Happy New Year from the Mead Witter School of Music! And welcome to the first issue of A Tempo! for 2017
Two More Awards for UW-Madison University Opera
University Opera scores again with national recognition
Awards for two shows in 2015-2016
UW-Madison’s University Opera is on a roll. Both shows from last year, Transformations and Mozart’s Le nozze diFigaro, have won awards in the National Opera Association’s (NOA) Opera Production Competition for 2015-2016. It is the second year in a row that UW-Madison has garnered an award from NOA, and the first time that each production was separately recognized. University Opera produces only two operas each year.
October 2015’s Le nozze diFigaro, with orchestra conducted by James Smith, placed second in Division IV, and March 2016’s Transformations, conducted by graduate assistant conductor Kyle Knox, garnered a first place award in Division III.
Both productions were directed by David Ronis, inaugural Karen K. Bishop Director of Opera, who is now a six-time winner of the competition. His previous awards occurred while he worked at Queens College in New York.
In December, Madison’s weekly newspaper Isthmus devoted a cover story to our burgeoning jazz program and its director, Johannes Wallmann
“By bringing more jazz to the university and beyond, Wallmann hopes to promote the notion that jazz isn’t just about the past, with its storied history and legendary names. It’s now also about highly trained musicians pushing the boundaries of the genre,” wrote author Jane Burns in her story, “Making a Scene.”
“ ‘Look up any end-of-the-year Top 10 list on NPR, Downbeat or The New York Times, and listen to what this generation of 20- and 30-somethings are up to, it’ll blow your mind,’ ” Wallmann says. “ ‘We want to prepare our students to be part of that.’ ”
…meanwhile, Wisconsin Public TV spotlights the jazz program as part of its “Young Performers” Initiative
For over a year, a dedicated crew from WPT – including alumna Megan Aley, who served as a producer – filmed Wallmann and his staff as they shepherded high school students through auditions for the UW High School Honors Jazz Band. The videos are intended to help aspiring musicians prepare for professional careers and college auditions.
Juliana Mesa-Jaramillo came from the country of Colombia to study bassoon performance with Marc Vallon, professor of bassoon. We asked her how she became involved in music, with the bassoon, and why she chose Wisconsin.
“I did my undergrad in music performance in the University El Bosque in Bogotá. I studied with Leonardo Guevara, the principal bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra. I learned very much while at school and I was able to play with many chamber ensembles when I was still in school. My first job as a bassoonist was in the Symphonic Band of Cundinamarca, and I worked there for a year during my last year of school. It was challenging, but I learned very much from this experience.
“In 2010, I received a master’s in bassoon performance with Saxton Rose at the University of North Carolina-School of the Arts. As I started to look into going back to school, I talked him, and he recommended that I applied to study with Marc Vallon at UW-Madison. I think it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life!”
Sing with Choral Union this spring! Drop-in auditions will be held on January 18 for community members interested in singing a rare work: Paul Hindemith’s When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d. A rarely done work because of its difficulty, this is an outstanding setting of Walt Whitman’s poem written about the death of Abraham Lincoln, and the train that carried his body to Springfield, Illinois. The work was commissioned by Robert Shaw in memory of Franklin Roosevelt, whose funeral train carried his dead body from Georgia back to Washington. The work is in memory of “those we loved.” Two concerts, April 29 & 30. Learn more here.
Inviting high school pianists to take part in Pathways to Artistry: From the Practice Room to the Stage. A free, day-long event featuring workshops, masterclasses and performances hosted by UW-Madison’s keyboard faculty. High school pianists are encouraged to participate in the master classes and an honors recital. More information and registration is at the link below. The deadline to register is January 31.
Violinist Soh-Hyun Altino and pianist Christopher Taylor, both faculty artists, perform the Sonata for Violin and Piano by John Corigliano (1963) and the Sonata in A Major by Gabriel Fauré (1875-76). Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for non-UW music students. Learn more here.
Sunday, January 29, 3 PM, Mills Hall
Our Annual Schubertiade: “Circle of Friends”
This year’s Schubertiade with pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes will feature acclaimed alumna soprano Emily Birsan. The concert will be followed by a reception (included in the ticket cost) at the University Club. Tickets are $15 per adult and $5 for non-UW music students. The concert is sponsored by Madison resident Ann Boyer, an admirer of Franz Schubert’s music and the musical talents of Fischer and Lutes. Learn more here.
News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music
University of Wisconsin-Madison
September 27, 2016
It will be a weekend of many firsts.
Here’s the “first first”:On October 28 from 4 to 5:30 PM, at the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue, the School of Music will officially break ground on the newHamel Music Center that will contain two performance halls, a rehearsal room, and state-of-the-art technology. Long considered a pressing need, the Hamel Center is being financed entirely by private funds from Pamela and George Hamel, the Mead Witter Foundation of Wisconsin Rapids, Paul Collins, and many other donors. We welcome continued support! To read about the Hamel Center and learn more, see this link.
“We’re excited about wonderful opportunities these new spaces will provides for all our students as well as the larger Madison and Wisconsin community,” says Susan C. Cook, director of the school of music. “It’s an exciting time for all of us and we’re grateful for the support of our generous donors .”
Live music and refreshments will be served. The entire community is welcome to join the festivities!
The second “first” will be a concert that evening (Friday, Oct. 28) by UW-Madison’s Christopher Taylor, introducing his groundbreaking new piano, the “Hyperpiano.” It will start in Mills Hall at 8 PM, and Taylor will be available afterwards for conversation with patrons. Read our news release about this piano; buy your tickets here.
