Breaking Boundaries in the Arts
Last year, Juilliard embarked on a bold endeavor to break boundaries among the arts. Through the vision of Juilliard’s chairman, Bruce Kovner, and president, Joseph W. Polisi, the French painter Fabienne Verdier spent the fall 2014 semester as artist-in-residence at Juilliard. While she was here, Fabienne, along with her husband, Ghislain, created a multimedia art studio on the second floor where she worked intensively with faculty members and students to encourage cross-pollinations between the worlds of music and visual art.
Among the unique collaborations that blossomed around school were stunning pieces created with jazz students, with voice students from the studio of Edith Wiens, with cellist Darrett Adkins, and with the 10 students in my Composing for Non-Composers class, who wrote pieces inspired by Verdier’s triptych Energy Fields, which she subsequently donated to Juilliard and which currently hangs outside the president’s office. Verdier and I also created a number of collaborative works.
On May 10, Juilliard will celebrate Verdier and her dedication to the school by hosting a private screening of a new documentary film by Mark Kidel called The Juilliard Experiment: An Artist’s Adventure With Music and Musicians. Fabienne and Ghislain Verdier will be in attendance and the entire Juilliard community is welcome.—Philip Lasser (DMA ’94, composition) is on the music faculty.
A Busy Summer for H.P.
Juilliard415 continues its tradition of touring by bookending the summer with appearances on the road. In June, the ensemble will make its debut at the Berkeley (Calif.) Early Music Festival in two concerts: Robert Mealy, the director of the program, leads Juilliard415 on June 8 in music by Muffat, Corelli, and Lully, and on June 11, members of the group join Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in music inspired by Shakespeare. In the fall, Juilliard415 gave a side-by-side concert with Philharmonia Baroque musicians, and this summer’s concert is a next step in the development of what is anticipated to be a regular opportunity for mentorship and cross-country musical exchange.
At the end of the summer, in August, H.P. students make their annual visit to William Christie’s summer festival in the Vendée region of France, where they’ll perform with musicians from Les Arts Florissants on the magnificent grounds of the conductor’s country estate. The festival features informal outdoor concerts known as promenades musicales and theatrical concerts on a floating outdoor stage on the garden’s water course, known as the miroir d’eau. Historical Performance has been a partner in the festival since its inception, in 2012, and this year for the first time, Juilliard415 will give a performance on its own, led by Mealy, on August 24, in the atmospheric ancient church in Thiré.—Benjamin Sosland, Administrative Director of Juilliard Historical Performance and Assistant Dean for the Kovner Fellowships.
Student Council Update
The Juilliard Student Council, the voice of the student body, aims to improve student life and foster a culture of acting on students’ interests. This year our priorities have been recruitment as well as greater visibility to and communication with the student body, administration, staff, and faculty. We’ve also created working committees that focus on, among other things, future planning and goal setting, communications, and creating and reviewing a constitution. The council has also discussed ways of fine-tuning the new practice room reservation system, improving student-administration communication, and setting up liaisons with the I.T. and Facilities departments. During Martin Luther King Week, we hosted a current events conversation with President Polisi and at press time, another forum, about Juilliard’s new China branch, was slated to be held. —Third-year pianist Angie Zhang, a Kovner fellow who’s also studying in the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard exchange program, has served on the Student Council since freshman year and is currently the chair.
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