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The Score

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.

Commencement 2016

Congratulations to our class of 2016 degree recipients!

Click here for a video of the 2016 School of Creative Arts Diploma Ceremony.

Tony Arnold, recipient of the 2015 Brandeis Creative Arts Award gave an inspiring and passionate speech at the SCA Diploma Ceremony.  Click here to read a copy of her remarks.

Jacob MacKay

Jacob MacKay performing mvt. from J.S. Bach 2nd Cello Suite

Eric Chafe and Derek Strykowski

Professor Eric Chafe “hooding” Ph.D. candidate Derek Strykowski

Tony Arnold, Yu-Hui Chang, and Eric Chasalow

2015 Brandeis Creative Arts recipient and guest speaker Tony Arnold with department chair Yu-Hui Chang and Eric Chasalow


Peter Wray Eckman
Bachelor of Arts
Major in Music

Felipe Feffer
Bachelor of Arts
Majors in: Music; Philosophy

David Andrew Kapaon
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors in: Music: Cultural Studies Track; Anthropology
Minor in:  Classical Studies
Recipient of the Florence and Charles H. Milender Prize in Music

Samuel John Longo-Capobianco
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in: Music with honors: Composition Track; East Asian Studies
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

Jacob Allan MacKay
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in: Music with highest honors: Performance Track; Environmental Studies
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

David Jonathan Stiefel
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors in: Music with high honors: Composition Track; Language and Linguistics
Recipient of the David A. Greene, M.D., Class of '71 Memorial Prize in Music

Graduate Students:

Daesik Cha
Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology
Dissertation: Transformation of the Keyboard Fantasia in the Classical Period (1780-1800)
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

Eugenio Delgado
Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

Eric Elder
Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

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 Minuet – a theatre of poetry: Proem and Episodes 11.1~1.4 (2013-15

Barbara Killeen Paquette
Master or Arts in Musicology

Jeremy Rapaport-Stein
Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Theory

David Stenson
Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Theory

Derek Robert Strykowski
Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology
Dissertation: Maximalism and the Nineteenth-Century Orchestral Style

Spring/Summer 2016

Department News

Dan Stepner

After 29 years as first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet and Professor of the Practice at Brandeis Dan Stepner is retiring at the end of the summer. Dan has been a leading voice not only for the Lydians, but for solo and chamber music performance at Brandeis as well. With passion, scholarly insight and enormous virtuosity he has inspired scores of students and colleagues at Brandeis and at Harvard where he also taught for many years. Fortunately for us Dan will remain close, playing annual recitals, leading his week-long summer string workshop, and producing and direct Aston Magna summer concerts all here at Brandeis.

Click here to read Dan’s recent interview with The Boston Globe.

Every year in early May the Lydian String Quartet performs a Minuet Reading of Works by Students of MUS 101b: Music Theory I.  Student are required to compose minuets for string quartet as a final project and then have their compositions performed in a live reading by the Lydians. Instructors for MUS 101b were Davy Rakowski and Whit Brown.  This year’s reading took place on May 4. 

Lydians performing Minuets

Lydians performing Minuets

Lydian String Quartet performing minuets by students of MUS 101b: Music Theory I

This past March Slosberg Lobby was transformed into and art gallery for an Exhibition of Contemporary Korean Artwork. The exhibition featured 26 works and was conceived in collaboration with the MUUS Residency: Korean Gugak: Soundscapes of the Soul.

Korean Art Exhibition

Korean Art Exhibition

Korean Art Exhibition in Slosberg Lobby

On March 12 & 13 the department presented a Fauré Festival Weekend celebrating French composer Gabriel Fauré.  Conceived and curated by Dan Stepner the festival included talks and a round table discussion by scholars Nicolas Southon (editor-in-chief of the Complete Works of Gabriel Fauré), Carlo Caballero (Associate Professor of Music and Erma Mantey Faculty Fellow, University of Colorado), and Clémentine Fauré-Bellaïche (Assistant Professor in French and Francophone Studies, Brandeis University), a vocal master class with tenor Frank Kelley, and performances by the Lydian String Quartet, mezzo soprano Lynn Torgove, pianists Donald Berman and Ya-Fei Chuang, cellist Jacob MacKay, the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, and the Brandeis Chorus (performing Fauré’s Requiem).  The festival was funded by a grant from the Brandeis Arts Council. [insert program cover]

Early Music Ensemble director Sarah Mead has received an invitation from the Il Encontro Brasileiro de Viola da Gamba to participate as a teacher and to give a talk sharing her expertise as a long-time member of the Board of Directors and Music Director of the annual Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America.  The meeting will take place in Brasilia from September 9 – 11, 2016.

As part of the department’s ongoing Outreach to the Community Program the Chamber Singers, led by Robert Duff, performed on February 28.before a full house at the Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA. 

Chamber Singers at Tower Hill

Brandeis Chamber Singers at Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Undergraduate Student News

Several undergraduate chamber music students performed on Sunday, May 1st at Brookhaven at Lexington Assisted Living Center.  Performers included Krista Hu, Hannah Chidekel, Ivy Gu, Kerri Gardner, Moira Applebaum, Amy Clark, Samantha Lauring, Jacob MacKay, and Jeremy Koob.

On Tuesday, May 3rd, jazz pianist Moira Applebaum ’17 performed for the installation of the new president of the Brandeis National Committee at a reception and dinner held at the Newton Marriott.

On Saturday March 5th, Brandeis hosted a chamber music play-in - coordinated by Nina Sayles ’17 - as part of the ACMP World Wide Play-in campaign.  The play-in was an attempt to have as many people around the world as possible playing chamber music. Musicians attending read various chamber works purely for pleasure, including an entire group reading of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #3.  They also mingled over a potluck lunch.  Over 20 musicians attended, including Brandeis students and faculty, non-Brandeis students, and greater-Boston locals.  Eight different instruments were represented, including the mandolin!

Graduate Student News

Composer and Ph.D. candidate David Dominique has been appointed Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at the College of William and Mary beginning in fall, 2016.  Dave is currently performing in Los Angeles in preparation for recording his next album, Mask, for his LA-based jazz ensemble, and is composer, conductor and co-producer of a new evening-length theater work Broken Record, which will be presented in Los Angeles this coming June and July.

Composer and Ph.D. candidate Jared Redmond has received a 2016/17 Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship.  Jared’s dissertation is titled “Cast a Butterfly in Iron: Sorcery and the failed Transcendence of Scriabin’s Netherstar Sonata, and an original composition Down the Deep Stair for soprano and string quartet.”  Using techniques from Schenkerian analysis, theories of Russian octatonicism, and theoretical tools from philosophy and literary criticism, Jared argues that “Scriabin’s 6th Piano Sonata, the only work he superstitiously refused to perform in public, resulted from profound tensions between his spiritual-Symbolist ideals and his compositional technique, and that it profoundly changed the course of his work to follow.”  His composition Down the Deep Stair freely sets a text from late fragments of Samuel Beckett.

Ph.D. candidate in musicology Alexander Lane performed during a taped broadcast of the popular radio quiz show "Says You" on March 14th at BOLLI (Brandeis Osher Life-Long Learning Institute).  A Podcast of the show was released on April 1, 2016. To listen, visit “Says You” and click on Shop/Episodes on iTunes.  In the Boston area, "Says You!" airs on WGBH 89.7 FM Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Charles Stratford, Ph.D. candidate in musicology, has an article forthcoming in the September 2016 issue of The Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Center, entitled, "'Old Forms in New Music': Neoclassicism in Schoenberg's Serenade, op. 24."

Jacques Dupuis, Ph.D. candidate in musicology, presented two papers this spring: first, "Playing on Genre: Robert Schumann and his Domestic Dramas," at the Bowling Green State University Graduate Student Conference; secondly, “Trading Spaces: Schumann’s Transmission of Melodrama from the Concert Hall to Hausmusik," at the Rutgers University Musicological Society's Graduate Student Conference.

Georgia Luikens, Ph.D. candidate in musicology, presented, “Transposing Opera: Yiddish and Romani Arias in Sally Potter’s The Man Who Cried,” at the  Music and the Moving Image Conference this May in New York City.  Georgia's review of, “Allen Shawn’s Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician (Jewish Lives),” will appear in an upcoming issue of Vingtième Siècle.

In addition, her essay, “Staging Politics: Unity, Religion, and Collective Mourning in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass,” will appear in the volume Bernstein’s Washington, to be published in 2017.

Victoria Cheah, Ph.D. candidate in theory and composition, received a commission from Marilyn Nonken for solo scordatura piano (n.961, 963), with premiere performances in Boston and New York scheduled for this May. For this project, Marilyn commissioned composers Richard Carrick, Nina C. Young, Marcos Balter, Edmund Campion, Christopher Trapani, Victoria Cheah, and Brian Erickson to write works in memory of Gérard Grisey, using the scordatura required for his Vortex Temporum.

Composer, pianist, and Ph.D. candidate in theory and composition Talia Amar's composition Reminiscence has been selected to be performed at the New Music Edmonton 2015-2016 Festival.  In addition, her piece Phantasmagoria was performed and recorded by Jai Jeffryes on his new CD "Tangent Shores - Amethyst." Amar was also recently awarded the Rosenblum Prize for Young Promising Artists for 2016. This award is granted by the Tel-Aviv municipality and is designated specifically for performing artists (actors, singers, dancers, instrumentalists).

Mu-Xuan Lin, who is completing the Ph.D. in theory and composition this spring, received Honorable Mention at the neuverBand International Commission Competition 2016 (Switzerland).  Her work Pale Fire (2015), a Piano Spheres commission for solo piano and electronics, received its premiere performance on February 23rd by pianist Vicki Ray at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), Los Angeles, following a panel discussion with guest moderator John Schneider (Radio KPFK, Director of Microfest).  This followed a preview performance at The Boston Court in Pasadena, CA. Pale Fire (2015) received positive mention in the Los Angeles Times and a review by author Douglas Messerli.

Mu-Xuan was selected to serve as a fellow at the Sävellyspaja of Summer Sounds Festival 2016, Finland, where she will work with Avanti! Chamber Orchestra.  She was also selected as an Associated Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist-in-Residence Program 2016, working with Master Artist Georg Friedrich Haas.

In February, Eric Elder, candidate for the M.F.A. in musicology, participated in the University of Arizona Graduate Student Music Conference in Tucson, presenting in both the conference proper and in a preceding workshop on the analysis of nineteenth-century sonata form. In the conference paper, “Rudolph Reti’s Motive?”  Elder examined the philosophical cosmology underlying the theory of thematic process outlined by the eponymous composer, critic, pianist, and theorist, and applied his findings by developing an analysis begun by Reti of Brahms’ Symphony in D major, op. 73.  In the workshop, led by conference keynote Robert Hatten and noted Schenkerian Boyd Pomeroy, Elder presented two alternative Schenkerian approaches to the first movement of Schumann’s Fantasie in C major, op. 17.  Eric will be continuing in the Ph.D. program in musicology beginning this fall.

Faculty News

David Rakowski has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Election to the academy is considered the highest recognition of artistic merit in the United States. The academy is divided into departments of art, literature and music. The roster of 250 members includes some of the country's most influential artistic minds, including Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen Sondheim, Philip Glass and Frank Gehry. Composer and meritus professor Yehudi Wyner serves as the Academy’s president.

