The GRAMMY-nominated 21st-century ensemble will begin as the faculty wind quintet at Curtis Institute at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
Imani Winds members include MSM Alumni Monica Ellis (PS ’98), bassoon; Toyin Spellman-Diaz (MM ’98), oboe; Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10), flute; Jeff Scott (BM ’90), French horn; Toyin Spellman-Diaz (MM ’98), oboe; and Mark Dover (MM ’12), clarinet.
Imani Winds will work with student ensembles, as well as Curtis’ wind studios. They will also commission works with community partners.
“I am thrilled to welcome Imani Winds to our faculty,” says Curtis President and CEO Roberto Díaz.
“Imani Winds has set a great example of how to forge a unique career path, have meaningful community impact, and embody an entrepreneurial spirit throughout all of their work. We will all benefit greatly from having Imani Winds at Curtis.”
Alumnus Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) has released an album of flute sonatas and solo works by J.S. Bach, Boulez, Aho, and Prokofiev. George describes his debut album as a dialogue between the past and the future, and this CD indeed represents a walk through musical history spanning 300 years. You can learn more about the recording here.
Brandon Patrick George is the flutist of the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds and has made appearances as a concerto soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra, among others.
George was also interviewed by The New York Times in anticipation of his album release. Read the New York Times feature here.
The New York Times writes about MSM alum Brandon Patrick George (MM’10), a member of Imani Winds, in its Arts section on October 13, 2020, reviewing his debut album with music by composers Bach, Boulez, Prokofiev and the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho.
Read the article here.
Alumna Coreisa Lee (BM ’17) was recognized at the 2020 AKADEMIA Music Awards competition in Los Angeles, California for her performance video, “To You”. The composer, Eugene Magalif, shares the “Best Song: Ambient/Instrumental” award with Lee. Watch the award-winning video here.
Lee is a former student of MSM faculty member Linda Chesis.
Alumnus Conor Nelson (BM ’03) has been appointed to the faculty of the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as Assistant Professor of Flute. Nelson will also serve as flutist of the Wingra Wind Quintet. He leaves a position at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Read Conor’s full bio here.
Alumna Coreisa Lee (BM ’17), who graduated from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) this month with her Master’s in music performance, shares her journey in this interview with the institution. After studying with Professor Linda Chesis at MSM, Lee moved to Bowling Green, OH to continue her studies with another MSM alum (and former student of Chesis), Conor Nelson (BM ’03). This Fall, Lee will pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at West Virginia University this fall, where she earned a provost fellowship.
Lee’s professor and MSM alumnus Conor Nelson recently accepted a flute professor position at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he will also perform as a member of the faculty ensemble, Wingra Wind Quintet.
Alumna Amanda Blaikie (PS ’09, Orchestral Flute) was interviewed by Noa Kageyama, Ph.D for Bulletproof Musician as a part of their “What Audition Preparation Strategies Work Best for You?” series. In the episode, which can be found here, Amanda talks about “believing in yourself, letting Go of attachments, and giving yourself permission to be kind to yourself”.
Flutist Amanda Blaikie has been a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 2016, and is also on the faculty at Oakland University.
Clarinet faculty member David Krakauer and his frequent collaborator Kathleen Tagg (DMA ’09) have started weekly livestreams featuring their favorite performers, composers, filmmakers, philosophers, and thinkers. The series, entitled “Sunday Connections”, will take place on their Facebook and YouTube pages each Sunday at 11am EDT.
Lineup for the next few episodes includes clarinetist & composer Kinan Azmeh; Abraham Inc’s Socalled & Fred Wesley; filmmaker Eric Steel; composer & beat-maker, Jeremy Flower aka Keepalive; South African jazz pianist Andre Peterson; bassist & guitarist Jerome Harris; singer & rapper Sarah MK; accordion virtuoso Rob Curto, and more.
Learn more about “Sunday Connections” here.
Woodwind Department Chair Linda Chesis talks about teaching at Manhattan School of Music in a new interview by Wm. S. Haynes Flute Company. Professor Chesis is on the roster of official Haynes Artists, and performs with her custom Haynes flute (14K Custom, Silver Keys, Inline G, B Foot, D# Roller, C# Trill). You can watch the “Meet the Artist” interview here.
Ms. Chesis has been on the flute and chamber music faculties at MSM since 1986. In 1988 she was appointed Chair of the Woodwind Department, and in 2012 she was the recipient of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching.
Jonah Murphy (BM ’22), flute student of Michael Parloff, and Julie Nah Kyung Lee (BM ’18, MM ’20), student of Linda Chesis and Robert Langevin, recently took 1st and 2nd prize respectively in the New York Flute Club Competition on Saturday, February 29. Jonah and Julie will be featured in recital as part of the NY Flute Club concert series on April 19 at 5:30 pm.
