Eastman News Highlights November 23, 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.)

Oberlin College music theory professor receives national teaching award

(Cleveland.com Plain Dealer 11/19/2015)

Brian Alegant, a music theory professor at Oberlin College, was named one of four national Professors of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The winners, chosen from 400 nominees, were judged on their impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former students.

Alegant, who earned a doctorate degree in music theory from the Eastman School of Music and master’s degrees in music theory and music history from Temple University, has worked at Oberlin since 1996.

Beal finds harmony of music, film
(The Miscellany Times © 11/18/2015)

The name of Jeff Beal may not be as well-known as “House of Cards,” the Netflix original series on Washington politics, but the show owes much of its popularity to its music composer. A graduate from the Eastman School of Music, recog­nized for his jazz career and televi­sion composing, Beal is a recipient of three Emmy Awards. Next Mon­day, Nov. 23, Beal will visit Vassar College to lecture on and explore music in film. He will also attend several classes and dance shows as a part of an overarching conversation about music’s presence in different artistic forms.

Orlando Philharmonic’s longtime leader stepping down

(Orlando Sentinel 11/18/2015)

David Schillhammer, the Orlando Philharmonic’s first and only executive director and one of the region’s longtime arts leaders, will step down in February, he confirmed Wednesday.

Schillhammer graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., before working for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota and as executive director of the San Antonio Symphony and San Pedro Playhouse, both in Texas.

Pacific Harp Project Jazzes Up Harp Repertoire December 4, Atherton Studio
(Hawaii Public Radio © 11/20/2015)

The four-member Pacific Harp Project explores the traditional harp repertoire in a new context, allowing for collaboration and improvisation. The group releases its self-titled debut CD with a concert in HPR’s Atherton Studio on Friday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m. The group consists of Megan Bledsoe Ward (harp), Noel Okimoto (vibraphone), Jon Hawes (bass/composer), and Allan Ward (drums/composer).

Megan Bledsoe Ward holds a bachelor of music in harp performance, a master of music in harp performance and literature, and a master of arts in music theory pedagogy from Eastman School of Music, where she studied harp with Kathleen Bride. Ward then studied with Heidi Lehwalder and Valeri Muzzolini Gordon at the University of Washington, where she earned a doctorate of musical arts in harp performance. Her doctoral dissertation, The Harp in Jazz and American Pop Music, was published in 2012. Ward currently performs as principal harpist with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra in Alaska and as a freelance harpist in Honolulu. She teaches music theory, music fundamentals, and choir at Pacific Rim University, and teaches private harp lessons in both Hawai?i and Alaska.

Shizuo Kuwahara leads Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Russian-themed program

(Knoxville News Sentinel 11/13/2015)

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra continues its Masterworks Series with Maestro Shizuo Kuwahara conducting the Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear. The pair of concerts will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 20, at the Tennessee Theatre.

Kuwahara is the second of six candidates to audition this season for the position of the next KSO music director. He is music director of Georgia’s Symphony Augusta and the 2008 winner of the George Solti International Conductors’ Competition. He apprenticed under Christoph Eschenbach with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a League of American Orchestras conducting fellow. Born in Tokyo, Kuwahara studied at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music.

Cellist’s musical memoir not just for musicians
(Duluth News Tribune © 11/19/2015)

This past summer, a former musician with the National Symphony Orchestra landed a gig far from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Yvonne Caruthers started playing regular Sunday morning shows at a seasonal frozen custard/wood-fired pizza restaurant in Grand Marais, billed as Bach at Breakfast. “People would come in off the street, and I’d be playing Bach on the cello,” Caruthers said. “That was a whole lot of fun. That was pretty wild.”

Caruthers’ solo show “In Search of the Perfect G-String” is her life story — from a kid with big, musical dreams in Spokane, Wash., to famous conductors and national stages, to retirement — all accented with her cello music. It plays at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Underground. Tickets are $15.

The story opens in Moscow’s Red Square in 1993, where she is performing with the NSO, then doubles back to her childhood, the learning experiences, auditions, musical in-jokes, time spent at Eastman School of Music and the performances. She lays down snippets by Elgar, Dvorak and Beethoven along the way.

Florida Chamber Music Projects presents Dvorak set for Sunday at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

(St. Augustine Record 11/20/2015)

The second concert of the Florida Chamber Music Project’s third season, featuring music by Antonin Dvorak, will be Sunday afternoon at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.

Members of the ensemble are Susan Pardue, Patrice Evans, Annie Morris, Anna Genest and Laurie Casseday.

Casseday, cellist, has a bachelor’s degree with performers’ certificate from the Eastman School of Music as well as a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She has played in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1986, and has also performed with the symphonies of San Antonio, Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Austin, Texas.

Pianist Gábor Csalog to perform at Cornell
(Ithaca Journal © 11/10/2015)

Ithaca concertgoers will have the opportunity to hear the celebrated Hungarian pianist Gábor Csalog in Cornell’s Barnes Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday in a concert pairing fugues of Johann Sebastian Bach (from “The Art of Fugue”) with works of contemporary Hungarian composers György Kurtág (from “Games”), György Ligeti (three Etudes), and Béla Bartók (“Out of Doors” suite).

The Eastman School of Music’s Steven Doane will join Cornell professor Xak Bjerken to present a cello-piano recital at 3 p.m. Sunday in Barnes Hall Auditorium. Colleagues of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, the two will perform cello sonatas by Bohuslav Martinu and Johannes Brahms (No. 2 in F Major), as well as three movements from Pohadka or “Fairy Tales,” composed by Leos Janacek. The afternoon will end on a lighter note with Beethoven’s 7 Variations on a familiar aria from Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute.

JAZZ | Eastman Jazz Café with Jeff Hirshfield
(Rochester City Newspaper © 11/18/2015)

Over the last three-and-a-half decades, drummer Jeff Hirshfield has kept the beat for some of the greatest names in jazz. Hirshfield has played on more than 200 albums, including records by Fred Hersch, John Abercrombie, Paul Bley, Chet Baker, and the Eastman School of Music’s own Harold Danko. At the Jazz Café he’ll play with future jazz stars, the Eastman School‘s current crop of musicians.

Eastman Jazz Café with Jeff Hirshfield takes place Friday, November 20, at the Sproull Atrium in the Miller Center, 25 Gibbs Street. 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. $10. 274-1100; esm.rochester.edu.

CSO Concert to feature guest cellist

(Oneonta Star 11/13/2015)

Catskill Symphony Orchestra will continue its 2015-16 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday featuring guest artist Lucas Button. The concert will be in the Hunt Union Ballroom on the State University College at Oneonta campus. 

Button spent summers attending and teaching at music camps throughout the United States and Canada. “He is passionate about performance outreach and often plays cello for patients at the Northeast Dialysis Center and Hematology/Oncology Associates of Central New York,” the release said. Button is an alumnus of Rice University’s Shepard School of Music, where he was granted the Ford Prize for Cello, and attends the Eastman School of Music.