The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music announces the inaugural concert of its Armenian Music Series, celebrating the 75th birthday of Armenia's foremost composer Tigran Mansurian with a performance of his critically acclaimed choral masterpiece, Ars Poetica, as well as masterworks by Armenian composers Edward Mirzoyan and Alexander Spendiaryan.

The January 26th concert at UCLA Schoenberg Hall will feature the renowned Lark Musical Society Choir (Vatsche Barsoumian, conductor), and members of the Armenian Music Ensemble at UCLA (Vanessa Vasquez, soprano, VEM String Quartet).

The concert marks the launch of the newly created Armenian Music Program at UCLA which will raise awareness and celebrate the rich and diverse Armenian musical tradition, thanks to generous donor support. In addition to the Armenian Music Concert Series, the two-year program will include such initiatives as:

  • course in Armenian Music – taught by Vatsche Barsoumian – that is offered in Spring 2014 and 2015 to students across UCLA (both Music and non-Music majors).
  • An International Conference on Armenian Music (Spring 2015), in cooperation with Prof. Peter Cowe, Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Language, UCLA.
  • Full scholarship support  of the Armenian Music Ensemble; a group of extremely talented UCLA student musicians whose studies emphasis the Armenian music repertoire.
  • The Music Outreach Program sends our Armenian Music Ensemble, in cooperation with the Lark Musical Society, into the community to provide free music performances.
  • An Armenian Art Song Competition (May 2014), in cooperation with the UCLA Department of Music Opera and Voice program.

Sunday January 26, 2014, 2:00 PM

 Celebrating Mansurian: Inaugural Concert of the Armenian Music Series at UCLA

 Schoenberg Hall | UCLA

 Tickets: $14, $11 UCLA faculty, staff and students (with ID)












FAQs about MM and DMA programs 

in orchestral conducting at UCLA

Are you taking applications for Fall 2014 admission?

 Yes.  You may obtain detailed information about the application process at:

What do you look for in potential candidates for your program?

Successful candidates for the MM and DMA programs in orchestral conducting will demonstrate mastery of their chosen instrumental, vocal or compositional fields, fluency in the literature and materials of music, a gift for leadership, an intense interpretive passion, the foundations of a sound conducting technique, excellent organizational skills and the potential to make a major contribution to the profession.  Advanced keyboard skills and the ability to coach and accompany opera productions are highly desirable.

A note about UCLA’s DMA program:

The DMA program combines intense performance training with rigorous academic coursework, and culminates in a dissertation of approximately 50-100 pages in length -- a publishable, original contribution to the understanding of music performance and performance practice. Only students who are top performers and top scholars are accepted into the UCLA DMA program.  Mastery of English is a prerequisite for the successful completion of the DMA degree.

What does your application process consist of?

The application process consists of two stages. 

The preliminary stage consists of the submission of an application with all supporting materials, including a video in either DVD or online video link format (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).

Important notes about the video:

1. Please make sure to include both rehearsal and performance segments in your video. Rehearsal footage should include significant portions where you stop and rehearse the ensemble. Runthroughs in rehearsal settings are not considered rehearsal footage.

2. If you submit a physical DVD, please check carefully to make sure that it is playable on standard Macintosh and PC computers, and on standard DVD players. If I am unable to view your video, your application could be jeopardized.

The deadline for the application is December 1st. For details, please see:

Applicants chosen from the preliminary stage of the process will be invited to come to UCLA for a personal interview with me in January or February 2014. At this interview, you will be asked to discuss interpretive and performance issues related to Mozart Symphony No. 33, K. 319 or No. 34, K. 338. You may choose which symphony to prepare. Please prepare the symphony as you would for a rehearsal and performance opportunity with an excellent orchestra. You may be asked to conduct a portion of the work with piano. If you are an instrumentalist, you may be asked to supplement your discussion by playing some excerpts from the piece; if you are a singer, you may be asked to illustrate your discussion vocally. The interview will also include more general discussion of musical topics, and may include some sightreading at the piano.

There will be no live audition with orchestra.

How many students are currently in your studio and how many openings do you expect?

As of Fall 2013, there are two DMA students in the program; one second-year and one third-year student.  There are generally no more than two students in the program at any one time, so one opening is anticipated for 2014-15.  Both DMA and MM candidates are welcome to apply.   

How much time in front of the orchestra do students receive?

There is substantial podium time for conducting students with both UCLA Philharmonia and UCLA Symphony.  For further information about the UCLA orchestras, please visit

What about performance opportunities with the orchestras?

UCLA Symphony, the campus-wide orchestra which meets 7:15 – 9:45 PM on Wednesday nights, was created in part as a “lab” orchestra for student conductors, so it is a major outlet for performance.  Orchestral conducting students, under my supervision, lead and manage the ensemble in fall and spring quarters; choral conducting students, under the supervision of Professor Donald Neuen, lead Symphony during winter quarter. 

