Review: Naoumoff enchants students at piano academy

Emile Naoumoff, a longstanding professor in Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, understands and controls the keyboard probably as well as the best of pianists anywhere. His technique was on display Thursday evening in Auer Hall as a featured event given for youngsters attending the Summer Piano Academy and, of course, local citizenry with a love for the piano.

Emile Naoumoff

As usual, his technique was formidable and began to capture the crowd with a thoughtful interpretation of Beethoven’s Sonata in F Minor, Opus 2, No. 1, an early composition written while he was still under the influence of his teacher, Haydn. Already, however, the sonata contains themes and developments that foreshadow what was to come as Beethoven’s distinctly Romantic and personal style developed.

Anyone familiar with Naoumoff’s command of his instrument comes with the expectation that he will bring something personal, something different in his interpretation of any piece of music he offers, interpretive touches that are unexpected, touches sometimes that come with extremes in low and loud, slow and fast, rhythmically unique. That can bother or enthuse. On this occasion, he had a most enthusiastic student audience that started to cheer and even rise early. The enthusiasm appeared to be contagious, and virtually all aboard in Auer appeared to be caught up.

From the first time I heard Naoumoff, I’ve appreciated the excitement he brings to everything he plays. Sometimes, I’ve been bothered by his choice of repertoire or how he’s expressed the music being performed. But he has never been anything less than a devoted musician, guided honestly by what forces are within him at the time. On Thursday, all the stars aligned. He applied his technical agility. He had chosen a fully satisfying package of compositions. And he put his distinctive imprint on every item, yet pretty much avoided idiosyncrasies.

He performed four Chopin pieces, two rhapsodic mazurkas (the A Minor, Opus 67, No. 4 and the F Minor, Opus 68, No. 4) and two dreamy Nocturnes (in E Minor, Opus 72, No. 1, and D-Flat Major, Opus 27, No. 2). Naoumoff remained loyal to these warm and embracing items, so easy to listen to with eyes closed.

Then the recitalist turned to Impressionistic French music of Ravel, Debussy, and Faure: the Sonatine of Ravel, brief and gently bright; two Debussy preludes, “Bruyeres” from Book 2 and “La fille aux cheveux de lin” from Book 1, and Gabrielle Faure’s Barcarolle No. 1 in A Minor, Opus 26. They were performed without interruption and became a weave of calm, all read with complete involvement. One could easily forget the place of the concert and float emotionally off to somewhere peaceful and restorative.

One noticed how much throughout the recital the page turner smiled at what she was hearing. That, too, was catching: an appropriate response to pianist Naoumoff’s pleasure-giving performance.

By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer © HTO 2017 |

Music reviews: Boepple steps in at last minute and plays astonishingly well; Summer Concert Band audience treated to patriotic fare

Liken it to the anxiety when, as happens, an opera company such as the Met needs a last- minute replacement for a major role, as has happened numerous times in memory. One I particularly remember is when three Wagnerian tenors were required to first begin and then get through a performance of “Tristan and Isolde.” Illness felled the first, the second was for some reason suddenly unavailable to take over, and the third ended up performing.

Wednesday was like that with the Summer Music Festival. The pianist John O’Conor, scheduled to give a Wednesday evening all-Beethoven recital, was obliged to cancel, reportedly because of an accident in which his wife was hurt. Indiana University Jacobs School pianist Evelyne Brancart gallantly stepped in, offering to fill the breach with an all-Chopin program, an appreciated specialty of hers. But she, too, had to back out because of a family crisis. So, early Wednesday afternoon, the recital was announced as canceled.

At that point, Hans Boepple, professor of music at Santa Clara University and stalwart in IU’s Summer Piano Academy, stepped forward. He would play, he said. The evening event was reinstated, and with very little time to prepare, Boepple showed up to provide a waiting audience with a more-than-generous recital of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and even an encore of Brahms.

Everything was played without score, and he played astonishingly well. Yes, he’s played well for Bloomington audiences during previous summers, but on this occasion, he seemed to outdo himself just because of the special challenge. He opened with the daunting F Major Italian Concerto of Bach, which he took care of ever so smoothly and with carefully measured reserve. There were moments of reserve, too, at just the right spots in the dramatic and popular “Waldstein” Sonata of Beethoven, but most of the time, the pianist did not hold back muscular power or emotional fire in what, on the whole, must be considered an effectively blazing performance.

