Strings News

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 […]


Gabriel Martins with cello

Gabriel Martins wins 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition

October 14, 2020

Cellist Gabriel Martins (BM ’19), an alum of USC Thornton’s Strings program, has earned another notable award, marking his third major prize in what has been a momentous year for the decorated artist. Martins has been announced as one of two Grand Prize winners in the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. The prize […]


Photo of two violinists playing outdoors while wearing masks over their faces

USC Thornton alumni launch MusiKaravan mobile concerts

October 13, 2020

USC Thornton alumni Etienne Gara and YuEun Kim (GCRT ‘15, AD ‘17), members of the celebrated chamber ensemble Delirium Musicum, have launched a unique mobile, outdoor concert series called MusiKaravan. While Delirium Musicum’s live concerts remain on hold, the two have traveled around California by car to perform safely outdoors for workers at farms and […]


Many musicians with string insruments stand together in a white room

Thornton artists awarded San Francisco Classical Voice Audience Choice Awards

September 17, 2020

Multiple USC Thornton artists and alumni-founded ensembles were awarded San Francisco Classical Voice’s Audience Choice Awards for the 2019-2020 season. This year was the first-ever Audience Choice Awards with a category dedicated to celebrating the vibrant classical music scene in Los Angeles. HOCKET, the piano duo of alumni Sarah Gibson (MM ‘10, DMA ‘15) and […]


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