News & Events
Jessica Freeman will be directing the World Premiere of Godwin Sadoh's Ose Baba (Thank You, Father) for SATB with Piano Accompaniment, at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Fayetteville, New York, on Sunday, July 9, 2006.
The Department is pleased to welcome Anna Nisnevich (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) to the faculty as Assistant Professor in historical musicology. More
Andrew Weintraub will conduct research in Indonesia during 2006–07 under the auspices of a Fulbright Senior Scholars Award. More
Spring is the time when many fellowships and grants are distributed and several Department of Music graduate students have received significant awards. Benjamin Breuer (historical musicology) and Ivan Jimenez (composition and theory) received Mellon Predoctoral Fellowships for 2006-2007; Ron Horton (ethnomusicology) was awarded the K. Leroy Irvis Summer Research Fellowship; Dorcinda Knauth (ethnomusicology) received a J. William Fullbright Grant and a Foreign Language Studies Scholarship for Indonesian; Brandi Neal (historical musicology) won an FLAS Scholarship for German. Neal also won the prestigious 2006 Elizabeth Barranger Excellence in Teaching Award.
Wu Man gave the New York premiere of Eric Moe’s The Sun Beats the Mountain Like a Drum for pipa (a lute-like Chinese instrument) and electroacoustics on April 6 at Zankel Hall Carnegie Hall. Allann Kozinn of the New York times wrote that Moe “gave Ms. Wu pipa lines that had the spirit of a freewheeling rock improvisation.” The program included collaborations between Wu Man and traditional musicians from Uganda, Ukraine, and the Appalachian region of the United States.
Former music department students Paul Fitzsimmons and Skip Sanders are making headlines with Pittsburgh-based band Good Brother Earl. Fitzsimmons (guitar) received a Mildred Miller Posvar Scholarship in 1998, and Sanders (keyboard) received the 1998 Mellon Jazz Scholarship. Both were members of the Jazz Ensemble during their years at Pitt. Good Brother Earl’s recent CD, Perfect Tragedy is receiving regular airplay on local stations WYEP and WDVE. Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s article on Good Brother Earl.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will hold a reading session for student composers from Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne, and the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt doctoral candidate Michael Stephens' Oakland Overture was selected by the PSO for this year’s session which will take place March 4 at Heinz Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PSO resident conductor Daniel Meyer will lead the readings. The experience will also include a dialogue amongst the three composers, Maestro Meyer, PSO composer of the year Jennifer Higdon, and the members of the PSO.
For admission to the PSO student composer readings, please call 412-624-4125. The Department has a limited number of free tickets available for the event.
Michael Stephens (b. 1967) holds a B.M. in music education and an MA in music composition from Kent State University. He has studied composition with Thomas Janson, Frank Wiley, and P.Q. Phan. Oakland Overture was written for Roger Zahab and the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra who premiered the work in November 2004.
Mathew Rosenblum, Professor of composition, has been awarded a 2006 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Music Fellowship Grant. Opera America has awarded a 2006 Repertoire Development Grant to Rosenblum and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh to workshop his new multi-media opera RedDust at CMU this fall.
Rosenblum’s futuristic 00Opinions was performed in November by the California EAR Unit at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. The performance was in conjunction with an exhibit of costumes from the Star Wars films. Words/Echoes (2005) for percussion and pre-recorded CD will be premiered by Michael Lipsey later this season.
December 29, 2005
Bach and the Baroque and Music on the Edge shared the number 10 slot for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s selection of Best Classical Concerts of 2005. Don Franklin’s Bach and the Baroque Ensemble received recognition for performing Antonio Bertali’s Missa Novi Regis for the first time in 350 years. According to Post-Gazette critic Andrew Druckenbrod, the ensemble “performed it wonderfully.”
