Nansong Huang (Columbia College/Juilliard Exchange 2016) gave a successful and well-attended piano recital at the Columbia Global Center in Beijing. Over one hundred people attended, and Nansong gave a short speech to the audience after the recital on the importance of music education. For a more complete write-up of the event, please visit the write-up done by the Columbia Global Center in Beijing.
NYC Community Interest News
IN MEMORY OF ANAHID AJEMIAN AVAKIAN
Ms. Avakian was a member of the Composers String Quartet, in residence at Columbia in the 1970s, and she was a longtime member of Columbia's music faculty. Her full obituary is available below:
Anahid Ajemian was born in New York, in 1924. She began her music studies early at the Institute of Musical Art, which later merged with the Julliard School. After graduating from the Lincoln School, Miss Ajemian continued her education at Julliard, studying violin with Edouard Dethier, chamber music with Hans Letz and Felix Salmon, and played in and with the Julliard orchestra under Albert Stoessel and Edgar Shenkman. In 1946, while still a student of Edouard Dethier at the Juilliard Graduate School of Music, she won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Award. In the same year, she made her debut at Town Hall and received the Distinguished Achievement Medal from Mademoiselle magazine as the Young Woman of the Year in Music. Among the many honors that have followed, the Order of St. James appointed her a Knight of Malta for her lifelong support of contemporary classical music.
With her pianist sister Maro, she concertized in Europe, Canada and throughout the United Stares in a wide repertoire including works which for written for them by such distinguished composers as John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, Alan Hovhaness, Ernst Krenek, Wallingford Riegger, Carlos Surinach and Ben Weber, among many others. Together and separately, the Ajemians recorded extensively for Columbia, RCA Victor, MGM and Composers Records Inc. They were the first musicians to receive the Laurel Leaf Award of the Composers Alliance for Distinguished Service to American Miss Ajemian and her sister were equally known for their interpretations of the standard classical repertoire. A unique feature of the many television programs they taped for NBC’s “Recital Hall” and the National Educational Television Network was their series of programs comprising the complete cycle of all ten Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano. They appeared as soloists under the batons of Dmitri Mitropoulos, Leopold Stokowski and Izler Solomon, and recorded with the latter two.
Also during the 1940s, Miss Ajemian co-founded the New York City-based organization “Friends of Armenian Music Committee”, which did much to launch the career of fellow Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness, via a series of well-received New York concerts of his music. These concerts were repeated in Boston, San Francisco and Los In the mid sixties, Miss Ajemian and her fellow violinist Matthew Raimondi founded the Composers String Quartet at the suggestion of Gunther Schuller, which quickly earned an international reputation and toured in more that 26 countries, including the Soviet Union, India, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and China. The Composers String Quartet recorded extensively for The Musical Heritage Society, Nonsuch Records, Composers Recordings, Inc and Columbia Records among many others. The Quartet’s 1970 recording of Elliott Carter’s First and Second Quartets was honored by a “Grammy” nomination, received “Stereo Review’s “Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year” Award, and was acclaimed by “High Fidelity” as “Best Quartet of the Year” and one of the “Fifty Greatest Albums of the Decade.” Time magazine called it “an astonishingly brilliant and unique achievement.”
The Quartet was in residence at Columbia University in New York City and The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. For many years, they were the primary performers at the Mt Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Northeast Harbor, For many years, Miss Ajemian was a long-time member of the Columbia University music faculty and served as a judge for several music organizations, including the annual Naumburg Foundation Awards.
She is survived by her husband of sixty-eight years, recording executive George Avakian, their daughters Maro and Anahid (Gregg), son Gregory, and two grandchildren.
The Department warmly congratulates Dr. Nicholas Chong, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation, Beethoven's Catholicism: A Reconsideration, on Friday, June 3, 2016. Dr. Chong's dissertation was advised by Professor Elaine Sisman, and his committee included Professors Susan Boynton, Euan Cameron (UTS), James Hepokoski (Yale), and Walter Frisch.
Congratulations, Dr. Chong!
Maja Cerar will be a featured performer in the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival at the National Sawdust in June 2016. NYCEMF 2016 will showcase electroacoustic music and video art from around the world, and Professor Cerar will perform Tania León's Axon, Ken Ueno's Vedananupassana, Elizabeth Hoffman's Fastenings (world premiere), Liubo Borissov/Maja Cerar's Autopoiesis and Paolo Gatti's Poltergeist.
