Grigory Kalinovsky, Joseph Swensen named Starling Professors

BLOOMINGTON — Professors Grigory Kalinovsky and Joseph Swensen have been named the inaugural Starling Professors of Violin by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

“The two appointments build on a decades-long relationship between the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation and the Jacobs School that has supported the nurturing of gifted violin students, helping them fully realize their potential,” said Jacobs Dean Gwyn Richards in a prepared statement.

The foundation’s support also assists with projects such as the school’s string academy and the Starling Chamber Players.

Kalinovsky joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in the fall of 2013 and continues to teach at the Pinchas Zukerman Young Artists Program in Canada, Heifetz International Music Institute and Manhattan in the Mountains, where he is also one of the founding artistic directors. Previously a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music, Kalinovsky has taught at many summer music festivals, such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, Soesterberg International Music Festival in Holland, Summit Music Festival in New York and Pavel Vernikov’s festival “Il Violino Magico” in Italy.

Swensen joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in the fall of 2013. A winner of the Leventritt Foundation Sponsorship Award and the Avery Fisher Career Award, he has appeared as violin soloist with orchestras around the world.


© Herald Times 2014

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Jacobs School of Music mourns death of alumna Mary Whitaker

marywhitaker1The Jacobs School of Music mourns the death of alumna Mary Whitaker, 61, who was slain on Aug. 20, 2014, at her summer home in Chautauqua County, N.Y., where she was appearing with the Chautauqua Symphony.

“Mary was a wonderful musician and a wonderful person–every account of her tragic passing seems to make mention of both,” said Glenn Gass, IU provost professor of music in general studies. “We grew up together in Greencastle, and even in her school days, she was gracious and kind, immensely talented without a shred of pretension. Everyone rooted for her, and we all knew she would do well and that she would never quit being the sweet person who seemed to be everybody’s friend. She was intensely proud of being at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and never tired of bragging about IU to her friends in New York. She will be deeply missed, on so many levels.”

See some coverage of the story at the outlets below, including further comments by Gass at WISH-TV: Murder of New York violinist reverberates in Indiana.

marywhitaker3ABC News

The New York Times

The Buffalo News

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The Journal News

Daily Mail







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Beth Ilana Schneider-Gould (BM ’93) appointed principle 2nd violinist for the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra

Schneider, Beth-IlanaBeth Ilana Schneider-Gould was recently appointed principle 2nd violinist for the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada. She is a member of the violin and guitar group Duo46, celebrating their  20 year anniversary this season. Schneider-Gould has commissioned over 100 duets, trios and double concertos and recorded works for fifteen albums.

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Jacobs alumna Sara Caswell featured in “Strings” magazine

Strings-Magazine-cover-227x300Congratulations to Jacobs alumna and jazz violinist Sara Caswell (BM’00, AD’02), who is featured on the cover of the September 2014 issue of Strings magazine!

A native of Bloomington, Ind., Caswell attended Indiana University as a Wells Scholar, earning B.M. degrees with high distinction and an Artist Diploma in both violin performance and jazz studies at the Jacobs School of Music. She studied with Josef Gingold, Stanley Ritchie, and David Baker.

Caswell was recognized as a “Rising Star” in both the 2013 and 2014 DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll and as one of the top jazz violinists in both the 2011 and 2012 JazzTimes Readers’ Poll.

She regularly performs with Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Roseanna Vitro and has toured five continents with three-time Grammy winner and bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding in support of Spalding’s Chamber Music Society CD.

Read the feature story at

Read more about Caswell at

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Remembering Professor Ik-Hwan Bae

Bae_Ik-Hwan-2Ik-Hwan Bae, 57
Nov. 19, 1956 – July 24, 2014 

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music mourns the loss of Ik-Hwan Bae, 57, who died today, July 24, in Bloomington, Ind. He came to IU in August 1999 and was Professor of Music (Violin and Chamber Music) in the String Department. 

You are invited to leave your thoughts and remembrances about this extraordinary violin pedagogue. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to submit your comments.