Yu-Hui Chang was a featured composer, along with composer Erin Gee and ECCE ensemble, at Tulane University in March.  Below is the link to the 2016 NienteForte Contemporary Music Festival last week. Yu-Hui was part of the Panel Discussion, a Pre-Concert lecture (to talk about music), a concert where her piece “Rhetorical Flourishes” was performed, and a masterclass.

Yu-Hui has been invited to be the inaugural guest composer for the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival’s Composers NOW Project. Kneisel Hall is a Chamber Music Festival located in Blue Hill, Maine, that runs for seven weeks in the summer.  Each summer the festival invites 50 most talented young musicians (ages 18-28) in the country (strings and piano) to work intensively on great chamber works, coached by members of the Juilliard String Quartet and faculty from top conservatories. Yu-Hui will be in residence July 13- 16 and will coach the young musicians who will be performing a work of hers, give open rehearsal/talk, meet with the young musicians who are also composers, and attend the public performance of her piece.

Dan Stepner is a recipient of the 2015 Mandel Center for the Humanities Faculty Grant for his scholarship and pedagogical programming about the Mesoamerican origins of the Chaconne dance in Europe.  The Odyssey of the Chaconne, a documentary, will include a performance of Bach’s Ciaconna. 

This past year, Neal Hampton was named Assistant Conductor of the Plymouth Philharmonic.  He was also invited to conduct the New Philharmonia (Newton, MA) in September, returning in March to lead a concert of all-Viennese music.  In February, he conducted the Cape & Islands Music Festival Orchestra.

This spring, Paula Musegades chaired a panel at the Society for Cinema and Media Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where she presented a paper on Copland's creation of propaganda in film music.  In April she traveled to Belfast, Ireland to present a paper at the British Association for American Studies.  The paper discusses Victor Young's film score for The Quiet Man.  In May she attended the Music and the Moving Image conference in New York and present a paper on Aaron Copland's film score for The North Star.

This summer Professor of the Practice and Early Music Ensemble director Sarah Mead will direct the Annual Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America gathering at Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR.  Sarah serves as Music Director of the Society.

This summer, Mark Berger, Lydian Quartet violist and Associate Professor of the Practice, will be joining an international roster of musicians at the Newport Music Festival, performing chamber music concerts at the famous mansions and museums of historic Newport, RI from July 9-17.  Concert information and tickets can be found at:   Mark will also be returning this summer as strings coordinator for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artist Orchestra program for their 50th Anniversary Season running from July 3 - August 13 in Lenox, MA.  Details can be found at:

In June our Ghanaian Drumming and Dance instructor Ben Paulding is presenting at the  Fourth International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music at The New School in New York City.  He will present a poster entitled "Kete: Ashanti Royal Court Drumming from Ghana."  This conference features papers, workshops, concerts, and nine poster presentations.  Ben’s abstract is hosted on the AAWM website here   Complete information on the conference can be found at

Ben Paulding Poster

Alumni News

Composer Travis Alford Ph.D. ’14   has recently been appointed Teaching Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at East Carolina University.

In February composer John Aylward, Ph.D. ’08 had a premiere of his first opera Switch, performed by the Ecce Ensemble, soprano Amanda DeBoar Bartlett, and bass-baritone Mikhail Smigelski.  The opera (libretto also by John Aylward) explores the relationship between an artist and his muse.  It was performed at Le Laboratoire, In Cambridge, MA.

Hermann Hudde, M.A. ’12 (Musicology), received a 2016 Research Grant from the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation for his project "Conversaciones Con Compositores de las Américas."  Hermann will research, document and publicize the life and works of prestigious Latin American composers residing in the United States, while demonstrating how their works contribute to the enrichment of concert music in the Western world.

Composer Laurie San Martin, Ph.D. ’03 is a 2016 recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. There were a total of 178 awardees chosen from a group of nearly 3000 applicants to the Foundation’s competition.  Laurie is currently Professor of Music at UC, Davis. 

Fall 2015

Department News

Renowned soprano Tony Arnold is the recipient of the 2015 Brandeis Creative Arts Award.  The award was established in 1956 as the first of its kind from an institution of higher learning.  Recipients of awards and citations include Leonard Bernstein, Ernest Bloch, Aaron Copland, Gunther Schuller, Rudolph Serkin, Yehudi Wyner, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Sam Shepard, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp and Lincoln Kirstein. The award was given until 1995.  For more about the Creative Arts Award click here.

As Creative Arts recipient and Artist-in-Residence at Brandeis, Tony Arnold will focus on three topics: identity, politics, and embodiment of voice.  She will work closely with students to create an original multidisciplinary work for performance, and will also offer other performances throughout the year, including a concert on November 18 at the Rose Museum, where she will present a series of musical works selected in response to the artwork on display by Roy Lichtenstein and Lisa Yuskavage.  Read more here.

Brandeis has established the Robert Koff Scholarship dedicated to supporting undergraduate instrumentalists, with particular emphasis on string players.  This scholarship is named after legendary founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet and longtime member of the music department Robert “Bobby” Koff.  Particular recognition is due to Barbra Rabson ’80 who studied with Bobby and spearheaded the initiative to raise funds for the scholarship.  Special thanks go to Rosalind Koff and the Koff Family and to Alfred and Claude Mann for their generous support.  The awarding of the first scholarship is planned for the 2016/17 academic year.

The scholarship was formally inaugurated at a concert on October 17 with the Lydian String Quartet and guest artist Tony Arnold.

Lydian Koff Concert Poster

Koff Dinner

Dinner in honor of Rosalind Koff
Seated r to l: Daniel Koff, A & S Dean Susan Birren, Judy Eissenberg, Rosalind Koff

This past summer the department purchased a new Steinway B Concert Grand for the recital hall.   Artists Donald Berman, Evan Hirsch, and Randall Hodgkinson, accompanied by piano technicians Debbie Cyr and John Von Rohr traveled to the Steinway factory in New York to select the instrument from among 15 pianos on the floor.  The department has also purchased two new Yamaha grand pianos for classrooms.

Faculty News

The department is pleased to welcome Professor Robert Duff to the faculty.  Robert is our new Associate Professor of the Practice and director of the Brandeis University Chorus and Chamber Choir.

Robert has devoted his career to developing excellence in the choral arts, and has served on the faculties of Dartmouth College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, and Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.  He continues to serve as the conductor and artistic director of the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, the country’s eldest town-grown oratorio society.  An active commissioner of new music, he has given several world premieres of works for both orchestral and choral forces and regularly programs music by living composers.

As guest conductor and clinician, Robert has served in national leadership roles and currently serves as the Vice President of the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and has been appointed by Governor John Lynch as Councilor to the New Hampshire Council on the Arts.  Robert holds degrees in conducting, piano and voice from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Temple University, and the University of Southern California, where he earned a doctorate of musical arts in 2000.  In addition to directing the two Brandeis ensembles, Robert will offer conducting courses in the department.

Robert Duff

On October 2, Robert took the Brandeis Chamber Choir on a weekend retreat to the  Berkshires.  The ensemble, comprised of 29 undergraduates, boarded a bus at Slosberg and spent the weekend engaged in rehearsals and group bonding. 

Chorus Retreat

Chorus Retreat

Retreat in the Berkshires

Robert has recently received funding from Brandeis for a Brandeis Commission Project related to the upcoming Louis D. Brandeis Centennial Celebration that will be happening on campus this winter and spring.  The project encompasses commissioning a graduate student composer to write a work for the Chamber Choir.  Composers will be invited to submit scores for consideration, and the selected work will be performed on the spring 2016 choral concert.

Saturday, October 24 marked the department’s celebration of Eric Chasalow’s 60th Birthday with a concert in the recital hall by Dinosaur Annex Ensemble.  The program featured two works by Eric: Due (Cinta) Mani (2002) and the Boston premiere of On That Swirl of Ending Dust (2011); premieres of two works composed for the occasion: A Long Overdue Sequel by Yu-Hui Chang and All That Chas by Davy Rakowski; and Quartetto No. 4 by Mario Davidovsky.

Chasalow Program Cover

Chasalow Birthday Cake

Chasalow Family

The Chasalow family: Simon, Barbara, Eric

Chasalow and Wheeler

Scott Wheeler and Eric

Chasalow and Chafe

The two Erics: Chasalow and Chafe

Composer Davy Rakowski was one of a select group of composers commissioned to compose works for Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano.  The initiative of pianist Anthony de Mare, the project is an 80th birthday gift to Stephen Sondheim whereby composers write original works for solo piano based on Sondheim songs.  Davy’s brilliant work is The Ladies Who Lunch.  A cd of the completed project has just been released by ECM Records.

Rakowski Score

Rakowski CD

Sarah Mead and Jason McStoots celebrate the release of a CD from Cornetto-Verlag with a performance and champagne reception at the Goethe Institute in Boston.  As music Director for the project, Sarah gave a lecture on Samuel Capricornus and the backdrop of the Thirty Years War, and joined the ensemble as a guest performer.

For more information about the recording, and to see videos from the project, visit

Capricornus CD

Percussionist and director of African Drum and Dance Ensemble “Fafali” Ben Paulding spent two months in Kumasi, Ghana, conducting research on Kete, a genre of dance-drumming from the Ashanti King's royal palace.  His research consisted of interviews and recording sessions with the region's reputed four original Kete groups -- Ankaase, Nkwantakese, Tafo, and Kokofu.  Ben’s article “Kete for the International Percussion Community” was recently published as a chapter in Discourses in African Musicology: J. H. Kwabena Nketia Festschrift.  Published jointly by the U. of Michigan and U. of Ghana, the book is a collection of works celebrating the life and work of renowned Ghanaian ethnomusicologist J. H. Kwabena Nketia.  The article presents Kete, a royal dance-drumming genre from the Ashanti Region of Ghana, in Western notation and offers adaptations of Kete rhythms onto the drumset.

Here is the article as it appears in the online newsletter Rhythm! Scene, published by the Percussion Arts Society, a video of Ben playing Kete with the Nkwantakese Kete Group:; and video of Kete for drumset and Kwadum:

In November Ben is presenting a paper at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio, Texas titled "Kete: Ashanti Royal Court Drumming from Ghana."

This year Ben is also collaborating with Ken Field, director of the Brandeis Spirit Band to arrange music for the band and Fafali for joint performances at athletic events.

Paula Musegades, PhD ’14 (musicology)
begins her two-year tenure as Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Music and American Studies.  This year she is offering courses on American Music: From Psalms to Hip-Hop, and Protest Through Song, and continuing her research on music in film.

Alumni News

Composer Seunghee Lee, PhD ‘14 has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Ave Maria University, Florida.  She will be teaching theory and applied piano courses.

Musicologist Joel Schwindt, PhD ’14 has been appointed to the music history faculty at The Boston Conservatory.  In April Joel present a paper at a meeting of the Renaissance Society of America.

Composer Jeff Roberts, PhD ’08 was recently awarded an Asian Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant to live for the summer of 2015 in Seoul, Korea and, as a guqin performer, co-found a new East Asian Improvisation Ensemble with Korean piri and saenghwang master Gamin  As part of the grant project, Jeff also studied the Korean traditions of sinawi and sanjo and traveled around Korea to attend different Shaman rituals.  His current work in Korea was rooted in a fellowship he received from the Korean National Gugak Center in 2014 to attend their two week workshop on Korean traditional music.  Jeff’s paper “Implications of Electro-acoustic Composition in an Intercultural Context: Negotiating Cultural Meanings and Uses of Timbre” was recently published in the journal eContact!, associated with the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and the Toronto Electroacoustic Music Symposium. The article appeared in late August online at:  Jeff also was recently awarded artist residencies at the Banff Center in Canada and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts to work on new compositions for this ensemble as well as on two commissions from the groups Cellophone (Toronto, Canada) and the Williams Chamber Players (Williamstown, MA).

