The Conservatory welcomes a host of new faculty this semester. They include: Giacomo Fiore (M.M., guitar, '09), music history and literature; Ryan Brown (M.M., composition, '05), composition seminar and workshop; Minna Choi (M.M., composition, '09) and Anna-Christina Phillips (M.M., clarinet, '10), Musical Startups; Carmen Lemoine (M.M., flute, '05), woodwind chamber music; and Nicholas Pavkovic (M.M., composition, '11), musicianship and theory.
Temple Sinai in Oakland presented Hiroshima and Symphony on the Holocaust, two pieces by Toby Lurie (composition, '48). Lurie's group The Lost Coast Word-Music Ensemble performed the works last March in a program called "Elegies of Remembrance."
Noel Benkman (B.M., piano, '71) performed a concert of Rachmaninoff and Beethoven in July at the Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco with Bay Area cellist Rebecca Roudman.
Eliane Lust (piano, '76) enjoyed a sultry summer with her release of Hot New Tangos featuring solos written for her by American composers. This fall, she tours both coasts of the U.S. performing works by two Frederics: Chopin and Rzewski. The latter has written pieces for Lust scored for a 'speaking pianist.'
Pianist Gregory Taboloff (piano, '79) recently performed a program titled "Fantasies from World-Famous Operas" in Lafayette, California, that included original fantasies on Carmen and Die Fledermaus, as well as a Lizst paraphrase of Tristan and Isolde in celebration of Wagner's 200th birthday.
Rebecca Bogart (M.M., piano, '85) won First Prize in the College/Professional Solo Division of the 2013 Bradshaw and Buono International Competition. As a winner, she is invited to perform at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall during the 2013-2014 season.
The Philadelphia Virtuosi recently premiered Islamorada for piano and string ensemble by Miguel del Aguila (B.M., piano, '82) in a performance on Key West. A continent away (and then some), the Onium Ballet premiered Clocks, a ballet based on Aguila's Grammy-nominated chamber work of the same name, at Honolulu's Paliku Theater.
For its very first digital-only EP release, the Sono Luminus label chose to feature two alumni ensembles: the Del Sol String Quartet and ZOFO duet. The album includes two movements of Bagatelles for string quartet and electronica by faculty member Mason Bates, and "Shall We Play," a piece that joins the forces of both groups. Del Sol includes alumni Kate Stenberg (B.M., violin, '84), Rick Shinozaki (Preparatory Division, violin, '86), Charlton Lee (M.M., viola, '93) and Kathryn Bates Williams (M.M., chamber music, '07). For more on ZOFO Duet, see the 2000s listings.
Diane Grubbe (M.M., flute, '89) and her Bay Area wind ensemble Quinteto Latino recently performed "Voces del Desierto/Voices of the Desert" at the Pregones Theater in the Bronx. The quintet, which specializes in classical and contemporary music of Latin America, commissioned the piece from Mexican-American composer Guillermo Galindo for a San Jose premiere in 2012.
Blue Hill Bach, a baroque music festival in Maine founded and directed by mezzo-soprano Marcia Gronewold Sly (B.M., voice, '80), presented its third season of concerts in July, including an appearance by bass-baritone soloist John David Adams (voice, '81).
National Taiwan Normal University hosted Carolyn Yarnell (B.M., composition, '86) as a visiting scholar in April. The school performed several of her works, including Yosemite and the Range of Light..., a 23-movement orchestral work-in-progress. Two other pieces, Wawona and Grizzly, received world premieres.
Check the 1990s listings for news of Lars Johannesson (B.M., flute, '89).
Philadelphia's Center City Opera Theater (CCOT) recently presented excerpts from Aguas Ancestrales, an opera trilogy written by Hector Armienta (M.M., composition, '97) inspired by the life of his grandmother. CCOT will workshop the third part of the trilogy, La Muerte, later this year as part of its Hispanic Opera Initiative. Armienta is artistic director of Opera Cultura, a San Jose-based music theater training and performance program.
Alma Batista (M.M., piano, '92) was awarded First Prize for her piano composition "Romanza" at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena) Danza Contest Competition in the Contemporary Danza Division.
Troy Davis (B.M., oboe, '97) has been accepted into the doctoral program for music education at Boston University. He was also recently appointed music director of the Oakland Municipal Band. Davis assures us he is working out the details of his imminent commute.
Lise Lindstrom (M.M., voice, '96) opensedthe 2013-14 season at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden this fall, making her house debut in the title role of Puccini's Turandot. The soprano received critical acclaim for recent performances of the same role at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Arena di Verona and other world-class houses. Lindstrom also debuts this season as Brünnhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung with Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy, and appears as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer at the Polish National Opera.
