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Graduating Senior Luke Kim Wins Position with Vancouver Symphony

June 10th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Cello Professor Antonio Lysy writes:

“Please join me in congratulating our freshly graduated cellist Luke Kim (and member of the VEM Quartet), for winning the cello position at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra today.

He has the option of accepting, or pursuing the trial for principal cello at the Vancouver Opera later this year.”

Congratulations and good luck to Luke and to all our graduates!

Luke Kim
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Prof. Guillaume Sutre Interviewed by Huffington Post

June 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

Professor Sutre has let us know that he was interviewed by Laurence Vittes of the Huffington Post on what it was like to play all 16 Beethoven string quartets in succession, as part of his research into Gustavo Dudamel’s upcoming performances this summer of all the Beethnoven symphonies played over successive nights.

You may enjoy the article by CLICKING HERE.

Professor Guillaume Sutre
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String Quartets Shine at Last Chancellor’s Residence Recital for 2015

May 18th, 2015 · No Comments

Last Friday, May 15th, was the last Chancellor’s Residence Recital for this season. We thank Mrs. Block and her tireless assistants for all their hard work in setting up these recitals, inviting different audience groups, and hosting a post-performance reception at each event. It’s been a great season!

Friday’s recital was a performance by two different string groups.

String quartet with Catherina Arai, Julien Alimann, Niall Ferguson, and Stephanie Spencer.

String Quartet with Anna Corcoran, Daniel Mireles, Sarah Worden, and Jeffrey Ho.

Both quartets with Mrs. Block, center

Violin Professors Movses Pogossian and Guillaume Sutre. Prof. Sutre is also head of String Chamber Music in the Department of Music

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Ethno Group Fine Print Takes Best Overall at UCLA Spring Sing 2015

May 18th, 2015 · No Comments

Jazz, funk and R&B band Fine Print took home The Northern California Alumni Grand Sweepstakes Award for best overall performance and The UCLA Las Doñas Award for best band entry for its performance of its original song “Move On.” (Miriam Bribiesca/Daily Bruin)

From the article:

“The Northern California Alumni Grand Sweepstakes Award for best overall performance was presented to the band Fine Print. The band, which performed its original song “Move On,” was also awarded The UCLA Las Doñas Award for best band entry.

“I started laughing, I couldn’t believe it. … I was not expecting it all, but I am so thankful,” said fourth-year ethnomusicology student and Fine Print vocalist Teira Lockhart Church. “We all love jazz so much, so it was really wonderful for us to bring our love for jazz and soul music to the stage.” Students in Fine Print are: Chili Corder, Masai Marselin, Joel Manduke, Teira Church, Grant Milliken, Hugo Shiboski, Erik Shiboski, and Jacob Koransky.

In addition, First-year ethnomusicology student Priscillia Omon and fourth-year ethnomusicology student Alan McDonnell were awarded the Rose Bowl Bruins Award for best duet entry for the their performance of McDonnell’s original song, “Who Cares.”

AND…just to round things out, Natalie Brainin from Ethnomusicology won the award for “best solo entry.”

Read the entire article in today’s Daily Bruin at:

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Chancellor’s Residence Recitals–Week of May 11th

May 14th, 2015 · No Comments

Mrs. Block has been very busy this month with recital hosting–this week she treated staff to recitals by a jazz ensemble as well as voice students Alexys Tiscareno and Nathan Granner. Here are some shots from this week’s events.

Jazz ensemble: Cody Dear, Nick Velez, Mrs. Carol Block, Rihanna Walcott, Nasir Janmohamed

Dr. James Lent, Alexys Tiscareno, Mrs. Carol Block, and Nathan Granner

Alexys Tiscareno, Mrs. Carol Block, Professor Juliana Gondek, and Nathan Granner

Staff from the School of Law

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HASOM Students To Participate In Spring Sing 2015

May 13th, 2015 · No Comments

In case none of you have been keeping up with the Daily Bruin this week, several Ethnomusicology students, and at least one Music student, will be participating in this year’s Spring Sing.

