Weigang Li and the Shanghai Quartet
Returning to Norfolk After 32 Years

Violinist Weigang Li of the Shanghai Quartet talks about returning to Norfolk Chamber Music Festival for the first time since attending as a Fellow. 

The first time the Shanghai Quartet (Norfolk ’86, ’92) came to Norfolk, they were Fellows visiting the U.S. for the first time and barely spoke any English. “The Tokyo String Quartet had organized a late Beethoven Quartet seminar,” recalls founding violinist Weigang Li. “To this day I still remember the things we rehearsed and learned that summer.”

“I remember hanging out every night with the Tokyo players and Jesse Levine,” he says. “We learned English and how musicians lived their lives. It had a profound influence on us.” MORE

Published July 18, 2018
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Composer Yoshiaki Onishi (Norfolk ’04) named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow

On April 4, 2018, the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation approved the awarding of 173 Guggenheim Fellowships. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-fourth competition. Composer Yoshiaki Onishi (Norfolk ’04) was named a recipient of one of these Fellowships. MORE

Published April 13, 2018
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Tanya Bannister (Norfolk ’99) Named President of Concert Artist Guild

Concert Artists Guild  has announced the appointment of pianist Tanya Bannister (Norfolk ’99) as President of CAG effective July 1, 2018.  She will succeed Richard S. Weinert who is stepping down on June 30 after 18 years.

A 2013 CAG competition winner and board member since 2015, Bannister expressed enthusiasm upon learning of her appointment: “I have a long-standing and deep connection with CAG’s programs and core values. I feel not only a passion for the mission of the organization but also an embodiment of the core values that CAG has instilled in me.” MORE

Published April 13, 2018
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Two 2018 Fellow Ensembles Named Semi-Finalists at M-Prize Competition

Two ensembles attending the Festival’s Chamber Music Session this summer, the Vera Quartet and AYA Trio, have been announced as semi-finalists in this year’s prestigiuos M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition.

Vera Quartet

Since their formation in in 2015, the Vera Quartet have been named the Winners of the Grand Prize at the 2017 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the 2017 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and Second Prize at the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition. The Quartet (Justin Goldsmith, Ines Picado Molares, Patricia Quintero, Pedro Rodriguez) has held residency at the Beethovenhaus in Germany, as well as completed their first international tour in South Korea. As Quartet-in-Residence of the Jacobs School of Music New Music Ensemble under David Dzubay, the quartet recently collaborated with world-renowned pipa player Wu Man as part of the China Remixed Festival. The Vera Quartet is also involved in outreach projects in the Bloomington area and beyond; they have recorded pieces for the album Bloomingsongs produced by the Jacobs School of Music’s Musical Beginnings and have partnered with Bloomington’s Musical Arts Youth Organization to teach and coach chamber music to members of their youth orchestra. 
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Published March 26, 2018
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How Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Helped Us Win an Award

Rolston String Quartet (from left to right): Jeffrey Dyrda, violin – Luri Lee, violin – Jonathan Lo, cello – Hezekiah Leung, viola

The Rolston String Quartet (Norfolk ’16) credits attending the Norfolk Festival’s Chamber Music Session with helping them win the 2016 Banff International String Quartet competition. Cellist Jonathan Lo explains why. MORE

Published December 5, 2017
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Donna Yoo (Norfolk ’04) On How The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Informed Her Life

It’s been over a decade since Donna Yoo (Norfolk ’04) attended the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Chamber Music Session, and she’s still close to the quintet she played with that summer. Not bad for a group that was randomly formed by the Eastman School of Music faculty when they were freshman.