Music on the Edge codirectors Eric Moe and Mathew Rosenblum collaborated with Bell Yung, director of Pitt’s Asian Studies Center, to present pipa virtuoso Wu Man who premiered a new composition by Moe. According to Druckenbrod, “Eric Moe’s The Sun Beats the Mountain Like a Drum was a highlight in this fascinating concert of traditional and new music for the pipa.” Druckenbrod also described Eric Moe’s Tri-Stan, performed last March by Sequitur, as one of the “best new works heard live” during the past year.
Jazz critic Nate Guidry praised Nathan Davis and his annual concert for consistently being a “high mark of the year.” He noted Davis’ ability to assemble the “right mix of performers.”
The Department of Music takes its places among the city’s premiere music organizations, sharing honors with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society, Opera, New Music Ensemble, and Manchester Craftmen’s Guild among others.
Roger Zahab, lecturer in composition and theory, instructor in violin, and viola, and director of Pitt’s Symphony Orchestra, gave a violin recital as part of New York’s Prism Projects, an organization dedicated to the performance, recording, and promotion of contemporary music. Pianist Robert Frankenberry joined Zahab for the recital which took place on Saturday, December 17 at St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea. The program included Zahab’s own compositions Chelsea Jigs, Strip District, and radiant, Pitt Professor of composition and theory Eric Moe’s Strange Exclaiming Music, and works by Hayes Biggs and Linda Caitlin Smith.
Essays by Professor of music Don Franklin and Visiting assistant professor Jason Grant (PhD ’05) appear in the 2005 publication Passion, Affekt und Leidenschaft in der Frühen Neuzeit (Suffering, Emotion, and Passion in the Early Modern Period). Published by Harrasowitz Verlag (Wiesbaden, 2005), the volume includes a collection of papers presented at a conference held in 2003 at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbütteler, Germany. The aim of the interdisciplinary conference was to examine the connections between suffering, emotion, and passion with special emphasis on the Passion Jesu Christi.
Grant’s paper, “The Rise of Lyricism and the Decline of BiblicalNarration in Georg Philipp Telemann’s Lukaspassion (1764),” explores the expansion of poetic passages in the Passion text, at the expense of Biblical narrative, and how this trend indicates a move away from Pietism toward Enlightenment ideals.
Franklin’s paper deals with “Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s 1789 Matthew Passion as Pasticcio and Parody,” a work Franklin presented as part of Pitt’s Bach and the Baroque series in 2002. Though C.P.E. Bach’s work is a parody, with music drawn primarily from J.S. Bach and Gottfried Homilius, Franklin shows how Emanuel’s re-ordering of recitatives and arias creates subtle shifts in theological perspective.
Godwin Sadoh, who received his MA in ethnomusicology from Pitt, recently published an article titled “Fela Sowande: The Legacy of a Nigerian Music Legend” in The Diapason (December 2005). The article identifies Sadoh as “a Nigerian church musician, composer, pianist, organist/choral conductor and ethnomusicologist,” and by earning his doctoral degree at Louisiana State University in 2004, “the first African to earn the DMA degree in organ performance from any institution.”
Professor of Music Don Franklin (musicology) will chair a symposium as part of the Bach Festival 2005 at the Bach Académie de Montréal. The focus of the symposium will be Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with papers on the historical background, its theology, and arias. Franklin’s paper will address “The Musical Planning and Structure of the Christmas Oratorio.” The Orchestra of the Bach-Académie de Montréal and the Choir of The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul will perform the Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 as part of the festival. Bach Festival 2005 takes place from November 24–30. For more information visit www.bach-academie-montreal.com.
