I Am Not a Rock Star, a documentary about Marika Bournaki (Pre-College ’08; BM ’12, piano), was screened at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival in March and at Museum London, in Ontario, in February. Also in March, the documentary, which chronicles Bournaki from age 12 to 20, won two Canadian Screen Awards, for best arts documentary and best picture editing.
In February, twin sax players Peter Anderson and Will Anderson (both BM ’09, MM ’11, jazz studies) performed a pair of free concerts at the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora, Fla.
In April, works by Grigory Smirnov (MM ’11, composition) premiered at Merkin Concert Hall, among them his Chaconne for cello and piano, Alleluia for chorus a cappella, Piano Sonata No. 1, and the song cycle Dowson Songs, commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingston Fund. The concert featured Adrian Daurov (BM ’07, MM ’09, cello), David Kaplan (ACJW ’12, piano), Anna Shelest (MM ’10, piano), Martin Bakari (MM ’13, voice), Julius Abrahams (Graduate Diploma ’12, collaborative piano), and the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York.
Tenor Paul Appleby (MM ’08, Artist Diploma ’10, opera studies) and baritone Joshua Hopkins gave a recital in April with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. They were accompanied by Natalia Katyukova (Graduate Diploma ’10, collaborative piano) in songs, arias, and duets by Mozart, Donizetti, Bizet, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Sondheim, and others. Appleby is singing Tamino in the company’s Magic Flute on May 5, 7, 10, and 17. Katyukova is an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.
These Miles, the debut album of baritone Jonathan Estabrooks (MM ’09, voice), came out in April.
Christopher Reaves (BM ’07, trombone) is a member of the President’s Own Marine Corps Band.
In March, Konstantin Soukhovetski (BM ’03, MM ’05, Artist Diploma ’07, piano) wrapped up a monthlong South African tour. In May, June, and July, he will perform around the U.S. with several orchestras in performances of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Grieg, and Gershwin.
In February, Greg Anderson (BM ’04, MM ’06, piano) and Elizabeth Joy Roe (BM ’04, MM ’06, piano) released their third album, the all-Mozart An Amadeus Affair (Steinway & Sons). A tour from September through July will include performances at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, Mich., and in Taiwan, Korea, and England.
In March, Zachary Cohen (BM ’05, double bass) joined the Milwaukee Symphony as its principal bassist.
The Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York, a concert series organized by Lora Tchekoratova (BM ’96, MM ’98, DMA ’03, piano) and Anna Stoytcheva (BM ’96, MM ’98, piano), is celebrating its 10th-anniversary season this year.
In February, Keita Fukushima (Pre-College ’93; BM ’99, MM ’01, violin) appeared as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Shigeo Genda. She performed works by Wieniawski, Saint-Saëns, and Sarasate.
Students of the Rainbow School of Music in Mahwah, N.J, which was founded by Anoush Simonian Georgiades (BM ’99, MM ’01, viola), who also teaches there, will give a recital on June 1 in Ridgewood, N.J. All the proceeds will benefit the Kids for Peace, a global nonprofit.
On May 17, cellist Arash Amini (MM ’99, Professional Studies ’00, cello) will perform in his first concert as artistic director and concert coordinator for the Musicians Emergency Fund. The concert, at Alice Tully Hall, will feature violinist Sean Lee (BM ’09, MM ’11), cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and pianists Michael Brown (BM ’09, composition; MM ’11, composition/piano), and Orion Weiss (BM ’04, piano), in works by Shostakovich, Vivaldi, Barrière, Dvoˇrák, Popper, and Brahms.
In November, Lera Auerbach’s (BM ’96, piano, MM ’99, composition) ballets Little Mermaid and Preludes CV were revived by the Hamburg (Germany) Ballett. In February the British Columbia (Canada)-based company Ballet BC premiered of Auerbach’s 10 Preludes for Violin and Piano at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. Also in February, the National Ballet of Canada staged Auerbach’s Watch Her at the Four Seasons Center in Ontario. In March, the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe gave the world premiere of Der Fall M, based on the music of Auerbach and Alberto Igelsias.
