Department of Music

Noteworthy News

Research, Publications, Awards & More: At a Glance

May 23, 2022

Conductor Robert Duff will lead Brandeis University's premier choral ensemble, the Brandeis Chamber Singers, in their next European tour. This time, the singers will be performing throughout Paris and Normandy. Click here for the full itinerary.

April 8, 2022

PhD alumnus David Dominique, assistant professor of music at William & Mary, has been awarded the 2022 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Music Composition. Dominique’s fellowship is one of 13 awards given this year in the area of music composition.

April 1, 2022

Associate Professor of Music and Department Chair Karen Desmond gave the Sacred Music at Notre Dame Spring 2022 Calvin M. Bower Lecture: "In Pieces: Composing and Analyzing the Late Medieval Alleluya" on April 1, 2022.

March 26, 2022

Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition David Rakowski's contribution to Anthony de Mare’s Liaisons project was performed at New York's Merkin Hall, in a program that also featured six premieres of new Sondheim reimaginings. After the performance, Rakowski led a panel discussion with the composers in attendance.

February 27, 2022

Professor Hampton served as guest conductor for the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra's February 27 concert of some of the world's most memorable movie themes include Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and more.

February 24, 2022

Associate Professor of Composition Erin Gee is one of four composers who will receive the $10,000 Arts and Letters Awards in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

January 11, 2022

Karen Desmond was awarded a one-year National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship ($60,000) to support the early stages of her new research project on liturgical polyphony at Worcester Cathedral in England in the later Middle Ages. This is the second time Desmond has been awarded an NEH Research Fellowship (the first was in 2014 for her book Music and the moderni). 

Composer Erin Gee featured on BBC Sounds playlist curated by Pamela Z

January 6, 2022

Associate Professor of Composition Erin Gee was selected by pioneering Bay Area composer and performance artist Pamela Z for a one hour playlist of experimental music. Listen before February 4!

December 16, 2021

Of the composers participating in the International Composition Institute of Thailand (ICIT) 2021, composer and PhD candidate Ying-Ting Lin was selected to write a piece for the Tacet(i) Ensemble, which will be featured at next year’s Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium and ICIT 2022.

December 15, 2021

Irving G. Fine Professor of Music Eric Chasalow recently completed Violin Concerto (Ancient Signs and Infamous Rhythms) for violin and chamber orchestra, Foster Mix for violin and gallery space, and Fierce and Airy Occupations for solo flute, as well as workshops at Slosberg and the Rose Art Museum with Miranda Cuckson.

December 6, 2021

Delayed due to COVID-19, Emily Koh, PhD ’17 in Composition and Theory, is spending December 6, 2021 - January 1, 2022 in residence at Copland House, having received the honor in 2019.

November 27, 2021

Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition David Rakowski's “Penalty Box” for solo piano was recently published by CF Peters New York. The piece was written during the pandemic for pianist Holly Roadfedlt, who performed the world premiere on November 27 at Lafayette College in Easton, PA.

November 22, 2021

Copland House has selected Irving G. Fine Professor of Music Eric Chasalow and PhD candidate in Composition & Theory Ali Can Puskulcu to be in residence at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home near New York City in 2022. 

The Brown University Orchestra premieres new work from MFA candidate Max Friedman

November 20, 2021

The orchestra, under the direction of Mark Seto, performed the world premiere of composer Max Friedman's Exospheres on a program that also included music of Ravel and Strauss on November 20-21, 2021.

November 19, 2021

The critically acclaimed Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble and David Stern have co-commissioned PhD candidates in Composition & Theory Mariel Mayz and Li Qi, and will premiere their works November 19-21, 2021.

October 17, 2021

PhD candidate in Composition & Theory Ali Can Puskulcu was selected by Music at the Anthology (MATA) to mentor a pre-college composer over the course of several months, culminating in an evening of world premieres by New York’s top performers of new music.

October 2, 2021

Sarah Grace Graves (voice) will perform the work as part of the Festival Mixtur in Barcelona, Spain on October 2; Felicita Brusoni (voice) will perform it as part of the Inter Feral Arts/New Music Festival in Malmö, Sweden on October 13; and the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France will present a performance with Sarah Grace Graves (voice) on October 17.

October 1, 2021

The PhD candidate in Composition & Theory has received an Artist Grant from the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) in Los Angeles to create a new work for "The Kintsugi Spirit" Virtual Exhibition.

This spring, Chasalow will be in residence at The Studios at Key West and the Bogliasco Foundation. He is currently composing a violin concerto for Miranda Cuckson and Boston Modern Orchestra Project and a song cycle on themes of climate change.

