The release by Christopher Cerrone (BM ’07, DMA ’00) In a Grove, is a new opera in two parts available as a digital download and limited CD release. Christopher studied composition at MSM with Nils Vigeland and Reiko Fueting. He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2014, and has won numerous ASCAP awards.
In a Grove is a meditation on trauma and the fallacies of human memory, with Christopher Cerrone and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann taking their inspiration from a 1922 short story by Japanese author Ryonusuke Akutagawa.
The album features the voices of Lindsay Kesselman, Chuanyuan Liu, Andrew Turner, and John Taylor Ward, as well as the respected instrumentalists of Metropolis Ensemble. The album was produced by Christopher Cerrone, alongside his colleagues Mike Tierney and Andrew Cyr.
More about the CD and Christopher Cerrone here.
Opera Wire review of In a Grove here.
German composer Reiko Füting, a composition faculty member and department administrator at MSM, is releasing the world premiere recording of his opera Mechthild with libretto by poet and theologian Christian Lehnert on New Focus Recordings.
Füting’s subject, Mechthild of Magdeburg, was a 13th-century female Christian mystic whose influential writings were rediscovered in the 19th century. Füting and Lehnert’s score explores topics of faith and asceticism in the context of the musicality inherent in language, connecting different eras of artistic expression through time and memory.
Learn more about the recording here.
Purchase the album here.
Watch a video feature in German about the recording here.
Gugggenheim Fellowships are awarded to who have artists who have “demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” Pascal was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition; he is Assistant Professor of the Practice of Music and Technology at Vanderbilt University and is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University.
More about Pascal Le Boeuf here.
Composer and MSM alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras was awarded the $50,000 prize for his work as a composer and conductor of orchestral music that draws on his Mexican heritage and for his leadership in founding the Orquesta Latino Mexicana.
The Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music is awarded by the Vilcek Foundation as part of the Vilcek Foundation Prizes Program. The Vilcek Foundation prizes are awarded annually to immigrant artists and scientists whose work has had a profound impact on U.S. culture and society.
More information here.
The new work by MSM theory and composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini is called Armoniosi accenti and was commissioned by the Orchestra Haydn of Bolzano in Italy. It will be premiered on May 16 and 17 in the cities of Bolzano and Trento in Italy under the baton of the famous conductor and harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone.
“Armoniosi accenti features the same unusual instrumentation of Mozart Gran Partita, which will be also in the program together with Haydn Symphony 96,” says Paolo.
More information about the concert here.
The Naxos label presents this recording of brand new concertos “from two vibrant and contrasting American composers.” Adolphus Hailstork‘s (BM ’62, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) First Piano Concerto “draws on his African American heritage to create a work brimming with energy and high spirits, reflecting the rich traditions of jazz and blues,” writes the record label.
Listen to the recording here.
Congratulations to composer and MSM alumnus Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’62, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) who was given the 2023 Visionary Award by Composers Now in a ceremony in New York City on January 30.
Composers Now is an organization empowers all living composers, celebrates the diversity of their voices and honors the significance of their artistic contributions to the cultural fabric of society
Learn more here.
MSM composition alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras (MM ’12) was named a winner of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music.
The Vilcek Prizes support immigrant professionals who have demonstrated exceptional achievements early in their careers and have made a positive impact in the U.S. Juan Pablo is the first Mexican-American to receive this award. Each winner receives a trophy and a $50,000 cash prize.
In the past, the foundation has given prizes to musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Osvaldo Golijov.
Learn more about the award here.
Learn more about Juan Pablo here.
Alison Yun-Fei Jiang (BM ’15) has been named the RBC Affiliate composer with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). She was previously the Carrefour Composer-in-Residence with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (2020-22) and her compositions have been performed in Canada and across the United States.
The TSO’s Affiliate Composer position offers an emerging composer a chance to create works for one of North America’s finest professional orchestras, and gain insight into the organization.
“Alison’s music is full of originality and colour, and she has an important voice to share with our orchestra and audiences,” said TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno in a media release. “We were impressed by Alison’s blending of cultures and genres into exciting melodies and textures.”
Read more about her appointment here.
MSM alumna Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (DMA ’16) was named one of the two finalists in the Pulitzer Prize category for music for her composition “with eyes the color of time.” The other finalist in music is MSM alumnus Andy Akiho (MM ’09) for his composition “Seven Pillars.” The winning Pultizer Prize for music was awarded to Raven Chacon for his composition “Voiceless Mass.”
