Members of YSM community earn Grammy nominations

Missy Mazzoli. Photo by Marylene Mey

Grammy Award nominations were announced on Friday, Dec. 7, and several members of the Yale School of Music community made the list. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding musicians.

Composer Missy Mazzoli ’06MM was nominated in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category for her work Vespers for Violin, performed by Olivia de Prato. In the same category, faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis ’83MM received a nomination for his Violin Concerto, performed by violinist James Ehnes, conductor Ludovic Morlot, and the Seattle Symphony.

Yale Philharmonia Principal Conductor Peter Oundjian was nominated in the Best Classical Compendium category for Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto, Oboe Concerto, Serenade to Music, Flos Campi, on which he conducted. The recording was produced by Blanton Alspaugh.

Conductor Martin Pearlman ’71MM was nominated in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo Category for Biber: The Mystery Sonatas, on which he conducted. The recording features violinist Christina Day Martinson and Boston Baroque.

Composer John Adams ’MUSHD received a nomination in the Best Opera Recording category for Adams: Dr. Atomic.

The Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry, which includes alumni violinists Liesl Schoenberger Doty ’11AD and Miki-Sophia Cloud ’08MM, was nominated in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category for Visions and Variations.

In the Best Orchestral Performance category, three nominations have ties to YSM. The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s recording Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, conducted by Andris Nelsons, includes alumni violinist Sheila Fiekowsky ’75MM and cellist Owen Young ’87MM. The San Francisco Symphony’s recording Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1-4, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, includes alumni violinists Gina Cooper ’87MM and John Young ’MM. And the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s recording Beethoven: Symphony No. 3; Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1, conducted by Manfred Honeck, includes alumni violinists Irene Cheng ’94MM and Louis Lev ’90MM and alumni trombonist Rebecca Cherian ’81MM.

Published December 10, 2018
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[ video ]

New videos: John Adams conducts the Yale Philharmonia

Phil-Adams_0136-webComposer and conductor John Adams visited the Yale School of Music in October 2014. His weeklong residency culminated in two concerts featuring Adams conducting the Yale Philharmonia. Each concert featured Adams’ own music alongside works by Stravinsky and Beethoven.

The program included Adams’ Beethoven-inspired piece Absolute Jest, performed alongside Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Stravinsky’s Orpheus. A concerto for string quartet and orchestra, Absolute Jest also featured the Brentano String Quartet in its debut year as YSM’s quartet-in-residence. MORE

Published March 18, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Concert Review: John Adams with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and the Brentano String Quartet

BlogCritics | By Jon Sobel

Composer John Adams‘s “Absolute Jest” riffs on Beethoven, particularly the scherzos of his glorious late quartets. In last night’s “Yale in New York” performance at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall by the Yale Philharmonia and the Brentano String Quartet conducted by Adams, Beethoven spoke through Adams’s fitful, inventive piece sometimes with a wink, sometimes with a good-natured shove. The orchestra and chamber ensemble flowed remarkably smoothly together. With Stravinsky also on the program as well as Beethoven himself, this top-rank student orchestra did all three composers proud.

After a helpful introduction in which the quartet played some of the Beethoven strains Adams uses in his piece, which premiered back in 2012, “Absolute Jest” began with ghostly calls from harp and bells, before building into a rhythmic fiesta. The most straightforward Beethoven quote came towards the end of the 23-minute work and derived from Beethoven’s final string quartet, the F Major Opus 145. My sense, though, is that one would need only a glancing familiarity with Beethoven and classical music in general to appreciate and enjoy “Absolute Jest” – maybe even as much as Adams appeared to love conducting it (and must have enjoyed writing it). MORE

Published October 20, 2014
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[ concerts ]

John Adams to conduct Yale Philharmonia in New Haven Oct. 17, New York Oct. 19

John Adams, guest conductor and composer

John Adams, guest conductor and composer

Sunday, October 19 at 5 pm at Avery Fisher Hall, the Yale School of Music’s eighth season of the Yale in New York series opens with John Adams conducting the Yale Philharmonia.

Adams is considered “not only one of America’s cleverest composers but a sharp conductor too” (David Murray, Financial Times). This concert showcases Adams’ dual roles as conductor/composer with his Beethoven-inspired piece Absolute Jest alongside Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Stravinsky’s Orpheus. A concerto for string quartet and orchestra, Absolute Jest also features the Brentano String Quartet in its debut year as Yale’s Quartet-in-Residence. MORE

Published October 13, 2014
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[ In the press ]

Yale in New York to Open 2014-15 Season at Avery Fisher Hall Oct. 19

John Adams

John Adams

Broadway World
lassical Music News Desk

Yale in New York opens its 2014–15 season with John Adams conducting the Yale Philharmonia and the Brentano Quartet in concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Sunday October 19, 2014 at 5pm.

