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The Latest on Faculty, Staff, and Students September 2015


In April, chamber music faculty member Audrey Axinn (MM '90, DMA '98, accompanying) taught a master class on fortepiano and classical performance practice at the Curtis Institute of Music.


Division, a dance choreographed by Brian Brooks with a score by dance faculty member Jerome Begin, received its New York premiere by Brooks's company at the Joyce Theater in June.

In August, Vocal Arts faculty member and director Mary Birnbaum directed the apprentice scenes at Santa Fe Opera. In April, she was one of six finalists for Opera magazine's International Opera Newcomer awards.

Music theory and dance faculty member Tom Cabaniss is currently working on vocal arrangements for a Carnegie Hall production of West Side Story to be performed at the Knockdown Center in Queens in March. He also recently completed a piano trio arrangement of Schubert's An Die Musik for soprano Julia Bullock (Artist Diploma '15, voice), performed at Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine last month, and is working with an improvisatory vocal group on new material.

In April, the Thrasher Dream Trio—jazz faculty members Ron Carter (bass) and Kenny Barron (piano) plus Gerry Gibbs (drums)—played at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass.

Alan Gilbert (Pre-College '85; MM '94, orchestral conducting), director of conducting and orchestral studies, gave a Royal Philharmonic Society lecture called Orchestras in the 21st Century: A New Paradigm at London's Milton Court Concert Hall in April. To see the lecture, go to

In November, Vocal Arts faculty member Cynthia Hoffmann, mezzo-soprano, performed in recital at Carversville (Pa.) Christian Church. In the summer of 2014, she again served on the faculty at the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria.

At the 25th Theatre Communications Group conference in June, James Houghton, the Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division, was honored with the Visionary Game-Changer Award. In May, he received a sustained achievement Obie for his work with the Signature Theatre, of which he recently announced he would be stepping down as founding artistic director.

Collaborative piano faculty member Eric Huebner (BM '99, MM '01, piano) released an album of works by Schumann, Carter, and Stravinsky on the New Focus label in April.

Jazz faculty member Frank Kimbrough, pianist, and guitarist Lage Lund (Artist Diploma '05, jazz studies) are featured in the title track of Maria Schneider's latest album, The Thompson Fields, available on ArtistShare.

In June, the New York Philharmonic's Nielsen Project—a multiseason survey of Danish composer Carl Nielsen's six symphonies and three concertos—was released as a complete box set on the Dacapo Label. The set features principal flute and faculty member Robert Langevin in the Flute Concerto, principal clarinet and faculty member Anthony McGill in the Clarinet Concerto, and Nikolaj Znaider ('93, violin) in the Violin Concerto. Among the musicians to perform at a June launch party, which was also a celebration of Nielsen's 150th birthday, were Langevin, McGill, and faculty member Judith LeClair; Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert (Pre-College '85; MM '94, orchestral conducting), Juilliard's director of conducting and orchestral studies, was interviewed.

In March, double bass faculty member Eugene Levinson taught master classes and gave a recital at the Vivaldi Conservatory of Alessandria, Italy, and taught master classes at the Conservatory of Novara. Levinson and faculty member Timothy Cobb also taught master classes at the Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. These were presented by the Associazione Musicale Bottesini.

It was announced in June that Juilliard Jazz director Wynton Marsalis ('81, trumpet) was a winner of the 2015 Marian Anderson Award, which he will accept during a gala concert at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in November.

In June, faculty member Jeffrey Milarsky (BM '88, MM '90, percussion) made his New York Philharmonic conducting debut as part of the Metropolitan Museum's Contact series.

On September 24, a concert at Merkin Hall in New York City will feature chamber music by faculty member Daniel Ott (MM '99, DMA '04, composition), Alex Freeman (DMA '04, composition), and Matthew Fuerst (MM '01, DMA '06, composition) performed by the Amernet String Quartet: Misha Vitenson (MM '02, violin), Marcia Littley (BM '91, violin), Michael Klotz (MM '02, violin), and Jason Calloway (BM '02, cello; Artist Diploma '09, resident quartet). In June, a concert at Brooklyn's Bargemusic, part of the venue's ongoing Here and Now concert series featuring contemporary music, featured works by Ott, Freeman, and Fuerst.

In May, Historical Performance faculty member Nina Stern directed her world music ensemble Rose of the Compass in the St. John the Divine's series Great Music in a Great Space.

At Carnegie Hall in May, faculty member Kent Tritle (BM '85, MM '88, organ; MM '87, choral conducting) conducted the full orchestral version of Orff's Carmina Burana, which was sung by the choristers of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (where Tritle is director of music and organist) and the Oratorio Society of New York. Soprano Jennifer Zetlan (MM '06, voice; Artist Diploma '09, opera studies) and baritone Takaoki Onishi (Graduate Diploma '13, voice; Artist Diploma '15, opera studies) were soloists. In June, Tritle hosted the New York Choral Consortium at St. Paul the Apostle Church; baritone Scott Dispensa (MM '04, voice) was the soloist for Mozart's Requiem.