Click here to see images of the “Hyperpiano” in development.
And for our third first, faculty bassoonist Marc Vallon has planned a special concert of groundbreaking new works of music from the 17th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Writes Prof. Vallon: “Composers of all periods have continually explored new musical territories, looked for new paths, and tried, through groundbreaking works, to launch new courses of musical expression. This program offers the public pieces that have, in their time, provided a starting point to new musical routes, just as the first stroke of a shovel is the birth of a new building and a new era.” The concert will include music by Michelangelo Rossi, Alexander Scriabin, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, Helmut Lachenmann, and Morton Feldman.
The free concert is set for 7 PM on Saturday, October 29, in Mills Hall.
Just announced: Pianist Leon Fleisher to perform at Mills Hall with the Pro Arte Quartet
The Pro Arte Quartet was presented with an offer it could not refuse: Legendary pianist Leon Fleisher was available to perform with them this fall. Were they interested?
The answer was yes. On Thursday, October 6 at noon in Mills Hall, Fleisher will perform Brahms’ F minor Piano Quintet with the Pro Arte Quartet. The concert is free.
“You can’t see music as it passes through the air. You can’t grasp it and hold on to it. You can’t smell it. You can’t taste it. But it has a most powerful effect on most people. And that is a wondrous thing to contemplate.”
As a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, pianist Leon Fleisher was recognized as a “consummate musician whose career is a testament to the life-affirming power of art.” Read his full biography.
Wondering what else is going on in the arts?
The Arts Institute’s fabulous website summarizes and promotes everything arts-related on the UW-Madison Campus. It offers a link to buy tickets and even offers a special ticketing deal called the “campus arts card.” We often don’t admit it, but there is more to see and hear than just music! There’s dance, theater, art, academic research and discussions, film… Check it out! http://arts.wisc.edu/
The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.
News and Events from the School of Music – May 4, 2016. Next issue: stories about our students!
Please join us for Commencement 2016 on Friday, May 13, 2:30-4:30 PM at Music Hall! We’ll hold our commencement, awards and hooding ceremony for all degree recipients: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Guests will include Susan Zaeske, Associate Academic Dean of the Arts and Humanities; alumna Dr. Yi-Lan Niu, DMA, voice professor at St. Norbert College in De Pere; and retiring associate director, Professor Janet Jensen, who will serve as master of ceremonies. We’ll feature live music from our students and a reception. New this year: Empire Photography will be on hand taking personal photographs of every graduate.
Director Susan C. Cook, and UW Foundation represention Rebekah Sherman.
Commencement 2015.ommencement Ceremony, 2015. Photographs by Michael R. Anderson.
Pianist Jason Kutz and Martha Fischer, professor of collaborative piano.
2015 commencement photographs by Michael R. Anderson.
Despite much-too-chilly weather, Sound Out Loud, a student-led contemporary music ensemble, played its inaugural concert on April 29, performing Steve Reich’s monumental “Music For 18 Musicians.” As of May 4, our post on Facebook had reached 2,240 viewers!
The UW Concert Band (Spring) with Mike Leckrone
Last year’s courtyard UW Concert Band performance was rained out, but this year’s was disrupted only by a few blowing sheets of music! Way to go, Band!
“Performing the Jewish Archive” concert earns respect from audience, reviewer
Madison Magazine’s “Classically Speaking” blogger Greg Hettsmanberger attended Monday’s concert of “Performing the Jewish Archive” at the First Unitarian Society, and writes: “An audience of significant size and extraordinary concentration experienced more than a concert. For as we absorbed—or in some cases were battered by, enraptured or flat-out awed—by the music of Schoenberg (as arranged by Webern), Korngold and Bloch, an overarching thought occurred to me: In focused festival events such as these, particularly in the context of artists who paid the price of exile or with their own lives, audience members come with heightened expectations. And the players come with an even sharper sense of purpose, layered onto, as it were, their own creative passion; when the synergy begins to work in the concert venue, the result transcends far beyond the usual ‘I liked that piece’ or ‘They sure played that one well.'” Read the entire review:Madison Magazine “Classically Speaking” PJA Review There’s two more days of events. Learn more here:http://www.music.wisc.edu/performing-the-jewish-archive-may-2016-events/
Youth musicians on stage at Community Music Lessons recital
CML ended its year with a joyous recital! We thank all our participants, our teachers, and coordinator Samantha Sinai for making this happen. Registration for summer classes starts at the end of May. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/cml/
News and Concert Highlights from the UW-Madison School of Music – Feb. 29, 2016
University Opera presents its spring 2016 show:”Transformations”
Transformations, a 1970s chamber opera that explores serious psychological themes through the re-telling of Grimm’s fairy tales, will be staged March 11, 13 and 15 by UW-Madison University Opera. The opera was written by Conrad Susa based on poetry by Pulitzer-Prize winner Anne Sexton, who suffered from mental illness and depression, and took her own life in 1974 at age 45.
‘It’s a challenging and compelling piece of music theater,” said David Ronis, director. “It’s a great vehicle to teach skills to young opera singers, and stimulating thought and dialog across the university and community.” While the opera is dark at times, it contains much humor as well.
Sexton’s writing was often confessional and overtly feminist. Her champions included Maxine Kumin, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath. Transformations was commissioned of Susa in 1972 by the Minnesota Opera, known for its interest in contemporary works. The libretto includes eight cast members who play multiple roles from the fairy tales; the plot involves a middle-aged witch who is transformed into a young beauty pulled into a nightmare.