For more information regarding the competition and the upcoming recital, click here.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2020-21 Eisenberg-Fried Competition! MSM students from Brass, Woodwinds, Piano, Strings, and Voice departments participated in the competition. Winners will be featured in an orchestra concert next school year.
Brass: Liana Hoffman, horn
Student of Michelle Baker
Strauss, Horn Concerto No. 2
Woodwind: Shogo Urahata, clarinet
Student of Charles Neidich
Francaix, Clarinet Concerto
Strings: Luxi Wang, violin
Student of Lucie Robert
Glazunov, Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82
Piano: Sophiko Simsive, piano
Student of Solomon Mikowsky
Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15
Voice: Rosario Hernandez Armas, mezzo soprano
Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
de Falla, Siete Canciones Populares
Clarinetist David Krakauer recently collaborated with Kathleen Tagg in writing and performing the film score for Minyan by Eric Steel, Krakauer’s first film score. The film premiered in late February at the Berlin International Film Festival.
“Director Eric Steel sets his sensitive portrait of a gay Jewish youth in the as yet un-gentrified, roughshod New York of the 1980s. In his feature-film debut, he depicts unobtrusively and with quiet humour how one young man squares social attributions – immigrant, Jew, homosexual – with his own feelings and learns to define them anew.”
The film received a listing on IndieWire’s Top 15 films to view at the Berlin Festival.
For more on Krakauer’s contributions and currently projects, visit his website.
On Monday, February 17, orchestral bassoonistPinghua Felix Ren (MM’19 and PS ’20) won the Assistant Principal Bassoon position of the Hartford Symphony. He will begin playing with them later this spring.
For more about the Hartford Symphony, visit their website or view their performance calendar here.
DMA flautist Beomjae Kim (AD ’17), student of MSM pedagogues Michael Parloff, Linda Chesis, and Robert Langevin was recently featured in the winter issue of Symphony distributed by the League of American Orchestras. In the article called “Pathfinders” by Vivien Schweitzer, Kim was one of six emerging artists to discuss their visions for the classical music world, to which the MSM flautist described his main goal as a musician “is to tell a story and not just play an instrument.”
For more inspiring words and the full article, click here.
To subscribe to Symphony, visit https://americanorchestras.org/symphony-magazine/
Woodwind Department Chair and Flute Faculty member Linda Chesis is on the cover of this month’s Flute Talk magazine! In this issue, Linda is interviewed by her former student (and MSM Precollege alumna) Joanna Lau.
Of her teaching style, Professor Chesis shares, “I will address things very differently depending on a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and I think that is also what keeps it fresh and interesting for me.” Read the full article here.
Alumnus and Precollege faculty member Pascal Archer (MM ’06) recently won a one-year position as acting principal clarinet of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Pascal also serves as the principal clarinet of The Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra and NEPA Philharmonic, and he is the artistic director of the Exponential Ensemble. View Pascal’s bio and upcoming performances here.
A recipient of Manhattan School of Music’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Carol Wincenc (BM ’71, Classical Flute) will celebrate the anniversary of her New York debut in the 2019-2020 season with a series of recitals around the city. The centerpiece of the series will be five new compositions she has commissioned by MSM President Emeritus Robert Sirota, Jake Heggie, Pierre Jalbert, Larry Alan Smith, and Sato Matsui.
Visit her website to learn more.
In the article, entrepreneur Douglas Quint (BM ’92, Classical Bassoon) shares his typical Sunday schedule as the owner of Big Gay Ice Cream.
What started out as a food truck in Union Square ten years ago, Big Gay Ice Cream now has three storefronts in New York, one in Philadelphia, and more opening on the West Coast this summer.
Read the full feature here.
The performance Breath and Hammer by MSM Faculty member David Krakauer and pianist Kathleen Tagg (free of charge in the East Building Auditorium of the National Gallery) features original compositions and fresh arrangements of “simple songs” by such composers as New York–based visionary John Zorn, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodríguez. The duo’s influences range from interlocking African drumming patterns to romantic symphonic music, minimalism, and klezmer.
They will perform with the Omer Quartet in NYC (also free of charge) on Jan 7.
More about the National Gallery performance here
Info about the NYC concert here
For Monica Ellis, a native of Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the bassoon signaled a ticket to the world, a path through high school, college, career, fame, travel and purpose.
Jingping He has been studying with Linda Chesis, as a student in MSM’s Orchestral Performance Program.
Learn more about MSM’s OPP program
Seohee Choi studies with flutist Robert Langevin at MSM, as a student in MSM’s graduate degree program, the Orchestral Performance program.
Alison is pursuing a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance at MSM, studying with flutist Robert Langevin.
The two-year fellowship awarded to Tamara Winston, currently a MSM Professional Studies Certificate candidate, will help prepare her for a career that combines performance with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, leadership, and entrepreneurship.