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Guitar — Summer Student Activities

September 11th, 2017 · 1 Comment

Guitar Professor Peter Yates has let us know about performances this summer in Guatemala He says:

I would like to share this notice of summer activities by two of our UCLA students, one in my studio (Hanna Yocute), and her sister who has been admitted to the Ethno area (Sarah Yocute).

Our UCLA sister-Guitarists/Singers Hanna and Sarah Yocute just returned from Guatemala where they presented a masterclass/concert at the National Music Conservatory of Guatemala, Germ?n Alc?ntara. UCLA alumnus guitarist Marcus Gerakos played for the guitar students there last year.

Hanna is a senior guitar-performance major, and Sarah is a freshman entering the Ethno program. The Conservatory has invited Hanna and Sarah to return next July to teach a 1-2 week masterclass/workshop for their music students.

September 12th, 2017– We have heard from Hanna Yocute, one of these student performers, with more detailed information about these performances.

“My name is Hanna Yocute and I am a UCLA senior studying music performance, with an emphasis on classical guitar, at UCLA?s Herb Alpert School of Music. My sister, Sarah Yocute is also a UCLA student. She is an incoming freshman who will be in the Ethnomusicology department majoring in jazz studies. Sarah plays piano, clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, some guitar, and sings. My professor, Peter Yates, told me that you would like more information about our visit to Guatemala?s National Conservatory of Music, Germ?n Alc?ntara. I am thrilled you are interested in hearing more about it!

I have always had a passion for working with students and knew that at some point I would want to reach out to students internationally. Before making the trip to Guatemala, I asked Professor Yates to write an official recommendation letter for both Sarah and I. My professor also knows Sarah because as a high school student she performed for several events at UCLA along with UCLA?s guitar ensemble. I planned to speak directly to the faculty of Guatemala?s conservatory with Dr. Yates? letter in hand.

When Sarah and I arrived at Guatemala, we planned to meet with the faculty the first Sunday there. Unfortunately, our meeting was cancelled because there was a major event blocking the main roads. We rescheduled for the following Sunday, which was two days before our return to the US. When I arrived at the conservatory, I met Z?si de Rold?n, weekend music coordinator of the conservatory. She read Dr. Yates? letter and with regret said if we had come sooner she could have arranged for us to play. We left a little disappointed, but content that we had an introduction to the faculty there. The day before our return flight to LA, Z?si enthusiastically called and said the conservatory has invited Sarah and I to give a master class and musical presentation to their music students, some professors and faculty. It was all very providential. We were not expecting to play for the students until possibly a visit in the next year.

When we returned to the conservatory, we were welcomed by Vinico M?nzon, music director and weekday music coordinator. He was thrilled to meet Sarah and I, especially because he had read in the letter Dr. Yates wrote for me that I had a master class with Marcus Gerakos, an alumnus of The Herb Alpert School of Music. Marcus has played for the guitar students there last year and it turns out Marcus? wife is a cousin of the music director. Very providential, like I said.

For our musical presentation, Sarah and I wanted to be very personal and open with students there. We felt that it was such a unique opportunity to share our musical experiences since like them, we are also students of music. We found a way to incorporate the telling of our musical journey with musical excerpts and performances that fit along our story line.

Sarah was the first to share her story with the group. She told them of how she started playing classical piano at the age of six and was a classical musician during the majority of her musical studies. She played several excerpts of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin to demonstrate her knowledge of classical music and technique. She shared with the students how she was almost about to apply to UCLA as a classical pianist. She performed what would have been her audition piece, Bach?s Prelude No.3 in C# major. She went on to say that she realized she did not have a connection with this genre. She told them that she had to realize her heart was with jazz music and last minute, decided to audition for jazz alto sax. Her and I performed her audition piece, “Take Five” by Paul Desmond, for the students. Sarah wanted to stress the importance that as a musician you must feel emotionally connected to the music you are studying or performing, and that one can find contentment in doing so.

