As of Fall 2006
Bernardine Blaha and Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Keyboard Studies
This past March, Blaha and Fitz-Gerald adjudicated and presented master classes at the 58th Annual Hong Kong Music festival. Fitz-Gerald also taught at the International Keyboard Festival in Banff, Canada. His new recording of Liszt’s piano sonatas is scheduled for a fall release.
Donald Crockett, Composition
Donald Crockett was named a 2006 fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for music composition. His grant covers the twelve-month period from August 2006 to August 2007 during which he will be on a one-year sabbatical. The principal work that Crockett will be undertaking during his fellowship year is an opera project in collaboration with USC poet and professor of English, David St. John. Two new CDs with music by Crockett were issued over the past year: The Ceiling of Heaven on Albany and To Be Sung on the Water on ECM New Series with violinist Michelle Makarski. The ECM recording is pairing composers born more than 250 years apart: Baroque maestro Giuseppe Tartini, represented by three sonatas for solo violin, and Crockett, with ?Mickey Finn? and the title track, ?To Be Sung on the Water.?
Joanna Demers, Music History
Joanna Demers’ new book, Steal This Music: How Intellectual Property Law Affects Musical Creativity, deals with efforts to protect musical property. “What I like to tell undergrads passing through USC,” Demers said, “is that the era of mega-millions-earning stars is really coming to a close, and they can’t expect to make large sums of money through music. What they should aim to do is not lose money, and there are several clever ways to avoid this, like choosing a label that allows the artist to retain control over the copyrights.”
Tamar Diesendruck, Composition
Tamar Diesendruck was one of the four composers recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for 2006, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges composers who have arrived at his or her own voice. Her third string quartet, “DAGGER/the night has been unruly” was premiered by the Pro Arte Quartet in April in Madison, WI. The piece was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Commission in the Library of Congress.
Yehuda Gilad, Winds & Percussion
During his sabbatical, Yehuda Gilad gave a weeklong residency of master classes and performances at the University of Texas, Austin. He taught master classes at the Glen Gould Conservatory in Toronto, and Lulea University and Sibelius Academy in Sweden. While in Sweden, he also was guest conductor of the Gavle Symphony, and participated in the music festival in Bennidorm, Spain.
Stewart Gordon, Keyboard Studies
Stewart Gordon published the book Mastering the Art of Performance; A Primer for Musicians. Pubished by Oxford University Press, the book offers advice, exercises and examples for musicians on conquering the demands of performance.
Stephen Hartke, Composition
Stephen Hartke was named by USC President Steven B. Sample as a Distinguished Professor for his accomplishments that brought special renown to the university. Hartke was recently the recipient of the prestigious Charles Ives Living award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hartke and librettist Philip Littell collaborated on an operatic adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s short story “Boule de Suif, or, The Good Whore,” which examines the lives of several characters during the Franco-Prussian war. This full-length opera received its world premiere at Glimmerglass Opera’s 2006 Festival Season.
Morten Lauridsen, Composition
Thirteen CDs featuring music by Morten Lauridsen were released this past year, including two that were Grammy-nominated: an all-Lauridsen recording entitled Lux Aeterna, by Polyphony and the Britten Sinfonia and O Magnum Mysterium by the Tiffany Consort. The National Endowment for the Arts designated his Madrigali: Six ‘FireSongs’ on Italian Renaissance Poems and Magnum Mysterium as “American choral masterpieces.”
Frederick Lesemann, Composition
This past April, Lesemann’s “Two Pieces for Four Trombones, Percussion and String Bass” was performed by the NEC Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Frank Epstein at the New England Conservatory.
Gwendolyn McGraw, Music Education
Gwendolyn Mcgraw released two albums for young children and their parents, the award-winning Love Me Playful and a companion CD of lullabies, Love Me Tender. The albums were issued by the Gymboree Corporation, part of the series Songs of Peace and Play.
Vince Mendoza, Jazz Studies
Vince Mendoza has been chosen to be the new chief conductor and music director of the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra. Entering their 60th year, the Metropole Orchestra is the world’s preeminent contemporary music group. Known for their performances in a wide range of styles, they have been host to countless guest soloists and conductors from every imaginable musical genre.
