News

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to premiere work with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

December 19, 2016

This February, jazz trumpeter and USC Thornton alumnus Ambrose Akinmusire (MM ‘07, jazz studies) will premiere an original composition with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s “Liquid Music” series. Akinmusire’s piece was co-commissioned by the Ecstatic Music Festival and he created the work with rapper Kool A.D. The premiere will include performances by the Mivos Quartet, […]


Calder Quartet takes on notorious Morton Feldman work

December 16, 2016

The Calder Quartet, which includes USC Thornton alumni Benjamin Jacobson (BM’01, MM’07, violin), Andrew Bulbrook (BM ’02, violin), Jonathan Moerschel (BM ’01, MM ’03, viola) and Eric Byers (BM ’03, cello), recently performed Morton Feldman’s notorious String Quartet No. 2 at the Met Cloisters museum in New York City. The piece is five hours in […]


Bill Biersach receives award for SH[eye]N band

December 16, 2016

Faculty member Bill Biersach of the USC Thornton Composition department has received a Silver Medal from the Global Music Awards for his improvisational jam band, SH[eye]N. The band, which includes Biersach on Chapman Stick and Ralph Loynachan on percussion, won distinction for “virtuosic improvisation, album and creativity/originality” for its recent album, “Opus 10: Big Percolator.”


Nick Strimple receives German-American Friendship Award

December 13, 2016

The legacy of Choral & Sacred Music faculty member Nick Strimple was recently celebrated in a special 70th birthday concert at the Adat Ari El Synagogue. Over a dozen USC Thornton student and alumni musicians, as well as the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale and the Beverly Hills High School Minnesingers, performed Strimple’s choral works, including […]


Cellist Ralph Kirshbaum releases Beethoven album with pianist Shai Wosner

December 12, 2016

Cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, chair of the USC Thornton Strings department and artistic director of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, has released an album of Beethoven’s complete sonatas and variations for cello and piano with collaborator Shai Wosner. The two-disc set, which was released on December 9th by Onyx Classics, was recorded live at London’s Wigmore […]


USC Thornton comes in at #2 in latest “Hollywood Reporter” ranking

December 9, 2016

The Hollywood Reporter has again named USC Thornton on its list of the top music schools, ranking the school at number two in the world. The article, “Top 25 Music Schools, 2016” makes special mention of Thornton’s cutting-edge Screen Scoring program and its relationship to the Los Angeles music industry. Composer and Screen Scoring faculty […]


Juan Pablo Contreras wins Jalisco Orchestral Composition Prize

December 9, 2016

Juan Pablo Contreras, a doctoral candidate of the USC Thornton Composition program, recently won the Jalisco Orchestral Composition Prize with his work, Mariachitlán. Written under the guidance of Composition chair Donald Crockett, the work will be performed by the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, under guest conductor Miguel Salmón de Real, on December 9 and 11, 2016. […]


Musical America names Benjamin Mitchell and Christopher Koelsch “Professionals of the Year”

December 8, 2016

Musical America has named USC Thornton student Benjamin Mitchell as one of its “Professionals of the Year,” in a focus on artistic innovators and entrepreneurs. Mitchell, a clarinetist and GCRT candidate in the Arts Leadership program, founded the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, which is currently thriving in its third season. Christopher Koelsch, president and CEO of […]


“The New Yorker” features Ted Hearne’s oratorio, “The Source”

December 8, 2016

The Source, a contemporary oratorio by composer and USC Thornton faculty member Ted Hearne, was a subject of “Modern Opera Thrives in L.A.,” an article in the December 12 issue of The New Yorker. Music critic Alex Ross wrote admiringly of Hearne’s “mesmerizing and disquieting collage of vocal, instrumental, and recorded sounds,” which was presented […]


Thornton Winners at Los Angeles International Liszt Competition

December 8, 2016

Several students of the USC Thornton Keyboard Studies department took prizes at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition held last month at Azusa Pacific University. Hanbo Ma (pictured at left), a DMA candidate under professor Daniel Pollack, won the top prize in the prestigious Budapest Concert Division, earning a solo recital tour to Washington D.C., […]


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