October 2010

Dance | Drama | Music



Rachel Tess (BFA ’04), director of Rumpus Room Dance, performed her duet Always, Always/Never, Never with Isaac Spencer (BFA ’04) for a two-night run in August at Conduit Dance in downtown Portland, Ore. The 40-minute piece, set to the music of Shostakovich, serves as a prelude to Tess’s solo work Once a Fool…, an evening-length performance billed as a “one-women traveling show” heavily influenced by shifting venues and viewers, scheduled to premiere in December. Tess will be collaborating with Oregon Ballet Theater and BodyVox on an upcoming O.B.T. premiere at the Keller Auditorium in Portland, February 26 through March 5, 2011. Rumpus Room Dance is based in Portland and Goteberg, Sweden.   

Alexis Martin Drabek (BFA ’01) is serving as ballet mistress at Company C Contemporary Ballet in Walnut Creek, Calif., for the company’s 2010-11 season. 

The 2010 Chicago Dancing Festival, which ran August 25-28, turned out to be something of an assemblage of Juilliard alumni, with participation from alums as far back as 1953 up through the class of 2010. The four-day festival, founded and directed by Lar Lubovitch (’64) and Jay Franke (BFA '97, dance), featured Jessica Lang’s (BFA ’97) Crossed, performed by the Joffrey Ballet, and Paul Taylor’s (BS ’53) Last Look, performed by Hanan Misko (BFA ’10), Keith McCann (BFA ’10), Julia Stiefel (BFA ’10), Kathryn Wells (BFA ’10), and Chen Zielinski (BFA ’10), and current students Breanna O’Mara, Brittanie Brown, Zachary Tang, and Isaac Winokur. Mark Morris Dance Group, with members Elisa Clark (BFA ’01), John Heginbotham (BFA ’93), Bradon McDonald (BFA ’97), and Amber Star Merkens (BFA ’99), performed Morris’s and Grand Duo. Robert Battle (BFA ’94), who was named the successor to Judith Jamison as artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in April, presented his work The Hunt, danced by members of the Ailey II company, and Takademe, performed by Kanji Segawa. Katarzyna Skarpetowska (BFA ’99) and Brian McGinnis (BFA ’97), members of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, performed a duet from Lubovitch’s Meadow. Skarpetowska and McGinnis shared the stage with fellow Lubovitch company members Jonathan E. Alsberry (BFA ’06), Nicole Corea (BFA ’00), Jason McDole (BFA ’97), and Christopher Vo (BFA ’08) to perform Lubovitch’sColtrane’s Favorite Things. Performances in the festival took place at the M.C.A. Stage at the Museum of Contemporary Art and at Millennium Park’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance and Jay Pritzker Pavilion.  



Nate Miller (Group 39) appeared in Jonathan Blitstein’s Keep Your Baggage With You (At All Times), August 8-14. Directed by Daniel Talbott (Group 31), the play was presented as part of the Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City in New York.

Sofia Alvarez (Playwrights ’10) directed Notice Me, a one-act play by Blair Singer (Group 24). The work, which ran July 19-August 1, was presented by Daniel Grossman in association with Elon Rutberg at Wild Project in New York City.

Gabriel Ebert (Group 38) can be seen in Roundabout Theater Company’s production of Kneehigh Theater’s Brief Encounters. The play was directed and adapted by Emma Rice from the Noël Coward film. The show opened in September and will run through December 5 at Studio 54 in New York City.

Daniel Morgan Shelley (Group 35) and Colby Chambers (Group 34) appeared in Hater at the Ice Factory Festival at the Ohio Theater in New York City. The play was directed by Samuel Buggeln and ran July 21-24. 

Benjamin Walker (Group 33) is reprising his role as the seventh president of the United States in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson for the show’s Broadway premiere at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. Performances of the musical, which was written and directed by Alex Timbers with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, began on September 21. Walker previously performed the role in Off-Broadway productions in New York and Los Angeles.   

Jesse Perez (Group 29) appears in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the Goodman Theater in Chicago through October 24. The production was directed by Mary Zimmerman. 

Jemma Alix Levy (Directing ’00) directed Shakespeare’s Macbeth, presented by Music of Fire Theater Company at Ingraham Park in Evanston, Ill. The show ran August 7-29.


David Auburn (Playwrights ’95) directed Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at the Berkshire Theater Festival in Stockbridge, Mass. Performances ran August 17-September 4.


Tod Randolph (Group 17) appeared in Shakespeare and Company’s production of Richard III, directed by Jonathan Croy and conceived and adapted by Tony Simotes. Performances ran July 2-September 5 at the Founders’ Theater in Lenox, Mass.

In February 2011, Kevin Spacey (Group 12) is to star in Shakespeare’s Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes. The production is scheduled to run in New York City at BAM’s Harvey Theater from February through April, and will then move to the Old Vic in London, where Spacey serves as the artistic director.

On July 22, Nancy Opel (Group 9) appeared in a staged reading of Cheer Wars, a musical with book and lyrics by Gordon Leary and music by Karlan Gudd. The production was directed by Dan Knechtges and presented by the Directors Company at the Peter Norton Space in New York City. 


Boyd Gaines (Group 8) can be seen on Broadway in Alfred Uhry’s play Driving Miss Daisy. Directed by David Esbjornson, the production will begin previews on October 7, open on October 25, and is scheduled to run through January 30, 2011.

Michael Markham (Group 7) appeared in James R. Harris’s Civil War Voices. The production, which ran July 24-August 1 at the June Havoc Theater in New York, was directed and choreographed by Dennis Courtney. 

