Alumnus Krishna Thiagarajan named chief executive of Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Krishna-Thiagarajan-600x321Jacobs alumnus Krishna Thiagarajan has been named chief executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

Thiagarajan earned both his B.M. in Piano Performance and his M.M. in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Leonard Hokanson. In addition, he taught as an associate instructor of piano at the school.

Read the RSNO release.

Connie Glen delights Mini University participants

Connie Cook Glen, director of music in general studies, recently wowed Mini University attendees with an engaging look at the intersection of politics and popular music in the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Glen was featured on the front page of the Bloomington Herald-Times for her work with Mini University, IU’s award-winning program for lifelong learning.

Informative classes, appreciative students keep Mini University coming back for more

By Kat Karlton | The Herald-Times
June 10, 2015


Jacobs School of Music Director of Music in General Studies Connie Cook Glen plays a half step from the very first score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Lonely Room” from the musical “Oklahoma!”


Patty Harpst and Mary Jo Rock have been best friends ever since their moms introduced them after meeting in the ladies’ room before dinner one night. It was their first week as students at Indiana University, and both women would graduate in 1956 with bachelor of science degrees in education.

Sunday, the pair made a new best friend at IU—Judy Shettleroe—who earned her master’s degree in special education from IU in 1983.

The three women met in an elevator on their way to register at this year’s IU Mini University program.

“We were the new best friends, as they say,” said Harpst.

The program of roughly 100 classes taught by IU faculty, along with various social events, began Sunday and runs through the end of the week.

Of this year’s 537 participants, about half are IU alumni, said Kyla Cox Deckard, director of public relations and community outreach for IU’s Lifelong Learning unit.

“Every year, the vibrancy of our participants excites us,” said Cox Deckard. “We’ve had really positive feedback so far.”

Inside the State Room East at the Indiana Memorial Union Tuesday afternoon, Connie Cook Glen, Jacobs School of Music director of music in general studies, prepared for a class on Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein and the intersection of politics with their popular music.

Cook Glen taught classes at Mini Universities in previous years on Leonard Bernstein and Cole Porter.

“This one is about politics and fun,” she said.

Cook Glen shared a slideshow, speaking about Hammerstein’s preference of incorporating nature and simplicity into his work, the pair’s “brave” incorporation of mixed-race relationships into their early work and more.

Participants watched eagerly as their teacher brought up a video of Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner performing “Shall We Dance” from the musical “The King and I.”

Fast-forwarding through one scene, she said, “We have to see them dance,” and the audience responded with a resounding, “Yes!”

After wrapping up the class with a video of Lady Gaga performing the title song from “The Sound of Music,” Cook Glen greeted appreciative audience members.

“I often learn something from the audience,” she said, noting she appreciates how alumni often come to her Mini U classes with vast backgrounds of outside knowledge.

Because of her appreciative audiences, Cook Glen said she’ll likely teach future Mini U classes, which are completely volunteer staffed.

In addition to the classes, the new three best friends said they enjoyed Mini U for the atmosphere.

“I’m just excited to be back at IU, because I’ve lived in Tucson since 1961,” said Harpst.

According to Cox Deckard, participants came from 25 states in the nation, and this year’s class was filled to capacity.

This year’s final events take place Friday and conclude with an 11 a.m. commencement in the IMU’s Whittenberger Auditorium.


The Cliff Colnot Residency – 5 Workshops and Career Advising this Summer

CliffNotes-120Jacobs School students have a terrific opportunity this summer to attend five workshops with Cliff Colnot, the Chicago-based conductor and composer. Called CLIFF NOTES, the sessions cover a range of subjects that are key to career development in the 21st Century. All sessions are open to Jacobs School students and take place on Thursday, from 12-1:30pm. Free Jimmy John’s sandwiches will be provided!

  • CLIFF NOTES: Lunches and a Workshop Session with Conductor & Arranger, Cliff Colnot
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Individual Career Advising Sessions with Cliff Colnot

Open to all students in the Jacobs School of Music. Please click below to sign up for the sessions you’d like to attend. 


Thursday JUNE 18     SCORE STUDY
Effectively studying music in preparation for performaChicagonces
12-1:30pm                          JS 415
> Sign Up Here

Thursday JUNE 25     AUDITIONS
Understanding the audition process for orchestras, summer festivals, and other projects
12-1:30pm                           JS 415
> Sign Up Here

Taking advantage of opportunity in a fast-changing cultural landscape
12-1:30pm                           JS 415
> Sign Up Here

Making the most of your valuable time
12-1:30pm                           MA 405
> Sign Up Here

The secrets and surprises of great ensemble intonation
12-1:30pm                           MC040
> Sign Up Here


Once you’re in the Career Portal, click on “Events” then “Workshops”
All sessions are at Jumpstart Central, MU011, in Merrill Hall

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2-4 pm
  • Friday, June 26, 2-4 pm
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2-4 pm
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2-4 pm
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2-4 pm
  • Wednesday, July 8, 2-4 pm
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2-4 pm

See you there!
Team JumpStart



Colnot-squareIn the past decade Cliff Colnot has emerged as a distinguished conductor and a musician of uncommon range.