Barry Phillips (M.M., composition, '90) made musical history by engineering and producing the final CDs recorded by sitar master Ravi Shankar. The Living Room Sessions Part 1 won a Grammy Award this year for best world music recording. In addition, Phillips is writing a mixed quintet to be performed by flutist Lars Johannesson (B.M., flute, '89) and the Santa Cruz Chamber Players next season and is completing a CD of self-composed cello pieces.
For news about Charlton Lee (M.M., viola, '93) and the Del Sol String Quartet, check the 1980s listings.
Teddy Abrams (B.M., piano, '05) conducted a series of San Francisco Symphony concerts in July at Davies Hall, the America's Cup Pavilion and in Dolores Park. He led works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and American masters such as Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein. Abrams is resident conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest and assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Elise Blatchford (M.M., flute, '07) moved to Tennessee this summer to begin a new job as Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Memphis. Meanwhile, her award-winning wind quintet City of Tomorrow, which also includes Leander Star (B.M., horn, '07), recently made its New York City debut.
The Boston Percussion Group, a new music ensemble featuring Brian Calhoon (B.M., percussion, '07), hosted an evening of mixed chamber music this spring at The Boston Conservatory. The program featured a concerto for cello and percussion quartet by Tan Dun.
The Conservatory was well represented at Sarasota Opera this winter. Playing with the orchestra were Kathryn Curran (M.M., trombone, '05), Caitlin McSherry (B.M., violin, '07) and Alex Rosenfeld (M.M., horn, '05). Soprano Maria Natale (B.M., voice, '07) made her company debut as Liu in Puccini's Turandot.
Earlier this year, Brian Dowdy (P.S.D., guitar, '08) released Music for Compline, a recording of chant and renaissance polyphony with Sanctuary, the chamber choir of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. Dowdy co-conducts and sings baritone with the ensemble. He is also assistant conductor of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra and a guitarist with the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, with whom he conducted a recent concert of pieces inspired by rock icon Beck Hanson.
The Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble appeared on San Francisco's Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series last May. Its performance titled Current Events married "electro-acoustic structured improvisation" with film montages depicting such diverse topics as drone warfare, futurist cities and the desert. Jack Curtis Dubowsky (M.M., composition, '01) founded the group which includes Fred Morgan (P.S.D., percussion, '08) and Erika Johnson (M.M., percussion, '01), who moonlights as manager of the Conservatory Orchestra.
New Conservatory faculty member Giacomo Fiore (M.M., guitar, '09) performed a burst of world premieres last spring, including two works by Larry Polansky at Old First Concerts in San Francisco, the U.S. premiere of Fabrizio Carlone's Bonjour Mr. Gauguin with West Edge Opera and two just-intonation works by Ron Nagorcka and Garry Eister at Microfest in Los Angeles. On top of this, Fiore successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Fiore studied with David Tanenbaum.
Joshua Fishbein (M.M., composition, '09) won the Delaware Valley Chorale's 2013 Competition for Young Choral Composers. The chorale will perform his winning composition Adon Olam in its 2013-14 concert season. Fishbein was a student of David Conte.
Soprano Elizabeth Harmetz (M.M., voice, '02) appeared as Desiree in Sondheim's A Little Night Music with the Los Angeles Independent Opera Company in April. Also this spring, she performed Queen Caesonia in the world premiere of I, Caligula: An Insanity Musical at North Hollywood's Secret Rose Theater.
Trumpeter Erik Jekabson (M.M., composition, '06) and his quintet debuted at San Francisco's new SF Jazz Center in March, paying tribute to legendary composer, arranger and producer Quincy Jones. The set was part of the SF Jazz Hotplate series, a monthly event that features Bay Area musicians interpreting the work of jazz luminaries.
Flutist and new Conservatory faculty member Carmen Lemoine (M.M., flute, '05) competed in September at the Budapest International Flute Competition in Hungary. She performed a preview recital at the Conservatory and another earlier in August, in her hometown of Norman, Oklahoma.
The Living Earth Show made the rounds of contemporary music festivals last spring. The duo of Travis Andrews (M.M., guitar, '09) and Andrew Meyerson (M.M., percussion, '10) played at Fast Forward Austin and Microfest in Los Angeles, wielding "quartertone instruments" acquired through a successful Kickstarter campaign. In addition, Andrews performed a Living Earth Show commission, Tension Studies by Samuel Carl Adam, with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in April.
When Australian alt rockers Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds came to Bill Graham Auditorium in April, they were joined by a string quintet provided by the Magik*Magik Orchestra, the ensemble comprised largely of Conservatory musicians and run by Minna Choi (M.M., composition, '09) and Annie Phillips (M.M., clarinet, '10).
