Around the world, members of the Eastman Community are busy expanding the boundaries of the musical arts. From rock bands to tango ensembles, from a new-age pop harpist in Korea to a classical pianist in Tunisia, from music in the kitchen to music at the Kennedy Center — Eastman students, alumni, and faculty are busy exploring music and earning recognition.
Eastman Showcase highlights their noteworthy achievements.
→ Previous years’ showcases
International Violin Honors
Da Sol Jeong and Markiyan Melnychenko took First Prize in the First Oleh Krysa International Violin Competition, which was held Oct. 24 to Nov. 3 in Lviv, Ukraine. In addition, Melnychenko was recognized for the best performance of the Concerto No. 2 by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk. Assistant professor Tatiana Tchekina was presented the Best Pianist Award.
Percussionists Picked to Play at International Convention
Eastman Percussion Ensemble was a winner in the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Percussion Ensemble Competition and will perform a Daytime Showcase Concert during the society’s international convention in Indianapolis this November. The ensemble, directed by Professor of Percussion Michael Burritt, was selected in a screened competition based on an unedited recording of live performances of the works Kyoto by New Zealand composer John Psathas, which was only the second performance of the piece as well as the U.S. premier; Six, a commissioned work by Ivan Trevino MM ʼ10, also a premier; and the second movement of The So-Called Laws of Nature by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.
Prominent Composition Award
PhD ʼ11 is the recipient of the 33 Michaela Eremiášová rd annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nizzim Prize for Emblems, an 11-minute work for solo violin and chamber orchestra. Her work was selected from nearly 250 entries for the $5,000 award for best score submitted. Eremiášová, who was born in Prague and now resides in North Hollywood, Calif., studied with Prof. David Liptak at Eastman. Her collaborations include work with performers, painters, poets, filmmakers, and choreographers, and her compositions have been performed by choral and instrumental ensembles and in numerous festivals in the United States and abroad
Violin, Piano Honors at International Competition
Dasol Jeong was awarded third prize in the violin category of the Mykola Lysenko International Music Competition, which saw no first prize awarded in that category. He is a senior and studies with Professor Oleh Krysa. In addition, pianist Tatiana Tchekina was named Best Accompanist at the competition, which was held Nov. 14 to 24 in Kiev, Ukraine. Tchekina is married to Professor Krysa and has been his partner in most of his recitals and recordings over the years..
Baroque Cellist Earns Bach Honor
Cellist and doctoral student
Beiliang Zhu won First Prize and the Audience Award in the XVIII International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition Leipzig in July. Currently a student of Steven Doane, she is the first person to win the competition playing a baroque instrument. Beilian also earned her Bachelor of Music degree with Performer’s Certificate at Eastman in 2009.The Bach Competition Leipzig is regarded as one of the major international competitions for young artists.
Going Abroad This Summer
Seven students – the most to ever apply – have each been awarded fellowships by DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service). The fellowships will support month-long study of German in various cities in Germany this summer. The recipients are: violinist and senior
Lauren Cauley; junior Weston Jennings, who is pursuing degrees in organ studies and in German; junior Ben Matus, a bassoonist; baritone and junior Andrew Pramuk; senior Joshua Rosenberg, a tenor who is also pursuing studies in music education; tenor Alexander Turpin, who will be a Take Five student for the next academic year; and junior Renée Vogen, who is studying horn.
Several Eastman students were named winners in the 2012 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition. Pianist
Joseph Irrera and violinist John Irrera were the top violin and piano duo in the Adult (18 and older) category. The brothers, who are doctoral students, also separately received first place in their respective categories in the 2009 competition, and this year’s win earned them a return concert performance in Carnegie Hall. Other First Place winners from Eastman in that category included sophomore violist Sarah Greene; DMA student and saxophonist Diane Hunger; and pianist and DMA student Hannah Lee. In addition, senior violinist Greg Perrin earned Second Place in the competition, as did a duo composed of alumni Soo Jim Kim (MM 04), violin, and Min Kyung Kang (MM 05), piano.
Young ASCAP Honorees
February 2012 Reuben Allen and Jonathan Parker are recipients of the 2012 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards. Winners are selected through a juried national competition and receive cash awards. Both Allen and Parker are first year master’s students in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media. Allen, who is working on his degree in jazz composition and arranging in the studio of Bill Dobbins, won for his big band work “Intrepid Kitten,” which was premiered by the Eastman Jazz Ensemble in October 2011. Parker, a saxophonist, is working on his degree in jazz performance in the studio of Ramon Ricker. His winning submission was titled “Lois.”
