Eastman News Highlights September 21, 2015

Here are some select recent clippings 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.)

Tenor Mark Steven Schmidt to perform in Mount Dora

(Orlando Sentinel 09/17/2015)

Tenor Mark Steven Schmidt can sing opera, jazz or Broadway favorites. The Patrons of the Community Building didn’t hesitate. They asked the graduate of the Eastman School of Music to sing popular tunes from the musical theater for their concert.

Even though he is happy to perform the classics, he enjoys turning on the emotions that accompany Broadway musicals. “Broadway was all I knew when I was growing up,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt will perform at the Mount Dora Community Building at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. He discovered Mario Lanza in high school, moving from Lanza in English to opera in other languages before earning a master’s degree in vocal performance at the Rochester, N.Y., school.

For Ivan Griffin, history resounds in musical program

(The New Orleans Advocate 09/16/2015)

When bass-baritone Ivan Griffin began considering ideas for a themed musical project, he hit upon the idea of reaching back into his own rich heritage for source material. The result is “Songs of a People: Music of the African-American Experience,” which will be heard at the Marigny Opera House on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Griffin is a graduate of Southern University and the Eastman School of Music and has sung in Europe and South Africa.

Jazz@St. Barney’s Presents Laura Caviani and David Milne, September 19

(Jazz Police 09/15/2015)

The Jazz @ St. Barney’s concert season gets underway this weekend, with pianist Laura Caviani and saxophonist David Milne presenting their  “Jazz Impressions” of classical repertoire, from Debussy and Ravel to Fauré and de Falla, as well as jazz compositions from Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck and more.  Jazz @ St. Barney’s will feature thirteen concerts this season from September – May, all held in the St. Barnabas Center for the Arts at the St. Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth. Concerts ($10 adults, $5 students) start at 7 pm.

David Milne is Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he teaches applied saxophone, jazz improvisation, saxophone ensemble, jazz ensemble, and directs the RADD Jazz Series. For many years, Dave was Chair of the Department of Music, stepping down at the end of the last academic year.  A native of Rochester, NY, he holds BA and MM degrees in music from Indiana University and a DMA from the Eastman School of Music. In the Twin Cities, Dave is an active jazz and classical saxophonist, flautist, guest artist/clinician, and composer/arranger who has appeared with the JazzMN Orchestra, the Out to Lunch Quintet (Eric Dolphy tribute band),  Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pete Whitman X-Tet, Phil Woods, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Jack McDuff, Smokey Robinson, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.

Eastman season includes Allen Ginsberg, Kathleen Battle
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 09/11/2015)

Encore, the Eastman School of Music’s guide to public performances this school season (September through December edition), arrived last week and, when I pulled it from my mailbox, in a karmic way it fell open to Page 5. I gasped:

“Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg’s Hydrogen Jukebox,” presented by the Eastman Opera Theatre. Four nights, Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, of the beat poetry of Ginsberg and the minimalist noodling of Glass.

I am so going.

Sold Outs: Kamasi Washington at the Icehouse, Ron Carter at Walker West

(Jazz Police 09/09/2015)

Elected to the Downbeat Jazz Hall of Fame in 2012, Ron Carter has appeared on more than 2000 recordings, including albums from the likes of Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons. A Detroit native, Carter began cello studies at age ten, switched to bass, and attended the renowned Cass Technical High School. He earned his undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music and master’s degree in double bass performance at the Manhattan School of Music. He later was awarded two honorary doctorates, from Manhattan and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Let there be light and music “…and Light”
(Rochester City Newspaper © 09/16/2015)

When Dave Rivello takes the Kilbourn Hall stage to conduct a new multimedia piece in celebration of the International Year of Light, audience members will not suspect that the work was written in the dark of night.

“My best hours have always been from 11 p.m. to 4 or 5 a.m.,” says Rivello, professor of Contemporary Media Composition at the Eastman School of Music. In fact, when the late Fred Sturm hired him at Eastman, he called Rivello “Nosferatu.” (Also reported by Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

Hendrix hosts Harold Thompson Concert Series
(Conway Log Cabin Democrat © 09/16/2015)

The Hendrix College Department of Music will host the Harold Thompson Concert Series featuring concert organist, David Higgs, at 8 p.m. Sept. 25 in Greene Chapel.

One of America’s leading concert organists, Higgs is Chair of the Organ Department at the Eastman School of Music.

Sylvania’s Renzi to kick off piano series at UR

(Toledo Blade 09/10/2015)

Both the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University are back in session now, adding lots of interesting activities to the local classics scene.

At BGSU, various series such as faculty and visiting artists are also in the works, although the Festival Series, a fixture in the region’s innovative programming options, is not. Jeffrey Showell, head of the College of Musical Arts, says declining audiences and limited budget led to the decision.

Faculty pianist Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, is slated for a free solo recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Bryan Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. An associate professor of piano, Liu has a doctorate in piano performance from Eastman School of Music and maintains an international performing schedule.

Local Student Recognized in Composition Competition

(The Independent 09/10/2015)

Hal Leonard Corporation has announced the winners of the second annual Carol Klose/Hal Leonard Composition Competition.

In the Collegiate Composer category (ages 19-23) Nathan Cheung of Pleasanton earned an honorable mention for his composition, “Whirling Wombat Waltz.” Cheung attends the Eastman School of Music. He studies piano with Nelita True.

Faculty concert upcoming at Muskingum University

(Times Recorder 09/16/2015)

A faculty voice recital will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in Brown Chapel on the Muskingum University Campus. Singers will be assistant music professor Olga Perez Flora and adjunct professor Emily K. Brand. They will perform solos and duets of pieces from Schumann, Mozart, Debussy, Rossini, Barber and other composers.

Brand, a soprano, is currently working toward her doctorate in musical art in vocal performance at the Ohio State University with a specialization in singing health. The Green Bay, Wisconsin, native has a bachelor’s degree in music in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from the Penn State School of Music. She also has a graduate diploma in voice performance from the New England Conservatory.

McNeill Music series welcomes international pianist

(The Ledger Independent 09/09/2015)

Local audiences are in for a rare opportunity to experience world-class musicianship as the John W. McNeill III Memorial Music Series welcomes pianist Peter Klimo. Klimo, of Hungarian-American descent, is the second-place winner of the 10th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition and will perform in concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Washington Opera House, 116 West Second Street, in downtown Maysville.

A Los Angeles native, Klimo has been studying piano since the age of nine and earned his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in 2012 and his master’s degree from the Yale School of Music.