Pianist Szymon Nehring wins Harvard Musical Association’s Foote Award

Szymon Nehring

Pianist and current School of Music artist diploma candidate Szymon Nehring has won the Harvard Musical Association’s 2018 Arthur W. Foote Award, which is presented “to instrumentalists of the highest musical caliber of university or conservatory level who are about to launch professional careers,” according to language on the association’s website. Nehring will perform at a private event for association members and their guests on Feb. 2 in Boston.

Nehring “was clearly the consensus” winner among jury members this year, John Anthony Schemmer, the chairman and vice president of the HMA, said. “He’s still very young, but he has already a very decided personality of his own and he has the ability to draw in and engage the audience.”

Violinist and current YSM artist diploma candidate Sirena Huang and organist David Simon ’17MM, who is pursuing his doctorate at the School of Music (and studying at the Institute of Sacred Music), also inspired members of the Foote Award jury. They “made very favorable and distinguished impressions on us,” Schemmer said.

Previous Foote Award winners from YSM include organist Paul Jacobs ’02MM ’03AD (2003) and pianists Ryo Yanagitani ’04MM ’05AD ’08MMA and Henry Kramer ’13AD ’15MMA (2005 and 2014, respectively). Schemmer, who graduated from Yale College in 1968 with a degree in music theory and composition, said the School of Music’s “profile has been rising for several decades,” and that YSM’s students are “absolutely superb.”

Nehring is the latest to reflect that assessment. Upon reviewing Nehring’s recorded performances, one jury member said “he had the audience engaged before he began playing,” according to Schemmer, who, in turn, said that Nehring “is prepared with these pieces in the most extraordinary way.”

Nehring, who studies at the School of Music with Boris Berman, arrived at Yale in fall 2017 having won the prestigious Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel, in May. In October, Nehring was named the Personality of the Year as part of the 2017 Polish Music Coryphaeus Awards and was honored that month alongside other award recipients in Warsaw, Poland. Before enrolling at YSM, he studied with Stefan Wojtas at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The Harvard Musical Association was founded by Harvard alumni in 1837 but is not affiliated with that university.


Published January 11, 2018
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The Dark Side of Ryo: Mozart’s D Minor Concerto


ryo_yanagitani_3This weekend wraps up the third annual Mozart Festival Texas. A solo recital takes place Friday night with Rick Rowley. Saturday an orchestral concert rounds out the festival with two masterpieces: the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony and the Piano Concerto No. 20.Terry Frazor will conduct and feature piano soloist Ryo Yanagitani, a former Gold Medalist with the San Antonio International Piano Competition.

The d minor concerto is special in Mozart’s catalogue. It is the first of only two minor key concerti that Mozart wrote (out of 27!). Mozart’s dad, Leopold wrote to Mozart’s sister after hearing the work, “I heard an excellent new piano concerto by Wolfgang, on which the copyist was still at work when we got there, and your brother didn’t even have time to play through the rondo because he had to oversee the copying operation.” MORE

Published July 31, 2013
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Pianist Ryo Yanagitani opens 2013 with Jan. 10 concert

Doctor of Musical Arts recital includes music of Handel, Debussy, Chopin, and more

The Yale School of Music presents a Doctor of Musical Arts recital featuring pianist Ryo Yanagitani on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

The gold medal medal winner of the prestigious San Antonio International Piano Competition in 2009, Yanagitani will play a program featuring music from the Baroque to today. The concert begins at 8 pm at Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven.

Yanagitani will open the program with Handel‘s Keyboard Suite No. 3 in D minor, HWV 428, followed by Debussy‘s suite Pour le Piano. The first half closes with the evocative Butterflies and Bobcats by the contemporary Canadian composer David L. McIntyre.

The recital concludes with Chopin‘s popular and virtuosic Ballades, a set of four pieces that earned Yanagitani a special prize in the San Antonio Competition.

The concert begins at 8 pm at Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. The Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) is the highest degree awarded by the School of Music. MORE

Published December 21, 2012
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Ryo Yanagitani ’08MMA appointed to faculty at University of British Columbia

Ryo Yanagitani ’04MM, ’05AD, ’08MMA has been appointed Assistant Professor of Piano at University of British Columbia School of Music. He will begin teaching this fall.

