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Work which received its world premiere at UCLA wins 2018 Global Music Awards Gold Medal

June 25th, 2018 · No Comments

American composer Earl Louis Stewart has won a 2018 Global Music Awards Gold Medal in the category Counterpoint Classical/Jazz for his composition Homage to Swing (Identity 158), which received its world premiere at Schoenberg Hall on February 5, 2017. The four movement symphony, which represents the merging of swing with traditional symphonic design, was the final work on Swinging to a World of Strings, an inter-departmental orchestra concert programed by Professor Cheryl L. Keyes to highlight world music traditions.

The concert, Keyes wrote, “celebrates culture and commemorates those musical bards who have left an indelible impression on how we listen, dance, and groove to music from around the globe.”

Conducted by Professor Neal Stulberg, the concert program showcased the depth and breadth of talent across the school in both composition and performance. UCLA students formed a 50-plus-piece orchestra, performing work by Keyes, professors Munir Beken and Steven Loza, and others. Guest performers included Suzanna Guzman, mezzo soprano; Niccolo Seligmann, viola da gamba, and Andrew Connell, clarinet, as well as Keyes (piano), Beken (Turkish ud), and Professor Qi Li (erhu).

WATCH the entire concert or find Homage to Swing at marker 1:34:30. The concert program is below.

Swinging to a World of Strings
Neal Stulberg, Conductor
Produced by Cheryl L. Keyes


Part I
Celebration: Music that celebrates five countries: United States, Mexico, England, Turkey, and China

America Tropical by Steven Loza
Suzanna Guzman, mezzo soprano

Concerto for Turkish Ud [Los Angeles Premiere] by Munir Beken
Munir Beken, Turkish ud

“The Spirit of Gamba” by Tobias Hume
Niccolo Seligmann, viola da gamba

Erhu Concerto No. 1 by Guan Naizhong
Qi Li, erhu


Part II
Tribute: Music that celebrates music legends, music-makers and US icons of swing

“Sleeping with the Enemy” & “Moondays” (A Tribute to Lady Day) by Cheryl L. Keyes
Cheryl L. Keyes, vocalist/pianist/arranger/orchestrator

Musique d’Afrique Nouvelle Orleans, Suite No. 3 by Alvin Batiste (orchestral adaptation and arrangement by Cheryl L. Keyes)
Andrew Connell, clarinet

Homage to Swing, Symphony in G Major, 1.158 [World Premiere] by Earl Louis Stewart

Program note for Homage to Swing:

Homage to Swing is an essay in contemplative jazz. It is a symphony written in four movements and is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of jazz written in traditional European formative paradigms.

Movement I features a traditional swing theme written in sonata allegro design. It is contrasted with a lively, rhythmic secondary theme.

Movement II, a multi-cultural fugue, features a fugal theme that traverses many styles while maintaining the same beat. It opens with a non-syncopated exposition, progressing to a bossa nova, then to a ragtime, a swing, a salsa, back to a swing, then to a lively African ngoma (an African dance), and a final swing. The movement closes in a style reminiscent of the opening. Third movements of traditional classical symphonies are usually some type of dance, e.g., minuet and trio, scherzo, or waltz.

In keeping with this tradition, Movement Ill features a jazz waltz. However, instead of being written in song form structure, this movement is written in sonata allegro design. The secondary theme introduces the waltz, which is in sharp contrast to the opening quasi bebop theme. Both themes are featured more or less throughout the entire movement. The development introduces a brief moment of improvisation.

Movement IV, the final movement, features jazz written in a sonata rondo design, i.e., A-B-A-C-A-B-A. Section C constitutes a lengthy jazz fugue, which functions as a development. – Earl Louis Stewart

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Piano Student Xiao Chen Takes Second Prize at Carmel Music Society Piano Competition 2018

June 12th, 2018 · No Comments

Professor Inna Faliks has let us know that piano graduate student Xiao Chen has just won the second prize in the Carmel Music Society Piano Competition. She has written:

Please join me in congratulating our DMA graduate and Principal Musician Xiao Chen, who won 2nd prize in the venerable Carmel Music Society Piano Competition. Here is the review (Peninsula Reviews) of her performance in the winners’ recital. Congratulations also to Richard Danielpour, whose Mardi Gras Prelude, mentioned below, won the hearts of so many.

“Second Prize winner Xiao Chen then took the stage, and in addition to her solid and masterful performance of Beethoven?s Sonata in F-sharp Major, Op. 78 and the first movement of the Brahms Sonata No. 1, she really blew us away with a work probably none of us had ever heard before ? the ?Mardi Gras? Prelude from Richard Danielpour?s ?The Enchanted Garden. This was a knock-out performance, and one we would love to hear again.”

