The Juilliard School Announces New Faculty Appointments for the 2011-2012 Academic Year

Start Date

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Press Release Images

Catherine Cho
Catherine Cho
Joseph Lin
Joseph Lin
James Ross
James Ross


This fall, The Juilliard School welcomes several new faculty members to its Music and Dance Divisions. Alan Baer, principal tuba of the New York Philharmonic, joins Juilliard’s studio faculty.

Mary Birnbaum will be teaching second-year undergraduate acting and directing opera scenes. Kyle Blaha just received his D.M.A. from Juilliard in May 2011 and will teach ear training. Alumna Catherine Choan assistant faculty member to Itzhak Perlman since 1999 and a Pre-College faculty member since 1996, joins the violin and chamber music faculty. John Giampietro will teach acting for singers in Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts. Noa Kageyama, a performance psychologist, joins the Graduate Studies faculty. Choong Mo Kangwho previously served on the faculty of the Korean National University of Arts, is currently on the faculty of the Ishikawa Music Festival in Japan and is artistic director of the Euro Music Festival and Academy in Leipzig, joins the Pre-College and piano faculties. Joseph Lin, the new first violinist for the Juilliard String Quartet, joins the violin and chamber music faculties. Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, joins Juilliard’s studio faculty. James Ross became the associate director of Juilliard’s conducting program in January 2011. In Juilliard’s Dance Division, Rachel Strausa dance writer and critic, will teach dance history. Former Juilliard associate dean Virginia Allen joins the Graduate Studies faculty and will teach a course on “The Art of Teaching in the Music Studio.”


Alan Baer joins the tuba faculty. Mr. Baer, who has been the principal tuba at the New York Philharmonic since 2004, previously held that position with the Milwaukee Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic orchestras. He received his B.M. at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he also did graduate work. Mr. Baer did additional graduate work at the University of Southern California and California State University at Long Beach. He has recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra, led by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and performed with the Peninsula Music Festival of Wisconsin, New Orleans Symphony, Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, Ojai Festival Orchestra (California), Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as a featured soloist in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and France. A former faculty member at California State University at Long Beach, and the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Mr. Baer is currently on the faculties of Bard College Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Mary Birnbaum will be teaching second-year undergraduate acting and directing opera scenes. After graduating from Harvard, where she studied English Language and Literature and minored in French, she attended the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where she studied movement and design and began to devise theater. She founded art.party.theater.company, and as its director has collaborated with Flux Factory, American Opera Projects, and Bryant Park. Her directing credits with art.party include Schooled: or m. moliere’s the learned ladies, Cupcakes and Strippers: Midwestern PlaysBryant in the ParkDuchess in the DarkBad Romance: A Couple’s Therapy Session Based on Schumann’s Op. 48 & 39, and Starbox, as well as commissions of new plays by Erica Lipez, Jess Burkle, and Mattie Brickman. Ms. Birnbaum has assisted Juilliard faculty member Stephen Wadsworth at Seattle Opera, Juilliard, and the Met Opera. She was an assistant director to Mr. Wadsworth for Master Class on Broadway. She directed Christopher Oscar Pena’s Things I Found on Craigslistat Theater for the New City.

Kyle Blaha, who joins the ear training faculty, received his D.M.A. in May 2011 and M.M. from Juilliard and his B.M. from Eastman School of Music with distinction in composition, clarinet, and German. He has studied composition with Darrell Handel, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Samuel Adler, Philip Lasser, and Robert Beaser; and ear training with Mary Anthony Cox. The artistic director of the Making Score composition program with the New York Youth Symphony, Mr. Blaha is also on the faculty at the European American Musical Alliance Program in Paris. He has received multiple ASCAP Young Composer Awards and awards for study in Germany, including a Fulbright grant and a D.A.A.D. (German government) grant. His work has been premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra and the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute, and he has received commissions from the New York Youth Symphony, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and the New Juilliard Ensemble.