Transformations is conducted by graduate assistant conductor Kyle Knox.
Performance dates, times and prices:
Friday, Mar 11 @ 7:30pm (Pre-show discussion, 6 PM)
Sunday, Mar 13 @ 3:00pm
Tuesday, Mar 15 @ 7:30pm
General Admission: $25; Seniors: $20; Students: $10
Tickets available at the Memorial Union Box Office. Also available at the door.
Transformations is a thought-provoking and complex opera that benefits from thought and discussion. Join us for a pre-show discussion at 6:00 PM in Music Hall, March 11, with noted University scholars: Lynn Keller – Professor of Poetry, UW-Madison Thomas DuBois – Professor of Scandinavian Studies, Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies,UW-Madison Laura Schwendinger – Professor of Composition, School of Music, UW-Madison Karlos Moser – Emeritus Director of Opera, UW-Madison
David Ronis – Interim Director of Opera, UW-Madison
Moderator: Susan Cook, Director, UW-Madison School of Music
Selected Concert Highlights, March 2016
The Hunt Quartet. Sunday, March 6, 6:00 PM, Morphy Hall, free and open to all. The Hunt Quartet is the graduate string quartet at UW-Madison, comprised of Paran Amirinazari, violin; Clayton Tillotson, violin; Blakeley Menghini, viola; and Andrew Briggs, cello. The quartet will play music of Beethoven, Webern, and Schubert. Funding is provided by Dr. Kato Perlman and the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
UW Chamber Orchestra
Wednesday, March 16, Mills Hall, 7:30 PM. The UWCO, conducted by James Smith, will perform works of Bela Bartok, Elliott Carter, and Einojuhani Rautavaara, one of Finland’s most important composers. Rautavaara’s style has been influenced by Orthodox liturgical music and Finnish fiddlers and is both Romantic and mystical; read about him at this link.
“Le Domaine Musical”
Friday, March 18, Morphy Hall, 8:00 PM. Free concert. An homage to the late composer Pierre Boulez, featuring music of Pierre Boulez, Anton Webern, Claude Debussy and Johann Sebastian Bach. Performers drawn from School of Music faculty as well as students.
On Saturday, February 20th, the clarinet studio and Wesley Warnhoff, adjunct professor of clarinet, hosted its first “Clarinet Day,” including Warnhoff and students performing works by Francis Poulenc and Eric Mandat, master classes with high school students, and chamber music sessions with college and high school students working side by side. The day concluded with the group attending a stunning performance by the UW Wind Ensemble conducted by Professor Scott Teeple. Warnhoff plans to turn this into an annual event; check back next year!
New on SoundCloud: Hear Martha Fischer, Wes Warnhoff and Jamie-Rose Guarrine perform “The Shepherd on the Rock” at last January’s annual “Schubertiade” concert. Fischer is prof. of piano and collaborative piano at UW-Madison. Guarrine received her DMA at UW-Madison and now teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Cellist Andrew Briggs earns ovation from Middleton Community Orchestra audience
“I must say that he gave me about the most satisfying experience of it that I have ever heard.” Reviewer John Barker, in his review of the MCO’s Feb. 24 concert, in which Briggs, a UW-Madison graduate student studying with Prof. Uri Vardi, played Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. “The reason for that is not only his playing skill but also his natural rapport with an audience: He communicates.” Click to read the full post at The Well-Tempered Ear.
News and Events from the UW-Madison School of Music – November 9, 2015
Soh-Hyun Park Altino, new faculty violinist, performs first Madison concert Nov. 13
Hearing solo Bach in concert is a rare treat, and next Friday, at 8 PM in Mills Hall, Madison will get a chance to do just that when our new assistant professor of violin, Soh-Hyun Park Altino, performs for the first time in town. Her full program includes J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C major for solo violin, Brahm’s second violin sonata, the Romance by Amy Beach, and the Sonata No. 2 by Charles Ives, accompanied by Martha Fischer, professor of piano. While she is a stellar violinist, Prof. Altino is a dedicated teacher, deeply committed to her students. “My greatest joy as a teacher is the up-close witness of the journey that each student takes throughout the course of his or her study,” she said in an interview last summer. “As we discuss and explore countless ways to communicate a story through the sound of a violin, sooner or later students face challenges that would push them beyond the familiar and the manageable. I love seeing my students grow to the point of taking steps of courage and giving generously from their hearts in spite of the difficulties presented in their pieces. The confidence gained by these experiences remains with them for the long haul.”
In an article in Isthmus, Prof. Altino’s former teachers commented on her teaching style. Read it here.
Adult tickets are $12; students of all ages are free. You can buy ahead of time or at the door the night of the show.
A “family reunion” feel to Alumni Composers Celebration, Nov. 5-6
Alumna Paula Matthusen checks computer settings.
Alumni, L-R: William Rhoads, Jeff Stadelman, and Andrew Rindfleisch.
Horn professor Daniel Grabois checking out the computer setting with alumnus Kevin Ernste.
Alumnus William Rhoads with composition professor Stephen Dembski.
Music composition is not done just on paper anymore.
Violist Molly O’Brien and flutist Iva Ugrcic prepare to perform.
L-R: Alumna Paula Matthusen, Director of Music Susan Cook, and Roger Pierson, Cook’s husband.
Adjunct Prof. of Clarinet, Wes Warnhoff.
