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The Score

Spring 2017


Commencement News

Congratulations to our class of 2017 degree recipients!

Will Myers

BA Will Myers receiving his diploma

Emily Koh

PhD Emily Koh “hooded” by Davy Rakowski

Alexander Lane

Prof. Eric Chafe congratulating PhD Alexander Lane

Undergraduate Students:

Moira Blair Applebaum
Bachelor of Arts in Music

Arya Elijah Boudaie
Bachelor of Science Cum Laude
Majors in: Music and Computer Science with honors

Noam Cotton
Bachelor of Arts
Majors in Music with honors and Economics

Ruth Chana Fertig
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude
Majors in Music with honors, and Gender, Sexuality, and Social Policy

Elana Malka Kennedy
Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a minor in Theater Arts

Yuan Keng (Ernest) Ling
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude with highest honors in Music
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts, and the Reiner Prize in Music Composition

Will Max Myers
Bachelor of Arts with honors in Music, with a minor in History
Recipient of the Phyllis and Lee Coffey Award in Music

Morissa Ariel Pepose
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude with high honors in Music, with a minor in Italian Studies

Albert Reiss
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in Music with honors, and Economics, with a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Nina Rae Sayles
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors in Music with honors, and Health: Science, Society and Policy
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts, and the Athletic Director's Award

Nathaniel Philip Shaffer
Bachelor of Arts with honors in Music

Graduate Students:

Daniel Francis Allas
Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Theory

Luke Blackburn
Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Theory

David Ahoto Dominique
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Beat Furrer's Post-Factional Music: Aesthetic Synthesis in Invocation VI and Lotófagos and an original album, Mask, for Jazz Octet

Emily Koh
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Seeking Spiritual Liberation: Gong Cycles and Dissolutions in Claude Vivier's Prologue pour un Marco Polo, and an original composition, peri{methe- for bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, mezzo-soprano, percussion, violin and double bass

Alexander Gordon Lane
Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology
Dissertation: From Archean Granite: The Rational Pitch Systems of Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, and Ben Johnston
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

Mu-Xuan Lin
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory
Dissertation: On the Epistemological and Methodological Approaches in the Analysis of Contemporary Music and a Synthesized Analysis of Fausto Romitelli's La Sabbia del Tempo (1991); and an original composition, Bonjour Minuit – a theatre of poetry: Proem, Episodes I:I – I:IV (2014-15) for three vocalists, ensemble, and electronics

Florie Namir
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Composition Process in Luciano Berio's Cries of London; and an original composition, 19C for string quartet

Jared William Redmond
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Cast a Butterfly in Iron: the Failed Transcendence of Scriabin's "Netherstar" Sonata, and an original composition, Down the Deep Stair, for soprano and string quartet

2017 Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts Recipients

Ernest Ling and Judith Eissenberg Judy Eissenberg and Nina Sayles
Ernest Ling w/Prof. J. Eissenberg Prof. J. Eissenberg w/ Nina Sayles
Eric Chafe and Alexander Lane
Prof. E. Chafe w/Alexander Lane


Department News

After 41 years at Brandeis, Professor Allan Keiler will be retiring from the musicology program of the Brandeis Music Department.  Beloved by his students and colleagues, Allan has touched hundreds of students during his long tenure at Brandeis.  While his gentle and assured presence will be missed by us all Allan will continue to reach out to students, guiding and mentoring them during their years at Brandeis.  We will miss you Allan….

The department is excited to welcome two new faculty members for this coming fall:  composer Erin Gee and musicologist Paula Musegades. Erin comes from Urbana, IL. where she has been on the composition faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.  She is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions.  Paula (Brandeis Ph.D.’14 in Musicology) has most recently been the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Music and American Culture, and Lecturer in the Department of Music and the American Studies Program.  More to come on Erin and Paula in the next installment of the SCORE.

In February the Brandeis Chamber Singers directed by Choral Director Robert Duff spent nine days touring Italy.

Chamber Singers Program

Performance venues included St. Peters in Rome, the Duomo in Sienna, in Lucca, at the Conservatori di Musica Luigi Cherubini and at Florence’s Great Synagogue.  Partial funding was provided through a grant from the Brandeis Arts Council.