Catherine Cho, who has served since 1999 as assistant faculty in the studio of Itzhak Perlman, joins the violin and chamber music faculty this year. She has been a member of the Pre-College faculty since 1996. Ms. Cho received her bachelor and master of music degrees from Juilliard; she studied with Dorothy DeLay, Felix Galimir, Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, and Michael Avsharian Jr. Ms. Cho has been a soloist with the Detroit, National, Edmonton, Montreal, National Arts Center, Barcelona, New Zealand, Buenos Aires, and Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestras, among others, and has given recitals and chamber music performances at the Kennedy Center, Ravinia, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 92nd St. Y, Salzburg Mozarteum, Casals Hall, and at festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival (1993–2001), Chamber Music Northwest, Bridgehampton, Eastern Shore, Rockport, and Santa Fe. She also took part in eleven Musicians from Marlboro national tours. Ms. Cho was a founding member of the chamber ensemble La Fenice and was also a member of the Johannes String Quartet (2003-2006). A winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Ms. Cho also received top prizes at the Montreal, Hanover, and Queen Elisabeth International Violin competitions. She is vice president of Musicians For Harmony. 

John Giampietro will teach acting for singers in Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts. He studied acting and directing at Hofstra University. At the Accidental Theater Company in New York City, where he was artistic director, he directed Love’s Labour’s Lost, Miss Julie, Joan of Lorraine, Feeding the Dead, and Wagner’s in the Tub; he also directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the National Shakespeare Company. Mr. Giampietro has also worked on productions for Vermont Shakespeare Company, Phoenix Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Manhattan School of Music, Manhattan Opera, Trill Vocal Projects, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Among the directors he has assisted are Lee Blessing, Marion McClinton, Doug Hughes, Garland Wright, and Franco Zeffirelli. As an actor, he has portrayed the title role in Hamlet, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Jason in Medea Unharnessed, the Duke inMeasure for Measure, and Odysseus in Hekabe, among others. Mr. Giampietro also has written three plays: Strength of God and other grotesques, which had its premiere at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; Wagner’s in the Tub; and The M. of Versailles. He is an adjunct associate professor at Hofstra and a member of the faculty of the Chautauqua Institution School of Music. 

Noa Kageyama, who joins the Graduate Studies faculty, is a performance psychologist who specializes in teaching talented individuals how to perform their best under pressure. He began playing the violin at age 2 and has made appearances on television and radio, as a soloist with orchestras, and in international competitions. Mr. Kageyama’s teachers included Stephen Clapp, Ronald Copes, Franco Gulli, Paul Kantor, Masao Kawasaki, Shinichi Suzuki, Roland and Almita Vamos, and Donald Weilerstein. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin, he began work on a master of music degree at Juilliard, which he received in 2000. While at the Juilliard, Mr. Kageyama took a performance psychology class taught by Olympic sport psychologist Don Greene that changed his way of thinking and launched a new career. Mr. Kageyama went on to pursue a master’s and doctorate in psychology at Indiana University. A veteran presenter at the biannual Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, Mr. Kageyama is also the performance psychology coach for Miami’s New World Symphony.

Choong Mo Kang, who joins the Pre-College and piano faculties, is a graduate of Seoul National University. He received a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory, where he also served on the faculty while pursuing his D.M.A. Mr. Kang has won prizes at the Dong-A Competition in Korea, Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, Louise D. McMahan Competition, and Washington International Competition, and he was soloist with the London and Moscow Philharmonic orchestras, as well as with Korea’s leading orchestras. His recordings include Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Inventions and Sinfonias, and The Well-Tempered Clavier. Previously, Mr. Kang served on the faculty of the Korean National University of Arts; he is also on the faculty of the Ishikawa Music Festival in Japan. The artistic director of the Euro Music Festival and Academy in Leipzig, he has been a juror for international competitions including Warsaw Chopin, Cleveland, Dublin, Shanghai, and Sydney.

