The Score: 2012-2013

Summer 2013

Commencement News

Congratulations to our 2013 degree recipients!

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

Graduate Students

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.

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.

PhD 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.

PhD Composer David Dominique and PhD 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

Nick Brown with Dr. Jill Biden and her granddaughter Natalie BidenNick Brown with Dr. Jill Biden and her granddaughter Natalie Biden

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.

Composer and violist Mark Berger (PhD'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 Yepez, BA'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.

Ann Lucas with a performance group 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:

Dan Stepner CD coverLydian 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.

Fly Away CD coverComposer 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.

Boykan CD coverComposer 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).

Marian Anderson: A Singer's Journey coverIn 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.

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). 
Two actors perform a scene from Sense and Sensibility
The cast of Sense and Sensibility

Spring 2013

Graduate Student News

Composer and PhD 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.

PhD 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.

PhD 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.

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 Zone, about 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 (PhD'03, Director of Electronic Music Studio, New England Conservatory of Music), commissioned composer
Peter Child (PhD'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, EmilyJoanna, Barbara, Claudia, Emily

Conductor Neal Hampton with Richard WernickConductor Neal Hampton with Richard Wernick

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

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

Eric Chasalow and Richard WernickEric 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 Contest. Derek Hurst, PhD'06 and Mark Berger, PhD'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. Visit the Ithaca College School of Music website for more information.

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

Congratulations to our degree recipients for 2012!

J. Polisi receiving honorary degreeJ. Polisi receiving honorary degree


Graduate Students

Alumni News

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

Graduate Student News

A composite photo of Travis Alford, Emily Koh, Christian GentryTravis 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 PhD), 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, PhD'12, 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 Judy Eissenberg at Macchu PichuProfessor 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.