Inbal Segev (BM ’98, cello) is recording Bach’s Cello Suites at the Academy of Arts and Letters. Additional upcoming highlights include a performance with the Boulder (Colo.) Chamber Orchestra on May 13 in Broomfield, Colo., and a recital at the Flag Art Foundation on May 21 in Manhattan.
In March, Stephanie Houtzeel (MM ’95, voice) made her American Rosenkavalier debut as Octavian at the Kennedy Center with Renée Fleming (’86, voice/opera) as the Marschallin.
In March, Janice Martin (MM ’94, violin) began a 10-month run of two shows a day on the Showboat Branson Belle. Featuring violin and acrobatics, piano, and singing, the show is called Made in the USA—Blue.
Audra McDonald (BM ’93, voice) was nominated for a best actress Tony for her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Circle in the Square Theater on Broadway through June 1.
In March, pianist Orli Shaham (Pre-College ’93) presented a concert celebrating the release of her new CD, American Grace (Canary Classics), at SubCulture in N.Y.C. The record includes the premiere recording with the Los Angeles Philharmonic of Stumble to Grace, a piano concerto written for Shaham by Steven Mackey. Jon Kimura Parker (BM ’81, MM ’81, DMA ’89, piano) also performed with Shaham at the release concert. In April, Shaham performed at Bargemusic in Brooklyn at a concert dedicated to the memory of her longtime teacher Herbert Stessin (’52, piano; piano faculty 1960-2009).
In February, J.D. Webster (MM ’93, voice) portrayed Charles, Amiens, Corin, and Hymen in Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J. The production featured musical theater- and jazz-inflected music by Ben Toth.
Lynne Gardow (Professional Studies ’91, voice) performed classical, Broadway, and blues tunes with pianist Kayme Henkel as part of the August Summer Sundays concert series in Milwaukee, Wis.
In February, Mark Morton (Diploma ’82, BM ’83, MM ’84, DMA ’89 double bass) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of double bass at Texas Tech University.
In March, Lowell Liebermann (BM ’82, MM ’84, DMA ’87, composition) won the inaugural Virgil Thomson Award. The $40,000 prize is endowed by the Virgil Thomson Foundation and administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters; it recognizes a distinguished American composer of vocal works.
The American String Quartet—Peter Winograd (Pre-College ’79; BM/MM ’87, violin), Laurie Carney (Pre-College ’72; BM ’76, MM ’77, violin), Daniel Avshalomov (BM ’75, MM ’76, viola) and cellist Wolfram Koessel—will perform in Chile, Peru, and Mexico from May 21 through 27.
Tone Poem on Taps, written by Douglas Hedwig (MM ’76, DMA ’86, trumpet) for concert band, was published by TRN Music Publisher this spring.
On July 10 and 12, David Charles Abell (MM ’85, orchestral conducting) will conduct the Cincinnati Opera’s production of Silent Night. The opera, by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, recounts the story of the informal ceasefire arranged by German and Allied troops on Christmas Eve, 1914. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012.
Soprano Hei-Kyung Hong (Pre-College ’76; Diploma ’80, Postgraduate Diploma ’82, Professional Studies ’83, voice) has won the Ho-Am Prize for the arts, it was announced in April. The prize was established in 1990 by Kun-Hee Lee, the chairman of Samsung, and it is given annually to South Koreans who have contributed to academics, the arts, and social development, or who have furthered the welfare of humanity through distinguished accomplishments in their respective professional fields.
In March, Carolyn Sebron (BM ’81, MM ’83, voice) presented a paper called Opera Ebony: A Retrospective, at the African-American Music in World Culture: Art as Refuge and Strength in the Struggle for Freedom conference, which was sponsored by the African-American Studies Program of Boston University. At the same conference, Richard Alston (BM ’80, MM ’81, piano), presented a lecture-demonstration called Classically Black; it featured the piano compositions of African-American composers.