Composer Michele Zaccagnini, PhD ’15 will have an article, which is based on his doctoral dissertation Aldo Clementi's System, published in an upcoming volume of New Music Perspectives.  Ircam will publish a description of the (algorithmic) procedures that he used to write the dissertation piece on the next volume of The OM Composer’s Book vol. 3.  And Michele will be presenting his musical interface for brainwaves coming from a meditator at the Ircam Forum Workshop in Sao Paulo, Brazil in early November.

Composers Yiguo Yan, MFA ’14 and Travis Alford PhD ’14 are 2015 winners of the American Prize in Composition. Yiguo has won the prize in opera, theater, film for her opera Colors of Obsession, and Travis has won in the choral division for his piece O Fragile Human, Speak…

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts.

Composer Yohanan Chendler PhD ’13 is the first winner of the Cluster Prize for a new work for flute, clarinet, and electronics. Cluster is an organization located in Lucca, Italy dedicated to the promotion of new music composition.  Yohanan’s new work will be published by Edizioni Sconfinarte.

Graduate Student News

Composer and PhD candidate David Dominique is currently on a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship.  He spent September as an Artist in Residence at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts in Northern Georgia, and in October he was awarded a fellowship by the MacDowell Colony, where he will be an Artist in Residence in the Spring semester. Dave's upcoming projects include a new album with his LA-based jazz ensemble, solo performances as “Furniture Daniel,” and a new evening-length theater project to be staged in Los Angeles in 2016.

Composer, pianist and PhD candidate Jared Redmond is currently in Berlin with help from a Hertz Traveling Fellowship from UC Berkeley, where he is focusing full time on his compositions and piano work. I am composing two duo pieces: a work for two gayageums and a half-hour work for gayageum, violin, and projection.  The pieces will be premiered by living gayageum legend and Seoul National University Professor Yi Jiyoung, her student Kim Doyeon, and Lydian String Quartet violinist Judy Eissenberg, on March 17th at Wellesley College. The premiere will be underwritten by the Korean Cultural Society of Boston.  He is also preparing piano repertoire a CD to be recorded in 2016, featuring almost exclusively pieces written in the last 10 years.

Musicologist and PhD candidate Derek Strykowski presented the paper “Symphonies for Sale: How Composers and Publishers Negotiated the Style of Concert Music in the Long Nineteenth Century” at the October 3 AMS New England chapter meeting at Amherst College.  His article “The Diegetic Music of Berg’s Lulu: When Opera and Serialism Collide” is forthcoming from the Journal of Musicological Research in February 2016.

Composer and MFA candidate Daniel Allas is having his piece Suite Before Dawn in memory of Henri Dutilleux performed by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on November 4.  The concert is presented as part of the 2015 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Composer Institute, a program for emerging composers, that is partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the American Composers Forum.

Composer and PhD candidate Joseph Sowas orchestral composition Summer Has Ten Thousand Stars has been named semi-finalist in the student division of The American Prize.  The piece was previously a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.

Having received a stipend from EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR and grants from the Max Kade Foundation and the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis, composer and PhD candidate Mu-Xuan Lin was able to attend the EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR's Matrix15, a conference for composition, aesthetics, and electroacoustic music in September and October in Freiburg, Germany. Her new miniature piece about G (2015) for flute, oboe d'amore, harp, clavichord, and violoncello, written specifically for Ensemble Proton Bern, will be premiered along 29 other miniatures composed by a roster of international composers on Ensemble Proton Bern's 5th Anniversary Concert, December 7th, 2015 in Bern, Switzerland.  Her newest work Pale Fire for solo piano and electronics, commissioned by the Piano Spheres Concert Series and pianist Vicki Ray, will be premiered by Vicki Ray, February 23rd, 2016 at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArt Theatre) in Los Angeles.  The work  will be performed again at the Bang on the Can Festival in the summer of 2016.   And her piece Peinture Nº1 (2014, rev. 2015) for bass clarinet and marimba will receive its west coast premieres in San Francisco and Oakland by Transient Canvas, in January 2016.

Spring 2015

Commencement News

Congratulations to our class of 2015 degree recipients!

Click here for a video of the 2015 School of Creative Arts Diploma Ceremony.

President Lawrence
President Fred Lawrence welcomes the SCA class of 2015

Suzanne Farrell
Honorary degree recipient and legendary dancer Suzanne Farrell addressing the class


Christiane Zoe Fong
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Major in Music with honors: Composition Track
Minors in: English, Film, Television and Interactive Media
Jonah Wesley Hirst
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Major in:  Music with high honors:  Composition Track  
Minor in:  Sexuality and Queer Studies
Recipient of the Florence and Charles H. Milender Prize in Music

Charles Madison
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in: Musical Theater Writing with highest honors
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts
Adina Rae Shapiro
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude
Majors in:  Music with high honors: Performance Track
American Studies
Recipient of the Rosalie L. Warren Award in Music
Mariah Mae Smith-Jones
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors in: Music: Composition Track  
Politics, Russian Studies

Graduate Students:

Aubrey Brown  
Master of Arts in Musicology

Dana Lee Dalton
Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology
Dissertation: Internal Conflict as Action: Aria Structure in Il trovatore

Jacques Pierre Dupuis
Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

Jessica Fulkerson
Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

Todd David Kitchen
Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Theory

Saman Nayeri
Master of Arts in Musicology

Elizabeth Emily Perten
Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology
Dissertation: Liszt as Critic: Virtuosity, Aesthetics, and the Artist in Liszt's Weimar Prose (1848-1861)
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

Hannah L. Spencer
Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

Jackson Van Amburg
Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

Michele Zaccagnini
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Aldo Clementi's System; and an original composition, Variazioni su AlDo ClemEnti for chamber orchestra
Recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

Department News

The Music Department hosted the first Brandeis Improv Festival March 27 – 29.  Created and organized by Improv Collective instructor and saxophonist Tom Hall the three-day festival was a “celebration of spontaneous creativity and its increasingly vital role in modern life.”  Performances, workshops and seminars took place at Slosberg Music Center.  Legendary improviser and drummer Milford Graves was the keynote speaker.  The festival was funded by a grant from the Brandeis Arts Council and the Music Department plans a second festival two years from now.

Brandeis Improv Festival

On Saturday, March 21 members of the Brandeis Jazz Ensemble led by director Bob Nieske took the opportunity to ‘gig’ at the Hyatt Regency, Cambridge.  The occasion was the Brandeis Junior/Senior Formal. The band enjoyed the experience, as did the dancers!

Jazz Ensemble

Dancers at the Brandeis Junior/Senior Formal
This spring saw the premiere of the Brandeis Spirit Band.  The band is dedicated to playing a unique ‘Brandeis style’ of music at various athletic events on and off campus.  World-renowned saxophonist, flautist and composer Ken Field has been hired by the music department with support from V.P. of Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel to direct the band and create arrangements specifically for it.  The Spirit Band is currently composed of 12 students including musicology Ph.D. student Gabrielle Reardon (trumpeter) who helps over see the band’s logistics.  The band plans to grow in numbers in the future.

Spirit Band
On May 1 – 2 graduate students in musicology presented the first Graduate Student Society Conference Loci in Musicology: Epicenters, Parallels and Unity in Slosberg Recital Hall.  Keynote speakers were Margot Fassler, U. of Notre Dame, Joseph Auner, Tufts University, and Robert Gjerdingen, Northwestern University.  Papers were presented by graduate students from Harvard, Rutgers, U. of Michigan, SUNY: U. of Buffalo, USC, and U. of Miami.  Funding for the conference was provided by the Music Department and a grant from the Poses Fund.

GSS Conference Poster

Faculty News

Composer Eric Chasalow has a new comprehensive CD of his electroacoustic music Are You Radioactive, Pal?  The CD issued on Suspicious Motives Records includes works from 1991, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, and 2014. Philipp Stäudlin performs a work for alto saxophone and tape, and Dan Stepner a work for violin and tape.  This follows on the heels of his 2014 CD feather, breath, mirror.

Chasalow CD 

Musicologist Eric Chafe’s new book Tears Into Wine: J.S. Bach’s Cantata 21 in its Musical and Theological Contexts was published this May by Oxford Press.  In the book, “Chafe shows that Cantata 21 reaches beyond the scope of the individual liturgical occasion to voice a breadth of meaning that encompasses much of the core of Lutheran thought.”  Tears Into Wine follows his monumental book J.S. Bach’s Johannine Theology, which was published in May 2014 also by Oxford.

Tears Into Wine
Lydian String Quartet first violinist and Professor of the Practice Dan Stepner has received a Provost’s Innovations in Teaching Grant for 2015/16 for his project An Integrated, Transposable System of Scales and Arpeggios for Violinists and Violists.  He will be creating a video as part of the project.  The fund is intended to support and enhance the teaching and research excellence for which Brandeis in known.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student News

In May Charlie Madison ’15 was a guest on WBUR Radio’s On Point where college seniors were invited to discuss their senior theses. Charlie is an Independent Interdisciplinary Major in Theater Arts who has composed an original musical Grace. He will graduate with honors and accolades!

Composer and Ph.D. student Victoria Cheah has received a Mellon Research Grant for 2015/16. The grant will enable her to study a manuscript at the Sachar Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland that is directly related to her dissertation work.

Composer and Ph.D. student Emily Koh will be spending July as a resident composer at the Mizzou International Composers Festival where her works will be performed by the chamber ensemble Alarm Will Sound. She recently was in San Francisco for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s premiere of her composition “implodex!!”, which they commissioned.  When Emily is not composing she runs the concert series at the Boston New Music Initiative and also serves as principal bass for the New England Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alumni News

Musicologist Paula Musegades Ph.D’14 has been appointed Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Music and American Culture and Lecturer in the Department of Music and in the American Studies Program at Brandeis.  Her two-year appointment begins July.  Paula completed her dissertation research on Aaron Copland and Hollywood Film Music and has taught courses at Brandeis and at Emerson College.  She has also served as senior academic administrator for the American Studies and Journalism Programs at Brandeis.  While at Brandeis Paula will be continuing her research and also offering courses each semester.

Composer Peter Van Zandt Lane Ph.D. ’13 has been appointed Assistant Professor of Composition at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, U. of Georgia.  He will also be the director of the Roger and Phyllis Dancz Center for New Music at the university.  Peter was most recently Visiting Assistant Professor at U. of Florida.

Fall 2014

Department News

The music department’s Ghanaian Drumming and Dance Ensemble Fafali was invited to perform for the visit to Brandeis of the President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama on September 29.  Lead by the ensemble’s director Faith Conant, Fafali offered a traditional welcome for dignitaries from Ghana.