Student conductors also perform portions of concerts with UCLA Philharmonia.  In the final year of the Masters program, each conductor is expected to lead at least half of a Philharmonia program, or its equivalent.  In the final year of the DMA program, each conductor is expected to lead an entire program with Philharmonia, or its equivalent. 

In 2007-2008, one of my conducting students co-founded Contempo Flux, an ensemble for contemporary music.  This ensemble, which has since become a credit course and is now taught by Grammy-award-winning pianist Gloria Cheng, is an important performance outlet for our conducting students.

Student conductors are also encouraged to organize their own smaller ensembles for performance, and are frequently called upon to lead performances by student and faculty ensembles.

What repertoire have conducting students recently performed with the orchestras?

Here is a list of works conducted in performance at UCLA by our orchestral conducting students since 2006-07:


Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Roger Bourland The Dove and the Nightingale (2013) (world premiere workshop performances)

Manuel Calzada La Garita del Diablo (2013) (world premiere)

Ryan George Firefly (UCLA Wind Ensemble)

Hertel Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in E flat major

Colin McPhee Nocturne for chamber orchestra

Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56

Ravel L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (staged performance with UCLA Opera)

Ravel Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

Sarasate Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20

Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21

Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 107 (first movement)

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

Roberto Sierra Fandangos  (UCLA Wind Ensemble)

Sibelius Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39

Stravinsky Suite from Histoire du Soldat

Tchaikovsky Méditation from Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42

Oliver Waespi Suite for Wind Orchestra (UCLA Wind Ensemble)

Wolf-Ferrari Il Segreto di Susanna (staged performance with UCLA Opera)


Beethoven Concerto in C major for violin, cello and piano

(Triple concerto), Op. 56

Boulez Dérive I 

Canfield Concerto after Gliere for alto saxophone (second movement)

Cosma Euphonium Concerto (third movement)

Dvorak Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88

Foss  Time Cycle

Mozart Overture to Die Zauberflöte, K. 620

Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E flat for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, K. 297b (first movement)

Mussorgsky-Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition

Nielsen Helios Overture

Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld (staged production)

Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 (first movement)

Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22

Tchaikovsky Arias from Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Stravinsky Octet

Stucky Ad Parnassum


Barber Overture to The School for Scandal

Bellini Ah, non credea mirarti…Ah non giunge from La Sonnambula 

Bernstein Suite from On the Waterfront

Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

Duparc L’Invitation au Voyage

Emmanuel Séjourné Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra (first movement)

Fauré Elégie for cello and orchestra

Gershwin An American in Paris

Glass Concerto for Four Saxophones

Hyunjong Lee Early Summer Sketch (2010) (world premiere)

Ponchielli Danza delle ore (Dance of the Hours) from La Gioconda

Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites (staged production with UCLA Opera)

Schumann Piano Concerto, Op. 54 (first movement)

Sheffer, Jonathan Blood on the Dining Room Floor (staged production with UCLA Opera)

Tchaikovsky Capriccio Italien, Op. 45

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (first movement)

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (Pathétique)

Verdi Overture to La Forza del Destino

Weber Overture to Der Freischütz J. 277


Balakirev Symphony No. 1

Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3

Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2

Jonathan Dove Flight (staged performance with UCLA Opera)

Elgar Cello Concerto

Liadov The Enchanted Lake

Mahler Wo die schoenen Trompeten blasen from Das Knaben Wunderhorn

Popper Requiem for three cellos and orchestra, Op. 66 

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 (first movement)

Rossini Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri

Spillman, R. Concerto for Bass Trombone (first movement)

Stravinsky Suite from The Firebird (1919)

Vaughan-Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis


John Adams Chamber Symphony

CPE Bach String Symphony in B flat, W. 182/2

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15 (first movement)

Bernstein Chichester Psalms

Brahms Academic Festival Overture

Bruch Kol Nidrei

Delius The Walk to the Paradise Garden

Dvorak Symphony No. 9

Ibert Concertino da Camera for alto saxophone and 13 instruments

Ives Symphony No. 3 (The Camp Meeting)

William Kraft Concerto for Tympani (third movement)

Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2

Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro (staged production with UCLA Opera)

Prokofiev Suite from Lieutenant Kizhé

Stravinsky Suite from L’Histoire du Soldat

Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet: Overture-Fantasy

Torelli Sonata a 5 for Trumpet and Strings, TV 7

Wagner Siegfried Idyll

Walton Façade 2:  A Further Entertainment

(In addition, students conducted orchestral reading sessions with UCLA Philharmonia of Brahms Symphony No.3, Debussy Prélude de l’Après-Midi d’un Faune, Dvorak Symphony No. 8, Sibelius Symphony No. 2 and Strauss Don Juan.)