Ryo Yanagitani received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of British Columbia under Doctor Henri-Paul Sicsic, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music under Boris Berman, and an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute under Sergei Babayan. He recently completed his residency requirement for the Yale School of Music’s Doctor of Musical Arts Degree. In 2010–11 he was an instructor for the chamber music program at Yale.

Canadian pianist Ryo Yanagitani won the gold medal at the Tenth San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he was also given special recognition for his performance of the complete Chopin Ballades. He is also the grand prize winner of the Hugo Kauder International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, the Dr. Luis Sigall International Piano Competition (Vina del Mar, Chile), and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Ryo has made concerto appearances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Moroccan Symphony Orchestra, among others.

In addition to many solo recitals, he has been in demand as a chamber musician, performing in a wide range of settings. His most recent collaboration with cellist Dai Miyata has resulted in a concert tour of Japan, and they will be releasing a CD in the upcoming season. Ryo Yanagitani is presently an active member of the Musique a la Mode chamber ensemble in New York, specializing in the performance of new music and unusual works seldom heard in public. He is also pianist of Duo Chrysalis with cellist Jacques Lee Wood, and their collaboration has taken them on a tour of performances across the United States and Korea.


Published May 31, 2011
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Cellist Jacques Wood gives a lecture-recital on historical performance and Beethoven May 5

Pianist Ryo Yanagitani joins Wood in performing sonatas on historical and modern instruments

The Yale School of Music will present a lecture-recital by cellist Jacques Lee Wood on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 7 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College St., New Haven). Wood, a graduate of the School of Music, is a member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble and studies historical performance practice with early music specialist Robert Mealy.

In his presentation, Wood will examine issues of historical performance practice in Beethoven’s cello sonatas and will discuss how they apply to today’s performers. The lecture, writes Wood, “will discuss and demonstrate the idiomatic writing, musical syntax, and performance practices of the Classical period – ultimately suggesting these elements as viable inclusions to current interpretation.”

Along with pianist Ryo Yanagitani, Wood will illustrate the lecture with examples played on both historical and modern instruments. On historical instruments, including the School of Music’s fortepiano built by Rodney Regier, the duo will play Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor and Sonata No. 3 in A major. Wood and Yanagitani perform frequently together as Duo Chrysalis.

Admission to the lecture-recital is free. MORE

Published April 15, 2011
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Violist Ettore Causa makes Faculty Artist Series debut

causa_printThe Yale School of Music presents a Faculty Artist Recital featuring Italian violist Ettore Causa on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall. Causa, the newest member of the artist faculty at the Yale School of Music, has been called a “magnificent, consummate musician” (All Music Guide) and has earned high praise for his warm tone.

Causa’s debut CD of viola transcriptions (Claves, 2006) featured several of Causa’s own transcriptions and was warmly received by critics. This recital will feature Causa’s arrangement of six Brahms songs, as well as Krzysztof Penderecki’s Cadenza for Solo Viola; Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae (Reflections on a Song of Dowland); and Rachmaninov’s Sonata, Op. 19, arranged for viola by Vadim Borisovsky. Causa will perform with pianist Ryo Yanagitani, a graduate of the School of Music who recently won the Gold Medal and three special prizes in the San Antonio Piano Competition.


Published February 22, 2010
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Alumni success in San Antonio International Piano Competition


Ryo Yanagitani ’04MM, ’05AD, ’08MMA and Andrea Lam ’04AD won major prizes in the Tenth San Antonio International Piano Competition. Yanagitani won the Gold Medal – the competition’s top prize – and Lam won the Silver Medal. In addition, Yanagitani was awarded prizes for the best performance of a Romantic work and of a work by a Latin American composer, as well as the prize of the junior jury. Lam was awarded prizes for the best performance of a Classical composition and best performance of a Russian work.

As the gold medal winner, Yanagitani will appear in performances with the San Antonio Symphony, St. Mark’s Music Series, and Symphony of the Hills (Kerrville).

The San Antonio International Piano Competition is a non-profit organization formed in 1983. Once every three years, it presents a unique series of events, held over a one-week period, featuring some of the finest young rising pianists to be found in the world of music. MORE

Published October 23, 2009
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