For more information, please see the NYCEMF's webpage.
Professor Zosha Di Castri's piece "Patina" for solo violin, commissioned by Jenny Koh for the concert "Shared Madness" that took place at the National Sawdust on May 31, was reviewed by Corinna da Fonseca-Wallheim for the New York Times: "Zosha Di Castri's 'Patina' wove contemporary preoccupations -- with microtonal shadings and the relation of music to noise -- in a score tense with wild fluctuations in temperament."
Here is the full text of the review.
Magdalena Stern-Baczewska (Director, Music Performance Program) will return to Reid Hall on June 30th for a solo recital in the "Columbia Sounds" series. The program features works by Brahms, Chopin, and the European premier of Toys by Peter Susser (Director of Undergraduate Musicianship). Baczewska's other summer events include a recording of Tan Dun's Triple Resurrection with the Shanghai Symphony, piano and harpsichord master classes at Accademia Europea Villa Bossi (Bodio Lomnago, Varese, Italy), as well as performances and teaching engagements at the International Keyboard Institute, New York Piano Festival, and the Sound of Manhattan Festival (New York City).
Columbia University Music Department graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, and faculty have been having an incredible year in 2016! Below is a partial listing of some of the highlights of the year -- a full list of more exciting news from our community will be available in our 2016 newsletter, which will be available in November 2016.
If you have some news you'd like to see included in the newsletter, please email Isabella Livorni at iml2110 [at] columbia.edu, or Susan Boynton at slb184 [at] columbia.edu.
GRADUATE STUDENTS AND ALUMNI APPOINTED TO ACADEMIC POSITIONS AND POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS
Lauren Flood was appointed Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT.
Timothy Mangin was appointed assistant professor of music at Boston College.
Matthew Morrison was appointed assistant professor of recorded sound at NYU.
Tyshawn Sorey recently accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in music composition and creative improvisation at Wesleyan University that is scheduled to begin in fall 2017.
Sara Snyder was appointed visiting assistant professor of anthropology and sociology at Western Carolina University for 2016-2017.
GRADUATE STUDENT FELLOWSHIPS, COMMISSIONS, AND AWARDS
David Bird was awarded a Student Composer Award from the BMI Foundation in May 2016.
Emily Clark was selected to participate in the intensive two-week Taalunie Dutch Summer Course at the University of Ghent in August.
Maria Fantinato Géo de Siqueira was awarded a Pre-Dissertation Field Research Travel Grant for summer 2016 from Columbia’s Institute of Latin American Studies.
Andrés García Molina was awarded a Pre-Dissertation Field Research Travel Grant for summer 2016 from Columbia’s Institute of Latin American Studies.
Paula Harper won the 2016 Meyerson Award for excellence in Core teaching.
Orit Hilewicz received a GSAS Teaching Scholars award to teach the course “Music in Multimedia: Analytical and Critical Approaches to Music in Songs, Dance, Drama, Films, and Video Games” in Fall 2016.
Qingfan Jiang has been awarded a Weatherhead PhD Training Grant for her summer research project.
Adam Kielman was awarded the Julie How Fellowship by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.
Sky Macklay won a 2016 Morton Gould Young Composer Award from the ASCAP Foundation for her piece Many Many Cadences. She was also awarded a New Music USA project grant for her next installation, MEGA-ORGAN.
Will Mason received a GSAS Teaching Scholars award to teach the course “Music and Technology in Critical Perspective” in Spring 2017. His debut album “Beams of the Huge Night” (New Amsterdam) was named “Album of the Year” by Avant Music News, and he was voted one of the top 5 debut artists of 2015 in the El Intruso International Jazz Critics Poll.
Matthew Ricketts was named Composer/Collaborator-in-residence through East Carolina University's NewMusic Initiative, a long-term commissioning and pedagogy project spanning the next 3 years and culminating in a new work for piano and orchestra to be premiered by the student orchestra with faculty soloist (2018). Other upcoming commissions include the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's organist-in-residence, Jean-Willy Kunz, pianist Julia Den Boer, the Aspen Contemporary Music Ensemble and Chartreuse Trio. In summer 2016, Matthew will be a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.
