Faculty Composer Laura Elise Schwendinger’s opera Artemisia, about the life of the great baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, will receive five performances this year, three in New York and two in San Francisco.
The first of these performances will happen Nov. 3, 2018 at Symphony Space, Thalia Theater– New York by the Center for Contemporary Opera, with an all-star cast featuring Augusta Caso, mezzo soprano as Artemisia Gentileschi. Hailed by the LA Times as “mysteriously smoldering…a name to remember,” Caso is becoming known for her “silken…beguiling mezzo” and “fine subtle acting” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle). This past season, Augusta made her makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Flowermaiden in Wagner’s Parsifal under the baton of Maestro Nézet-Séguin.
Then in February and March, the award-winning Trinity Wall Street Novus will present a partly staged production of Artemisia. Trinity’s Time’s Arrow festival, taking place this season from March 5-9, 2019, is conceived as a unique combination of Baroque and contemporary works united by a common theme. Continuing its commitment to amplifying the voices of female artists and exploring sensitive contemporary themes, this year’s Time’s Arrow festival juxtaposes old and new stories of the biblical figure Susanna. The festival includes Handel’s Susanna, as Trinity continues its long-term presentation of the composer’s oratorios, and the new opera Artemisia, fully staged by director Christopher Alden. Artemisia tells the story of the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who portrayed herself as Susanna in her famous painting Susanna and the Elders. The opera was composed by Laura Schwendinger to a libretto by Ginger Strand and will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya.
The performances by Trinity Wall Street, as part of their Time’s Arrow Festival in February and March, directed by the world-renowned opera director Christopher Alden, were featured in the New York Times Fall Preview.
In June, the award-winning Left Coast Ensemble will present the fully staged chamber music version of Artemisia. They will focus on the art and milieu of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi and Depression Era photographer Dorothea Lange, in two chamber operas with projected images that come to life. Laura Schwendinger’s new opera tackles Gentileschi’s struggles and triumphs as she battles inequality and reveals hidden stories.
Johannes Wallmann releases new quintet album, Day and Night
In November 2018, Mead Witter faculty pianist-composer Johannes Wallmann released a new quintet album, Day and Night, on Shifting Paradigm Records. Grammy-award winning trumpeter Brian Lynch, saxophonist Dayna Stephens, bassist Matt Pavolka, and rising star drummer Colin Stranahan join Wallmann for a collection of original compositions and re-imagined jazz standards.
With this quintet, Wallmann revisits musical connections established over more than two decades in the jazz world. Wallmann has been living in Madison, Wisconsin since 2012, when he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin’s Mead Witter School of Music as the inaugural holder of the Peterson Chair in Jazz Studies, spearheading the development of a jazz program. Prior to that, he spent five years teaching at a California State University campus near Oakland. But Wallmann’s longest-lasting home, and the location of his formative professional years was New York City, where the German-born, Canadian-raised pianist spent his twenties and early thirties making his living playing jazz in bars, clubs, and the occasional concert hall.
Veteran bassist Matt Pavolka first met Wallmann as students at Berklee College of Music and became a long-term musical partner on many of Wallmann’s gigs in the 1990s and early 2000s. Wallmann got to know Brian Lynch as a colleague at NYU, and Colin Stranahan as a student at the New School. Wallmann’s musical collaboration with Dayna Stephens first began in California’s Bay Area, the saxophonist’s former home, and Stephens has since guest-starred on two previous Wallmann albums, The Town Musicians (2015) and Love Wins (2018).
Wallmann recalls: “It was exciting to bring these four people, whose playing I love, together to make this album. Everyone knew each other from some project or another, but they had not worked in this combination before. Each player in the quintet has such a distinct and individual sound and style that going into the project, I didn’t quite know how they would go about negotiating the blend that makes more for a successful band, but I knew that with their tremendous musicianship and experience, they would find a way to make it work. Luckily, we were able to schedule two full days of rehearsals in the middle of everybody’s busy summer, and while it was very focused work, it was a huge joy hearing the music come together as the players figured out where to connect and where to leave space for each other’s individuality.”