Xiao Chen, center

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Professor Mark Kligman named new Chair of the Department of Ethnomusicology

June 11th, 2018 · No Comments

Professor Mark Kligman, a scholar of Jewish music, will become chair of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology on July 1, 2018. Kligman, who joined UCLA in 2014, will serve a three-year term. He succeeds Professor Steve Loza, who successfully led the Department of Ethnomusicology for three years as chair and one year as vice chair, including helping to write the proposal that resulted in the formation of the school in 2016 as the first–and only–school of music in the University of California system.

Kligman is the inaugural holder of the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music and a professor of ethnomusicology and musicology. In Spring 2017, he was appointed director of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music. He serves on the school’s Faculty Executive Committee and has been the director of Graduate Studies in Musicology for the past two years. Kligman is a member of the Faculty Advisory committees of the Center for Musical Humanities and the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. He is co-editor of the journal Musica Judaica and academic chair of the Jewish Music Forum.

“I look forward to serving the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in this role and building upon the important work of Professor Steve Loza,” said Kligman. “As the largest Ethnomusicology Department in academia, I hope to further develop the experience of our students to benefit from the department’s esteemed faculty and share their talents further throughout UCLA and the Los Angeles community. Our Department of Ethnomusicology has many treasures and I am inspired to work across the school to grow and share all we have to offer.”

Kligman holds a bachelor’s of music degree from California State University, Northridge in music theory; he studied at the University of Michigan and then New York University where he received a M.A. in urban ethnomusicology and a Ph.D. in musicology with an emphasis in ethnomusicology. Kligman researched the liturgical music of Syrian Jews focusing on Sabbath morning liturgy and its musical and cultural connections between Jewish religious traditions and Arab cultural and musical traditions. His research interests in Jewish Middle Eastern Liturgical traditions have led to publications in American, European and Israeli books and journals. His book Maqām and Liturgy: Ritual, Music and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn (Wayne State University) was awarded a 2009 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Notable Selection, an award of the Association for Jewish Studies. He is currently writing a book on popular music of Orthodox Jews.

As the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair holder, Kligman has sponsored many symposia, lectures and performances in a wide array of Jewish music topics partnering with school of music departments and the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. One of the highlights was in December 2015 with the performance of Handel’s Judas Maccabeaus at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. As director of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, Kligman works to support research, organize programs and concerts in American Jewish Music. The fund’s inaugural conference this past fall included the premiere of the new work David’s Quilt composed by 15 composers including L.A. professional composers, UCLA graduate students and faculty. This conference, American Culture and the Jewish Experience in Music, gathered leading scholars and explored new research areas.

→ No CommentsTags: Ethnomusicologists · Faculty · Musicologists

UCLA Marching Brand Brings Solid Gold Sound to Japan

June 11th, 2018 · No Comments

Twenty members of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band appeared as the featured performers at the 35th annual Ekitopia Festival Parade in Nagoya, Japan on May 4 and 5, 2018.

The Ekitopia Festival is held in Nagoya each year during Japan’s “Golden Week,” which occurs in late April and early May and includes a series of national holidays including The Emperor’s Birthday, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day and Children’s Day. Other performers in the parade included several local high school bands and traditional Japanese dance troupes. The governor of Aichi Prefecture, Hideaki Omura, was present to welcome the band to Nagoya, a Los Angeles Sister City.

The band arrived in Nagoya on May 2, and rehearsed on May 3 in preparation for the performance. On May 6, the band traveled to Kyoto to visit several historical sites including Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple), the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the monkeys at Kameyama-koen Park, and ancient gates and shrines at Fushimi Inari-taisha. The band flew back to Los Angeles on May 7, and most of the students headed directly to classes.

In 2010, fourteen members of the UCLA Drumline performed at this same event. Other recent trips to Asia by the band include the Chinese New Year Night Parade in Hong Kong in 2006 and 2008, and the Taoyuan International Band Festival in Taiwan in 2016.

Watch a video of the Marching Band in Nagoya

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End of Chancellor’s Residence Recital Series

June 5th, 2018 · No Comments

Mrs. Block has shared with us photos from the last two recitals of the series:

On May 22nd, violinist Priyanka Venkatesh and accompanist Dr James Lent–this photo shows Priyanka with Mrs. Block.