“The passing of Ik-Hwan Bae marks a huge loss not only for the Jacobs School faculty and community but for the music world at large,” said Stephen Wyrczynski, chair of the Jacobs String Department. “He was an elegant and poetic violinist who made an indelible impact on all who heard him. He was a dear colleague and friend. Our condolences go to his beloved wife, Sung-Mi Im, and his son, Subin.”

Bae was born in Seoul, Korea, and made his professional debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of 12. He studied with Ivan Galamian at The Juilliard School. His performances in recitals and concerto concerts took him to most of the major cities in Europe, Asia and the United States. 

In 1985, he received the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and also was a prizewinner at the Munich International Competition in 1984. In 1986, he was the recipient of a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

As an enthusiastic participant in many of the world’s best chamber music festivals, Bae was seen everywhere from Seoul to Alaska. He was an artistic director of Bargemusic Ltd., one of the leading presenters of chamber music in New York City, for 13 years, until 1995. 

His most recent project was as concertmaster of the Hwaum Chamber Orchestra in Korea, which is a conductor-less string orchestra. He led them to Krakow, Poland, and Puerto Rico at the Casals Festival. 

Much sought after as a pedagogue, he also taught at the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University, the Manhattan School of Music and the Korean National Institute for the Arts. He gave master classes worldwide annually. 

Bae was a jury member of the Munich ARD competition in Germany, Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark, Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition in London and Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition in Helsinki, Finland. 

He recorded for the RCA, ECM, Delo and Hoch labels. 

He is survived by his wife, Sung-Mi Im, and son, Subin. Information on a memorial concert this fall will be announced at a later date.

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Lawrence P. Hurst Medal in Double Bass awarded to Kurt Riecken

Kurt RieckenJacobs School student Kurt Riecken is the second recipient of the Lawrence P. Hurst Medal in Double Bass. The annual prize, initiated in 2013, was announced at the May 2014 commencement ceremony in the Musical Arts Center.

Riecken recently earned his Master’s in Music at the Jacobs School, studying with Kurt Muroki and Craig Brown, and is considered among the top bassists at the Jacobs School, based on orchestral auditions, demonstrated performance level, and strong evidence of establishing a professional performing career.

He previously attended the University of Central Florida, graduating with honors and earning degrees in Music Performance and Electrical Engineering. He has participated in major music festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra and Aspen Music Festival on fellowship, and has participated in recordings on the Naxos label. He most recently performed on the soundtrack for the film Noah. In 2013, Riecken performed as guest principal for the Quad City Symphony. In the fall, he will continue his studies with Muroki in a Performer’s Diploma program.

About the Lawrence Hurst Medal

Former students of Hurst from both the Jacobs School and the University of Michigan created the award to honor the professor emeritus of double bass after his retirement in 2012. They all contributed to the Lawrence Hurst scholarship fund, which now has a medal awarded each year in addition to the monetary award.

Spearheaded by Park Carmon, the medal is awarded each year at the end of the spring semester, if there is a worthy candidate. The winner is chosen by the String Department, the Financial Aid Committee, and Hurst.

About Lawrence Hurst

lawrence-hurst-double-bass-89Professor Emeritus Lawrence Hurst received his professional music training at the University of Michigan School of Music on a full-tuition, room and board General Motors Academic Scholarship. In 1959, he graduated magnum cum laude, was installed as a member of phi beta kappa, and  awarded the UM School of Music’s highest honor, the Stanley Medal.

After serving in the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra in Europe for two years, he began his playing career as principal bassist with the Dallas Symphony under the baton of Sir Georg Solti. He returned to Michigan where he was a member of the faculty from 1964 – 1985.  For seven years he was also Associate Dean.

In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music until his retirement in 2012.  For 25 of those years he was Chair of the String Dept. In 2005, The American String Teachers Association awarded him Artist/Teacher of the Year. In 2013, The International Society of Bassists gave him their highest honor, The Distinguished Achievement Award.