Chamber Singers in Rome

Brandeis U. Chamber Singers in Rome

See more on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/172208223274164/

In December the Lydian String Quartet were in residency at the Taipei/Taiwan National University of the Arts.  They conducted masterclasses, gave lessons and performed quartets by Mozart, Ravel, Steven Snowden, and Brahms’s String Quintet in G major, Op. 111 with guest violist Yi-Wen Chao.

Faculty News

Composer David Rakowski has two new cds of his music: Stolen Moments, on the BMOP sound label (label of the acclaimed Boston Modern Orchestra Project), and Études, Vol. 4 for piano, toy piano and celeste released by Bridge Records, features (again) the brilliant pianist Amy Briggs.  Stolen Moments is a recording of two orchestral works: Stolen Moments, a large work in four movements for orchestra with piano (pianist Sarah Bob), and Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Amy Briggs. Études, Vol. 4 draws on Davy’s massive étude project, consisting of over 100 keyboard works.

David Rakowski CD

David Rakowski CD

In May, The New England Philharmonic Orchestra premiered Davy’s second Violin Concerto, composed for violinist Danielle Maddon, concertmaster of the NE Phil.

Composer Yu-Hui Chung received a music award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Yu-Hui is one of sixteen composers to receive this distinguished award.   Candidates are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy and chosen by a select committee of Academy members.  The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to "foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts."  Each year, the Academy honors over 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers with cash awards ranging from $5000 to $100,000.

An in-depth interview with composer Eric Chasalow appeared in the April issue of the online journal of SEAMUS (The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States).  SEAMUS is one of only two professional organizations for electronic music.  The full interview may be found at https://seamusonline.org/interview-with-eric-chasalow

Musicologist Karen Desmond has received a Brandeis Provost Research Award for her project 'Measuring Polyphony: Digitally Mediated Access to the Music of the Middle Ages'. The funding will mostly support undergraduate and graduate student salaries, and some consulting fees, to enable the development of a website http://www.measuringpolyphony.org that will make transcriptions and sound files of a selected repertory of late medieval music freely available online to performers, scholars and the public along with images of the original manuscripts.

Composer and Irving G. Fine Professor of Music Emeritus Marty Boykan has a new cd of his chamber music Rites of Passage on the Bridge Label. The works presented were composed between 1993 and 2012. The performers include Brandeis alums Steven Weigt, PhD ’01, and Yohanan Chendler, PhD ’13, Brandeis faculty Mark Berger, Joshua Gordon, and Mary Ruth Ray, and former vocal instructor Pamela Dellal.

Boykan CD Cover

Boykan CD

Undergraduate Student News

On April 27, students from Music, Classics, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies presented the first undergraduate colloquium Spotlight on Scholarship. Five students presented ten minute talks accompanied by large posters on subjects ranging from the production of gold in the ancient Mediterranean to the influence of Russian folk music in Stravinsky’s Les Noces. The colloquium was sponsored by the Music Department and organized by faculty member Paula Musegades.

Spotlight on Scholarship

Kerri Gardner ’18 is the recipient of the Linda Love Piano Scholarship at Brandeis.  Kerri is majoring in composition, with a minor in Computer Science. 

Graduate Student News

Composer Emily Koh, Ph.D. ’17 has been appointed Assistant Professor of Composition (tenure-track) at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. In May Emily completed her dissertation titled “Seeking Spiritual Liberation: Gong Cycles and Dissolutions in Claude Vivier's Prologue pour un Marco Polo, and an original composition, peri{methe- for bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, mezzo-soprano, percussion, violin and double bass.”

Composer and pianist Jared Redmond, Ph.D. ’17 has been appointed Special Researcher at the Seoul National University Kyujanggak Institute International Center for Korean Studies.  The project he will be working on focusses on mid-Joseon dynasty Korean notational systems.  While is Seoul Jared will also be collaborating with performers of traditional Korean music.  In May Jared completed his dissertation titled “Cast a Butterfly in Iron: the Failed Transcendence of Scriabin's "Netherstar" Sonata, and an original composition, Down the Deep Stair, for soprano and string quartet.”

