“Exceptional” Study of Bizet’s Carmen
A book that includes a pathbreaking study of Bizet’s Carmen by Professor Ralph P. Locke won the Ruth Solie Award from the American Musicological Society. The award is given for “a collection of musicological essays of exceptional merit” published in the previous calendar year. This year’s winner, Music, Theater, and Cultural Transfer: Paris, 1830-1914, includes Locke’s article “Spanish Locale Color in Bizet’s Carmen: Unexplored Borrowings and Transformations.” The Solie Committee noted that Locke’s chapter “brims over with original insights.” Locke identifies, for the first time, the specific published examples of Spanish music that Bizet adapted for such now-beloved numbers as Carmen’s Habanera and the entr’acte to Act IV.
Musicology Book Honors
Associate Professor Roger Freitas won The Philip Brett Award from the American Musicological Society for Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Melani. In his book, Freitas examines the musical activities and relationships between singers and patrons in the social and political contexts of 17th century Europe. Freitas’s book draws upon letters from a famous castrato — a singer who had been castrated before puberty to preserve the beauty of his high singing voice — as well as other contemporary documents. The Brett Award is sponsored by the LGBQT Study Group of the AMS and honors an exceptional work in the field of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual studies.
Unlocking the Mystery of Honegger
The New York Times published an article by musicologist Leslie Sprout (BM ’91) on her discovery shedding light on a ban by French musicians of composer Arthur Honegger’s work during World War II. Sprout, a music theory major who now teaches at Drew University, found a score of Honegger’s work “Chant de liberation” which had previously been presumed lost. The find, according to a musicologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, “is a major discovery, since the score contains solid evidence of explanation for Honegger’s wartime conduct, which was ambiguous at best and justly controversial.” Honegger was invited to join the Front National des Musiciens, a Resistance group, based on his writings in defense of French music during the Occupation. He was later sanctioned for participating in music events sponsored by Nazi officials.
In the Company of Rampal and Galway
The National Flute Association will honor Eastman alumni Leone Buyse (BM ’68) and Fenwick Smith (BM ’72) with the organization’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Buyse and Smith first met at the Eastman School of Music and continued their friendship through their years together at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and subsequent careers. Buyse’s tenure in Boston included serving as assistant principal flutist of the BSO and principal flutist of the Boston Pops. She also was a member of the San Francisco Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Buyse is the Joseph and Ida Kirkland Mullen Professor of Flute at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Smith taught at the New England Conservatory for 27 years in addition to his long career at the BSO, where he was second flutist from 1978 to 2006 and for years served as assistant principal flute. The awards will be presented in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 14, during the NFA’s 38th annual convention. Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Jean-Pierre Rampal and James Galway.
On the Radio
Peter DuBois, assistant professor of Sacred Music and director of the Sacred Music Diploma program, has been named host of With Heart and Voice, the national sacred choral and organ radio series produced by WXXI-FM in Rochester, N.Y. Broadcast on more than 100 public radio stations across the country, the program spans a full range of Western religious music, from the Gothic period to the 21st century. In addition to his position at Eastman, DuBois is in demand as a recitalist and clinician and serves as Director of Music/Organist at Third Presbyterian Church. DuBois, who holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman, has served as interim host of the program’s local version since July 2009 and will sign on as the national host beginning Sunday, Sept. 12.
Trombonists “Take Over” Festival Competitions
Eastman School has the most finalists in the competitions of the upcoming International Trombone Festival. Eastman is also the only institution with finalists in both the classical and jazz categories. Senior Malcolm Williamson is in the Robert Marsteller Classical Trombone Solo Competition; sophomore Brandon Martel is a finalist in the Gilbert Galiardi Classical Trombone Solo Competition, and Nick Finzer (BM 09) is in the Carol Fontana Jazz Trombone Solo Competition. In addition, sophomore Nick Conn received honorable mention in the Galiardi Competition, and the Eastman Trombone Choir received honorable mention in the Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition. The International Trombone Festival is July 7 through 10 at the University of Texas at Austin.
John Upton, a junior, won first prize in this year’s Young Artist Oboe Competition. Originally entered as an alternate, Upton was given 12 hours notice that he would be competing when one of the finalists was unable to attend. Junior Matt Lengas won third prize. The Young Artist Oboe Competition was held June 22 to 26 at the meeting of the International Double Reed Society in Norman, OK.
Teaching Assistants Recognized
The six winners of the 2009-2010 Teaching Assistant Prize are, from left, Lisa Caravan, (music education strings class); Deanna Joseph (basic conducting); Man Yui Kitty Cheung (applied violin); Daphne Yu-Huei Tan (music theory); Toni James (piano class), and Daria Rabotkina
Playing in the Nation’s Capital
Horn player Michael Alexander, a senior, represented the Eastman School in the Conservatory Project Chamber Ensemble’s May 17 performance with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams. The ensemble presented Adams’s “Chamber Symphony” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., under the composer’s baton. Eastman is a founding participant of the Center’s Conservatory Project, which presents talented artists from the nation’s leading conservatories and music schools.
Exceptional Talent Recognized
Mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak (MM ’05) won a Second Prize of $9,000 in the 2010 Lotte Lenya Competition, sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation to encourage singing actors who are convincing in a variety of musical theater styles. The finals were held at Eastman on April 17. Gawrysiak has performed with the Seattle Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Aspen Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Syracuse Symphony.
Reaching for the Brass Ring
The Oracle Brass Quintet will be spending eight weeks in Colorado this summer as the recipients of a Brass Quintet Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival. The students will be taking lessons and receiving regular coaching from the members of the American Brass Quintet. They will also perform in concert with the American Brass Quintet and will also present their own recitals. The members of the Oracle Brass Quintet are sophomore Jonathan Heim, trumpet, and juniors Michael Blair, tuba, Jay Villella, trumpet, Emily Schroeder, horn, and Malcolm Williamson, trombone.
Top Honors in Organ Competition
Doctoral student David Baskeyfield was awarded first place in the 5th Miami International Organ Competition, a major bi-annual event which was held Feb. 26. First place carries a $5,000 prize and an invitation to play a full-length recital in the 2010-2011 Concert Series at the Church of the Epiphany in Miami, Fla. Baskeyfield also won the Audience Prize of $500. A native of Macclesfield in the north of England, he studies with Professor David Higgs. He has been accepted to compete in the 2010 American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation, to be held in Washington D.C.
Assistant Professor of Voice Jan Opalach joined the Mann Quartet for a performance of Hugo Wolf Songs as part of the concert “Naumburg Looks Back,” held on Feb. 8 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The recital is part of a series that brings back winners of past competitions sponsored by the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation. Opalach won the Foundation’s 1980 vocal competition.
In the Steps of Susan B. Anthony
Kathryn Ernst was a recipient of a 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 double bassist majoring in jazz, Ernst is a student representative on the Eastman Academic Integrity Committee, co-founder of the Rochester Freelance Musician Forum, and was selected to participate in the Paychex/University of Rochester Leadership Institute.
National YoungArts Program Recognizes Freshman Jazz Guitarist
Freshman Gabriel Condon was selected as a jazz finalist by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for its YoungArts Program. He is participating in YoungArts Week in Miami, Fla, from Jan. 11 to 18. The prestigious program, which includes a rigorous selection process, includes master classes, enrichment programs, showcase performances, and final adjudications. At the conclusion of YoungArts Week, panelists nominate 60 YoungArts participants and 20 are ultimately selected as Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Condon is the recipient of a Rochester International Jazz Festival/Eastman School of Music Scholarship. He is a jazz major studying guitar with Bob Sneider.
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