Alumni News

Dance | Drama | Music



Anthony Bryant (BFA ’07) is currently on the national tour of The Lion King.

Choreography by Belinda McGuire (BFA ’06) was featured in the Cool New York 2009 Dance Festival, hosted and produced by White Wave, which ran for two weeks in January and February at the John Ryan Theater in Brooklyn.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, which includes dancers Jubal Battisti (BFA ’04), Harumi Terayama (BFA ’06), and Kristen Weiser (BFA ’04), premiered works by Didy Veldman and Luca Veggetti as part of their winter season in New York.


Robyn Cohen (BFA ’98) guest stars this spring on CBS’s The Mentalist, opposite Simon Baker. Last year she was featured in the West Coast premiere of Daniel Goldfarb’s (Playwrights ’97) Modern Orthodox, opposite Michael Goldstrom (Drama, Group 30). Prior to that, she performed in a revival of The Grand Tour under the tutelage of Jerry Herman at the Colony Theater in California.

Lorin Latarro (BFA ’97) plays the role of Mimi and is the understudy for Adelaide in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls at the Nederlander Theater.

Gerald Casel’s (BFA ’91) Gerald Casel Dance premiered his work Save the Robots! at Dance New Amsterdam in New York in November.


Neta Pulvermacher's (’85) newest work, Air + Fold, premiered in February at Dancespace Project at St. Mark’s Church in New York.

David Dimitri Dance Diploma '83Wire-dancer David Dimitri (Diploma ’83, pictured) is performing with La Famiglia Dimitri at the New Victory Theater on Broadway through April 19. He has performed with the Big Apple Circus, Cirque du Soleil, and at the Metropolitan Opera House, as well as in circuses throughout Europe.

Michael Schumacher (BFA ’83) choreographed the West Coast premiere of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone, presented at Walt Disney Concert Hall in January. Esa-Pekka Salonen led the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.


“Up The Empire: Variations on an Italian Theme,” a program of works by Jack Waters (BFA ’79) and Peter Cramer, with Marc Arthur, was presented at the Millennium Film Workshop in New York in March. Featured was the premiere of Waters’s and Cramers’s film Giornalisti en Maschera.

Susan Marshall’s (’78) work Name by Name, with an original score by David Lang (’74, percussion), will be presented on the Second Avenue Dance Company’s spring concert at N.Y.U.’s Tisch School of the Arts from April 1 through 6. The program also includes Room/Room, an original collaborative work by the S.A.D.C. dancers and former Forsythe company member Jill Johnson (BFA ’77).


Anthony Salatino (BFA ’69), associate professor at Syracuse University, choreographed Godspell at the Archbold Theater at Syracuse Stage. Performances ran from November through December.


Martha Wittman (Diploma ’58) continues working as performer, choreographer, and teacher with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Co. Based in Takoma Park, Md., this multigenerational company, with dancers ranging from their 20s through their 70s, tours nationally and internationally.



Amari Cheatom (Group 37) is making his Off-Broadway debut in Charles Fuller’s Zooman and the Sign at Signature Theater Company in New York. The production, directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson (Group 1), runs through April 26. In February, Cheatom was featured in the spring theater special “Faces to Watch” article in The New York Times’s Arts & Leisure section on February 22 for his role in Zooman.

Ben Rappaport (Group 37) can be seen Off-Broadway in The Gingerbread House by Mark Schultz, directed by Alex Kilgore with the stageFARM theater company at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Previews begin April 10.

Nicole Beharie (Group 36) and Tim Blake Nelson (Group 19) are featured in Samuel Goldwyn Films’ American Violet, directed by Tim Disney and opening in theaters April 17.

Mauricio Salgado (Group 34) received a 2009 Martin E. Segal Award of $7,500 toward future study and career advancement, presented in March at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse. Salgado, who is chief programming officer for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), also maintains an acting career; last fall, he was featured in the Theater for Young Audiences production of Mermaids, Monsters, and the World Painted Purple at the Kennedy Center.

In March, Luke Macfarlane (Group 32) portrayed F. Scott Fitzgerald in Allan Knee’s The Jazz Age, directed by Michael Matthews at the Blank Theater in Los Angeles. Macfarlane also continues to star on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters.

In February, Daniel Talbott (Group 31) directed the premiere of Crystal Skillman’s Nobody at Rising Phoenix Repertory (where Talbott is founding artistic director) in New York City. Haynes Thigpen (Group 23) was in the cast.


Through April 5, Damon Gupton (Group 28) can be seen in the premiere of Christina Anderson’s play Inked Baby, directed by Kate Whoriskey, at Playwrights Horizons in New York. He also continues to perform as a conductor with a variety of music groups, including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Baltimore Symphony, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic. In January, the University of Michigan named Gupton a Presidential Professor, one of the highest honors the university bestows upon visiting artists and scholars.