Fafali performs for John Dramani Mahama, president of Ghana. Photo by Mike Lovett

Fafali performs for John Dramani Mahama, president of Ghana. Photo by Mike Lovett

A Tribute to Erwin Bodky

On Sunday, October 19 the music department collaborated with the Cambridge Society for Early Music to present A Tribute to Erwin Bodky in the Slosberg Recital Hall. Violinist Dan Stepner, Pianist Evan Hirsch, harpsichordist James Nicolson, and mezzo-soprano Deborah Rentz-Moore performed works by Bodky and Bach.  Remarks were offered by James Nicolson, former Bodky students Adele Borouchoff and Nancy Golden (Brandeis class of ’52), and musicologist Mark Lindley (from India via Skype).  Also in attendance were Bodky grandsons Matthew and Nathaniel, and Brandeis alums and Bodky students Paul Goldstein ’53, and Diane Goldstein ’54.  Coincidentally it is Paul who suggested to Bodky that the Brahms Academic Festival Overture be used for the music for a Brandeis alma mater.

Bodky Program Cover

A Tribute to Erwin Bodky program cover.

Bodky grandsons and thier spouses

Bodky grandsons and their spouses with Dan Stepner

Nancy Golden, Diane and Paul Goldstein

Nancy Golden, Diane and Paul Goldstein

Adele Borouchoff

Adele Borouchoff

Erwin Bodky was Brandeis’s first music professor and founder of the Cambridge Society for Early Music.  A distinguished musicologist, keyboard player, and composer, Bodky studied in Berlin with Ernst von Dohnányi and at the Prussian Academy of the Arts with Richard Strauss and Ferruccio Busoni.  He went on to serve on the faculty of the Prussian State Academy for Church and School Music until 1933 when the academy director was forced by the Nazis to dismiss him.  Immigrating first to the Netherlands in 1933 and then to Boston in 1938, he secured a part-time position at the Longy School of Music.  He was later appointed to the faculty of the famous Black Mountain College.  Following his recommendation to Brandeis’s first president Abraham Sachar for the establishing of a music department, Bodky was hired as Assistant Professor of Music in 1949, and later promoted to full professor.  In 1954 Bodky was appointed chairman of the Brandeis School of Creative Arts.  In 1957 the West German government designated him a professor emeritus, and in 1968 the Cambridge Society for Early Music established its Bodky Competition in his honor.  Erwin Bodky authored many important books including Performance Practice of Early Keyboard Music and Interpretation of Bach’s Keyboard Music.


On Saturday, November 15 the Music Department formally celebrated the 100th anniversary of composer Irving Fine with an afternoon symposium and evening concert.

The symposium featured a discussion with composer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wernick ’55, Cantor Ramon Gilbert ’54, composer and Pulitzer Prize winner Yehudi Wyner, and Irving G. Fine Professor of Music Eric Chasalow.  Former students of Irving Fine, Gilbert and Wernick shared many memorable moments spent with the composer who served as teacher and mentor, and co-creator of the first Brandeis Festival of the Arts.  Wyner and Chasalow offered insights into the importance of the “American Neo-classicists” and the central role that Fine played in that group, which included Aaron Copland, Harold Shapero, and Leonard Bernstein.   

The evening concert presented musicians from Copland House (Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano; Harumi Rhodes, violin; Danielle Farina, viola; Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello; and Michael Boriskin, piano) performing Irving Fine’s Music for Piano (1947), Fantasia for String Trio (1956), Childhood Fables for Grown-Ups (1955, 1958), and Sonata for Violin and Piano (1946).  Attending the symposium and concert were Irving Fine’s three daughters: Claudia, Emily, and Joanna, and granddaughter Alicia.

Fine Program

Irving Fine Centennial Celebration Program Cover

Irving Fine Concertgoers

Eric Chasalow, Raymon Gilbert, Richard Wernick, Yehudi Wyner

Future celebratory events include a week-long Irving Fine Centennial Festival hosted by the Library of Congress (December 2 – 6), and the release of the cd of Irving Fine’s Symphony performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Faculty News

Eric Chasalow's new cd feather, breath, mirror has just been released. Works on the cd are: Due Cinta mani (2002) for piano and fixed media, Flute Concerto:three love poems (2005) for flute and chamber ensemble, Trois Espaces du Son (2004) for piano, percussion and fixed media, and Horn Concerto (2008) for horn and chamber orchestra.

Marty Boykan's cd Music for Piano (1986 - 2007) has just been released on Bridge. The pianist is Donald Berman.

Davy Rakowski's Dance Episodes Symphony No. 5 will be premiered on October 25 by the New England Philharmonic, Richard Pittman, conductor. And he has just competed a flute concerto for a November 12 premiere on Oklahoma. While on leave this coming spring, Davy will be in residency at the MacDowell Colony and at Ragdale in Lake Forest, IL.

Musicologist Allan Keiler has been awarded the 2014 Silberger Essay Prize from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The $1000 prize is given for for an essay that “demonstrates outstanding psychoanalytically informed research and scholarship in the biobehavioral sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities.” Keiler will present his essay Liszt as Romantic Hero: Imposturing and the False Self at the Institute on October 22, 2014.

Allan Keiler (left) with Paul Buttenwieser (conversant for Silberger Lecture)
Allan Keiler (left) with Paul Buttenwieser (conversant for Silberger Lecture)

Professor Emeritus and Pulitzer prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner has been elected president of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters.  The American Academy of Arts and Letters, founded in 1898, was established to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts,” and is chartered by Congress. Each year, the Academy gives over one million dollars in awards to artists, architects, writers, and composers. It presents exhibitions of art, architecture, and manuscripts, and subsidizes readings and performances of new musicals. The 117-year-old organization is located in three landmark buildings on Audubon Terrace in NYC 

Wyner was elected to the Academy in 1999. He won the Pulitzer in 2006 for the piano concerto "Chiavi in Mano."  Emeritus Professor and composer Martin Boykan is also a member.   See the full press release here.

Vocal Instructor Jason McStoots  is a soloist on the Boston Early Music Festival's recording of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs for CPO (Classic Produktion Osnabrück), winner of the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording Congratulations Jason et al.

Charpentier La Descente

Graduate Student News

In October composer and pianist Jared Redmond will compete in the 2014 International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition in Bergen, Norway. Later in the year he will perform a concert of contemporary piano and percussion music at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea, which will include a new work of his, as well as works of John Cage and Maurice Ohana.

Musicologist Georgia Luikens has been invited to serve as moderator for a panel discussion on the music of Irving Fine at the Library of Congress on Saturday, December 6. Panelists will include Fine Professor of Music Emeritus (Brandeis U.) Marty Boykan and conductor, composer, pianist Joel Spiegelman (Brandeis MFA '56 and former Artist in Residence). The panel discussion is part of the Library's Irving Fine Centennial Festival and will take place in their Library's Coolidge Auditorium at 2 pm.

The recording of composer Mu-Xuan Lin’s Double Jeopardy (2013) for octet from the February premiere by the Ensemble Proton Bern has recently been released.  To listen, please go to Mu-Xuan’s website or Soundcloud. And, Mu-Xuan has been invited by Novalis Music+Art Festival in Croatia as one of their guest-composers for the summer, 2015.  The festival has commissioned her to write a piece for chamber orchestra and video in collaboration with Secession Orchestra (France) and video artist Claudia Joscowicz (New York).

Composer David Dominique spent October as an artist-in-residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming. While there he worked on music for his next LA theater project No Shore to Break On, which will be staged in March.  He will conduct his original score live for each of the six performances.   He is also composing and recording a collection of electronic songs to be released as an album called Mask in May. David has recently been accepted for an artist residency for September 2015 at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California. 

Undergraduate Student News

Milton Shapiro, clarinet, Leah Shapiro, horn, Michelle Kim, violin and Jeremy Koob, piano, performed a patriotic themed concert on November 9th, Veteran's Day, at Maristhill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Waltham.  These musicians are members of the Brandeis Community Service Chamber Music Club, founded by brother and sister musicians Milton and Leah Shapiro. They are looking forward to performing at Maristhill again next semester.

On November 16th, Andrew Ho and Krista Hu, violins, Sarah Shin, viola, Jacob MacKay and Seth Rait, cellos, Natsuko Yamagata and Jeremy Koob, piano performed an afternoon of chamber music at Newbridge on the Charles Assisted Living Center in Dedham. This is the second time Brandeis students have performed at Newbridge on the Charles. They have been enthusiastically invited back for future performances!

Undergraduate Chamber Outreach Concert

Alumni News

Peter Van Zandt Lane, Ph.D. '13 in composition has received his second commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. The work will be performed by the EQ Ensemble. Peter is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Florida.

Peter McMurray, MFA '08 in composition recently completed his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Harvard University. He has just been awarded a post doctoral fellowship appointment at MIT.

Former music major Megan Bisceglia, ’07 is Manager of Operations for the Concord Conservatory of Music, Concord MA. where she is helping launch a new Concert and Lecture Series.  The first four concerts and accompanying lectures are devoted to the music of J. S. Bach.

Musicologist Joseph Morgan, Ph.D. ‘09, has been appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Middle Tennessee.  And Joe has a book out Carl Maria von Weber, Oberon and the Cosmopolitanism of the Early German Romantic published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Carl and Maria von Weber

Musicologist Silvio dos Santos, Ph.D. ’03 has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Musicologist and chair of Music History and Musicology at New England Conservatory of Music Katarina Markovic, PhD ’04 presented the program Goya and Beethoven: Revolution and Madness at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on December 14. Joining Katarina were faculty and students from NEC performing music of Beethoven. The program included projected images of Goya’s works, and readings from letters and contemporaneous documents.  Katarina demonstrates how the two artists shared “a certain aesthetic temperament,” which she discovered through studying each artist’s works, correspondence, and other primary documents. You can read the notice carried in the December 12 issue of the Boston Globe

Composer Jeremy Spindler. PhD ’11 has recently been exploring a different set of (sweet) talents.  Spindler Confections of Somerville produces artisanal sweets that are available at local areas gourmet and arts and craft shops, or online:

Spindler's Confection

 Read about Spindler Confections the Boston Globe here:

Summer 2014

Commencement News

Violinist Rachel Levine ’14 performs the “Adagio” from Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor

Emily Eng ’14 receiving her diploma

Eric Chasalow hoods Ph.D. in Composition recipient Seunghee Lee

Our grads (and a few faculty)

Congratulations to our 2014 degree recipients!


