Omer Quartet is named YSM’s new fellowship quartet-in-residence

Omer Quartet

Omer Quartet

The Omer Quartet has been named the new fellowship quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music. During its two-year appointment, which begins in the fall, the quartet will be mentored by the School’s ensemble-in-residence, the Brentano String Quartet, and will coach undergraduate chamber music ensembles at Yale College’s Department of Music. The Omer Quartet, which succeeds the Rolston String Quartet as YSM’s fellowship quartet, includes violinists Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violist Jinsung Hong, and cellist Alex Cox.

The quartet won the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2013 and was a first-prize winner at the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, among other distinctions. The quartet was formed at the Cleveland Institute of Music and later served a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory. The group has collaborated with such respected artists as Sérgio and Odair Assad, Eugene Drucker, Clive Greensmith, Kim Kashkashian, Cho-Liang Lin, Ricardo Morales, and the Borromeo String Quartet, and has collaborated with composers Perry Goldstein and Sean Shepherd.

The Omer Quartet comes to Yale having served as chamber-ensemble-in-residence at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and as the doctoral fellowship quartet-in-residence at the University of Maryland. While at Yale, the quartet will be introduced to audiences in New Haven and beyond. In October, the group will perform concerts in Sudler Hall and at Carnegie Hall as part of YSM’s Yale in New York Series. In December, the quartet will perform a recital program in Morse Recital Hall.

Committed to community engagement, the quartet inaugurated a Music for Food concert series in the Washington D.C. area with the mission to support local hunger relief with a Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant. The concerts involved local and out of town guest musicians and raised almost $5,000, creating over 10,000 meals to date.

Learn more about the ensemble at omerquartet.com.

Published July 25, 2019
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Yale in New York concert celebrates YSM’s guitar and composition programs

Ben Verdery

Benjamin Verdery

In programming Music for Guitars, an upcoming Yale in New York series concert at Carnegie Hall, faculty guitarist Benjamin Verdery reflected on a November 2010 program that featured music by a host of Yale-affiliated composers. That program, by design, celebrated the legacies of the School of Music’s composition and guitar programs.

Verdery also reflected, in curating the upcoming Yale in New York program, on inspiration he found, a little more than 10 years ago, at the Rhode Island School of Design. Verdery’s son was applying to the school, whose application requirements included drawing a bicycle or some element thereof. Accepted students’ illustrations were on view when Verdery brought his son to Providence to visit the school. “It was mind-bending,” Verdery said.

“I’m going to have my friends write a piece of music—just the notes, the pitches and the rhythms,” without tempo or dynamic indications, he decided. Since then, each year, prospective School of Music students applying to study with Verdery have been required to learn and perform, as part of their audition, a piece written by one of Verdery’s colleagues, along with other repertoire. Like RISD’s bicycle-drawing admissions requirement, the commissioned audition pieces leave room for interpretation, giving Verdery some insight into the ability and creativity of prospective students.

Those who have been commissioned by Verdery to compose audition pieces, over the course of the past decade, include former YSM Dean and Prof. of Music Ezra Laderman, faculty composers Martin Bresnick and Christopher Theofanidis; Lecturer in Electronic Music Jack Vees; YSM alumni Bryce Dessner, James Moore, and Brendon Randall-Myers; Yale University Department of Music Prof. Kathryn Alexander; and current composition student Tanner Porter, among others. Audition pieces by the above-mentioned musicians will be showcased as part of Music for Guitars, the third and final concert in the 2018-2019 Yale in New York series. The concert will feature Verdery and current School of Music students and alumni, including René Izquierdo.

The program also includes works by Hindemith (who taught at the School of Music), Mudarra, and Terry Riley; arrangements of music by Bach, Scarlatti, and Schubert; and world premieres of James Moore’s Turning and Verdery’s arrangement, for guitar and string quartet, of Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. Izquierdo will perform Turning, which was this year’s YSM guitar audition piece. Verdery will perform the Bernstein with violinists Kate Arndt and Gregory Lewis, violist Marta Lambert, and cellist Guilherme Monegatto-all current YSM students.

The repertoire for the program reaches back to 16th century composer Alonso Mudarra’s fantasias for vihuela—which will be played on an instrument from the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments—and visits music composed since then and up to the present. The program also taps into the arranging chops of the guitarists who’ll be performing. It’s something “all of us in the world of guitar do,” Verdery said.