The album’s source material consists of equal halves of Wallmann’s original compositions and of jazz standards. The opening track, “Press Briefing,” is an instrumental jazz impression of a White House press conference, and through the melody statement and solos by Stephens and Wallmann, travels the distance from an orderly filing in of the press core, to welcomes, announcements, the day’s agenda, and an increasing counterpoint of arguments and counterarguments that leads to shouted questions, and in the end of Lynch’s fiery trumpet solo, a primal scream of exasperation. Eventually, the tune and the press briefing reach their inevitable conclusion, and as the players leave the stage one-by-one, eventually someone turns off the light.
Other Wallmann originals include “No Blues for No One,” a Blakey-esque shuffle custom-built for Lynch, the final trumpeter in the long and proud history of the Jazz Messengers. Other songs include “Toddlin’,” a joyful but slightly precarious-feeling second-line groove inspired by the first steps of Wallmann’s young daughter; the Horace Silver-inspired ballad “Nocturne”; and a jazz waltz “What Now?” that first appears mid-set as a solo piano interlude and later returns in quartet form with Stephens on baritone saxophone.
Day and Night is Wallmann’s eighth album as a leader, but the first to focus as extensively on his interpretations of the standard jazz repertoire. On the album’s title track (in the lyrics of the bridge, Porter turns “Night and Day” into “Day and Night”), Wallmann turns the repeated pitch of the song’s verse (“Like the beat, beat, beat of the tom tom…”) into a repetitive piano ostinato at the center of a harmonically altered, Dilla- influenced, odd-meter (15/4) groove.
Thelonious Monk, an important early influence of Wallmann’s, is represented with two lesser-known compositions, “Think Of One,” and the ironically bouncy “Bright Mississippi.” Rounding out the program is a Middle Eastern take on “All Or Nothing At All,” and an all-rubato version of Duke Ellington’s “Solitude.”
Wallmann has previously recorded seven critically acclaimed albums as a leader, including The Johannes Wallmann Quartet (1997), Alphabeticity (2003), Minor Prophets (2007), The Coasts (2010) and Always Something (2015). His 2015 quintet album, The Town Musicians, was named an Editors’ Pick by DownBeat Magazine.
Conductor Chad Hutchinson wins three awards from The American Prize
Prior to his time in Madison, Dr. Hutchinson was the Assistant Conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras. As comfortable in the pit as on the stage, he has recently led productions at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Morningside College.
Committed to education, Dr. Hutchinson taught orchestra in the public schools for nine years in Sioux Falls, SD and Williamsville, NY. He later taught collegiately at Northwestern College(IA) and was the Coordinator/Music Director of the Siouxland Youth Orchestras in Sioux City, Iowa. He holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Morningside College (IA).
The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than $50,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.
Additional information about the competitions on the website:www.theamericanprize.org
For other runners-up in this category and for additional winners already announced in 2017-18 in other competitions, please follow this link: http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/
Runners-up of The American Prize receive certificates, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on recorded performances. In addition to written evaluations from judges, winners are profiled on The American Prize websites, where links will lead to video and audio excerpts of artist performances.
THE AMERICAN PRIZE—History & Judges
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.
With the performing arts in America marginalized like never before, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.
The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.
David Ronis Achieves Second Place in The American Prize in Directing, the Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2017-18
Professor David Ronis, director of opera, has achieved second place in The American Prize in Directing contest, the Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2017-18. Prof. Ronis was selected from applications reviewed recently from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than $50,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.
The American Prize in Directing recognizes and rewards the best stage directors of theater, musical theater and opera in America, based on submitted recordings. There is no live competition. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, The American Prize in Directing is renamed in memory of Charles Nelson Reilly, honoring his unique career and in recognition of the eleventh anniversary of the artist’s death, on May 25, 2007.