•Emily Mariko Eng
Bachelor of Science Summa Cum Laude
Majors in: Music with highest honors: Composition Track
Minor in: Chemistry
Prize: Reiner Prize in Music Composition

•Jacoba B. Fleischman
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors in: Music: Cultural Studies Track

•Benjamin M Gartenstein
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Prize: Florence and Charles H. Milender Prize in Music

•Rachel E Levine
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude with high honors in Music: Performance Track
Minor in: International and Global Studies
Prize: Phyllis and Lee Coffey Award in Music

•Ben Hillel Plesser
Bachelor of Arts in Music: Composition Track
Minor in: Classical Studies

•Christopher M Stanton (not attending: received degree in February)
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in: Music with high honors: Composition Track
Computer Science with high honors

•Isaac A Vesery
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude with honors in Music:
Cultural Studies Track
Minors in: Business, Anthropology
Prize: Sandra Shea Fisher '56 Prize for Creative Arts

Graduate Students:

Master of Arts in Musicology

•Nicole Marie Brellenthin

Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Theory

•David A Dominique
•Bradley John Kuhn-Mckearin
•Frank S. Li
•Rebecca Brentano Sacks
•Kyo Shimizu
•Yiguo Yan

Master of Fine Arts in Musicology

•Elizabeth Anne Crisenbery
•Thomas Michael Croke V
•Aldona Dye
•Matthew Flynn
•Ian Michael Lorenz
•Derek Robert Strykowski
•Julie Ann VanGyzen
•Jessica Mae Vincent

Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition and Theory

•Travis Spencer Alford
Dissertation: It Goes to Eleven: Serialism, Derivation, and Continuity
in David Sanford's Scherzo Grosso, and an original composition,
Emily's Window for soprano, clarinet/bass clarinet, and piano

•Edward Maxwell Dulaney II
•Dissertation: Continuing the Tradition Untraditionally: Helmut Lachenmann's
Restructuring of Musical Dialectic Through an Analysis of His
Three String Quartets, and an original composition, Harmonica Concerto

•Seunghee Lee
Dissertation: An Analytical Study and Survey of Compositional Style
in Augusta Read Thomas's Jubilee for Orchestra, and an original composition,
Bon II for Soprano and six instruments

Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology

•Paula Jo Musegades
Dissertation: Speaking the Unspoken Through Silence and Sound:
Aaron Copland and Hollywood Film Music

•Stephen Rogers Radcliffe
Dissertation: Structural Integration and Dramatic Displacement in
Early Verdi Recitatives and Scenas

•Joel David Schwindt
Dissertation: Academicism in Monteverdi’s Orfeo: Oratory, Gendering, and
Architecturalism as Expressions of the Academic and Social Philosophy of
the Accademia degli Invaghiti

A Fine Centennial Begins

A commemoration of the centennial of Irving Fine’s birth has begun. On May 16, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project under the directions of Gil Rose performed Fine’s music and that of his colleagues Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero in Boston’s Jordan Hall. The highlight of the program was Irving Fine’s Symphony (1962), which was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra shortly before Fine’s death in 1962. The project was co-sponsored by the Fine family, The Irving Fine Society, and Brandeis.

A recording of all of Fine’s orchestral works including the Symphony as well as Harold Shapero’s Serenade in D will be issued next fall.

On November 15, 2014 the music department will host a symposium and a concert of Fine’s music by musicians from Copland House in the Slosberg Recital Hall.
Nick Brown ’10 and Fine sisters Emily, Claudia, and Joanna at a reception following the concert.

The Slosblog has its debut

This May the first issue of the new music department newsletter The Slosblog appeared on newsstands throughout Slosberg. Creator and editor-in-chief Cheryl Nalbach promises scintillating news items in forthcoming issues!

Faculty News

James Olesen announced his retirement after 42 years of distinguished service at Brandeis.  Jim has had an illustrious career here directing the University Chorus and Chamber Choir, teaching courses in conducting, directing the vocal study program, and serving as department chair. While there have been many changes in the department and on campus since Jim’s coming to Brandeis in 1972, what has always been present is his tremendous respect for and commitment to the music, the students, and his colleagues. We will miss you Jim.

Jim speaking at a luncheon in his honor in Slosberg on May 9

Jim’s final choral concert at Brandeis on April 5, 2014

Daniel Stepner’s latest CD Music at Brandeis is due to be released in June. The recording of works by Brandeis composers includes Harold Shapero’s Sonata for violin and piano (1942), Irving Fine’s Sonata for violin and piano (1946), Yehudi Wyner’s Concert Duo (1955-7), David Rakowski’s Pied-á-terre (1999), and Yu-Hui Chang’s Worries J.S. as Real (2008).  The recording was supported by funding from the Poses Fund for the Arts.  

Click here to read a review of Dan's CD, 20th-Century Masterworks for Solo Violin in the May 16, 2014 Fanfare Magazine.

Live, from Peru:

On April 4 Judy Eissenberg presented a live video conference with Peruvian musicians in Cusco, Peru for her class MUS 3b: Introduction to World Musics. Ethnomusicologist Holly Wissler and Peruvian Q’eros musicians Inocencia Quispe, Lucio Chura, and Victor Flores spoke to the class for over an hour from a hotel room in Cusco. View the entire video conference HERE.

Student News

Lydians perform works by students of MUS 101

Every spring students of MUS 101b: Theory and Musicianship I: Part 2, taught by Whitman Brown, are required to compose minuet movements as a final project. The works are then performed and recorded by the Lydian String Quartet. This is always the highlight of the year in music theory and one of the many unique aspects of a musical education at Brandeis.
May 9, 2014: Lydian String Quartet performing minuet by Elana Kennedy

•Musicology Ph.D. student Joel Schwindt is the 2014 recipient of the Elizabeth Bartlet Award from the AMS. He will be using the funds for a trip to Paris to complete archival research on his Monteverdi-Invaghiti book project. Joel will receive his Brandeis doctoral degree in August. His dissertation is entitled “Academicism in Monteverdi’s Orfeo: Oratory, Gendering, and Architecturalism as Expressions of the Academic and Social Philosophy of the Accademia degli Invaghiti.”

•Composer and doctoral student Jared Redmond has been invited for a 2-week residence at the 2014 International Gugak Workshop at the National Gugak Center in Seoul, Korea. 17 participants were selected: scholars, composers, performers, ethnomusicologists. The workshop consists of lectures, demonstrations, and lessons on the history, practice and philosophy of traditional Korean music, as well as cross-cultural contemporary collaboration.

Jared Redmond and musicology Ph.D. student Derek Strykowski have been awarded Outstanding Teaching Fellows for 2013-14.

•Musicology Ph.D. student Georgia Luikens gave a fascinating talk on Leonard Bernstein on Friday, April 25 in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, kicking off the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts. The talk Lunchtime with Lenny B. covered many aspects of Bernstein’s life as a composer, conductor, teacher, activist, and arts advocate. Then a Brandeis select community chorus assembled by Georgia for the event performed a choral setting of Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide (Georgia conducted). Awarded a 2013/14 University Prize Instructorship, Georgia created and taught the spring semester course “America’s First Maestro: Leonard Bernstein’s Music and Role in New York Cultural Life.”

Alumni News

•Composer Peter Van Zandt Lane, Ph.D. ’13 has recently been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Florida. Peter has already taught courses for the Brandeis music department, summer school, and University Writing Program. He has recently completed a two-week residency at the MacDowell Colony finishing up Hivemind, a piece for wind ensemble commissioned by the Sydney Conservatorium Estivo summer music program. The work will be premiered in Verona, Italy, in July by players from Sydney, Verona Conservatory, and University of Georgia. He has also begun a composition commissioned by the Emory University Wind Ensemble, which will be an opener for a concert in Spring 2015.

The CD of his ballet Hackpolitik is set for a June 24th release on Innova Records. Click HERE for the listing. 
HackPolitik and the new version for wind instruments of his Slant Apparatus are both semi finalists in their respective categories for the American Prize in Music Composition.

Christian Gentry, Ph.D. '12 in composition, has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Framingham State University. He will teach courses in music theory and history, and will start a new music technology program.

Jared Field ’11 has been working with his sister Jessie (also a Brandeis alum) on a new musical, "Always, Rachel”. The work has been selected for a staged reading in the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Jared and Jessie will be working with a dramaturg over the next few months to revise and polish the show, and then producing three staged readings of it in Midtown this July. “Always Rachel” is based on the life of biologist and nature author (Silent Spring) Rachel Carson. You can visit the show's website at to learn more about the show and to stay updated on the festival. Conductor, composer, clarinetist, and music educator, Jared Field was a music major who graduated Brandeis summa cum laude with highest honors in music, with an additional major in philosophy and a minor in film, television, and interactive media. He currently works part time at the Arts Initiative at Columbia University and writes blog posts on New York City museums for Columbia.

•A number of music alumni gathered at Connor Larkin’s Pub in Boston on Friday, May 16 for food, drinks and good conversation. Then they were off to the Irving Fine Centennial Concert at Jordan Hall.

Alums at Connor Larkin's

From l to r: Jared Field ’11, Janette Myette ’13, Rani Schloss ’11, Lea Carnow ’12, Yoni Battat ’13, Dan Newman ’09 and guest, Ann-Nin Wong ’11, Devora Gleiber ’13. Not pictured:  Hannah Saltman ’12, Karen Lowe ’10.

Spring 2014

Faculty News

Mark Berger, violist, Brandeis Ph.D. ’12 has been appointed as the newest member of the Lydian String Quartet and as Associate Professor of the Practice in the department of music. Mark performed extensively with the Quartet last season and has been teaching viola and chamber music in the department this past year. His official status begins on July 1. Welcome (back) Mark! 

Eric Chafe’s new book J.S. Bach’s Johannine Theology: The St. John Passion and the Cantatas for Spring 1725 has just been released by Oxford University Press.

Bob Nieske has a new cd out Bob Nieske 10 – Fast Track on the CIMP label. He is joined by Jon Damian, guitar, Bob Tamagni, drums, saxophonists Allan Chase, Tony Carelli, and Tom Hall, trumpets Ken Cervenka and Phil Grenadier, and trombonists Jeff Galindo and Phil Swanson. All compositions and arrangements on the CD are by Bob.

Davy Rakowski has recently had a transcription of his piano music Sibling Revelry  recorded by the President’s Own US Marine Band on their CD From the keyboard, and his piano work Hotfingers recorded by pianist Nicholas Phillips on a CD titled American Vernacular: New Music for Solo Piano. Recent publications of his music by CF Peters include Exact Change (flute and soprano saxophone), Sibling Revelry (wind ensemble), Hotfingers (piano solo), Piano Concerto (piano/toy piano and orchestra), Préludes Book II (piano solo), Préludes Book III (piano solo) Blue Horizon (piano solo), Compass (saxophone quartet), and Thickly Settled (mixed quintet).

Allan Keiler was recently interviewed by NPR’s Susan Stamberg on All Things Considered on the 75th anniversary of legendary contralto Marian Anderson’s historic Lincoln Memorial Concert in Washington DC. The feature aired on NPR on April 9. Allan is the author of Marian Anderson: A Singer’s Journey. Allan also contributed a chapter entitled “Liszt on Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella: Translation and Commentary,” for the forthcoming book The World of Schubert, eds. Christopher H. Gibbs and Morten Solvik (Princeton University Press, 2014), and an article for the Journal of Music Theory, vol. 57.2014 entitled “The Problem of the Retrieval of Musical Knowledge: the Thoroughbass Tradition and its Relationship to Rameau.”

•Violinist and Professor of the Practice Dan Stepner was featured in the winter 2014 issue of Brandeis Magazine. The article Stepner’s Graceful Bow to the Past, and present can be read HERE.

•Vocal instructor Pamela Dellal has a new CD Reviving Song: Spirited Works by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Héléne Montgeroult and Louis Spohr. Pam is joined by Diane Heffner, period clarinet, and Vivian Montgomery, fortepiano. The CD was produced by the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. 

Graduate Student News

•Composer Mu-Xuan Lin received an invitation from la Cité Internationale des Arts for a four-month residency in one of the 15 Paris city owned studios. She is currently in her Paris studio (next to the Seine) conducting dissertation research and writing music.

