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Anna Morcom accepts post as the Mohindar Brar Sambhi Endowed Chair in Indian Music

April 25th, 2018 · Comments Off on Anna Morcom accepts post as the Mohindar Brar Sambhi Endowed Chair in Indian Music

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology is pleased to announce that Anna Morcom has accepted the department’s offer to be the next holder of the Mohindar Brar Sambhi Endowed Chair in Indian Music. Established in 2005, the Sambhi Chair supports the performance, study and teaching of the music of India in the Department of Ethnomusicology. Professor Morcom has accomplished extraordinary research in the fields of Indian and Tibetan musical cultures. She holds a doctorate from SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies), where she wrote a dissertation on Hindi film songs and cinema. She presently holds the position of Professor of Ethnomusicology at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of three major books; her most recent, Illicit Words of Indian Dance: Cultures of Exclusion, was awarded the highly competitive Merriam Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology. The prize committee described this book as “an outstanding work of mature scholarship…the breadth of this book is stunning.” The monograph was also awarded the Marcia Herndon Prize of the Gender and Sexualities section of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

The inaugural chair holder, Daniel Neuman, is retiring at the end of this academic year. As a farewell program, Professor Neuman is sponsoring a concert to celebrate the life and legend of Ustad Sabri Khan, a pioneer of the sarangi. The concert is Saturday, April 28 at 8pm in Schoenberg Hall. Admission is free. READ MORE

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Travis J. Cross Named New Chair of the Department of Music

April 16th, 2018 · Comments Off on Travis J. Cross Named New Chair of the Department of Music

Photo: Laura Schneider/UCLA

Professor Travis J. Cross, a conductor, composer and arranger, will become chair of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Music on July 1, 2018. Cross, who joined the UCLA faculty in 2013, will serve a three year-term. He succeeds Professor Neal Stulberg, who successfully led the Department of Music for four years, 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.

A vice chair of the music department since 2014, Cross also served as associate dean for academic mentoring and opportunity during the inaugural years of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Cross currently conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and directs the graduate wind conducting program.

“Professor Cross’s achievements exemplify key areas within the Department of Music,” said Judith Smith, dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music. “He excels at conducting; he is a composer and arranger of band music; he taught in high school and now teaches in the department’s Music Education curriculum.”

Over the past five years, Cross has reinvigorated the UCLA Wind Ensemble, leading the band in invited performances at the California All-State Music Education Conference and College Band Directors National Association Western/Northwestern Division conference. In February, the UCLA Wind Ensemble participated in centenary performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Cross established the UCLA Wind Conducting Workshop, bringing dozens of music educators and conductors to campus for a week of training and professional development with leading teachers in the field each summer, and revived the UCLA Wind Ensemble Invitational, welcoming hundreds of high school band students from across the region to perform on the stage of Royce Hall.

“I look forward to serving the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in this role and anticipate building upon the achievements of my predecessors to sustain the Department of Music as a home for world-class composition, music education, performance and scholarship,” said Cross, professor and incoming music department chair. “I also hope to foster collaboration and connections between the acclaimed faculty and talented students in our department and the major cultural institutions, school music programs, and community arts organizations throughout California, as well as nationally and globally.”

Cross holds degrees from St. Olaf College (bachelor of music cum laude in vocal and instrumental music education) and Northwestern University (master and doctor of music in conducting), where he was named a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the United States Department of Education. Prior to graduate study, he taught for four years at Edina (Minn.) High School, and after completing his doctoral coursework, he served as assistant professor of music and wind ensemble conductor at Virginia Tech for five years, where he led students in performances at the Virginia Music Educators Association conference, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall.

His original compositions and arrangements are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Daehn Publications, and Theodore Music. He has appeared as a guest conductor, composer, and clinician in more than 30 states; Canada, China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates; and at the Midwest Clinic. Professor Cross is a Yamaha Master Educator.

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Chancellor’s Residence–April Recitals

April 13th, 2018 · Comments Off on Chancellor’s Residence–April Recitals

Mrs. Block has shared with us some more photos from her annual recital series at the Chancellor’s residence.

From April 4th, mezzo soprano Meagan Martin and accompanist Douglas Sume:

And from April 5th, saxophonist Matthew Lombard, seen here with Mrs. Block:

There will be more photos and information to come, as recitals will continue on through May.

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Mezzo-Soprano Meagan Martin Takes Top Prize at the UCLA Hershey Felder Competition

April 12th, 2018 · Comments Off on Mezzo-Soprano Meagan Martin Takes Top Prize at the UCLA Hershey Felder Competition

Meagan Martin, first-prize winner, on day one of the competition.

Popper Theater came alive last week as six UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music students competed in the two-day Hershey Felder Competition for Classical Musicians. The inaugural competition, generously funded by award-winning actor, playwright, director and producer Hershey Felder, encouraged classical musicians to dig deeper into what it takes to perform at the highest level.

