[ students & alumni ]

YSM faculty and alumni receive grants from New Music USA

Harold Meltzer | Photo by Emily Greta Tabourin

Harold Meltzer | Photo by Emily Greta Tabourin

Several YSM faculty and alumni composers and performers have been selected to receive grants from New Music USA for its Fall 2015 Project Grants Awards. Totaling $276,770 in funding, the awards support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The 53 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element. The public can explore awarded projects from all five rounds via media-rich project pages.

Harold Meltzer ’97 MMA, ’00 DMA was recognized as part of the American Notes commissioning initiative by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Along with composer Jessie Montgomery, Meltzer has been commissioned to create an original orchestral work for Orpheus to be premiered at Carnegie Hall and on tour to audiences across America in 2016.

The Music Mondays series in New York City was awarded a grant for the first-ever full-length portrait concert in New York City for Judd Greenstein ’04 MM. Titled City Boy: Music of Judd Greenstein, the concert featured the Claremont Trio, NOW Ensemble, and Roomful of Teeth, and was held on February 15, 2016 on the Upper West Side. MORE

Published February 23, 2016
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[ students + alumni ]

Yale Composers Featured at SONiC Festival in New York City

SONiC FestThe American Composers Orchestra’s SONiC Festival, focusing on composers ages 40 or younger, returns to New York City this month from Oct. 15–23. The second edition of the festival includes music by Yale faculty member Hannah Lash, current YSM composition students Michael Gilbertson and Molly Joyce, and YSM graduates Andy Akiho, Christopher Cerrone, Reena Esmail, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, Missy Mazzoli, and Brendon Randall-Myers.


Published October 13, 2015
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YSM alumni among “Top Composers Who Are Redefining Classical Music”

The Culture Trip | By Helen Armitage

While the great composers like Bach and Beethoven may still reign supreme in classical music circles, a generation of new young composers are challenging its traditional boundaries. From the haunting ‘indie-classical’ sounds of Missy Mazzoli to Judd Greenstein’s post-genre adventures, we profile ten innovative young composers bringing new life to classical music.

missy mazzoli composer alumniMissy Mazzoli

Hailed by The New York Times as one of the ‘more consistently inventive and surprising composers now working in New York’, Missy Mazzoli is an American composer and keyboardist based in Brooklyn whose works straddle the line between classical and indie with a haunting, innovative sound. Her debut opera Song from the Uproar premiered in 2012 to rave reviews and her works have been performed worldwide by the New York City Opera and Sydney Symphony, to name but a few. Currently working as composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Gotham Chamber Opera, Mazzoli’s future projects include Breaking the Waves – a chamber opera based Lars Von Triers 1996 film of the same name due to premiere in 2016. MORE

Published April 18, 2015
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[ in the press ]

The N.C. Symphony opens an adverturous season in September

SarahKirklandSniderIndy Week
By Todd Morman

When I asked the new general manager and the artistic administrator of the North Carolina Symphony what they might do to reach a younger generation of music fans, they replied, at first, with an awkward pause. Flyers at rock clubs like Kings, maybe? Publicizing $10 student tickets more? Commercials on college radio stations? Anything?

In truth, Amy Russell and Martin Sher have already done the hard work to attract new music fans to the symphony, as the newly announced lineup of the next season greatly expands the mission and repertoire of the local outfit. Now they just need to sell it. They’re still working on that part.

The symphony’s own press release buries the real news, so you have to dig past the announcement of chestnuts like Handel’s Messiah and a Rachmaninoff piano concerto to get to the excitement that the next season, which begins in September, brings: They’ll play two new commissions by Judd Greenstein ’04 MM and Sarah Kirkland Snider ’05 MM, the co-directors of indie classical powerhouse New Amsterdam Records. They created the label in 2008 to give young composers and musicians grounded in other genres a place to release their first records. Time Out NY called the label “the focal point of the post-classical scene.” MORE

Published February 26, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Feast of Music: Conversation with Roomful of Teeth’s Brad Wells ’05 DMA

Feast of Music
By Peter Matthews

RoomfulofTeethIt’s been an exciting year for contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, whose debut album (New Amsterdam) — including Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices — is up for three GRAMMY Awards this month, including Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. I had the chance to sit down a couple of weeks ago with Roomful of Teeth’s Founder and Director, Brad Wells, to talk about the group’s working methods and influences and why they’re not “a &$%ing choir!” (Note: Roomful of Teeth will be performing as part of the upcoming Winter Jazzfest at Judson Memorial Church next Friday, January 10 at 945 p.m. Tickets and info here.)

On Starting Roomful of Teeth: There were these hard lines that had been drawn between classical voice pedagogy and everything else. The mentality was: keep everything else out, because everything else is an inferior use of the voice. But, thinking about how long people have been using their voice in different parts of the world, how could those other techniques be wrong?  MORE

Published January 6, 2014
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[ in the press ]

The Misfits of Brooklyn’s Music Scene: It’s Been a Good Year for the Record Label New Amsterdam

new-amsterdam-recordsWall Street Journal
By Corinne Ramey

On a recent evening in Williamsburg, a hipster headbanged along with the JACK Quartet’s rendition of William Brittelle’s “Future Shock,” which, while pop-sounding and electronic, had intricately layered string riffs and a classical structure.