Rebecca Metheny Mason (M.M., flute, '03) gave a benefit recital last April in New York titled "Love is Brewing," featuring Debussy, Geminiani, Telemann--and afternoon tea. Proceeds went to Love146, an organization that fights the sex trafficking of children.
Soprano Ann Moss (Postgraduate Diploma, voice, '05) just released her debut CD
Currents. The album, recorded at Skywalker Sound by Grammy Award-winning producer Leslie Ann Jones, features contemporary American works and performances by Conservatory pianist Steven Bailey and violinist Eric Chin. Moss recently performed the west coast premiere of Henri Dutilleux's Le temps l'horloge and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G Major with the University of California, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.
Ricki Nelson (M.M., clarinet, '08) was accepted into the Sistema Fellows program at New England Conservatory. The year-long fellowship trains postgraduate musicians and educators to develop youth music programs that aim to effect social change. Nelson will receive leadership and administrative training and attend a residency in Venezuela.
Soprano Lang Michelle Nixon (M.M., voice, '08) performed this summer in concert at the Teatro in Monza, Italy, and debuted at the Ticino Musica Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, as Fanny in La cambiale di matrimonio by Rossini.
One Art Ensemble, the trio of soprano Ann Moss (P.G.D., voice, '05), violist Alexa Beattie (Artist Certificate, chamber music, '09) and pianist Hillary Nordwell (M.M., chamber music, '05), performed their special blend of chamber music and art song in two recent Bay Area concerts: at Berkeley Hillside Club and Noontime Concerts at Old St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.
Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Panara (M.M., voice, '09) was awarded Third Prize at the 25th Annual Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition sponsored by Opera at Florham in New Jersey. This summer she returned to The Santa Fe Opera to perform the role of Flora Bervoix in La traviata as a second year apprentice singer.
Eric Reustle (B.M., horn, '02) recently joined the board of directors of Emmanuel Music, one of Boston's leading ensembles known for regular performances of Bach cantatas and diverse repertoire encompassing contemporary opera and musical theater. Eric is an attorney specializing in the representation of nonprofit and tax-exempt entities.
Soprano Erica Schuller (M.M., voice, '09) sings the role of Marzelline in Beethoven's Fidelio with Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee this September. In October, she performs Vespetta in the Telemann opera Pimpinone with Chicago's Haymarket Opera Company.
The Amphion String Quartet, anchored by David Southorn (B.M., violin,'07), performed at numerous festivals this summer, appearing at the Chautauqua Institute, New York University, Music Mountain, Princeton University, Kneisel Hall and BargeMusic. The quartet premiered its first commissioned work by composer Yvgeniy Sharlat at Caramoor Center for the Arts. In April, Amphion drew a sold-out crowd for its Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) debut.
Flutist Julee Kim Walker (M.M., flute, '05) received a D.M.A. from the University of North Texas in May. She is currently instructor of flute at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she directed the Texas Summer Flute Symposium in June.
HAFU, a documentary about the experiences of mixed-race people in Japan with a soundtrack composed by Winton Yuichiro White (M.M., composition, '08), was well received at screenings this spring in Tokyo, as well as at the University of Southern California and the University of California-Berkeley.
The ZOFO duet is out with their second album on the Sono Luminus label. Mosh Pit is a one-piano four-hand romp through dance-inspired works by American composers such as Gershwin, Nancarrow, Corigliano and Barber. ZOFO is the team of staff pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi (M.M., piano, '06) and Eva-Maria Zimmerman. For more news about ZOFO, see the 1980s listings.
Check the 2010s listing for news about Michelle Kwon (M.M., cello, '09) and The Delphi Trio, and the 1980s listings for news about Kathryn Bates Williams (M.M., chamber music, '07) and the Del Sol String Quartet. See the 2010s listings for news about Sonia Gariaeff (M.M., voice, '00) appearing with Pocket Opera.
Scherzo No. 2 by Mark Ackerley (M.M., composition, '10) was chosen as one of the required pieces for finalists at the 2013 Ross McKee Piano Competition, held at the Conservatory in June. Ackerley was a student of David Garner and Conrad Susa.
Soprano Julie Adams (M.M., voice, '13) made a triumphan debut at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara this summer to sing Pamina in the festival's production of The Magic Flute. Adams studies with César Ulloa.
Mezzo-soprano Kate Allen (Artist Certificate, voice, '12) sang the title role in The Rape of Lucretia in this summer's Merola Opera Program production. Allen was a finalist in auditions for the Paris Opera Young Artist Program last January, and covered the role of Amneris in Aida as a Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara in the spring. She continues to study with César Ulloa.
