News from the 2019-2020 Academic Year

Photo of Peter Erskine drumming

Thornton faculty perform at annual Jazz Education Network Conference

January 23, 2020

USC Thornton Jazz Studies faculty recently performed at the Jazz Education Network Conference on Jan. 7 in New Orleans, an annual conference bringing together jazz professionals, educators and students.


$1M gift ensures continued collaboration between USC Thornton, Kaufman School of Dance

January 22, 2020

The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance has received an anonymous $1 million gift, which will be used specifically to support continued artistic collaboration with USC Thornton. The two schools already share a history of collaborative programming, such as the annual Choreographers & Composers concert, which pairs Thornton composer with Kaufman dancers to produce new […]


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Sara Gazarek performs live set at Paste Studio NYC

January 21, 2020

USC Thornton alum and current Jazz Studies faculty member Sara Gazarek (BM ’04) recently performed a live set at Paste Studio NYC, performing three tracks from her latest album Thirsty Ghost. “The record is a truly, beautifully authentic representation of a very specific story, at a very particular time of my life,” Gazarek says of […]


Photo of Ted Hearne

Ted Hearne to premiere new opera in partnership with Beth Morrison Projects

January 20, 2020

Beth Morrison Projects, Trinity Church Wall Street, and PROTOTYPE Festival have announced a multi-year partnership that will produce the premieres of five new operas over the next three seasons, including the 2022 premiere of “Slaying of Innocence,” a new opera composed by Ted Hearne, acclaimed composer, performer and USC Thornton Composition faculty member. The work […]


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Thomas Newman receives Oscar nomination for “1917” score

January 17, 2020

USC Thornton Board of Councilors member and award-winning composer Thomas Newman has been nominated for an Oscar in the category of “Music (Original Score)” for his score of the World War I film “1917”. Newman faced a unique challenge scoring “1917,” which was shot to appear as one continuous take, at an unrelenting pace. The […]


Photo of film title "The Cellist"

Piatigorsky documentary, “The Cellist,” to be screened at USC Thornton following DVD release

January 16, 2020

“The Cellist,” a documentary detailing the life of famed cellist Gregor Piatigorsky will be released on DVD Jan. 28. Often heralded as one of the greatest classical musicians of the 20th century, Piatigorsky was a musical prodigy at an early age, and fled the Soviet Union to the United States in the 1920s. He ultimately […]


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Alan Smith to premiere song cycle at NYC songSLAM Festival

January 15, 2020

Pianist Alan Smith, chair of Keyboard Studies and director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts at USC Thornton, will be premiering a new song cycle on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the final event of the songSLAM Festival in New York City, organized by the art song consortium Sparks and Wiry Cries. The five-song piece, titled “Surfing the […]


Laura Karpman

Laura Karpman composes music for concert celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage

January 13, 2020

Laura Karpman, USC Thornton Screen Scoring faculty member and Emmy-winning composer, will debut a new composition on Jan. 18 at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s “…When there are nine,” a production celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. Karpman and her collaborator, librettist Kelley Rourke, composed the song cycle “And Still We Dream” […]


Remembering Jack Smalley

January 9, 2020

Jack Smalley, one of the founding faculty members of USC Thornton’s Screen Scoring program, died on Dec. 30 at his home in Studio City. He was 92. Having served and helped shape the Screen Scoring program for over 30 years, Smalley retired in 2015. He began his musical career as a jazz bassist performing in […]


Veronika Krausas

Veronika Krausas’ “Ghost Opera” named among decade’s best operas

January 8, 2020

Ghost Opera, a full-length dramatic opera by Composition faculty member Veronika Krausas, was recently named among the best operas of the decade by Opera Canada. Writer Stephan Bonfield praises the production as “aesthetically the most beautiful opera I saw this past decade.” The 2019 co-production between Calgary Opera and Old Trout Puppet Workshop featured artfully […]


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