Recognizing Student Commitment
Molly O’Roark is a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Scholarship, awarded by the University of Rochester Women’s Club. The scholarship is given to a woman in her junior year who has demonstrated leadership, academic excellence, and commitment to her fellow students and community. A harp major, O’Roark has been involved in the Eastman Students’ Association since her freshman year and is currently president of her class council. She was invited to serve on Eastman’s Academic Integrity Committee and was a member of the Orientation Committee. O’Roark worked in the Office of Student Life and is currently head usher for the Concert Office. The scholarship is presented at the annual Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership.
November 2011 Lessons From A Street-Wise Professor: What You Won’t Learn At Most Music Schools, by Senior Associate Dean for Professional Studies Ramon Ricker, was selected a finalist in the Business: Entrepreneurship and Small Business category of The USA Best Books 2011 Awards. USABookNews.com is an online magazine review website that covers books from all sections of the publishing industry – mainstream, independent, and self-published. Ricker’s book describes how entrepreneurial and marketing strategies can help musicians meet real-world challenges to succeed in the music business.
Beating the Competition
Tomasz Arnold was awarded First Prize in the 2011 Percussive Arts Society 50 th Anniversary International Solo Competition. The competition was part of the Society’s International Convention held Nov. 9 to 12 in Indianapolis. The first two rounds of the vigorous competition were all done by video submission. Performances were conducted on solo marimba, multiple percussion, and timpani as well as a concerto, with different sets of judge at each round. Arnold, a percussion major from Poland who as a freshman won Category 1 of the 2009 International Marimba Competition, was one of four finalists in the Percussive Arts solo competition. As the winner, he was featured in the convention’s Showcase Concert on Nov. 11.
Praise from Tourism Promoters
VisitRochester, Monroe County’s official tourism promotion agency, honored
Annie Laver (DMA 11) with its Convention Achievement Award. Laver was recognized for her work on the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative and the EROI Festival. The annual festival, which brings in scholars and organ enthusiasts from around the country, continues to have growing attendance and, VisitRochester noted, is a “major source of pride and international recognition for Rochester.”.
Teaching Assistants Recognized
The six winners of the 2010-11 Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching are, from left, Eric Rieger (applied voice); Adrian Sandi (applied clarinet); Regina Compton (music history class); Julie Beauregard (music education student teaching seminar); Igor Lipinski (piano class); Sean Connors (music education percussion class).
Honors for Oboists
June 2011 Elizabeth Priestly Siffert (BM 02) received second prize and Jung Choi (MM 08)received honorable mention in the 2011 Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Oboe Competition, held recently during the annual conference of the International Double Reed Society. Siffert is principal oboe of the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet, and Choi is assistant principal oboist of the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Both studied with Richard Killmer at Eastman.
Trombonists Triumph and Tour
Eastman Trombone Choir is performing at the upcoming International Trombone Festival in Nashville. As this year’s winner of the Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition, the ensemble will give a concert Wednesday, June 23, at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Trombone ensembles from around the world submitted recordings for the Remington Competition; the runner-up was an ensemble from Switzerland. The competition is named for Emory Remington, who was Professor of Trombone at the Eastman School of Music for nearly 50 years. In other competitions, Andrew Friedrichs was named second alternate in the Robert Marsteller Competition; Matthew Kowalski got an honorable mention in the Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition; and the RAF Bones were named second alternate in the ITA Trombone Quartet Competition. The Eastman Trombone Choir is doing a concert tour from June 20 through 27 on their way to and from the International Trombone Festival, which runs June 22 through 25.
Jazz Pianist Takes First Place
Recent graduate Christopher Ziemba (MM ’11) beat out four other finalists to win the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. His stellar performance earned him a $2,000 prize and a concert spot in the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Ziemba, who also earned his undergraduate degree at Eastman, made his debut on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz in March 2009 and was selected to participate in the Advancing Jazz Improvisation Master Classes with Brad Mehidau, presented in conjunction with the Weill Institute, this past spring.
University Honors for Teaching
Doctoral conducting major Gregory Ristow was selected as one of five recipients of the University of Rochester’s 2011 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. The award is presented for outstanding performance as a teaching assistant, dedication and commitment to students, and exceptional service to the department. Ristow was recognized for his distinguished teaching in conducting and ensembles, including Eurythmics, Basic Conducting, Choral Conducting, Chorale, Repertory Singers, and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus.
