Michael Block (MM ’06, cello) performed with Mark O’Connor as a member of his Appalachian Waltz Trio at the Harvard Club in Manhattan in February.
Julia Sakharova (MM ’06, violin) was featured as soloist in the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Symphony, conducted by Timothy Hankewich, in November. She became a member of the Albany (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra this season and is also on the faculty of the Newark School of the Arts.
The vocal quartet New York Polyphony—which includes countertenor Geoffrey Williams, tenor Geoffrey Silver, baritone Scott Dispensa (MM ’04, voice), and bass-baritone Craig Phillips—was presented by Early Music New York, directed by Frederick Renz, at St. James’ Church in February. The program included music by Bach and his three second cousins.
Alexander Hajek (BM ’04, MM ’06, voice) was featured in the Canadian Opera Company production of Janacek’s From the House of the Dead in Toronto in February.
Elizabeth Joy Roe (BM ’04, MM ’06, piano) and Greg Anderson (BM ’04, MM ’06, piano) released their debut album, Reimagine!, in January. The piano duo album, which features their own compositions and arrangements, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and a bonus DVD of music videos, is available through CD Baby and Amazon.
Emily Taubl (Pre-College ’04, cello), currently a student at the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Conn., won first prize at the Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence at the Hartt School in November. Along with $10,000, Taubl was awarded an opportunity to perform with the Hartford Symphony in January. An article by Lary Bloom about Taubl and her family ran in The New York Times on December 9.
World premieres by Erica vonKleist (BM ’04, jazz studies), Frank Foster, and Kurt Bacher will be performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Juilliard faculty member Vincent Gardner, on March 13, 14, and 15, with guest vocalists Dennis Rowland and Marlena Shaw.
Soyeon Lee (BM ’01, MM ’03, Artist Diploma ’05, piano) performed a solo benefit “eco-concert” at Carnegie Hall in February titled “Reinvented,” featuring works that were reused, transcribed, or wholly revisited. The program included music by Albéniz, Prokofiev, Bach/Busoni, Ravel, and D.M.A. composition student Huang Ruo. For the concert, which benefited inner-city music programs, Lee wore a gown by designer Nina Valenti fashioned from recycled drink pouches gathered by students from schools across America.
Anna Polonsky (MM ’01, piano) will perform with cellist Efe Baltacigil at the Walter Reade Theater in New York on March 2 on the Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts series. The program will include works by Fauré and Beethoven.
Melissa Marse (’99, collaborative piano) performed with violinist Boris Kucharsky at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in January. The program included works by Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Suchon, and Aldridge.
Lera Auerbach’s (BM ’98, MM ’99, composition) song cycle Songs of No Return, commissioned by Köln Musik and based on poems by Sylvia Plath and by Auerbach, received its premiere in January in Germany by soprano Angela Denoke and pianist Roger Vignoles.
Excerpts from Jeanne, Justine Chen’s (BM ’98, MM ’00, violin; DMA ’05, composition) bio-opera based on Joan of Arc, was presented on the Serial Underground series at the Cornelia Street Café in January. Performers included soprano Jennifer Zetlan (MM ’06, voice), bass Matt Boehler (Artist Diploma ’06, opera studies), mezzo-soprano Alison Tupay (MM ’02, voice; Artist Diploma ’04, opera studies), tenor Donald Groves, baritone Giuseppe Spoletini, and pianist Eduard Laurel.
In November, Caren Levine (MM ’94, collaborative piano) performed on the Pro Arte series at the Center of Fine Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico; at Spivey Hall in Atlanta; and in a gala performance at South Carolina State University in Spartanburg, honoring congressman James Clyburn. She performed at Harvard University in January. In April she will be performing at Avery Fisher Hall and in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha. Levine has worked as a vocal coach/pianist for four summers at Marlboro and will be joining the music staff of the Wolf Trap Opera Company this summer.
Janice Martin (MM ’94, violin) presented her Fascinating Gershwin (A Gershwin Fantasy) at the APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) conference at the Hilton in New York in January. The one-woman show (with a small band) showcases Martin’s violin, piano, voice, and dance talents.