Virtuoso pianist Blair McMillen performed Professor of composition Eric Moe’s recent work Where Branched thoughts Murmur in the Wind to what New York Times reporter Bernard Holland described as a standing room only crowd at the West Village’s Tenri Cultural Institute. More
Routledge has published the third and final volume of Historical musicology professor Mary S. Lewis’ book on the sixteenth-century Venetian music printer Antonio Gardano.Antonio Gardano, Venetian Music Printer 1538-1569: A Descriptive Bibliography and Historical Study describes the printing career of Gardano, one of the sixteenth century’s most important music printers. The three volumes discuss his working methods, the repertory he published, the impact of music printing on composers, patrons, and the musical public, and the musical culture in which the music was produced. The catalog gives a complete description of all 442 editions that Gardano published, along with locations of copies and concordant sources for the individual works. Some of the composers whose music appeared in Gardano’s books include Palestrina, Lasso, Rore, Willaert, Arcadelt, Gombert, Regnart. and many others.
Professor of ethnomusicology Bell Yung has been very busy in Hong Kong during the month of November. On November 12 he gave a lecture on the biography of Tsar Teh-yun, master of the instrument qin, who celebrates her 100th birthday in November 2005 in Hong Kong. On November 19 Yung also participated in a concert of qin music performed by Master Tsar's students. On November 20, Yung chaired the discussion session as part of the “Meeting of the Gods: Festival of Experimenting Traditions 2005.” On November 27 Yung participated in a planning session to establish the Institute of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Hong Kong.
An article by ethnomusicology doctoral candidate Eun-Young Jung, “Articulating Korean Youth Culture through Global Popular Music Styles: Seo Taiji's Use of Rap and Metal,” will be published in the first English-language book on Korean popular music, edited by Keith Howard. Korean Pop Music: Riding the Wave will be published in June 2006 by Global Oriental in the United Kingdom and distributed in the United States by University of Hawaii Press. In 2004 Eun-Young was awarded the AKMR Prize by the Association for Korean Music Research (an ancillary organization of the Society for Ethnomusicology) for the most distinguished student paper on Korean music presented at the annual SEM meeting. The title of Eun-Young’s paper is “Interpreting Musical Traffic: Influences of Japanese Popular Music on Korean Popular Music Since the mid-1990s.”
Bell Yung, Professor of ethnomusicology and Director of Pitt’s Asian Studies Center, will give two gallery talks and a recital on the qin (a type of Chinese zither) at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian, Washington, DC, on October 21 and 22. Professor Yung’s presentations are in the exhibition “Virtue and Entertainment: Chinese Music in the Visual Arts”, which is part of Festival of China. For more information visit www.asia.si.edu.
Articles from a Department alumnus and a current doctoral candidate appear in the most recent volume of BACH, Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute. Vol. 36, Nr. 1. PhD candidate in composition Federico Garcia published “The Nature of Bach’s Italian Concerto, BWV 971.” Mark Peters (Musicology ’04) contributed “A Reconsideration of Bach’s Role as Text Redactor in the Ziegler Cantatas.” Peters is currently Professor of Musicology at Trinity Christian College.
The Music Department welcomes Amy Williams to the faculty as assistant professor in composition/theory. A featured composer and performer with the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Williams’ works have been performed by renowned contemporary music soloists and ensembles. Her prizes include the Wayne Peterson Composition Prize, the Thayer Award for the Arts, and the ASCAP Award for Young Composers, as well as grants from the American Music Center and Meet the Composer. More
Mary S. Lewis, professor of musicology, presented the closing address at the conference “Dedicating Latin Works and Motets in the Sixteenth Century” in Rome on August 20, 2005. The three-day conference was held at the Academia Belgica in Rome, and was sponsored by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
April 7–10, 2005
Music and Cultural Rights: Trends and Prospects
This conference will be held at the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland Campus. For more information, visit the Music and Cultural Rights Web site.
"Cultural rights" is a term that has received increased attention in recent years from scholars, musicians, cultural policy makers, commercial music producers, government funders, and activists alike. Claims surrounding music as a right have given rise to music rights language, music rights discourses, and music rights practices. This conference is designed to explore the meaning of cultural rights through the study of music as a cultural practice, a commercial product, and an aesthetic form.