My story shared similarities to Sarah?s. We shared the same theme throughout the presentation, as we are sisters. I also started playing classical piano when I was eight and loved classical music. I played several excerpts from Joplin, Mozart, and Chopin on the piano for the students. At the age of twelve, I picked up the classical guitar. Between practicing piano and guitar, I noticed I enjoyed practicing and playing guitar a lot more. I enjoyed manipulating the sound of the strings and making an effort to produce my own sound. I noticed, like Sarah, that I was lacking a connection, not with the musical genre, but with the instrument. Like Sarah, I was on the path to auditioning to colleges as a classical pianist. I played an excerpt of “Heroic” Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 for the students. It was not until my senior year of high school that I decided to commit to studying classical guitar because I knew in my heart I enjoyed the instrument. I have never looked back to regret that decision.

We concluded our presentation with ?Black Bird? (1968) by The Beatles, ?Jubilation? (1998) by American composer Andrew York, ?Meditation? by Antonio Carlos Jobim, and ?Vincent? (1971) by Don Mclean. Towards the end, the students were able to ask questions and get our contact information. After the presentation, many students wanted to take pictures with us. As Sarah put it, ?the fact that these students wanted to take a picture with us to remember our visit, really proves that we had an impact on their lives.? I believe she is absolutely right! It was such an inspirational experience that Sarah and I will never forget. I must say, it was the most fulfilling experience, more fulfilling than visiting Guatemala’s beautiful touristic sights.

The response from the faculty there was also great. The Conservatory would like Sarah and I to return next year, sometime in July, and teach a 1-2 week masterclass/workshop for their music students. This would ideally conclude with a concert of Sarah and I performing with some of their very own students. I will be working closely with Dr. Yates as I prepare to write up a proposal and lesson plan to be approved by their faculty. Sarah and I are very excited about the positive response from Guatemala?s conservatory and the support demonstrated by UCLA. We look forward to next summer when we can reunite with the students and continue the mutual inspiration as we study music, the world?s universal language.”

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Review from the Classical Voice North America of Performance of Mahler’s 6th Symphony for Piano Four Hands

September 5th, 2017 · No Comments

We’ve received this update from Professor Inna Faliks regarding a review of a recent performance of Mahler’s 6th Symphony for Piano with Four Hands:

Classical Voice North America wrote:

“On Aug. 31, Inna Faliks, the charismatic Ukraine-born pianist, made her highly anticipated Ravinia debut, performing as a piano duo with Daniel Schlosberg. …they conveyed Mahler?s all-encompassing spirit with stunning technical clarity and gorgeously shaded emotional depth. Faliks is a poetic pianist, unafraid to linger over a short pause or craft a melodic fragment to explode and fade with blinding speed. She never lost the singing-through line so crucial to navigating Mahler?s often chaotic universe. The Scherzo?s staccato, martial rhythms could be crisply stern but also piquant and witty. Its lyrical moments glowed, thanks to Faliks’ pliant, flexible melody lines. Colored by Schlosberg?s gravely serious lower voice, the Finale?s somber chorale and stunning hammer blows worked their magic. As Ravinia?s large, enthusiastic audience amply demonstrated, the chance to hear Mahler distilled for piano can be something special.”

Faliks 041913A-123x140

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Emeritus Professor Sheridon Stokes Honored at National Flute Association Convention

August 14th, 2017 · No Comments

We have received the following great news from recently retired (and renowned) flute instructor Sheridon Stokes.

Prof. Stokes says:

“I thought this might be interesting.
Thurs. I played flute solos from movies I did with a 250 piece flute orchestra in Minneapolis at the National Flute Association convention. The piece was called “Magic of the Movies” and was billed as a tribute to my 50 year career as a studio flutist. 250 might be some sort of a record.”

This must definitely be a record! Photo below

Photo courtesy of Steve Armstrong

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One Donor’s Generosity Inspires Others to Give

May 25th, 2017 · No Comments


Mimi Alpert Feldman is more than a donor. She is a friend and inspiration to her music scholarship recipients. “She encouraged me to keep dreaming,” said Natalia Kartashova, a 2008 and 2011 Mimi Alpert Feldman Scholarship Recipient. “Without her help, my musical journey would have ended.”