Day one featured Felder coaching voice, string and piano students during a public masterclass, where he emphasized the importance of interacting with the audience in a personal and personable way, and he challenged them to “make every note count.” The following day, each of the student competitors, pianists Irina Bazik and Veola Sun, violinist Joyce Kwak, cellist Euan Shields and mezzo-sopranos Meagan Martin and Gal Kohav, put into practice what they learned from Felder as they competed before a live audience, who would later cast votes for their favorite performer.

That honor went to mezzo-soprano Meagan Martin, whose performance of “Una voce poco fa” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and “The Boy From…” by Mary Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim earned her the top-prize.

“It was liberating for me to focus on the exchange of energy with the audience and on the comedy within the music instead of getting so caught up in my technique,” said Martin, a vocal performance D.M.A. student. “On the second day I came into the competition with the intention of enjoying my performance and of the audience enjoying it too, and it made a huge difference.”

Martin had shied away from talking to an audience in previous concert and recital settings. “It can feel so vulnerable,” she said, “but it’s such an amazing way to establish a connection before I’ve sung a note.”

Due to a tie between the other five competitors, Felder generously announced an increase in his gift to be able to award each competitor with a share of the cash award.

“It gives me great satisfaction to know that this competition and award has motivated these students to explore their individuality as performers, to build on their musical talent and training, and ultimately, to determine how to engage and build an audience,” he said. “I am so proud of all six students and their improvement following the masterclass. I look forward to next year’s competition and working with new classical music students at UCLA.”

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2018 Chancellor’s Residence Recital Series

March 12th, 2018 · Comments Off on 2018 Chancellor’s Residence Recital Series

Mrs. Carol Block and her staff have provided us with some photos of the early performers in this year’s series, as seen below. This series is now in its tenth year. Mrs. Block invites UCLA staff from areas and departments all over campus to come to the residence to hear UCLA’s talented students perform. Mrs. Block is also featured in each of these photos.

From February 28:
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Ian Bankhead, Nicole Galisatus, Sarah Wooden, Jamie Kang, Tiffany Wee–Brahms Clarinet Quintet

From March 1:
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Hannah Yocute, Joseph Seyedan, Juan Rivera, Aaron Dozal, Payam Larijani, Joan Greenwald, Peter Yates — Classical Guitar Ensemble

From March 6:
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Gal Kohav with accompanist Victoria Kirsch– Worlds Apart: Songs of Loss, Songs of Love

From March 7:
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Jade Cook and Douglas Sumi–Vocal Performance

From March 8:
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Vanessa Martucci, Jared Jones, Vicktoria Kirsch–German Leider

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Professor Antonio Lysy Announces New CD

February 15th, 2018 · Comments Off on Professor Antonio Lysy Announces New CD

Grammy winning cellist, Prof. Antonio Lysy, performs with his father, the legendary Argentine violinist Alberto Lysy in the Kodaly duo, and Coco Trivisonno (one of the last living members of Piazzolla’s ensemble) performs bandoneon in three arrangements we commissioned from him of songs by Carlos Gardel. With tango milongas taking place all over the world, the timing of South America seems fortunate. Luxuriate also in the Casals and Bach/Villa Lobos cello choirs, performed all by Antonio Lysy himself in the glorious acoustics of Cammilleri Hall at The Brain and Creativity Institute.

Read more HERE

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Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Helps Bring Back Iranian Music Program, Gives $60,000 to Establish Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund for Iranian Music

January 22nd, 2018 · Comments Off on Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Helps Bring Back Iranian Music Program, Gives $60,000 to Establish Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund for Iranian Music

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute was founded by Mir-Djalali in 2000.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute was founded by Mir-Djalali in 2000

Iranian Music had been on a two-decade hiatus at UCLA, until 2016 when instructor Amir Hosein Pourjavady – a Bruin who received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA – returned to UCLA, working with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology to revive the Persian Music Ensemble and related seminars. A key group of individual donors with vision and a passion for Iranian Music gave generously to sustain the program quarter by quarter. Now, a two-year gift from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute for $60,000 is providing vital funding to keep the ensemble and seminars available for the near future.

The Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund for Iranian Music will support the ongoing Persian Music Ensemble, a popular class with a quarterly waitlist of students eager to learn more, the annual ensemble concert, seminars in Iranian Music, and related concerts, lectures and public events. The first public event supported by the Fund is the upcoming “Classical Persian Music: Hossein Omoumi, from Isfahan to Irvine,” on Monday, February 5 at 7 pm in Schoenberg Hall. More details here.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, which was founded by Mir-Djalali in 2000, supports cultural and educational activities and nurtures new educators who can preserve the transmission and instruction of Persian language and culture. The institute has awarded several million dollars in grants to establish and strengthen Persian academic programs at prestigious universities in the U.S. and around the world, including the Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies, which was established at UCLA in 2002, and most recently, the Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellowship in Iranian Linguistics at UCLA.

