This page includes recent achievements, performances, and publications of the Bienen School faculty.
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Stephen Alltop (conducting and ensembles) led the Apollo Chorus last December in performances of Handel’s Messiah at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and conducted "Deck the Hall" performances at Old St Patrick's Church in Chicago. Last fall, he delivered lectures for the Northwestern University Alumnae Continuing Education series on "The Top Ten Composers in Music History" and presented pre-concert lectures on Brahms for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As harpsichordist and organist, Alltop performed with the Chicago Bach Project, the Milwaukee Symphony, Chicago's Music of the Baroque, Dempster Street Pro Musica, and the Rembrandt Chamber Players. In February, he conducted in South Korea for the first time, leading Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem and the world premieres of Paul Barker’s MASSive for soprano, chorus and orchestra; and The Hollow Men by Chinese composer John Hui, for the International Schools Choral Music Festival IV. In March, he guest conducted the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra in a program of Wagner, Prokofiev, and Sibelius. Northwestern alumnus Winston Choi (G02, G08) was the soloist.
Frank Almond (violin) completed a new recording this summer. A Violin’s Life is based on the history and pedigree of the "Lipinski" Stradivarius, on which Almond performs. The recording was one of the most-funded classical projects ever on Kickstarter, and was featured in Strad magazine and several other news outlets. It will be released on AVIE Records sometime next spring. In addition, he was also a featured artist at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and was invited to the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra (BCO) Conducting Workshop at Johns Hopkins University, where he conducted the BCO. More recently he was the soloist for the Milwaukee Symphony’s opening weekend, performing the Mendelssohn Concerto under the baton of Gilbert Varga.
Linda Phyllis Austern (musicology) held a mini-residency as a visiting scholar and featured speaker in the interdisciplinary Ray Smith Symposium on "Sex and Power from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment" at Syracuse University in April 2012, presenting a talk entitled "'Lo, Here I Burn': Musical Figurations and Fantasies of Male Desire in Early Modern England." Austern also wrote an article for the forthcoming book Ashgate Research Companion to Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, edited by Allyson Poska, Jane Couchman, and Katherine McIver.
Janet Revell Barrett (music education) authored chapters on interdisciplinary curriculum in the Oxford Handbook of Music Education, and on music teacher education in Tanglewood II: Summoning the future, as well as an article in the Journal of Music Teacher Education. Barrett was the invited lecturer for the Life of the Mind series at the University of Northern Colorado, and at the Crane Symposium for Music Teacher Education at the State University of New York-Potsdam., she also presented at the Music, Arts and the Interdisciplinary Curriculum Institute (Kean University), the Tennessee Arts Academy, and she spoke at the National Association of Schools of Music’s annual meeting. She continues her consultancy with the Ravinia Reach/Teach/Play program for the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education. International activity included a paper at the Research in Music Education Conference at University of Exeter, and presentations for the International Schools Choral Music Festival IV in Busan, South Korea (with colleague Maud Hickey). She is co-editor of The Mountain Lake Reader: Conversations on the Study and Practice of Music Teaching, published biennially.
Marcia Bosits (piano pedagogy) adjudicated the MTNA East Central Division Piano Competition last fall. She has given recent conference presentations for the Texas Music Teachers’ Association, the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, and the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Theresa Brancaccio (voice and opera) gave two master classes for the Opera Training Institute of Chicago last summer. In November, she adjudicated the Wheaton Conservatory Concerto Competition. In April, Brancaccio presented a faculty recital with fellow voice faculty member Kurt Hansen at Lutkin Hall.
Elizabeth Buccheri (piano and collaborative arts) has been named head of music/Aspen Opera Theatre at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Buccheri was appointed by Maestro Robert Spano, the festival’s music director.
Alan Chow (piano) performed and gave master classes at the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, last summer. He also adjudicated and gave master classes at the New Orleans International Piano Competition and Festival. In the fall, he was a guest artist at Western Illinois University’s inaugural piano festival, and he performed with percussionist Michael Burritt at the Eastman School of Music and at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference. In the spring, Chow performed at Tulane University, the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, Bowling Green University, and the Chamber Music Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. He also served as jury chair for the Hilton Head International Young Artist Piano Competition and was a juror and recitalist for the Alaska Piano Competition.