A chamber quintet including Conservatory musicians was invited to perform at a lecture presented by the UCSF Department of Psychiatry as part of the Peter F. Ostwald, MD and Lise Deschamps Ostwald Lecture Series. The event titled Music as Exercise for the Well-Tempered Mind began aptly enough with music by Schumann performed by Natalie Carducci (M.M., violin, '12), former student of Ian Swensen; Gretchen Claassen (M.M., chamber music, '12), former student of Jennifer Culp; and violinist Noémy Gagnon-Lafrenais (Artist Certificate, Chamber Music, '13) former student of Axel Strauss.
Sophia Chew (M.M., voice, '11) recently joined the U.S. debut of I Sing Beijing, a concert tour that mixes classic opera with contemporary Chinese works. The mezzo-soprano sang at Lincoln Center, in Atlanta, Seattle and Lexington, Kentucky. Chew also sang the role of The Abbess in Suor Angelica at Opera San Jose in April. She continues in her studies with César Ulloa.
Violist Esteban Corona (B.M., viola, '12) received a Latino Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus. The honor came as a surprise to Corona, who was invited to the ceremony at the State Assembly in Sacramento to perform a Bach prelude. When lawmakers gave him a standing ovation followed by the award, Corona says, "I was on cloud nine." He was a student of Jodi Levitz.
Contralto Sara Couden (M.M., voice, '11) returned to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara this summer for a second season to sing the Third Lady in the festival's production of The Magic Flute. Couden studies with César Ulloa.
Stefan Cwik (B.M., composition, '10) is one of the winners of this year's BMI Student Composer Awards. Cwik is pursuing his M.M. in composition at The Juilliard School. He studied with David Conte.
Sara Duchovnay (M.M., voice, '12) won rave reviews for a recent performance as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in Los Angeles. The Pacific Opera Project production was inspired by the film Scarface. She also performed this spring in schools throughout upstate New York with Opera Saratoga's outreach program. Duchovnay continues to study with Catherine Cook.
This summer, The Delphi Trio appeared at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in southeastern Michigan and served as ensemble in residence at California's Bear Valley Music Festival. Earlier in the year, Delphi performed at the prestigious Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota and collaborated with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto under the baton of George Cleve. Delphi is pianist Jeffrey LaDeur (M.M., chamber music, '11), former student of Yoshikazu Nagai; violinist Liana Bérubé (M.M., chamber music, '10), former student of Axel Strauss; and Michelle Kwon (M.M., cello, '09), former student of Jennifer Culp.
In a particularly expansive program at Berkeley's Zughaus Art Gallery this spring, Friction Quartet played works by Haydn, Radiohead and Mario Godoy (M.M., composition, '13), former student of David Garner. The quartet includes Doug Machiz (Professional Studies Diploma, cello, '12), former student of Jennifer Culp, Kevin Rogers (M.M., violin, '11), former student of Bettina Mussumeli, violinist Otis Harriel (B.M., violin, '13) current student of Wei He, and violist Pei-Ling Lin (Artist Certificate, chamber music, '12), former student of Jodi Levitz.
Tenor A.J. Glueckert (M.M., voice, '10) covered the major role of Peter and sang other parts in the world premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene at San Francisco Opera, where he is a 2013 Adler Fellow. Glueckert gave a video interview to San Francisco Classical Voice about preparing for the performances. He continues to study with César Ulloa.
Brenden Guy (M.M., clarinet, '10) has attracted widespread notice for launching "Curious Flights," an ambitious concert series devoted to new and rarely-heard works. The series debuted this spring in San Francisco with a world premiere by Joseph Stillwell (M.M., composition, '10) performed by the alumni ensemble Valinor Winds. "A Britten Celebration," presented in June in honor of the composer's centennial, featured the West Coast premiere of Movements for a Clarinet Concerto with Guy on solo clarinet and an orchestra of Conservatory musicians led by Orchestra principal guest conductor Alasdair Neale. The concert also featured tenor Brian Thorsett (Postgraduate Diploma, voice, '04) and alumni ensembles Valinor Winds and Friction Quartet. Proceeds from "Curious Flights" concerts will be donated to a Conservatory fund benefiting international students. Guy studied with Luis Baez.
The Boston Early Music Festival invited Jarring Sounds, the duo of new graduate Adam Cockerham (M.M., guitar, '13) and Danielle Reutter-Harrah (M.M., voice, '11), to perform seventeenth-century accompanied song in a master class led by festival artistic co-directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Natalie Carducci (M.M., violin, '12) also was invited to perform in a violin masterclass with Amandine Beyer. Carducci studied with
Ian Swensen, Cockerham with Sérgio Assad and Reutter-Harrah with Ruby Pleasure.