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Music graduate Dr. Xiao Chen wins Lorin Hollander American Prize

January 4th, 2018 · Comments Off on Music graduate Dr. Xiao Chen wins Lorin Hollander American Prize

Dr. Xiao Chen, a recent graduate of the Music Department’s piano program where she studied with Professor Inna Faliks, has recently won the Hollander American prize. More information can be read on their blog by clicking HERE.

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From the blog:

The American Prize
in Piano Performance (concerto), 2017-18?The Lorin Hollander Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Xiao Chen Los Angeles CA
Rachmaninoff Concerto #2

Chinese-born pianist Xiao Chen is actively engaged as a solo and chamber musician. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Inna Faliks from University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in New York, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Literature from Bard College. She studied with Melvin Chen at Bard.

Ms. Chen has performed numerous concerts and recitals throughout the U.S., China, and Europe. Her recent solo recital in Shanghai Concert Hall was well received and interviewed by Shanghai Youth Daily (?Her energetic, exquisite, breathtaking performance? impressed the audience?). Her performance of Rachmaninoff?s second piano concerto with UCLA Symphony was the highlight of the concert season. She is the prize winner of many competitions including Frances Wlaton Competition, American Protege International Competition, The Muse International Competition, ?London? Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, and Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition China Regional Competition. As a winner of Frances Walton Competition, she played a concert tour in Washtington State and performed a solo piano program on radio live broadcast concert at Classical KING FM 98.1. She has been invited to perform in numerous music festivals including The Morningside Bridge Summer Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Pianofest Summer Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, and Italy Perugia Music Fest.

Hearty congratulations to Xiao Chen!

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GRAMMY Nominations at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

December 7th, 2017 · Comments Off on GRAMMY Nominations at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

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The 60th GRAMMY Award nominations, announced recently by the Recording Academy, include a handful of UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music faculty, artists-in-residence, staff or alumni, among them Richard Danielpour, Billy Childs, Chris Potter, Daniel Seeff and Randy Newman.

Award-winning composer and Professor of Composition Music Richard Danielpour tops the list. He is competing for two GRAMMYs for Songs of Solitude & War Songs, a recording he made with baritone Thomas Hampson and the Nashville Symphony. The album —Songs of Solitude & War Songs— was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Classical, and the cycle “Songs of Solitude,” for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. “Songs of Solitude” is Danielpour’s artistic response to 9/11. “War Songs” (2008) was prompted by photographs of young soldiers killed in Iraq.

Composer and jazz pianist Billy Childs, a current Monk Institute Composition Artist-in-Residence, received two nominations: a Best Jazz Instrumental Album nomination for his album Rebirth, and the album’s track “Dance of Shiva” is competing in the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category. Chris Potter, who was an Institute Artist-in-Residence several years ago, is also up for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “Illimba” and Best Jazz Instrumental Album for The Dream is the Dreamer.

Daniel Seeff, West Coast Director, The Thelonious Monk Institute, is the co-writer, bassist, guitarist, and saxophonist on one song “Shot Down” on Ledisi’s Let Love Rule album, which is competing for Best R&B album. Seeff was nominated last year for his role on Anderson Paak’s album Malibu, where he was recognized as co-writer on “Your Prime” and on “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance.”

Alumnus Randy Newman was nominated in the Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals category for “Putin” from his album Dark Matter.

For a complete list of GRAMMY nominations, please go here. The 60th GRAMMY Awards show is Sunday, January 28, broadcast live on CBS.

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Professor Inna Faliks Shares Photos From Recent China Tour

December 4th, 2017 · Comments Off on Professor Inna Faliks Shares Photos From Recent China Tour

We received the following news from Music Department Professor Inna Faliks, who recently performed several times in China and followed up that visit with a concert at the National Gallery of Art.

“I wanted to share a few snapshots from my recent tour in China. I had the great pleasure of playing recitals and giving masterclasses in conservatories in Xian, Nanjing and Chengdu. The students were wonderfully passionate, hard-working and sensitive, the faculty -most welcoming, and the sights and food – unforgettable. I include some rehearsal shots, a shot of me doing a Disklavier masterclass between Chengdu and Guangzhou, a snapshot of the Terracotta Army in Xian, and a stretching giant panda in Chengdu.

Next up for me is the Mahler 6 at the National Gallery of Art on December 3rd.”

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And here is a link to the National Gallery of Art web page about the NGA concert by Prof. Faliks and Daniel Schlossberg:

https://www.nga.gov/calendar/concerts/seventy-sixth/inna-faliks-and-daniel-schlosberg.html

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