The performance was part of a benefit for New Amsterdam Presents, which, along with its record label, has become an advocate for a corner of New York’s new-music scene that doesn’t quite belong—and doesn’t want to.

It has been a good year for the label. In addition to a handful of Grammy nominations, this year’s music Pulitzer was awarded to Caroline Shaw, for a work recorded on New Amsterdam. The group’s Red Hook office space has largely recovered from superstorm Sandy, although some questionable mold remains. MORE

Published December 27, 2013
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Judd Greenstein ’04MM selected for Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Story Lab

greenstein_juddThe Sundance Institute recently announced the six projects selected for the New Frontier Story Lab, coming up October 23–28 at the Sundance Resort in Utah. Inspired by New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival and built on the renowned Sundance Institute Lab model, the Lab supports artists innovating the art and form of storytelling at the convergence of film, visual art, media, live performance, music and technology.

Activities at the weeklong, immersive Lab include individualized story sessions, conversations about key artistic, design and technology issues, and case study presentations from experts in diverse related disciplines. The Lab draws talent and expertise from all of Sundance Institute’s creative programs, including Feature Film, Documentary Film, and the Sundance Film Festival.

Among the projects selected was an untitled opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacob, by Joshua Frankel and Judd Greenstein ’04MM. In the opera, according to the project description, “The most powerful and visionary builder in New York City history is confronted by a groundbreaking urban theorist leading a revolt against his plan to demolish her neighborhood, igniting a conflict that will shape the cities of the future and the lives of those who call them home.” MORE

Published October 11, 2013
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The latest student and alumni news

Graduates of the Yale School of Music are all over the news lately. A few highlights:

Vesselin Todorov ’09MM, ’10AD

We’ve got a new acronym: YSMA = “Yale School of Music alum.” Read Daniel Stephen Johnson’s take on the Ecstatic Music Festival – curated by Judd Greenstein ’04MM – and its wealth of YSMA participants.

Vesselin Todorov ’09MM, ’10AD is named the new violist of the Harrington String Quartet; members of the quartet also are employed as members of Amarillo Symphony and as faculty at West Texas A&M University.

Rosemary Kimura Hatch ’81MM and Richard Hatch (a graduate of  Yale College) open the Hatch Academy of Magic and Music.

Third Coast Percussion performs, with group member David Skidmore ’08MM.

The New York Times writes about the baroque ensemble Rebel, directed by Karen Marie Marmer ’89MM.

The Day reviews the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, including Kathryn Salfelder‘s (’11MM) “appealing” new orchestral work Dessin No. 1.

Published February 1, 2011
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Four YSM composers advance in Project440

Timothy Andres

The first round of composers to advance in Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440 was announced live on New York Public Radio yesterday morning. Four Yale School of Music composers were among those advancing to the next round: Timothy Andres, Judd Greenstein, Polina Nazaykinskaya, and Andrew Norman. Preben Antonsen, an undergraduate in Yale College, also advanced.

The project, which began with 60 composer candidates and will conclude with the selection of four Orpheus commission recipients later this year, offers the public a rare glimpse into the ways new commissions come to be. Yesterday’s announcement narrowed the field from 60 nominees down to 30. a subsequent round of elimination on September 9 will see 12 candidates advance to the final round, and the four winners will be announced in mid-October.

Orpheus designed Project 440 in keeping with the passion for new music and for transparency of the creative process that has been a hallmark of the orchestra since its inception in 1972. The project is documented online on the WQXR website, where fans and members of the public have engaged in lively debate about each of the candidates and Project 440 as a whole.


Published August 5, 2010
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YSM student & alumni composers and Project 440

Andy Akiho '11MM

Several Yale School of Music composers will participate in WXQR’s groundbreaking Project 440, where composers from all over the country will compete for a commission from the world-famous Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York City.

Sixty candidates were posted in the month of June, including several YSM alumni and students: Andy Akiho ’11MM, Timothy Andres ’07BA, ’09MM, Judd Greenstein ’04MM, Ted Hearne ’08MMA, Polina Nazaykinskaya ’10MM, Andrew Norman ’09AD,  and John Orfe ’01MM, ’02MMA, ’09DMA.

Two more rounds will reduce the number of candidates from sixty to thirty, and from thirty to twelve; finally, four winners will be chosen in October 2010.

In the meantime, each candidate will have a bio and audio clips posted on the WXQR website, giving home listeners the chance to weigh in on their favorite composers. The final judging will be done by Orpheus, but opinions from the website will be taken into consideration.

Polina Nazaykinskaya ’10MM

With both popular feedback and professional judging, Project 440 is  a celebration of the best of America’s musical talents.


Published July 30, 2010
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