9 months ago

Overtones: Spring 2018

Overtones: Spring 2018

NOTATIONS In September

NOTATIONS In September AVNER ARAD (Piano ’89) served on the jury of the 2017 Janáček International Piano Competition in the Czech Republic. While in Prague he also gave master classes at the Janáček Academy and the Prague Conservatory. ZVI CARMELI (Viola ’90) has been appointed senior lecturer in viola at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. YUMI HWANG-WILLIAMS (Violin ’90), concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony, was the soloist in three performances of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in November, appearing with four days’ notice when the scheduled soloist cancelled due to illness. Yumi is scheduled to solo again with the Colorado Symphony in May, performing the Serenade by LEONARD BERNSTEIN (Conducting ’41). In August CHRISTI MUSE ZUNIGA (Chamber Music and Accompanying To Be Heard George Walker’s Lyric for Strings will be performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on April 29. BY WILLIAM SHORT (BASSOON ’10) George Walker Evening lessons with Rudolf Serkin in a room “so dark you could hardly see the keys.” The Common Room, “so elegant, and so removed from all the things that one knew existed—bigotry even in churches, and in the restaurants—but when you walked in there, it was so peaceful and so elegant.” Into this evocative environment entered the young GEORGE WALKER (Piano and Composition ’45), who after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music would become a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist, and advocate for social justice. His latest work, Sinfonia No. 5, deals with the 2015 Charleston church massacre; the National Symphony will premiere it next season. Initially admitted alongside longtime friend SEYMOUR LIPKIN (Piano ’47) as a piano student of RUDOLF SERKIN, George soon found himself unable to expend his seemingly boundless energy solely through piano-related pursuits: “I needed to do more than practice five hours a day.” He began to study composition with the legendary ROSARIO SCALERO, whose insistence on starting every one of his students with the fundamentals of counterpoint fascinated George. “The more linear aspects of writing,” while not necessarily of interest to every composer of his generation, were definitely of interest to him. He made it his goal “to infuse what I do with some of these elements which are considered archaic,” but to use them “so that they don’t seem academic.” Impressively for a man who, in addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, has been awarded seven honorary doctorates (including one from Curtis, in 1997) and two Guggenheim Fellowships and has been inducted into the America Classical Music Hall of Fame, among numerous other accolades, George’s most earnest desire is “just to have people hear my music. That’s all I want.” William Short is principal bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Christi Muse Zuniga ’91) performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Amy Sims, Paul Ledwon, and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra under the baton of Victor Yampolsky. She served as principal keyboard for the festival, held in Fish Creek, Wis., and continues as principal keyboard with the Omaha Symphony. VICTOR YERRID (Percussion ’92) debuted his second orchestral puppet show, Race for the Reef, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in October. In November he took his puppets to Singapore and Malaysia to reprise his first production, The Great Chipmunk Picnic! ELIZABETH OSTLING (Flute ’94) has been named fine arts research consultant at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She recently joined the advisory board of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. LIZA KEROB (Violin ’96) returned last fall from a chamber music tour in South Korea, and recently played in La Baule, London, Nantes, and Tours Liza Kerob with her Goldberg Trio. Liza will perform the Stravinsky concerto in April with the Monte-Carlo Philarmonic and Maestro Pascal Rophé. HEATHER CONNER (Piano ’97) has been named to an endowed professorship, the Chancellor’s Chair of Pre-College Piano, at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. In December TIM FAIN (Violin ’98) appeared with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, at a global initiative Tim Fain at the Vatican, and at Ravinia in a multi-media duo recital with Nicholas Britell. This summer he will attend Australia’s Canberra Festival and Canada’s Scotia Festival. Tim’s newly formed trio with cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley focuses on classical traditions, new works, and cutting-edge technologies. In September PAUL JACOBS (Organ ’00) served as president of the jury for the Shanghai Conservatory of Music International Organ Competition. In October he performed Wayne Oquin’s Resilience with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and in November he appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, performing Stephen Paulus’s Grand Organ Concerto. In January Paul performed again with the Philadelphia Orchestra in James MacMillan’s Scotch Bestiary In June NICK KENDALL (Violin ’01) and EFE BALTACIGIL (Cello ’02) will premiere a duo by CHRIS ROGERSON (Composition ’10) on the Seattle Symphony’s {untitled} series. YEVGENIY SHARLAT (Composition ’01) was among the composers commissioned by the Kronos Quartet for a project entitled “Fifty for the Future.” His Pencil Sketch was premiered by the quartet in November. MARY ELIZABETH BOWDEN (Trumpet ’04), currently a resident artist at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, performed as a soloist with the Evansville Philharmonic in February, and at the Big Sky Music Festival and the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland last summer. She was also soloist with the Peninsula Symphony in March 2017. Her brass quintet, Seraph Brass, was a featured ensemble at the 2017 International Women’s Brass Conference and the Forum Cultural Guanajuato in Mexico, and will release its first studio album on Summit Records in 2018, featuring a work by RENE ORTH (Composition ’16). ZHOU TIAN’s (Composition ’05) Grand Canal, a large-scale suite for two Chinese traditional soloists, Chinese opera singer, and orchestra, received its European premiere in February 2017. Jiamin Song led the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s performance at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. DENIS PETRUNIN (Timpani and Percussion ’06) was appointed principal timpanist of Symphony Orchestra 32 OVERTONES SPRING 2018

