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Vocal Studies Grad Peabody Southwell Shines in Production of “Anatomy Theater”

January 13th, 2017 · No Comments

One of our faculty members has just shared this New York Times review with us of the new chamber opera “Anatomy Theater.”

This 75-minute work includes long stretches of spoken text (Mr. Lang and Mr. Dion wrote the chilling libretto), as well as videos (by Bill Morrison) and projections (by Laurie Olinder). Vocal Studies graduate Peabody Southwell has a prominent role in this cutting edge production.

Read the entire review by CLICKING HERE.


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For Professor Elisabeth Le Guin, Listening is a Winning Pedagogy

December 15th, 2016 · 1 Comment


Prof. Le Guin talks about the act of listening and what it requires of us. Watch here

Academics find their calling following multiple paths. For Professor Elisabeth Le Guin, she was a professional musician first and arrived late to teaching as a musicologist. She has wasted no time embarking on her own pedagogical road since she began teaching at UCLA in 1997, and her efforts were recognized this fall when she was presented with a UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award at the thirty-third Night to Honor Teaching, the only UCLA event that’s solely devoted to recognizing excellence in teaching. Le Guin, who is currently serving as the Chair of the Department of Musicology, joins fellow musicologist Robert Fink, who was a recipient last year, along with five others from The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, since 2000: Mitchell Morris, Musicology, (2003); Robert Bourland, Music, (2005); Robert Winter, Music, (2008); Ian Krouse, Music, (2011).

Le Guin’s teaching philosophy is timely. Inspired through the years by the Fandango fronterizo, an event held annually in May along the border fence between Tijuana and San Diego, musicians in the son Jarocho?tradition of southern Mexico gather on either side of the fence in order to sing and dance together in protest of injustice and in celebration of survival in the face of injustice. “Human bodies cannot cross the fence — indeed it is not even possible to get a little finger through the rusty mesh — but human sound travels through freely,” she wrote.

The Fandango fronterizo is more than a political event for Le Guin, it underlies her scholarship; it urges her to insist on “crossing that rusty border fence between practice and theory, between the beautiful urgencies of real-time execution, and the development of critical distance upon it. “It has led her to the fundamental cornerstone of her teaching: the cultivation of listening as an act of what she calls “radical (re) connection.”

Nowhere has this philosophy been more pronounced for Le Guin than in the Winter of 2015, when she put to the test an experiment in radical listening: she faced a class of graduating Music History majors and announced they were going to create the syllabus for their capstone course, together. What was to be radical listening on her end, became radical empowerment for her students. “It drew on everything I had always tried for in my work as a professional musician,” she said, “and later, in my performances as a teacher.” In this case, Le Guin’s radical (re) connection resulted in a successful two-day conference fully realized by the 2015 graduating Music History seniors, where they presented their culminating projects to an engaged public. This conference has since become a yearly feature of department life.

“I conceive the enterprise of encouraging and nourishing my students’ unique visions as my pedagogical mandate above all other considerations,” she said. “My musician’s training in interactive listening is put to a stringent test: to stand at the service of THEIR ideas — not my own.”

To find out more about our outstanding faculty and programs in the Department of Musicology, please visit us here.





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Herb Alpert School of Music Artists Contribute to Multiple GRAMMY-Nominated Projects

December 14th, 2016 · No Comments


Jazz, classical, world music, and composition faculty and staff at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music are among a talented pool of artists who contributed to projects recognized by the Recording Academy with 2017 GRAMMY nominations. Our namesake and patron, Herb Alpert, also hit a major milestone: he received his tenth GRAMMY nod this year for Human Nature, nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

UCLA Lecturer Raynor Carroll (percussion), Adjunct Professor Doug Masek (saxophone), and UCLA Lecturer John Steinmetz (bassoon) performed with the LA Phil on Zappa: 200 Motels – The Suites, Frank Zappa’s 1971 masterwork recorded on October 23, 2013 during an acclaimed, one-night-only, sold-out orchestral performance at Walt Disney Hall. Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and produced by Frank Filipetti and Gail Zappa, the live recording is Nominated for Best Classical Compendium. Portions of the score were premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta conducting in May 1970 at UCLA. Zappa originally wrote the work to accompany his 200 Motels feature film.