•Musicologist Jessica Vincent completed an almost year-long project planning and curating the special exhibit Beginnings of Music at Brandeis for the Robert D. Farber Archives & Special Collections.  The exhibit, which highlights Erwin Bodky, Irving Fine, Leonard Bernstein, Harold Shapero, and Arthur Berger during their years at Brandeis, opened on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, and will remain open throughout the summer. Click HERE for details, and to read an interview with Jessica.

•Musicologist Daesik Cha has been awarded a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship for 2014-15 to complete work on his dissertation The Keyboard Fantasia in the Classical Period. Musicologist Charles Stratford and composer Mu-Xuan Lin have also received Mellon Dissertation Research Grants for 2014-15.

Undergraduate Student News

•Composer Nate Shaffer ’16 was featured in the winter/spring issue of the State of the Arts and in a Brandeis Now article Clinton, Mozart, and me in which he recalls how he found his calling as a composer. Click HERE to read the complete article.

Fall 2013

Faculty News

•A number of news updates from Sarah Mead, gambist and Director of the Brandeis Early Music Ensemble:

*Her new piece, Fantasia Sine Nomine has just been published by PRB Productions. The work was premiered at the Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America last August in Forest Grove, OR. Its Australian premiere will be on March 29th, 2014, in Sydney, with the viol consort Josie and the Emeralds.

*Her ensemble, Nota Bene recently completed a five day residency at Brandeis, which included class appearances for undergraduates studying Art History, Shakespeare, Renaissance Italian Literature, Cervantes, and Music History; a house-concert for graduate students in musicology; recording and videotaping at the Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library; a performance at the New England Renaissance Conference hosted by Jonathan Unglaub at the Mandel Center. Presentations featured music from the Gorham Collection housed in Special Collections, with images supplied by Special Collections.
Ensemble Nota Bene recording in Rapaporte Treasure Hall

*Her Spring 2014 sabbatical will take her to the following places:
-Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH–1 month residency as part of the Winter Term program (January).
-UNC, Chapel Hill, NC–1 week teaching residency (February).
-New Zealand and Australia–1 month visit including concerts, lectures, master-classes and coaching (March).
-Trinity Wall St. (NYC) and 2nd Church in Newton (MA)–Tenebrae concerts with Tenet and Nota Bene (April).
-Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London–featured guest presenter (May).
-First New York Early Music Festival (NYC)–educational presenter (June).
-Kyoto, Japan–Viola da Gamba Society of Japan, first international tutor (August).

• Judith Eissenberg
 recently returned from an 11-day trip to Mali, and brought back an incredible account of her experience. Click here to see her journal!

Toumani and Judy
Toumani Diabaté and Judy in his studio


Tribute to composer Harold Shapero:


•On September 28 the department honored the late Harold Shapero with the program The Piano Music of Harold Shapero. Harold’s Variations in C Minor (1947) and his Sonata in F Minor (1948), were performed by Sally Pinkas, and his Four-Hand Sonata (1941) was performed by the Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo. Speakers included former Shapero student Michael Weinstein (Ph.D. ’91), Harold’s sister Pyra (Hannah) Shapero, and a video clip of an interview with Harold filmed by Eric Chasalow. Harold passed away in May 2013. He was 93 years old.

•On October 5 composer Eric Chasalow’s Where it Finds Nothing But the Wind had its premiere here in Slosberg. The work, based on texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, was composed for soprano Tony Arnold and members of the Boston new music ensemble Dinosaur Annex. The program also included an earlier work for soprano and electronics The Furies, which is based on poems by Anne Sexton. The performance of Where it Finds Nothing But the Wind was organized to coincide with the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition at the Boston Museum of Science. The project had the support of the Brandeis Office of the Provost.

•On January 17 composer David Rakowski will have a premiere of his second piano concerto at Jordan Hall. Pianist Amy Briggs will join with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, conducted by Gil Rose, for the premiere. Davy wrote it at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France during his 2010 –11 sabbatical. The concerto was commissioned by the Jebediah Foundation and BMOP will record it for their label BMOP/Sound.

•Composers Yu-Hui Chang and David Rakowski are two of 10 composers commissioned by cellist Rhonda Rider (one of the founding members of Lydian String Quartet) to write pieces for her that were inspired by some aspect of the Grand Canyon. Her CD, The Grand Canyon Project for solo cello, has just been released by MSR Classics. Rhonda was Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon National Park during which time she prepared the pieces for the recording.

•Violinist Daniel Stepner new CD 20th Century Masterworks for solo violin will be released shortly on the Centaur label. The works are by Hindemith, Ysaÿe, Bartók, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. This cd comes on the heals of his recording of solos works for violin by Bach, and will be followed this coming spring by a cd of works for violin and piano composed by Brandeis composers Harold Shapero, Irving Fine, Yehudi Wyner, David Rakowski, and Yu-Hui Chang.

Alumni News

 •Composer Peter Lane (Ph.D. '13) has been working with New York-based choreographer Kate Ladenheim on a full-length electroacoustic chamber ballet HackPolitik for the Juventas New Music Ensemble's 2013-14 concert season. The work is based on a series of cyber-attacks conducted by Anonymous in 2010 and 2011, and further inspired by Parmy Olson’s book We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency. Portions of the ballet have already been performed in Boston, at the MacDowell Colony (where Peter had a residency this past summer), at Symphony Space in New York City, and at the Syracuse Ballet and Dance Center. The premiere of the full work with Juventas and the New York based dance company The People Movers takes place in Boston on November 15-16at the Boston University Dance Theater. Peter is joining the author for a lecture presented by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis on November 14.

•Composer Max Dulaney (Ph.D. ‘13) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University. Max’s dissertation included an analysis of Helmut Lachenmann’s three string quartets, and an original composition titled Harmonica Concerto.

•Musicologist Brian Levy (Ph.D. ’12) has been appointed to the jazz studies and music history faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music. His dissertation Harmonic and Rhythmic Interaction in the Music of John Coltrane examines harmonic and rhythmic interaction in John Coltrane’s Classic Quartet.

Graduate Student News

•Composer Dave Dominique  has a new album of his music, Ritual, which is scheduled for release on December 3. Comprised of 10 original compositions, Ritual draws inspiration from Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Ethiopian music from the ‘70s, John Zorn, Steve Reich, and György Ligeti. The album is characterized by primal physicality and a wide range of instrumental timbres, including flute, violin, clarinet, bass clarinet, electric guitar, alto and bari sax, valve trombone, electronics, and a propulsive jazz rhythm section.  Ritual was recorded and mixed to analog tape in Downtown Los Angeles with an ensemble of that city's finest creative musicians. The release date is: December 3, 2013.

Click HERE to listen to the recording!


•Musicologist Matthew Flynn, MFA, traveled to Certaldo, Italy this past summer to present a paper at the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference. His presentation "Manuscript Variations in Three Works of Francesco Landini"
 examined three Italian manuscripts from the 14th century which all contained the same three pieces by the famous 14th century Italian composer Franceso Landini: L’alma mie piangeDonna s’i t’o fallito, and Poy che da te. He discussed the slight variations in these pieces and explained what they illustrate about how the pieces were conceived and performed in the 14th century.

•Composer Michele Zaccagnini’s composition Variazioni su Aldo Clementi has been selected as one of four finalists for an important Italian competition  “...a Camillo Togni.” The winner of the competition will be selected at a performance of the finalists’ works on November 24.

•Musicologist Paula Musegades is specializing on film music and film studies.  In addition to her work at Brandeis she is teaching a number of courses at Emerson College, including VM101 History of Media 1965-Present, a survey course for undergraduate students dedicated to the study of film and television history, which explores not only the history of film and television in the United States, but also such countries as Germany, France, China, Japan, and South Korea, including sociological and political influences on the formation of media arts in these countries and how they, in turn, influenced society; and an upper-level seminar Cinephilia and the Auteurs, which investigates the French response of André Bazin andCahiers du Cinéma critics to American cinema of the 1940s and 1950s, ultimately revealing the French influence on both American and French critics. Paula’s dissertation topic is Speaking the Unspoken Through Silence and Sound: Aaron Copland and Hollywood Film Music.

•Musicologist Charles Stratford’s “Compositional Approach and the Work of E.E. Cummings in Luciano Berio’s Circles” will be published in a forthcoming edition of SONUS: A Journal of Investigations into Global Musical Possibilities. Berio’s own history with the music department dates back to February, 1961 and a concert that he gave in Slosberg with his wife Cathy Berberian and the ensemble Concerts du Domaine Musical. Included on the program were his Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)Sequenza (1958), and Circles.

Undergraduate News

•A number of our undergraduate majors have gone on to interesting endeavors in and outside of the field of music.

Janette Myette ’13 is a Stewardship Assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nick Gordon ’11 has created a startup company new speedway that is developing and marketing new events management software.

Michael Shafir ’11 is an Associate Research Scientist at BBN Technologies (Computer Software).

Rani Schloss  ’11 is Program Coordinator at WGBH, Boston.

Ann-Nin Wong ’11 is an Applications Specialist at MediTech in Framingham, MA.

Nick Brown ’10 is Music Specialist for Library of Congress Music Division.

Eric Alterman ‘09 is co-principal cellist with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.

David Guerette ’08 is IT and Media Specialist for the radio show From the Top.

Matt Stern ‘ 08 is music director for the Berkshire Theater festival and BU. He is also faculty music director at French Woods camp for the performing arts.

Summer 2013

Commencement News

Travis Rapoza, vl; Yonatan Battat, vla; Alison Fessler, vc; perform work by E. Donányi

Neal Hampton presents diploma to Yonatan Battat

Eric Chasalow congratulates Ph.D. recipient Peter Van Zandt Lane

Congratulations to our 2013 degree recipients!


•Yonatan A. Battat
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude with highest honors in Music.
Yonatan completed the Performance Track within the music major.
Minor: Philosophy
Yonatan received the Sandy Shea Fisher ’56 Prize for Exceptional Achievement in the Creative Arts, and the Joseph and Ida Burtman Award for Scholarship and Leadership. 

•Christopher M. Defossez
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude with honors in Music.
Chris completed the Cultural Studies Track within the music major.

•Jennifer Lynn Edwards
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude
Majors: Music with honors. Jennifer completed the Composition Track within the music major. She also majored in Psychology with high honors.
Minor: Italian Studies
Jennifer received the David A. Greene, M.D., Class of '71, Memorial Prize in Music.

•Alison L. Fessler
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors: Music with highest honors. Alison completed the Performance Track within the major. She also majored in Anthropology with high honors.
Alison received the Rosalie L. Warren Award in Music, and the Dorothy Haas Siegel Music Award.

•Benjamin Kenet Gold
Bachelor of Arts in Music.
Ben completed the Musical Theater Performance Track within the music major.
Minor: Theater Arts

•Grace E. Killian
Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude Majors: Music with highest honors. Grace completed the Cultural Studies Track within the music major. She also majored in International and Global Studies with high honors.
Minors: Peace and Conflict Studies; French and Francophone Studies
Grace received the Florence and Charles H. Milender Prize in Music.

•Janette M. Myette
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude.
Majors in: Music with highest honors. Janette completed the History Track within the music major. She also majored in French and Francophone Studies.
Janette received the Phyllis and Lee Coffey Award in Music

•Katrina May Osborne
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors: Music with honors. Katrina completed the Cultural Studies Track within the music major. She also majored in Health: Science, Society and Policy
Minor: Italian Studies

•Ariella Stein
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude with honors in Music.
Ariella completed the Performance Track within the music major.
Minor: East Asian Studies, Russian Studies
Ariella received the Jacqueline Foster Award in 2012.