September 10, 2021

Boston-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer Yonatan (Yoni) Battat will join the ten-month tour of the Tony-Award winning musical in the role of the Egyptian violinist, Camal, playing oud and violin as well as singing and acting.

September 8, 2021

Director of the Brandeis Early Music Ensemble Sarah Mead was a featured speaker at the Linarol Consort's festival marking the 500th anniversary of Josquin des Prez's death.

August 19, 2021

In the article, Cheah shares samples of her compositions, as well as musings about her journey and her unique approach to orchestration: “Plain but lush, a little weird, and informed by electronic timbres."

August 16, 2021

Both PhD alums received 2021 commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. Todd’s work will be performed by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Joseph’s work will be performed by by Room 1078.

August 15, 2021

Lydian String Quartet violist and Associate Professor of the Practice Mark Berger performed in the Third Dimension Music Festival in Astoria, Oregon, from August 15-22, 2021, as a guest of the Hermitage Piano Trio.

August 4, 2021

Associate Professor of Composition Erin Gee presented a variety of works, including her legendary “Mouthpieces,” in the acclaimed vocal festival and public television program Resonant Bodies.

July 30, 2021

The exhibit is intended to serve as an introduction to the life of world-renowned composer, conductor, musician, and teacher Henri Lazarof MFA '59, as represented in the Henri Lazarof Archives housed here at Brandeis.

July 22, 2021

Music department chair Karen Desmond's new essay, “Traces of Revision in Machaut’s Motet Bone pastor,” has been published in the volume Poetry, Music, and Art in Guillaume de Machaut’s Earliest Manuscript.

July 14, 2021

Recent PhD alumnus and current lecturer in music Matthew Heck presented A "Still-Born Art:" Shostakovich's Dodecaphony and the Petersburg Text for the Institute for Russian Music Studies 2021 Annual Conference.

July 2, 2021

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Taylor Ackley and the Deep Roots Ensemble have released a deluxe CD of their second album, Hard Tellin' with a special 20 page booklet of photos, commentary and the stories behind the songs.

June 20, 2021

The Brandeis alum, a leading figure in the field of Baroque music, passed away in Victoria, British Columbia, on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at age 71. Learn more in the Talefmusik media release and find a list of tributes to Ms. Lamon.

May 6, 2021

Dominique, currently on the faculty of the College of William and Mary, joins the prestigious program for artists, scholars and practitioners who bring a record of achievement and exceptional promise to the Radcliffe Institute.

April 23, 2021

Tallon, who earned her MFA in Composition and Theory at Brandeis, was honored with the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize by the prestigious American Academy in Rome.

April 15, 2021

The article features interviews with former students and colleagues of Boykan – who died peacefully at his home on March 6, 2021 at the age of 89 – including Scott Wheeler PhD ’84, Christian Gentry PhD ’12, John Aylward PhD ’08 and Eric Chasalow.

April 9, 2021

A recent article discusses the role that Harold Shapero and his fellow "Boston School" composers, who created the Brandeis Department of Music, played in establishing Boston as the center of innovative composition in the mid-20th-century.

April 9, 2021

A panel of judges has selected composer Ioannis Angelakis, a Greek composer of acoustic music, as the winner of the Henri Lazarof International Commission Prize, a prize awarded by Brandeis in honor of Henri Lazarof, MFA’59.

Harvard Professor and MacArthur Award winner Claire Chase and Grammy Award-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth have joined forces to record Beaudoin’s “Another Woman of Another Kind,” for flute and eight voices on texts by Paul Griffiths.

April 5, 2021

Out of 1,100 applicants, the grants were awarded to 53 outstanding artists who represent the imaginative, diverse, and highly creative field that New Music USA is dedicated to supporting.

March 26, 2021

Brandeis University Professor of Music, emeritus Yehudi Wyner has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters' highest honor for excellence in the arts, awarded to those who have achieved eminence in an entire body of work. 

Musicology alumnus Rob Pearson shares the inspiring story of how he changed career paths after spending years as a faculty member, including how gardening helped him develop interests beyond his academic field.

March 12, 2021

Composer and PhD candidate Jeremy Rapaport-Stein will have his new work the under side for vocal quartet and wind ensemble premiered as part of the Young Composers Meeting held by Orkest de Ereprijs (Apeldoorn, NL).

March 8, 2021

Composer and PhD candidate Luke Blackburn was awarded one of five new commissions from prestigious new music ensemble Boston Musica Viva to write a new chamber ensemble work for a future professional premiere.

March 1, 2021

The flagship journal of musicology published music department chair Karen Desmond's article on the English thirteenth-century monk, parts of which were also presented at the symposium at Brandeis, organized by Desmond, in which acclaimed vocal ensemble Blue Heron participated.

