Strings News

Portrait of Etienne Gara holding a violin

Etienne Gara named Soraya’s next Artist in Residence

June 1, 2021

Violinist and USC Thornton alum Etienne Gara has been named Soraya’s next Artist in Residence. To kick off the two-year residency, The Soraya will present MusiKaravan, a series of short films to begin airing on May 6th, that follow Gara and fellow Delirium Musicum member YuEun Kim (GCRT ‘15, AD ‘17) on a pandemic road trip across California as they safely spread music and joy. One new episode will be released every Thursday throughout the summer on The Soraya’s and MusiKaravan’s social media channels.


Veronika Krausas

Detroit Symphony Orchestra to present world premiere by Veronika Krausas

May 7, 2021

On Saturday, May. 8, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present the world premiere of Caryatids by Veronika Krausas. The professor of Composition’s new work won the DSO’s tenth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers. The concert also includes the Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto featuring Midori, Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC. The digital […]


Violinists Etienne Gara and YuEun Kim featured on Volkwagen website

April 27, 2021

USC Thornton alumni Etienne Gara and YuEun Kim (GCRT ‘15, AD ‘17) have been featured on the Volkswagen website for their project, MusiKaravan. Over the last year, the two violinists have been traveling to farms and wineries in a restored 1971 red Volkswagen Westfalia, bringing music outdoors to essential workers. “We don’t always call in […]


Zelter Quartet wins Gold Prize at Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition

April 13, 2021

The Zelter Quartet has won the Gold Prize at the 2021 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition. The annual competition in Easton, Maryland was held virtually this year. The Los Angeles-based quartet includes violist Nao Kubota (MM ’19), a Graduate Certificate student; cellist Allan Hon, a Doctoral student; and violinists Kyle Gilner (BM’16) and Gallia Kastner.


Alumni featured in Los Angeles Times about pandemic loss and hope

March 19, 2021

Three USC Thornton alumni were recently featured in a Los Angeles Times article on classical musicians’ stories of pandemic loss and hope. Alexander Blake (DMA ‘19), Melissa Tong (BM ‘00), and Jonathan Karoly (BM ‘97) shared their stories of overcoming struggles during the pandemic and embracing new opportunities. “This time has confirmed that I’m a […]


New Opera West releases animated opera short

March 17, 2021

New Opera West, a nonprofit opera company co-founded by Vocal Arts doctoral student Emily Thebaut and Composition faculty member Mark Weiser, recently released “Pepito.” The animated dog opera written by Nicolas Lell Benavides, a doctoral student in the Composition program, is currently streaming on Vimeo. The work was animated by Esperanza Guevara, Connor Jacobs, and […]


Michael Tilson Thomas and Los Angeles Philharmonic win at 2021 GRAMMY Awards

March 14, 2021

The 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards, held virtually on Sunday, March 14, brought wins for faculty and alumni at USC Thornton. Celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a Thornton alum and Judge Widney Professor at USC, won for Best Orchestral Performance for the San Francisco Symphony’s “Copland: Symphony No. 3.” And the many alumni and faculty who […]


A collage of portraits of performers, some holding string instruments

Musical Theatre students and Sound Off! Music for Bail present events this weekend

February 24, 2021

This weekend, Musical Theatre students present a student-produced film that explores the legacy of enslavement, while graduate certificate student and Los Angeles Orchestra Fellow Jay Julio Laureta’s ensemble, Sound Off! Music for Bail, presents a virtual concert and fundraiser for a national bail fund. On Friday, Feb. 26 at 5:00 pm (PST), students in USC’s […]


Midori Goto holding violin

Midori named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2021

January 15, 2021

Celebrated violinist Midori, who served on the USC Thornton faculty for 14 years until 2018 and is currently a Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2021. This year’s award, which celebrates a lifetime of artistic achievement, also includes Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks, and Dick Van […]


Judith Farmer portrait

Judith Farmer releases new album of chamber music for bassoon

January 12, 2021

Winds & Percussion faculty member Judith Farmer has released a new album of chamber music for bassoon, Judith Farmer Plays Favorites. The album includes performances by Strings faculty member Andrew Shulman and alum Vicki Ray (DMA ’88), as well as a recording of a piece by alum composer Gernot Wolfgang (GCRT ’94). The album is […]


News archive