With Spring Sing quickly approaching, the Pauley Pavilion stage awaits its 17 contestants. The event will feature members of UCLA’s artistic community – from solo acts, duets, a cappella, dance groups and Spring Sing’s own comedy troupe Company. In anticipation for the event, Daily Bruin A&E will profile each talent every day this week leading up to the competition on Saturday night.

Ethnomusicology students Priscilla Omon, Alan McDonnell, and Natalie Brainin will be performing, as well as Music student Jules Levy will be performing with his band, the Eva B. Ross Foundation.

To read more directly from the Daily Bruin, please CLICK HERE.

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More updates–Chancellor’s Residence Recitals For The Week Of May 4th

May 11th, 2015 · No Comments

May has been a very busy month for Mrs. Block and her recital series. Posted below are some photos from last week’s great recitals.
Alexandra Grabarchuk, Mrs. Block, and Guitar Professor Peter Yates, after a guitar recital on May 5th

Mrs. Block with Thomas Thompson, after his vocal performance on May 7th.

Dawn Hamilton’s string/wind quintet on May 8th. Mrs. Block is on the left and clarinet Professor Gary Gray is on the right.

Katie Takahashi flute quartet on May 8th. Flute Professor Sheridon Stokes is on the left; Mrs. Block is on the far right.

Congratulations to all of our students for their memorable performances!

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Chancellor’s Recital Series–Updates On Recent Recitals

April 30th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Mrs. Block has shared with us some photos from the last two recitals. On April 8th, Oliver Chan, a second year MM student piano, performed this program:

Bach: Toccata in G minor, BWV 915
Scriabin: Etude Op.42,No.4
Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy

Oliver Chan with Mrs. Carol Block. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Block

On April 29th, staff guests from the School of the Arts and Architecture were treated to a string chamber music concert.

The students performing were: Zoë Merrill, Sam Lorenzini, Nicholas Alexander, Alec Santamaria, Jamie Kang and Xiao Chen.

On the program, and entertainingly introduced by Violin Professor Movses Pogossian, were these works:

Brahms: Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114, movement 1 (Allegro)
Dvořák: Terzetto in C Major, Op. 74, movements 1 and 2
Prokofiev: Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34

From left to right: Xiao Chen, piano; Zoë Merrill, violin; Sam Lorenzini, violin: Nicholas Alexander, clarinet; Alex Santamaria, viola; and Jamie Kang, cello. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Carol Block

All six players with Mrs Block (center)

On April 30th, 2nd year master’s piano student Tunde Krasznai entertained her audience with this piano program:

Ludwig van Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement Op. 27, No. 2

Franz Schubert: Impromptu in G flat Major Op. 90, No. 3; Impromptu in A flat Major Op. 90, No. 4

Franz Liszt: Love Dreams – Notturno No. 3; Valse Impromptu

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Carol Block

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UCLA Voice Faculty Interviewed By Final Note Magazine

April 29th, 2015 · No Comments

Frances Marshall, Founder and Photographer for Final Note Magazine, has shared with us some interesting articles recently done with UCLA’s voice faculty and graduate voice Student Joanna Lynn-Jacobs. She notes:

“Final Note Magazine celebrates the work and artistry of individuals who are leading the field in their respective areas of expertise within the ever-evolving sphere of classical music. Each inspirational story contributes to the global conversation on the fundamental value of the arts within today’s busy, technology-driven world. This month we were particularly drawn to the internationally renowned teaching staff of UCLA’s prestigious vocal faculty (Juliana Gondek, Michael Dean, Vladimir Chernov, and Rakefet Hak), including a chat with one of its postgraduate students, Joanna Lynn-Jacobs:”

Photo by Frances Marshall

***Final Note–Congratulations to first year MM voice major Joanna Lynn-Jacobs, who took home scholarship prizes in three competitions this past month:

Santa Barbara Music Club
Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation
California Women’s Chorus

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Alum’s Contemporary Performance Collective to present new musical works

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments

Alumna Jacqueline Marshall shared the latest on her recent activities with an alumnae music cooperative including grads Jonathan Beard, Kenny Wood, and Andrea Change, which has been featured in today’s Daily Bruin.