Last week’s two-day Alumni Composers Celebration shined a light of our long-standing composition program, reuniting alumni who hadn’t seen each other in decades. It also gave our audience a taste of their unique compositional styles and introduced a lot of contemporary music. Not only did alumni meet with current composition students, they also met with high school students at Memorial and East in Madison. Separate sessions on marketing and publishing music were held by an alumnus, Bill Rhoads, who is now the vice president of marketing and communications at the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City.
The Thursday concert featured alumna Paula Matthusen‘s of whole movements and migrations, a work for oboe, percussion, clarinet, piano, and computer that was premiered in 2013 by the Glass Farm Ensemble at Symphony Space in New York City. Paula writes: “of whole movements and migrations explores the resonance of instruments and how they may be manipulated to create variances in the perception of an acoustic space. Two tam-tams located at the front of stage create reverberations of the acoustical sounds, which are then amplified and fed back into the piano.”
“Numina” by alumnus Kevin Ernste also featured electronics, with flute, viola and harp, and “is an allegory for the authoritative abuses of Rome’s current divine authority, the Vatican,” Ernste writes. Nothing Personal was a premiere, a five-movement work of duos paying homage to composer Bill Rhoads‘ mentors at UW-Madison and elsewhere. In the Zone is a two-movement work, written by alumnus Andrew Rindfleisch, for brass quintet that recalls Renaissance counterpoint, imitation, and polyphony found in early canzones. Lastly, Enticements (Canons), by alumnus Jeff Stadelman, is a “pre-atonal song for voice and piano from Arnold Schoenberg’s decadent period, featuring a cartoonish cat-and-mouse tale.”
Musicians included the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and many faculty, friends and students. A second concert of new music took place on Friday night with the UW Wind Ensemble.
A “Musical Homecoming” – Review in Isthmus
New music is best heard in person, to more fully appreciate the unusual pairings of instruments and creative sounds emanating from them. In a review of the first night’s concert for the weekly paper Isthmus, Jay Rath wrote: “Music — live music — is always performance art. That’s why we go to concerts, after all. The performers’ movements, their manners —in many ways they satisfy as much as the music. When we go to concerts, we bring our eyes as well as our ears. The UW’s professor Stephen Dembski should be congratulated for helping to organize the composers’ visits. Hopefully, we can look forward to similar events in the future.” Read the review here.
Says Bill Rhoads, of his experience last week: “Returning to Madison… gave me an opportunity to reflect on individuals here at the University who played an important role in my personal and professional development, and who helped chart my trajectory over the past two decades through their support, teaching, and inspiration. Equally inspiring was experiencing the compelling, beautiful, and extremely diverse work of fellow alumni, working with the current music students and faculty at UW, and sharing my music with kids at Memorial High School. It was an experience I will cherish and I hope my presence and contributions during my residency in some small way allowed me to give back to those individuals who were (and are still) responsible in many ways for defining who I am and how I view the world around me.” Photographs by Katherine Esposito.
Upcoming “Light in the Piazza” play peppered with School of Music student/alumni performers and artistic staff
Alumna Sarah Marty writes: “Four Seasons Theatre is excited to collaborate with Director David Ronis (our visiting opera director, who recently directed UW-Madison’s Marriage of Figaro) on our upcoming production of The Light in the Piazza at The Playhouse at Overture. The show runs from Dec. 4-13.
“Featured in the cast are current UW-Madison School of Music voice students Kenneth Lyons (Fabrizio Naccarelli) and Dennis Gotkowski (ensemble), voice professor Paul Rowe & Cheryl Bensman Rowe (co-artistic directors of the Madison Early Music Festival), and School of Music graduates Tamara Brognano (Margaret Johnson) and Christina Kay (ensemble). School of Music alums Sarah Marty (Producer, FST Producing Artistic Director) and Thomas Kasdorf (Music Director) join David Ronis in leading the production.”
‘Tis the Season for Student Recitals!
Cello, trombone, piano, saxophone, percussion, horn, and many more. Please check our calendar for times and dates. Free concerts.
“It’s a Jolly Holiday” Concert ushers in an-all holiday spirit
On November 21, at 8 PM in Mills Hall, the UW Chorale will present a concert of holiday music. All kinds! They’ll celebrate President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Earth Day and so on, with a variety of great music that will leave you wondering why you only think about hearing a choir sing at Christmas. Free concert. Read more.
James H. Latimer, Emeritus Professor of Music (1968-1999) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be granted the distinction of honorary doctor of Humane Letters from Florida A & M University, to be awarded at their December 11, 2015 fall commencement. Read more here.
The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.
Personalize your calendar view! Click on the “view as” link on the right of our calendar page.
Our final issue of the 2014-2015 academic year contains news about a few new graduates and updates from some already out in the working world. We never fail to be inspired by all of the creative ways that music students both indulge their passions for the art form and their obligation to support themselves. Music may not be a sure ticket to fortune, but for most it is a ticket to personal growth and happiness, provided students are motivated and receive support from teachers, friends and family. We are proud to present these stories about graduates of the UW-Madison School of Music.
Valerie Clare Sanders (B.M., violin performance, 2015). Student of Felicia Moye (now at McGill University) and Leslie Shank.
In September, I will be moving to London, England to study with Simon Fischer at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in their postgraduate Orchestral Artistry program. This program is a partnership with Guildhall, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Barbican Centre, and it involves intensive side-by-side training with members of the London Symphony Orchestra.
