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Peter Oundjian leads the Yale Philharmonia in Gershwin, Barber, and more Nov. 7

Peter Oundjian

Peter Oundjian

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with guest conductor Peter Oundjian in concert Friday, November 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The program features music from the first half of the twentieth century by Gershwin, Barber, Elgar, and Hindemith.

The concert opens with Gershwin‘s An American in Paris. Originally composed in 1928, the piece would later inspire the 1951 musical film of the same title starring Gene Kelly. Gershwin’s audience favorite is followed by the Symphonic Metamorphosis (based on themes by Carl Maria von Weber) by Paul Hindemith, a German composer who spent several years in the U.S. and was a member of the Yale School of Music faculty. MORE

Published October 31, 2014
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Review: Yale in New York Concert Champions the Legacy of Paul Hindemith

I Care If You Listen
By Rob Wendt

Despite this concert having been anticipated in The Wall Street Journal and The Jewish Week (as well as in these pages), it was not particularly well attended, with the lion’s share of seats empty. Indeed, Paul Hindemith remains unknown even among some who consider themselves classical music fans. A reappraisal of his work and influence is thus always welcome, and this well-curated program shed new light on the composer, his pedagogy, his protégés, and even his personality. Yale School of Music brought faculty, students, and alumni to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on November 22, 2013, to forge a direct musical link to this master of theory, melody, form, and fugue.

Composer Paul Hindemith (photo credit: hindemith.info)

In Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2, the composer captured the frenetic pace of industrial growth that characterized the inter-war years. No one would call this musical language atonal, but it contains humor alongside a tongue-in-cheek dark, dissociative pensiveness and sense of disturbance not usually found in the romantic tradition. At the same time, there is something very primal and peasant-like in the bouncy tough rhythms. MORE

Published December 2, 2013
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Photos: The Legacy of Paul Hindemith at Zankel Hall

Enjoy these photos from “The Legacy of Paul Hindemith,” presented Friday, November 22 in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. The concert opened the 2013–14 Yale in New York series.

The program featured three pieces by Paul Hindemith, a YSM faculty member 1940–1953, alongside pieces by five of his Yale students: Alvin Etler, Lukas Foss, Mitch Leigh, Mel Powell, and Yehudi Wyner. Leigh was in attendance to hear “The Impossible Dream,” from the musical Man of La Mancha. Wyner played the piano part in the New York premiere of his new piano quartet, Concordance. 

The majority of the performers were YSM students, who worked with faculty coaches Wendy Sharp (violin) and William Purvis (horn, conductor) on the repertoire. YSM faculty member Willie Ruff, a Yale alumnus who studied with Hindemith, opened the second of the concert by speaking about his memories of the composer, theorist, and pedagogue.

kammermusik1b-web

William Purvis conducts Hindemith’s Kammermusik No. 1

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Published November 25, 2013
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I Care If You Listen: Five Questions with David Shifrin

shifrin_teachingRob Wendt asked 5 questions to David Shifrin (clarinetist, artistic director) about the legacy of Paul Hindemith—a member of the YSM faculty 1940-1953—and the central idea of a Carnegie Hall concert happening tomorrow, Friday, November 22, as part of the Yale in New York series. Indeed, the concert will feature music by Hindemith and several of his Yale students, including Alvin Etler, Lukas Foss, Mitch Leigh, Mel Powell, and Yehudi Wyner.

David Shifrin, welcome back to New York! The playful and inventive Op. 24 Kammermusik pieces (1922) date from well before Hindemith’s time at Yale, and yet they sound very ahead of their time, anticipating the later work of composers like Roger Sessions. Still in his twenties, the composer could not have known he would one day expatriate himself from Germany. How do these youthful compositions fit in with Hindemith’s overall legacy?

I have to confess that the selection of this work to open our program is a somewhat personal one. In my experience as a young clarinet student, Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik was among the most often studied and performed woodwind chamber music works. It almost defines the medium of the woodwind quintet. Stylistically and architecturally, it is near perfect, combining jazzy rhythms, expressive harmonies, amazing colors both blending and contrasting orchestration of the five diverse wind instruments.