Brandeis Journal of Musicology

Musicology students have produced the first online Brandeis Journal of Musicology brandeisjom.org. The first of its kind in the Department of Music at Brandeis University, this journal is founded as an outgrowth of the 2015 Brandeis Music Graduate Student Society Conference. The editors of this journal seek to provide a continuing site for sharing the work of graduate students and scholars of music early in their careers. The scholastic subjects of the journal are wide-ranging, reflecting the spirit of the Brandeis University Department of Music’s committed approach to the study of music with its integrated and attendant focuses on historical, cultural, and theoretical methods. “With this journal, we endeavor to make a lasting contribution to the concomitantly existing fields of musicology and music theory, and will strive to hold that each issue reflects this integrated view of music scholarship. In the interest of promoting accessibility, we have elected to publish the journal in an online, open-access format. We invite you to examine, scrutinize, and enjoy the perspectives offered here, joining us in the pursuit of furthering knowledge and expanding perspectives on music.”

Editorial Board

  • Charles H. Stratford, Founding Co-editor
  • James Praznik, Founding Co-editor
  • Jacques Dupuis, Assistant Editor
  • Eric Elder, Assistant Editor
  • Professor Karen Desmond, Faculty Advisor

On May 5 - 6 graduate musicology students presented the second Brandeis Musicology Graduate Student Conference: {Meaning and {Music} and Meaning} in the Slosberg Recital Hall.  Following a morning workshop on Sonata Theory, thirteen graduate students from around the country delivered papers.  Keynote addresses were given by Professor Elaine Sisman, Columbia University and Professor Byron Almén, University of Texas at Austin.  The conference was chaired by Ph.D. candidate Eric Elder. For the complete program go to brandeis.edu/departments/music/musicologyconference.html

Musicology Conference 2017

Eric Elder, musicology Ph.D. candidate, has been awarded the 2017 Hollace Anne Schafer Memorial Award of the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society (AMS-NE), for his paper "Surface and Depth': Beneath the Reception of Rudolph Reti's Thematic Process, a Mid-Century Interdisciplinary Theory of Music.” 

Eric also participated in a Schenkerian analysis workshop in January as part of the Mannes School of Music’s conference, Schenker 2017, in New York. The workshop was led by Dr. Poundie Burstein (CUNY) and focused on the second movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 14 in A major. In April Eric delivered his paper, “Process and Reality: Discovering a Virtual World in Rudolph Reti’s Thematic Process,” at the New England Conference of Music Theorists (NECMT) annual meeting. And in April he delivered his paper, “Process and Reality: Discovering a Virtual World in Rudolph Reti’s Thematic Process,” at the New England Conference of Music Theorists (NECMT) annual meeting.  This spring Eric began teaching a self-designed five-week course, Klezmer: A History, as a BOLLI Lecturer. BOLLI is the Brandeis/Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

PhD candidate in musicology Charles Stratford is the recipient of a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship for 2017/18. Charles will be spending most of next year in Vienna at the Arnold Schoenberg Center where he will be doing research on his dissertation “Searching for the Neo in the Classic: Schoenberg’s Serenade Op. 24.”

In March Ph.D. musicology candidate Jacques Dupuis presented his paper, “Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge – An American Zeitoper,” at the 2017 McGill Graduate Music Symposium in Montréal. Also in March he presented his paper, “Whistful Thinking: Middleness in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge,” at the 2017 Midwest Graduate Music Consortium at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Jacques has been selected to present his paper, “Whistful Thinking: Middleness in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge,” at the “Music and the Middlebrow” conference in London. The June conference is an interdisciplinary endeavor organized by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Bristol, the Royal Musical Association, the European Research Council, and other organizations.

Additionally, Jacques was hired by Harvard University as a Teaching Fellow for two courses: Foundations of Tonal Music and the Special Topics Proseminar: Country Music. He was also named Artistic and Music Director of Calliope Orchestra and Choir (Boston).

