Alumni News

Faculty and alumni featured in summer opera productions across the country

August 7, 2018

Several USC Thornton faculty and alumni have enjoyed success on the opera stage this summer. Faculty member Ken Cazan, the USC Thornton Opera’s resident stage director, returned to Colorado’s Central City Opera to direct productions of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Henry Mollicone’s 1978 chamber opera, The Face on the Barroom Floor. Starring as Galatea, […]


Greg Reitan receives Copland House residency award

August 1, 2018

Jazz pianist and film composer Greg Reitan (BM ’96, Composition), a USC Thornton alumnus, has been awarded a 2018 residency at the Copland House in New York state. The house, where Aaron Copland spent the last 30 years of his life, hosts selected composers for short-term, all-expenses-paid creative residencies each year. Reitan has worked as […]


Martin Chalifour to perform Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto at the Hollywood Bowl

July 30, 2018

Violinist Martin Chalifour, Principal Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) and a member of the USC Thornton Strings faculty, will perform Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 1, under the baton of Paolo Bortolameolli, at the Hollywood Bowl on August 2nd. Chalifour has spent much of the summer as a Valade Teaching Fellow and Valade […]


Guitarist Mak Grgić to tour with k.d. lang

July 23, 2018

Classical guitarist Mak Grgić (MM ’12, DMA ’16), a graduate certificate candidate at USC Thornton and an alumnus of the school’s Arts Leadership program, will open for k.d. lang during the artist’s Fall tour across the American South. Beginning September 7th, Grgić will perform on lang’s Ingénue Redux Tour in nine cities, closing the tour […]


Alumnus Carlos Rafael Rivera receives two Emmy nominations

July 20, 2018

Composer and USC Thornton alumnus Carlos Rafael Rivera (MM ’04, DMA ’10) has received two Emmy Award nominations for his work on the Netflix limited series, Godless. Rivera’s music has been nominated in the categories of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music and Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic […]


Ted Hearne premieres new work with Michael Tilson Thomas and the National Youth Symphony

July 19, 2018

On Thursday, July 19th, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA will premiere a new work by composer and USC Thornton faculty member Ted Hearne, under the baton of alumnus Michael Tilson Thomas (BM ’67, MM ’76), a Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC. Hearne’s Brass Tacks was commissioned by Carnegie Hall, where the […]


Pianist Robert Thies named Artistic Director of South Bay Chamber Music Society

July 18, 2018

Pianist Robert Thies (BM ’93, MM ’95), an alumnus of the USC Thornton Keyboard Studies program, has been appointed Artistic Director of the South Bay Chamber Music Society, which presents about 15 concerts each season in venues across the South Bay. Thies won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in 1995 and […]


Michael Lee premieres chamber work with New Orleans Chamber Orchestra

July 17, 2018

In June, composer and USC Thornton alumnus Michael Lee’s (DMA ’17) chamber work for strings and piano, Echoes for Strings and Piano, received its world premiere at the Marigny Opera House by the New Orleans Chamber Orchestra. Lee was the winner of the ensemble’s Spectri Sonori Composition Competition. Lee’s 2015 work for classical guitar, Unmasked, […]


Musicologist Alison Maggart joins UT Austin faculty

July 16, 2018

Alison Maggart (PhD ’17), a graduate of the USC Thornton Musicology program, has been named assistant professor of instruction at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music. Maggart has previously taught at California State University, Northridge, the Colburn Conservatory, and the KM Music Conservatory in India, among others. Maggart’s research is focused […]


Alumnus Andrew Goldman publishes neurological research about improvisational musicianship

July 10, 2018

Andrew Goldman (’08), a piano performance and neuroscience alumnus of USC Thornton and USC Dornsife, recently published a research paper, “Improvisation experience predicts how musicians categorize musical structures,” in the Psychology of Music journal. Goldman, who earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge, is currently a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience at Columbia […]


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