Also nominated in the Best Classical Compendium category is Gernot Wolfgang’s Passing Through, which includes a work originally commissioned and premiered by Professor Mark Carlson’s Pacific Serenades ensemble on their 2013 season. Carlson, who teaches theory and composition, recently learned that Wolfgang included the commissioned string quartet, “String Theory,” on the recording.

In the world of jazz, UCLA Lecturer Justo Almario (jazz performance and saxophone) is a member of conductor and arranger John Beasley’s MONK’estra big band project, which captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk. Almario is one of at least 15 musicians appearing on MONK’estra, Vol. 1, nominated in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category.

Daniel Seeff, West Coast Director, The Thelonious Monk Institute, features prominently on Anderson Paak’s Malibu, nominated in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category. Seeff is credited as the co-writer on “Your Prime” and on “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance,” the latter of which also features his musicianship on bass and guitar.

UCLA master tabla player and Adjunct Associate Professor Abhiman Kaushal is a guest player on Los Angeles-based band White Sun’s album, White Sun II, nominated for Best New Age Album. The band is known for its pioneering interpretations of yogic mantras, and its work has been included in health and wellness programs to help students deal with stress.

Joshua Guerrero, who attended the voice program and participated in several UCLA Opera productions, performed on the Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano), conducted by James Conlon and nominated for Best Opera Recording.

And finally, we are delighted to congratulate our namesake and patron, nine-time GRAMMY Award-winner Herb Alpert on his tenth nomination for Human Nature, his second album nomination in three years. It features five new original compositions and Alpert’s signature re-imagining of classics like Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” Burt Bacharach’s “Alfie” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” and Bacharach and Elvis Costello’s “Look Up Again.”

The GRAMMY Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m.

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Contempo Flux Ensemble Presents Contemporary Music in Concert December 3

November 16th, 2016 · No Comments


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Music Grad Lauren Michelle To Appear On Fox’s “Empire”

October 11th, 2016 · No Comments

We have received the following announcement from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music about Music grad Lauren Michelle:
Lauren Michelle, winner of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition, is a featured performer on the 12 October episode of FOX Network?s runaway hit drama Empire. She can be heard and briefly seen in the trailer for the episode. Tune in Wednesday night to see her complete performance!

Michelle’s performances as Irina in the Washington National Opera production of Lost in the Stars garnered rave reviews: Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun praised her “exquisite vocalism as Absalom’s pregnant girlfriend Irina; her account of ‘Stay Well’ is a peak of lyricism in the production.” She will reprise the role with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra this January as part of LACO’s “Lift Every Voice Festival,” a three week celebration of the music of Kurt Weill and the life of civil rights activist Rabbi Joachim Prinz.

Currently, Michelle is performing the role of Jessica in Welsh National Opera’s production of Andr? Tchaikowsky’s The Merchant of Venice. The production runs throughout October and November and can be seen in several cities throughout Great Britain. Later this season, she makes her Royal Opera House debut when the production arrives in London in July.

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Welcome New Faculty

October 5th, 2016 · No Comments


Three new ladder faculty have joined the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music: James K. Bass, a Grammy-nominated singer and conductor; Jocelyn Ho, one of Australia’s leading young pianists, and Shana Redmond, an interdisciplinary scholar of music, race, and politics.

