Yale Philharmonia performs music from Rome to Russia January 25

Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale

The Yale School of Music presents the Yale Philharmonia and conductor Shinik Hahm in a concert of music from Rome to Russia on Friday, January 25, 2013. The concert, which includes music by Respighi, Koetsier, and Tchaikovsky, will takes place at 8 pm.

Respighi‘s symphonic poem The Pines of Rome opens the program, offering listeners the chance to hear the Newberry Organ in an orchestral performance. YSM student Dexter Kennedy, recognized as a “Rising Star” by the American Guild of Organists, will be the organist.

Handsome Dans Trombone Quartet

The program continues with a performance of Jan Koetsier’s Concertino for trombone quartet and string orchestra. The piece features the Handsome Dans Trombone Quartet, one of the winners of last year’s Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition. The members of the quartet are Timothy HilgertHana BeloglavecBenjamin Firer, and Jeffrey Arredondo.

The concert concludes with Tchaikovsky‘s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, a piece representing the composer’s dark view of the world: that “all life is an unbroken alternation of hard reality with swiftly passing dreams and visions of happiness.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place in Woolsey Hall (located at 500 College Street, corner of Grove Street). For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu. MORE

Published January 16, 2013
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Organs and Pianos at Yale, but No Dueling Keyboards

New York Times

SIMON PRESTON, an organist with a wit as dry as his talent is prodigious, had just concluded a solo concert in Yale University’s Woolsey Hall last November when he was asked to draw a broad comparison between the hall’s monumental Newberry Memorial Organ — on which he had rendered Bach, Mozart, Liszt and Olivier Messiaen to sustained applause — and the other great organs he had played.

“This one works,” he said.

Mr. Preston, whose 50-year career has included appointments at Westminster Abbey and Christ Church Oxford, was smiling as he answered the question. But for all its humor, his answer was no throwaway, either as an assessment of the prized and pampered Newberry organ or as a metaphor for Yale’s keyboard programming in general — a comprehensive and, at times, challenging series of organ and piano recitals.

By the time the season is over in April, Great Organ Music at Yale, the primary vehicle for producing organ concerts under the Institute of Sacred Music, is to have presented six concerts, featuring the work of composers from the late-Renaissance Dutchman Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck to the French modernists Marcel Dupré and his student, Messiaen.

At the same time, the Horowitz Piano Series, a parallel set of concerts run by the School of Music’s piano department, by the time it finishes in March, is to have presented eight shows, offering works by composers from Mozart to Martin Bresnick. A Yale faculty member, Mr. Bresnick has written a new piece that Robert Blocker, the dean of the School of Music, will perform in the season-closing show.

Mr. Blocker’s decision to include the Bresnick piece, “Extrana Devocion” — a processional inspired by a Goya etching — reflects a penchant for ambitious composition in the programming. The piece, as described by Mr. Bresnick in an e-mail, weaves “gentle sonorities, deliberate tempo and dreamlike realistic form” in an attempt to suggest the etching “in a vivid, unrestrained and compelling way.”

The airing of the piece, in the context of the program as a whole, also constitutes something of a rebuttal to those who argue that a bill of fare should not be entirely composed of miniatures. Despite its relative brevity — Mr. Bresnick put its running time at six and a half minutes — the piece will fit squarely among the set’s other selections, short works by Brahms, Schumann and another Yale composer, Ezra Laderman, among others.

Over the course of the series, extended works are to balance Mr. Blocker’s miniatures — among them the “Hammerklavier,” perhaps the knottiest of the late Beethoven sonatas, which Hung-Kuan Chen is to take on next month.

Advocacy of a sort drives most programming choices — and those in the piano series are no exception. Wei-Yi Yang said he became enamored of Schubert’s Sonata in A major as a student at the School of Music a decade ago. Now a professor there, he is to revisit the piece this month — a decision, he said, driven by a desire to promote Schubert’s later sonatas, which are “unjustly underrepresented in the context of concert programming.” Boris Berman, who directs the Horowitz series, said his decision to place Brahms and Schoenberg side by side in his season-opening recital last October was made in good measure to highlight the composers’ connections and paint a coherent picture of the Viennese milieu in which they operated.…


Published January 13, 2012
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Frederick Teardo gives a DMA recital of Franck, Elgar, and more on Woolsey Hall’s incomparable Newberry Organ

The Yale School of Music presents a Doctor of Musical Arts recital by organist Frederick Teardo on Thursday, October 14 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, corner of Grove Street, New Haven). The concert will feature music from Schumann to Elgar to the present day.

Teardo will open the program with the first movement of Elgar’s Sonata for Organ, Op. 28, and will continue with excerpts from Schumann’s Studies for the Pedal Organ, Op. 56. Complete works will include César Franck’s deeply expressive Prière (Prayer), Op. 20, and Marcel Dupré’s Prelude and Fugue in B Major, Op. 7, No. 1, written “for a triumphal solemnity.” The newest work on the program is Aaron Travers’s Three Pieces for Organ, written in 2000. Max Reger’s virtuosic Fantasy on the Chorale “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme,” Op. 52, No. 2, will conclude the program.

The Newberry Memorial Organ is one of the most renowned Romantic organs in the world. Originally built in 1902, it was rebuilt in both 1915 and 1928 and boasts 12,617 pipes, comprising 197 ranks and 166 stops. It offers a wealth of expressive possibilities to the performer. MORE

Published September 28, 2010
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Organist Brian Harlow performs music from Bach to the present day

Program features Widor’s masterful Symponie Romane

harlow_brian copyThe organist Brian Harlow, director of music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, NJ, will perform a recital on the celebrated Newberry Memorial Organ in Yale’s Woolsey Hall on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 8pm. The program will open with J.S. Bach’s Toccata in C major, BWV 564. It continues with Mytò, written in 1981 by the Dutch composer Ad Wammes, and Herbert Howells’s De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine (Ps. 130:1) from the Psalm-Preludes. The most recent work on the program is the 2002 Toccata for Organ by the American composer Gerre Hancock. The recital, one of the final requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music, will conclude with Charles-Marie Widor’s masterpiece for the organ, the Symphonie Romane, Op. 73. MORE

Published October 7, 2009
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