NOTATIONS Milestones Births On June 10 HEATHER CONNER (Piano ’97) and her husband, Caleb Harris, had a baby girl, Emery Makayla Harris. She joins brother Logan, age 3. Heather Conner and family LAURA BLOCK FULLER (Viola ’07) and her husband, Andrew Fuller, gave birth to Natalie Maria Fuller on September 4. Samuel Elias Fuller, 2 years old, welcomes his new sister. ALLEN BOXER (Opera ’11) and Sophie Lagane-Boxer announce the birth of their second son, Arthur, on November 27 in Berlin, Germany. His big brother, Robin, is five years old. Marriage Mara Gearman and Jeffrey Fair MARA GEARMAN (Viola ’02) and Jeffrey Fair, a horn player, were married on September 10 at the Olympic Sculpture Garden in Seattle. Both are members of the Seattle Symphony. (Appropriately, a movement of Mozart’s Horn Quintet was performed at the ceremony.) TIEN-HSIN CINDY WU (Violin ’08) was married on October 1 to Ryan Goodfellow, a computer scientist in Los Angeles. Her teachers IDA KAVAFIAN and STEVEN TENENBOM (Viola ’79) participated in the wedding: Ida walked their ”dog of honor” down the aisle, and Steve made a speech representing Cindy’s American family and mentors at the reception. ANGELA PARK (Cello ’07) was the maid of honor, and ROB PATTERSON (Clarinet ’07) played the second movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. The guests included ARNOLD STEINHARDT (Violin ’59), PETER LLOYD (Double Bass ’78), CHE-YEN CHEN (Viola ’98), and MIDORI. Deaths SYLVIA LEVIN (Piano ’34) passed away on July 25 in Creal Springs, Ill. Born in Coney Island, Brooklyn, she raised her family in the New York area, where she worked as financial comptroller for a consulting engineering firm in the steel industry. A gifted pianist, Sylvia entered Curtis at age 12 as a student of Isabelle Vengerova. She delayed college until her 40s, attending in the evenings after work and graduating with her bachelor of arts in psychology from Brooklyn College when she was 50 years old. She then attended graduate school at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. In 1976 she and her husband, Hy, moved to Pittsburgh. Following her husband's death, Sylvia moved to Illinois at age 81. She continued to play the piano well into her 90s. JANE PHELAN VOGEL (Voice ’47) died in July in Utica, N.Y. A soprano, she was active in musical circles all of her life. Beginning in 1947, Jane performed every Friday evening on a local radio show. She was a soloist with the Utica Symphony, with the Paris Chamber Orchestra at Hamilton College, and in many oratorios in Cooperstown, as well as at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Jane married George A. Vogel in 1947, and they enjoyed a blessed marriage for over 48 years before his passing in 1996. ELAINE HOFFMAN WATTS (Timpani and Percussion ’54) died on September 25 at her home in Ardmore, Pa. Born in 1932, Elaine grew up in West Philadelphia, and became Curtis’s first female graduate in timpani and percussion. She joined the New Orleans Symphony for a year, then returned to Philadelphia to freelance. She married Ernest Watts in 1955. For more than six decades, Elaine taught klezmer drumming and traditional drumming in her home. She performed often with the band Fabulous Shpielkes. Her awards included a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2000), a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (2007), and a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award (2007). In 2009 a documentary film, Eatala: A Life in Klezmer, was made about her life. Elaine Hoffman Watts WALTER J. FREIMANIS (Double Bass ’60) passed away on June 11 at age 80. Walter was born in Latvia to a German family that relocated to Germany and then to the United States, settling in Vineland, N.J. After studying double bass at Curtis, Walter switched to the cello, which he played for the rest of his life. In the 1960s, he joined the music faculty of the State University of New York at Oswego, retiring as a full professor in the early 2000s. During that time, he performed extensively in the United States and Canada as a soloist and chamber musician. He wrote numerous chamber works and pieces for solo cello, and conducted the Oswego College-Community Orchestra for a number of years. WILBER “CORKEY” CHRISTMAN (Harp ’62) passed away in October in Schenectady, N.Y. Corkey was born into a family with a strong literary heritage, and was an art student in South Carolina before focusing on the harp and transferring to Curtis. After graduation Corkey developed and presented programs that blended music, poetry, and dance. In 1967 he married pianist Patricia Stanley Harris. In his later years as a performer, Corkey concentrated on dinner music, and his innovative arrangements of classical, folk, and pop tunes made him a favorite with Tanglewood celebrities like violinist Itzhak Perlman, who sometimes joined Corkey for kazoo and harp duets. In 2009, Corkey began taking classes in drawing and painting, reviving his early interest in the visual arts. LOREN KITT (Clarinet ’63) died on September 4 at age 76 in Glens Falls, N.Y. He served for more than 40 years as principal clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra, Loren Kitt and taught at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Maryland. Born in Bremerton, Wash., in 1941, Loren started playing clarinet in the fifth grade. As a teenager, he heard the Philadelphia Orchestra on tour, a turning point in his life. Soon he was playing well enough to perform regularly with the Seattle Symphony. After graduating from Curtis, he was principal clarinetist with the Milwaukee Symphony before joining the NSO in 1970. He played his final official concerts with the NSO in February 2017, but came out of retirement to play in Mahler’s Second Symphony in June. GENE E. STANDLEY (Horn ’74) died on August 31 in Alexandria, Ohio. He was born in Pittsburgh in 1952 and played the horn professionally from age 17. After graduating from Curtis, he freelanced for several years and played for ten years with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1990, Gene moved to Ohio and joined the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, where he served as principal horn from 1991 until his death. When not performing, Gene spent time on the family farm with his wife and children, and enjoyed collecting and selling vinyl records through his eBay business. OVERTONES SPRING 2018 33

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