Kristy Morrell, Winds & Percussion
Kristy Morrell gave master classes at the Eastman School of Music. Together with Susan Helfter, Thornton?s director of outreach efforts, she wrote an article titled “Performing Musicians in the Schools: The Preparation and Training of Musician Teaching-Artists,” which was originally presented at the 2005 symposium of the Society for Music Teacher Education in Greensboro, NC.
Daniel Pollack, Keyboard Studies
While on sabbatical in Europe last fall, Daniel Pollack gave several master classes and concerts in Berlin, Brussels, Graz, London, Nurenberg and Vienna. He also performed as soloist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, was the guest artist at the International Summer Academy of Music in Michelstadt, Germany, and participated in the juries of the International Anton Rubinstein Piano Competition in Dresden and the Maria Callas International Piano Competition in Athens. Pollack also made a recording of Schumann and Liszt, scheduled for a Spring 2007 release.
Cherry Rhodes, Keyboard Studies
In April 2006, Delos International released Cherry Rhodes in Concert, which is an unedited live performance of her 2004 performance on the Dobson organ at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. In October, Rhodes will play the first full-length solo organ recital of the newly inaugurated Dobson organ in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Brian Shepard, Composition (Pedagogical Technology)
Brian Shepard won an IDEA Award for Interactive Music Education for his participation in Internet2. Led by more than 200 U.S. universities, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education. This year’s IDEA award winners represent applied advanced networking at its best, and hold the promise to increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world.
Alan Smith, Keyboard Collaborative Arts
Alan Smith has been commissioned by Music Accord to write a vocal chamber piece for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The thirty-five minute work, for mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe of the Metropolitan opera, is based on texts from the journal of a woman who crossed the plains and mountains in 1850 on her way to California with her husband. The piece, called Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman, is schedule to be premiered at Lincoln Center in February 2008 will follow-up performances in Boston, Tanglewood, Ann Arbor and San Francisco.
John Thomas, Jazz Studies
John Thomas spent five weeks in Croatia on a State Department-funded tour performing concerts and giving trumpet workshops. He played concerts and gave workshops at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the University of Mahidol, Bangkok, Thailand, and traveled to Lima, Peru, for 10 days performing with the Maria Schneider Big Band, where he gave workshops at the Instituto Cultural Peruano Notea Americano Organization. Two articles by John Thomas were published in two leading trumpet journals. “The Lead Trumpet Player” appeared in the International Trumpet Guild Journal and “Playing the Lead” was published in the Jazz Educators Journal in December 2005. His My Instructional Trumpet DVD will be released this fall and distributed by Hal Leonard.
Frank Ticheli, Composition
Ticheli traveled widely here and abroad, guest conducting his music with the Jeju Wind Ensemble in Korea, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and at Baylor University, Purdue University, Louisiana State University, the American Band College, the Interlochen Summer Music Camp, and the Mid-Europe Music Clinic in Schladming, Austria. Three new Ticheli works were completed and had their world premieres: Sanctuary, composed for Robert Reynolds and premiered by the University of Michigan Symphony Band; NITRO, commissioned by the Northshore Concert Band for their 50th anniversary season; and the orchestral version of An American Elegy, commissioned by the Tampa Bay Youth Symphony. He published four works by Manhattan Beach Music: Abracadabra, Joy, Joy Revisited and Sanctuary. Several new recordings were released, including an All-Ticheli CD recorded by the North Texas Wind Symphony; Vesuvius, recorded by the Dublin, Ireland Concert Band; and Shenandoah, recorded by the U.S. Airforce Band of Washington D.C.
James Tyler, Early Music Program
James Tyler, who retired this past April after 20 years at USC, received the Thomas Binkley award for 2006. This award is named for the legendary lutenist and educator Thomas Binkley, who taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, made groundbreaking recordings with the Studio der Frühen Musik, and served as founding director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. The Award recognizes outstanding achievement in both performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college collegium musicum.