Tyshawn Sorey received the George Wein-Doris Duke commissioning grant to compose a new work for his piano trio, to be performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 2016.
Maeve Sterbenz has been awarded the Lead Teaching Fellowship from the Center for Teaching and Learning for 2016-2017.
Didier Sylvain was selected for a Graduate Research Assistantship to a five-year NSF-funded study in Haiti, entitled "CAREER: Assessing Long-Term Sociocultural Impacts in Disaster Recovery Efforts," coordinated by Professor Mark Schuller at Northern Illinois University, starting June 2016.
Trevor Reed’s paper, entitled “Reclaiming Networks of Indigenous Song: Ontologies of Property, Politics and Transformation in Boulton’s Taatawi Recordings,” won the Charlotte Frisbie Student Paper Prize at the 2015 SEM Annual Meeting. Trevor was selected as a Summer Teaching Scholar this year and will be teaching a new course, Music and the Indigenous Experience in North America, during the Summer D session.
Christopher Trapani won the 2016-2017 Rome Prize in composition from the American Academy of Rome. In February 2016, Marilyn Nonken performed Chris’ piece “The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky” (2005) in the Spectral Salon.
Nina Young was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome this year, after winning the 2015 Rome Prize.
STUDENT PRESENTATIONS AND TALKS
Nandini Banerjee presented “Film Music and its Layers of Modernity: The Role of Tappa in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Joy Baba Felunath’” at the 35th Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, March 5-6, 2016 (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA).
Eamonn Bell presented the poster “Mining the Performance History of the New York Philharmonic from 1842–2015: Programming Trends and Performer Networks” at Data Science Day, April 6 2016 at Columbia University.
Elliott Cairns presented a paper entitled “The Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv: Where Musicology Met Anthropology” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology in Austin, Texas.
Emily Clark presented a paper, “The Towa-Towa in Queens: A Caribbean Bird Community in Diaspora” at the Yale Graduate Music Symposium in March, and will present a paper entitled “The Towa-Towa and the Gamelan: Using Musical Objects in Caribbean Diaspora to Rethink Materiality” at the Caribbean Philosophical Association in June.
Maria Fantinato Géo de Siqueira presented the paper "Choro in New York: borders of genre as a conceptual tool of analysis" at the 35th Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, March 5-6, 2016 (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA).
Andrés García Molina presented “El Paquete: Digital Circulation, Circumvention, and Exclusion in Cuba,” at the Neil Postman Graduate Conference at NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication in February 16, 2016.
John Glasenapp presented “The Earliest Irish Notation from the Drummond Missal” at the Cantus Planus Study Group of the International Musicological Society, August 2-7, 2016 (Dublin, Ireland).
Beatriz Goubert presented “Muisca Sounds: Indigenous Music in the construction of a Multicultural Colombia” at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music IASPM-Latin America Conference, March 7-11, 2016 (Havana, Cuba).
Marc Hannaford presented “Trust and Subjective (re)Positioning: Analyzing the Work of Five Female Improvisers” at the Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia conference, April 14–17, 2016 (Birmingham, England).
Paula Harper presented "Watching Cell Phones, Listening to Video: 'Bus Uncle' Goes Viral" at the Yale Graduate Music Symposium, March 4-5 2016 (Yale University, New Haven CT); and "UNMUTE THIS: Ubiquitous Listening and Vernacular Media Theory" at the Theorizing the Web conference, April 16-17 2016 (Museum of the Moving Image, Queens NY).
Orit Hilewicz gave a lecture on Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel in the course “Form and Chromatic Harmony in 19th-century Music (and its influence on early Modernism)” at the Department of Music in Harvard University on March 29, 2016. She also presented “Using Mediathread in the Music Theory Classroom” at the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium at Columbia in March 2016; “Musicalizing the Twittering Machine: Multitextual Listening in Analysis” at the joint conference of Music Theory Southeast and South Carolina Society of Music Theory at Kennesaw State University in Georgia in April 2016; and “Reciprocal Interpretations of Music and Painting: Representation Types in Schuller, Tan, and Davies after Paul Klee” at the joint conference of the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory, the Southwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the American Musicological Society Rocky Mountain Chapter in April 2016.
