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Faculty-Student News May 2009



Piano faculty member Emanuel Ax (Diploma ’70, Postgraduate Diploma ’72, piano) and violin and chamber music faculty member Itzhak Perlman (’68, violin), along with Yo-Yo Ma (Professional Studies ’72, cello), were awarded the 2009 Institute for the Arts and Humanities Medals for distinguished contributions to the arts and humanities in March. The medals were presented by Penn State President Graham Spanier, immediately following the three musicians’ sold-out concert on the university campus that marked their debut performance as a trio.

Liberal Arts faculty member Greta Berman presented a paper on a panel called “From Eye to Ear and Back Again” at the College Art Association in Los Angeles in February. Her paper was titled “But Is It Synesthesia?”

Oboe faculty member Elaine Douvas and cello faculty member Darrett Adkins (DMA ’99, cello), along with alumni Nadine Asin (BM ’73, MM ’74, flute) and Steven Beck (BM ’01, MM ’03, piano), comprise the quartet called Pleasure Is the Law, and have issued a new CD of the same title—joined by guest harpist Erik Nielsen (BM ’99, harp; BM ’99, oboe)—on the Boston Records label, featuring works by Carter, Lieberson, Hurnik, Berlioz, Frank Martin, and Kelsey Jones.

Christopher Durang’s (co-director of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program) new play, Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, premiered in April at the Public Theater in New York. The production was directed by Nicholas Martin.

The Juilliard String Quartet—first violinist Nick Eanet (BM ’94, violin), second violinist Ronald Copes, violist Samuel Rhodes, and cellist Joel Krosnick—were interviewed by Nancy Shear on the Conversations series in April, presented by Music for All Seasons at Steinway Hall.

Viola faculty member Paul Neubauer (BM ’82, MM ’83, viola), along with Ida Kavafian (BM ’74, MM ’75, violin) and Matt Haimovitz (Pre-College ’87, cello), joined violinist/composer Mark O’Connor on Merkin Concert Hall’s Musically Speaking series in April for a program titled “Lingua Appalachia,” celebrating O’Connor’s 35 years as a recording artist.

Behzad Ranjbaran’s “Seven Passages” from his Persian Trilogy was performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson, in March. The Fort Worth Symphony, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya (MM ’93, orchestral conducting), performed Ranjbaran’s Songs of Eternity for soprano and orchestra and Awakening for strings in April; Hanan Alattar (MM ’02, voice; Artist Diploma ’04, opera studies) was the soprano in Songs of Eternity. These performances were part of Ranjbaran’s residency with Fort Worth Symphony in 2008-09.  The Ithaca Choir performed his We Are One at the Tilles Center on Long Island in March.

Evening Division faculty member Henning Rübsam (BFA ’91, dance) taught in California in March and also gave a lecture about dance visionary Martha Hill’s role in the development of American dance for the youth program at O.D.C. in San Francisco. In April, he gave an introductory lecture about modern dance for Lincoln Center’s Young Patrons Program during which dancers from his company, SenseDance, demonstrated.

Brian Zeger (MM ’81, piano), artistic director of the Vocal Arts Department, performed with German bass René Pape, who was making his New York recital debut, at Carnegie Hall in April. The program included Wolf’s Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Michelangelo and Schumann’s Dichterliebe, as well as songs by Schubert.


In April, two current fellows of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program had their work read as part of Manhattan Theater Club’s 7@7 reading series at New York City Center. Zayd Dohrn’s play Magic Forest Farm was directed by Steven Cosson, and Molly Smith Metzler’s play Close Up Space was directed by Evan Cabnet.

In March, playwright fellow Nathan Jackson was the subject of an article in Variety magazine’s Education Impact Report, which featured students in training programs from across the country.

In March, eight Juilliard trumpet players—Alexander White, Colin Sieg, Katie Miller, Brent Grapes, Lyn Schoch, Caleb Hudson, Stuart Stephenson, and Tal Katz—traveled to the National Trumpet Competition at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The eight-person ensemble won the trumpet ensemble division, performing Caleb Hudson’s arrangement of Shostakovich’s Festive Overture. Four members of the ensemble (Miller, Grapes, Stephenson, and White) also competed in the solo division. Grapes took first place in the graduate solo division for the second year in a row, performing the second and third movements of Tomasi’s Trumpet Concerto; Miller was awarded second place in the graduate solo division, performing the third movement of Desenclos’s Incantation, Threne, et Danse.

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