Constance Cook Glen elected board member of College Music Society

Constance Cook Glen, coordinator of the Jacobs Music in General Studies program, has been elected as a board member of the College Music Society.

The CMS Governing Board is made up of five officers and eight board members representing the seven major music specialties (Composition, Ethnomusicology, Music Education, Music in General Studies, Music Theory, Musicology, Performance), and an at-large member currently representing music business, music technology, and music therapy.

Glen will be the representative for Music in General Studies beginning January 1, 2015.

The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

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Violin virtuoso plays IU Auditorium

Violinist Itzhak Perlman performs Thursday night at the IU Auditorium. Perlman was accompanied by pianist Rohan De Silva.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman performs Thursday night at the IU Auditorium. Perlman was accompanied by pianist Rohan De Silva.

Praised as a superstar, a champion of classical music, a beloved humanist, conductor, performer and artist, Itzhak Perlman holds an unprecedented musical influence. At 8 p.m. Thursday at the IU Auditorium, a packed audience welcomed him as the reigning virtuoso of the violin.

Like the great classical musicians of the nineteenth century, Franz Liszt and Niccolo Paganini, Perlman commands a celebrity rarely enjoyed by performers in the world of classical music.

Even those who don’t know Perlman’s art know his reputation. State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-69th District, came to the show after hearing of Perlman’s talent.

“We came just to hear the world’s best violinist play,” he said.

Perlman was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1945.

At the age of three, after being denied entrance to the prestigious Ron Shulamit music conservatory for being too small to hold a violin, Perlman taught himself the instrument.

He gave his first concert at the age of ten, shortly before moving to the United States to study at the Juilliard School.

In 1958 Perlman performed the third movement from Felix Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor live on the Ed Sullivan show. He was thirteen years old.

“It sounded like a talented 13-year-old with a lot of promise,” Perlman said in a Huffington Post article. “But it did not sound like a finished product.”

Despite his early appearances on national television and his unique talent, he denied being a child prodigy.

“A child prodigy is somebody who can step up to the stage of Carnegie Hall and play with an orchestra one of the standard violin concerts with aplomb,” he said. “I couldn’t do that.”

Ironically, Perlman’s most famous collaborations have not been for the concert hall, but rather for the movie theater.

The film score for Steven Spielberg’s epic historical drama “Schindler’s List,” one of the most recognized film scores to date, was composed by John Williams and featured Perlman on the violin.

It won an Academy Award, a BAFTA and a Grammy, as well as a nomination for a Golden Globe, which Williams and Perlman won in 2005 with “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

Perlman’s performance Thursday night did not feature these works. Instead, it featured three sonatas by the nineteenth and twentieth century composers Ludwig van Beethoven, César Franck, and Claude Debussy.

These were performed with the pianist Rohan de Silva, winner of the prestigious Best Accompanist award for the 1990 Tchaikovsky Competition and a frequent collaborator with Perlman.

Ranging between blissful harmonies and tempestuous drama, the program featured a wide range of influences. Concertgoer Madeleine Steup said she was amazed.

Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in G Major, Op. 30 was composed between 1801 and 1802, the same years that he composed his second symphony.

The period was a traumatic time in the life of the composer. Beethoven had recently discovered his hearing loss and was contemplating suicide, a secret he disclosed in his famous Heiligenstadt letter, which he wrote just months after the sonata.

Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major was the second piece performed by Perlman. It was written in four movements and composed as a wedding present for the famed Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye.

“It’s very tempestuous,” IU sophomore Steup, a former violinist, said. “It has lots of different characters and it’s very balanced.”

Hailed as the father of musical Impressionism and the creator of a new, enriched tonality, Debussy moved away from this label as he began distancing himself from his pictorial, sensual music in favor of a more abstract sound.

His dozens of albums feature music from every major Classical epoch, as well as Jewish folk music, film scores, Spanish dances and jazz.

“He’s the best in the world,” said Lucas.