Joanna Settle (Directing ’97) is in her first season as artistic director of Shakespeare on the Sound in Norwalk, Conn. She succeeds founding artistic director Ezra Barnes.

Christian Camargo (Group 25) will portray the title role in Theater for a New Audience’s production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Directed by David Esbjornson, the production runs through April 12 at the Duke on 42nd Street in New York. Camargo was also featured in the spring theater special “Faces to Watch” article in The New York Times’s Arts & Leisure section on February 22 for his role in this production.

Kate Jennings Grant (Group 25) appears in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, directed by Des McAnuff, now running at the Nederlander Theater.

In March, Michael Hayden (Group 21), John Livingstone Rolle (Group 30), and Leigh Wade (Group 36) appeared in Lope de Vega’s The Dog in the Manger at the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington. The play, translated and adapted by David Johnston, was directed by Jonathan Munby.


Through April 11, Bill Camp (Group 18) can be seen at Yale Repertory Theater in Dostoevsky’s Notes From the Underground, which he adapted with the production’s director, Robert Woodruff. Bill was also the subject of Kathryn Walat’s article “He’ll See You in Hell,” featured in the March issue of American Theater Magazine.

In March, Eriq La Salle (Group 13) returned to television in the Hallmark movie Relative Stranger, written by Eric Haywood and directed by Charles Burnett.

Michael Elich (Group 13) appears as Harold Hill in The Music Man at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. The production, directed by the festival’s artistic director, Bill Rauch, runs through November 1. Starting in June, Elich will also play the Duke of Buckingham in the festival’s production of Henry VIII, directed by John Sipes.


Janet Zarish (Group 5) is performing in Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge in Rome, Italy, this month and will direct Macbeth at N.Y.U.’s Graduate Acting Program in May.



Ryan Gallagher (BM ’07, composition), currently studying at Cornell University, is one of six composition students “of great promise” who will receive a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The $5,000 scholarships will be awarded at the Academy’s annual ceremony in May.

Sivan Magen (BM ’07, MM ’08, harp) will be presented on the Tuesday Matinees series at Merkin Concert Hall in New York on April 21.

Ulysses Owens Jr. (BM ’06, jazz studies) was commissioned to compose the opening piece for the 24th Annual Mayoral Arts Awards in Washington, held at the Kennedy Center in March. In January, Owens recorded live with jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, saxophonist Ernie Watts, and Ethel—whose members are Cornelius Dufallo (BM ’95, MM ’97, DMA ’02, violin), Ralph Farris (BM ’93, MM ’94, viola), Dorothy Lawson (MM ’84, DMA ’90, cello), and Mary Rowell (BM ’80, MM ’81, violin)—at Lincoln Center for a CD titled Dedicated to You, a tribute to John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman that will be released in May on the Concord Jazz/Universal Record label. The tribute concert then toured in February to the Ted Mann Theater in Minneapolis and to the Kennedy Center.

Cristina Spinei (BM ’06, MM ’08, composition)Blind Ear Music, directed by Cristina Spinei (BM ’06, MM ’08, composition, pictured) and Jakub Ciupinsi (MM ’08, composition), gave its first concert in February, at the Gershwin Theater in New York. Composers on the program, in addition to Spinei and Ciupinsi, included Andy Akiho, current bachelor’s student Barret Anspach, and current doctoral students Ryan Francis and Ray Lustig.

Nico Muhly (MM ’04, composition) participated in a panel discussion titled “A Meeting of Musical Minds” as part of ASCAP New York Sessions, a one-day music career boosting event in February at Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York. The event was designed to strengthen the skills, knowledge, and craft that songwriters, composers, and producers need for success.

Sean Shepherd (MM ’04, composition) is this year’s recipient of the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The $20,000 award, given to a composer of ensemble works, will be presented at the Academy’s annual ceremony in May.

Saxophonist Erika vonKleist (BM ’04, jazz studies) received a 2009 Martin E. Segal Award of $7,500 toward future study and career advancement, presented in March at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse. VonKleist presented a series of workshops in March at multiple New York City schools as part of  Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz in the Schools tour program. She is also booked for a week-long engagement at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York April 7 through 11.

In March, Ben Hausmann (MM ’02, oboe), who has been acting principal oboe of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for the past two seasons, was appointed principal. Hausmann joined the orchestra in 2005 after stints as principal oboe of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, and the Savannah Symphony.