Charles Nelson Reilly was a Tony Award-winning actor and Broadway stage director, and an acclaimed opera director and teacher. Far more than the zany television personality by which he was most often identified, Reilly nurtured the creation of a whole series of unique one-person stage plays. Most famously, he directed Julie Harris in her Tony Award-winning star turn in “The Belle of Amherst”, on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson. Among Reilly’s many Broadway directing credits were Ira Levinʼs “Break a Leg”, Larry Shueʼs “The Nerd”, and the revival of “The Gin Game”, starring Julie Harris and Charles Durning, for which Mr. Reilly was the sole American director to be nominated for a Tony in 1997. Mr. Reillyʼs career as an opera director included productions for Chicago Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Toledo Opera, Milwaukee Opera and Opera Pacific. Charles Nelson Reilly and The American Prize chief judge David Katz were friends for three decades, first meeting through their mutual Hartford voice teacher, Mrs. Friedrich Schorr. Mr. Reilly served as honorary chairperson of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice from the competition’s founding in 1990, until his death.
Link to official announcement: http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2018/06/winners-stage-directorsthe-charles.html
In 2017, Teryl Dobbs, associate professor of music education and co-investigator of Performing the Jewish Archive, presented two papers at the University Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria April 18 – 22, 2017, for the 25th European Association for Music in Schools/International Society for Music Education European Regional Conference 2017, Joint (ad)Venture Music: Networking as a Challenge for Music Teachers: (1) Performing the Jewish Archive and its Potential for Joint (ad)Ventures in Music Education, and with Viennese soprano (and former adjunct professor of voice at UW-Madison) Elizabeth Hagedorn (2) Cultural Relevance and the Singing Voice: An (ad)Venture in Re/Imagining Music Learning and Teaching.
Emeritus Professor of Percussion James Latimer won a Lifetime Achievement Award at annual Wisconsin Days of Percussion event, January 27, 2018 in Milwaukee. While at UW-Madison, Latimer spearheaded a Duke Ellington Festival, started the Madison Marimba Quartet, initiated the first of 300 Young Audience Concerts held in public schools from 1969 to 1984, and hosted the Wisconsin Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion.” Read full story here.
We congratulate Professor Beverly Taylor, director of choral conducting, as a 2017 winner of the Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts. The Baldwin Award recognizes and honors extraordinary artistic projects and endeavors of the highest quality carried out by tenured members of the UW-Madison arts faculty. This award provides $20,000 of general research support to a faculty member in the creative arts.
In April 2017, Prof. Taylor’s Concert Choir outdid itself with a stellar performance of “Après moi, le deluge,” featuring the gifted cellist Matt Haimovitz. In 2006, Taylor’s choir and Haimovitz premiered this work, which was written by a former student of Taylor’s, Luna Pearl Woolf, when Woolf was a student of Taylor’s at Harvard. The 2017 reprise in Mills Hall drew an enthusiastic audience, who also were treated to radiant spirituals and a premiére of Laura Schwendinger’s “for Paris,” with violist Sally Chisholm.
In April, Daniel Grabois, professor of horn, was unanimously awarded tenure by the College of Letters and Sciences. Before coming to UW-Madison in 2011, Prof. Grabois served as chair of Contemporary Performance at the Manhattan School of Music and as artist and teacher of horn at The Hartt School in Connecticut. He has been a member of the Meridian Arts Ensemble, a sextet of brass and percussion, since 1989. Grabois recently released his first solo CD, Air Names, for which he wrote all the music. The recording features horn and electronics and explores the boundaries of classical music with rock and free improvisation. Grabois is also the founder and curator of the SoundWaves series at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The series combines music performances with science lectures by UW faculty members.
Bassoonist Marc Vallon is a 2016 winner of a Vilas Associate Award. The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and on-going research of the highest quality and significance. Recipients are chosen competitively by the divisional Research Committees on the basis of a detailed proposal. The Vilas Associate Competition is open to tenure-track and tenured faculty, from the assistant professor level to professors within 20 years of their tenure date.
Professor Vallon will use the Vilas Associates Award to build, in collaboration with the French woodwind instrument maker Olivier Cottet, a replica of an 18th century bassoon kept in the Musée de la Musique in Paris. The ultimate goal of the project is to make available to today’s performers one of the finest instruments of the classical era.
