NHSO honors YSM Dean Robert Blocker

YSM Dean Robert Blocker. Photo courtesy of the NHSO

Dean Robert Blocker was honored at the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s 125th Anniversary Gala on Jan. 25, along with former Yale University Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives Linda Koch Lorimer. The NHSO cited Blocker’s steadfast support of the symphony and his dedication to the arts in the New Haven community.

“The New Haven Symphony was delighted to celebrate not only our 125-year partnership with the Yale School of Music, but to honor the valuable contributions of Dean Robert Blocker,” the NHSO’s chief executive officer, Elaine Carroll, said. “He was selected as our gala honoree because of his many years of service to the symphony’s board of directors, his willingness to share his extensive knowledge of our field, and his wonderful artistry when he has appeared as a piano soloist with the NHSO. On a personal note, Dean Blocker is one of the first people I turn to when I have a ‘big picture’ question, and he never fails to provide immediate feedback and useful information. It was a real pleasure to see someone who gives so much be acknowledged for his outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of the symphony.”

The NHSO has been closely tied to Yale since its inception in 1894, the same year the Yale School of Music was established. Yale provided financial and organizational support, as well as composers and performers, to the growing ensemble. Woolsey Hall, commissioned by Yale in 1901, has served as the NHSO’s chief performance venue. Another important figure in the shared histories of the Yale School of Music and the NHSO is Horatio Parker, who not only served as the School’s first Dean, but served as the first conductor of the NHSO and was responsible for transforming the orchestra into a nationally acclaimed ensemble. The Yale School of Music will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding from summer 2019 through fall 2020.

Published February 8, 2019
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[ students & alumni ]

Faculty, Alumni, and Students Receive NEA Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the recipients of their Art Works Grants for 2016, and several faculty, alumni, and student composers are among the awardees. The organization awarded $27 million for arts projects across the United States, and the first round of FY 2016 funding inaugurates the next 50 Years of National Endowment for the Arts Support.

The NEA defines “Art Works” as referring to three things: the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences, and the fact that art is work for the artists and arts professionals who make up the field. The NEA recognizes these catalytic effects of excellent art, and the key role that arts and design organizations play in revitalizing them. MORE

Published March 1, 2016
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[ in the press ]

Folk Music From Imaginary Culture Floods Woolsey Hall

Hannah Lash, composition facultyNew Haven Independent | Adam Matlock

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra kicked off their 2015–2016 season with a bold statement, indicating their commitment to replenishing not only the repertoire of orchestral music, but also the audience for it.

Last Thursday night saw Woolsey Hall filled with families as part of the “School Night at the Symphony” program the orchestra is running this season, and the initiative is admirable, allowing audiences to attend who would not ordinarily be able to. Thursday’s program featured three works by composers known for their connections to folk music. Three — Antonin Dvorak, Jean Sibelius, and Edvard Grieg — are comfortably part of the established canon. The fourth work was a piece commissioned from composer Hannah Lash, who is creating a folk music to match an otherworldly document nearly five centuries old: the baffling and highly intriguing Voynich Manuscript, housed in Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. MORE

Published October 14, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Three Yale divas on bill with New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Nicole Percifield, soprano

New Haven Register | By Joe Amarante

NEW HAVEN » Soprano trifecta. That could refer to three talented sopranos performing the week before Thanksgiving with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Or to Nicole Percifield’s fall plans.

Percifield, Canadian-raised and Northeast-educated in Boston and New York, has three major singing gigs this autumn — Nov. 21 in the title role of “Suor Angelica” with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, her Carnegie Hall debut Dec. 7 with the Yale in New York series and teaming with the NHSO again just before Christmas as soprano soloist for three performances of “The Messiah.” MORE

Published November 20, 2014
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[ concerts ]

NHSO and Yale Opera to perform Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Theofanidis premiere Nov. 20 & 21

Christopher Theofanidis

Christopher Theofanidis

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) is collaborating for the first time with Yale Opera to present a fully staged performance of Puccini’s opera Suor Angelica on Thursday, November 20 and Friday, November 21 at 7:30pm at St. Mary’s Church. Called Puccini, Virtue, and Redemption, program also will include the New England premiere of Virtue by YSM faculty composer Christopher Theofanidis.

The performances of Virtue feature guest soprano soloist Tony Arnold, narrator Chris Dickerson, and the Elm City Girls’ Choir. NHSO music director William Boughton says, “What defines a person’s life as virtuous or sinful? Who deserves forgiveness? These are the themes that we will explore through music in this dramatic program.”

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Published November 18, 2014
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