Memorial celebration of John W. Swallow to take place August 4 in Norfolk

John W. Swallow

John W. Swallow

The family of John W. Swallow and the Yale School of Music invite the public to a memorial celebration of trombonist John Warner Swallow. The event will take place Sunday, August 4 at 5 pm at the Music Shed in Norfolk, Conn.

Tributes and performances will highlight Swallow’s contribution to the world of music, life, and the art of trombone playing. The Music Shed is located at the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, 20 Litchfield Road, Norfolk, CT 06058.

Professor John Swallow came to the School of Music in 1965 as Lecturer of Trombone. He retired in 2001 as Professor of Trombone, adjunct, and received emeritus status. He was also a vivid presence at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. MORE

Published July 10, 2013
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New Britain Symphony tribute to Jesse Levine

Faculty and alumni of the Yale School of Music participate in performance


Violist Jesse Levine, a longtime member of the Yale School of Music faculty, died just over a year ago. His presence in Connecticut also included 20 years as the conductor of the Norwalk Symphony for 20 years and just over two seasons as music director of the New Britain Symphony. The latter orchestra, conducted by Levine’s longtime friend Maurice Peress, organized and performed a creative musical tribute to him at Central Connecticut State University on Sunday, November 22.

Performers included clarinetist David Shifrin, pianist Peter Frankl, and cellist Ole Akahoshi, all faculty colleagues of Levine’s from the School of Music. Shifrin played the finale from Mozart’s clarinet concerto, and Frankl performed Bach’s Concerto in F minor. Ole Akahoshi and YSM alum Mihai Marica joined together in Vivaldi’s double cello concerto in G minor. Other performers included the pianist Morey Ritt, Levine’s longtime recital partner.

In its review, the Hartford Courant praised the concert as a “labor of love” for “voicing a collective sense of loss, but also in voicing an appreciation for the life that Levine lived.”

Published December 4, 2009
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Memorial concert to honor Jesse Levine

Event will feature spoken tributes and performances by colleagues and students


The Yale School of Music presents a memorial concert in honor of Jesse Levine on Sunday, February 22 at 4 pm in Battell Chapel, 300 College Street in New Haven.  In addition to spoken tributes and remembrances will be performances by Levine’s former colleagues and students. Performers from the Yale School of Music will include the Yale Cellos, conducted by Aldo Parisot; Syoko Aki, violin; Frank Morelli, bassoon; pianists Joan Panetti, and Elizabeth Parisot; and several of Professor Levine’s viola students.  Levine’s longtime colleague and musical partner, pianist Morey Ritt, will  also perform.

Admission to the memorial concert is free. For further information, please visit the School of Music web site at, or call 203 432-4158.

Jesse Levine, violist, teacher, and conductor, was known for his loyalty, devotion, sense of humor, strength of convictions, and compassion. He was Professor in the Practice of Viola and Chamber Music and coordinator of the String Department at the Yale School of Music since 1983. He was principal violist of the Buffalo, Dallas, Baltimore and New Jersey symphony orchestras, and was the music director of several orchestras, including the New Britain and Norwalk symphony orchestras, Orquesta del Principado de Asturias, Chappaqua Orchestra, and the Feld Ballet. Known for his work in contemporary music, he was frequently invited to conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic in its annual North American New Music Festival and participated in the annual June-in-Buffalo Festival. In the dual role of conductor/teacher Mr. Levine conducted the National Youth Orchestra of Spain, the Youth Orchestra of Andalucia, and the Youth Orchestra of Catalonia. As a member of the Bruch Trio he recorded the music of Max Bruch, Rebecca Clarke, Jean Francaix, Gordon Jacob, and Mozart for Summit Records.

Mr. Levine previously served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Stony Brook and Purchase, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He presented master classes at conservatories and  festivals throughout Spain and France. Jesse Levine studied principally at Mannes College of the Arts. He also studied conducting with Igor Markevitch in Monaco. Early career highlights included summers as principal violist at Tanglewood, performing the Stravinsky elegy on stage with the composer (and introducing him to his mother), as well as several missions to Argentina as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department. Jesse Levine is survived by his wife, Jill Pellett Levine, his sons Alexander and Josh, and his sister Lisa Nowakowski.

Published February 6, 2009
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