•Jacob A. Weiner
Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Music; Sociology

Graduate Students:

•Mark James Berger
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Klang and Structure: Franz Schreker's Chamber Symphony (1916), and an original composition, Upon a Wheel of Cloud (2008) for viola, violoncello and double bass.

•James R. Borchers
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation: The Transcendence of Timbre: Timbre and Spatialization in Jonathan Harvey's Bhakti, and an original composition, Zodiacal Light for string quartet, percussion quartet, and electronic sound.

•Yohanan Chendler
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Dutilleux's Memory Concept and 'Progressive Growth' in Ainsi la nuit, and an original composition, String Quartet No. 2 "Tikkun Chatzot" for string quartet.

•Richard Charles Plunkett Chowenhill
M.F.A. in Composition and Theory. Richard is continuing in the Ph.D. program in Composition and Theory at Brandeis.

•Derek Benjamin Jacoby
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation: The Music of Lee Hyla: An Analysis of the First Movement of Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra no. 2 and a Survey of Stylistic Elements in His Music, and an original composition, Palindromic One: Number 31, for seven players.

•Arianne Nichole Johnson
M.A. in Music & Women’s and Gender Studies

•Peter Van Zandt Lane
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation: Narrative and Cyclicity in Thomas Adès’s Violin Concerto and an original composition, String Quartet No. 1 for string quartet, soprano, and electronics.
Peter received the Sandy Shea Fisher ’56 Prize for Exceptional Achievement in the Creative Arts.

•Christina Tallon
M.F.A. in Composition and Theory

Graduate Student News

•Composer Dave Dominique is in LA in June conducting six performances of his original chamber score for Starcrosser's Cut, a new theater collaboration with playwright Joseph Tepperman. Click HERE to read more about it.

•Musicologist Matt Flynn will be giving a paper in July at the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference 2013 in Certaldo, Italy. The title of his paper is Manuscript Variations in Three Works of Francesco Landini.

•Ph.D. student in musicology Elizabeth Perten has been awarded a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship for 2013/14.

•Musicologist Daesik Cha and composer Victoria Cheah were awarded Brandeis Outstanding Teaching Fellow Awards in Music for 2013.

•Ph.D. Composer David Dominique and Ph.D. musicologist Joanna Fuchs have received 2013 Mellon/Sachar Dissertation Research Grants. Dave’s grant will support his collaboration on a new theater piece, The Starcrosser's Cut, which will have six performances in Los Angeles from June 6 – 16, which he will conduct.

Alumni News

•In his capacity as Music Specialist for the Library of Congress,Nicholas Alexander Brown '10 has the opportunity to work with a diverse range of individuals, not the least of whom is Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. Nick is also working on a major Irving Fine Centennial Celebration at the Library, which is scheduled for December, 2014.
Nick Brown with Dr. Jill Biden and her granddaughter Natalie Biden

•Composer and violist Mark Berger (Ph.D. ’12) has had a very busy performance season that is continuing into this summer. This past year he has served as guest violist in the Lydian String Quartet, performing at Brandeis and around the country. In June he will premiere Brandeis composer emeritus Marty Boykan’s Sonata for Viola and Piano (2012), which was written for him as part of the Music at Eden’s Edge 2013 summer music series. Performances take place in Danvers, MA. and Essex MA.  

Mark will teach the chamber music course MUS 116a: Chamber Music: Performance and Analysis at Brandeis this coming fall.

•Pianist and former music major Kristina YepezB.A. '12 has been appointed music director and pianist at Wailuku Union Church in Maui, Hawaii.  Her responsibilities include selecting music for the worship services and leading and accompanying the choir in rehearsals and for services. Kristina graduated summa cum laude with high honors in music and was the recipient of the Phyllis and Lee Coffey Award in Music.

Faculty News

•Sarah Mead has been promoted to Professor of the Practice of Music.  Sara directs the Brandeis Early Music Ensemble, and teaches courses in history of early music and historical performance practice.  She also serves as the department’s Undergraduate Advising Head.

•Ethnomusicologist Ann Lucas has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Boston College.  Her new appointment begins in the fall, following a two-year appointment at Brandeis as ACLS New Faculty Fellow in Music and Anthropology.

At Brandeis Ann has offered courses in ethnomusicology field methods, music and culture in the Middle East, music and ecstasy, and non-western musical traditions.  She also organized and directed the Brandeis Middle-East Ensemble Miras.

•A number of our faculty have recordings that have recently been released:

Lydian String Quartet first violinist Dan Stepner performs the J.S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, and his own adaptation for violin of the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue on three extraordinary period violins by Sebastian Kloz (ca. 1740), Andrea Amati (1641), and Antonio Stradivari (1693).  The recording is on Centaur: CRC 3283/3284.

Composer Eric Chasalow and his wife Barbara Cassidy have a new album Fly Away, which features the Barbara Cassidy Band performing works written by Barbara and Eric.

Composer Martin Boykan has a new recording of two orchestra works, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2003), with Curtis Macomber, violin, and Symphony for Orchestra (1989) with Sanford Sylvan, baritone, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project under the direction of Gil Rose.  The label is BMOP/sound.

Pianist and chamber music coach Evan Hirsch has released a cd of selections from Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus on the MSR Classics label (MS 1433).

•In April Allan Keiler, musicologist and author of Marian Anderson: A Singer’s Journey was interviewed by Nicholas A. Brown (Brandeis ’10), Music Specialist at the Library of Congress, as part of the Library’s Songs of America project.  Read the interview HERE

•April saw the success of the Denver Stage Theater production of Neal Hampton’s Sense and Sensibility,a musical adaptation of the Jane Austin novel (Jerry Hadow, lyricist).  Read the Denver Post review HERE



Spring 2013

Graduate Student News

•Composer and Ph.D. candidate Dave Domnique has been invited to present his paper Loops, Filters, Interruption and Fixation in Beat Furrer's Invocation VI at three conferences. This April he presented the paper at The West Coast Conference of Music Theory at UC Irvine and Music Theory Southeast at Appalachian State University. Next fall he will present at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Charlotte, NC. The SMT Conference will meet from October 31-November 3, 2013.

•Ph.D. student in musicology Georgia Luikens has been awarded a University Prize Instructorship for her proposed course America's First Maestro: Leonard Bernstein's Music and Role in New York Cultural Life.

•Ph.D. student in composition and theory Emily Koh has received an award from the New Music USA Composer Assistance Program for her composition freyja. The Composer Assistance Program is intended to help emerging to mid-career composers offset costs associated with live premieres and public readings of new or significantly revised works. Supported expenses include copying costs, score and part extraction and reproduction, travel and lodging; costs for obtaining copyrighted material, and more. freyja received its premiere performance on October 15, 2012. Click HERE to read the article on NewMusicBox!

•Graduate composers Peter Van Zandt Lane and Florie Namir  are winners of Firebrand Concert Series' 2012 Call for Scores and will have their winning pieces performed at the Local (Boston) Composers Spotlight concert at St. Paul's Episcopal Parish, 26 Washington St. in Malden on January 26th, 2013 at 7:30pm.  Florie's  piece  ISAM Variations will be performed as well as Peter's Piano Trio No. 1 (Taijitu). 

Alumni News

•Musicologist Reba Wissner, PhD '12, has been awarded a book contract by Pendragon Press for her book, A Dimension of Sound: Music in The Twilight Zoneabout the music for the original Twilight Zone television series. The book is due to be released later this year. Reba is currently an adjunct lecturer at Berkeley College.

Faculty News

•In conjunction with Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble Composer and D.A.  Artistic Director Yu-Hui Chang, presented a concert at the MIT Museum on April 14 titled "Hi-Fi-Sci: Music & Science Animation."  The concert was featured as part of the Cambridge Science Festival, an event that brings together composers, scientists, and performers. The festival included five world premieres, each of which interpret stunning scientific animations by leading scientists.

Brandeis scientists, musicians and alumni that were prominently featured in this event are:

Irving Epstein, Brandeis University, Chemistry Dept.
Zvonimir Dogic, Brandeis University, Physics Dept. 
John Mallia (Ph.D. ’03, Director of Electronic Music Studio, New England Conservatory of Music), commissioned composer
Peter Child (Ph.D. ’81, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), commissioned composer
Daniel Stepner (Lydian String Quartet) violinist
David Russell (Artist Diploma '97, Music Performance Faculty, Wellesley College) cellist

•In February, composer David Rakowski was composer in residence at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. During the residency he taught composition students and lectured.

Fall 2012

Graduate Student News

Composer Peter Van Zandt Lane will be engaged this coming spring and summer in three distinguished residencies, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, where he will be working on his ballet HackPolitik. The ballet will be premiered by the Juventas New Music Ensemble during their 2013/14 season.

Faculty News

•On Sunday, October 14 the Music Department presented its annual Tribute to Irving G. Fine concert. This year a special program was designed in memory of the 50th anniversary of Fine's untimely death at age 47. A professional orchestra under the direction of conductor and faculty member Neal Hampton, which included leadership by concertmaster and Lydian Quartet first violinist Daniel Stepner and cellist Joshua Gordon, performed Irving Fine's Serious Song, a Lament for String Orchestra (1955) and Notturno for Strings and Harp (1950-51). Pulitzer Prize winning composers Richard Wernick B.A. '55 and Yehudi Wyner (Emeritus Walter W. Naumberg Professor of Music) along with long-time Fine colleague and Brandeis Emeritus Irving Fine Professor of Music Martin Boykan offered tributes and personal reflections on the life and work of Irving G. Fine. Current Irving Fine Professor of Music Eric Chasalow introduced the program with additional reflections on the significance of Irving Fine in the world of music and at Brandeis. In attendance were Fine's sister Barbara, and his three daughters, Claudia, Emily, and Joanna.

In 1950 Irving Fine joined Irwin Bodky as a member of the Brandeis music department, having been recommended to Brandeis founding president Abram Sacher by Leonard Bernstein. Through his indefatigable efforts he founded, established, and expanded the School of Creative Arts, taught classes and composition students individually (including Richard Wernick), while at the same time continuing to produce masterpieces of American contemporary music. Irving Fine died suddenly on August 23, 1962, only a few weeks after having conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in the premiere performance of his final work Symphony (1962).

Joanna, Barbara, Claudia, Emily
Joanna, Barbara, Claudia, Emily

Conductor Neal Hampton with Richard Wernick
Conductor Neal Hampton with Richard Wernick

Daniel Stepner, Emily Fine, Yehudi Wyner
Daniel Stepner, Emily Fine, Yehudi Wyner

Martin Boykan speaking with Claudia Fine
Martin Boykan speaking with Claudia Fine  

Eric Chasalow and Richard Wernick
Eric Chasalow and Richard Wernick

Graduate Student/Alumni News

•In 2011, composer Seung-Ah Oh, PhD '05 joined the School of Music at DePaul University as an Assistant Professor. In Con Brio, the Journal of the DePaul School of Music, she talks about how music is known in her native Korea and how she brings elements of that sensibility to her music. Read the entire article HERE.

•This past summer, composer Peter Van Zandt Lane collaborated with Jacob W. Frank, a photographer working in Denali National Park, to create a video utilizing a series of over 8,000 images of the Aurora Borealis taken from various points in the park. Peter was asked to compose a new piece inspired by these images, that would ultimately be paired with a time-lapse video of the photography and disseminated online. The video was uploaded to YouTube on the September 8th, and has averaged over 1,000 views a day since it's posting. 