In April Lauren Bernard, a first-year student in the M.F.A. program in musicology, presented her paper, “I Get Out: Challenging Representations of Women and Sexuality in Rap and Hip Hop Culture,” at the Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies conference at MIT. Also in April Lauren presented her paper, “Sounds of Violence: Music During Times of War,” at the Brandeis Multidisciplinary Consortium. In addition, Lauren was nominated and selected for the 2017–2018 DEIS (Diversity, Excellence, and Inclusion Scholarship) cohort.

In April Ph.D. musicology candidate Jessica Fulkerson delivered her paper, “Applying Diatonic Set Theory to 13th-Century Verticalities: An Evolved Mod7 Approach to Perotin’s Alleluya Nativitas,” at NECMT.

Ph.D. musicology candidate Matt Heck has been accepted into two Russian-language immersion programs: Middlebury and the American Councils’ Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program, which takes place in St. Petersburg. Matt has opted for the latter, and he has been granted an award of 50% of the program cost under the American Council Title VII Scholars Program.

Also this summer, Martin Connor, a first-year student in the musicology M.F.A. program, will appear in a Harvard University research project, The Hypertext, directed by Harry Allen, W.E.B. Du Bois fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Martin is one of a number of rap experts interviewed by Allen for two 30-minute podcast episodes. In addition, Martin’s review of Rap and Hip Hop Culture, by Dr. Fernando Orejuela (Oxford University Press, 2014), will be appearing in the forthcoming issue of the journal Popular Music, from Cambridge University Press.

Talia Amar, Ph.D. candidate in composition, has been accepted into the Workshop of Performance for Electroacoustic Music at the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique) at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. The June workshop offers and intensive hands-on approach to the performance of electroacoustic music: sound diffusion, controlling the electronics.

Ph.D. candidates Matthew Heck (musicology) and Gleb Kanasevich (composition) received the School of Arts and Sciences 2017 Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award.  Recipients were selected by their academic departments and “represent the best student educators in GSAS.”

Alumni News

Travis Alford, Ph.D.’14 in Composition has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition (tenure-track) at East Carolina University.

John Aylward, Ph.D.‘08 in Composition and Associate Professor at Clark University has received a 2017 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  “Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-third competition.” You can read more about John on his website https://johnaylward.com/.

Hermann Hudde, M.F.A. ‘12 in Musicology has won second prize in the 2016 Otto Mayer-Serra Competition, for the best essays on Iberian and Latin American Music, in either historical musicology or ethnomusicology, for his essay Panamericanismo en acción: música y compositores latinoamericanos en Tanglewood desde 1941 hasta 1951.”  The competition is sponsored by the University of California, Riverside Department of Music Center for Iberian and Latin American Music.  Hermann is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UC, Riverside.

Stephen Loikith M.F.A. ’11 has been busy cataloguing/transcribing the manuscripts of Italian-American composer Salvatore Arno.  Stephen’s research has subsequently been drawn heavily upon by University of Messina Ph.D. candidate Giuseppina di Mauro and her advisor Dr. Alba Crea for their book Un messinese a Boston.  Salvatore Arno (1884-1963) compositore e didatta.

In March Grace Killian B.A. ’13 was a featured speaker at the Kraft-Hiatt Christianity Lecture Series, sponsored by the Program in Religious Studies at Brandeis. The title of her talk was Come and See: The Call to Sacred Relationships.  Grace is a former Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist Global Ministries and is currently pursuing a dual degree with a Master of Divinity from Harvard University and an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.  Grace graduated Brandeis with dual BAs in Music and International and Global Studies (and completed two minors!).  She was in the Cultural Studies Track and graduated with highest honors in music.  Throughout her time at Brandeis she was an avid performer who participated in both instrumental and voice lessons, University Chorus and Chamber Choir.

Fall 2016


Faculty News

We are excited to welcome two new faculty members to the Music Department:

Karen DesmondKaren Desmond joins the department as Assistant Professor of Music. Her research focuses on the intellectual and aesthetic experience of music in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Her monograph —Ars nova in Music and Medieval Thought: Making it New, 1300-1350 (under contract with Cambridge University Press)—explores the cultural and intellectual contexts that saw the emergence of new music-theoretical currents in fourteenth-century France. Karen's Banting Fellowship research project analysed innovative elements in ars nova music using software recently developed at McGill for the analysis of large datasets of music. On a more general level, her research investigates the use of theoretical models and tools from other disciplines or other times to describe how change happens in the arts.