Young-Ah Tak (BM ’01, piano) gave a solo recital at the Busan (Korea) International Music Festival in February. Other guest artists at the festival included Juilliard faculty member Jerome Lowenthal (MS ’56, piano) and James Buswell (’64, violin). In March, Tak performed on the Concerts at One series at Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York. She will present a recital at the Ico Gallery of Art and Music in New York on May 14.


In January, Jens Georg Bachmann (Advanced Certificate ’99, orchestral conducting) led the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, at the invitation of former music director Alan Gilbert (MM ’94, orchestral conducting). In February, Bachmann conducted the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg in two programs, one of which was all-contemporary music, including three premieres by German and Korean composers.

N’Kenge Simpson (MM ’99, Advanced Certificate ’99, voice) performed for President Obama at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball in January. She gave a solo performance in October at the Kennedy Center for the 35th Anniversary Gala for the Children’s Defense Fund, which was hosted by Hillary Clinton and Jessye Norman, among others. Simpson will make her Carnegie Hall debut in November 2009 with the New York Pops Orchestra, celebrating the centennial of Johnny Mercer and performing along with Michael Feinstein and Ann Hampton Calloway.

Shai Wosner (BM ’99, MM ’01, piano) made his 92nd Street Y debut in March, in the final concert of the Masters of the Keyboard series. His program included Schumann’s Nachtstücke and Carnaval, and Debussy’s Préludes, Book 1.

Israeli-born pianist Eliran Avni (BM ’98, MM ’00, DMA ’07, piano) turned his Merkin Hall debut concert in March into a benefit for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, one of the organizations experiencing a crisis due to investments with Bernard Madoff. The foundation, which supported musicians including Itzhak Perlman and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, is struggling to rebuild and continue its work. A former scholarship recipient of A.I.C.F., Avni is one of the foundation’s many graduates trying to help. His program included works by Scriabin, Bartok, Stravinsky, and the premiere of For Jenny by Avner Dorman (DMA ’06, composition), another A.I.C.F. alum. The concert was narrated by Richard Lissemore (’90, voice/opera).

Georgy Valtchev (BM ’96, MM ’98, violin) cellist Wolfram Koessel, Ilian Iliev (’97, clarinet), and Lora Tchekoratova (BM ’96, MM ’98, DMA ’03, piano) will perform Messaien’s Quartet for the End of Time at the Bulgarian Consulate General in New York on April 22, presented by the American Foundation for Bulgaria. On May 13, a program of piano trios will be presented by Joanna Maurer (BM ’97, MM ’99, violin), Alberto Parrini (MM ’98, cello), and Anna Stoytcheva (BM ’96, MM ’98, piano).

Cornelius Dufallo’s (Pre-College ’91, BM ’95, MM ’97, DMA ’02, violin) latest solo CD, Dream Streets, will be released officially in May, heralded with a concert at Rockwood Music Hall in New York on May 27. It already available from the Innova Web site (


In February, Joseph Lovinsky (Diploma ’87, French horn) performed Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with tenor Scott Williamson and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Elizabeth Schulze, in Hagerstown, Md.

Maria Radicheva (BM ’84, MM ’85, violin) will direct Violins in Valencia 2009 in Valencia, Spain, from July 20 through July 26. On the faculty for the third year of international violin master classes are Anabel Garcia del Castillo (BM '87. MM '88, violin), Radicheva, and Alexander Detisov.

David Bernard (Pre-College ’82, conducting)David Bernard (Pre-College ’82, conducting) led the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) at Carnegie Hall in November, and led the orchestra in a performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at All Saints Church in February. Bernard and the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony were profiled on in February.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (Diploma ’80, Professional Studies ’82, violin) performs four concerts with guitarists Sérgio and Adair Ossad this month: at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., on April 17; for the Omaha (Neb.) Performing Arts Society on April 18; at Reed College in Portland, Ore., on April 28; and for the Santa Fe (N.M.) Concert Association on April 30. Also this month, Salerno-Sonnenberg performs the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 with the St. Louis Symphony, conducted by Vasily Petrenko, at Powell Symphony Hall from April 24 to 26.


A book co-authored last year by Matthew Balensuela (BM ’79, saxophone) and David Williams titled Music Theory from Boethius to Zarlino: A Bibliography and Guide won the Music Library Association’s Vincent H. Duckles Award for the best book-length bibliography or other research tool in music, announced at the M.L.A.’s annual meeting in Chicago in February.

Tobias Picker’s (MM ’78, composition) String Quartet No. 2 received its premiere in January by the American String Quartet—Peter Winograd (BM ’87, MM ’87, violin), Laurie Carney (BM ’76, MM ’77, violin), Daniel Avshalomov (BM ’75, MM ’76, viola), and cellist Wolfram Koessel—in Merkin Concert Hall in New York.