Winners of this year's Downbeat critics poll were Jazz Studies faculty members Steve Turre (trombone) and Kenny Barron (piano) as well as Christian McBride ('90, double bass).

Flute faculty member Carol Wincenc (MM '72, flute) performed at the Fredericksburg Festival of the Performing Arts, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Roundtop Music Festival, the Yale-Norfolk Music Festival, and the National Flute Convention.

Brian Zeger (MM '81, piano), artistic director of the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, was the pianist on two recently released recordings. In June, Delos released an album of lieder by Wagner and Richard Strauss in which Zeger accompanied soprano Adrianne Pieczonka. In May, he accompanied mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (BM '04, MM '06, voice) on Preludios, an album of Spanish songs by de Falla, Granados, and other composers.


Jane Gottlieb, vice president for library and information resources, was elected to the council of the American Musicological Society; her three-year term began in August.

Cory Owen, director of international advisement, received her doctorate in higher education administration and supervision from the University of Houston this spring. Her dissertation was on Asian-American students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and how the "model minority" myth affects their anxiety and stress in college.


This summer, incoming Artist Diploma in Opera Studies mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau (MM '15, voice) covered the role of Lucretia at Glyndebourne. She has been engaged to sing the role of Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos with the festival in 2017.

Finals for the Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists, which is sponsored and administered by each of the American Guild of Organists' seven regions, were held in June. Master's student David L. Ball (BM '14, organ) won first place for the North Central region; he performed at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Mo. Ball is assistant musician at St. Malachy's—the Actors' Chapel in Times Square. Master's student Colin MacKnight won first place for the Northeast region, performing at Christ Episcopal Church in New Haven. MacKnight is the organ scholar at the Church of the Resurrection in New York City.

In March, Pre-College composer Michael Bennett was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his composition Stained Glass and Birds II for piano and violin, which had its premiere at Juilliard in April; Bennett played the piano.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded DMA candidates Max Grafe (MM '13, composition) and Paul Frucht (MM '13, composition) Charles Ives Scholarships, which are given to composition students of great promise, it was announced in March. Retired faculty member Samuel Adler was among the judges. Grafe also won a BMI student composer award, as did Pre-College student Benjamin Wenzelberg. Ellen Taafe Zwilich (DMA '75, composition) is chair of the student composer awards.

In May, collaborative piano doctoral student Daniel Fung (MM '11) was one of nine musicians to take part in master classes and concerts as part of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar in Potsdam, N.Y.

In April, second-year master's student Paul Huang (Pre-College '09; BM '13, violin) performed Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center as part of the Young Concert Artists Series.

Kill Floor by playwriting fellow Abe Koogler will have its world premiere at Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3, with previews beginning October 3. The production is directed by Lila Neugebauer. The play won the Weissberger Award from Williamstown Theatre Festival. Koogler is also under commission from the Manhattan Theatre Club.

At the Cleveland Indians' home opener in April, fourth-year pianist Arianna Korting performed an arrangement of the national anthem by Pre-College and Evening Division faculty member Evan Fein (MM '09, DMA '14, composition).

In April, Historical Performance violinist Carrie Krause was guest conductor for a performance of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra in Richland, Wash.

In May, second-year Joey Lavarias played the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Chesapeake Chamber Orchestra at the Alba (Italy) Music Festival.

Fourth-year oboist Hugo Lee won the $25,000 Michael Measures Prize given by the Canada Council for the Arts this summer.

Grounded, by playwriting fellow Chelsea Marcantel, was presented by Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Ky., as part of the Kentucky Voices series in July.

Jazz grad student David Meder played with an ensemble that included Lawrence Leathers (BM '08, jazz studies) at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in August.

Artist Diploma in Opera Studies candidate Hyesang Park (MM '15, voice), soprano, won second prize ($20,000) in Plácido Domingo's Operalia competition, which took place in London this summer.

Pre-College violinist Yaegy Park won the gold medal in this year's Stulberg Competition, which was held in May. Pre-College cellists Max Bobby and Derek Louie were finalists and the judges were violinist Sarah Chang (Pre-College '99) and viola faculty member Heidi Castleman.

Master's soprano Liv Redpath was a young artist with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis this summer.

The following were finalists in the Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition in Brussels in the spring: second-years William Ching-Yi Wei (Pre-College '14) and Kenneth Renshaw, second-year master's student Bomsori Kim, and William Hagen ('13).

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