“There’s a lot of color and expression of what the guitar is,” Verdery said of the program. There will also be a lot of virtuosity on display—and, like the 2010 program, of which it’s a musical extension, many connections to the School of Music.

The School of Music’s Yale in New York series presents Music for Guitars on Friday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. A preview concert is scheduled for Thursday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m., in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. Admission to the preview concert is free.

PREVIEW CONCERT
YALE IN NEW YORK

Published March 20, 2019
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Ensemble of YSM clarinetists to perform at Carnegie Hall

David Shifrin

It’s been 235 years since Mozart composed his Adagio in B-flat major for two clarinets and three basset horns. That is, clarinet ensembles have been a thing for centuries. In the mid-20th century, concertgoers in the United States heard performances by large clarinet choirs. YSM faculty clarinetist David Shifrin has organized a pair of concerts geared toward introducing today’s audiences to that tradition. Since Mozart wrote his Adagio, Steve Reich, Peter Schickele, and Jeff Scott have written for clarinet ensemble. Works by other composers have been so arranged.

The second concert in this season’s Yale in New York series, Shifrin said, will trace “the tradition of the sound of clarinet ensembles,” calling on current YSM students, alumni, and undergraduates from Yale College. The program, which includes music by the above-mentioned composers and others, will put on display the “versatility of the instrument as well as the homogeneity of sound.” Nearly two-dozen clarinetists will participate, along with two percussionists who will perform on Scott’s Expeditionary Airmen (Three Day Pass) and arrangements of Benny Goodman’s versions of tunes by Eubie Blake and Henry Lodge. An arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Shifrin said, will present concertgoers with “a living, breathing version of an organ,” with each stop played by a human and featuring the full range of clarinets, from the contrabass clarinet—which Shifrin described as the “size of a small vehicle”—to the piccolo clarinet.

By design, the program will show off the range of colors and styles that attracted Shifrin and other musicians to the instrument. It will also show off the musicians who have passed through Shifrin’s YSM studio and those who are currently studying at Yale. “To have this level of virtuosity, clarinetists coming together to play in an ensemble, is a rare type of event,” he said.

YSM faculty clarinetist David Shifrin will present Music for Clarinets as part of the School’s Yale in New York series, with a free preview concert at Yale on Thursday, Feb. 14, and a performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Friday, Feb. 15.

PREVIEW CONCERT
YALE IN NEW YORK

Published February 6, 2019
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Augusta Read Thomas to launch Ear Taxi Festival

Augusta Read Thomas | Photo by Anthony Barlich

Conceived in 2013 by composer Augusta Read Thomas MM, the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival, scheduled to take place October 5-10, will celebrate Chicago’s flourishing and dynamic contemporary music scene with concerts, lectures, sound installations, webcasts, and artist receptions.

“The open collaborative nature of Chicago’s new music community is home to an extraordinary crop of ensembles and a vibrant landscape of composers,” Thomas has said. “The scene for new music in Chicago is exceptional and I dedicate myself to supporting and encouraging its sustainability and growth.” MORE

Published August 26, 2016
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[ concerts ]

With Pluck: Music for Harp April 8 & 10

June Han, harp

June Han, harp

The Yale School of Music continues its acclaimed Yale in New York Series on Sunday, April 10 with a program titled With Pluck: Music for Harp. The concert will feature YSM harp professor June Han alongside fellow faculty members and YSM student and alumni performers.

The program highlights YSM faculty harpist June Han and the Yale harp program. Han herself will perform Sequenza II by Luciano Berio. In the virtuosic solo work, Berio seeks to explore the capabilities of the instrument beyond its typical uses, which he describes as “seductive glissandi.”

Han will also team up with violinist Suliman Tekalli ’15 AD and cellist James Kim ’13 CERT for a performance of Henriette Renie‘s Trio for harp, violin, and cello, followed by Debussy‘s Sonata for flute, viola and harp with fellow YSM faculty members Ransom Wilson, flute, and Ettore Causa, viola.

The program will also present YSM students in a variety of works including Pasculli‘s Omaggio a Bellini for English horn and harp, and De Falla‘s Seven Popular Songs, sung by YSM artist diploma candidate Evanna Chiew, mezzo-soprano.