Jacqueline Marshall said she wasn’t playing the music that most interested her at the rise of her professional music career. Though a thriving harpist for orchestral and recorded music, the UCLA alumna said her passions lay in new music.

“I found that I had virtually no opportunities to play contemporary music in a chamber setting,” Marshall said. “It was only if an orchestra had maybe scheduled a piece, but even those works were written back in the ’80s or ’90s.”

It was from those unfulfilled feelings that Marshall created an organization to encourage the creation and dissemination of new musical works. Her idea manifested itself in the Contemporary Performance Collective, an ensemble she developed to connect young composers with performers to write and perform new music.

The Contemporary Performance Collective will hold its flagship performance on Sunday in Silver Lake with a program featuring nine compositions – seven of which are world premieres – performed by instrumentalists from around the Los Angeles area. Marshall said she handpicked each of the artists, many of whom were her classmates at UCLA.

Three of the composers involved with the upcoming Contemporary Performance Collective concert are UCLA alumni. One such artist is Jonathan Beard, a UCLA music industry lecturer, creator of a recent oratorio with the L.A. Master Chorale. Beard said the Contemporary Performance Collective’s concert features a mix of composers, but their commonality lies in the variety of styles from which they drew inspiration for their works.

“When you work on doing music for media, oftentimes it requires a sort of diversity of styles,” Beard said.

Marshall said her overall goal for the Contemporary Performance Collective is to encourage the creation of new works by young composers who don’t have an opportunity to have their works performed live instead of off a synth or screen. She said her hope is to produce two to three shows each year going forward, each with a different set of new music composers and instrumentalists.

UCLA alumnus and composer Kenny Wood, who is currently scoring Pixar’s feature “The Good Dinosaur” with Academy Award-winner Mychael Danna, said he jumped at the opportunity to be featured in the upcoming Contemporary Performance Collective program. He said he commends Marshall for organizing the instrumentalists and composers involved and for promoting the event.

“For this type of live concert setting, it really is a team effort,” Wood said. “It takes a village to get a concert together.”

UCLA alumna Andrea Chang similarly composes for media outside of the Contemporary Performance Collective, working consistently with the video game production company Electronic Arts. She said after graduating, she faced the decision of sticking with classical composition or going more mainstream; she ultimately chose to write for soundtracks because there were more jobs for composers available in that field.

Chang said she is glad to have the opportunity for a digression from media music through the Contemporary Performance Collective. At the same time, though, she said she recognizes the difficulties involved in being part of a collective aimed at spreading new music.

“We are an eclectic group of composers and performers and it is in general always a challenge for any group in this day and age to compete with pop music,” Chang said. “But I think everyone involved loves music – performing and writing it – so there’s not going to be any stopping any of us from doing what we love.”

Beard also recognizes the challenges of generating public interest in new music. However, he is optimistic about the direction of the Contemporary Performance Collective and contemporary instrumental music’s place in Los Angeles culture. He said he is encouraged every time he sees a younger face at a new music concert.

“It is a challenge to find and cultivate an audience and interest, particularly in a new group that’s just starting out,” Beard said. “But it’s a worthy challenge and it’s a challenge that we relish because the demand is out there.”

Marshall said she has observed that some other contemporary music groups tend to pair new music with works of classical and known composers like Bach to attract audiences. But she said she is determined to keep her Contemporary Performance Collective concerts exclusively about featuring new music without needing to rely on familiarity.

“I want to be able to seriously put together a program of all new music and have people come see young up-and-coming composers, not because ‘Oh, I recognize that composer or that work,’” Marshall said. “This is all new.”

Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Marshall.

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