One of few musicians to have studied orchestral repertoire with Daniel Barenboim, Colnot has served as assistant conductor for Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Workshops for young musicians from Israel, Egypt, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries. Colnot has also worked extensively with Pierre Boulez and has served as assistant conductor to Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy. He regularly conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom he recorded Richard Wernick’s The Name of the Game for Bridge Records, and he collaborates regularly with the internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird and the Pacifica String Quartet. Colnot has been principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary MusicNOW ensemble since its inception and is principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, an orchestra he has conducted since 1994. Colnot also conducts Contempo at the University of Chicago and orchestras at Indiana University. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony.

Colnot is also a master arranger. His orchestration of Shulamit Ran’s Three Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano was recorded by the English Chamber Orchestra. For the chamber orchestra of the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, Colnot has arranged the Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande (both published by Universal) and Manuel De Falla’s Three Cornered Hat. For ICE and Julia Bentley, Colnot arranged Olivier Messiaen’s Chants de Terre et de Ciel for chamber orchestra and mezzo-soprano, also published by Universal. For members of the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Colnot arranged Shulamit Ran’s Soliloquy for Violin, Cello, and Piano, to be published by Theodore Presser. Colnot recently re-orchestrated the Bottesini Concerto No. 2 in B Minor for Double Bass, correcting many errors in existing editions and providing a more viable performance version. He has also been commissioned to write works for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Percussion Scholarship Group. His orchestration of Duke Ellington’s New World Coming was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist in 2000, and Colnot also arranged, conducted, and co-produced the CD Tribute to Ellington featuring Barenboim at the piano. He wrote music for the MGM/UA motion picture Hoodlum and has written for rock-and-roll, pop, and jazz artists Richard Marx, Phil Ramone, Hugh Jackman, Leann Rimes, SheDaisy, Patricia Barber, Emerson Drive, and Brian Culbertson.

Colnot graduated with honors from Florida State University and in 1995 received the Ernst von Dohnányi Certificate of Excellence. He has also received the prestigious Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern University, where he earned his doctorate. In 2001 the Chicago Tribune named Cliff Colnot a “Chicagoan of the Year” in music, and in 2005 he received the William Hall Sherwood Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts. He has studied with master jazz teacher David Bloom, has taught jazz arranging at DePaul University, film scoring at Columbia College and currently teaches advanced orchestration at the University of Chicago. As a bassoonist, he was a member of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and the Contemporary Chamber Players.

“Cliff Colnot conducted the excellent International Contemporary Ensemble in an alluring performance.”              —  Anthony  Tommasini, New York Times

“To every score, conductor Cliff Colnot brought a dedication, virtuosity, and intensity of feeling new music needs but doesn’t often receive.”                                                              —  John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Everywhere [in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1] were signs of meticulous preparation and keen stylistic acuity.”  —  Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune

Wallinga, Ko (MM ’12), and Grafe (BM ’11) Win 2015 BMI Student Composer Awards

Current student, Patricia Wallinga, and alumni Tonia Ko (MM, 2012) and Max Grafe (BM, 2011) have been named winners in the 63rd annual BMI Student Composer Awards, a competition open to young classical composers throughout the Western Hemisphere. Renowned American composer and permanent Chair of the Student Composer Awards, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, BMI President and CEO and Honorary Chair of the BMI Foundation Mike O’Neill, and BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick, announced the decisions of the jury and presented the awards at a private ceremony held on May 18, 2015, at the J. W. Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City.

In addition, Max Grafe was named a co-winner of the William Schuman Prize for best score.

Read more…
Above: Pictured are the 2015 BMI Student Composer Award winners: (Front, L-R) Avik Sarkar (Carlos Surinach Prize), Tonia Ko, Joseph Meland, Benjamin P. Wenzelberg; (Back, L-R) Patricia Wallinga, Matthew Aaron Browne, Daniel Silliman (William Schuman Prize), Max Michael Grafe (William Schuman Prize), and Thomas Kotcheff. Photo by Melissa Dispenza

Jumpstart Entrepreneur of the Month: MUSAID

MusAid-212Supporting music institutions in developing countries around the world, with donated instruments and volunteer teaching programs.

> Read the Full Interview Here

MusAid, a project run by Jacobs School of Music alumnus Kevin Schaffter, current student Maria Romero, and a few friends, has blossomed into a deeply inspiring international organization with a vision of “a global community where artists from any cultural or financial background could be granted the opportunity to share their unique artistic voices with their community.” Current teaching fellows include alumni Hilary Glen and Colleen Wang. Professor Mimi Zweig is one of two 2015 guest faculty members. A recent interview with Project Jumpstart is a must-read for any musician with a desire to develop a musical life that goes beyond the score.