The conference will bring together 25 presenters to address the following themes: individual and community entitlement; globalization; music and cultural rights violations; promoting awareness of music and cultural rights issues; safe-guarding music as a cultural right; and alliances and partnerships. Our goal is to create a dialogue among people from different sectors of music including musicians, concert curators, cultural officials, policy makers, music industry executives, foundation directors, legal experts, and academics. The focus of the conference will be on musical genres from different parts of the world that are rooted in local histories and traditions, and the ways in which they are being transformed within the changing conditions of the contemporary era. The conference aims to develop a multi-dimensional understanding of this rapidly changing world by examining the ways in which scholars, artists, policy makers, and activists negotiate, accommodate, and counteract these changes.
March 20, 2005
Spring Concert, Bach and Baroque Series
The concert will feature the first modern performance of the Missa Novis
The Bach and Baroque Ensemble will be joined by members of the Spiritus Collective, an instrumental group recently formed to perform music of the 17th century.
A New York Times reviewer wrote of the group (Oct. 4, 2004) "that the Spiritus Collective balanced three trombones against four human voices on the fulcrum of a continuo for theorbo and keyboard, and achieved harmonious, delightful equilibrium."
Also included in the program are works by Heinrich Schuetz, Johann Bach, an ancestor of Johann Sebastian, and Johann Rudolf Ahle, a predecessor of J.S. Bach in Mülhausen, where Bach was organist in 1707–08.
This program is sponsored by the Department of Music and (CWES) the Center for West European studies.
For ticket information please call 412-624-4126 or 412-624-4125.
The U3 Festival, a week of new music by faculty composers and student ensembles from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University was held March 15-19.
This collaborative effort included the following Pitt faculty, alumnae and
Program I: Chamber and electronic Music, March 15, 8 p.m. PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne
Music by David Cutler, Eric Moe (Hey Mr. Drummachine Man), Roger Dannenberg, Philip Thompson (Emergence), Eliyahu Tamar (Lo Od), Alan Fletcher
Program II: The Duquesne Symphony Orchestra, Sidney Harth, Conductor, Cyrus Forough violin, and the Carnegie-Mellon Wind Symphony, Denis Colwell, Conductor, Wed. March 16, 8 p.m. Carnegie Music Hall
Music bt Reza Vali, Alan Fletcher, Nikolai Lopatnikoff, Leonardo Balada,
Program III: The CMU Contemporary Ensemble, Walter Morales, Conductor and the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, David Stock, Conductor, Thurs. March 17, 8 p.m. Kresge Theater, CMU
Music by Lynn Purse (Premiere), Mathew Rosenblum (00 Opinionsi), Nancy
Program IV: Alberto Almarza , flute, Walter Morales, piano, Fri. March 18, 8 p.m. Alumni Recital Hall, CMU
Music by David Stock, Efrain Amaya, Nancy Galbraith, Reza Vali
Program V: The Pittsburgh Symphony, Daniel Meyer, Conductor Sat. March 19, 10 a.m Heinz Hall
Readings of works by Jeremy Sment, Federico Garcia (Passacaglia on a Theme of Bach), and Nicholas Batko
March 14, 2005
Congratulations to Sr. Marie Agatha Ozah and to Nathan Bowers for receiving the Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship 2005-2006.
February 27, 2005
Euba on Bartok: Akin Euba, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music, University of Pittsburgh, will give a public lecture for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, as follows:
Topic: Bridging Musicology and Composition:
The lecture is on of the activities connected with The Bartok Cycle, featuring the Takacs Quartet in the performance of the six string quartets of Bela Bartok. There will be two concerts, taking place on 27 and 28 February, each preceded by a pre-concert overview given by UCLA musicologist Robert Winter.
February 13, 2005
A CD with ties to the Pitt Music Department has been awarded a Grammy for "Best Traditional Folk Album." "Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster" (American Roots Publishing, 2004) was produced by David Macias. Released last August, it features 17 performances of Foster songs by artists ranging from bluegrass fiddler and singer Alison Krauss to classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Pitt's Center for American Music, directed by Professor Deane Root, chair of the Music Department, was closely involved in the project. The Center provided the producers with copies of Foster's original sheet music as well as images and documents that were used in producing "Beautiful Dreamer"'s album notes.
