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
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
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.
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.
[ Alumni News ]
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
Grawemeyer.org (November 28, 2016) By Kim Butterweck
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
[ alumni ]
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
[ alumni ]
Andrew 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
On June 23, 1941, the newly formed “Norfolk Music School” opened its doors. Five days later on June 27, at 3:00 in the afternoon, the first concert was held at Battell House.
“The Music Shed… is now used by students for organ practice and will be the scene of concerts and community singing later on.” (Musical America, July 1941)
The opening concert featured violinist, Hugo Kortschak, cellist Emmeran Stoeber and pianist Bruce Simonds performing piano trios of Mozart, Brahms and Ravel. MORE
Mount Allison University (May 27, 2016)
SACKVILLE, 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
Matt Albert (Norfolk ’97) Joins University of Michigan As First Chair of
New Department of Chamber Music
University of Michigan (May 3, 2016)
ANN 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
Yale School of Music (January 15, 2016)
Robert Blocker, Dean of the Yale School of Music, announced today that the School of Music and the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival will have a major leadership transition in 2016. Paul Hawkshaw, who has served as the festival’s director since 2004, will retire after the 2016 season. Melvin Chen, Deputy Dean of the Yale School of Music, has been appointed as Hawkshaw’s successor. MORE
[ Alumni ]
Japanese-American composer and conductor Yoshiaki Onishi was appointed Associate Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan in April of 2015. MORE
[ Alumni ]
New 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.
[ Alumni ]
On 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
[ announcement ]
University President Peter Salovey announced recently that Robert Blocker will be reappointed to a fifth term as the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music. The new five-year term will be effective July 1, 2016.
In a message to the University community, Salovey wrote: “This renewal is a reflection of Dean Blocker’s record as a transformative leader who has advanced the school—and the university more broadly—in significant ways. As dean, he has galvanized philanthropic support for music at Yale including the landmark gift that made the school tuition free; set new standards of educational excellence by recruiting world-class members of the faculty; and led our efforts to renovate and develop the school’s facilities—projects that will have impact on generations of musicians to come.” MORE
[ Announcement ]
Norfolk Faculty member, Ransom Wilson, has been named the new Music Director of the Orchestral Studies Program at the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA). NYSSSA is comprised of seven residential schools and offers training in ballet, choral studies, dance, media arts, orchestral studies, theatre and visual arts. Among the Faculty are members of the New York City Ballet, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Chautauqua Institution.
The School of Orchestral Studies is co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the New York State Education Department and the the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. MORE
[ Announcement ]
William Gill Gridley, Jr., 85, died peacefully after a brief illness Saturday, November 29, 2014, at his Norfolk, CT home. A 1951 graduate of Yale College, he served for twenty years on the board of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate, home of the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, in Norfolk, Conn.
Gridley was born January 10, 1929 in New York City. An investment banker by profession, Gridley began his career in 1953 at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked for 18 years before moving to American Express International Bank, where he was among the first western bankers to do business in China. MORE
[ Announcement ]
The Alexander String Quartet will join the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival faculty during the 2015 summer season.
Now is it’s 33rd year, the Quartet (Zakarias Grafilo, violin – Frederick Lifsitz, violin – Paul Yarbrough, viola – Sandy Wilson, cello) has performed in the major music capitals of five continents, securing its standing among the world’s premiere ensembles. Widely admired for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart and Shostakovich, the quartet’s recordings of the Beethoven cycle (twice), and the Bartók and Shostakovich cycles have all won international critical acclaim. MORE