Composer Laura Schwendinger is a winner of a Discovery Grant from Opera America for her opera Artemisia. The Discovery Grant provides $15,000 to female composers to advance new works. An independent panel selected six winners from a pool of 68 applicants. Artemisia is based on the life Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi. An important follower of Caravaggio and the first women member of the Accademia in Florence, Gentileschi was raped at age 16 by Agostino Tassi, an artist with whom she studied. Tassi was sentenced to prison but never served time, and the case overshadowed Gentileschi’s achievements for years. However, today she is regarded as one of the greatest painters of her time.
Cellist Parry Karp, longtime member of the Pro Arte Quartet and teacher/ensemble coach at the School of Music, has been named a Wisconsin Academy Fellow for 2016. Established in 1981, the Fellows program represents the highest level of recognition conferred by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Drawn from a pool of statewide nominees, Fellows are elected for their extraordinary levels of accomplishment in their fields as well as lifelong commitments to intellectual discourse and public service. – See more at: http://www.wisconsinacademy.org/fellows/2016-fellows-awards-ceremony#sthash.VMSzuFZI.dpuf
Karp is artist-in-residence and professor of chamber music and cello and the director of the string chamber music program. He has been cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet for the past 39 years, the longest tenure of any member in the quartet’s over 100 year history.
Sally Chisholm, violist for the Pro Arte Quartet, was appointed this spring to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation named professorships. She was a founding member of the Thouvenel String Quartet and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, where she has performed with artists such as Leon Fleisher and Yo-Yo Ma. Chisholm has performed on The Today Show, was featured as Musician of the Month by Musical America, toured China and Tibet, and was a finalist at the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition and First Prize winner in the Weiner International Chamber Music Competition. The appointment includes $75,000 in research support from WARF over five years. Chisholm will now be known as the Germain Prévost Professor of Music.
Professor of Voice James Doing has been engaged by the National Association of Teachers of Singing to be one of four master teachers at the 2016 NATS Intern Program, to take place from June 7-16 at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
The Intern Program is a 10-day forum that pairs experienced and recognized master teachers of voice with talented, young teaching professionals to promote the dynamic exchange of ideas and techniques, and substantially improve studio teaching skills. Two of the twelve chosen interns are our alumnae Jamie-Rose Guarrine who currently teaches at University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Jamie Van Eyck who teaches at Baylor University.
Each master teacher will observe and guide three interns during eight days of lessons in which each intern will give four lessons each to a male and to a female student. The program also includes recitals, master classes, and a lecture or presentation on a topic of expertise by each of the master teachers. Professor Doing’s topic will be “Visual feedback for Singing Instruction” during which he will give a lecture on acoustics and resonance in singing and will demonstrate how to use biofeedback from the software program VoceVista in training singers. VoceVista is a unique hardware/software package which incorporates the two electronic signals most revealing of the singing voice (real-time spectrum analysis and electroglottograph).
Donald G. Miller, Harm K. Schutte and James Doing designed VoceVista in 1995-96. Faculty in one hundred universities in North America and twenty institutions throughout Europe now employ VoceVista in vocal pedagogy classes and in applied voice instruction.
Prof. Laura Schwendinger has received a Kellett Mid-Career Award for her opera, Artemisia, based on the life of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8, 1593 – c. 1656), which was a co-commission by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Trinity Wall Street Novus. It will be performed both in San Francisco and New York. Her Kellett award will support two CDs featuring vocal music and chamber works, performed by Matt Haimovitz, Patricia Green and Christopher Taylor, among others.
In February, Schwendinger’s work High Wire Act was performed on the Edward T. Cone concert series at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. In March and April, the Richmond Symphony will perform her work, Waking Dream, following her residency there. Her Animal Rhapsody will be performed by the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra.
A new CD by Assistant Professor of Horn Daniel Grabois was released on February 5, 2016.
The CD, entitled Air Names, is being released on the Summit Records label. It contains sixteen tracks of music for horn with electronics as well as bass and drums, all composed by Grabois. In addition to the horn, Grabois plays two instruments he invented, the noreba and the bouchero. The disc contains a multiplicity of styles, from rock tunes to Middle Eastern sounding melodies to music influenced by Indian raga.