Joseph Lin, the new first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet, joins the violin and chamber music faculties. After graduating from Juilliard’s Pre-College Division, where he studied with Shirley Givens, Mr. Lin went on to Harvard for his undergraduate work, studying violin with Lynn Chang in Boston. An active concerto soloist, he has appeared with the Boston Symphony, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Taiwan National Symphony, and the Ukraine National Philharmonic, among others. Mr. Lin was a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, which won the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition. His festival appearances include the Ravinia and Marlboro Music Festivals, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and the Tucson Winter Festival. He has recorded works for violin and piano by Korngold and Busoni (Naxos) and by Bach and Ysaÿe (N&F). From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Lin was on the Cornell faculty, where he taught violin and chamber music. Among his explorations was a project with student composers to study Bach’s Violin Sonatas and Partitas and create new music inspired by these works. His personal interests include Chinese music, particularly the gu-qin, which he studied as a Fulbright scholar. 

Anthony McGill joins the clarinet faculty. He is the principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Prior to joining the Met, he was associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Among his many recordings is Air and Simple Gifts, by John Williams, which he performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A 2000 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, Mr. McGill has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia as a chamber and orchestral musician, and he is also a member of the newly-formed Schumann Trio, with violist Michael Tree and pianist Anna Polonsky. He is a member of the faculties of the Peabody Institute, Mannes College the New School for Music, and Bard College Conservatory. Mr. McGill attended Interlochen Arts Academy and Curtis Institute of Music; his former teachers include Donald Montanaro, Richard Hawkins, Larry Combs, Julie DeRoche, David Tuttle, and Sidney Forrest.

James Ross became the associate director of Juilliard’s conducting program in January 2011. He studied conducting with Kurt Masur in Leipzig while serving as solo horn of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; he also studied with Otto-Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Ross, who continues his roles as director of orchestral activities at the University of Maryland at College Park and as artistic director of the National Orchestral Institute, was previously director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and assistant conductor of the period-instrument group Les Arts Florissants. He has taught at Yale, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Curtis Institute of Music. He has guest conducted the Utah Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and conducted opera at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Théâtre du Rhin in Strasburg, and with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

Rachel Straus will teach dance history in Juilliard’s Dance Division. She received an M.F.A. from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and has worked as a dance writer and critic, and has written more than 200 short articles on history, education, and company premieres for publications including Dance MagazineNew York Sun, and Ballet Review. Ms. Straus was a scholar-in-residence at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, lectured at London’s Roehampton University dance program, served as a fellow at the N.E.A. Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism, and contributed toWriting about Dance (2010), which explores the intersection between writing and choreography.

Virginia Allen joins the graduate studies faculty after serving as associate dean for administration (2009-2011); she is also the artistic director of Juilliard’s Conducting Workshop for Music Educators held in the summer. Previously she served on the conducting faculty (1998-2008), was executive director of the biannual Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, and co-founded and conducted the Juilliard Trombone Choir. Ms. Allen studied French horn with Edwin C. Thayer and Wendell Hoss, and conducting with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Lloyd Geisler, Frederick Fennell, and others. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., a diploma in wind conducting from the University of Calgary, and a doctor of education degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. Currently on the faculty at Curtis Institute of Music and the University of the Arts, Ms. Allen has conducted and arranged for ensembles all over the world and was artistic director of the Sun Valley (Idaho) Summer Music Workshops, and founder of the Sun Valley Youth Orchestra. She was the first woman conductor of numerous army bands, including West Point, during her 20-year career in the Army bands program. 


The Juilliard School established this country's standard for education in the performing arts, beginning with music in 1905. In 1951, its Dance Division was established, with combined training in contemporary and ballet technique. Juilliard became part of Lincoln Center in 1968, and added a four-year drama program. In 2001, Juilliard broke new ground with the addition of its jazz program; a graduate program in Historical Performance began in fall of 2009, the same year that Juilliard inaugurated its partnership with the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Well into its second century of excellence, Juilliard has expanded its facilities with a 39,000 square-foot addition, completed in 2009. Currently close to 850 young artists from 46 states and 39 foreign countries are enrolled at Juilliard. For more information, visit The Juilliard School Web site at: www.juilliard.edu.