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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Honors Dinner recognizes students and alumni

Ole Akahoshi and Dean Robert Blocker

Ole Akahoshi and Dean Robert Blocker

The School of Music held its annual honors dinner on Sunday, May 4. The event offered tributes to distinguished alumni and faculty, and honored outstanding students.

The Alumni Certificate of Merit was awarded to cellist Ole Akahoshi, a graduate of the School of Music and a faculty member since 1997.

Composer David Lang received the Ian Mininberg Service Award for his contributions to the School of Music—where he received his DMA and then returned as a member of the faculty—and to the profession. MORE

Published May 6, 2014
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School of Music awards prizes at annual honors dinner

The School of Music held its annual honors dinner on Sunday, May 5. The event offered tributes to distinguished alumni and faculty, and honored outstanding students.

The Cultural Leadership Citation was awarded to James D’Addario. D’Addario is the CEO of D’Addario Strings, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of instrument strings, and (with his wife) co-founder of the non-profit James D’Addario Family Foundation.

The Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award was given to Vincent Oneppo ’73MM, who served Yale throughout his rich career and continues to aid the School even after his retirement in 2010.

This year’s Gustave Stoeckel Award was given to Boris Berman, a member of the YSM faculty since 1984. He is currently the coordinator of the piano department and the artistic director of the Horowitz Piano Series. MORE

Published May 7, 2013
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Student prizes awarded at YSM Annual Dinner

The School of Music held its annual dinner on May 3, paying tribute to distinguished alumni and honoring outstanding students.ysm-099-key

2009 Student Prizes
Awarded at the Yale School of Music Honors Dinner
May 3, 2009

The Woods Chandler Memorial Prize, for the best compositions in a larger form written during the year.
» Bryan Benjamin Senti & Andrew Jeffrey Norman

The Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize, to assist in launching the career for a graduating student who demonstrates exceptional promise and talent as an artist.
» Adelaide Beth Muir & Emily Grace Righter


From L to R, Deputy Dean Thomas Masse; John Mangan '94MM; Dean Robert Blocker

The Eliot Fisk Prize, to an outstanding guitarist whose artistic achievement and dedication have contributed greatly to the department.
» Christopher Boyd Mallett

The Michael Friedmann Prize, to the student deemed to have the thesis in the Master of Musical Arts program that is most distinguished by originality, substance, and craft.
» Fernando Buide Del Real

The Rena Greenwald Memorial Prize, for the best piano composition written during the year.
» Naftali Yitzhak Schindler

Georgina Lucy Grosvenor Memorial Prize, to the violist in the graduating class whose performances while at Yale have exhibited the highest potential for success as a soloist or chamber musician.
» Bo Li


Published June 21, 2009
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