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Published November 21, 2013
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Wall Street Journal: Tuning Up to Pay Tribute to a Master

Hindemith_teaching_SpragueNo matter what they play, most young musicians at some point study the work of the 20th-century composer Paul Hindemith.

“Just about every instrument has a Hindemith sonata,” said David Shifrin, a clarinetist and professor at the Yale School of Music. “He wrote such a broad cross-section of music.”

Hindemith, who lived from 1895 to 1963, was principally a violist, but could play virtually every instrument he wrote for. Over the decades, his composition style changed from romantic to modern, emphasizing counterpoint, but he also created comic works, such as a parody of a string quartet or a takeoff on Wagnerian opera. Born in Germany, he came to the U.S. in 1940 and found a musical home at Yale, where he taught from 1940 to 1953. MORE

Published November 21, 2013
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In the Press: Under Hindemith’s Wing

The Jewish Week (New York)

By George Robinson

Hindemith_CollegeStIf, as Shakespeare famously wrote, every man in his time plays many parts, it should come as no surprise that various observers will see him differently over time. The time span needn’t even be a particularly long one. Consider the case of the 20th-century composer Paul Hindemith. While in exile to escape the Nazis, Hindemith taught at the Yale School of Music and, in that capacity he mentored a distinguished group of younger composers whose music is being performed, along with that of Hindemith himself, on Nov. 22 in a concert tribute “Hindemith at Yale.” Of the five Hindemith protégés whose work will be on the program, the two who are still alive have recollections of Hindemith that seem to be calculated to make the listener think they are discussing completely different, albeit potent, teachers. MORE

Published November 20, 2013
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Concerts explore the legacy of Paul Hindemith Nov. 21 & 22

YNY-HindemithThe Yale School of Music will explore the legacy of Paul Hindemith (1895–1963) in two concerts on November 21 and 22. Hindemith, an innovative composer and theorist as well as a passionate educator, served on the Yale School of Music faculty 1940–53 and left a legacy of invention and exploration that still characterizes the School’s programs.

The Legacy of Paul Hindemith commemorates sixty years since the composer’s stay in New Haven and fifty years since his death, with a program that presents his own compositions side-by-side with music by his Yale students. The program, which is part of the Yale in New York series, will be presented in New Haven on November 21 and in New York City on November 22; details are below.

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Published November 8, 2013
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Yale in New York announces 2013–14 season

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Hindemith on the steps of Sprague Hall

The Yale School of Music announces its return to Carnegie Hall with the 2013–14 season of Yale in New York. The series—now in its seventh year at Carnegie—has garnered a reputation for its creative and diverse programming, with frequent collaborations between Yale’s distinguished faculty and its exceptional network of current students and alumni.

This season, two concerts focus on musical icons of the 20th century: The Legacy of Paul Hindemith on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm; and a fully staged original production and translation of Igor Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale, in collaboration with Yale School of Drama on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm. Both events take place in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. MORE

Published October 17, 2013
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The Legacy of Paul Hindemith and A Soldier’s Tale Set for YALE IN NEW YORK’s 2013–14 Season

Broadway World / Broadway Classical

Hindemith_CollegeSt Yale School of Music has announced its return to Carnegie Hall with the YALE IN NEW YORK 2013–14 Season. The series-now in its seventh year at Carnegie-has garnered a reputation for its creative and diverse programming, with frequent collaborations between Yale’s distinguished faculty and its exceptional network of current students and alumni.

This season, two concerts focus on musical icons of the 20th century: THE LEGACY OF PAUL HINDEMITH on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 7:30pm; and a fully staged original production and translation of Igor Stravinsky‘s A SOLDIER’S TALE, in collaboration with Yale School of Drama on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 7:30pm. MORE

Published October 8, 2013
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Hindemith at the Yale School of Music

Hindemith+CollegiumIn the last issue of Music at Yale, the School of Music’s alumni magazine, the story about Paul Hindemith included two historical photos — along with a request for help in identifying the students in them.

We were pleased to receive multiple replies, and we can now identify the members of the Collegium Musicum in the photo at right.

Seated, left to right: Joseph Iadone, Charlotte Durkee, and Eckhart Richter.

Standing, left to right: Martha BixlerJohn Temple Swing.

(Hindemith stands at right.)

Published April 29, 2013
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