Steven Cohen (clarinet) continued his work as principal clarinet at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina during the summer of 2012—his 35th summer with that organization. His former Brevard students perform in orchestras and premier military bands throughout the U.S. and teach at many colleges and conservatories. Cohen also spent part of last summer teaching at the Indiana University Clarinet Workshop. Since last fall, he has presented master classes at McNeese State University, Louisiana State University, University of Michigan, James Madison University, Moorhead State University, and as part of a clarinet competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Recent performances include appearances with the Ars Viva Symphony, the Music of the Baroque Orchestra, the Dempster Street Pro Musica chamber series, the Lincoln Quartet, and the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, where Cohen played Strauss’ Duet Concertino for clarinet, bassoon and orchestra with Lewis Kirk (bassoon). Cohen has been working as a consultant with Legere Reeds in Barrie, Ontario.
Drew Edward Davies (musicology) was awarded the inaugural J. M. Thomson Prize from the journal Early Music for his article “Villancicos for the Virgin of Guadalupe from Mexico City.” In February, Navona Records released Al combate, an album with the Chicago Arts Orchestra directed by Javier Mendoza. The CD featured premiere recordings of works by Ignacio Jerusalem and Santiago Billoni drawn from Davies’ research, as well as a work edited by Bienen School PhD candidate Dianne Lehmann Goldman. Last November, Bienen voice alumna Elda Peralta (G10) and the Ensemble Settecento performed selections from Davies’ edited collection, Santiago Billoni: Complete Works, at Mexico’s Durango Cathedral, where the pieces were composed in the 1740s. Last June, Davies traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine, to advise the Liatoshynsky Ensemble of Classic Music in a performance of 18th-century Spanish and Mexican music. Over the past year he has also presented academic papers at the International Musicological Society in Rome, the Sociedad Española de Musicología in Logroño, Spain, and at symposia on Latin American music in Tucson, Arizona, and Blacksburg, Virginia.
Daniel Farris (conducting and ensembles) and the Northwestern University Marching Band were featured in a cover story in the August 2012 issue of School Band and Orchestra magazine. The article included a sidebar interview with Mallory Thompson, director of bands. NUMB followed the Northwestern football team to Jacksonville, Fla., to perform at halftime during the Gator Bowl.
James Giles (piano) spent last summer teaching and performing at the Bowdoin International Music Festival and also was on the artist faculty of the Gijon Piano Festival in Spain. His recording of John Harbison's Twilight Music with the Chicago Chamber Musicians is soon to be released. He performed for the Bay Area Northwestern alumni association and was the conference artist for the Illinois Music Teachers Association.
Robert Gjerdingen (music theory and cognition) spent part of the past year working with child prodigy Alma Deutscher, who has received public acclaim for composing an opera at the age of 7. When Alma was only 4, she studied Gjerdingen’s book Music in the Galant Style (Oxford University Press, 2007). Her father contacted Gjerdingen, who has instructed her in composition and has also put her family in touch with other musical experts to develop Alma’s talents.
Victor Goines (jazz studies) continued his work with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, in New York City and on winter and spring U.S tours. His Victor Goines Quartet performed in New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Last fall, he performed in collaboration with Garth Fagin Dance and Wynton Marsalis at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; with singer Barbara Cook in Milwaukee; and with the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in New Orleans. Goines also presented a lecture for the Chicago Humanities Festival and workshops and master classes for Horn For Havana in Cuba. He performed with Bienen jazz bass faculty member Marlene Rosenberg in Chicago, and with jazz vocal legend Germaine Bazzle in New Orleans. He and Rosenberg also presented a workshop for students of the Franklin Park School District. In February, he was artist-in-residence at Emory University in Atlanta, and guest artist at Lyons Township High School in Illinois.
Robert G. Hasty (conducting) was named music director and principal conductor of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra. His debut concert in October featured Bienen alumna Olga Kaler (G11) as violin soloist. Hasty also conducted the Illinois Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra for District 1 last November. As artistic director of orchestra studies for the International Schools Choral Music Society, he traveled to Seoul and Busan, Korea, for the society’s annual festival. Stephen Alltop was invited as guest choral conductor for the event.
John Henes (Alexander Technique) gave a workshop with former student Lori Schiff (82) at the Alexander Technique conference at the Juilliard School of Music last summer. He also gave lectures, demonstrations or lessons at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Midwest Young Artists, the American String Teachers Association, and the Steans Music Institute at Ravinia.
Michael Henoch (oboe) celebrated his 40th season as assistant principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed to the board of directors of the Solti Foundation U.S. and performed at the foundation's annual dinner, accompanied by Elizabeth Buccheri.