The concert takes place Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 for students with current ID, and are available through the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street & 7th Ave., New York City), online at www.carnegiehall.org, or CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800.

There will also be a preview concert on Friday, April 8 at 7:30 pm, held at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street, New Haven) on the Yale campus. Admission to the preview concert is free.

Published April 6, 2016
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[ announcements ]

CANCELED: Yale in New York Jan. 24

Due to the unexpected severity of the blizzard, the Yale in New York concert scheduled for Sunday, January 24 at 7:30 pm in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall has been canceled.

If you have purchased tickets to this concert, you will receive a refund at the point of purchase (in most cases, from Carnegie Hall).

Published January 23, 2016
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[ concerts ]

CANCELED: Brass of Yale performs at Carnegie Hall Jan. 24

Yale Brass Trio

Yale Brass Trio

Update 1/23: We regret that, because of the severity of the blizzard, this concert has been canceled.

The Yale School of Music continues its acclaimed Yale in New York series on Sunday, January 24 with a program of music for brass. The concert will highlight the school’s acclaimed brass faculty as well as the contributions to the brass repertoire of past and present Yale composers. The program honors the late composers Ezra Laderman and Gunther Schuller, both of whom served on the Yale faculty.

The evening is anchored by the Yale Brass Trio, comprising William Purvis, horn; Allan Dean, trumpet; and Scott Hartman, trombone. They are joined by fellow faculty member Carol Jantsch, tuba, and numerous YSM students and alumni.

Ezra Laderman

Ezra Laderman

A former dean of the Yale School of Music, Ezra Laderman (1924–2015) joined the Yale faculty in 1988 and served as Professor of Music until his retirement in 2013. He also served as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. William Purvis, Allan Dean, and Scott Hartman will perform the New York premiere of his Brass Trio, written in 2005. MORE

Published January 5, 2016
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Yale in New York series announces 2015–2016 season, opening Oct. 25 with Nielsen and Sibelius

“The Yale School of Music has established a formidable presence with its Yale in New York series at Carnegie Hall… mainly by presenting inventive programs of mostly new or unusual works.”
The New York Times

Yale in New York at Weill Recital Hall

Yale in New York at Weill Recital Hall

The Yale School of Music announces its return to Carnegie Hall with the 2015–16 season of Yale in New York. The series—now in its ninth year at Carnegie—has garnered a reputation for its creative and diverse programming, with frequent collaborations between Yale’s distinguished faculty and its exceptional network of current students and alumni.

The season consists of three chamber music concerts, all on Sundays at 7:30 pm at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. The first concert will take place on October 25, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the births of composers Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius. MORE

Published October 9, 2015
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[ concerts ]

Yale in NY presents the Yale Percussion Group at Carnegie Hall Jan. 25

The Yale Percussion Group in a recent performance with Angélique Kidjo | Photo by Judy Sirota Rosenthal

The Yale Percussion Group in a recent performance with Angélique Kidjo | Photo by Judy Sirota Rosenthal

The Yale in New York series at the Yale School of Music concludes its 2014–15 season with a concert by the Yale Percussion Group on Sunday, January 25 at 2 pm.

The YPG, which is directed by Robert van Sice, was a winner of the 2014 Percussive Arts Society competition. Composer Steve Reich has called the ensemble “something truly extraordinary.”

Sunday’s concert will take place in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
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The ensemble will present music from across the globe, including Mauricio Kagel’s masterful Dressur, Paul Lansky’s Textures, a world premiere from composer Michael Laurello, and works collected during Yale’s two-week trip to Ghana in May 2014. MORE

Published January 20, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Not Your Typical School Productions: Music Students Play Major Role in NY Culture

Soldier's Tale photo

Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” presented by the Yale in New York series at Carnegie Hall in April 2014

New York Times | By Anthony Tommasini

With the demise of the New York City Opera in 2013, New York was left with one major — very major — opera company. Still, for all its might, the Metropolitan Opera can’t do everything. There were growing calls from critics and many hopeful opera fans for adventurous smaller companies in the city, like Gotham Chamber Opera and Beth Morrison Projects, to step unto the breach and do more.

Yet there have long been other players on the field doing more, and not just in opera: the conservatories and music schools in the city, along with the music departments at universities where the performing arts really matter. In cities across the United States, these institutions are hotbeds of opera, symphonic concerts and chamber music.… MORE

Published December 22, 2014
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