They called themselves Destino Winds. “It was as if we were put together by destiny,” Yoo says of the name. “Historically, these groups don’t stay together. We were the only freshmen quintet that stayed together all four years.” MORE

Published December 5, 2017
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[ Alumni News ]

Norfolk Composition Alumni Awarded Prizes By American Academy of Arts and Letters

On March 1st, the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced sixteen recipients of this year’s awards in music. The awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May.  Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Composer Andrew Norman (Norfolk ’08) is the recipient of a 2017 Arts and Letters Awards in Music which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. Established in 1941, the Arts and Letters Awards are now $10,000 each and are given annually. Composers receive an additional $10,000 toward the recording of a work. Composers Katherine Balch (Norfolk ’13) and Hilary Purrington (Norfolk ’13) have each been awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship of $7500, given to composition students of great promise.  MORE

Published March 13, 2017
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Andrew Norman (Norfolk ’08) Wins 2017 Grawemeyer Award

Grawemeyer.org   (November 28, 2016)  By Kim Butterweck

Playandrew-norman-2, a 47-minute orchestral work by American composer Andrew Norman, is the winner of the prestigious 2017 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

In three movements, “Play” explores the relationship of choice and chance, free will and control. It investigates the ways musicians in an orchestra can play with, against, or apart from one another; and maps concepts from the world of video gaming onto traditional symphonic structures to tell a fractured narrative of power, manipulation, deceit and, ultimately, cooperation. MORE

Published November 30, 2016
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[ alumni ]

Eighth Blackbird Named Musical America’s
2017 Ensemble of the Year

eighth_blackbird_In addition to being named Musical America’s 2017 Ensemble of the Year, Eighth Blackbird (Norfolk ’97) celebrates its 20th anniversary with its fourth GRAMMY® Award, Chamber Music America’s inaugural Visionary Award, and the coveted MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. MORE

Published October 21, 2016
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[ alumni ]

Andrew Norman Named Musical America’s
2017 Composer of the Year

andrewnormanAndrew Norman (Norfolk ’08) has been named Musical America’s 2017 Composer of the Year.

Norman’s work draws on an eclectic mix of sounds and notational practices from both the avant-garde and classical traditions. They have been described by the New York Times as showcasing “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors.” His symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the BBC, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Orchestre National de France, and many others. MORE

Published October 21, 2016
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[ alumni ]

Rolston String Quartet Named A Winner Of
2016 Astral National Audition

rolston_formalSelected from an initial nationwide pool of several hundred applicants, and following a competitive audition and interview process, the Rolston String Quartet (Norfolk ’16) has been named one of the seven winners of the Astral National Auditions.

As a winner the quartet will receive customized career development mentorship, a full complement of marketing materials, superior performance opportunities, community engagement experience, artistic exploration, and networking with top professionals in the field. MORE

Published September 22, 2016
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David Kaplan appointed Lecturer
in Piano at UCLA

DavidKaplan_bySamanthaWest2014

David Kaplan | Photo by Samantha West

Pianist David Kaplan (Norfolk ’08 and  YSM ’07MM, ’08MMA, ’14DMA) has been appointed Lecturer in Piano for the 2016-2017 academic year at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Kaplan has appeared in programs presented by the Ravinia Festival, National Gallery of Art, Tanglewood Music Center, Mostly Mozart Festival, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among others. He is a core member of Decoda, an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and is the artistic director of Lyrica Chamber Music, a concert series in Chatham Township, New Jersey. MORE

Published August 26, 2016
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Tesla Quartet (Norfolk ’11) Named Quartet-in-Residence at Mount Allison University.

Mount Allison University  (May 27, 2016)

TeslaStringQuartetSACKVILLE, NB — The Tesla Quartet has been named the Marjorie Young Bell String Quartet-in-Residence in the Department of Music at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick, Canada) for the 2016-17 academic year. This residency, funded by the Marjorie Young Bell Endowment Fund, has been established in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mount Allison’s first Bachelor of Music degree and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Marjorie Young Bell Conservatory of Music, and will kick off yearlong celebrations on campus.

“The Music Department of Mount Allison University is thrilled to welcome the Tesla Quartet in celebration of our dual anniversaries in 2016-17,” says Stephen Runge, head of Mount Allison’s Music department. “We know their presence on campus will enrich the musical education experience for our students, faculty, staff, as well as surrounding community members.” MORE

Published May 31, 2016
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Matt Albert (Norfolk ’97) Joins University of Michigan As First Chair of
New Department of Chamber Music

University of Michigan (May 3, 2016)

matt-albertANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance has appointed renowned violinist and violist Matt Albert as the first chair of its new Department of Chamber Music.