Qingfan Jiang presented her web exhibit in chanmanuscripts.omeka.net in the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium at Columbia in March 2016.
Adam Kielman presented “Translocal Media Flows and Local Language Music in Contemporary China” at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference held March 31 – April 3, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.
Sky Macklay gave a talk entitled “The Analog Robotic: The Liminality of Naturalness in Harmonibots” at the Women in Music Technology Symposium at UC Irvine in February 2016.
Will Mason gave the invited presentation “Spectralism, Modernism, Representation: The case of Grisey’s Les Chants de l’Amour” at the Paul Sacher Archive in March 2016.
Toru Momii presented “Lost in Translation: Exoticism as Transculturation in Saint-Saëns’s Africa” at the Annual Meeting of the New England Conference of Music Theorists, April 8–9, 2016 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA) and at the McGill Music Graduate Symposium, March 18–20, 2016 (Montréal, QC).
Russell O’Rourke presented his web exhibit in chantmanuscripts.omeka.net in March 2016 as a part of the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium at Columbia.
Ralph Whyte was invited to give a guest lecture on the “roots of visual music” for a seminar in the visual studies department at Harvard University.
Michael Weinstein-Reiman presented a paper, “I’m a Monster!: Nicki Minaj and Queer Posthumanism,” at the Gender and Music: Practices, Performances, Politics conference in Örebro, Sweden in March 2016. He was invited to present the same paper at the H. Wiley Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College in May.
Whitney Slaten gave the following conference papers: “Jazzmobile and the Urban Soundscape" at “Locations and Dislocations: An Ecomusicological Conversation,” Westminster Choir College of Rider University (April 2016), “Liveness, Sonic Color and Transparency: The Creative Agency of Mixing Recorded and Live Broadway Productions of Porgy and Bess,” at the Art of Record Production Conference (November 2015) and "Amplifying From the Shadows: Representation and Metarepresentation in Live Music Production" at the University of Toronto conference on “Music and Labor” (April 2016). He was an invited panelist on the "Art, Citizenship and Community” roundtable for the Columbia Black Law Students Association Paul Robeson Conference in February 2016, and moderated a master class “Gnawa and the Trance Music of Morocco” featuring Abdellah El Gourd of Dar Gnawa of Tanger and Randy Weston at The New School in October 2015.
Trevor Reed presented a lecture and had two of his works performed during the John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico.
Tom Wetmore presented his paper “‘I’m Telling You This is True": Constructing History and Authenticity in Harlem Jazz Tourism” at the Mid-Atlantic Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology Conference in Charlottesville, VA.
Alec Hall defended his dissertation, “Sound, noise, and objecthood: The politics of representation in avant-garde music,” in May 2016.
Ryan Pratt defended his dissertation, “Composition in Relative Intonation, Sadhana and k. tracing,” in May 2016.
Marceline Saibou defended her dissertation, “Popular Music in Lomé, Togo, 1967-2005 – Presence, Absence, and Disjunctures,” in May 2016.
Sara Snyder defended her dissertation, “Poetics, Performance, and Translation in Eastern Cherokee Language,” in May 2016.
Lucie Vágnerová defended her dissertation, “Sirens/Cyborgs: Sound Technologies and the Musical Body,” in May 2016.
FACULTY AWARDS, HONORS, NEWS
Susan Boynton won a 2016 Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award for her work as an educator. The award was presented on April 7 in a ceremony at the Italian Academy. Professor Boynton discussed her book, co-edited with Diane Reilly, Resounding Images (Brepols, 2015), in an event at Faculty House in February 2016.
Deborah Bradley-Kramer performed “An American Menagerie” concert with SPEAKmusic, the ensemble of Columbia and Juilliard students that she recently formed, at the Roerich Museum in March 2016. In the same month, SPEAKmusic toured Poland. In April 2016, Professor Bradley-Kramer performed in the concert “Echoes of the Russian Jewish Folk Music Society” with SPEAKmusic and the Daedalus Quartet at the 92nd Street Y.
Zosha Di Castri’s piece Anssi de suite was performed by Anssi Karttunen in Paris in February 2016, as part of “Columbia Sounds: A New Concert Series” at the Columbia Global Centers. In April 2016, her piece Near Mute Force (commissioned by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto) was premiered in Toronto as part of violist Steven Dann’s concert “Dannthology.”