After intermission, Boepple gave justice to Chopin: a poetic Prelude (Op.28 No. 17), a Nocturne of contrasting moods (Op. 27 No. 2), two Op. 25 Etudes (including the rippling No. 1, “Aeolean Harp”), and the demanding and themes-rich Op. 31 Scherzo. He even supplied an encore, the Brahms Intermezzo (Op. 118, No. 2), an exquisite piece that he played exquisitely.

Night saved!

Independence Eve music

Earlier Wednesday night, conductor David Woodley gifted the Summer Concert Band audience with a pre-July Fourth celebration. The Musical Arts Center lawn was filled with fans, able to enjoy patriotic fare on the balmiest of evenings.

Sousa was the star. Four of his marches were performed: “Liberty Bell,” “The Glory of the Yankee Navy” (led by Eric Smedley), “Washington Post” (led by Brett Richardson), and — to properly close the concert — “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

In addition, one heard Frank Meacham’s 1885 paean to the nation, “American Patrol;” a Marc Oliver-arranged medley, “Our Armed Forces,” featuring the military service songs; Joseph Jenkins’ perky “American Overture for Band”; Leonard Bernstein’s “A Simple Song” from his “Mass,” and a Frank Ticheli setting of “Amazing Grace.”

All the readings had been carefully prepared and were played with holiday spirit. A special guest, Ben Miller, regaled the crowd with his specialty. Miller, a professor of percussion at Marshall University and an IU music alum, works with and on a rope drum, the likes of which drummer boys used during the Civil War. He and the band joined for conductor Woodley’s Suite for Rope Drum and Band, built on a number of Civil War era tunes. Miller’s was quite a demonstration, and the suite was an illuminating peek into songs that rallied troops and citizens of the period.

By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer © HTO 2017 |

Jacobs School faculty to perform at the Sixth Annual B’Town Jazz Fest

Now in its sixth year, B’Town Jazz Fest will once again take place at the Monroe County Convention Center, in the heart of downtown Bloomington.

B’Town Jazz Fest showcases the amazing jazz talent in Bloomington, and features a wide range of professional, college, and high school musicians from the Bloomington area. This year’s lineup features over ten bands, including: the Postmodern Jazz Quartet, the Al Cobine Big Band, the B-Town Bearcats, the Jazz Fables Quintet, and the Jamey Aebersold Quartet.

Several Indiana University jazz faculty members will be performing, including Pat Harbison, Tom Walsh, Wayne Wallace, John Raymond, Tierney Sutton, Steve Houghton, Jeremy Allen, Luke Gillespie, and Walter Smith.

Jazz Fest is one of the biggest and most anticipated music festivals held in Bloomington. Timed to cap off the summer season and welcome Indiana University students back to Bloomington, the festival is free and open to the public.

Food, Beer, and Wine will be available for purchase (alcohol sales to those 21 and up will require ID). Free parking will be available at the Convention Center and at the Fourth Street garage.

Stay tuned for more information and updates as the B’Town Jazz Fest draws near!

The B’Town Jazz Fest is organized by B’Town Jazz (formerly Jazz from Bloomington), a non-profit organization working to promote jazz music and education in Bloomington, Indiana, and the surrounding communities. For more information, visit

The B’Town Jazz Fest is made possible through the support of Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, Bloomington Visitors Center, and a wide range of local sponsors.

When: Saturday, August 19, from 12:00 noon -11:00 p.m.
Where: Monroe County Convention Center
302 S College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47403
Contact: John Christopher Porter, President, at 812-606-3863


© 2017 B’Town Jazz

Jacobs School of Music doctoral students complete tour of Portugal

IU Jacobs School of Music doctoral students Bruno Sandes and Marta Menezes recently returned from a tour of Portugal, where … Continue reading

Jacobs School Student appointed Director of Musical Arts and Administration at Saint John Cantius in Chicago

Jonathan Rudy, current Indiana University student and candidate for the Doctor of Music degree in organ and sacred music has been appointed to a new position in Chicago.

On July 16th, he will assume the role of Director of Musical Arts and Administration at Saint John Cantius Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois. The church, comprised of over 2,500 families, is well known for its top-notch music program, magnificent organ, high liturgy, and influence on the surrounding community.

Rudy received his Master of Music degree in organ and sacred music from the Jacobs School of Music, where he studied organ with Janette Fishell, improvisation and sacred music with Bruce Neswick, and pursued minors in music theory and choral conducting. He was the recipient of both the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. His debut album, entitled Three Halls, utilized two venues located on Indiana University campus: the Fisk Organ, Opus 91, in Alumni Hall and the Fisk Organ, Opus 135, in Auer Hall.

