A dozen people have joined the Juilliard faculty in the last year.
Elizabeth Blumenstock, Baroque Violin
A frequent soloist, concertmaster, and leader with American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Il Complesso Barocco, Blumenstock plays with the California period-instrument ensembles Musica Pacifica, Ensemble Mirable, the Arcadian Academy, and Trio Galanterie, and has appeared with ensembles at many festivals internationally. She has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Classics, Dorian Sono Luminus, BMG, Reference Recordings, and Koch International. Blumenstock teaches at the University of Southern California and the International Baroque Institute, a summer program of Bard College’s Longy School of Music, and she has taught or coached at the Austrian Baroque Academy, Roosevelt University, the University of Virginia, and California Institute of the Arts.
Linda Gelinas, Ballet
The former dance captain and a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Gelinas was also a member of Edward Villella and Dancers and the Eglevsky Ballet and has performed works by Ailey, Balanchine, Bonnefoux, de Lavallade, de Mille, Fosse, Mark Morris, Ratmansky, Robbins, Wheeldon, and others. Gelinas is on the faculty at Steps on Broadway and the Joffrey Ballet School. She has taught at N.Y.U. and the Hong Kong International Dance School, was ballet mistress for the Festival Company at Chautauqua, and has taught and choreographed for the Miami City Ballet School. Gelinas, who received her formal training at the Joffrey and Boston Ballet schools, is also a Pilates instructor and a graduate of the New York Film Academy.
Frank Huang, Violin and Chamber Music
Huang was appointed concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic in the fall of 2015. Prior to that, he had served as concertmaster of the Houston Symphony starting in 2010. He was also the first violinist of the Ying Quartet and has served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and the University of Houston. Among the competitions he has won are the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation and the Hannover International violin competitions. Huang got his bachelor’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music and also studied at Juilliard with Robert Mann (Diploma ’39, violin; faculty 1946–2011).
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Playwrights ’14), Playwriting
Jacobs-Jenkins’s plays include Neighbors, Appropriate (which will be performed here in December), An Octoroon, and War, and they have been performed at leading theaters in the U.S. and the U.K. He is a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theatre, where his play Everybody will open in January. His honors include Paula Vogel, Helen Merrill, and Tennessee Williams awards, and he has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s from N.Y.U. Jacobs-Jenkins has taught at both schools as well as at N.Y.U. and Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.).
David Lindsay-Abaire (Playwrights ’98), Playwriting
Playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People premiered on Broadway in 2011 and received the Drama Critics Circle best play, Horton Foote Prize, and Edgerton Foundation New American Play awards, and two Tony nominations. His previous play, Rabbit Hole, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations, and the Spirit of America Award and was presented by Juilliard fourth-year actors last season. Lindsay-Abaire also wrote the book and lyrics for the film Shrek the Musical; his other screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole, Rise of the Guardians, and the recently released Family Fang. Lindsay-Abaire’s other plays include Ripcord, Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, and A Devil Inside. He was named co-director of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program when Christopher Durang retired last spring.
Donald Palumbo, Vocal Arts
Before becoming the chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera, Palumbo had that position with Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as the Canadian, Dallas, St. Louis, and Lyon (France) opera companies and the Banff School for the Arts Summer Opera Program, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and the Teatro Massimo (Palermo). He’s worked extensively at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris and conducted the Radio France Chorus in several a cappella choral concerts. From 1999 to 2001, Palumbo was the chorus director of the Salzburg Festival, the first American to hold that position. Since 2014, he has been a vocal coach for the apprentices of the Santa Fe Opera, and this summer, he worked with young artists at the Glimmerglass Festival.
Ted Rosenthal, Jazz Piano
A graduate studies faculty member since 2005, Rosenthal has joined the Jazz piano faculty. He has performed worldwide as soloist, with his trio, and as a sideman with many jazz greats including Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, James Moody, Bob Brookmeyer, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He’s also been a featured soloist with several major American orchestras. Winner of the 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, Rosenthal has released 15 CDs as a leader. The recipient of three National Endowment of the Arts grants, Rosenthal composes music ranging from jazz tunes to orchestral works and ballet scores, including for Alvin Ailey. Rosenthal, who’s on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, is also a published author.
William Short, Bassoon and Chamber Music
Short became the principal bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2012, having served in that capacity with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra; he’s also performed with the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He’s toured with Curtis on Tour and has performed and taught in Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, and Nicaragua with the Liberty Winds quintet. His performances have been featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today and on WHYY’s Onstage at Curtis. An occasional composer, his works have been published by TrevCo-Varner Music. He received his bachelor’s from Curtis, where he studied with Daniel Matsukawa (Pre-College; BM ’88, bassoon) and Bernard Garfield (’42, bassoon), and his master’s from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Joel Smirnoff (BA ’75, MA ’76, violin), Violin and Chamber Music
Smirnoff returns to Juilliard after serving eight years as president of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Prior to his time there, he was a member of the Juilliard String Quartet (1986–97) and chair of Juilliard’s violin department. In 2000, Smirnoff made his official American conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony, leading an all-Tchaikovsky program. In 2011, he received both a lifetime Grammy for his recorded work with the J.S.Q. and an alumni professional achievement award from the University of Chicago, which he attended before coming to Juilliard for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Rachel Straus, Dance
A longtime lecturer in dance history and liberal arts at Juilliard, Straus has now joined the full-time faculty. Her more than 250 articles on dance have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, exhibition catalogues, and festival programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from New York University, an MFA from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, and an MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism; she’s currently working on a PhD in dance studies from London’s University of Roehampton.
Helen Sung, Jazz Ensembles
The winner of the 2007 Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition, Sung, who studied classical piano from childhood, attended Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts before earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in classical piano from the University of Texas at Austin; she later studied at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Sung has performed with artists including Clark Terry, Terri Lyne Carrington, Wayne Shorter, and Jon Faddis, and she performs regularly with the Mingus Big Band. On her own, she has released several albums, including Push, Helenistique, Sungbird (After Albéniz), and Going Express. Her 2014 Concord Records release, Anthem for a New Day, was her major-label debut.
Melinda Wagner, Composition
Since receiving a Pulitzer Prize for her Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion (1999), Wagner has composed major works including Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra for faculty member Joseph Alessi and the New York Philharmonic and a piano concerto, Extremity of Sky, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for faculty member Emanuel Ax (Pre-College ’66; Diploma ’70, Postgraduate Diploma ’72). A few of her other recent commissions include Falling Angels and Extremity of Sky (C.S.O.), Little Moonhead (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra), Scamp (U.S. Marine Band), and Pan Journal (Juilliard String Quartet). Wagner has held faculty positions at Brandeis, Smith, and Syracuse University, and she’s taught many master classes, including at Juilliard. She’s been a mentor composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference and the American Composers Orchestra Underwood Readings and had multiple residencies.