Feldman selected her first scholarship recipients in 1977. It was her 50th birthday, and her younger brother, Herb Alpert, set aside funds for her to use to support the organization of her choice. She had studied at UCLA, and decided to give to music. Now, 40 years later, her scholarship has continued to grow with Herb’s and her own contributions, helping more than 80 graduate students complete their degrees and go on to perform on national and international stages, pursue academic positions, or find jobs in the music community.

Antonio Correia Pina and his wife Simone Deleon-Pina were ‘Mimi Scholars’ in 2011 and 2012. The couple had arrived from Boston and were new to the city. “Mimi’s scholarship helped us to stay in music,” said Pina. “We pay it forward to honor her gift to us.” The couple is active with nonprofits across Los Angeles that have donated and purchased musical instruments for 10,000 LAUSD elementary students.

Liliana Filipovic, a 1994 and 1995 ‘Mimi Scholar,’ said Feldman inspired her to give back, and she is now herself a UCLA scholarship donor.

Filipovic, Pina, Kartashova and 17 other current and past ‘Mimi Scholars’ honored Feldman at a luncheon in May to thank her for the 40 years of scholarship gifts she has given.


Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall were there to celebrate, too, and to make a new gift of their own to recognize Feldman’s legacy of giving. “Mimi, you are a fantastic sister,” said Alpert. “I’m very touched by all the students’ stories today.” With that, Alpert announced that he was endowing the Mimi Alpert Feldman Scholarship Fund at UCLA, and made a lead gift of $100,000, in recognition of her steadfast commitment to our students. The $100,000 gift will be matched by an additional $50,000 gift from Chancellor Gene Block, as part of the Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match.

“I’m speechless,” said Feldman. And then with her characteristic generosity, she added “My greatest gift is to hear from all of you students. You are part of my life now and I want to be your friend and counselor and keep this music thing going.”

To learn more about scholarship support and the Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match, please contact us at 310.825.4238 or via email

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Department of Music to Welcome New Faculty in Fall 2017

May 25th, 2017 · 1 Comment

Group Photo Full Res

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is delighted to announce that three exceptional artists have accepted the offer of an appointment in the Department of Music: Denis Bouriakov, principal flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and composers Richard Danielpour and Kay Rhie.

Denis Bouriakov, who will serve as lecturer in flute performance, succeeds Sheridon Stokes following his retirement after 45 years on the UCLA faculty. Bouriakov is one of the most active and sought after international soloists in the flute world. He has been principal flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel since 2015, and holds the Virginia and Henry Mancini Chair. Previously he was principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, from 2009. He has won prizes in many of the most important international competitions, including the Munich ARD, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Prague Spring, Carl Nielsen, and Kobe competitions. An avid transcriber for the flute, Bouriakov has expanded the limits of flute technique and artistry. His first solo CD included the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Bach Chaconne in his own arrangements. Other CD releases include the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with flutist William Bennett and the English Chamber Orchestra. His 2017 engagements include recital, chamber music and concerto appearances, as well as master classes in Europe, Asia, Canada, and the U.S.A.

Richard Danielpour, one of the most sought-after composers of his generation, will join the department’s composition faculty as professor. He has served as a lecturer in the department for the past four years. His list of commissions include some of the most celebrated artists of our time, including Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, and Anthony McGill, and ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Maryinsky and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Guarneri and Emerson String quartets, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and New York City and Pacific Northwest ballets. With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Danielpour created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered in 2005 at the Detroit Opera House and had a second production at New York City Opera. In 2016, Danielpour had seven world premieres in the U.S., notably his Percussion Concerto (January 2016) with the New Jersey Symphony and most recently, the premiere of Talking to Aphrodite, a song cycle for voice and string orchestra, written in collaboration with Erica Jong and premiered by the Sejong Soloists and Sarah Shafer at Carnegie Hall in December 2016.