After the intermission, audiences returned for Perlman’s powerful finale, Debussy’s Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Piano.

The last work completed by the composer before his death at 55, the sonata showcases a new development in Debussy’s musical tendencies.

“It’s really incredible,” said Steup. “It’s mercurial, very romantic, very French.”

 

© Indiana Daily Student 2014

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Ensemble performs modern classical music

By Brandon Cook

 

The Jacobs School of Music’s New Music Ensemble, under the direction of David Dzubay, performed three modern classical pieces with guest composer and conductor Steven Mackey Thursday in Auer Hall.

“The theme of this concert could be underdog instruments,” Mackey said before the show, referring to the unconventional viola and electric guitar solos featured in the pieces.

Mackey is the chair of the Department of Music at Princeton as well as a recipient of many awards, including a Grammy.

Violist Karen Bentley Pollick plays Nigun II by Sarah Nemtsov on Thursday in Auer Concert Hall. Pollick is a graduate of Indiana University where she received her Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance.

Violist Karen Bentley Pollick plays Nigun II by Sarah Nemtsov on Thursday in Auer Concert Hall. Pollick is a graduate of Indiana University where she received her Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance.

“It’s been amazing,” New Music Ensemble Assistant Director Samuel Wells said. “For every New Music Ensemble, they bring in a world-famous guest composer. They’re exposing their students to almost everything that’s going on in the classical music world today. It helps us figure out how to fit in and what our options are as artists.”

Mackey is renowned amongst musicians for his use of the electric guitar in his chamber music orchestrations.

The combination of the chamber music tradition, which dates back to the 17th century, with modern musical trends is a genre cross that has come to define Mackey’s work.

“People are switching between the two worlds much more quickly,” Wells said. “The boundaries are becoming more blurred. Stephen Mackey was one of the first people to do that with the electric guitar in a very big way, as a performer.”

Thursday’s New Music Ensemble performed two of Mackey’s pieces: “Deal,” a commission from 1995 featuring small chamber orchestra and an extended electric guitar solo, and “Groundswell,” from 2007.

In Mackey’s program notes for “Deal,” he describes the piece in terms of images and movement, shaped around the idea of a soloist “dealing with a whole world that he/she was, paradoxically, prepared for and surprised by.”

“The final layer … is a tape part made up of sounds from the ‘real’ world,” Mackey writes. “It was my idea that these sounds would draw an inclusive perimeter around the electric guitar and orchestra. Compared to a barking dog and a ringing phone the electric guitar and chamber ensemble have more in common than the labels ‘classical music,’ ‘jazz,’ ‘rock,’ and ‘world music’ ordinarily allow.”

Both Wells and New Music Ensemble Director Dzubay believe that “Deal” portrays a convincing uniqueness.

“It’s an interesting hybrid of styles, and very successful,” Dzubay said.

Mackey said he believes his orchestrations are a natural blend of jazz, rock, and classical influences, which he does not view as mutually exclusive genres.

“The music I write is just how I think music should go,” he said. “If you ask me what’s rock and what’s classical — it’s all intertwined.”

Though many modern composers now follow this trend of genre crossing between classical and other musical forms, the style was not practiced until the 1980s and ’90s.

Mackey believes the early “taboo” associated with combining vernacular, or non-classical, influences with traditional music helped strengthen his resolve as a composer.

“I really had something I could push against,” he said. “I had to sort of steel myself and have a healthy thick skin. We’re in a wonderful period of music right now where it’s very open.”

Nevertheless, he believes that this inclusivity might prove a barrier to some musicians in the development of their own styles.

“Composers younger than me — a lot of my students — they just don’t make those distinctions between genres,” he said. “In some ways, it’s harder for young composers to individuate themselves.”

“Deal” featured an extended improvised solo on electric guitar, which Mackey performed himself.

“His skills on the guitar are pretty insane,” said Lydia Umlauf, the New Music Ensemble’s first violin.

