NYT: Yale Composers Showcase Their Works at New Music New Haven

Ani Kavafian, Lisa Morre, and David Shifrin | Photo by Chris Lee

Ani Kavafian, Lisa Moore, and David Shifrin | Photo by Chris Lee

The New York Times | By Vivien Schweitzer

It’s rarely a compliment to describe a composer as “academic”: the word is usually applied to those perceived as being sequestered on campus creating esoteric, dreary works. Conversely, being too “accessible” (i.e., not challenging enough) has also been deemed a negative. But there’s nothing pejoratively “academic” or “accessible” about any of the Yale faculty composers featured during a concert on Wednesday at WQXR’s Greene Space in SoHo.

David Lang, Hannah Lash, Christopher Theofanidis, Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Bresnick represent an accessible aesthetic that draws on multiple stylistic influences. Some of their music has been championed by Bang on a Can, the lively genre-bending collective whose three founders, all Yale alumni, include Mr. Lang. The vocalist Helga Davis hosted Wednesday’s event, part of the NY Phil Biennial, and interviewed each composer and Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s music director, onstage. MORE

Published May 26, 2016
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New Music New Haven features three faculty composers Nov. 20

Christopher Theofanidis

Christopher Theofanidis

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The concert will feature three duets by faculty composers Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Christopher Theofanidis.

The featured composers comprise the second half of the program. Kaoru for two flutes, by Christopher Theofanidis, will be performed by Andrew Robson and Victor Wang. MORE

Published November 17, 2014
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Feb. 13 concert features music of Martin Bresnick

“Bresnick is a major voice.”
–Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

The Faculty Artist Series at the Yale School of Music presents a concert of music by the award-winning composer Martin Bresnick on Monday, February 13. Featuring performances by pianist Robert Blocker, the acclaimed piano-cello duo TwoSense, and alumni of the School of Music, the concert is a tribute to Bresnick’s thirty years on the Yale faculty. Bresnick, a professor of composition, is also the coordinator of the composition department at the School of Music.

“Bresnick’s legacy as a teacher is secure,” writes John Schaefer on emusic, “but it has threatened to overshadow the fact that Bresnick can just flat-out write.” As evidence of this, Bresnick also the winner of such prestigious awards as the Rome Prize, a Fulbright grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among many others.

The piano-cello duo TwoSense, featuring Bang-on-a-Can All-Stars Ashley Bathgate (’07 MM, ’08 AD), cello and Lisa Moore, piano, will open the concert with “Ballade,” an homage to Brahms. Bathgate will join with violinist Sarita Kwok (’06 AD, ’09 DMA) to perform “Bird as Prophet” (1999), a piece that Fanfare Magazine considers “an expansive yet concentrated power of expression.”

Robert Blocker, the dean of the Yale School of Music, will perform “Strange Devotion,” a movement from Bresnick’s collection “Caprichos Enfaticos” (inspired by Francisco Goya’s masterful series of paintings, Los Destastres de la Guerra).

Percussionists Robert van Sice (a YSM faculty member) and Ian Rosenbaum (’10 MM, ’11 AD) will join with pianist Moore to perform the double concerto “Grace.” In the piece, writes Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times, “extended passages of halting rhythms and quizzical restraint are broken up with bursts of precise and telling gestures.”

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Published January 20, 2012
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