People all over the world see Foster as epitomizing American music," says Deane Root, Center for American Music director and professor and chair in Pitt's music department. "He launched what we think of today as popular music, and his influence is still being felt."
A century before the Grammys existed-decades before there was recorded music, in fact- Foster was composing such memorable songs as "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight" and "Gentle Annie," both of which appear on the Beautiful Dreamer CD (along with the title song, of course).
Macias currently is working on another project closely linked with Pitt's Center for American Music: a CD set of 50 songs spanning 400 years of American music. Supported by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, whose niece's husband will co-produce the CD set, the forthcoming Song of America is scheduled for release in 2006. It is largely based on a Pitt project that Root launched several years ago, called Voices Across Time, which provides secondary school teachers with recorded music from various eras to help them teach U.S. history through song.
From an article written by Sharon S. Blake, Feb. 21, 2005 edition of the Pitt Chronicle.
February 1, 2005
Visiting Assistant Professor Alan Shockley's orchestral work The Night Copies Me in all its Stars was recently chosen out of approximately 300 applicants for recording on ERM Media's "Masterworks of the New Era" series. The Kiev Philharmonic (Ukraine's national symphony orchestra) has already begun rehearsals, and the work will be recorded in mid-February for a commercial CD release slated for late spring 2005.
January 12, 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette places the Music on the Edge Concert, David Krakauer, Clarinet, Roger Zahab, Conductor (Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Oct. 26) on their top ten list of 2004's Best Classical Concerts. "Hearing a Pulitzer Prize-winning composition in the same year it won is a treat. This concert offered that, Moravec’s "Tempest Fantasy," and more. Performed by a stout ensemble of PSO musicians and top area freelancers, this concert on the excellent Pitt new music series held a rare relevance for classical music. The lyrical piece was even written for clarinetist Krakauer, who performed it admirably here. Osvaldo Golijov's "Dreams and Prayers of Issac the Blind," one of the more celebrated new pieces, was also on the program. It received a stunning performance by Krakauer, who combined his talent for klezmer and chamber music. Roger Zahab conducted a spacious interpretation of Golijov's "Last Round."
January 12, 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette places the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert (Carnegie Music Hall, Nov. 6) on their top-10 list of 2004's Best Jazz Show. "The 34th annual autumn University of Pittsburgh jazz concert featuring saxophonist Nathan Davis and guest stars was one of the best in recent memory. New or infrequent guests (including saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Lew Soloff and bassist George Mraz), bravura soloing and strong arrangements navigated with better-than-usual precision lifted this concert above the norm."
Burckhardt Reiter, a Mellon Fellow and PhD candidate in composition, conducted the premieres of one of his works at the Wellesley Composers Conference on July 31 and August 7. The piece, a wind quintet that was commissioned by the Composers Conference, was performed at the two-week conference by amateur musicians of the Chamber Music Center, which meets in collaboration with the Composers Conference.
July 12–August 13, 2004
The Center for American Music, a department within the University of Pittsburgh's Library System, has been awarded a $146,705 National Endowment for the Humanities grant to host a summer institute for schoolteachers. The institute, entitled "Voices Across Time: American History Through Song," will be codirected by Deane Root, chair of the Department of Music and director of the center, and Mariana Whitmer, project coordinator at the center. The institute will allow 25 secondary schoolteachers to explore topics in American history through the lens of music. Voices Across Time will take place July 12–August 13, 2004, at the University of Pittsburgh, sponsored by the Center for American Music.
In addition, the grant is one of 29 projects designated as We the People projects that will explore significant issues in U.S. history and culture for teachers and the general public. "NEH's We the People projects capture the imagination and articulate the guiding principles of our Republic. They reinvigorate our citizens' understanding of America's unique legacy of liberty," said NEH Chair Bruce Cole.