I’ve been a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra for three years, have served as acting concertmaster of the Middleton Community Orchestra and was also a member of the Perlman Piano Trio, which is sponsored by longtime School of Music supporter Kato Perlman.
As a violinist I maintain a strong love for performing and continuing to develop my interpretive facility but am also become very passionate about exploring classical music in the context of a larger cultural discourse, joining and starting new conversations about why musicians do what they do, how they can learn to do it in new ways, and exploring the psychological nature of what it means to be a classical musician today. UW has proved to be a great springboard for this sort of inquisitive energy.
Duangkamon Wattanasak (B.M., keyboards, 2015). Student of John Chappell Stowe.
This fall, Duangkamon will attend the State University of New York at Stony Brook to pursue a master’s degree in harpsichord performance. This past year, she received a Hilldale Undergraduate Faculty Research Fellowship this past academic year to work on a project editing German Baroque music with Prof. Jeanne Swack. She presented part of her research in the form of a performance of Sebastian Bodinus’s Sonata for Flute and Basso continuo in E minor at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 16 in Union South with Mi-Li Chang, Baroque flute and Andrew Briggs, Baroque cello.
Hinano Ishii (B.M., flute performance, 2015). Student of Stephanie Jutt.
Four years ago around this time, I was preparing for my concerto debut at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and certain about pursuing a career in music. Now, I’m looking forward to my post-graduation plan: working in operations and education at Bravo! Vail, a summer music festival in Colorado featuring the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony and many other renowned musicians.
My enthusiasm for arts administration, sparked by an Arts Enterprise course taught by my flute professor Stephanie Jutt, quickly led to my election as president of Arts Enterprise at UW-Madison. I produced a series of workshops on topics including grant writing and arts law, and founded an Arts Career Resource Center on campus. From the connections I made through UW, I took on positions as the Programming and Community Engagement Intern at Overture Center and Marketing Assistant for PROJECT Trio. Eager to advance my skills, I also worked at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. as a National Symphony Orchestra Operations Intern. This gave me the opportunity to assist in planning rehearsals, concerts, and events including two nationally broadcasted performances at the U.S. Capitol. In my final year on campus, I was the assistant to Katherine Esposito, the School’s concert manager and publicist, helping to organize festivals and concerts, while also working at the Overture Center as the Development Intern.
Meanwhile, I’ve pursued my flute studies, performing with the symphony orchestra and in solo recitals. In my junior year, I was featured on UW-Madison’s homepage with an article highlighting my accomplishments and performed on a PBS annual science show hosted by UW-Madison’s chemistry professor, Bassam Shakashiri.
It is with mixed emotions to be leaving this wonderful university. I am extremely lucky to have found what I love doing best and having all the resources and connections available in Madison to create opportunities in arts administration. Although I am a music performance major, the environment allowed me to pursue my aspiration while also advancing my flute playing which makes UW-Madison an extraordinary educational experience. I am happy to have taken full advantage as a student and thankful for my mentors, parents and friends who have supported my work for the past four years! On Wisconsin!
Vince Mingils (M.M. 2015, percussion performance). Student of Anthony Di Sanza, Todd Hammes.
Mingils, a recipient of a Paul Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship at the School of Music, will move to Florida to serve as the Director of Percussion Studies and Assistant Director of Bands at Matanzas High School and Indian Trails Middle School in Palm Coast. Mingils also holds a bachelor of music education degree summa cum laude from Stetson University.
In addition to performing with the percussion ensembles at UW-Madison, Vince coached ensembles and occasionally joined UW-Madison’s resident/alumni percussion ensemble, Clocks in Motion. He also traveled with the UW Wind Ensemble to Carnegie Hall and Beijing and Shenyang, China for the studio’s first international tour (see story below). In addition to studying classical percussion, his UW teachers helped foster his burgeoning interests in composition, improvisation, Middle Eastern music, and hand drumming.
Tim Morris(B.M., music performance and political science). Student of Matthew Mireles, John Stevens (emeritus) and Tom Curry.
This fall, Tim will pursue a master’s degree in euphonium performance at the University of Georgia. While in Madison, he played in the Wind Ensemble, Low Brass Ensemble and competed in the Leonard Falcone Euphonium Student Competition and the International Tuba Euphonium Conference’s Young Artist Euphonium Competition. He also spent two years as a legislative intern in the Wisconsin State Senate, leading to a better understanding of the political process and the issues facing the State of Wisconsin.
“The School of Music has provided me with countless life-changing experiences,” Tim writes. “I have benefited tremendously from an extremely talented and supportive faculty who have helped me realize many of my musical goals. With their guidance I have been fortunate enough to participate in international music competitions, perform for many people and travel all over the world in the process. I have no doubt that I would not be the same musician I am today without the teachings of my mentors as well as the support of the musicians here that I have the distinct privilege of calling my friends and colleagues.”
Amanda Fry (B.M., music performance, horn). Student of Daniel Grabois.
Next fall, Amanda will attend the University of Maryland at College Park to work toward a master’s degree in horn performance, studying with Gregory Miller. At UW-Madison, she performed with the UW Symphony, the Wind Ensemble, and the UW Horn Choir. As a member of a student brass quintet, she completed a residential clinic at a middle and high school, performing and conducting master classes, and coached small chamber ensembles as they prepared for the state Solo and Ensemble competition. She also spent a semester in Vienna through the Study Abroad program, and feels “incredibly fortunate” to have played on stage this spring at Carnegie Hall with the UW Wind Ensemble.
