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Music Department Professor Antonio Lysy Returns to Incontri in Terra Summer Festival

June 27th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Professor Antonio Lysy is delighted to welcome UCLA’s own string quartet, Camarades, to their residency at the annual summer music festival he produces each summer in Tuscany, Incontri in Terra di Siena. This festival was started in 1988 at La Foce, the home of Lysy’s grandparents, and during the month of July each year spreads out into the areas piazzas and churches. A great Wall Street Journal article about the festival, written by Richard Holledge can be read at:


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UCLA Camarades at 2013 Incontri concert
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Donald Neuen Retires After 50 Years of Teaching With Triumphant Final Concert

June 9th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Last Saturday, June 7th, 1800 lucky people were privileged to see one of the most celebrated choral conductors in the world guide 224 singers, a full symphony orchestra, soloists and pianist, in an evening of choral works by Beethoven. Please read the article about Professor Neuen in the June 9, 2014 Daily Bruin.
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Photo of chorales, Philharmonia, and Soloists

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Professor Neuen salutes Professor Neal Stulberg after Choral Fantasia

Assistant Director of Choral Studies, Dr. Rebecca Lord, during presentation of award to Professor Neuen

All photos courtesy of Henry Lim

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Chancellor’s Residence Recital Series Winds Up for 2014

June 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

Mrs. Carol Block, hostess of the annual student recital series held at the Chancellor’s residence, has shared these photos of the last couple of concerts at the residence. In one, a Jazz Ensemble from the School of Music performed, and in another, Ethnomusicology’s Near East Ensemble performed.

Kiefer Shackelford, Nick Velez, Nate Schwartz, Nashir Janmohamed, Cody Dear, Ryan Nealon.

Jazz group with Mrs. Carol Block, center.

Near East Ensemble: Ryan Vig, Will Van Santen, Kavaldeep Singh, Julian Albinski-Euler, Casey Frye, Danielle Pocta, Krisna Mehta, Shiva Ranamurthi, Connor Vance, Mariam Kaddoura, Aditya Ganesh.



Near East Ensemble, guests, with Mrs. Carol Block

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Chancellor’s Residence Recitals–Updates and photos

April 7th, 2014 · 5 Comments

Mrs. Carol Block has kindly shared with us photos from three recent recitals at the residence, which she tell us were all fabulous.

Mrs. Block, center, with Heejin Jeon and Tim Rantung.

Mrs. Block with Rosalind Wong

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Reviews of New Beethoven CD release by Inna Faliks

April 2nd, 2014 · 1 Comment

Music Department Professor Inna Faliks has shared a couple of recent reviews on her new Beethoven CD:

Fanfare April 2014
Jerry Dubins

Ukrainian-born Inna Faliks is a pianist as brimful of ideas as she is endowed with talent. She draws a tone of deep sonority from her Yamaha piano, and one senses in her playing a technique of such reserves that she doesn’t even have to call on all of it for these works. That allows her to concentrate on matters of interpretation and communication, which, in the former case is penetrating, and in the latter, extraordinary.

I really like, too, the idea of mixing lesser known Beethoven works with more familiar ones; it makes for an interesting program, and in the case of the Fantasia, a fun one. Play it for your friends, while trying not to laugh, and watch their reactions.

Faliks has yet to become a major presence on record, but with this album and her above-mentioned Sound of Verse now out on a mainstream commercial label, I suspect that’s going to change. A wonderful release all around, and very strongly recommended.


Il Gazettino Pordenone
by Clelia Delponte

SACILE – A fierce performance; energetic, determined, and perfect for expressing the interior agitation of the Basso Ostinato by Rodion Schredrin, considered the successor of Shostakovich. This was the opening piece of the recent concert at the Fazioli Concert Hall. Inna Faliks takes command of the instrument, molding it in her unique, personal style that clearly has its origins in the Russian school and is fully capable of interpreting the Polonaise op. 89 (Composed during the Congress of Vienna, loved by the rulers of the period, and dedicated to Elizabeth of Russia) in a way that totally annihilates any accusation of frivolousness, revealing a new Beethoven.

The solidity of her technique and her sense of dynamics also exalt the tragedy and intensity of the “Appassionata”, so rich with its silences and arpeggios, forti, fortissimi, until she arrives at the final apotheosis. And then a seldom heard piece composed for Faliks by Lev ljova Zurbin, Sirota: two contrasting melodic ideas accompanying a historic recording, as was done in the post-war years by the avantgarde. In this case, it is a religious Jewish song, sung by the Polish singer Sirota for the Jewish New Year of 1908; a minimalist piece that Faliks imbues with interpretive intensity, making even more heart-rending the evocation of a lost time.

The pianist also moves securely through all of the varied colours of the Davidsbundlertanze, composed by Schumann, at a time when he was battling against the “bad taste and bad faith” of critics who had exalted opinions of Italian opera. Written under the alternating pseudonyms of Florestano and Eusebio, the piece was performed by Faliks with emphasis of harmonic adventure, and rich with dynamics and fantasy.