While the composer said he does not see a distinction between classical roots and rock music roots, he views himself and his improvisation as rooted in the style of a progressive rock and blues guitarist.

“It comes from the blues,” he said. “Improvisation is sort of back in the flow of the composition process. It’s an important part of my compositional process as a way of getting an idea out there.”

Mackey means this literally.

“There are directions in the score to play ‘as if improvised,’” he said of the piece “Deal.”
He said he prefers to improvise while composing.

“Getting that first idea is often the result of improvisation,” he said. “Once the idea is out here, I chisel it and I whittle it down, and I polish it and I paint it, and I put it in the oven and I take it out, and I break apart and do it again.”

The ensemble opened the performance with the short piece “Nigun II,” a Hassidic tune without words, by composer Sarah Nemtsov.

Audience member and Jacobs student Eli Schille-Hudson said he thought the piece was contemplative.

“I liked the spaciousness of it,” he said.

Mackey’s five-part “Groundswell,” unlike “Deal,” did not feature improvisation. The piece featured Sekyeong Cheon on viola.

“I thought it developed really well,” Schille-Hudson said. “I’ll come back of course.”
The New Music Ensemble will perform again April 17 to premiere three new pieces.

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MUSIC REVIEW: TRIO INDIANA, ‘CLASSICALLY DAVID’

Trio Indiana concert focuses on David Baker’s classical side

By Peter Jacobi

 

The eminent David N. Baker was present Thursday evening when Trio Indiana took to the stage of Auer Hall for a “Classically David” concert.

He heard its members, three colleagues from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (those exceptional clarinetists: James Campbell, Eli Eban, and Howard Klug), pay homage to their friend, Distinguished Professor Baker, for a genre of music he is less known for: classical.

jr_news_baker_0303The jazz icon has written a multitude of pieces for classically oriented musicians, for soloists of various instrumental and vocal persuasions, for orchestra, for soloist and orchestra, for dance and ballet, for chorus, for chamber ensembles, even a Concertino for Cellular Phones and Orchestra. Trio Indiana — joined by graduate clarinet student Kenta Akaogi and Willis Delony, professor of keyboard and jazz studies at Louisiana State University — offered four Baker compositions. Three featured the clarinet; the fourth, the piano.

Howard Klug, using his bass clarinet, and Delony opened the concert with “And Then…,” a suite of three pieces that quickly reminded a listener that no matter what the classification or structure or aim, Baker’s music begets melody. Not only were two items titled “The Song Also Rises” and “On Wings of Song,” but song material was embedded in the mix. One could imagine composer Baker humming or even singing their central themes when writing them.

That characteristic dominated most of what was to follow, including “Random Thoughts” for clarinet quartet, three movements that very much reflected their labels: “Evening,” a homey tune; “Nostalgia,” suggestive of something somehow remembered; “The Foot Is Understood,” a lively, more aggressive motive. The four clarinetists seemed to enjoy their journey through the score; the performance was first rate.

Of course, another quality, another attribute called attention to itself repeatedly in Thursday’s repertoire: jazz. It may not have been dominant, as with works Baker creates for jazz artists, but the beats and rhythms and atmospheric touches were present, comfortably inserted at least as undercurrents.

Jazz was more than an undercurrent when pianist Delony played “An Evening Thought (for Marian McPartland),” a lovely and elegant bouquet remembering that grand lady of piano jazz.

Delony and Campbell teamed to end the concert with David Baker’s 1989 Sonata in which, once again, the music echoed the titles: “Blues,” “Loneliness,” and “Dance.” When the two musicians came to “Dance,” they made their instruments do just that, and vibrantly, bouncily, joyfully so.

The evening’s final ovation concluded with everyone, listeners and performers, facing “Classically David” and showering him with applause and cheers, a much deserved thank you. Professor Baker was all smiles.