Andy Akiho also received a 2022 Grammy Awards nomination this year for his composition.
The Pulitzer music jury was headed by The New Yorker‘s music critic Alec Ross.
Learn more about Anne’s composition here.
Learn more about Andy’s composition here.
Congratulations to MSM faculty and alumni who won 2022 GRAMMY Awards for classical, jazz, and composing/arranging!
The awards were presented on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas. Winners include MSM alumni Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) (in photo on left) and J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09) soloists in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Philip Glass’ Ahknaten which won Best Opera Recording.
View the full list of winners here.
View all MSM faculty and alumni nominated for the 2022 awards here.
The GRAMMY Awards take place on Sunday, April 1, with more than 30 MSM alumni and faculty members nominated, including MSM trustees Terence Blanchard (HonDMA ’19) and Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08), as well as J’nai Bridges (BM ’09), and faculty member, Miguel Zenón.
Read the full list of MSM community nominees here.
MSM composition student Elliot Roman (BM ’21, MM ’23) had a piece commissioned by the MSM Artists in Residence American String Quartet (all pictured above), Ludwig:sein:Seine was featured in their concert at MSM on February 13.
Last month, Elliot’s undergraduate orchestral thesis composition, Tzirklshpitz, was performed by the MSM Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76); the score won Elliot a 2021 BMI Student Composer Award.
Read about Elliot and find out about the concert here
Dr. Elaine Bearer (BM ’70) MA, MD, PhD, is a neuroscientist, pathologist, and composer who is a professor in the Department of Music at the University of New Mexico where one of her areas of specialty is music and the mind. She is also a Professor in the Department of Pathology where she uses imaging technologies, molecular genetics and computational modeling to study circuitry dynamics in health and disease states.
The Strømstad Academy, based in Sweden, is a Nordic Institute for Advanced Studies that names as members professors from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and other Universities worldwide, including four Nobel laureates.
More about Dr. Bearer here.
MSM Alum Eun-Kyung Kim (MM ’90, DM ’97) received the honor by State Senator John Liu (in photo on right). Eun-Kyung Kim’s work over the past two decades has focused on advocacy, management and fundraising for her community and most recently, helping families during COVID-19. She is the Executive Director of the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) in Queens.
During the pandemic, the YWCA of Queens opened a food pantry that provided fresh produce for more than 22,000 of the borough’s families and offered virtual classes for the community.
Read more about Eun-Kyung Kim here.
From July 26 to 30, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the world’s longest continuously running Yiddish theatre in the world, is having a benefit concert online honoring its director of long standing, Zalmen Mlotek (BM ’72), who is celebrating his 70th birthday.
Zalmen received his Bachelor of Arts from MSM in Theory, and is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music. He is a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds, as well as a conductor, pianist, musical arranger, accompanist, and composer.
His acclaimed production of “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” with Folksbiene ran for two years after a planned run of just two weeks at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, moving to Off Broadway. It closed in January, 2020.
The benefit concert, entitled “Yiddish Renaissance” will include 140 artists from around the world, is also being billed as a celebration of the growing interest in Yiddish language and culture.
Anna Clyne‘s Within Her Arms will open the concerts being held on Sept 17, 18, and 19 at Alice Tully Hall, kicking off the New York Philharmonic‘s new season. NY Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducts.
It’s the orchestra’s long-awaited return to live performances after what will be an an 18-month period of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For tickets to hear Anna Clyne’s composition, or to find out more about the 2021-2022 season, visit the NYPhil website here.
Recent MSM graduates Elizabeth Gartman (MM ’21) and Elliot Roman (BM ’21) are 2021 winners of the 69th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards for classical composition.
The annual awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with educational scholarships totaling $20,000.
This year’s group of talented composers are being showcased across BMI’s and BMIF’s digital platforms in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.
The work “24 Preludes and Fugues” for piano by MSM Faculty member Paolo Marchettini, who teaches Music Theory at MSM, took more than a year to compose and is now published by the respected Italian publishing house Edizioni Curci.
“I’ve always considered the fugue to be one of the most pure musical forms,” explains Paolo in a video clip that can be seen here. “The possibility of being able to write an entire piece of music out of only one main idea has always been a challenge for composers of different times.”
Learn more about the composition here at the publisher’s website.
Watch Paolo play perform a portion of the work here.
Brooklyn-based composer Christopher Cerrone was recently named one of The Washington Post‘s “21 Composers and performers who sound like tomorrow,” and has collaborated with a “veritable who’s-who of classical ensembles, ranging from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Third Coast Percussion,” writes music critic Keven McBrien.