Air Names is available here:
Prior to a performance of her composition, Chiaro di Luna, by Seattle’s North Corner Chamber Orchestra in Seattle, Composition Professor Laura Schwendinger was interviewed by a writer for Second Inversion, a local blog. “Known for their dynamic performances and adventurous programming, NOCCO’s 2015-2016 season features works by three different American women composers. The star of this weekend’s performance is composer Laura Schwendinger’s gorgeously luminescent Chiaro di Luna, a piece filled with icy strings and glimmering melodies inspired by the mysterious beauty of Lake Como in Italy.” Read the full post here.
Professors Uri Vardi (cello) and David Perry (violin) plus pianist Paulina Zamora of the University of Chile have released an album of Brahms piano trios on the Delos label. These include the Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87, the Piano Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 101, and Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8. The album is available at Amazon.
UPDATE: Gramophone magazine lauds CD in a review:
James H. Latimer, Emeritus Professor of Music (1968-1999) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be granted the distinction of honorary doctor of Humane Letters from Florida A & M University (FAMU), to be awarded at their December 11, 2015 fall commencement. Latimer’s first university position was at FAMU in the late 1950s and the first of three University percussion programs that he established in his professional career.
In addition to his academic work, Latimer was cited for his international connections, Fulbright assignment, guest clinician, performance and conductor appearances, establishment of the now 33-year old Madison Marimba Quartet, extended service to the community through the Capitol City Band and the VFW (Post 1318) Volunteer Community Band and for his humanitarian service through Rotary International, United Way, on campus and in the communities where he lived. Among those American greats with whom Latimer worked are Duke Ellington, Alan Dawson, Max Roach, William Kraft, Paul Price, Paul Creston, Sarah Caldwell (Boston Ballet) and Arthur Fiedler. Latimer also recorded with Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. He was further cited for the accomplishments of his students who attribute their successful careers in part to the teachings of Professor Latimer. Students have gone on to be Deans and Professors of Music at prestigious institutions, performers in professional orchestras, bands and chamber groups, as well as authors, composers, physicians and successful business leaders. Prior to his retirement in 1999, Latimer was timpanist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra for 31 years. Latimer is the 34-year conductor of Madison’s Capitol City Band and the VFW Community Band.
In June, Susan C. Cook took part in an invited panel entitled “Crossing Disciplines” as part of the Mellon Foundation funded Summer Seminar on Dance Studies hosted by Northwestern University. She spoke about her own research on ragtime dance as well as her experience crossing disciplinary boundaries in her teaching and scholarship. In August, she co-hosted the FTM13 conference with Monica Hairston O’Connell from the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, Chicago. The biannual FTM conferences focus on feminist and gender scholarship in music; this year’s conference theme focused on feminism and black critical thought.
UW-Madison musicologist Lawrence Earp and collaborators Domenic Leo (Duquesne University, Pittsburgh) and Carla Shapreau (UC-Berkeley) are the 2015 winners of the Claude V. Palisca Award, recognizing an outstanding scholarly edition or translation in the field of musicology published during the previous year. The three won for their work on the Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript (DIAMM, 2014). The 796-page, full color manuscript, dating from the 14th century, is also known as the Codex Vogüé and has long been considered one of the most elusive of all of the great illuminated Medieval manuscripts. Read a news release about the manuscript’s publication.
The Claude V. Palisca Award honors each year a scholarly edition or translation in the field of musicology published during the previous year (2015) in any language and in any country by a scholar who is a member of the AMS or a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the United States, deemed by a committee of scholars to best exemplify the highest qualities of originality, interpretation, logic and clarity of thought, and communication. “Previous year” refers to the copyright year as found on the copyright page of the book. Three categories of musicological works are eligible for the Palisca award: translations into English of musicologically significant texts; editions of music; or editions of musicologically significant texts.
The award committee, consisting of five scholars, will accept nominations from any individual and will choose a single winner from among all the candidates. The winner receives a monetary prize and a certificate, conferred at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation of the Society by the chair of the committee. An individual may receive the award only once.