Albert (Norfolk ’97), currently director of chamber music and of SYZYGY at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, will begin his tenure at U-M in September. MORE

Published May 31, 2016
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Norfolk Alumni To Receive Awards from American Academy of Arts and Letters

Hannah Lash, composition faculty

The  American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the 2016 Music Ward Winners. Among the winners are Hannah Lash (Norfolk ’12, Yale School of Music ’12 AD) Keith Fitch (Norfolk ’93) and Thomas Kotcheff (Norfolk ’12).

Composer Hannah Lash (Norfolk ’12, Yale School of Music ’12 AD) has been named a recipient of a 2016 Charles Ives Fellowship. Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, bequeathed to the Academy the royalties of Charles Ives’s music, which has empowered the Academy to give Ives awards in composition since 1970. MORE

Published March 10, 2016
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[ Alumni ]

Owen Dalby (Norfolk ’03) Joins St. Lawrence String Quartet

OwenDalby_bySasithonPhotographyMandONew York-based violinist Owen Dalby is the new second violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ). He joined the group in June, 2015. Mr. Dalby, a graduate of Yale University, and  is an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician. As a native of Berkeley, California, his relocation will be as much a homecoming as a new beginning. “I’ve always considered string quartet playing as the pinnacle of what I could possibly do with my musical career,” Dalby explains, “so for me, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“Owen has an incredibly generous spirit and shares our passion not only for the quartet repertoire but for all that goes into bringing music to life,” says founding member and first violinist Geoff Nuttall. “We are thrilled that he has agreed to join the SLSQ family!”

Departing violinist Mark Fewer has been appointed William Dawson Scholar at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In their brief tenure together, Mark Fewer and his St. Lawrence String Quartet colleagues received critical and audience acclaim for their dynamic ensemble-playing. Geoff Nuttall adds: “Mark is a longtime friend, a terrific violinist, and one of the world’s great pedagogues. McGill is truly lucky to have him!”

Owen Dalby will first took the stage with the group in June, at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, where his SLSQ colleague, Geoff Nuttall, also serves as the Festival’s Chamber Music Series Director.

Published December 11, 2015
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[ Alumni ]

Florian Mitrea (Norfolk ’14)
Wins Chamber Music Award

FlorianMitreaPianoOn December 6th, Romanian pianist Florian Mitrea (Norfolk ’14)  won  Fourth Prize and the Chamber Music Award at the ninth annual Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Japan). Mitrea performed Prokofiev’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26. MORE

Published December 10, 2015
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[ In the Press ]

Andrew Norman (Norfolk ’08) on Loving ‘Star Wars’ and Pushing Musical Boundaries

Norman_Andrew_byBryanSheffieldNYTimesLOS ANGELES — When Andrew Norman was growing up, “Star Wars” was the only film his family owned on video. “We watched it every weekend for, seriously, years on end,” he said in October, during a short hike up a steep hill near his home. Fascinated by John Williams’s classic score, Mr. Norman decided when he was young that he wanted to be a composer. MORE

Published December 2, 2015
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[ Alumni In the press ]

Zorá String Quartet (Norfolk ’15) Wins First Prize at 2015 Young Concert Artists
International Auditions

The Strad  (November 11, 2015)  

ZoraStringQuartet_2015AlumThe Zorá String Quartet is one of six artists and ensembles to be named a First Prize Winner of the 2015 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

The winners each receive three major debuts next season in New York, Washington, DC, and Boston, and join the roster of Young Concert Artists Inc, which provides a minimum of three years of management services, concert engagements, promotion, and career development. MORE

Published November 18, 2015
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[ In the Press ]

Olga Bell (Norfolk ’04) Releases “Incantation”

OlgaBellOlga Bell’s 2014 album, “Krai,” was fearlessly obscure: a collection of songs in Russian that revealed grand compositional ambitions and a dynamic voice. (Ms. Bell was born in Moscow and raised in Alaska, and studied classical piano and electronic composition; she also sang and played keyboards with Dirty Projectors.) Her new EP, “Incitation” (One Little Indian), brings her to the arty, adventurous edge of pop. MORE

Published October 20, 2015
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