[ students & alumni ]

Ulysses Quartet takes grand prize at Fischoff Competition

Ulysses Fischoff

Ulysses String Quartet

The Ulysses String Quartet has been named the Grand Prize-winner of this year’s Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The group is home to YSM alumnus Colin Brookes ’13 MM, ’14 AD, as well as 2010 Norfolk alumna Grace Ho.

As grand prize-winners as well as gold medalists in the Senior String Division, the group will take part in a Winner’s Tour of the Midwestern United States this fall; they also took home a total of $11,000 in cash prizes. MORE

Published May 22, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Argus Quartet to compete in Banff International String Quartet Competition

Argus Quartet

YSM’s fellowship quartet-in-residence, the Argus Quartet, has been selected to compete in the Banff International String Quartet Competition this August. The group is one of 10 quartets chosen to participate in the prestigious live rounds of the competition.

The competition, held in Banff, Alberta, consists of five rounds for which Argus has prepared a total of seven full works, including a newly commissioned work by Canadian composer Zosha di Castri. Grand prize-winners receive an award worth over $150,000, including a cash prize of $25,000 in addition to a three-year development program of concert tours, residencies, and recordings.

The 10 quartets were selected by Clive Greensmith of the Tokyo Quartet, Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, and Douglas McNabney, artistic director of Toronto Summer Music. Judges for the live rounds include members of the Rondom Kwartet; Orford, Lawrence, and Tokyo String Quartets; Cleveland and Belcea Quartets; and Quartour Vio Nova. MORE

Published May 16, 2016
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[ in the press ]

Yale School of Music Norfolk Chamber Music Fest opens

bermanBy Joe Amarante | New Haven Register

A 75-minute drive to the hills of western Connecticut, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival begins its summer run of chamber music for the 74th time this week, presented by the Yale School of Music and including internationally known ensembles and chamber musicians alongside students and young professionals.

At 8 p.m. Friday at the Norfolk Festival Music Shed, pianist Boris Berman and Norfolk Festival Artists and Fellows will perform Mozart’s “Quintet for Piano and Winds” (which Mozart considered to be the best work he ever composed), as well as his “Adagio and Rondo for Glass Harmonica.” Also on the program is Franck’s “Piano Quintet.” MORE

Published July 9, 2015
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[ obituaries ]

In memoriam: William Gill Gridley, Jr., trustee of Battell Stoeckel Estate in Norfolk

Bill Gridley

Bill Gridley

William Gill Gridley, Jr., 85, died peacefully after a brief illness Saturday, November 29, 2014, at his Norfolk, CT home. A 1951 graduate of Yale College, he served for twenty years on the board of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate, home of the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, in Norfolk, Conn.

Gridley was born January 10, 1929 in New York City. An investment banker by profession, Gridley began his career in 1953 at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked for 18 years before moving to American Express International Bank, where he was among the first western bankers to do business in China. In 1979 he went on to become president of Crescent Diversified Ltd. and Competrol BVI, the United States investment vehicles of the Olayan Group. He then served as president of Brandywine Investors Inc. Gridley served as CFO, then President and CEO of HYMEDIX Inc. and director of Lifestream Technologies, two health care start-ups. MORE

Published December 4, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Inside the Music Factory: Visiting With Fellows at the Norfolk Festival

NorfolkNow-picNorfolk Now
By Wiley Wood

The campus of the Yale Summer School of Music in Norfolk is almost deserted on a sunny day in July, but fragments of music float in the air from all sides. A brass ensemble is rehearsing in a stone structure near Mountain Road. A pianist is banging out a passage in the studio next to Spaulding Brook. And up on the hillside, near the site of the old greenhouse, a low brick building is leaking music out of every corner. This is where the Amici Quartet is rehearsing.

Director Paul Hawkshaw explains that some groups come to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival pre-formed. The members of the East Rock Brass Quintet, for instance, attend the Yale School of Music and perform together during the year. The string players of the Amici, however, had never met before the previous week. They will play together throughout the six weeks of the festival, sometimes accepting an extra player for a particular piece or going on loan to another group. MORE

Published August 19, 2014
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Yale Summer School of Music – Norfolk Chamber Music Festival announces 2013 season

June 22 – August 17: 2013 Norfolk Festival to feature six string quartets

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Yale School of Music, celebrates its 72nd season this year with performances and residencies by six internationally esteemed string quartets alongside students and young professionals from around the world.

From June 22 to August 17, Norfolk will host a roster of string quartets including: the Artis Quartet, the Brentano Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Jasper String Quartet, the Keller Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. The Tokyo String Quartet, which is retiring this year, will play its last concert on July 6 at the festival. On August 3 the Emerson String Quartet will perform its New York area debut concert with the group’s new cellist, Paul Watkins.

Norfolk director Paul Hawkshaw says, “Our mission at Norfolk is to cultivate the performance and teaching of chamber music at the highest level. We always want our audiences, students, and performing artists to have fun exploring the chamber music repertoire, and this year we are especially fortunate to have a truly international group of performers for our audiences to enjoy.” MORE

Published March 3, 2013
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An Interview with Violinist Peter Schuhmayer

This weekend, the Artis Quartet of Vienna performs at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival–Yale Summer School of Music in northwest Connecticut. Here’s an interview with Peter Schuhmayer, the quartet’s first violinist, from Norfolk’s blog.

schuhmayerWhen you are away touring, do you bring anything special with you to remind you of home?
I just print out photos of my family for my violin case and keep lots of digital photos in my laptop and mobile phone.

Are there any “good-luck” rituals that you observe while one the road?

When you fly what do you like to read?
Usually I read newspapers or magazines or work some things out on my laptop.

What are the most played songs on your iPod?

What is your favorite concert hall to play in and why?
There are many good concert halls around, but the Musikverein in Vienna is my favorite hall since it just takes me a 5-minute walk to my home.

Do you notice a difference between European and North-American audiences?
They are divided everywhere into the coughing, and the non-coughing. MORE

Published July 6, 2012
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From the Archives: Historic Norfolk

The 2009 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival is underway, offering concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as free lectures, fellows’ performances, and a listening club. The Norfolk season announcement from the archives does not list a year; many of the participating musicians were on the faculty from the 1930s onward. The concerts all take place Fridays at 3:00 pm in Battell House, indicating a more informal series than what the season might have offered in the Music Shed on weekend evenings.


Bruce Simonds, a pianist who appeared in two programs that summer, joined the faculty in 1921 and taught until 1964, serving as Dean from 1941 to 1954. Other programs in Yale’s archive indicate that he often performed two-piano repertoire with his wife, Rosalind Simonds. This photo from the library’s archives shows Simonds participating in a folk dance at Norfolk, a tradition that has since died out. MORE

Published August 3, 2009
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