Jonathan Rudy currently serves as Music Director at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Cookeville, TN, where he lives with his wife, Katie. They plan to move to Chicago in early July in preparation for the new position.

Learn more about Jonathan Rudy by visiting

Jonathan Rudy

Jonathan Rudy

Jacobs School of Music Alumna Joins Faculty at Temple University

Alumna Kathryn Leemhuis will join the faculty at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance as Assistant Professor of … Continue reading

Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music Alumna Joins Temple University Faculty

Alumna Kathryn Leemhuis will join the faculty at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance as Assistant Professor of Voice/Opera. As a professional opera singer, Leemhuis has performed roles with companies such as the Dallas Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Fort Worth Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater. She has performed concert works with the Richmond Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, and at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Ravinia Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. In the vocal competition arena, Leemhuis has won prizes from Opera Birmingham, Florida Grand Opera, the Lissner Foundation, the Fort Worth McCammon Foundation, the Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Sullivan Foundation, the George London Foundation, and the Metropolitan Opera, among others. Leemhuis received her BM from Oberlin College and her DM from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Kathryn Leemhuis

Kathryn Leemhuis

Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music alumna joins Des Moines Symphony

Erin Brooker-Miller joins the Des Moines Symphony this fall for their 80th anniversary season, Music in Motion, after a successful audition for the Principal Harp position.

Ms. Brooker-Miller is the Executive Director of the USA International Harp Competition, a founding member of the Archaea Tree Ensemble (flute, percussion, and harp), and a member of the pop harp quartet HarpCore4. She received her MM degree in harp performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2017 and BM degree in harp performance from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2014. An advocate for interdisciplinary music making, she is both a Classical and Irish harpist dedicated to expanding the knowledge and repertoire of the harp through performing works new and old.

Erin Brooker-Miller

Erin Brooker-Miller

MUSIC, BUSINESS, PEACE Summit Announced for May 12

You’re invited to join us!

A day that brings together national and international researchers, activists, and artists who currently focus on two major fields of interest – “Music and Peace” and “Business and Peace” – in a series of presentations and discussions.

Friday, May 12, 2017| William and Gayle Cook Library, M285
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music


As the first summit of its kind, the project will actively juxtapose and cross-pollinate a wide range of intellectual and artistic practices in the belief that a coherent set of understandings can emerge on how the two disciplines interact with and co-inhabit their worlds. The day is a discovery of ideas that will lead to a larger conference in May 2018.

> Sign Up Here if you plan to attend (either in-person or online)

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS | Friday, May 12, 2017

Invited participants come from a broad cross-section, including those whose careers are centered on global studies, peace and peace building. Local, national, and international entities are represented.

  • 9:00am – Tim Fort: Opening Remarks
  • 9:15am – Olivier Urbain – “Business and Music in Peacebuilding: Parallels and Paradoxes”
  • 9:45am – Scott Shackelford: “Cyber-Peace”


  • 10:30 – Carolyn Calloway-Thomas: “Empathy”
  • 11:00 – Kathleen Higgins: “Connecting Music to Ethics”
  • 10:30am – Alexander Bernstein with Connie Cook Glen: “Leonard Bernstein’s Legacy: Moving Forward”
  • 12:00pm – Ruth Stone and Alain Barker: Summing Up


  • 2:00pm – Connie Cook Glen: Conversations with Each Other
  • 2:10pm – Andre De Quadros with Aida Huseynova: “The Awkward and Troubled Business of Music and Peace”
  • 2:45pm – Cindy Schipani: “Recording Artists, Music, Social Change, and the Business World”


  • 3:30pm – Nancy Love: “From Settler Colonialism to Standing Rock: Hearing Native Voices for Peace”
  • 4:00pm – Jerry White with Tim Fort: “Reflections on Quantifying the Hard to Quantify”
  • 4:30pm – Connie Cook Glen and Alain Barker: Concluding Discussion

Summit Planning Team: Alain Barker, Timothy Fort, Constance Cook Glen, Aida Huseynova, Scott Shackelford, Ruth Stone.

Any Questions? Please send thoughts and any questions to Connie Cook Glen:

An event hosted and/or sponsored by the IU Jacobs School of Music and the IU Kelley School of Business.

Monica Dewey Wins Hilde Zadek Competition

Posted By: Francisco Salazar April 24, 2017 Monica Dewey has won the 10th International Hilde Zadek Vocal competition. The 27-year-old … Continue reading