Eastman News Highlights January 13, 2014

Here are some select clippings from the past week showing the variety of hits/mentions identifying musicians and scholars as Eastman School of Music alumni, faculty or students. Note: Some links may have expired.)

Exchange of Rhythms

(The Hindu 01/09/2014)

The new mridangam concerto with percussion quartet that premiered this month to a well attended audience at one of America’s most celebrated venues, New York City’s Juilliard School of Music, was one such successful initiative.  The effort was the result of the collaboration between Dr. Payton MacDonald, a musician The New York Times describes as an ‘energetic soloist,’ and mridangam artist Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy. Both these collaborators have a PhD from the Eastman School of Music in New York.

Joining Kronos’ ‘wild, crazy music party'[mediatracking.com]
(San Jose Mercury News © 01/08/2014)

When San Francisco’s renowned Kronos Quartet formed 40 years ago, its newest cellist, Sunny Jungin Yang, was still more than a decade away from being born.  Yang, 29, became part of Kronos in May, joining violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, and violist Hank Dutt.

Yang earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Royal Northern Conservatory of Music in Manchester, England. She completed her studies with notable cellist Ralph Kirshbaum at USC’s Thornton School of Music, where she earned a Masters of Music.

Classical CDs Weekly: Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Hilliard Ensemble

(Theartsdesk.com 01/11/2014)

Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat, Octet; Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Virtuosi/Mark Scatterday, with Jan Opalach (narrator) (Avie)

And how good to hear the Eastman Wind Ensemble on disc again – vinyl buffs will probably recall their vintage LPs on the audiophile Mercury label. The playing is razor sharp, and you wish that space could have been found for Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments.

The main attraction here is a complete performance of L’Histoire du Soldat – heard surprisingly rarely in its complete form.  . . .  Here, the Eastman Virtuosi are joined by vocalist and actor Jan Opalach, multi-tasking in all three roles. He does a fine job, sounding as if he’s spontaneously responding to Stravinsky’s tiny pit orchestra, rather phoning in his contribution. The new translation of Ramuz’s text is effective. Mark Scatterday leads a sparky performance; Juliana Athayde’s violin playing has the right degree of astringency and Michael Burritt’s percussion work is marvelous

Glorious ‘Voices’ raised to support families around the world[mediatracking.com]
(Lancaster Intelligencer Journal © 01/03/2014)

Two of this year’s performers, Erin Morley and Jennifer Johnson Cano, are performing at the Metropolitan Opera this winter. Morley was recently featured in Vogue magazine, and was an understudy at the Met for “Der Rosenkavalier” when she had to step in on opening night in the role of Sophie and sing the entire run of performances.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Morley received her master’s from Juilliard, and was also a Lindemann Young Artist. When she heard about the opportunity to sing in Lancaster for the Voices of Hope, she was thrilled to be invited.

“I feel that this is very special benefit, helping with education for communities all over the world,” says Morley. “And I love the idea of sharing opera with audiences.”

Letter: Make connections with music[mediatracking.com]
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 01/09/2014)

A Jan. 5 essay was titled “A new way forward.” We already have one, it’s the elephant in Rochester’s room, and is potentially ready to help in achieving a “new way forward.” It is under the umbrella of the Eastman School of Music and is called the New Horizons program. It has been thriving for 22 years. It reconnects older people to their community.

Our critics are listening to Melodic, Dave Slonaker Big Band[mediatracking.com]
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 12/31/2013)


INTRADA. Big band, that rare and especially challenging and wonderfully rewarding form of jazz, gets a grand shot in the arm with this outing from noted jazz and film composer and arranger Dave Slonaker. Intrada features nine original tracks, and a sprightly take on “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” All 10 songs are given invigorating and creative arrangements and performances. And Rochesterians can be proud, because training at the Eastman School of Music was a factor in the music created. Slonaker is a graduate, and several others in the 17-piece orchestra have studied and/or taught at ESM, including Ed Czach, Clay Jenkins, Bill Reichenbach, Brian Scanlon and Bob Sheppard. The best of big band music incorporates tight harmonies, is propelled by punchy rhythms, and offers lyrical solo beauty, and that’s all to be found in Intrada. No wonder the disc has just been awarded a Grammy nomination as best large jazz ensemble album. We’ll discover at the end of January if Slonaker will take home the award. But he’s already created a winner.  — Jack Garner

Break of Reality[mediatracking.com]
(WXXI © 01/07/2014)

Break of Reality rocks the Henry Epstein studio Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1 p.m. when musicians Patrick Laird, Martin Torch-Ishii, Ivan Trevino and Laura Metcalf join host Julia Figueras for Backstage Pass on Classical 91.5.

Break of Reality is a cello rock band originally formed at the Eastman School of Music in 2003. The band is filling concert venues around the country with fans eager to hear their original music, as well as interpretations of music by Tool, Metallica, and System of a Down.

Video game music conference to be held at Youngstown State University: Higher Education Roundup

(Cleveland Plain Dealer 01/10/2014)

Successful video games attract players with action and story lines but music is just as important, say those who have organized the North American Conference on Video Game Music, which will be held January 18 and 19 at Youngstown State University.

The conference, which organizers say is one of the first of its kind in the U.S., will focus on how soundtracks for various video games serve to heighten the game’s story, amplify its interactivity and position it culturally, said Steven Reale, assistant professor in YSU’s Dana School of Music and the lead organizer of the event.

Other conference presenters are from Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Chicago, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Eastman School of Music. (Also reported by Youngstown Vindicator and Warren Tribune Chronicle )

(Rochester Business Journal © 01/03/2014)

Russian composers will take center stage during a concert Jan. 8 at Kilbourn Hall.

The concert, presented by the Eastman Community Music School and Linkages of Rochester, celebrates Russian-American connections. It’s being held the day after Russians celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar.

Faculty and students of the school will perform works by Tchaikovsky, Goedicke, Kabalevsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Gliere and Nikita Koshkin.

Performers include faculty members Allan Kuznetsov, Tamari Gurevich and Howard Spindler; special guest artists Teresa Ringholtz and Joseph Finnetti, singers; and students John Girotto, French horn, and Kate Blaine, piano.

No plans? Here are 10 things to do[mediatracking.com]
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 01/10/2014)

2. William Warfield: A Legacy in Music, a concert supporting William Warfield Scholarship Fund, begins at 4 p.m. Sunday in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. It features this year’s recipient, soprano Joel Dyson, as well as Thomas Warfield, Sean McLeod Dance Experience, Mt. Hope World Singers, Reenah Golden and the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church Male Chorus.

A round-up of Hertfordshire stage and music events[mediatracking.com]
(Hertfordshire Mercury © 12/30/2013)

David Baskeyfield will play at St Albans Cathedral on Saturday January 11 at 5.30pm. The artist, who was the first prize interpretation and audience prizewinner of the 2011 St Albans International Organ Competition and finalist in the fiftieth anniversary Improvisation Competition last year, will play pieces by Mozart, Alain, Saint-Saëns, Fleury and Bonnal.

He is currently a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music in New York and previously studied law at Oxford while being an organ scholar at St John’s College.