Maud Hickey (music education) published her book Music Outside the Lines: Ideas for Composing in K-12 Music Classrooms (Oxford University Press) in October. The book, stating the case for making music composition a key element of primary and secondary education, is filled with activities for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, along with a practical approach to implementing the curriculum into classrooms. Last fall, Hickey was selected as one of the first Faculty Fellows for Northwestern University’s Center for Civic Engagement, which strives to promote a lifelong commitment to active citizenship and social responsibility among all students. Hickey presented at the Suncoast Music Education Research Conference, and she traveled to Busan, South Korea, acting as a professional development consultant for teachers at the International Schools Choral Music Festival IV.
D.J. Hoek (musicology; head of music library) presented his paper, “Beyond Bebop: Contemporary Classical Music on Dial Records,” at the annual meeting of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Other presentations included “‘A Rather Great Change in Habits’: The Sights and Sounds of John Cage’s Music Notation” at the Arts Club of Chicago; and “Seeing beyond the Cloud: How Spotify and Other Cloud-Based Services are Changing Libraries” at the Indiana Library Federation annual conference.
Lee Hyla (music composition) released a new recording, My Life On the Plains (Tzadik), which includes his compositions Polish Folk Songs, Field Guide, and My Life On the Plains, all performed by the Firebird Ensemble. Carl Fischer Music recently published Polish Folk Songs, The Dream of Innocent III, and Third Party.
Rex Martin (tuba and euphonium) is a founding member and board member of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, which over the past year has been performing new music in Chicago, including appearances at the Harris Theater, the Chase Auditorium, and Park West. Last spring, he performed the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Besson tuba on which the concerto was premiered in 1954. In May, he performed and delivered a eulogy at the funeral for Edward Livingston, his first tuba teacher. last summer, Martin taught and performed at Le Domaine Forget festival in Quebec; at the Ticino Musica festival in Lugano, Switzerland (his tenth year); and at the Spilimbergo (Italy) Music Festival. He adjudicated at the Porcia (Italy) International Tuba Competition in Porcia, Italy last November. In January, Northwestern hosted the entire tuba class from Oslo’s Norwegian Academy of Music, and Martin taught master classes and lessons to their members.. In February, Martin performed a solo recital and presented a master class at the University of Massachusetts.
Toni-Marie Montgomery (Dean) was a featured presenter at the SphinxCon conference in Detroit, Michigan. The topic of her presentation was “Realities and Challenges: Diversity in Conservatories and U.S. Music Schools.” The conference was presented by the Sphinx Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of young Black and Latino classical musicians.
Michael Mulcahy (trombone) released a new recording featuring trombonist Eric Klay and the Australian Trombone Quartet. The CD, Full Circle (Australian Brass Work), features 20th-century Australian music for solo trombone with computer, percussion, and trombone quartets.
Donald Nally (conducting and ensembles) received Chorus America’s Lois Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal last June. In December, he appeared with his ensemble The Crossing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Little Match Girl Passion. The Crossing’s holiday CD, Christmas Daybreak, was released in December. Another recording, I want to live, was released in April and includes premiere recordings of works for women’s choir by David Lang, William Brooks, and Paul Fowler. In March, Nally was chorus master for the Chicago Bach Project's annual Bach masterwork performance, with John Nelson conducting, at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Chicago.
Inna Naroditskaya (musicology) gave several recent talks drawn from her book, Bewitching Russian Opera: The Tsarina from State to Stage (Oxford University Press, 2012); she lectured at Princeton University, Indiana University, Pittsburgh University, and University of Michigan. Naroditskaya also presented a lecture on Tchaikovsky’s opera Queen of Spades at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and lectures on the music of minorities and on Azerbaijani jazz at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. While in Israel, she also presented new research on Jewish musical history of Odessa, Ukraine, at the minority chapter of the International Council for Traditional Music. Naroditskaya also chaired the Special Interest Group for European Music at the 57th annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology in New Orleans.
Scott Paulin (musicology) was included on the list of Northwestern students’ top professors in the Associated Student Government’s 2012 Faculty and Administrator Honor Roll, recognized for his music and film course.
Susan Piagentini (music theory and cognition) co-authored the sixth edition of Fundamentals of Music: Rudiments, Musicianship and Composition with Dr. Jennifer Snodgrass, associate professor of music theory at Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music. The textbook, a revision of the seminal work by the late Earl Henry, is coupled with a new online assessment tool, Exposition Music, created by Piagentini and Snodgrass. The software is based on five years of research in music theory placement exams and creates a pedagogically sound environment for testing in music, providing students with immediate feedback.