“Studying in Vienna was incredibly valuable in many ways,” Amanda says. “Not only did I gain confidence from living on my own in a foreign country, but I also met a lot of amazing people and made some awesome friendships. I was incredibly fortunate to explore new places around the world and experience other cultures – albeit for a short amount of time. As for my experience at UW, I am very happy with my choice to study here. I’ve had opportunities here that have been invaluable to my growth as a global citizen. I couldn’t be happier about my decision to earn a degree from this university.”
Jeremy Kienbaum (B.M., music performance, viola/violin.) Student of David Perry (violin) and Sally Chisholm (viola).
Starting in September, I will be attending The Juilliard School to study viola with Samuel Rhodes, the former violist of the Juilliard String Quartet and chair of the Juilliard Viola Department. I am very honored to work with him, and excited to learn from and be surrounded by exceptional musicians.
I am eternally grateful for this opportunity to have studied with two fantastic professors, Sally Chisholm and David Perry; my musicality and technical facility have developed immensely through their teaching and guidance. Studying chamber music with Pro Arte quartet cellist Parry Karp has also been a rare treat; the devotion and joy he brings to coaching students makes every lesson meaningful, not to mention the wealth of musical knowledge he has shared with me over the last four years. I am truly in debt to all of my professors and colleagues here, who have helped to deepen my love and passion for music. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to take in all the arts New York City has to offer, but I’ll miss all of my friends at UW and cheese curds at the Terrace.
Daniel Black (B.M., composition, 2002), received a 2015 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S.. Former student of Joel Naumann (emeritus, composition); Stephen Dembski (composition) and David Becker (conducting, now at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas).
Sergio Acosta (BM, flute performance, 2011; MM, bassoon performance, 2013) now with The U.S. Army Field Band. Former student of Stephanie Jutt and Marc Vallon.
Jamie-Rose Guarrine (MM in vocal performance, 2002; DMA in vocal performance, 2005), will join the faculty of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as Assistant Professor of Voice. Former student of James Doing.
Ben Davis (B.M., music education, 2014), now in a master’s composition program at DePaul University and will participate in the Summer Academy for Young Composers at Akademie Schloss Solitude. Former student of John Aley (trumpet); also studied composition with Stephen Dembski and Filippo Santoro, DMA 2014.
Paola Savvidou (MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, May 2008; DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, May 2012) is Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri. Former student of Jessica Johnson.
Jonathan Kuuskoski (MM in piano performance & pedagogy, 2009), now Director of Entrepreneurship and Community Programs at the university of Missouri. Former student of Christopher Taylor and Jessica Johnson.
Julia Marion (BM, bassoon performance 2008), was a member of the inaugural class of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program and now freelances extensively in Europe and the U.S. Former student of Marc Vallon.
Chris Van Hof (DMA, trombone performance, 2013), is the tenure-track Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at Colorado State University. Former student of Mark Hetzler.
Join us to wish bon voyage to our newest grads!
The School of Music Graduation & Awards Recognition Ceremonywill be held in Music Hall on Friday, May 15, 2015 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please join us to recognize our generous donors and the fortunate and talented student recipients of scholarships and awards, as well as all the graduates of the School of Music who plan to walk at Camp Randall this May, in summer, or in winter of 2015. We’ll follow with a light reception of hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.
Parking on campus is free starting at noon on Friday until Sunday morning.
Click here for information about the official UW-Madison commencement ceremony at Camp Randall Stadium, Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16.
Cellist wins Yamaha Young Performing Artists Prize
Kyle Price, 22, a first year master’s cello student at UW-Madison and artistic director and founder of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, was recently announced as a prize winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. As a Yamaha Young Artist awardee, he will be invited to attend an all-expense paid weekend at the Music for All Summer Symposium and receive a once in a lifetime performance opportunity in front of thousands. Additional benefits include national press coverage, recording and photos of the live performance, and participation in workshops designed to launch a professional music career. Winners also enjoy many of the privileges of a Yamaha Artist, including services and communication with Yamaha’s Artist Relations department. Among other recent accomplishments, Kyle was also named a finalist in the G. Gershwin International Music Competition 2015 and semifinalist in the Maurice Ravel International Composition Competition (Italy). Kyle Price is a student of Prof. Uri Vardi and a Distinguished Paul Collins Fellow at the UW-Madison.
Percussion Ensemble makes new friends and plays music in China
by Anthony Di Sanza
Our host in Shenyang and Tony Di Sanza’s dear friend, Professor Qingshan Lu.
Members of the UW Percussion Ensemble (Megan Hobbs, DeLane Doyle and Jacob Bicknase) after a dinner with our new friends from Shenyang Conservatory.
At the Shenyang Emperor’s Palace. This was the palace used by the first three Emperors of the Ching Dynasty before the seat of power was moved to the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Vince Mingils, Trevor Maliborski and Lucas Gutierrez trying on the local Manchurian head ware at the Shenyang palace.
Shenyang Conservatory students during Tony Di Sanza’s darabukka masterclass.
Selfies aplenty after our first concert in Shenyang!
UW and Shenyang students rehearse for a concert featuring the music of Chinese composers.
Shenyang Conservatory and UW-Madison students enjoy a meal together.