As an encore, she performed an explosive Campanella by Paganini-Liszt, and followed that with Tchaikovski’s “Barcarola”. Executed with a lulling and even timing, it showed the most delicate and moving tones.

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Adam Schoenberg is Winning Over Orchestras and Audiences

March 27th, 2014 · No Comments

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Adam Schoenberg is Winning Over Orchestras and Audiences

American composer Adam Schoenberg is enjoying widespread success with his orchestral works Finding Rothko (2006) and American Symphony (2011). Finding Rothko will soon have over 30 performances to its credit, with more coming up next season with the Florida Orchestra and Phoenix Symphony, among others. American Symphony has been performed more than a dozen times, and many more performances are scheduled for the coming seasons, getting the work off to a solid start towards the goal of performances in all 50 U.S. states. Adam is currently on the faculty of the UCLA Department of Music.


American Symphony (2011)
March 7-9, June 19: Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern; Kansas City, MO
Up! (2010)

March 9: American Youth Symphony/Alexander Treger; Los Angeles, CA

June 1: St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra/Steven Jarvi; St. Louis, MO
Finding Rothko (2006)

April 10-12: Pacific Symphony/Tito Muñoz; Costa Mesa, CA

May 17, 18: Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra/Jacomo Bairos; Lake Bluff, IL

May 21, 22, June 19: Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern; Kansas City, MO
Canto (2014) World Premiere

April 11: Lexington Philharmonic/Scott Terrell; Lexington, KY
Picture Studies (2012)
Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern; Kansas City, MO

Next Season: performances of various works by: Florida Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, New West Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, and others

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UCLA Contempo Flux Winter 2014 Chamber Music Recital

March 20th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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UCLA Philharmonia Zeisl CD review in “Fanfare” magazine

March 7th, 2014 · 2 Comments

From Professor Neal Stulberg:

I’m delighted to forward this outstanding review of our Yarlung Records CD “Zeisl” from the March/April 2014 issue of “Fanfare” magazine. The last paragraph of the review reads:

“This is an all-around magnificent release, and not just for the music, which ranges from stunningly beautiful and deeply moving to rib-tickling funny. The thick booklet, printed on heavy slick stock and filled with high quality photos, is a thing of beauty unto itself. Moreover, it’s fitting that the UCLA Philharmonia, for its first commercial venture, has chosen to present world premiere recordings of works by a composer whose legacy is bound up with the émigré community of Los Angeles artists. Performances and recording are fantastic. This calls for the most urgent recommendation possible.”

You may read the whole review here.

Featuring first-ever recordings of three orchestral works by Eric Zeisl (including the Concerto Grosso for Cello and Orchestra; Antonio Lysy, cello), “Zeisl” is available via the Yarlung website,, iTunes and other retail outlets. It may also be accessed via the Naxos Music Library.


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UCLA Alumni Cox and Vu among 2014 George London Prize Winners

February 24th, 2014 · No Comments

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George London Foundation for Singers
2014 Competition Winners


Jennifer Johnson Cano, Mezzo-soprano, – George London-Norma Newton Award
Ray Chenez, Countertenor, – George London Award sponsored by The Lissner Charitable Fund
Tracy Cox, Soprano, – George London-Kirsten Flagstad Award (sponsored by the New York Community Trust) for a potential Wagnerian singer
Norman Garrett, Baritone, – George London Award in memory of Lloyd Rigler
Ryan Speedo Green, Bass-baritone, – George London Award
Marina Harris, Soprano, – George London-Leonie Rysanek Award
Cameron McPhail, Baritone, – George London Award sponsored by Liliane and Robert Brochu (for a Canadian singer)


Gerard Michael D’Emilio, Bass-baritone (In memory of Theodore Uppman)
Julia Dawson, Mezzo-soprano (For a Canadian singer)
Anthony Kalil, Tenor (Sponsored by the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation)
Catherine Martin, Mezzo-soprano
Rebecca Pedersen, Soprano (In memory of Robert Jacobson)
Reginald Smith, Jr., Baritone
Elizabeth Sutphen, Soprano (Sponsored by Henry and Diana Asher)
Brian Vu, Baritone (In memory of Herbert J. Frank)


Elizabeth Baldwin, Soprano
Kiri Deonarine, Soprano
Brian Jagde, Tenor
Courtney Johnson, Soprano
Jarrett Ott, Baritone
Heather Phillips, Soprano
Josh Quinn, Bass-baritone
Tyler Simpson, Bass-baritone
Marco Stefani , Tenor
Jessica Strong, Sopra

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Chancellor’s Residence Recital Series Kicks Off For 2014

February 24th, 2014 · No Comments

This year’s series of recitals presented by Mrs. Carol Block at the Chancellor’s residence has begun. The first two performances include a flute/piano/cello trio, and the new Armenian Quartet.


Trio members are (starting from left–Jordan Daniels, Alexa Constantine, piano; Cecily Lan, flute; Matthew Tong, cello, with Mrs. Block at right.

Armenian quart wBlock

Quartet members, left to right, are:Nicole Sauder, violin; Nicolette Kocsardy, violin; Stephanie Nagler, viola; Luke Kim, cello. Mrs. Block is at the back in the center of the photo.

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