Students! If you’re interested to participate in this project as a Teaching Fellow, check out the website for information on how to sign up and be notified of opportunities.

> Read the Full Interview Here

Jacobs School Graduate to Participate in Leonidas Kavakos International Violin Masterclass

Paul Hauer

Paul Hauer

Leonidas Kavakos

Leonidas Kavakos

Congratulations to Jacobs School graduate, Paul Hauer, who was selected to participate in the Leonidas Kavakos International Violin Masterclass & Chamber Music Workshop, which takes place this weekend, May 22-24, 2015, in Athens, Greece.

Hauer, a student of Alexander Kerr, is one of only seventeen violinists and the only American selected for the masterclass. A frequent participant in competitions, Hauer has received awards at the Hellam Young Artists Competition in 2014, the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Competition in 2013, and the Denver Young Artists Orchestra National Violin Concerto Competition in 2011. As a result of these awards he has had the opportunity to perform with numerous orchestras both in the U.S. and abroad and has also had the privilege of studying and working with many of today’s renowned conductors and violinists. Hauer completed his Bachelor of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music at the Jacobs School in 2014.

This weekend’s masterclass & chamber music workshop was founded by Leonidas Kavakos, a Greek violinist and conductor who has himself won prizes at several international violin competitions – including the Sibelius, Paganini, and Indianapolis competitions. Thanks to an Onassis Foundation scholarship, he was able to come to Indiana University at the age of 19 to study with Josef Gingold, who instilled in him an absolute passion and love for violin, for music, and, last but not least, for sharing his teaching legacy.

Historical Performance Institute appearing at preeminent venues in May and June

HPI Smithsonian SymposiumThe Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute will be well represented this weekend (May 8-10) at a symposium hosted by the Smithsonian Institute’s Chamber Music Society in Washington, D.C. Performers, scholars, journalists, and administrators nationwide will gather to focus and reflect on the past, present, and future of “Historically Informed Performance in American Higher Education.”

The Jacobs School will send its Renaissance wind band, Forgotten Clefs, to perform for the occasion. Counterpart student ensembles from Juilliard, Yale, Oberlin, Case Western Reserve, Peabody, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music will also be performing. The student groups will be featured in two concerts, with Forgotten Clefs concluding the second performance.

Professor Dana Marsh, coordinator of the Historical Performance Institute (HPI), will contribute to a detailed panel discussion on the conference’s topical focus. Facilitating the conversation will be David Stull, president of San Francisco Conservatory. Joining Marsh on the panel will be Fred Bronstein, dean of Peabody Conservatory; Andrea Kalyn, dean of Oberlin Conservatory; Ross Duffin, director of Historical Performance at Case Western Reserve University, and Benjamin Sosland, administrative director of Juilliard Historical Performance.

“This is a valuable opportunity for all of us to assess collectively our position, as a discipline, within the field of music performance, pedagogy, and scholarship in American higher education,” said Marsh. “Not since IU hosted such an event at the behest of IU Early Music Institute founder Thomas Binkley some 20 years ago has there been a similar gathering of educators. As so much has changed since that time, it can only be an opportunity of highest value for all participants.”

In addition, the HPI will send its student ensemble comprised of sackbuts (early trombones), dulcians (early bassoons), shawms (Renaissance oboes), and percussion to the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF), one of the world’s foremost exhibitions in the field of historical performance. Forgotten Clefs was one of four groups selected to perform at BEMF in the Young Performers Series, sponsored by Early Music America.


Brent te Velde Wins 2015 Rodland Scholarship Competition

Organist Brent te Velde is this year’s winner of the 2015 John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship awarded under the auspices of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The three finalists, selected by a recorded round, were required to perform a program of mixed repertoire. They were also asked to play a hymn, run a rehearsal, and interview with the judges. The competition aims to award organists with outstanding performance and liturgical skills. A DM organ student of Chris Young, Mr. te Velde received the $10,000.00 first prize following the competition April 19, 2015.

Ying Quartet Welcomes Robin Scott as First Violinist

April 15, 2015

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,

ROCHESTER, N.Y.–Robin Scott, an award-winning musician described as one of America’s rising stars on the classical music stage, is joining the Ying Quartet as the Grammy-winning ensemble’s first violinist.

As the quartet’s newest member, he is joining siblings and founding members David, cello; Janet, violin; and Phillip, viola. Scott also will receive an appointment to the faculty of the Eastman School of Music, where the ensemble is the string-quartet-in residence.

Scott has built a varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster. He has competed internationally, winning first prizes in the California International Young Artists Competition and the WAMSO Young Artist Competition in Minnesota, and second prizes in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and the Stulberg International String Competition.