Professor Di Castri also won the 2016 Yvar Mikhashoff Trust Competition, along with pianist Julia Den Boer; over the next year, Professor Di Castri and Dr. Den Boer will be collaborating to write a new piece for solo piano that will then be performed at the Banff Center for the Arts. In December 2016, she will be featured in a Miller Theater Composer Portrait concert.
In May 2016, Julia Doe wrote an exhibition review of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition of Vigée Le Brun for AMS’ Musicology Now.
In April 2016, Aaron Fox discussed the Center for Ethnomusicology’s indigenous music repatriation projects for BBC Radio 3’s Sunday Feature, “Taking It All Back Home.”
Georg Friedrich Haas’ music was performed by the JACK Quartet and the Talea Ensemble in the Austrian Cultural Forum’s March 2016 concert “American Immersion.” Professor Haas will be the composer-in-residence for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2016.
In March 2016, Ellie Hisama gave a “Feminist to the Core” talk on “Feminist Critical Listening.”
In February 2016, Fred Lerdahl’s pieces There and Back Again (2010) and Give and Take, for violin and cello (2014) were performed by Anssi Karttunen (cello) and Mariana Chiche (violin) at “Columbia Sounds: A New Concert Series” at the Columbia Global Centers in Paris.
Ana Maria Ochoa’s book Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia (Duke University Press, 2014) won the 2015 Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology.
Terence Pender was interviewed by the Columbia Spectator in March 2016, resulting in an article praising his skills as a musician and as an educator.
Magdalena Stern-Baczewska gave a lecture recital, “The Goldberg Variations in Context,” at Quest University in Squamish, British Columbia in March 2016. Also in March 2016, Professor Stern-Baczewska performed at the University of Connecticut's Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts, in a recital with violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv, featuring Bartok's Roumanian Dances, Beethoven's 'Kreutzer' Sonata, and Sonata in A major by Franck. In May 2016, she performed Tan Dun's piano concerto The Banquet in China at the Shenzhen PolyTheater and the Guangzhou Opera House with the Macao Orchestra, conducted by maestro Tan Dun.
Peter Susser curated the “Hearing is Believing” exhibition in the Music & Arts Library in spring 2016, which displayed original student and faculty work, as well as textbooks, training manuals, and compositions from around the world that are used to enhance and inspire the musical imagination.
Chris Washburne participated in a dialogue on “Jazz and Thought” with Columbia neuroscientists as a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Science of Jazz lecture series in April 2016.
ALUMNI HONORS, AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, PERFORMANCES
Kasia Borowiec was most recently an Artist in Residence with Dayton Opera, where she sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and covered the role of Desdemona in Otello.
Courtney Bryan performed in “Relation: A Performance Residency” by Vijay Iyer in the Met Breuer Gallery in March 2016. Also in March, she held an online concert and discussion with Eun Lee entitled “Counterpoint: Classical Music and Nina Simone,” and she performed with HER (in honor of) at Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center for the Arts. In April 2016, she performed her piece A Presence at Harvard in the concert “Creative Music Convergencies.”
Edmund Campion was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. In February 2016, his piece Something to go on was performed by Anssi Karttunen (cello) and Mariana Chiche (violin) in Columbia Sounds: A New Concert Series at the Columbia Global Centers in Paris.
Anthony Cheung was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Gerald Cohen released Sea of Reeds, an album of chamber music featuring clarinet: http://geraldcohenmusic.com/sea-of-reeds-cd/
The recording of Mario Diaz de León’s “The Soul Is The Arena” by Claire Chase, Joshua Rubin, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (Denovali) was on Alex Ross’ list of Notable Performances and Recordings of 2015 in the New Yorker.
Natacha Diels’ piece Child of Chimera (2015) was performed in Ensemble Pamplemousse’s concert This is the Uplifting Part in Paris, March 2016. In May 2016, Natacha was interviewed by Columbia News.