Karen received her Ph.D. in musicology in from New York University. While Lecturer in Musicology at University College Cork, Ireland she also was employed as a contract researcher at the University of Cologne from 2012 to 2013. In 2013 she was awarded an NEH Research Fellowship for her monograph on novelty in early fourteenth-century music, and in 2014 she was awarded a two-year Banting Fellowship (SSHRC) at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University. She has published two articles in Journal of Musicology, articles in Plainsong and Medieval Music, Early Music History, and Musica disciplina, and a translation of Lambertus’s Ars musica, edited by Christian Meyer.

Karen’s research and teaching interests include Medieval and Renaissance music and theory; the intellectual milieu of fourteenth-century musicians and theorists; manuscripts, paleography, notation, and digital editions; digital musicology; Schubert’s songs; and popular music. This year she will offer courses in music history for music majors, and graduate seminars and proseminars in medieval music and medieval and Renaissance notation. 

Andrea SegarViolinist Andrea Segar joins the Lydian String Quartet as their first violinist and the music department as Associate Professor of the Practice in Music. Andrea earned a D.M.A. from SUNY Stony Brook, and an M.M. and B.M. in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the US and abroad, and has also taught privately and coached chamber music. Andrea is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including First Prize from the Washington (DC) International String Competition, and scholarships and fellowships from SUNY Stony Brook, New England Conservatory of Music, and the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation, to name a few. Andrea will perform with the Lydian String Quartet, teach violin, and coach chamber music here in the department.  

Sacher Professor Emeritus of Music Robert Marshall and his wife Traute Marshall have recntly completed a new book Exploring the World of J.S. Bach: A Traveler’s Guide.  The book explores over 50 towns where Bach resided or visited.   Included are 98 color photographs, maps and charts.The book is published by University of Illinois Press and is available in hard or soft cover, and e-book. Click here to learn more.

Gambist and Early Music Ensemble Director Sarah Mead took part in the Encontro Brasileiro de Viola da Gamba 2016, which was held at the Escola de Musica in Brasilia in mid-September.  The Escola’s Early Music Department, which hosted this national meeting, has full-time teachers in harpsichord, winds, and viola da gamba, and collaborates with vocal specialists.

Encontro Brasileiro de Viola da Gamba 2016

Conductor Neal Hampton has been appointed Associate Director of Orchestral Activities and Director of the Chamber Orchestra at Boston University.  Neal is also Associate Conductor of the Plymouth Philharmonic, and (of course) Conductor of the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra.

Graduate Student News

Composers Todd Kitchen and Joseph Sowa have both won Barlow Endowment LDS Commissions for 2016.   Todd will write a piece for the Brevitas Choir, and Joseph will write a piece for English horn player Geraldine Johnson. 150 applications were considered, from which 12 awardees were chosen.

Tina Tallon, M.F.A. ’13 in composition also received a Barlow Endowment General Commission for 2016. She will compose a viola composition for Kurt Rohde. Tina is currently completing her Ph.D. at UC, San Diego.

On September 24, Musicologist and Ph.D. student Eric Elder won the Best Paper Award at the GAMuT  (Graduate Association of Musicologists and Theorists at UNT) 2016 student conference at the University of North Texas for a presentation of his paper Rudolph Reti and Alfred North Whitehead: Parallels in Process.  He will be presenting a paper titled Surface and Depth: Beneath the Reception of Rudolph Reti’s Thematic Process, A Mid-Century Interdisciplinary Theory of Music at the meeting of the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, which was held at Smith College in Northampton, MA, on October 1.

Department News

The Brandeis Chamber Singers and University Chorus, accompanied by professional orchestra and soloist, have been invited to perform Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms at the Inaugural Ceremony of President Ron Liebowitz on Thursday, November 3, 2016. The work is for boy soprano or countertenor, solo quartet, choir and orchestra (3 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, percussion, 2 harps and strings) and draws on texts from Psalms 23, 100, 108, and 133.