano Competition

At the sixth Shanghai International Piano Competition earlier this month, Henry Kramer ’13AD and Wenbin Jin ’09CERT were jointly awarded the second prize. The first prize was not awarded.

Both also won additional prizes: Jin for Best Performance of the Chinese Commissioned Work and Best Chinese Contestant, and Kramer for Best Performance of Lieder.

Wenbin Jin attended the middle school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Professor Zhang Lin. At the age of 18 he entered the Yale School of Music to study with Boris Berman and received the Certificate of Performance in 2009. Later that year, he began studying with Hung-Kuan Chen at the New England Conservatory; Chen also teaches at the Yale School of Music. Jin has performed recitals in the United States, Holland, Italy, Canada, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, and Taiwan. In 2004 Wenbin performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. He has been an official accompanist at the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea for the last three years.Wenbin Jin has worked closely with musicians such as Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Ani Kavafian, David Shifrin, and Alfred Brendel. He was a semifinalist in the 2011 Clara Haskil Competition and has received prizes in the China National Piano Competition, among others.

Henry Kramer was a top prizewinner in the 2010 National Chopin Competition and the 2011 International Concours Montreal. In recent seasons, he has performed a solo recital at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, a concerto engagement with The Portland Symphony, and with fellow Yale pianists in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Henry has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestre Metropolitan du Montreal, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Miami Frost School of Music Orchestra, as well as in recitals across the US and internationally.  He has been featured on National Public Radio and WQXR (New York City). In addition to his solo performances, Henry is active as a chamber musician. He has been featured in performances at Lincoln Center and has participated in the Music Academy of the West, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Henry holds a MM and BM from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Robert McDonald and Julian Martin. He currently studies with Boris Berman at the Yale School of Music.

Published November 14, 2012
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