Strings News from the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Three USC Thornton cellists save the day at Walt Disney Concert Hall

January 22, 2018

On Friday, January 19th, three USC Thornton cellists took to the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall for a daring musical rescue mission, of sorts. When Los Angeles Philharmonic soloist Robert deMaine was unable to perform the U.S. premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s daunting modernist Cello Concerto at the last minute, conductor Susanna Mälkki invited […]


Applications now open for the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship

December 13, 2017

close The USC Thornton School of Music, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) have teamed up to launch a post-graduate fellowship program for musicians from underrepresented communities on the verge of launching careers in orchestral performance. The West Coast’s first comprehensive orchestral fellowship program for top-tier string […]


Lina Bahn offers auditioning advice on The Violin Channel

December 6, 2017

The Violin Channel recently turned to USC Thornton Strings faculty member Lina Bahn for its “Ask the Pros” series on the topic of auditioning for music schools. In addition to offering advice about preparation, Bahn pointed to the shortcomings of the audition process as opportunities to grow and develop as a musician. Her tips for […]


Violin alumni win orchestral positions

November 30, 2017

Two USC Thornton Strings alumni have recently won orchestral positions. Helen Kim (BM ’09) was appointed principal 2nd violin of the San Francisco Symphony in the spring of 2017. And Michelle Black (BM ’11) won a first violin position with the Indianapolis Symphony in May. Both were students of faculty member Margaret Batjer, who serves […]


This Saturday, Thornton celebrates new music from “Noon to Midnight” with the LA Phil

November 14, 2017

On Saturday, November 18th, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will welcome the city’s most adventurous music audiences to Walt Disney Concert Hall for a day-long celebration of contemporary composition, Noon to Midnight. In addition to performances by Steven Schick, Rage Thormbones, LA Signal Lab, Los Angeles Electric 8, wild Up, red fish blue fish, gnarwhallaby, SASSAS, […]


Thornton students sweep video performance competition

November 14, 2017

Students from USC Thornton’s Classical Division have swept the first James Ramos International Video Competition, a joint venture of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) and Social Media Works. Recognizing that Youtube and Facebook have become important video platforms for musicians to audition and to share their artistry with the world, the competition […]


Marek Szpakiewicz appointed Director of String Studies at Azusa Pacific

October 27, 2017

Cellist and USC Thornton alumnus Marek Szpakiewicz (MM ’01, DMA ’08) has been appointed Director of String Studies at Azusa Pacific University’s School of Music. Szpakiewicz has been teaching cello and chamber music at APU since 2005 and has served as Director of Chamber Music since 2014. His students have won top prizes at numerous […]


Argus Quartet wins prestigious Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition

October 24, 2017

The Argus Quartet recently won first prize in the annual Concert Artists Guild’s Victor Elmaleh Competition. The quartet includes USC Thornton alumni Clara Kim (DM ’15, violin) and Jason Issokan (MM ’10, violin), along with violist Dana Kelley and cellist Jo Whang. Along with co-winner, pianist Dominic Cheli, the quartet will receive a cash prize […]


Five Thornton musicians win principal positions with the American Youth Symphony

October 2, 2017

Five USC Thornton students and alumni have become principal chairs with the Los Angeles-based American Youth Symphony for the 2017-18 season. Student Tiffany Chung will serve as principal second violin, alongside principal oboe Laura Arganbright, and principal clarinet Sergio Coelho (GRCT ’16), while alumna Lieza Hansen (MM ’16) will serve as principal bassoon and Amy […]


Applications are now open for the LA Phil’s Hack Music LA

August 29, 2017

Applications are now open for Hack Music LA, a two-day event (October 7 & 8) that will bring together 75 of the country’s most creative makers to develop tools and experiences to expand music for all. The innovative, music-inspired hackathon is hosted by the LA Phil in partnership with the USC Thornton School of Music […]


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