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Concert Review: Joshua Bell

Bell and company

By Peter Jacobi

The awaited Bell concert, which ended the evening, attracted what looked like a venue-filling audience to the Musical Arts Center. An appearance by Bell, the virtuoso violinist, will usually do that. This time, however, he came as teacher, conductor/leader and soloist, having agreed to train a select body of 33 string players and one harpsichordist for that Bach and Tchaikovsky program.

To open the concert, Bell doubled as soloist and director for Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major, not only offering a masterful and expressively persuasive reading of the score’s solo portion, but drawing forth a symbiotic contextual weave from the orchestra. There was an abundance of ebullience for the opening Allegro, exquisite poignancy for the Adagio, and frolicsome give-and-take in the closing Allegro Assai. Welcome also was the holding back on vibrato, giving the performance a healthy dose of Baroque style, even though the musicians were not using period instruments.

For the Tchaikovsky Serenade, Bell took the concertmaster chair and led from that position, playing his heart out as did those under his command. Each movement of the Serenade contains treasures of melody and benefits from the composer’s genius for orchestration, here limited to strings but not sounding limited at all. From the chorale-like opening through the gracefully buoyant Valse and touching Elegie to the rousing Finale, Bell and friends gave this enchanting Tchaikovsky creation its due. Theirs was a lovely performance.

For an encore, Bell chose Mozart, the closing movement of the Divertimento, K.136. Oh my, such beauty!


© Herald Times 2014


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Yang Guo wins Bartok Viola Concerto Competition

Congratulations to Yang Guo, Student of Atar Arad winner of Bartok Viola Concerto Competition.  Runner-up was Luis Bellorin, student of Masumi Rostad. The concert is on April 23rd, 2014 with Philharmonic Orchestra, Carl St. Clair, conductor.

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DaXun Zhang featured on the cover of “The Strad” magazine

DaXun ZhangDouble bassist DaXun Zhang is featured on the cover of The Strad magazine’s February 2014 issue. The issue celebrates a new golden age of the double bass and includes interviews with six rising young bass players.

Zhang received his Artist Diploma at the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with Lawrence Hurst.  He is currently the Associate Professor of Double Bass at the University of Texas at Austin.

 More info:

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Review: Thomas Riebl

By Peter Jacobi

Restructured instrument

  Thomas Riebl has for more than 30 years been a professor at the University Mozarteum Salzburg and, even longer than that, a practicing professional, giving concerts worldwide.  He’s recognized as a viola virtuoso but, in his case, not only with the normal, four-string model but also with a five-string version, one that extends the instrument’s range into cello territory.

  What got him so interested that he’d seek out a German luthier to create a five-string tenor viola was a single piece of music, Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata in A Minor.  The composer wrote the sonata for the arpeggione, a string instrument that had but a short life early in the 19th century.  It was a cross between a guitar and a cello, a music maker with six strings played like a cello, held between the knees and bowed.

  Today, musicians play the popular sonata on cello or viola or even violin.  Riebl, however, wanted to find a way to approximate the forgotten instrument with a reconstituted viola, one played like a viola but with a range that, in the lower notes, sounds like a cello.

  With such an instrument in hand, Riebl, of course, played the Schubert as his concert closer.  From what one heard, his quest for the five-string viola seemed well worth the effort.  The performance had a radiant luster; the lovely themes and developments gained resonance and a refreshed Viennese charm.  IU’s own Chih-Yi Chen partnered Riebl masterfully at the piano.

  Guest Riebl, who also gave a master class during his campus visit, opened the program with Bach’s Suite in G Major for Unaccompanied Cello, taking good care of all the arpeggios that dot the work.  In between the Bach and Schubert, he played a 2011 composition by the German Rudolf Jungwirth, “ELEGIE, hommage a Gerard Grisey,” remembering an avant garde French composer who died in 1998.  It proved an exercise mostly of plucking, squeaking and sawing that probably would have sounded much the same, no matter what instrument it was played upon, but Riebl appeared to play it with an honest passion.


© Herald Times 2014

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