March 1, 2021

Music Theory Online, a flagship journal of the Society for Music Theory, has published Beaudoin’s new article “Gould’s Creaking Chair, Schoenberg’s Metric Clarity.” Quantifying sounds that are normally marginalized, the article connects sound studies, theory, and recording analysis, fusing published observations about Schoenberg’s composition with the audio artifacts of Gould’s corporeality.

February 16, 2021

2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist and current Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon is the latest winner of the biennial commission prize from the Lydian String Quartet, in residence at Brandeis since 1980.

February 15, 2021

PhD candidate in musicology Zen Kuriyama has written a chapter, "‘Resignation’ and Virgil Thomson’s Hymns from the Old South," for the new peer-reviewed publication Christian Sacred Music in the Americas, which offers a cross-section of the most current and outstanding scholarship from an international array of writers.

February 8, 2021

Brandeis alum, violist, oud and voice musician and composer Yonatan (Yoni) Battat has received a new $20,000 fellowship from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts).

January 12, 2021

Music Technologist James Praznik produced this concert film of JS Bach's cantata "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit" using recordings from the Brandeis Chamber Singers (Robert Duff, conductor), Brandeis voice instructors and invited guests. 

December 6, 2020

As part of MUS 116: Chamber Music from Page to Stage, violist and PhD candidate in musicology Eric Hollander partnered with SIMS and student artists Erick Amezcua, Evalyn Berleant and Ethan Parcell to create a unique audiovisual experience.

November 30, 2020

Candidates have until January 31, 2021 to apply via Slideroom for the annual prize of $15,000 for the composition of an original work for select instruments to complement an existing work by Henri Lazarof.

November 16, 2020

Composer and PhD candidate Luke Blackburn was named the winner of the seventh annual Costello Commission from the Lyra Society to create a new work for harp, based on his previous work, Menagerie of Spectacular Creatures: Insecta

Assistant professor in Music and American Studies Paula Musegades has published a pioneering study of how American composer Aaron Copland helped shape the sound of the Hollywood film industry. Learn more from the publisher.

Talia Amar, PhD ’20 in Composition and Theory, has been awarded tenure as a faculty member in composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

October 5, 2020

Jennifer Lin ’22 (presently in Taiwan) and Emma Carlson ’24 (presently on the Brandeis campus) collaborate on an enchanting performance of Mondnacht, a song from Schumann's beloved song cycle Liederkreis, Op. 39.

July 16, 2020

Emily Koh, PhD ’17 in Composition and Theory, has been awarded an OPERA America commissioning grant via Boston's Guerilla Opera for the creation and premiere of her first concert-length opera, HER:alive|un|dead: a media opera.

July 15, 2020

The Lydian String Quartet's Judith Eissenberg has partnered with fellow faculty member Susan Dibble (of the Brandeis Department of Theater Arts) to create an audiovisual interpretation of the Allemanda movement from JS Bach's Partita in D minor for solo violin.

July 7, 2020

MusicWeb International has posted a glowing review of the 2019 recording of Pietro Vinci's Quattordeci Sonetti Spirituali, performed under the direction of Professor Sarah Mead at Brandeis University's Harlan Chapel by her viol consort, Nota Bene, and a quintet of guest singers that included Brandeis instructor Matthew Anderson.

May 27, 2020

A panel of judges has selected composer Yair Klartag from Tel Aviv as the inaugural winner of the Henri Lazarof International Commission Prize. Klartag will compose an original work for flute, harp and viola.

April 7, 2020

Inspired by music treatises, the result of the Lydian's inaugural commission prize is paired with “it wasn’t a dream,” performed by soprano Charlotte Mundy, tenor Andrew Fuchs and pianists Michael Brofman and Miori Sugiyama.

March 13, 2020

In support of public health efforts and for the safety of our community, Brandeis has determined that all classes should be moved online for the spring semester. Additionally, all on-campus events have been canceled for the remainder of the academic year. You may read all messages to the Brandeis community and access frequently asked questions by clicking on the headline above.

February 27, 2020

Betsayda Machado, known as the “Voice of Venezuela,” and her high-energy Venezuelan Afro-Soul tambor ensemble visit Brandeis March 2 - 7 for the spring 2020 MusicUnitesUS world music residency.

January 22, 2020

An annual competition for composers is part of the Henri Lazarof Living Legacy at Brandeis, which celebrates the life and impact of Henri Lazarof, the world-renowned composer, conductor, pianist and teacher.

October 31, 2019

Professor Karen Desmond is the recipient of the prestigious Lewis Lockwood Award for 2019 for her book Music and the moderni, 1300-1350: The ars nova in Theory and Practice.