Duncan Patton’s composition There Will Come a Time will premiere on June 17 at 7 PM during a full-length digital concert called You are the Light recorded and filmed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
MSM’s Director of Choral Activities Kent Tritle is the Music Director and conductor of the event, leading the Musica Sacra choir with instrumental ensemble Rose of the Compass The concert also features Immigrant Songs by former MSM President Robert Sirota.
For more information about the concert, including a video teaser, visit this page.
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.
Jorge Parodi is conducting the world premiere of The Threepenny Carmen as part of the Big Tent series in Atlanta, Georgia, overseen by Atlanta Opera’s artistic director Tomer Zvulun. The production is being held in a custom-made tent with open walls in the parking lot of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta April 23, 25, 28, & 30 as well as May 2, 6, & 8.
In this adaptation of Carmen, Parodi oversees a cast of 13 performers, down from the usual cast size of 66. The Threepenny Carmen runs 90 minutes compared to George Bizet’s three-hour work.
Read more about the production here.
The New York Times has published a stunning editorial feature looking behind the scenes of closed theaters in NYC during the pandemic.
The text to the feature is a beautiful poem by Tazewell Thompson, Director of Opera Studies at MSM.
See the article here.
Jazz composer Elio Villafranca is among the recipients of the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship awarded this year to 184 artists, scholars, writers, and scientists. The grants of approximately $40,000 are given to those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”
“I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, President of the Foundation, “especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways… The work supported by the Fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively.”
More about Elio here.
The respected Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) has announced the expansion of its Board of Directors to include three new members including MSM Senior Opera Theatre Music Director, along with Michael Ching and Howard Watkins.
The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year.
Learn more 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.
Kelly Hall Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) is one of six artists, hand-selected by the WQXR team, who are receiving an honorarium of $15,000 and a budget of up to $5,000 to engage collaborators and commission works. The artists will be able to take advantage of WQXR’s various outlets to reach audiences, too, via Greene Space performances, on-air curation opportunities, and much, much more.
“I am really excited for their support in bringing some of my projects to life, particularly in such challenging times,” says Kelly.
MSM College and Precollege faculty member Kariné Poghosyan (MM ’05, DMA ’07) is described by the publication as a “truly one-of-a-kind classical performer” who “inspires listeners with her vivacious, passionate piano interpretations of a wide range of classical music”.
The article also discusses Dr. Poghosyan’s weekly Facebook Live concert series that she began at the beginning of the pandemic. Her 45th concert in the series—dedicated to the music of Arno Babajanian—is slated for this Friday, January 22.
You can read the full article here, and follow Dr. Poghosyan’s Facebook page here.
MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman, the conductor and music director of the preeminent NYC chorus ESSENTIAL VOICES USA and record label Acis announce the release of America at Heart via streaming platforms.
The chorus is joined by Tony Award® winners Randy Graff, also a MSM Musical Theatre faculty member, and Brian Stokes Mitchell for a release in honor of the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, on January 20, 2021.
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.
Kariné Poghosyan, a member of the Music History (College) and Piano (Precollege) faculty, will perform works by Beethoven during her weekly virtual concerts throughout the month of December.
Armenian Weekly writes, “In honor of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Ms. Poghosyan had originally scheduled her annual Beethoven’s Birthday Concert for Carnegie Hall. But, when that was cancelled due to the pandemic she was determined that the show must go online.”
The concerts are free with the option of sending voluntary contributions to the artist. You can watch them live each Friday at 8pm EST on Ms. Poghosyan’s Facebook page.
In a new interview with Joe Szekeres of OnStage Blog, Musical Theatre faculty member Randy Graff talks about teaching during a pandemic, the challenges and advantages of virtual learning, and the future of theatre.
“As an educator, I see my students finding imaginative ways to connect with each other and with students all around the country. Some are doing Zoom play readings, their own work included, and having group discussions after. Many are using the time to self-tape monologues and songs and get them up on their websites. They’ve started Youtube channels and some are Zoom directing as well. All motivated by the pandemic.”
Read the full interview here.
MSM faculty member Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) and Tony nominee Daniel J Watts perform in the second episode of OneTable’s new series, PAUSE.
#takeaPAUSE with OneTable takes place on the first Friday of every month. In the series, creators mix ritual with innovation, asking and answering the questions: What do we do with the things we inherit? What can we gain from taking a PAUSE? How might we imagine the world not as it is, but as it could be?
“Watts’ spoken word artistry juxtaposed with Tompkins’ violin mastery intertwines modernity and tradition, all the while wrestling with what can come from pressing pause before we press play again.”
Learn more: https://onetable.org/pause/
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.