The full manuscript may be purchased online for 560 English pounds; shipping is extra.
News from Anthony Di Sanza, Professor of Percussion: In the spring of 2015 a double CD recording featuring orchestral works by Michael Udow was released on the Equilibrium label. Di Sanza’s performance of Udow’s multiple percussion concerto Moon Shadows, performed with the Madison Philharmonic (a professional ensemble featuring many UW-Madison faculty and graduate students) under the direction of Scott Teeple, is a featured work on the recording. In November, Di Sanza will perform Moon Shadows with the University of Texas-Austin Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jerry Junkin, at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio, Texas. In July, Di Sanza performed at the International Society for Improvised Music Conference in Chateau D’Oex, Switzerland with Roger Braun (percussion) and Andre Gribou (piano), both faculty members at Ohio University. Di Sanza also has revised his most recent composition, Time’s Arc: 2nd Concerto for Darabukka in preparation for publication and recording.
Composition Prof. Laura Schwendinger spent July at the MacDowell Colony, where she had a fellowship to work on her upcoming opera Artemisia, a chamber opera based on the life of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi. She presented her music to the Walden School student composers, and composed several other pieces, including a commissioned work for the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestras, as part of her LEAGUE of AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS, New Music Alive Residency with the Richmond Symphony. In April 2016, the Richmond Symphony will be performing her Waking Dream as part of their Altria Masterworks series. She recently finished Aviary for Clocks in Motion, which will be premiered in November. Other upcoming highlights include performances by the Ruckus Ensemble, who will be featuring Schwendinger’s vocal works on their Livewire 5: Poetry of Song, Music of Words Festival at UMBC. In December the North Corner Chamber Orchestra of Seattle performs her Chiaro Di Luna, and in February, her work High Wire Act, will be performed at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University on their Edward T. Cone series. Following the premiere of her Creature Quartet last May at the Wisconsin Union Theater, the JACK Quartet finished their recording for her Albany CD Quartets, also featuring Christopher Taylor and Jamie Van Eyck, which is set to be released in early 2016.
This past summer, Wes Warnhoff, adjunct professor of clarinet, and the VCP Trio traveled to Madrid, Spain to represent the University of Wisconsin-Madison and perform a concert of contemporary music for the clarinet, violin, and piano trio medium. The other two members of the trio are Edisher Savitski, Assistant Professor of Piano from the University of Alabama, and Diana Moisejenkaite, a DMA candidate from Michigan State University in violin. The group was invited to perform at the Conde Duque Cultural Center in the heart of Madrid for the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2015. The concert also collaborated Drs. Elsa and Walter Verdehr from the Verdehr Trio and Michigan State University. The joint presentation was designed to highlight top commissions to the European audience and help to continue to gain exposure for this growing medium.
Daniel Grabois, Assistant Professor of Horn, has a new publisher, Brass Arts Unlimited, that has taken on Dan’s entire catalog. This includes a brand new etude book, Horn Excerpt Boot Camp, to be published in October. Meanwhile, his debut solo CD, Air Names, will be released by Summit Records in February. The CD features 15 tracks, all composed by Dan, in a rock style. Dan plays every part except bass and drums. Finally, a new CD by Dan’s chamber group Meridian Arts Ensemble will be released in early 2016, and will include Migration, another Grabois composition.
Last year, professor of trumpet John Aley was invited to perform in Cuba for the 500th Anniversary Celebration of the City of Santiago de Cuba. In May, he traveled with a brass quintet made up of performers from across the U.S. including University of Richmond, Western Washington University, and Penn State. He received a WARF grant to be able to accept the invitation to perform at this special occasion and to learn more about Cuba’s rich historical and musical culture. He travelled and performed with UW-Madison School of Music graduate Michael Davison who is an internationally recognized authority on Cuban music. The trip gave John the opportunity to observe, learn, interact, teach, and perform with a range of creative musicians in Cuba. The brass quintet presented several performances and worked directly with community and Santiago Conservatory student musicians.