New Faculty Announced

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2024
Juilliard Journal
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By Yassmeen Angarola

Juilliard announced the appointment of five new faculty members this winter.

Valerie Coleman and Nina C. Young are joining the composition faculty; alums Zlatomir Fung and Zvi Plesser are joining the cello faculty; and Kevin Puts will be distinguished visiting faculty in composition. Coleman and Plesser are also joining the chamber music faculty. All five appointments will be effective in the 2024–25 academic year.

“We are thrilled to have these exceptional artists joining our community,” said Adam Meyer (MM ’04, viola), Juilliard’s provost. “Each has led a distinguished musical career and will contribute to Juilliard’s artistic and educational core in very meaningful ways. We look forward to welcoming them to our faculty.” 

Valerie Coleman 
Grammy-nominated composer Valerie Coleman was the Preparatory Division’s artist in residence in 2021–22, is director of the Woodwind Quintet Workshop at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and founded and was the flutist of the Imani Winds ensemble. Among the entities that have commissioned her work are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Atlanta Symphony, Library of Congress, Lincoln Center Theater, and Metropolitan Opera. Her work has been performed by the New York Philharmonic; Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and National symphony orchestras; and Baltimore, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle symphonies. Coleman’s awards include Performance Today’s Classical Woman of the Year, Orchestra of St. Luke’s Gift of Music, and Herb Alpert Awards’ Ragdale Prize. 

Zlatomir Fung 
The youngest cellist to win first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Zlatomir Fung (BM ’21, cello) made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2021. His recent concerto highlights include his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and BBC Philharmonic, and he is artist in residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra this season. Additional recent highlights include appearances at the Verbier, Dresden, Janácek May, and Tsinandali festivals; Cello Biennale; La Jolla Chamber Music Society; ChamberFest Cleveland; and the Aspen Music Festival. Fung studied at Juilliard with Richard Aaron (faculty 2007–present) and Timothy Eddy (faculty 2001–present). 

Zvi Plesser 
Since his debut with the Israel Philharmonic under Asher Fisch, Israeli cellist Zvi Plesser (Certificate ’93, cello) has regularly performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Camerata (including a tour to Australia and Bangkok), Israel Chamber Orchestra, Haifa Symphony, and more. On the world stage, he has performed with ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, and Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. Also a devoted chamber musician, Plesser has played with the Huberman Quartet and Concertante Chamber Ensemble. He has served on the faculty of the Perlman Music Program since 2017, and he studied at Juilliard with Zara Nelsova (faculty 1985–2002). 

Kevin Puts 
Pulitzer- (Silent Night) and Grammy-winning (Brightness of Light) composer Kevin Puts has been commissioned and performed by organizations including the Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Opera Philadelphia, and Minnesota Opera. His other operas include The Hours, Elizabeth Cree, and The Brightness of Light; his works for solo instruments and orchestra include The City as well as the triple concerto Contact (Time for Three with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Xian Zhang; Deutsche Grammophon); and his choral works include The Swan. Puts received his bachelor’s and doctorate from Eastman School of Music and his master’s from Yale. He’s been on the Peabody Institute composition faculty since 2006 and was the director of the Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute (2015–22). 

Nina C. Young 
Nina C. Young, who’s co-artistic director of the new music sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé, comes to Juilliard from USC’s Thornton School of Music, where she was an associate professor. Her work has been performed by the American Composers, BBC Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber, Minnesota, and Philadelphia orchestras; New York Philharmonic; Phoenix Symphony; Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; Aizuri and JACK quartets; wild Up; and others. Her awards include the Rome Prize; Guggenheim, Aaron Copland Bogliasco, and Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellowships; a Koussevitzky Commission; an American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Scholarship; the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Award; the Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize; and honors from BMI, IAWM, and ASCAP/SEAMUS.

Yassmeen Angarola is the administrative director of the provost’s office