"Music sends messages about the lives and values of the people who produced, performed, and consumed it," is how Root describes the philosophy behind the project. "Music is also an accessible medium, one highly desired by children and attractive to them." The Voices Across Time summer institute will expand upon previously completed research based on these two principles. Specifically created to help teachers use music to teach history to students in grades 7 through 12 and adaptable for other grade levels and subjects, Voices Across Time, which was funded through the support of the Vira I. Heinz Endowment and the Grable Foundation, is a resource guide consisting of nine units, each dedicated to a different historical era. Voices Across Time teaches skills that teachers and students can use to decipher the messages encoded in the music while attracting the attention of the students with original music from every era. Voices Across Time helps to broaden students' understanding of the people who lived the events they study in all their ethnic, political, and socioeconomic diversity.
July 14, 2004
Damian Pwono (PhD '92) has been appointed secretary general of the International Music Council of UNESCO, Paris.
July 14, 2004
Publication of a new book by Kwasi Ampene (PhD '99) has been announced by Ashgate Publication. The book, Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana, is schedule for release in September 2004. Ampene is assistant professor of music at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
July 14, 2004
Mathew Rosenblum has been awarded a $40,000 Heinz Endowments Creative Heights Grant, jointly with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, to develop and produce a multi-media chamber opera to be premiered in 2006. Rosenblum, a member of the composition faculty, will be on sabbatical this fall as he works on the opera.
June 9–13, 2004
Professor Nathan Davis's Jazzopera: Just Above My Head received its premiere performances by the Pittsburgh Opera Theater on June 9–13. The opera, which is written for soloists, orchestra, gospel choir, and jazz quintet, is based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin. It presents a unique operatic fusion of jazz, gospel, Western classical music, and modern dance. The performances coincided with the 2004 National Performing Arts Convention in Pittsburgh. Davis also performed in the opera as part of the jazz quintet onstage. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reviewer said of the opera that all its musical “elements were woven wonderfully into the story line, providing tension, tenderness and jubilation.” The music critic from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewcalled the opera “a masterful mix that makes use of harmonic, rhythmic and melodic strengths from both” the orchestra and the jazz quintet.
June 10, 2004
The Department of Music of the University of Pittsburgh and the Schools of Music of Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University cosponsored the opening "Tune Up Party" for the first National Performing Arts Conference at Heinz Hall on June 10. Two groups from Pitt performed—the Men's Glee Club and a student trio.
June 6, 2004
Ben Geise, a Pitt music major, is the winner of the 2004 University of Pittsburgh-Mellon Jazz Scholarship. Geise, who will be a senior this year, studies guitar at Pitt with Joe Negri, whom Geise calls "a fantastic teacher and an amazing human being." Geise has been a member of the Pitt Jazz Ensemble for three terms and recently traveled to Jamaica, where he and the other ensemble members, under the direction of Pitt Jazz Studies Director Nathan Davis, performed for children at rural schools. Geise was presented with this year's scholarship at the Mellon Jazz at Hartwood Acres concert on June 6. This is the 18th year that Pitt and Mellon have joined to fund the $5,000 scholarship, given to a current or incoming Pitt jazz student who shows the most promise.
May 24–June 3, 2004
Mellon Professor Akin Euba presented a series of lectures at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, May 24–June 3. The lectures concentrated on modern African and African American composers and their compositions, along with an introduction to the current situation of African traditional music.
May 20, 2004
Friends of faculty member and orchestra director Roger Zahab, many of them former students of his, converged on New York City from as far away as Seattle and Minneapolis to perform in two concerts titled Stroke and Strike at the historic St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Chelsea on Thursday, May 20 and Saturday May 22, 2004. The music for string, keyboard, and percussion instruments included New York City premieres of works by Pitt faculty members Eric Moe and Roger Zahab as well as by Pitt alumna Barbara White (PhD '97).