Jazz faculty member and tenor saxophonist Ron Blake’s third CD for Mack Avenue Records, Shayari, is being released in January. The album features pianist and producer Michael Cain and special guests Jack DeJohnette, Christian McBride (’90, double bass), Regina Carter, and percussionist Gilmar Gomes.
Mari Kimura (DMA ’93, violin) gave the premiere of a violin concerto titled Schemes, written for her by French composer Jean-Claude Risset, in September at the Suntory Summer Festival in Tokyo. Kimura performed with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama, and composed her own cadenza for the concerto including her extended technique of subharmonics. Also in September, Kimura’s solo CD Polytopia, an album of music for violin and electronics, was released by Bridge Records.
Itzhak Perlman (’68, violin) will become the artistic director of the Westchester Philharmonic, beginning with the 2008-09 season. Perlman succeeds Paul Lustig Dunkel, who co-founded the orchestra (then the New Orchestra of Westchester) 25 years ago and will step down in May. In addition to setting the artistic tone, Perlman will conduct three of the five concerts each season and will also appear with the orchestra as a soloist.
Stephen Pier’s (’77, dance) piece Edge, set to Elliott Carter’s Eight Pieces for Four Timpani, was performed by New York City Ballet principal dancer Stephen Hanna and corps de ballet member Megan LeCrone in October at the William Carlos Williams Center for the Arts in Rutherford, N.J. In July, Pier served as master teacher for the Catalyst Project at Williams College, a multidisciplinary program for exceptional youth with collaborators from M.I.T., Stanford, Berkeley, and Princeton. He was invited to present his work at the Reverb Festival of new choreography at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York in November.
The Juilliard String Quartet—violinists Joel Smirnoff (BM ’75, MM ’76, violin) and Ronald Copes, violist Samuel Rhodes, and cellist Joel Krosnick—will be honored with the 2008 Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award in January, at Chamber Music America’s annual awards banquet at the Westin New York at Times Square. Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi will speak at the event.
Several Pre-College violin students of Shirley Givens (Diploma ’53, violin) performed with orchestras around the world last summer. Zeynep Alpan played the Mendelssohn Concerto in May with the Istanbul Symphony at the Ataturk Cultural Center, as well as Lalo’s Sinfonie Espagnole in June at the opening ceremony of the Toy Museum, also in Istanbul. Abigail Fayette was featured in several performances of the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Sound Symphony of Long Island in July, and performed the same work in August with the Greenwood Summer School Orchestra. In July Young Min Kim played the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Pusan (Korea) Symphony. Ariel Mitnick performed the Tchaikovsky Concerto in June as a prize-winning soloist with the Yonkers Philharmonic, conducted by James Sadewhite. The Dalian Symphony Orchestra of China featured Amy Tan in July as violin soloist in both Mozart’s Concerto in G Major and the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 3 in C Minor.
In November, doctoral student Ching-Wen Hsiao was featured as soloist in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Tzigane (MM ’07, orchestral conducting), at Symphony Space in New York.
Third-year clarinetist Uriel Vanchestein, a student of Charles Neidich, won third prize (in a tie with Valentin Uryupin) and the audience prize at the Geneva International Music Competition, held in September and October. (The first prize was not awarded.)