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The Latest on Faculty, Staff, and Students February 2015

FACULTY

In December, Vocal Arts faculty coach Steven Blier was one of Musical America magazine’s 30 Professionals of the Year. In December, Blier, who is also artistic director of the New York Festival of Song, revived Harlem Renaissance, a program of early 20th-century African-American music and literature. Blier accompanied artist diploma candidate Julia Bullock (soprano) and baritone James Martin (MM ’95, voice); they performed at the Reston (Va.) Community Center and as part of NYFOS’s Mainstage series at New York City’s Merkin Concert Hall.

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Double-bass faculty member Tim Cobb has joined the New York Philharmonic as principal bass. 

In July, Evening Division faculty member Mirian Conti (Pre-College ’80; BM ’84, MM ’86, piano) performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival. Conti is also director of a new solo piano recital series called 5@5, which, beginning in March, will offer $5 tickets for recitals featuring distinguished pianists at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City. Lisa Yui (BM ’88, piano) is scheduled to perform in October.

Michelle DiBucci (MM ’87, composition), who serves on the faculties of both the music theory and drama departments, composed Basetrack Live with Seth Bockley, the show’s director, and Edward Bilous (MM ’80, DMA ’84, composition), its creator. Basetrack Live, which follows a group of Marines and their families before, during, and after their deployment in Afghanistan, was presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in November as part of the 2014 Next Wave Festival.

In December, dance faculty member Milton Myers was named one of the faculty members for the professional development programs that will take place during the Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival. 

In December, cello faculty member Fred Sherry (Pre-College ’65; Pre-College ’97; Diploma ’69, cello) played Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 1 with Jesse Mills (BM ’01, violin) and Hsin-Yun Huang (MM ’04, viola) at SubCulture in New York City. The performance was a co-presentation with the 92nd Street Y.

Last summer, Vocal Arts faculty member Edith Wiens directed the International Meistersinger Akademie; faculty members Corradina Caporello, Lori Schiff, Stephen Wadsworth, and Brian Zeger (MM ’81, piano) taught master classes. Among current Juilliard students who attended were artist diploma candidates Eva Nino (soprano) and Daniel Miroslaw (baritone) as well as master’s mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez (BM ’13). Third-year mezzo-soprano Kelsey Lauritano was an apprentice. Also among the attendees were sopranos Deanna Breiwick (MM ’11, voice, Artist Diploma ’13, opera studies) and Mary Feminear Thomas (BM ’09, voice, Artist Diploma ’14, opera studies) as well as baritone Elliott Hines (MM ’14, voice). Jonathan Ware (MM ’09) and doctoral candidate Bretton Brown were the academy’s collaborative pianists.

STAFF

In November, Lori Padua, the director of planned giving, ran the New York City Marathon for the 11th time.

In November, Joshua Simka (BM ’14, voice), editorial assistant of The Journal, became the conducting intern at Ars Musica Chorale. In October, he was accompanied by master’s collaborative pianist Martha Mingle in a recital of songs by Britten, Poulenc, and Respighi at Union Temple of Brooklyn. In the same recital, Robert May (Pre-College ’10; BM ’14, voice) performed keyboard works by J.S. Bach and his own harmonization of Bach’s chorale prelude on “Christ lag in Todes Banden.”

STUDENTS

Master’s pianist Tomer Gewirtzman won the gold medal in the 64th annual Nena Plant Wideman International Piano Competition, which was held at Centenary College’s Hurley School of Music in Shreveport, La. He played Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor.

In January, Pre-College composition student Benjamin Wenzelberg’s 2014 ASCAP award-winning opera, The Sleeping Beauty, was read in its entirety for the first time. Wenzelberg recorded the singing voice of the lead character, Stet, for the film Boychoir, which was released in September. Also in September, Wenzelberg sang in a performance of George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Wenzelberg’s piano trio Midnight Tides won a 2014 BMI Student Composer Award and BMI’s Carlos Surinach prize; the trio will be included in a collection of award-winning BMI works at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

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