Beethoven Symphony No. 6

David Concertino for Trombone

Mozart Flute Concerto No. 2 (first movement)

Mozart Overture to Don Giovanni

Poulenc Concert Champetre

Rheinberger Concerto for Organ No. 2

Verdi Falstaff (staged production with UCLA Opera)

Wagner Overture to The Flying Dutchman

Weill The Threepenny Opera (staged production with UCLA Opera)


Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Bernstein Candide Overture

Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream (two staged performances with UCLA Opera)

Hanson Serenade for Flute, Harp and Strings

Moussorgsky/Ravel Pictures from an Exhibition

Mozart Symphony No. 35 (Haffner)

Puccini Preludio Sinfonico

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 (first movement)

Ney Rosauro Concerto for Marimba

Tchaikovsky Polonaise from Eugene Onegin

Wagner Träume from Wesendonck Lieder

Weber Concertino for Clarinet

Excerpts from Humperdinck Hãnsel und Gretel, Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro, Délibes Lakmé, Puccini Tosca, Bizet Carmen, Rossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Verdi La Traviata, Bernstein West Side Story

Is there anything else about UCLA's orchestral conducting program that you would highlight over similar programs?

- The level of personal attention that the enterprising conductor can receive from the music faculty at UCLA is unusual in high-level graduate conducting programs, both because the program and the school are relatively small, and because the faculty is extraordinarily committed to the education of young conductors.

- The program provides an amount of podium time and a level of responsibility to graduate conductors which is greater than most.

- UCLA’s approach to teaching orchestral conducting emphasizes a rigorous approach to textual analysis and interpretive choice, close attention to gestural and rehearsal technique, a focus on string techniques and the development of the student's wider musical and artistic culture.

 - The program offers strong training and experience in both orchestral and operatic conducting, and encourages close contact with the excellent directing and coaching staff of the UCLA Opera Studio.

 - UCLA offers the resources of one of the country's great universities, located in an international music and arts capital.   Every effort is made to connect the interested student with the vast array of artists and resources that Southern California has to offer.

What financial assistance is available?

Students in the graduate orchestral conducting program generally also serve as Teaching Assistants in both the orchestra and opera programs.  Responsibilities may include conducting rehearsals when the faculty conductor is away, leading sectionals, serving as orchestra manager or librarian, accompanying and/or coaching for the opera studio, coordinating recruitment, auditions and concert promotion.  The compensation for teaching assistantships consists of fees and a stipend.  For further information about financial assistance, please contact the department's graduate advisor, Sandra McKerroll, at .

- Neal Stulberg, Professor/Director of Orchestral Studies






Diane Klee--Personnel Analyst
Telephone:  (310) 206-3020




Diane Klee administers all aspects of employment and benefits for the Departments of Music and Ethnomusicology including: hiring of all faculty, staff and student employees; staff and academic personnel reviews; apprentice personnel financial support; and human resources related matters.



Dr. Richard Danielpour--Lecturer









Dr. Richard Danielpour has been commissioned by many international music institutions, festivals, and artists, including soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, and Gary Graffman; the Guarneri, Emerson, and American string quartets and Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; and institutions such as the New York City and Pacific Northwest ballets, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia and Stuttgart Radio orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more.

With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison he created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered to sold-out houses in Detroit, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia in 2005 and had its New York premiere at New York City Opera in 2007.

Dr. Danielpour has received a Grammy Award, two Rockefeller Foundation grants, Charles Ives Fellowship and Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Fellowship, Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and grants and residencies from the Barlow Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and American Academy in Rome.

In 2002 he was awarded a fellowship to the American Academy in Berlin, and he was the third composer--after Stravinsky and Copland--to be signed to an exclusive recording contract by Sony Classical.


Ji Young An--Lecturer, Violin
Office:  B825
Ji Young An begins an appointment to the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, where she teaches violin during Winter Quarter 2014. Ms. An recently completed her MM and DMA studies in violin performance under the tutelage of Guillaume Sutre and Movses Pogossian at UCLA. During her graduate studies at UCLA, Ms. An made several solo appearances with the UCLA Philharmonia and Symphony. She has also had numerous chamber music performances with the UCLA Camarades in venues such as the LACMA Bing Theater and Zipper Hall, and also at the Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival in Montepulciano, Italy.

Ms. An is an active freelance musician, performing in various orchestras and recording studios around the greater Los Angeles area. Beginning in the Fall of 2013, Ms. An has been serving as Assistant Concertmaster for the San Bernardino Symphony. She is also in demand as an orchestra coach for youth orchestras in the area including the Valley Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to receiving her Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in violin performance at UCLA, Ms. An completed her studies at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris under Olivier Charlier earning the Conservatory's First Prize, and further specializing in chamber music under Marc Coppey. Ms. An has attended some of the most prestigious festivals in the US and in Europe, including the Taos School of Music, the Maurice Ravel International Academy, and the Pablo Casals Festival. 


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