In Peter's words: "Knowing that he was more familiar with my singer/songwriter material, I took the opportunity to try to do more of a blend of the popular music I've written over the past few years, with some of the electronic sounds I use in my chamber music (some of the sounds in the score were actually pulled directly from my dissertation piece, String Quartet no. 1, composed for the Lydian Quartet). The piece is titled Coronal Mass Ejection, upon the suggestion of Jake, a solar event that incites the effect of the Northern Lights."

•Three of our graduate composers have won semi-finalist awards in the national Rapido! Composition ContestDerek Hurst, Ph.D. '06 and Mark Berger, Ph.D. '12 have been chosen by Boston Music Viva for the Northeast Region, and current graduate student Frank Li has been selected by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble representing the West Coast. All three composers will have premiere performances of their works this season.  

The Rapido! Composition Contest challenges composers to write a chamber ensemble piece in 14 days. Fifteen semi-finalists are selected to compete at the regional level, three from each region, followed by a National Finals Concert with five finalists. Robert Spano, Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will lead the panel of judges. The first prize is a $7500 commission.

Faculty News

•Composer David Rakowski will be the Karel Husa Visiting Professor at the Ithaca College School of Music this year. He will give a lecture on November 13, offer private composition lessons, and have his music performed on two concerts. For more information see:

This fall he will also give the  Barlow Lecture at Brigham Young University, and will have his fourth symphony premiered by the New England Philharmonic on October 27, 2012 at 8 p.m. in the Tsai Performance Center, Boston University.    

Summer 2012

Commencement News

President Lawrence addressing SCA Commencement

•Joseph Polisi tells arts grads never to compromise artistic integrity. Juilliard president reminds Creative Arts grads their work can display beauty of human spirit. Click HERE to read the full address! Or click HERE for a PDF version.

J. Polisi at 2012 SCA Commencement

J. Polisi receiving honorary degree

Congratulations to our degree recipients for 2012!

Mary Ruth Ray awarding Jacob Friedman


•Bryan M. Belok
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Minors in French and Francophone Studies, and Business
Bryan completed the Composition Track within the music major

•Melinda Marie Cimini
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in Music with high honors, and English
Minor in Theater Arts
Melinda completed the Composition Track within the music major

•Jacob Friedman
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude with highest honors in Music
Minors in Economics, and German Studies
Jacob completed the Music History Track within the music major and is the recipient of the Sandy Shea Fisher '56 Prize for the Creative Arts

•Ethan Charles Goldberg
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in Music, and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with highest honors
Ethan completed the Performance Track within the music major and is the recipient ofthe Morris Homonoff Prize in Yiddish

•Mariah Swiech Henderson
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in Music with high honors, and Psychology
Mariah completed the Performance Track within the music major and is the recipient of the Dorothy Haas Siegel Music Award

•Elizabeth Ann Hutchinson
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Minor in Hispanic Studies
Elizabeth completed the Composition Track within the music major

•Yakov Israel
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Minor in Economics
Yakov completed the Composition Track within the music major

•Bradley John Kuhn-Mckearin
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude with highest honors in Music
Bradley completed the Composition Track within the music major

•Amelia J. Lavranchuk
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude with high honors in Music
Minor in Education Studies
Amelia completed the Performance Track within the music major and is the receipientof the David A. Greene, M.D., Class of '71, Memorial Prize in Music

•Benjamin Ijiri Oehlkers
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude
Majors in Music with honors, and Computer Science
Minor in Education Studies
Benjamin completed the Cultural Studies Track within the music major

•Katharine C. Peña
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
Majors in Music, and Politics
Minors in Social Justice and Social Policy, and Economics
Katherine completed the Performance Track within the music major

•Hanna H. Shansky
Bachelor of Arts with honors in Music
Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies
Hanna completed the Cultural Studies Track within the music major and is the recipeientof the Florence and Charles H. Milender Prize in Music

•Kristina L. Yepez
Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude with high honors in Music
Kristina completed the Composition Track within the music major and is the recipient ofthe Phyllis and Lee Coffey Award in Music

Graduate Students:

•Travis Spencer Alford
M.F.A. in Comoposition. Travis is enrolled in the doctoral program in Composition andTheory

•Stacy Malleta Dimapelis
M.A. in Music & Women’s and Gender Studies

•Nathaniel Wayne Eschler
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation entitled: Duality in Elliott Carter's Third String Quartet, and an original composition, Divisi: for Chamber Ensemble and Duo

•Christian Allan Gentry
Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
Dissertation entitled: Moment, Object, and Narrative: The "Path" Pieces of György Kurtág’s Kafka-Fragmente, Op. 24 for Soprano and Violin, and an original composition,Tableaus for Percussion Quartet and Digital Playback

•Gilad Harel
Ph.D. in Musicology
Dissertation entitled: Expressivities, Modulation and Structure in the Recitatives of Johann Sebastian Bach's Weimar cantatas and St. John Passion

•Hermann Hudde
M.A. in Musicology

•Erin Walker Jerome
Ph.D. in Musicology
Dissertation entitled: Disguise, Deception and the Development of Haydn's Dramatic Voice in the Comic Operas of 1766-1777

•Seunghee Lee
M.F.A. in Comoposition. Seunghee is enrolled in the doctoral program in Compositionand Theory

•Brian Andrew Levy
Ph.D. in Musicology
Dissertation entitled: Harmonic and Rhythmic Interaction in the Music of John Coltrane

•Julia Rose O'Toole
M.F.A. in Musicology

•Reba Alaina Wissner
Ph.D. in Musicology
Dissertation entitled: Of Gods, Myths and Mortals: Francesco Cavalli's L'Elena (1659)

Alumni News 

Good news on the job front! Two of our recently graduated musicologists have teaching appointments: Rob Pearson, Ph.D. '11 has a lectureship at the University of North Texas College of Music, and Gil Harel, Ph.D. '12 has an assistant professor appointment in the Department of Fine Arts, Baruch College, CUNY. Congratulations to Rob and Gil!

Graduate Student News

Travis Alford, Emily Koh, Christian Gentry

Congratulations, composer Travis Alford, on winning the 2012 ISCM (League of Composers - International Society for Contemporary Music) Composers Competition! His piece, Self, Analyzed (2010) for fl, bcl, perc, guitar, toy piano can be heard on his website:

Previous Brandeis winners include: 2011 Sam Nichols (UC Davis faculty), 2009 Mark Berger (recent Ph.D.), 2007 John Aylward (Clark University faculty), 2007 Laurie St. Martin (tenured UC Davis faculty).

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University has just announced its commission winners for 2012. Among them are two Brandeis composers:

Emily Koh is beginning her second year in the doctoral program. She will compose a work for the Lunar Ensemble. Christian Gentry, Ph.D. 2012, will compose a work for the ensemble The Guidonian Hand. This is Christian's second Barlow award. 

Each year the Barlow Endowment sponsors its commissioning programs for significant new musical works not yet in progress. Brandeis students and faculty who have received Barlow awards in recent years include Peter van Zandt Lane, Seung-Ah Oh, Yu-Hui Chang, Eric Chasalow, and David Rakowski.

Faculty News

Professor Eissenberg at Macchu Pichu!

As a recipient of a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, Judith Eissenberg spent two weeks in Peru this summer where she studied music and culture of the region as part of the Center for World Music’s “Andes and Beyond Music and Cultural Workshop” led by ethnomusicologist Holly Wissler. She took part in workshops and presentations of traditional Andean music and dance, studying various indigenous musical styles and rituals. Of particular significance was an intimate sharing of songs between the Q’eros, a secluded people living high in the Andes and a musician from the small Amazonian Wachiperi community. In addition to daily workshops and hands-on lessons with local musicians, Judith visited numerous Incan and pre-Incan cultural sites, including Macchu Pichu.  

She looks forward to sharing her experience with the students of MUS 3b: Intro to World Musics in the spring, and intends to take her family back to Peru next summer to hike the Inca Trail! Maybe someday she will return with Brandeis students! 

Spring 2012

Alumni News

The first CD of music by Richard Beaudoin, PhD '08 in Composition and Theory, has been released in New York by Focus Recordings, distributed by Naxos. The CD release is a 2-CD set. Details regarding the CD can be found on his website: Additionally, this past spring Richard was commissioned by Harvard University President Drew Faust to compose a work for Harvard's 375th anniversary commencement ceremony.  The work for a cappella chorus, Villanelle for an Anniversary sets poet Seamus Heaney's text written in 1986 in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College.

Composer Steve Mackey, PhD '85 has won 2012 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.  
Mackey: Lonely Motel - Music From Slide Rinde Eckert & Steven Mackey; Eighth Blackbird [Cedille Records]. He was also nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Steve Mackey is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Princeton University.

•Nicholas Brown '10 received a Master of Music in Musicology from King's College London. He recently completed an internship at The White House, serving in the Social Office in the Office of the First Lady and has been appointed to the position of Music Specialist at the Library of Congress.

Graduate Student News

Musicologists Gil Harel and Georgia Luikens, and composer Travis Alford were awarded Brandeis Outstanding Teaching Fellow Awards in Music for 2012. Georgia received a second award in English for her Undergraduate Writing Seminar. Gil will embark on his professional teaching career this coming fall with an appointment to a tenure-track position at Baruch College (CUNY) in New York City.

Composers Seunghee Lee and Michele Zaccagnini have been awarded Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowships for 2012/13.

Musicologist Elizabeth Perten has received a DAAD Fellowship for research in the Weimar archives on the musical culture life and nature of German musical criticism existing at the time of Liszt's arrival in 1848. The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst or German Academic Exchange Service) is a publicly funded organization that offers programs and funding to students and researchers to promote scholarship on the German language, culture, literature and the arts, among other areas. Elizabeth was also offered the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, a four month grant, sponsored by the main academic/scholarly organization in Weimar.

Musicologist Joel Schwindt has received a Mellon Travel Grant to do summer research in Mantua, Padua, and Venice related to his work on Monteverdi's L'Orfeo. He was also awarded the Hollace Anne Schafer Memorial Award from the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society for the top graduate student paper for AY 2011-12 "Monteverdi's L'Orfeo: pulchritude through proportion, and why it mattered to the Accademia degli Invaghiti".

Composer Emily Koh has won the 2012 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award.  The ASCAP Young Composers Foundation provides recognition and cash awards to gifted young composers of concert music whose works are selected through a national juried competition. Emily is also a winner of the 2012 Parma Student Composer Competition for her composition [circum]-perceptio for clarinet, violin, cello, marimba, and piano.

Composer and concert pianist Jared Redmond has been  accepted to the 13th Annual International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition, which takes place in Norway from September 1-8.

Composer Florie Namir will have a performance in Israel of a commissioned piece: Her Beloved Eyes, for recorder, violin, cello, harpsichord.  The concert is part of "The Musical Offering to Maria Teresa Agnesi," an  international conference by the Israel Women Composer Forum to be held at the  Felicja Blumental Music Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel, on July 4.

Score 2007-2009 pdf

Score 2010 pdf

Score Summer-Fall 2010 pdf

Score Summer 2011 (Passings) pdf

Score Fall 2011 pdf