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Faculty-Student News December 2009-January 2010



On November 4, guitar faculty member Sharon Isbin was a featured performer at the White House in Michelle Obama’s classical music workshop for high school students. The event was part of a new music series created by the first lady to celebrate the arts and emphasize the importance of arts education. Isbin also performed in the East Room for President Obama and guests. Also in November, Isbin and composition faculty member John Corigliano were panelists at “Opportunities for Success in the Classical Music Business,” a Grammy professional development event at the Recording Academy’s New York Chapter. 

In October, Literature and Materials of Music faculty member Behzad Ranjbaran’s (MM ’88, DMA ’92, compositionAwakening, a work for string orchestra, was performed by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Joel Smirnoff (BM ’75, MM ’76, violin), in Houston at the Church of St. John the Divine and at Chapelwood United Methodist Church.

Cello faculty assistant Soo Bae (MM ’03, Artist Diploma ’05, cello) was featured on WQXR 96.3 in October for receiving the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Robert Sherman Award for music education and community outreach. 

Graduate studies faculty member Mari Kimura (DMA ’93, violin) was named a 2010 composer in residence at the Musical Research Residency Program at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris in October. That same month, Kimura and CEOs from the software companies Ableton A.G. and Cycling ’74 co-presented Max for Live, a new tool kit that allows users to create instruments and sound effects, at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York.  

In September, voice faculty member Robert White (MS ’68, voice) recorded Alfred Bryan’s “Brown Eyes, Why Are You Blue” on a 1909 Edison Amberol Cylinder—an acoustical recording device that predates the electric microphone—in a live performance with Vince Giordano and the Night Hawks at the headquarters of Mutual of America Life Insurance in New York City. 

Trombone faculty member Per Brevig (Diploma ’67, Postgraduate Diploma ’67, BM ’68, DMA ’71, trombone) conducted the New World Symphony at Miami’s Lincoln Theater in September. The program included works by Henri Tomasi and Richard Strauss. Also in September, Brevig conducted the East Texas Symphony Orchestra at Cowan Center for the Arts in Tyler, Tex., in a concert that featured works by Ives, Copland, and Dvorak.


The Baroque ensemble Musica Sequenza performed at Gallery Aufgeraumt in New York City in November. Burak Ozdemir, an artist diploma student in bassoon and founder of the group, was a soloist. Ensemble members include bachelor’s violin student Elizabeth Derham, historical performance graduate student Liv Heym (Baroque violin), double bass bachelor’s student Alex Jenkins, artist’s diploma cello student Dane Johansen, bachelor’s viola student Varinia Oyola-Rebaza, master’s flute student Jesse Schiffman, and master’s harpsichord student Irene Wong. In October, Ozdemir performed Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, K. 191, as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Master’s violin student Stephanie Jeong was the United States finalist in the seventh Hannover International Violin Competition at the University of Music and Drama in Hannover, Germany, in October.

Master’s jazz studies student Benjamin Williams won first place at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater in Washington in October. He was awarded a record deal with Concord Music Group and a $20,000 scholarship. Carl Allen, artistic director of jazz studies, and pianist Geoffrey Keezer accompanied the competition’s semifinalists. 

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