University Award for Faculty Teaching
Associate Professor of English
Jonathan Baldo received the University of Rochester’s Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He has taught in the Humanities Department of the Eastman School of Music since 1983. He has presented papers and written scholarly articles, reviews and books on Shakespeare, Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marques, and other subjects. Baldo is also the recipient of the the University’s Junior Faculty Award and Bridging Fellowship for interdisciplinary study. In 2000, he was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
Dickinson College Recognizes Musicologist
Dickinson College has presented Amy L. Wlodarski (Ph.D. 2006) with its Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor given to a faculty member. An associate professor of music, she was praised by both faculty and students for participating in all areas of campus life, including advising, assisting with admissions, caring for the library collection and helping place students in graduate programs. Wlodarski teaches music history courses and conducts the Dickinson College Choir. Her article on Steve Reich’s was published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society last year, and she has given pre-performance lectures at such musical institutions as the Los Angeles Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Harrisburg Symphony.
Jazz Musicians Selected for Professional Workshops
Pianist Chris Ziemba (BM JCM & Mus Ed ‘09, current MM), bassist David Baron (BM ‘10), and drummer Kevin McDonald (BM ‘10) were selected as one of four jazz piano trios to participate in the Brad Mehldau’s Master Classes on Advancing Jazz Improvisation. They will attend two days of intensive master classes in March at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City with Mehldau, a jazz pianist who’s collaborated with such artists as Pat Metheny and Renée Fleming. In addition, Ziemba was selected as one of the four solo pianist-composers to participate in the solo pianist-composer master class. The program is presented in partnership by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and Le Poisson Rouge.
Recognizing Leadership, Excellence, Involvement
Take Five Scholar Lauren Yu received the Susan B. Anthony Prize awarded by the University of Rochester Women’s Club at this year’s Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner. The prize recognizes a woman student who has shown exceptional leadership, academic excellence, and involvement in student life. Yu was a double degree student, pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in bassoon performance and music education, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics. Among her many activities, Yu was senior class president and a resident adviser. The Take Five Program provides University of Rochester undergraduates the opportunity to take a tuition-free fifth year to pursue research that broadens their program of study. Yu is currently studying ancient Greek and Roman culture.
Oboist Tapped for National YoungArts Program
Freshman oboist Zachary Hammond was selected as a Music YoungArts Week Finalist by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for its YoungArts Program. He participated in YoungArts Week in Miami, Fla, from Jan. 10 to 15. Celebrating its 30th year, the prestigious program includes master classes, enrichment programs, showcase performances, and final adjudications for 150 young artists selected from 7,000 applicants from across the country. At the conclusion of YoungArts Week, panelists nominate 60 YoungArts participants and 20 are ultimately selected as Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Hammond is a student of Richard Kilmer and is pursuing a degree in applied performance and music education.
Music Reveals ‘Untold History’ of Prayer
Research by Assistant Professor of Musicology Michael Anderson on the Ave Maria (or “Hail Mary’) is drawing attention from both scholars and musicians for showing that parts of the prayer date earlier than previously thought. Anderson has discovered musical references that supplicatory language in the second half of the prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, was being used by musical composers as early as the late 13th century, at least 150 years before historians have recognized such additions to the prayer. The research was published in the Journal of Plainsong and Medieval Music. The prayer is still widely uttered in the Catholic Church today, and “It turns out that neither literature nor sermons but music from a much earlier period may begin to change our understanding about the enigmatic early history of this widespread devotion,” Anderson said.
In the Footsteps of Yo-Yo Ma
Sophomores Justin Almazan, viola, and Hyeok Kwon, cello, and senior bassist William Holten participated in the annual New York String Orchestra Seminar, a selective program of intensive master classes, chamber music workshops, and performances held at Mannes College the New School for Music last month. The three, students of Philip Ying, David Ying, and James VanDemark, respectively, were among 64 musicians ages 15 to 22 selected from several hundred applicants. The orchestra performed two programs in Carnegie Hall, on Christmas Eve and on Dec. 28. A
New York Times writer described the group’s performance of Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony as “one of the most moving ‘Eroica’ performances in recent memory.” Alumni of the New York String Orchestra program, started in 1969, include cellist Yo-Yo Ma; violinist, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster and Eastman faculty member Julia Athayde; and VanDemark.