In April, David Bernard (Pre-College ’82) released his complete recordings of Beethoven Symphonies with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony on iTunes and Amazon.com.
In December, Natalie Synhaivsky (MM ’82, piano) released her recordings of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues on a private label.
Katherine Thomas (Pre-College ’79; Diploma ’82, violin), a.k.a. the Great Kat, was listed by Guitar World magazine in March as one of the 50 fastest guitarists of all time.
In October, Barbara Siesel (BM ’79, MM ’80, flute) released an illustrated book and a video called Green Golly and Her Golden Flute, with sheet music arranged by Bruce Lazarus (Pre-College ’74; BM ’78, MM ’79, composition).
Shinji Eshima (MM ’79, double bass) performed in February with Jacqueline Ross (BM ’73, MM ’74, violin), viola faculty member Toby Appel, and other musicians at the Menuhin Festival at San Francisco State University. Eshima also taught a bass master class in January for the Gnessin Academy in Moscow. In September, the Joffrey Ballet will be performing RAkU, which Eshima composed for full orchestra and Zen chanters.
On May 31, Sophia Agranovich (BM ’77, MM ’78, piano) will perform a solo recital at the Watchung Arts Center, in a program that includes Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy, ballades by Chopin, and works by Liszt and Rachmaninoff. Several of Agranovich’s students have recently won competitions.
In March, Andreas Klein (Postgraduate Diploma ’74, piano) gave two recitals at the Pro Musica music festival (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), and performed with the South Coast Symphony (Laguna Hills, Calif.); the Minguet String Quartet (Cologne, Germany); the Glenn Gould Project (Calgary and Medicine Hat, Alberta); and at the Asheville (N.C.) Chamber Music Series; he also gave master classes in Los Angeles and Calgary. In April, Klein performed Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with the North Mississippi Symphony in Tupelo.
In November, Gheorghe Costinescu (Postgraduate Diploma ’71, composition) released a CD featuring Stephen Gosling (BM ’93, MM ’94, DMA ’00, piano) titled An Evolving Cycle (Ravello Records). That same month, his audio collage City Waves was premiered at the opening of the exhibition Broken Brushes at the Technische ät Universität Berlin.
Valerie Girard (’71, voice) will preside over the Casentino Voice summer school, a week of master classes, coachings, and performances, with Marian Bryfdir, a Welsh mezzo-soprano, vocal coach, and stage director. The program is held in the Casentino valley in Tuscany, Italy, from July 25 to August 1. For information about participating, go to valeriegirard.com/masterclass.
In November, Rita Chen Kuo (Diploma ’67, Postgraduate Diploma ’68, piano) performed at the 60th anniversary of Pharmacy School at National Taiwan University in Taipei. She played works by Liszt and Poulenc as well as her piano transcription of Taiwanese folk songs. In April, Kuo performed for the Scarsdale (N.Y.) Woman’s Club.
In November, Nina Deutsch (BS ’64, piano) performed a benefit concert in Shichigahama, Japan, to benefit victims of the 2011 tsunami. The audience, and the choir that performed in the concert, were made up survivors of the tsunami.
Jill Pasternak (BS ’55, harp) wrote to catch us up on what she’s been doing over the years. Following years as a staff harpist with Radio City and the City Center Ballet, she worked for the Rockefeller Foundation developing the New World Records label, and was an assistant editor for Stereo Review magazine and Nonesuch Records. She later earned a graduate degree in public media and began hosting at classical radio stations; these days she’s on air at WRTI in Philadelphia, Monday through Saturday.
Robert De Cormier (BS ’48, MS ’49, voice) came out of retirement in March to direct a memorial concert for his old friend folk singer Pete Seeger, in Burlington, Vt. De Cormier led two orchestras he founded, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Counterpoint.