In November, William Wolfram (BM ’78, piano) performed Corigliano’s Piano Concerto with the Florida Orchestra, conducted by Edwin Outwater. His engagements in March included the Grieg Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony, conducted by Andreas Delfs (MM ’86, orchestral conducting); Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with the San Antonio Symphony, conducted by James Judd; and Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton (BM ’80, piano, MM ’82, orchestral conducting).

Gregory Fulkerson (MM ’77, DMA ’87, violin) performed with the N.Y.U. Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Scott Dunn, in March. The program was titled “Music and the Movies: The Leonard Roseman Legacy,” and featured suites from East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Star Trek: The Voyage Home, as well as Rosenman’s adaptation of the Vitali Chaconne.

In February, Madeline Frank (BM ’76, MM ’77, viola) led the Bermuda Festival Chamber Orchestra in Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary Concert Celebration at St. Paul’s Church in Paget, Bermuda. Four centuries of music were played with Bermudian soloists: Adrian Ridgeway performing the Poulenc Organ Concerto; Nancy Smith performing the Reinecke Flute Concerto; Kent Hayward performing the Mozart Horn Concerto in E-flat Major; and Gaynor Gallant performing the Marcello Oboe Concerto in D Minor.

Victoria Bond (MM ’75, DMA ’77, orchestral conducting) is this year’s recipient of the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award, established by the C.F. Peters Corporation for the publication of a work by a gifted composer, will be presented at the Academy’s annual ceremony in May. The Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival, which Bond directs, will feature the premiere of her work Oracle for solo violin, and a performance of Woven for violin and viola (premiered last month in Birmingham, Ala.), on its April 6 concert at Symphony Space in New York. Gary Levinson (BM ’88, MM ’91, violin) and Karen Bentley are the performers. Also on the program, Bruce Adolphe (Pre-College ’71, composition; BM ’75, MM ’76, composition) will present The Tiger’s Ear: Listening to Abstract Expressionist Painting, performed by flutist Tara O’Connor; Juilliard faculty members Stephen Taylor (Diploma ’75, oboe), Curtis Macomber (BM ’74, MM ’75, DMA ’78, violin), and Misha Amory (MM ’92, viola); cellist Michael Kannen, and pianist Marija Stroke. The program also features Juilliard faculty member Greg Sandow, who will present Short Talks and Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, performed by faculty member Charles Neidich and pianist Jenny Lin.

David Lang (’74, percussion) is one of four composers receiving an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The $7,500 award, with an additional $7,500 given for the recording of one work, will be presented at the Academy’s annual ceremony in May.


Pinchas Zukerman (Professional Studies ’69, violin) performs with the Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, and Gulbenkian Orchestra (in Lisbon, Portugal) this month. He will tour China from May 16 to 30.

Miriam Brickman (MS ’67, piano) presented a concert with composer Ronald Senator and mezzo-soprano Theresa Goble at the Slovak Embassy in New York in January for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In London in February, Brickman presented a solo concert for the Wimbledon Guild and a concert for the Richmond Arts Council titled “Words and Music,” which featured music by Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Bloch, Griffes, Senator, and Gershwin, as well as recitations from the literary sources that inspired their works. The program was repeated at the Yonkers (N.Y.) Public Library later in February.

Paula Robison (BS ’63, flute) performed Bruce Stark’s (MM ’84, composition) Blue at the Classical Recording Foundation’s award ceremony in Weill Recital Hall in November. Pianist Guy Livingston’s new DVD, One Minute More, includes Stark’s Serenade, commissioned for the project and performed during Livingston’s Dutch concert tour in November and December.


Henry Grimes (’54, double bass)Henry Grimes (’54, double bass, pictured) performed with Amiri Baraka at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn in March. Other appearances in March included the Velvet Lounge and the Hideout (both in Chicago), and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.

Joan Rothman Brill (’50, piano) performed Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 5 in February with the Keys Chamber Orchestra in Cudjoe Key, near Key West, Fla. (See related Q&A.)


Reginald Gerig’s (BS ’48, MS ’49, piano) book Famous Pianists and Their Techniques, originally published in 1974, was reissued last year by Indiana University Press, with the addition of an extensive appendix, and is now in its second printing. Last spring, Gerig participated in a panel at the annual convention of the Music Teachers National Association in Denver, spoke to the West Surburban chapter of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association in Wheaton, and lectured at the Chicago Area Music Teachers Association.

North/South Consonance presented a program at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church in New York in March titled “Reminiscing: Music by Composers from Spain and the U.S.,” featuring premieres by Elizabeth Bell (’44, violin), Jordi Cervello, Carson Cooman, and Max Lifchitz (BM ’70, MM ’71, composition), who conducted.

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