“Robin is both an insightful, creative musician and top-shelf violinist, and we are thrilled to begin the next chapter of our quartet’s life with him,” said David Ying. “From the first phrases we played together, the musical chemistry was alive and electric. It is easy to imagine a rewarding and stimulating musical future with Robin.”

Scott has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Montgomery Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille in France, and many others. He has given numerous recitals and performances throughout the United States and abroad, in such venues as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minn.

As an avid and passionate chamber musician, Scott has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Morgan Library, Town Hall in New York City, and other venues. His festival appearances include the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, and the Saratoga and Chesapeake Chamber Music Festivals, MusicIC in Iowa City, and others. He has participated in the acclaimed Music From Marlboro tours, as well as tours under the auspices of the Ravinia Festival, and was a member of the Gesualdo String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at the University of Notre Dame.

Scott, who will move to Rochester from Indianapolis, is also an accomplished and in-demand orchestral leader and has served as concertmaster of the New York Classical Players. He was guest concertmaster with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as guest principal second violin.

From 2011 to 2013, Scott was the Montgomery Symphony’s artist-in-residence. In that position, he was the concertmaster of the symphony, and also performed with the orchestra and throughout the community as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician.

A native of Indiana, Scott began studying the violin at age five and also took piano lessons. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree at the New England Conservatory and his Artist Diploma at Indiana University, where he was a student of Miriam Fried. He pursued additional studies at NEC with Donald Weilerstein, the founding first violinist of the Cleveland Quartet, and violist Kim Kashkashian. Previously, he was a student of Mimi Zweig at Indiana University’s preparatory program.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Ying Quartet and to be coming to Rochester to teach at the Eastman School of Music,” said Scott. “The prospect of exploring the great quartet repertoire with wonderful colleagues is an honor. To pass on what we believe as musicians and instrumentalists is a great responsibility, and something which I look forward to with my students.”

The Ying Quartet receives praise around the world for its high-caliber and affecting performances in concerts and festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, and others. The ensemble teaches and performs each summer at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, for which David and Phillip Ying serve as artistic directors. The ensemble has worked on collaborative projects at Symphony Space in New York City and with musical partners such as pianist Menahem Pressler, cellist Paul Katz, and folk musician Mike Seeger, among others. Upcoming projects include a collaboration and recording with cellist Zuill Bailey, and piano quintet commission and recording with pianist and composer Billy Childs.

The Quartet’s album 4 + Four, recorded with the Turtle Island String Quartet, received a 2006 Grammy Award for best classical crossover album. In addition, The Ying Quartet received a Grammy nomination for best chamber music performances for its album Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets, Souvenir de Florence. The Ying Quartet also has released Dim Sum, a recording of music by Chinese-American composers; American Anthem: The Music of Samuel Barber and Howard Hanson; and a recording of Anton Arensky’s String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 and Piano Quintet.

Through its LifeMusic project, supported by the Institute for American music, the Ying Quartet has commissioned established and emerging composers to produce a distinctively American string quartet repertory. Their first recording of Life Music works, The Ying Quartet Play LifeMusic, was named Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine. Their second recording of commissions is titled The United States.

As students at the Eastman School of Music in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Yings studied with members of the Cleveland Quartet, the school’s quartet-in-residence. The Ying Quartet first came to national professional as the quartet-in-residence in Jesup, Iowa, under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The quartet was awarded second prize in the 1992 Banff International String Competition and the following year won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. They were appointed faculty quartet-in-residence at Eastman in 1997.

At Eastman, the Ying Quartet teaches in the string department and leads a rigorous chamber music program. An integral part of the chamber music curriculum is the Music for All program, in which students perform in community settings beyond the concert hall.

Scott will succeed violinist Ayano Ninomiya, who has served as first violinist of the quartet since 2010. “Ayano has been a wonderful colleague and close friend, and we are grateful that she has shared her amazing musical talents with us and our audiences these past years,” said David Ying. “We wish her the very best in her future performing and teaching endeavors, and look forward to our paths crossing often in the future.”

© Eastman School of Music 2015

Jumpstart Entrepreneur of the Month: NEW VOICES OPERA

Emergent. Relevant. Opera… written, performed, and produced by Jacobs School of Music students!

NVO-logo-1-150pxNew Voices Opera was founded in 2012 by Chappell Kingsland to produce his doctoral thesis project Intoxication: America’s Love Affair with Oil. Since then, the organization has grown into a full student-run company that premieres two operas each year and trains young professionals in all aspects of opera production, from composing and performing to designing, directing, and administrating.

Project Jumpstart sat down with NVO’s Executive Director Benjamin Smith, a current doctoral student in the Jacobs School’s voice department, to talk about the organization’s current work and its exciting plans for the future.