His new album The Arching Path is “an electro-acoustic, piano-driven record that features some of my favorite recent chamber pieces,” says Cerrone.
View a video of the title composition performed by Timo Andres here.
Learn more about the album and purchase it here.
The aria “Tulsa 1921: Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust” will premiere on June 19 during an online musical event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, organized by the Harlem Chamber Players, Harlem Stage, and Harlem School of the Arts.
Adolphus Hailstork’s work with libretto by Herbert Woodward Martin is written for chamber orchestra and a single mezzo-soprano voice, performed at the event by MSM Alumna J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09). In the composition, the story of the massacre that left dozens dead and destroyed several blocks is told by a young girl, picking through the destruction and lamenting the extinguished hopes of a thriving, industrious Black community.
Register to watch here.
Read more about the event here.
Susan Botti is one of fourteen composers selected to receive a 2020 Fromm Commission by the Harvard University-based organization’s Board of Directors.
These commissions represent one of the principal ways that the Fromm Music Foundation seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.
In addition to the commissioning award, a subsidy is available for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work.
Learn more about Susan here.
Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) will have his composition, “Fanfare on Amazing Grace”, played by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band during pre-ceremony festivities at today’s inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Listen to a rehearsal of the performance here.
The historic performance will mark the second time that a contemporary African American composer’s music has been selected to be part of the repertoire performed at a presidential inauguration.
Hailstork is currently working on a requiem cantata for George Floyd, “A Knee on the Neck,” one of many compositions that reflect his engagement with Black history. He expects to complete it in April.
Read the full press release here.
Composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini will release his first album of five orchestral works on January 8, 2021. The album will be released by New Focus Recordings. Marchettini draws inspiration from Verdi, Frescobaldi, Morricone, and sets texts by Emily Dickinson in this collection of recorded performances by both American and Itl Orchestra della Toscana, the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta, and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Orchestra.
The album is available for pre-order here.
Composition, Theory, and Skills Department Chair Reiko Fueting (DMA ’00) has received the Barlow Commission Prize from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. Fueting was one of fifteen composers chosen from 285 applicants from 20 different countries. See the full list of recipients here.
Fueting was also recently interviewed by Composium, a newsletter covering everything from music technology to film composition. You can read the interview here.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra has released a new album today devoted to orchestral works of alumna Anna Clyne (MM ’05). The album was released by the label Avie Records, and features conductors Marin Alsop, Sakari Oramo, Andrew Litton, and André de Ridder.
Clyne composed the last piece, >>rewind<<, while still a student here at MSM. It was premiered in 2005 by the MSM Composers’ Orchestra and David Gilbert, and last year Nathan Hetherington conducted it with the Precollege Philharmonic.
Purchase or stream Anna Clyne’s Mythologies here.
Alumnus Jacám Manricks (DMA ’07) is set to release his sixth album,”Samadhi,” on September 4 on his own label, Manricks Music Records. While attending Manhattan School of Music, he composed and premiered a large-scale work, “Chromatic Suite for Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra,” for the school’s 90th birthday celebration. Its combination of classical and jazz traditions presaged Manricks’s 2009 debut album, “Labyrinth,” which blended a chamber orchestra with a venturesome jazz quintet.
Theodore Front Music Literature, Inc., a leading sheet music and music book dealer based in Santa Clarita, California has named MSM alumnus, Dr. Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) as its composer of the month.
Hailstork is currently at work on a George Floyd requiem cantata titled “A Knee On a Neck.” The piece is scored for orchestra, chorus, tenor, baritone, and mezzo-soprano. The composer has focused a substantial amount of his work on Black history.
Composer and MSM alumna Anna Clyne (MM ’05) has written a cello concerto, entitled DANCE, has been included in NPR Music’s 25 Favorite Songs Of 2020 (So Far). View the full list here.
NPR writes: “Anna Clyne has written perhaps her most ambitious and appealing work so far. It’s hard to resist the gorgeous opening of DANCE, her new cello concerto performed with singular commitment by cellist Inbal Segev and conductor Marin Alsop … [Clyne is] fearless in filling the concerto with melodies of undisguised beauty … All linger in the ear, begging to be heard again.”
Alumnus Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) has begun writing A Knee on the Neck, contributing a new work to a large number of compositions that reflect his engagement with black history. “There are lots [of black composers] out there,” says Hailstork. “They just don’t get the chance to be performed. We need artistic administrators and conductors and performers to be interested.”
Read more about the piece here.
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