San Diego Symphony concertmaster Jeff Thayer (Pre-College ’94, violin) will direct the Music Academy of the West’s new Orchestra Leadership Program for advanced string players who aspire to become concertmasters or orchestra section leaders. The inaugural complement of fellows will start the program in June.
The Zéphyros Winds—whose member are flutist Jennifer Grim, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, James Roe (MM ’92, oboe), Douglas Quint (MM ’94, bassoon), and Patrick Pridemore (’98, horn)—were presented on Merkin Concert Hall’s Tuesday Matinee series at the Kaufman Center in New York in February.
In January, Anne Akiko Meyers (Certificate ’90, violin) made appearances in San Francisco with the New Century Chamber Orchestra and in Los Angeles with the New West Symphony. In February, she performed with the Pacific Symphony in Los Angeles and returned to Poland to perform with the Warsaw Philharmonic.
Karen Becker (MM ’89, piano) traveled to Egypt in November and December, presenting a recital and conducting a master class at the American University in Cairo. Now in her third year as assistant professor of piano at SUNY-Plattsburgh, she presents a guest-artist recital series, Karen Becker and Friends, and conducts the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society.
A new CD titled Fantasy, an exploration of the repertoire for two violins featuring Angela Chun (BM ’86, violin) and Jennifer Chun (BM ’87, violin), was released by Harmonia Mundi in January. The recording includes works by Shostakovich, Martinu, Milhaud, and Isang Yun. Angela and Jennifer Chun are visiting music mentors and professors at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Ron Wasserman (MM ’85, double bass) premiered his arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango del Angel for jazz orchestra and violin in January at the Friends Meetinghouse in Manhattan.
In January, Naxos released a second disc of Kenneth Fuchs’s (MM ’83, DMA ’88, composition) orchestral and chamber works recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. JoAnn Falletta (MM ’83, DMA ’89, orchestral conducting) conducts United Artists and Canticle to the Sun, a concerto for French horn composed especially for principal hornist Timothy Jones. The performers in three chamber works (Autumn Rhythm; Fire, Ice, and Summer Bronze; and Quiet in the Land, all published by E.B. Marks Music Company) hold principal positions in the L.S.O.
Stephen Hough (MM ’83, piano) performed Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, in Avery Fisher Hall on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series in February.
Katherine Thomas, a.k.a. the Great Kat (Diploma ’82, violin) was interviewed by Filippo Casaccia for the January issue of the Italian edition of Rolling Stone.
Sara Davis Buechner (MM ’81, piano) performed at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Osaka, Japan, in December and was invited to meet Tsuneaki Miyazaki, the owner of the baseball team Hanshin Tigers. A fan of Buechner’s performances, he made her an honorary member of the team. In February, Buechner performed with the Lexington Philharmonic in Kentucky and gave concerts in Hemet, Calif., and Redmond, Ore. This month, she performs at Festival Place in Alberta and at the University of Calgary. In April, she will perform at Town Hall in Seattle and at the Greenwich House Music School in New York.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (Diploma ’80, Professional Studies ’82, violin) has signed a three-year contract as music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco, beginning with the 2008-09 season.
Garrick Ohlsson (BM ’71, piano) performed Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, in Avery Fisher Hall on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series in February.
Sandra Rivers (BS ’70, MS ’72, piano) performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and with the Hamilton-Fairfield (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra in November.
The Cathedral Choral Society, conducted by J. Reilly Lewis (MS ’69, DMA ’77, organ), will present the world premiere of Dominick Argento’s Evensong: Of Love and Angels at Washington National Cathedral on March 2.
Stephen Schwartz (Pre-College ’64, piano) received three Academy Award nominations in January, all in the category of best song, for his work on the Disney movie Enchanted. The first act of Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon, commissioned by Opera Santa Barbara and scheduled for its world premiere there in October 2009, was presented in a piano/vocal workshop by American Opera Projects in Brooklyn in January, featuring soprano Lauren Flanigan (’87, opera) in the role of Myra.
Kenneth Lane’s (’50, voice) “Heroes” concert for the New Life Expo will be presented at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan on March 29. Wagnerian heldentenor Lane will sing and analyze 15 multidimensional heroes of opera, oratorio, and the Broadway musical, drawing from arias of each of the heroes—historical, biblical, fictional or mythological—that represent the essence of their personalities.