(Click photos for captions)
On April 4, after a solid year of planning, fundraising and marathon rehearsals, the fourteen members of the UW-Madison Percussion Program–celebrating its 50th year– and its three faculty members traveled to Beijing and Shenyang, China, for their first international concert tour. They were invited by percussion professor Lu Qingshan of the Shenyang Conservatory, whose former student, Zhang Yuqi, is now a master’s candidate at UW-Madison. Faculty members from UW-Madison included Prof. Anthony Di Sanza and instructors Todd Hammes and Tom Ross. Concerts included music of the United States, Brazil, El Salvador, and China, plus a collaboration with Shenyang students on two jazzy percussion works.
While in China, the students also visited Tiananmen Square and the Beijing Olympic Park, and even snuck in some Badgers basketball updates while walking the Great Wall. As they moved from one location to another, they received practical lessons in how to set up and dismantle bulky percussion equipment, how to rehearse in unfamiliar concert halls, and how to create a seamless performance on a tight schedule with musical strangers (who then became friends).
“The best thing was just watching our students interact with the Chinese students,” says Prof. Di Sanza. “They went to lunch together, shopped together, drank together, rehearsed together, gave each others nicknames, and a bunch of us went to a pool hall late one night.” They even took selfies with each other (see above photos).
“We will treasure the relationships we built along the way,” he adds. “None of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsors in the United States, including the UW China Initiative, The UW-Madison Division of International Studies, Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Graebner and the UW-Madison School of Music. We are forever grateful for their support and confidence.”
UW’s Contemporary Jazz Ensemble wins a first prize in Eau Claire
On April 17, the CJE, directed by Assistant Professor Johannes Wallmann, won first place in the college combo category at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. The group performed compositions by saxophonist Joshua Redman and trumpeter Dave Douglas, and “Bon Voyage – An Ode to Adventure,” a new composition by the ensemble’s saxophonist Geoff McConohy, a UW senior from Menomonie. Because the ensemble finished first in its category, the group performed on the festival’s evening concert for an audience of a thousand at Eau Claire’s State Theater that featured headline artists The New York Voices. Student performers in the ensemble include students from the School of Music, the College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the School of Business. The Eau Claire Jazz Festival, now in its 48th year, is one of the oldest jazz competitions in the country, with participating middle school, high school, and college and university bands from around the Midwest.
University Opera secures Morgridge Grant and private bequests to create endowed directorship
Karen Bishop returned to school later in life to pursue her love of opera, earning a master’s and DMA from UW-Madison Opera. In January, she died of cancer. Her late husband, Charlie Bishop, has carried out her wish to support the program by providing funds which will be matched by the University’s Morgridge Fund. Donations are still being accepted. Read the full April 21, 2015 news release here.
Make Music this Summer with Summer Band!
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ending of the Civil War and historical Camp Randall with this free annual favorite, the UW–Madison Summer Band conducted by Prof. Scott Teeple. Community members, teachers, students alike can join in this music-making experience. Seven rehearsals and a single performance make this ensemble an exciting way to keep your musical chops in working order. The program will focus on music of the Revolutionary War and that time period to honor the anniversary. Click here to learn more.
We are pleased to announce a sneak peek at several guest artist/School of Music events planned for next year: please save these dates!
(Please note: Concerts may be ticketed. More information will be available in late summer.)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 7:30 PM, MILLS HALL: Brenda Rae, alumna soprano, sings Reinhold Glière‘s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano (1943) with the UW Symphony Orchestra. Benefit for University Opera. Tickets $25, on sale in July at the Memorial Union Box Office.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 7:30 PM, MILLS HALL: Renowned violist Noboku Imai performs with the Pro Arte Quartet.
OCTOBER 8-11, MILLS HALL: Celebrate Brass 2015!Festival with Axiom Brass and UW faculty & students.Ticketing & event details to come.
JANUARY 19-24, MILLS & MORPHY HALLS: Student Recital Festival. A full week of free performances by our own talented students! Check back in fall for details.
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 7:30 PM, MORPHY HALL: duoJalalbrings its mix of classical, Middle Eastern, jazz and Klezmer music to Madison. With Kathryn Lockwood on viola and Yousif Sheronick on percussion. Ticketing & event details to come.
APRIL 26-29, MILLS & MORPHY HALLS: UW Jazz Festival with Bob Sheppard, LA-based multi-woodwind performer, recording artist, and jazz musician. Ticketing & event details to come.
AUGUST 30, 2015 & MAY 2-5, 2016: “Performing the Jewish Archive”:The U.S. component of a major international research project led by the University of Leeds, in England, will shine new light on forgotten works by Jewish artists. In Madison, partners include the UW-Madison School of Music (Prof. Teryl Dobbs, chair of music education, faculty lead) as well as the Center for Jewish Studies, the Mayrent Institute, and the Arts Institute at UW-Madison, and Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society. Click here for more information.
Wingra Celebrates 50 Years
The Wingra Woodwind Quintet honored itself with a party and short concert on April 25 at the University Club. Many former members were in attendance. They also bid farewell to hornist Linda Kimball and clarinetist Linda Bartley. Stay tuned for the group’s roster next year!
Before coming to UW-Madison in 2009 as a recipient of a University Fellowship to study composition with Prof. Stephen Dembski, Filippo Santoro studied with renowned Italian composers Luciano Pelosi and Boris Porena and was inspired by teachers Franco Donatoni and Bruno Maderna. A native of Rome, Santoro received a master’s in composition as well as diplomas in piano performance and chamber music from the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome in 1998 and 2007; holds a master’s degree in music and semiotics from the University of Bologna (2002); and a master’s degree in composition from the State University of New York, Binghamton (2009). His work Arioso Mistico for soprano and orchestra was a winner of the 2010 UW-Madison Concerto Competition.