Yale in New York features John Adams as conductor and composer as he leads the Yale Philharmonia and Brentano String Quartet in his Absolute Jest paired with works by Beethoven and Stravinsky. This event is the culmination of a week-long John Adams residency at Yale. MORE

Published October 10, 2014
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[ events ]

Yale welcomes composer/conductor John Adams for weeklong residency

John Adams

John Adams

Renowned American composer and conductor John Adams will return to the university in his multiple roles as composer, conductor, and thinker during a weeklong residency Oct. 12–19. Events include a panel discussion and two concerts in which Adams will conduct the Yale Philharmonia and the Brentano String Quartet.

The panel discussion will include Peter Salovey, president of Yale, and Robert Blocker, dean of the Yale School of Music. It will take place 1–2:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16 in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St). The event is free and open to the public.

The residency will culminate in two concerts featuring Adams conducting the Yale Philharmonia in his own music alongside works by Stravinsky and Beethoven. “There is nothing particularly new about one composer internalizing the music of another and ‘making it his own,’” noted Adams. “Composers are drawn to another’s music to the point where they want to live in it, and that can happen in a variety of fashions.” MORE

Published October 1, 2014
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[ In the Press ]

Composer John Adams Returns To Yale For Weeklong Residency

John Adams, guest conductor and composer

John Adams, guest conductor and composer

Hartford Courant
By Michael Hamad

You might see a certain famous composer grabbing slices of New Haven’s famous pizza later this month.

John Adams, who presented the Tanner Lectures on Human Values in 2009 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2013, returns to Yale during the week of Oct. 12-19 for a series of panels, workshops and concerts, according to a Yale press release. MORE

Published October 1, 2014
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Guest conductor Peter Oundjian leads the Yale Philharmonia Apr. 5

Concert features American works of Rouse, Barber, Copland, and Adams

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with its principal guest conductor, Peter Oundjian, on Friday, April 5, 2013. The program highlights American music from the past hundred years, from Aaron Copland to John Adams. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

The performance will open with Christopher Rouse’s Infernal Machine, an orchestral showpiece inspired by the vision of a sinister but awe-inspiring eternal machine in motion for no particular purpose. Next is Samuel Barber’s heartrending Adagio for Strings, a work described by Alexander J. Morin as “full of pathos and cathartic passion.” MORE

Published March 11, 2013
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St. Lawrence String Quartet performs Mozart, John Adams, and more April 3

Adams composed his String Quartet expressly for SLSQ

The Yale School of Music presents the St. Lawrence String Quartet in concert on Tuesday, April 3. “The St. Lawrence,” writes The New Yorker, “are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection.” The concert, which features string quartets of Mozart, Korngold, and John Adams, takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall.

The concert opens with Mozart’s String Quartet in D minor, K. 421, the only minor-key piece in the set that Mozart dedicated to his teacher Haydn. Next is the lyrical, String Quartet No. 3 of Erich Korngold, a composer best known for his career scoring films for Hollywood. But with this piece, written in 1946, Korngold turn his attention back to the world of concert music for the first time in many years.

After hearing the SLSQ in concert, composer John Adams was inspired to write for them. The result was his String Quartet, which the SLSQ premiered in 2009 and will perform as the finale of this concert. “The piece is a knockout,” raved the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Thanks to the St. Lawrence… so was the performance.”

The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) – Geoff Nuttall and Scott St. John, violins; Lesley Robertson, viola; and Christopher Costanza, cello – last appeared at Yale in 1995. Since then, as the Globe and Mail noted, “…this group has matured and deepened without losing its freshness and edge.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer called one concert “Stylistically impeccable, with superb ensemble work, beautiful tone and expressiveness… as fine a performance as I could ever hope to hear.” MORE

Published March 6, 2012
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Yale Philharmonia and Oundjian perform Bruch, Adams, Tchaikovsky Oct. 21

Violinist Soo Ryun Baek performs Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy”

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale in a concert featuring music by Max Bruch and John Adams along with Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony and principal guest conductor of the Yale Philharmonia, will conduct the concert. The program opens with John Adams’ Tromba Lontana (“Distant Trumpet”), a subdued take on the traditional brassy, brazen fanfare.

Violinist Soo Ryun Baek ’11MM, a graduate of the Yale School of Music and winner of the Woolsey Competition, will be the featured soloist on Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The piece, in which the German composer reworks Scottish folk melodies and dances, is dedicated to the renowned violin soloist Pablo de Sarasate.

The second half of the program features Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor. This early symphony is nicknamed “Little Russian” for its use of three folk songs from the Ukraine—which used to be known as Little Russia—in the first, second, and final movements. At its premiere, listeners noted Tchaikovsky’s mastery in combining these traditional folk songs with Western symphonic methods. While less performed than his later symphonies, it remains a gem for audiences today.

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. MORE

Published September 30, 2011
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