Tina Frühauf, along with her co-editor Lily E. Hirsch, won the American Musicological Society's Ruth A. Solie award this year for their edited volume, Dislocated Memories: Jews, Music, and Postwar German Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Ashley Fure (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-2015) was featured in a Miller Theater Composer Portrait concert in February 2016. In anticipation of the concert, the New York Times published an interview with her in January 2016.
Bryan Jacobs was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. His piece Dialogue II was performed by Anssi Karttunen (cello) and Mariana Chiche (violin) as part of “Columbia Sounds: A New Concert Series at the Columbia Global Centers” in Paris in February 2016. Also in Paris, in March 2016, his piece Organic Synthesis Vol. 1 (2015) was performed by Ensemble Pamplemousse in their concert “This is the Uplifting Part.”
Daniel Lazour was awarded a 2016 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater for We Live In Cairo, the musical he co-wrote with his brother, Daniel Lazour.
Jenny Payne was awarded the prestigious Luce Scholarship from the Luce Foundation, whose goal is to “enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society.”
Tristan Perich’s “Microtonal Wall” was featured in the exhibit The Art of Music at the San Diego Museum of Art from September 2015 to February 2016.
Marceline Saibou presented "Musical Evisceration Under State Patronage – The Curious Case of Togo" at the 35th Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, March 5-6, 2016 (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA).
Lucie Vágnerová presented “Black Box, White Box: Electronics Assembly and the Factory Museum” at Sound Limits: Music and its Borders - the Yale Graduate Music Symposium in March 2016.
The Columbia University Department of Music extends heartfelt congratulations to our 2016 graduates:
Undergraduate Music Majors
Javier Llaca Ojinaga
School of General Studies
Natacha Diels (DMA, Composition)
Shannon Garland (PhD, Ethnomusicology)
Alec Hall (DMA, Composition)
Geoffrey Holbrook (DMA, Composition)
Bryan Jacobs (DMA, Composition)
Ryan Pratt (DMA, Composition)
Alex Rothe (PhD, Historical Musicology)
Marceline Saibou (PhD, Ethnomusicology)
Sara Snyder (PhD, Ethnomusicology)
Lucie Vágnerová (PhD, Historical Musicology)
Jazz Special Concentration (Columbia College)
Sound Arts MFA
Alice Emily Baird
Cameron Perry Fraser
Frank Andrew Spigner
Paula Harper, fourth-year graduate student in Historical Musicology, has received the Meyerson Award for Excellence in Core Teaching. The award is given in Music Humanities, Art Humanities, Literature Humanities, and Contemporary Civilization to an outstanding graduate student preceptor in each course.
The Center for Ethnomusicology's project to "repatriate" Native American recordings made by collector Laura Boulton in the 1930s and 40s and purchased by Columbia in the 1960s to their source communities has been featured as part of an extensive radio feature on BBC Radio 3 (UK). The feature includes interviews with Columbia ethnomusicologist Prof. Aaron Fox and former Columbia students Kristina Jacobsen (MA, Music, 2006, now Assistant Professor of Music at the University of New Mexico) and Nanobah Becker (MFA, Film, 2008, now a prominent, Sundance-winning Native American filmmaker). The feature runs for about 45 minutes.
Listen to it here. (Flash Player Required)
Taking It All Back Home, Sunday Feature - BBC Radio 3
(Photo: Tagiugmiut Iñupiat Dancers, Barrow Alaska, 2009; Photo by A. Fox)
Congratulations to Department Chair Professor Susan Boynton, winner of a 2016 Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award!
Eight Faculty Members Win 2016 Lenfest Awards Great teachers are an inspiration to their students and admired by their peers. This year’s winners of the Columbia Distinguished Faculty Awards were nominated by department chairs and their fellow faculty members:
The Department of Music warmly congratulates DMA candidate Christopher Trapani who has been awarded a 2016-17 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome.
The Rome Prize is "awarded to about thirty emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence and who are in the early or middle stages of their working lives." Mr. Trapani is the second Columbia DMA student to win the Rome Prize in as many years.
Learn more about Mr. Trapani and his music at:
A composer with a genuine international trajectory, Christopher Trapani maintains an active career in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Continental Europe. Commissions have come from the BBC, the JACK Quartet, and Radio France, and his works have been recently heard at Carnegie Hall, the Southbank Centre, IRCAM, and Wigmore Hall.