Andrew Raciti (double bass) served as acting principal double bass for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra this past season. Last summer he was invited to spend ten days in Paipa, Columbia, to coach the bass section of the Filharmonica Joven de Colombia, the top orchestra to emerge from the country’s application of El Sistema-based training methods. During his stay, he gave master classes, bass sectionals, and lessons as the ensemble prepared for its first tour. He will return to Paipa this summer to help prepare the ensemble for their first U.S. tour. Other summer activities included performances with the Minnesota Orchestra and at the Grand Teton Music Festival and coachings at the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. Raciti’s review of new compositions by bassist/composer Arni Egilsson will be published in the spring edition of Bass World, the journal of the International Society of Bassists.
Robert Reinhart (music theory and cognition) saw his new solo composition Conflux premiered last October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by flutist Maria Carolina Cavalcanti as part of the Composer's Voice series, with a subsequent February US premiere in New York City. Percussionist Zachary Hale performed Reinhart’s Khasad-dûm for solo spring drum as part of the Cordes Obertes concerts in Montreal last June. Also last summer he performed both vocals and bassoon for the a.pe.ri.od.ic new music series and The Music Room ensemble, including a recording session for a.pe.ri.od.ic's forthcoming CD of selected works of Jürg Frey. In October, It Walks at Midnight, Reinhart’s trio for voice, piano and celesta, was broadcast on Radio X in Frankfurt, Germany. In February he guest-lectured at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussing quarter-tone vocal composition and ear training.
W. Stephen Smith (voice and opera) received an honorary Doctor of Arts and Humane Letters from his alma mater, the University of Arkansas, at the university’s fall 2012 commencement ceremony. Smith was recognized for developing a new approach to teaching the art of singing, one that emphasizes individual creativity and expression. “Steve Smith … has revolutionized the way students are taught to sing,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “The effect of his innovative approach is to enable these artists to realize and freely express their individual voices.”
Hans Thomalla (music composition) participated in a two-day residency at the University of Iowa last November, teaching master classes in composition and presenting a colloquium. In October and November, Ensemble Recherche performed a revised version of Thomalla’s quartet Capriccio in Freiburg, Germany; Parma, Italy; and Bilbao, Spain. This spring, Ensemble Alternance performed his work Bebung in Bremen, and his string quartet Albumblatt at University of Chicago and Illinois State University. Thomalla’s article on the influence of Richard Wagner on new music, titled “Weisst Du wie das wird?”, was published in the journal Die Deutsche Bühne. Thomalla was recognized in the Associated Student Government’s 2012 Faculty and Administrator Honor Roll, receiving kudos for his advanced orchestration class.
Gail Williams (horn) performed as principal horn with the World Orchestra for Peace—an ensemble comprised of top players from (among others) the Vienna Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and Mariinsky Orchestra—in New York City and Chicago under the baton of Valery Gerglev. Dubbed the “Solti Centennial Concerts,” the performances commemorated the 100th birthday of Sir Georg Solti.
Jay Alan Yim (music composition) saw his installation Fluid Mechanics Remix presented throughout the summer of 2012 by Digital Art Museum Berlin in the fourth edition of the museum’s ongoing public series. The piece was presented on a seven-meter-wide outdoor screen at Sony Center in Potsdamer Platz, showing twice each hour. Yim’s interactive installation Bird, previously presented at the University of New Mexico Art Museum in spring 2012, was subsequently curated into the 7th Taipei Digital Art Festival 2012 in November. Yim participated in a panel presentation during a daylong symposium at the festival. In September, Yim’s Frontier was selected for a program at The Public Hotel's Screening Room during EXPO Chicago, and Parked received its premiere during the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2012) as part of the 'Tradewinds Revival Drive-In Screening,” an outdoor video screening with radio-broadcast soundtracks, held at an abandoned Octopus Car Wash and Tradewinds Motel in Albuquerque. In November, California State University, Sacramento hosted Yim during its Festival of New American Music, where he gave two lectures on his own work; at the festival, the Calliope Duo offered the west coast premiere of his composition Mille Grâces. In November, the curatorial team of Vídeo Guerrilha included two localStyle videos—bØnk! and Fluid Mechanics Remix—during three evenings of outdoor projections in the heart of São Paolo, Brazil.