Professor James K. Bass joins our Music Department as the Director of Choral Studies. He is a three-time Grammy nominated singer and conductor and is the Associate Conductor for the professional choir Seraphic Fire. Bass was previously on the faculty at Western Michigan University and the University of South Florida in Tampa and served as Artistic Director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the official chorus of the Florida Orchestra. Bass received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami–Florida, where he was a doctoral fellow; Master of Music and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of South Florida; and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. Bass is an active bass soloist and has performed with many important orchestras and conductors. He has appeared as soloist or conductor on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Albany, and Seraphic Fire Media labels. In 2017 he will begin his appointment as the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers.
Read a Q&A with Professor Bass in the Daily Bruin

Jocelyn Ho joins our Music Department as Assistant Professor — Performance Studies. Hailed as an artist possessing “a surprisingly unrelenting physical technique” (The Australian) and with the ability to draw “unbelievably beautiful sonorities from the piano” (Fine Music Magazine), Ho has distinguished herself as one of the leading young pianists in Australia, winning major piano competitions, including the first prize and the special prize for music by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven in the 2010 Australian National Piano Award, the Kawai Award, prizes at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and has performed at Radio France, the Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne Recital Centre, New York Symphony Space, Spectrum NYC, the NSW Parliament House, the Victorian Governor’s House, the Boston Isabella Gardner Museum, and extensively in the US and Europe.
Watch a preview of “Synaesthesia Playground,”?an ongoing experimental work by Ho and Drew Petersen for piano and mobile phones.

Shana L. Redmond joins our Musicology Department as Associate Professor of Musicology and African American Studies. She is an interdisciplinary scholar of music, race, and politics. Prior to receiving her combined Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University, Redmond studied Music and African American Studies at Macalester College where she trained as a vocalist. Throughout her education and career, music has been at the center of her thinking–as subject, agent, and method–and activates her research and teaching interests in racial formation, political cultures, nationalism, labor, and decolonization. Her focus has been to understand the ways in which music is used as a strategy within the liberation politics and social movements of the African world. She is the author of the highly-regarded book, “Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora,” published by NYU Press.
Read Associate Professor Redmond’s op-ed “Faith Under Fire: Jay Z’s ‘Spiritual’ Is A Modern Song of Sorrow”


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New CD of music by HASOM faculty member John Steinmetz has been released by Mill Avenue Chamber Players

September 27th, 2016 · No Comments

Recently shared by Professor John Steinmetz:

A new CD of music by HASOM faculty member John Steinmetz has been released by Mill Ave. Chamber Players:

“What the Birds Said” Music of John Steinmetz CD

Recorded in June 2016, the Mill Ave Chamber Players and the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet recorded the chamber music of John Steinmetz. Included on this CD are the Quintet, Quartet and “Three Pieces for Ten Winds.” Mill Ave. Chamber Players is a professional woodwind quintet based in Phoenix, AZ. In the 2016-2017 season, the ensemble will perform over 50 concerts throughout the greater Phoenix area.

Album notes:

Interview about the project:

The Mill Ave Chamber Players opens their ninth season with a new recording, “What the Birds Said”- the music of John Steinmetz. The ensemble recorded the album this past June with the composer on hand, and they dropped by K-BACH before they hit the studio. K-BACH’s Sterling Beeaff chats with French hornist Rose French and composer John Steinmetz about the collaboration.

The CD includes three of John’s pieces: Quintet, Fits and Starts for woodwind quartet (commissioned by UCLA faculty clarinetist Gary Gray), and Three Pieces for ten winds (Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet and the faculty winds from University of the Pacific joined Mill Ave. Chamber Players for this last piece). Mill Ave. Chamber Players are based in Phoenix, AZ. John traveled there in June for rehearsals and to produce the recording.


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UCLA Music Department Participates in Faculty Exchange with Capital Normal University in Beijing

September 27th, 2016 · No Comments

We have heard from Professors Inna Faliks and Lily Chen-Hafteck about their recent trip to China to exchange ideas and information with Faculty at Capital Normal University in Beijing.

The September 2016 UCLA faculty exchange was a fascinating adventure. Organized by Lily Chen-Hafteck, the team, which included Lily Chen-Hafteck, Neal Stulberg, Antonio Lysy, Inna Faliks, Michael Dean, and David Lefkowitz, led a series of workshops, lectures and master classes that culminated in a joint concert with CNU faculty.