 

© Herald Times 2014

 

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Winners of the 2014 Matinee Musicale Collegiate Scholarships Announced

WINNERS OF THE 2014 MATINEE MUSICALE COLLEGIATE

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

 

KELSEA WEBB – Robert and Sophia Marks Graduate Voice Award 1st Prize $1500.00

DENIZ UZUN- 2nd Prize Graduate Vocal Award $1000.00

SUMMER AEBKER – 3rd Prize Graduate Vocal Award $750.00

FRANCISCO ORTEGA – Anna Lee Hamilton Undergraduate Voice Award 1st Prize

$1000.00

DAVID DUNLAP- Lucille Edington Award- Butler Student undergraduate voice $250.00

SOO JIN KIM – Mildred Allen Memorial Piano Award Graduate Piano 1st Prize $1500.00

ILIA ULIANITSKY – 2nd Prize Graduate Piano Award $1000.00

SIWON KIM – 3rd Prize Graduate Piano Award $500.00

HYUN-KYUNG CHUN – Mildred Allen Memorial Piano Award Undergraduate 1st Prize

$1000.00

SONJA KRAUS – Ross and Andella Pyle Graduate String Award $1250.00 1st Prize

NEMANJA OSTOJIC – Graduate String Award 2nd Prize $750.00

NATHANIEL PIERCE – Graduate String Merit Award 3rd Prize $500.00

SUYEON KO – Graduate Wind/Brass Award 1st Prize $1000.00

MILES HARRISON NORMAN – Undergraduate String Award 1st Prize $750.00

BRIAN BALLINGER – Undergraduate String Merit Award 2nd Prize $500.00

ASTRID DESANTOINE – Graduate Harp 1st Prize $1000.00

QUINGYA SEIKA DONG – Undergraduate Harp 1st Prize $750.00

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Music Review: Sunday in Auer

By Peter Jacobi

There was sunshine brilliant on the cover of snow Sunday afternoon when another audience gathered in IU’s Auer Hall for a faculty recital that ranged from vocal to solo instrumental and chamber, covering periods old and current. There was talent in abundance for the occasion.

The program opened with two songs written more than 400 years ago by England’s John Dowland, lyrical and melancholy items expressively sung by Mary Ann Hart, with gentlest of accompaniment on lute by Nigel North.

Dowland continued to be the focus when violist Atar Arad took the stage to perform Benjamin Britten’s “Lachrymae – Reflections on a Song of Dowland,” written in 1950 for the legendary violist William Primrose. Arad moved adroitly and eloquently through more melancholy, Britten’s 10 variations on the Dowland theme, variations that exploit all sorts of harmonic possibilities. In so doing, Arad was ably partnered by pianist Chih-Yi Chen.

He remained the center of attention while playing two of his own solo Caprices, reminiscent of old-time etudes but with definite contemporary attitudes. Then, with Chen back at the piano, he negotiated Robert Schumann’s “Marchenbilder” (“Fairy Pictures”), four lovely vignettes that give the violist a showcase to reveal his mastery of the instrument.

Post intermission, pianist Evelyne Brancart joined the Pacifica Quartet for a voluptuous reading of Schumann’s E-Flat Major Piano Quintet, probably the composer’s most popular chamber work. And why shouldn’t it be, what with its soaring melodies and grandly-scoped developments. The collaborators avoided a potential issue, of the piano part easily made too dominant. They kept balances carefully in place, this as they showered the music with all the desired romantic glow. I left the hall content.

 

© Herald Times 2014

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Kristen Bellisario presents at Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network

Kristen Bellisario, adjunct professor in the Music in General Studies Department, has taught Music in Multimedia since 2002. As an invited speaker, she co-presented “Arts and Humanities: A Call to Action” at the second annual Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network, NSF CNH RCN Sonoran Desert Workshop, with Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Landscape Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University from July 12-17 in Oracle, AZ.

The Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network is a group of ecologists and acousticians who study sound and how people perceive sound. The goals of the network are to monitor various sites collecting sound data; develop a common vocabulary, long-term monitoring standards, and metadata standards for acoustic data; increase awareness of this new field; and increase public awareness of their acoustic connection to nature.

After attending the workshop last year and presenting data in a poster presentation about sound maps in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Bellisario connected with artist Andrea Polli, Associate Professor in Fine Arts and Engineering at The University of New Mexico. Through this collaboration, Bellisario created a sound walk project for her students and presented a methods talk for sound walks at the 2013 GSSN workshop.

In April 2013, Bellisario discussed the perspective of a musician on how climate change, development and invasive species threaten natural soundscapes in the National Audubon Magazine’s article, “Recording Our Planet’s Acoustic Heritage.” Natural soundscapes are layers of sound, like in a symphony, that can be heard in the landscape.  Bellisario continues, “I listen everywhere I go – in the car, at the café on the street, the noises found in a public space, and all the creatures beneath our manmade layers of sound. This is a crucial listening skill when developing sound for media – thinking of textural richness and diversity. But, more importantly, it reminds me of how fragile the sound ecosystem is. What if these sounds are lost forever?”

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Aida Huseynova publication and media presentations

Aida Huseynova (second from left), participated in the weekly TV show "Gerib Akhshamlar".

Aida Huseynova, adjunct lecturer in music (Music in General Studies), published the article “From Chanting the Quran to Singing Oratorio: Choral Music in West and Central Asia” in “The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music,” edited by Andre de Quadros (Cambridge University Press, 2012). The article analyses unique forms of choral music that have emerged in this vast region since antiquity.

For details, visit http://cco.cambridge.org/uid=1450/extract?id=ccol9780521111737_CCOL9780521111737A013

On December 28, 2012, Huseynova was featured on the Public Television of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the weekly TV show “Gerib Akhshamlar” hosted by Yusif Gunaydin, Huseynova talked about her teaching experience at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She spoke about her work with Indiana University International Vocal Ensemble led by Katherine Strand: IVE performed three songs from Azerbaijan at the concert “Love on the Silk Road: Voices of Central Eurasia” that took place in the IU Jacobs School of Music Auer Hall on November 11, 2012. Huseynova also talked about her participation in the residency program of Kronos Quartet and the Alim Qasimov Ensemble at Berkeley and Stanford Universities in February 2012. With the Public Television’s 24/7 online live streaming, Yusif Gunaydin’s show enjoys popularity among wide audiences all over the world.

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Jacobs School and Ryder Series present film “Orchestra of Exiles”

He rescued some of the world’s greatest musicians to create one of the world’s greatest orchestras . . . .

Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell are featured in “Orchestra of Exiles,” the suspenseful chronicle of how one man helped save Europe’s premiere Jewish musicians from obliteration by the Nazis during WWII.

In the early 1930’s Hitler began firing Jewish musicians across Europe. Overcoming extraordinary obstacles, violinist Bronislaw Huberman moved these great musicians to Palestine and formed a symphony that would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. With courage, resourcefulness and an entourage of allies including Arturo Toscanini and Albert Einstein, Huberman saved close to 1000 Jews – along with the musical heritage of Europe.  (2012; 85 min)

Presented by The Ryder Series, with support from the IU Jacobs School of Music, “Orchestra of Exiles” will be screened on November 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:00 pm on campus at the IU Fine Arts Theater (FA 102) in the IU Fine Arts Building.
It will be screened off campus on Sunday, Dec 2 at 7:00 pm at Bear’s Place.

Admission is $5.

For more information visit www.TheRyder.com

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Connie Cook Glen to present at CMS Conference

Connie Cook Glen, coordinator of the Music in General Studies Program, will present a paper, “Music of War, Music of Peace: Inspiring Advocacy,” Nov. 16 at the College Music Society National Conference in San Diego. The paper is inspired by her course on this topic, and the concept of the “Artist-Citizen.”

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