Matthew Lombard, Juan Rivera, and Jocelyn Yeo, From the recital on May 23rd. The three musicians are shown here with Mrs. Block

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UCLA Contempo Flux Spring 2018 Chamber Music Recital

May 21st, 2018 · No Comments

UCLA Contempo Flux Spring 2018 Chamber Music Recital

Saturday, June 9 at 4 PM – 5:30 PM

Schoenberg Hall

Directed by Gloria Cheng

FREE ~ Reception to follow~

Parking Available in Lot 2

ANTON WEBERN, Concerto for Nine Instruments, Op. 24
Irwin Hui, flute
Will Stevens, oboe
Nicole Galisatus, clarinet
Duncan Smith, horn
Natalie Dungey, trumpet
Chris Routh, trombone
Elvin Hsieh, violin
Lu Walstad, viola
Nicholas Carlozzi, piano
Euan Shields, conductor

STEVEN STUCKY, Sonate en form de pr?ludes, i, ii, iv for Oboe, Horn and Harpsichord
Layla Stefanacci, oboe
Maxwell Paulus, horn
Gloria Cheng, harpsichord

CAROLINE SHAW, Entr’acte, for String Quartet
Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, violin
Viola You, violin
Lu Walstad, viola
Jeffrey Ho, cello

GY?RGY LIGETI, Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano
Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, violin
Maxwell Paulus, horn
Nicholas Carlozzi, piano

GY?RGY LIGETI, Six Bagatelles, for Woodwind Quintet
William Yeh, flute
Will Stevens, oboe
Nicole Galisatus, clarinet
Anjali Pillai, bassoon
Maxwell Paulus, horn

JEAN-LUC DARBELLAY, Accents, for Horn and Saxophone
Jake Boring, alto saxophone
Maxwell Paulus, horn

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Chancellor’s Residence May Recitals Update

May 18th, 2018 · No Comments

We have received photos from Mrs. Block from this month’s recital series at the residence. The following performers entertained staff members from various areas of the campus.

Prof. James Lent and his collaborative piano students

This string chamber quintet (Tiffany Wee, Shota Homma, Xenia Deviatkina Loh, Connie Song, and Jeffrey Ho) performed a Brahms Piano Quintet.

Sophia Su entertained with a program of classical piano music.

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Judith Finell, musicologist and UCLA alumna, to deliver 2018 UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music commencement address

May 9th, 2018 · Comments Off on Judith Finell, musicologist and UCLA alumna, to deliver 2018 UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music commencement address

Judith Finell

Judith Finell, a renowned musicologist specializing in forensics and music copyright, the president of Judith Finell MusicServices Inc., a music consulting firm in New York and Los Angeles, and a UCLA alumna, will be the keynote speaker for the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music 2018 commencement ceremony, scheduled for Friday, June 15 at 4 p.m. in Dickson Court North.

“Judith is passionate about music and has used her expertise in musical analysis, history, literature and theory to build an internationally recognized music consulting firm,” said Judith Smith, the school’s dean. “She’s an influential voice in the field of forensic musicology and it’s an honor to have her speak to our graduates.”

As a specialist in issues involving the intersection of music, law and technology, Finell frequently testifies as an expert witness and consults in various litigations involving copyright infringement for music publishers, media and technology companies, advertising agencies and individual composers and songwriters.

In her most recent high-profile case, she served as a forensic musicologist for the family of Marvin Gaye, who won its music copyright lawsuit against the songwriters Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke for their 2013 song “Blurred Lines,” one of the best-selling singles of all time. Finell has also testified and consulted on behalf of Michael Jackson, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner/Chappell Music, and for the estates of composer Igor Stravinsky and singer-songwriter Bob Marley.

Finell’s firm regularly advises entertainment company clients, among them HBO, Sony Pictures, Disney, Warner Bros. Films, Lionsgate and Lucasfilm, on risk avoidance and music licensing in copyright matters.

A trustee and former board officer of the Copyright Society of the USA, Finell has written numerous articles and a book on the topics of contemporary music and copyright infringement. As a highly-regarded guest lecturer, she has spoken at law schools across the country, including at the UCLA School of Law, as well as Harvard, Columbia and Stanford universities. She is a regular guest speaker in Los Angeles, where she has addressed the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Los Angeles Copyright Society and the Association of Independent Music Publishers.

While at UCLA, Finell completed her undergraduate studies in piano performance, receiving her B.A. degree. She also holds an M.A. degree in musicology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Chancellors Residence Recital Updates–May 1 and 2

May 7th, 2018 · Comments Off on Chancellors Residence Recital Updates–May 1 and 2

Mrs. Block has again shared with us some photos of the most recent recitals enjoyed by campus staff audienceces.