The program ranged from Gao Ping to Purcell to Chopin to a world premiere by David Lefkowitz, composed for a large ensemble that included erhu and employed ancient Chinese poetry.

Chaperoned by CNU’s caring students and faculty, the faculty had a chance to partake in Beijing’s cultural and culinary treasures, and especially enjoyed learning and connecting with the sounds of traditional Chinese Instruments.

We express our thanks to the team of CNU faculty and students for this unforgettable week.

UCLA faculty members with the Capital Normal University officials including the Dean, Vice-Directors, and Professors

Professors, Lysy, Faliks, and Stulberg

Professors Lysy and Faliks with Chinese artist

Professor Lysy enjoying Chinese noodles.

Professor Faliks with a Sanxien

Professor Dean and Professor Faliks at the performance Center

Professors Lysy and Faliks at the Great Wall

New photos contributed October 3rd from Professor Lily Chen-Hafteck:
Antonio Lysy with master class

Professor David Lefkowitz with class

Professor Inna Faliks with piano master class

Professor Lily Chen-Hafteck with class

Professor Michael Dean in master class

Professor Neal Stulberg with orchestra master class

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2016 Audition Dates Set For Music Department Large Ensembles

September 8th, 2016 · No Comments

The UCLA Department of Music announces auditions for large ensembles for the 2016-17 academic year, including choirs, concert bands and wind ensembles, marching band, and orchestras. Most music majors are required to participate in these ensembles as part of their degree, but every single ensemble is open to non-music majors who audition successfully, and some ensembles are designed mostly with non-majors in mind.


The following ensembles comprise mostly music majors and some exemplary non-majors:

Chamber Singers
Wind Ensemble

The following ensembles especially encourage participation by non-majors:

Symphonic Band
Marching Band

Auditions for orchestras and concert bands/wind ensembles occur during the first week of fall quarter, September 19?26, 2016. These are the only formal auditions held this year. Choral auditions also occur just prior to the first week of fall quarter, with additional audition opportunities at the beginning of the winter and spring quarters.

All players interested in Philharmonia, Symphony, or Wind Ensemble must download and prepare required materials and schedule an audition at (Auditions for bands and orchestras occur simultaneously with both faculty members present; if you are interested in more than one ensemble, you only have to audition once.) If you are interested only in Symphonic Band, you are not required to audition and may simply register for Music 90F and perform an informal chair-placement audition during the first rehearsal.

For the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, auditions begin in May and are usually completed by September 1. Most prospective members audition by sending a link to a YouTube video of their audition, but you may also make an appointment to play in person. Audition requirements are listed at

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact the following:

Orchestras: Alex Chay (, orchestra manager
Concert Bands/Wind Ensembles: Dr. Travis J. Cross (, wind ensemble conductor
Marching Band: Ken Fisher (, assistant director of the Bruin Marching Band
Choirs: Dr. James K. Bass (, director of Choral Studies


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Professor Inna Faliks Shares Summer Festival Activities

August 24th, 2016 · 1 Comment

We have received an email from Music Professor of Piano, Inna Faliks, describing some of her summer activities at various festivals. She writes:

“I had a very adventurous summer, wanted to report. I attach photos. First, I played many concerts, solo and with esteemed chamber colleagues at the beautiful Newport Festival. Then, I played the Clara Schumann Concerto at Wintergreen festival, Virginia. There was so much drama connected to American Airlines losing my luggage and behaving atrociously, that the Slipped Disc blog published the story.

Then, I went to two very interesting festivals in Italy: Piano Academy Villa Sandra (small new festival, heavenly beauty ashore Lago Maggiore – did masterclasses), and Musicfest Perugia, where I performed and gave masterclasses. UCLA was well represented as our own Mindy Cheng and Polina Cherezova made their European debuts with University of Alicante Symphony in the Schumann and Chopin 2 concerti. Incoming pianist freshman Sean Tang-Wang also made an impressive debut in Rachmaninoff 2.”

Below are four photos Prof. Faliks sent along with her email.





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