NYT: Yale Composers Showcase Their Works at New Music New Haven

Ani Kavafian, Lisa Morre, and David Shifrin | Photo by Chris Lee

Ani Kavafian, Lisa Moore, and David Shifrin | Photo by Chris Lee

The New York Times | By Vivien Schweitzer

It’s rarely a compliment to describe a composer as “academic”: the word is usually applied to those perceived as being sequestered on campus creating esoteric, dreary works. Conversely, being too “accessible” (i.e., not challenging enough) has also been deemed a negative. But there’s nothing pejoratively “academic” or “accessible” about any of the Yale faculty composers featured during a concert on Wednesday at WQXR’s Greene Space in SoHo.

David Lang, Hannah Lash, Christopher Theofanidis, Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Bresnick represent an accessible aesthetic that draws on multiple stylistic influences. Some of their music has been championed by Bang on a Can, the lively genre-bending collective whose three founders, all Yale alumni, include Mr. Lang. The vocalist Helga Davis hosted Wednesday’s event, part of the NY Phil Biennial, and interviewed each composer and Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s music director, onstage. MORE

Published May 26, 2016
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[ in the press ]

Samuel Suggs named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month

suggs_bwAt this year’s biennial International Society of Bassists Convention in June Fort Collins, CO, the solo competition boasted its usual share of top flight talent from around the globe, providing ample evidence (if any is needed) that the standards of double bass playing continue to soar. The prize winners were all outstanding virtuosos, but the winner of the Gary Karr Prize for first place wooed the judges not only on the strength of his playing, but also with creative programming that managed to adhere to the competition requirements while drawing unexpected connections between works.

Sam Suggs is a 25-year-old DMA candidate at Yale University, pursuing studies in double bass, yet boasting a range of interests that go far beyond mere regurgitations of the standards. Competition chairman Paul Sharpe described the attributes that ultimately tipped the scales in Suggs’s favor. “It was his innovation in both repertoire and programming that engaged the audience and then kept our full attention for the duration. Artistry by itself is great. But, innovation and artistry together create momentum and progression.” MORE

Published October 1, 2015
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[ alumni ]

Bassist Sam Suggs wins 2015 ISB Competition

sam-suggsSamuel Suggs ’14 MM, a DMA candidate at the Yale School of Music, won first prize at the 2015 International Society of Bassists (ISB) Competition. The first place award, named the Gary Karr Prize, includes a monetary award, a bow, and an expenses-paid recital to open the 2017 ISB Convention.

The competition, which took place June 1–2, 2015, was held in conjunction with the ISB 2015 Convention at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.

Published June 8, 2015
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[ events ]

Career Strategies event Sep. 22 features conversation with David Shifrin

David ShifrinThe Office of Career Strategies will kick off the new school year with an animated conversation featuring world-famous clarinetist and YSM professor David Shifrin. The event takes place Monday, September 22, 2014 from 4:30–6 pm in Sprague Hall.

Astrid Baumgardner, Coordinator of Career Strategies, will moderate the conversation, which will also include three YSM students: Christina Hughes, flute; Kevin Schaffter, clarinet; and Sam Suggs, double bass. MORE

Published September 5, 2014
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[ students + alumni ]

Department of Jazz performs in Germany

department-of-jazzDepartment of Jazz, a New Haven-based group of YSM students and alumni, is undertaking a two-week residency in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. As part of the residency, which is connected to Neue Eutiner Festspiele, the ensemble will perform in the historic medieval castle at Schloss Eutin.

Department of Jazz describes itself as a group of curious musical artists that believe in uniting disparate genres and audiences through a fusion of thoughtful, innovative arrangements and breathtaking, spontaneous virtuosity. The quartet’s members are Jonny Allen ’13MM, ’14AD, drums; Molly Netter ’14MM, voice; Doug Perry ’14AD, percussion; and Sam Suggs ’14MM, bass. MORE

Published August 29, 2014
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