Last week, Filippo received his DMA from UW-Madison, with a dissertation project that included writing a collection of new chamber works that engage nearly every corner of the School of Music. We asked him to talk a bit about his life, his work, and his plans for the future.
Tell us about your dissertation project.
My dissertation is a collection of five works, one hour of music, that I call Modules. They can be seen as a whole or as independent works.
In these works I explore four different notions of modularity that I refer as “dynamic modularity,” “static modularity,” “interactive modularity,” and “on-stage modularity.” The concept of “dynamic modularity” appears in Per Quattro, my work for flute, clarinet, bassoon and double bass, comprised of sections that performers arrange in a different order each time they perform it. In my two pieces entitled Duplum for two cellos and two percussionists (see video below), I use “static modularity” in that there are also unique sections but these sections are performed in a fixed order that creates the overall form of the piece. “Interactive modularity” appears in Re-mote for solo bassoon and applied technology, in which the order of the sections of the piece is determined by the audience in real time through the aid of interactive web-based technology. Finally, I engage “on-stage modularity” in Cleave, a work for two percussionists, flute, bass clarinet, viola, double bass, trumpet, tuba, harp, mandolin, which combines the concepts of static and dynamic modularity.
What inspired you to become a composer?
Becoming a composer was a slow but natural process for me. I started as a performing pianist and I played a lot of chamber music in Italy. I think I became interested in writing music while I was playing with other musicians.
Tell us about a piece or project you have worked on recently.
I have been fortunate to collaborate with several fantastic performers here in Madison. I have been collaborating with Clocks in Motion, the School of Music alumni percussion ensemble and was one of the first composers to be commissioned by the group. It is beautiful to see how truly devoted they are to performing new music and to promoting new works. The commissioned piece is named Duplum and will be featured on their debut album “Escape Velocity” to be released in June. I also had a terrific experience working with Marc Vallon, professor of bassoon here at UW-Madison. I wrote him a long piece in which the audience participates in the performance through the aid of live technology. I am also writing a work for Kostas Tiliakos, visiting professor of oboe, and I am particularly excited since four other faculty professors will participate in this project.
How do you approach the process of starting or writing a piece?
I like to use a metaphor to describe it: imagine that an architect is commissioned to design a building. A good architect will begin by observing the architectural style of the surrounding buildings, the nature of the soils at the building site, how the space is currently used and the building’s proposed purpose. Similarly, a piece of music always develops from a small idea, like a seed, that you may want to take care of even long before it becomes a piece. I strongly believe that the music I write now reflects a biological process and that it somehow resembles the way plants grow. Sometimes I wait until I feel an urgency to write the piece I have in mind. After that, the most interesting part is the collaboration with the performer in which we determine how to convey musically complicated ideas within the score.
Who have been your influences as a composer and why?
Initially everybody! In my years in Rome at Santa Cecilia Conservatory, I had multiple interests. Of course, late Italian music played a role in my understanding of new music such as that of Berio, Sciarrino, Nono and Maderna. I was lucky to study with teachers who believed that there was no understanding of new music without an understanding of composers like Ravel, Bach and even Monteverdi.
How has your work as a composer influenced other parts of your life or vice versa?
Writing music is what I do and therefore I may have the tendency of seeing and finding music in other parts of my life. I think it is called “professional deformation.”
You are not only a composer but also a composition teacher. What is your approach to teaching composition?
I tailor my approach to the needs of the particular student I’m working with. Regardless of who the student is, however, I believe that clarity and transparency are critical components to teaching composition. This is particularly true for the teaching of young students who are looking for models to begin with. With students who are more advanced, I always think of myself as an active observer, who helps the student to find what he/she is looking for. A renowned Italian teacher, Franco Donatoni, said once that composition cannot be taught and that therefore one should strive only to stimulate in the student an attitude of inventiveness. I embrace this fully and I think that stimulation for a composer often means to search for ideas within the scores of other composers.
What do you see as the most important skills for a composer to have?
I’d say the ability to nurture curiosity in the listener. The role of a composer/artist is always to reveal something beyond what we already know.
What do you want your students to take away?
I want my students to understand, first and foremost, that what they do as composers should express something of who they are as individuals. All the rest should come naturally.
What do you hope to achieve through your music?
Basically, my music reflects the way I see the world, but I hope that it can also reflect and/or enhance the way others see their own.
Why do you think people have difficulty in understanding contemporary music?
This is something that has always sounded paradoxical to me. Understanding contemporary music shouldn’t be more difficult than understanding contemporary painting or architecture. The question for me is how to make new music available to be “explained” in the same way other form of arts are. If more so-called “classical” concerts programmed contemporary works alongside other less recent works, the audience would begin to see contemporary music as the product of a natural musical evolution. Doesn’t that happen to anybody who goes to a museum and walks from one historical island to another? Naturally, this person will begin thinking about connections and relationships between different artistic eras. I think performers and composers have a moral responsibility to encourage such an approach in their audiences. I believe new music should be “by definition” more interesting than any other music since it depicts where we are coming from, who we are in the moment and where we are possibly going in the future.
What are your plans now?
I intend to continue to work with ensembles and performers who are engaged in my music language and I am keen to explore and promote new avenues for composer and audience interaction through technology. Based on the concepts described in my dissertation, I plan to start working on a book that describes the integration of compositional methods and theories of natural systems. I also plan to publish analyses of the late works of Franco Donatoni to further explore the concepts of figura and growth.