On May 1st Anli Lin Tong, with Mrs. Block, performed a program of Chopin on the piano.

On May 2nd, Xenia Deviatkina-Loh (violin) and Dr. Xiang Chen (piano) performed Brahms, Beethoven, and Waxman for their audience.

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Pianist Faliks reinvigorates a Schumann standby in MISO?s season finale

May 2nd, 2018 · Comments Off on Pianist Faliks reinvigorates a Schumann standby in MISO?s season finale

This just in from Professor Inna Faliks–A lovely review of her recent performance in Miami

By Lawrence Budmen
Pianist Inna Faliks played Schumann with the Miami Symphony Orchestra Sunday at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall.

Pianist Inna Faliks played Schumann alongside the Miami Symphony Orchestra Sunday at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall.

Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor is a repertoire staple but Inna Faliks brought a fresh approach and highly personal interpretive instincts to her performance of this masterwork with the Miami Symphony Orchestra under Eduardo Marturet Sunday night at Miami’s Arsht Center.

An associate professor of piano at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Faliks is a well traveled soloist who will hopefully schedule more stops in South Florida. On Sunday she proved to be an interesting and musically imaginative artist. From the opening bars of the Schumann concerto, Faliks bent the musical line, coloring her phrases with subtle rubato. She brought plenty of power to the keyboard-spanning runs and octaves. Her pearly tone and poetic bent suggested a more Chopinesque approach.

In the second movement Intermezzo, Faliks’ winning combination of whimsy and heart-on-sleeve fervor turned the short opening figures into a burst of pianistic song. The Allegro vivace finale was replete with bold syncopations but Faliks’ elegant and impulsive shaping of thematic lines was always cleanly articulated. Her lighter approach to the score was musically engrossing and refreshing. Marturet and the orchestra provided full bodied support with the deep tone of the cellos in the secondary subject of the Intermezzo movement particularly distinguished.

A standing ovation brought Faliks back for Liszt’s La Campanella as an encore. She deftly traced the melodic curves of the familiar theme and drew a bell-like sound from the Steinway grand.

The program opened with Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Haydn.” Marturet balanced the wind choir astutely in the initial statement of the Saint Anthony Chorale. Throughout the performance, he strongly underlined the string lines beneath the wind and brass writing, and evoked the dark Brahmsian undertow of the lower strings.

The horns brought out the martial, celebratory mood of the sixth variation, and Marturet gave warmth and flowing grace to the lyrical flight of the Grazioso section that follows. In the final passacaglia, wind and string figurations were transparent, and the final reprise of the theme was sonorous. Marturet mixed brisk clarity with spacious weight in a finely structured reading that featured strong playing from the entire ensemble.

Following intermission, Marturet led the premiere of Questa Via, a love song by Karen LeFrak (whose Sleepover at the Museum, a work for narrator and orchestra, will be premiered by the Miami Symphony next season). A power ballad in the vein of James Horner’s My Heart Will Go On (from the film Titanic), the song was more appropriate for a pops program, but was charming nonetheless and attractively sung by Angelina Green (a onetime contestant on America’s Got Talent) and Hansel De Mu?oz. Marturet and the orchestra turned on a dime to sound like an expert studio group. When a technical glitch forced the-leather jacketed Mu?oz to change microphones, Marturet repeated the song, much to the delight of the audience and LeFrak, who was in attendance and basked in the applause.

The evening- and season-ending Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor got off to a rocky start. Although the granite-like opening chords were strongly emphatic, the timpani was overly loud and prominent. In the Allegro section of the first movement, the orchestra was not always together, and there were noticeable wind and brass fluffs. Marturet’s tempo never quite settled in, veering between rapid and plodding. The big climaxes were excessively bombastic.

The performance regrouped with a glowing Andante sostenuto. Concertmaster Daniel Andai’s singing, tonal sweetness was buttressed by the silky sonority of the entire string section. The bucolic pastorale of the third movement was aided by Marturet’s finely gauged dynamic contrasts.

Dark rumblings in the strings were potently projected in the introduction to the finale. The solo horn beautifully conveyed the chorale melody, which was eloquently shaped by Marturet. Strings sounded rich in the spaciously accented principal theme, which is often compared to the “Ode to Joy” melody of Beethoven?s Ninth Symphony. The Allegro non troppo took off with a muscular energy that the ensemble sustained right up to the coda, where the chorale theme reemerged triumphantly.

To see the article in its entirety, please CLICK HERE.

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