MSM faculty member, alumna, and renowned violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) will be a guest host on WQXR this Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM EST. For her guest appearance, Kelly has chosen works and recordings that inspire her by Mahler, Debussy, Brahms, Price, and others.
Ms. Hall-Tompkins is an entrepreneur who has been acclaimed for her “tonal mastery” (BBC Music Magazine), and named New Yorker of the Year by The New York Times.
Read more about the session here.
MSM piano faculty member Kariné Poghosyan performed at the fundraising event presented by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations. The concert raised money for the ArmeniaFund Humanitarian Relief Effort, with Kariné performing Khachaturian, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Chopin.
The event can be watched here.
Last month, the New York-based Horszowski Trio announced the appointment of MSM Precollege faculty member Ole Akahoshi to the ensemble. Akahoshi will replace cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, who performed with the ensemble for the past nine years.
Of his new position, Ole write: “I have been admiring the Horszowski Trio for many years and being on stage with them has always been a tremendously invigorating, inspiring, and highly gratifying experience for me.”
Read the full press release from The Violin Channel here.
Faculty member and alumnus Damien Sneed (’06) has been appointed an artist-in-residence at Michigan State University. According to a press release, Sneed will work with Wharton Center and MSU’s College of Music, helping to bring social impact programming to both institutions.
“I’m excited about returning to Michigan State University and the Wharton Center,” said Sneed. “We will be able to touch the lives of so many different people through the lyrics and messages in the music.”
Precollege faculty members Jane Olian and Donna Gill were interviewed by Margo Garrett of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Journal about creative collaboration and technology in the time of COVID-19. In the interview, Jane and Donna talk about how their work as teachers and coaches has changed in the wake of the pandemic.
Garret writes, “Donna and Jane both feel sustained by the fact that they are teaching in these days, that the students are ever hungry to learn, and that they themselves are doing OK—because they are teaching. Teachers and students need each other in these difficult days, it seems.” Read the full story here.
Musical theatre faculty member Or Matias was awarded a Special Obie Citation alongside Dave Malloy and Hidenori Nakajo for their Music and Sound of OCTET. The award, which was announced during the virtual ceremony on July 14, was given “for their collaboration in creating the soundscape that showcased the boundlessness of the acapella human voice”.
Later on in the virtual Obie Awards, faculty members Mana Allen, David Loud, and David Cady performed in a tribute to Merrily We Roll Along.
You can watch the full awards ceremony here.
Faculty member Damien Sneed has been selected as one of BET’s “Future 40”, which highlights a new generation of inspiring leaders and changemakers across entertainment, activism, sports and more.
“As a pianist, vocalist and composer, Sneed’s resume is lengthy as an emerging Black leader in classical music,” writes BET. You can watch the video feature here.
Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the “Best Original Song Category”. The song, entitled “A New Carol – The Holidays Are Here”, was co-written with Wesley Whately and performed on the Singing Christmas Tree Float during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November 2019.
Judith writes, “Thank you, MSM voice students, for constantly teaching me about acting through songs, and kudos to the Freshman Ensemble Voice Class for singing through the piece for me, when I first wrote it.”
View the full list of nominees here.
The Jazz Journalists Association has announced the winners of the 2020 JJA Jazz Awards, which celebrate excellence in music and music journalism in thirty-nine awards categories. Among the winners are the following members of the MSM community:
Terri Lyne Carrington (HonDMA ’20)
Musician of the Year
Lauren Sevian (BM ’01, MSM Faculty)
Baritone Saxophonist of the Year
Miguel Zenón (MM ’01, MSM Faculty)
Arranger of the Year
View the full list of winners here.
Chorus America announced their 2020 awards program honorees earlier this week and named MSM’s Director of Choral Activities Kent Tritle the recipient of the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art.
Named after one of the founders of Chorus America, this award was established in 1978 to honor an individual with a lifetime of significant contributions to the professional choral art. Read the full press release, including the list of all award recipients, here.
John Burnett of National Public Radio interviewed Associate Dean and Director of Jazz Arts Stefon Harris (BM ’95, MM ’97) about performing, being an educator, and teaching empathy from the bandstand.
“The vibraphone, in my opinion, is just a bunch of metal and wood,” he says. “It’s not that important. Instruments are just tools. What’s important is the mission behind the individual who’s utilizing the tool. My ultimate passion is about the proliferation of empathy.”
You can listen to the interview here.
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.
Jazz faculty member Damien Sneed‘s new opera, Marian’s Song, will have its world premiere tonight at Houston Grand Opera. The HGO-commissioned piece was composed by Sneed to a libretto by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.
The opera is based on the life of Marian Anderson, one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century, who broke racial barriers throughout her storied career.
Learn more (and buy tickets) here.
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.