Kay Kyurim Rhie is a composer of contemporary classical music. She will join the theory and composition faculty as assistant professor. Her influences include film and jazz music, European avant-garde as well as various folk traditions. A recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, her music has been performed at the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, and by the BBC Singers, Winsor Music, Ensemble X, Ardesco String Quartet, In Flux, New Spectrum Ensemble, In Mulieribus, Seattle Promusica, Andrew/Gail Jennings Duo, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, and California EAR Unit. Upcoming commissions include a large chamber orchestra work for Seoul Philharmonic’s 2017/18 New Music Series,?Ars Nova, and a large ensemble piece for Ensemble X. She has taught as a visiting lecturer at Cornell University and Ewha Woman’s University. In 2016, she also worked as a researcher, overseeing the implementation of a pilot program to train young teenage composers in Korea.


Photo: From left, Richard Danielpour, Denis Bouriakov and Kay Rhie.

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Chancellor’s Recital season updates

May 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Mrs. Block has shared some more photos with us of recent recitals at the residence.

On May 2, Vivian Kung, tuba, and Daniel Gledhill, piano. Mrs. Block is on the left. Who knew there was tuba/piano music?

On May 3rd, the recital was given by Bryant Gozali, cello, and Anton Smirnov, piano

In addition, on May 10th, Mrs. Block hosted Anastasia Petanova, Mindy Chang, and Valeria Morgovskaya in a program of chamber music.

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Professor Christoph Bull Performs in China and Japan

May 2nd, 2017 · 1 Comment

We have heard from the Music Department’s Professor of Organ, Christoph Bull, who has been performing in Japan and China. Below are some of the photos he has shared with us.

01 Christoph, Teachers, Students at Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Christoph, teachers, and students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music

03 Shumei Temple in Misono
Shumei Temple in Misono, Japan

04 Rodgers Royal V at Misono Temple
Rodgers Royal V organ at Misono Temple

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April 4th and 13th Chancellor’s Residence Recitals

April 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Mrs. Carol Block has shared a photo with us of the performers for the April 4th Residence Recital. Nick Carlozzi, piano and Xenia Deviatkina-Loh,violin, performed “Road Movies” by John Adams and “Great Suite” by Nick Carlozzi.

Mrs. Carol Block, left, Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, center, and Nick Carlozzi at the piano

On April 13th, Mrs. Block hosted vocal studies major Oriana Falla, accompanied by Douglas Sumi

Oriana performed a program of songs for voice and piano

Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947)
Selection of Songs
Si mes vers avaient des ailes
L?heure exquise
Le Rossignol des Lilas

Heitor Villa – Lobos (1887-1959)
Ca?ao de Amor
Melodia Sentimental

Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)
Tres Poemas
Olas gigantes
Tu pupila es azul
Besa el aura

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March 21st Spring Recital at the Chancellor’s Residence

March 27th, 2017 · No Comments

Mrs. Block has shared with us some photos from the most recent performance in the residence recital series. The program played is also below.

Mari De Napoli, Mindy Chang, Viola You, Mrs. Block, Joyce Kwak, Youjin Ko, Anton Smirnoff
Photos courtesy of Mrs. Carol Block


Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op.19 (1901)
Allegro scherzando

Youjin Ko, cello
Anton Smirnov, piano

Erno Dohnanyi (1877-1960)
Piano Quintet No.1, Op. 1 (1895)
Scherzo: Allegro vivace
Adagio, quasi andante

Joyce Kwak, violin
Mari De Napoli, violin
Viola You, viola
Youjin Ko, cello
Mindy Cheng, piano


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February and March Chancellor’s Recital Series Offerings

March 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Mrs. Carol Block has shared the following photos of groups who have performed at the recent Chancellor’s recital events.

Starting off, on February 23rd, the group Mariachi de Uclatlan again entertained the audience with their music.

The group includes Logan Clark, Rolando Villa, Andres Padilla, Gabriela Gaxiola, Elisa Quinonez, Pauline Arriaga


The next recital, on March 1st, was the UCLA guitar ensemble, organized by Juan Rivera. Peter Yates, professor of guitar, is standing.


And the last recital for this posting, from March 8th, is the duo of Jeffrey Ho and Mitsuko Morikawa. The second photo includes Mrs. Block



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