Christopher’s music synthesizes disparate influences, weaving both American and European stylistic strands into a personal aesthetic that defies easy classification. Snippets of Delta Blues, Appalachian folk, dance band foxtrots, and Turkish makam can be heard alongside spectral swells and meandering canons. As in Christopher’s hometown of New Orleans, diverse traditions coexist and intermingle, swirled into a rich melting pot. Consonance is a central preoccupation; microtonality and just intonation are often employed. Timbral explorations are also manifold, from experiments with a wide range of mutes and preparations to an unusual instrumentarium, with scorings that call for electric guitar, dulcimer, qanûn, stroh violin, and retuned autoharps. Several of Christopher’s compositions bear the mark of his training in literature, influenced by novelists and poets including Thomas Pynchon, Geoff Dyer, and C. P. Cavafy. Many recent works also incorporate an idiosyncratic use of electronics, expanding the possibilities of color, pitch, and timing beyond the acoustic realm.
Christopher was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where he studied composition with Bernard Rands and poetry under Helen Vendler. He spent most of his twenties overseas: a year in London, working on a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson; a year in Istanbul, studying microtonality in Ottoman music on a Fulbright grant; and seven years in Paris, where he studied with Philippe Leroux and worked at IRCAM, both on the composition cursus and later on a musical research residency.
Christopher is currently based in New York City, where he has worked on a doctorate at Columbia University, studying with Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, and George Lewis.
Christopher is the winner of the 2016 Rome Prize, as well as the 2007 Gaudeamus Prize, the first American in over 30 years to win the international young composers’ award. Other recent honors include an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2015), a nomination for a British Composers Award (2014), and a grant from the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) towards a new piece for ICE and Ensemble L’Itinéraire. He has also won the Julius F. Ježek Prize (2013), three Morton Gould Young Composers Awards from ASCAP (2005, 2006, and the Leo Kaplan Award in 2009), and a BMI Student Composer Award (2006). His scores have been performed by ICTUS, Ensemble Modern, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Ensemble L’Itinéraire, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Ensemble Mosaik, Talea Ensemble, Argento Ensemble, Wet Ink, Earplay, Yarn/Wire, Atlas Ensemble, pianists Sergey Schepkin and Marilyn Nonken, and the American Composers Orchestra.
tIn March 2011, Christopher was featured in a portrait concert on the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series at the Royal Festival Hall in London. His music has also been programmed in international festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Ultraschall Festival in Berlin, Musica Nova Helsinki, and IRCAM’s festival Agora. He has held residencies at Copland House (New York), Récollets (Paris), and Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), and was a 2013-15 fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart).
Recent and upcoming projects include a commission for the Quatuor Béla and GRAME in Lyon, a new orchestral work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a commission for orchestra and electronics (IRCAM) for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Festival Présences 2015, and a new work for Ensemble Modern for the 2015 cresc… Biennial for Modern Music in Frankfurt.
Coming up: the Sound Arts MFA Thesis Show and the Spring Exhibition of Sound Arts MFA First-Years' Works. More information below:
Continuing Effect: Sound Arts MFA Thesis Show
Saturday, April 23–Saturday, May 7, 2016
Closing Reception: May 7, 2016, 5–7 pm
Basilica Hudson Back Gallery
110 S. Front Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Installed in Basilica’s Back Gallery, this special exhibition presents thesis works from the Sound Arts MFA program. Alice Emily Baird, Cameron Fraser, Chatori Shimizu, and Frank Spigner formally and conceptually address concepts relating to reverberation through interactive, responsive, and kinetic sculpture and installation. Continuing Effect is curated by Wave Farm.
Spring Exhibition: First-Year Works from the 2016 Columbia University School of the Arts Sound Arts MFA Program
Friday, April 22, 2016, 6-8 pm
Central Booking Offline
21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002
April 23–May 2, 2016
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12–6 pm
Please join us for the Opening Reception. Works by Ashley Grier, Dani Dobkin, Geronimo Mercado.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 175 Fellowships this year, three of whom are Composition DMA alumni from our very own department:
Edmund Campion (DMA, Composition, 1993)
Anthony Cheung (DMA, Composition, 2010)
Bryan Jacobs (DMA, Composition, 2015)
Congratulations to all three composers on their well-deserved fellowships!