Kelsey Grammer (Group 6) appears in the film Middle Men, directed by George Gall and written by Gall and Andy Weiss. The movie was released by Paramount Pictures on August 6.

Mandy Patinkin (Group 5) stars in Rinne Groff’s Compulsion, running at Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, Calif., through October 31. The play was directed by Oskar Eustis and is scheduled to open at the Public Theater in New York City in February 2011.

Kevin Kline (Group 1) stars in the film The Extra Man, which opened in New York City on July 30. The movie was directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. 

Patti LuPone (Group 1) stars in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, a new musical adaptation of Pedro Almodovar’s film, with book by Jeffrey Lane and music and lyrics by David Yazbek. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the musical will begin performances at the Belasco Theater in New York City on October 2, and is to officially open on November 4.



James D. Wetzel (BM ’09, organ) was appointed organist and choirmaster of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in New York City in July. He directs the church’s professional Schola Cantorum, performs at all masses, and manages the recital series. 

Ismail Lumanovski (BM ’08, MM ’10, clarinet) will perform with the double bass ensemble Bassiona Amorosa on October 22 in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The concert will include a piece by D.M.A. composition student Nicholas Csicsko for clarinet, double bass, and piano.

Emalie Savoy (BM ’08, voice) sang the title role in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in August at the Tanglewood Theater in Lenox, Mass. 

Augustin Hadelich (Graduate Diploma ’05, Artist Diploma ’07, violin) debuted with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by faculty member Alan Gilbert (Pre-College ’85, MM ’94, orchestral conducting), in July at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Vail, Colo. Hadelich, who filled in for Nikolaj Znaider (’93, violin), played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.

Amanda Davidson (BM ’04, trombone) became associate principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic in September. She is the brass section’s first female member.

Ayano Ninomiya (MM ’03, violin) was named first violinist of the Ying Quartet in August.

Jeremy Denk (DMA ’01, piano) performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Strings with violinist Joshua Bell and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center in August. The concert was conducted by Louis Langrée. 

The ensemble Silver Roots—comprising Maria Kaneko Millar (BM ’00, MM ’01, violin), Shawn Wyckoff (BM ’02, flute), and Adrian Daurov (BM ’07, MM ’09, cello)—presented a program titled “Echoing Voices: A Musical History of America” as part of Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artist Library Series. The presentation, which took place in September at the Bronx Library Center, featured music from the homelands of various immigrant groups as well as interactive activities. 


In June, a concert of works by Lera Auerbach (BM ’98, MM ’99, composition) was streamed live on the Web site from the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland. That same month, Auerbach was the Stone composer-in-residence at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in southeastern Michigan. Her music was performed in five concerts, including one held at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., that was devoted solely to her compositions. Auerbach’s 24 Preludes for viola and piano premiered at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills. In September, Gidon Kremer’s album De Profundis, which features a work by Auerbach, was released by Nonesuch Records.

On December 9, Ulla Suokko (DMA ’98, flute) will perform with her ensemble Ulla-Laa! as part of the Target Free Thursdays concert series at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium. 

James Ehnes (BM ’97, violin) was named a Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General Michaëlle Jean in July in recognition of his contribution to Canada’s musical life and his work on the international stage.

Elizabeth Askren (Pre-College ’93, piano), Stilian Kirov (Graduate Diploma ’09, orchestral conducting), and Gwennole Rufete were named the winners of the Talents Chefs d’Orchestre prize in May. Awarded by the Administration des Droits des Artistes et Musiciens Interprètes (ADAMI), the prize includes a concert on October 12, featuring the three winners conducting the Orchestre Colonne in various pieces at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. On October 14, 16, and 17, Askren will lead the Orchestre Note et Bien in a series of charity concerts featuring Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) at the Église Saint-Christophe de Javel and the Église Sainte-Marguerite in Paris. 

In July, Frank Levy (’92, piano) performed in the faculty concert at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College of Music in New York City. 

Anne Akiko Meyers (Certificate ’90, violin) released the record Seasons ... dreams on E1 Entertainment in September. In celebration of the album, she performed at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City and at the Society for the Preservation of Arts and Culture in Evanston (SPACE) in Evanston, Ill., in September. On October 4, she will play at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. 


William Hagenah (BM ’89, clarinet) played Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Plainfield Congregational Church in Plainfield, Mass., in August. 

On November 20, Lisa Ponton (MM ’89, viola) and Megan Pokorney will perform J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 6 with the Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Maria Andriasova-Esparza (née Andreasian) (BM ’87, piano) was a volunteer and fund-raiser for the South Bronx children’s choral program Highbridge Voices, resulting in a $100,000 grant from George Soros and the Open Society Institute. The grant, made possible by the Performing Arts Recovery Initiative sponsored by the Fund for the City of New York’s Open Society Foundations, was awarded to the organization in July.

Kenneth Fuchs’s (MM ’83, DMA ’88, composition) work Falling Canons was premiered in July by pianist Christopher O’Riley at the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, N.Y. The piece is based on the theme of Fuchs’s Falling Man, for baritone and orchestra, with text adapted by J.D. McClatchy from Don DeLillo’s novel of the same name. In August, Falling Man was recorded for Naxos by baritone Nathan Gunn and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta (MM ’83, DMA ’89, orchestral conducting). Fuchs’s United Artists was performed by the Grand Symphonic Winds at the Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis in May and by the 338th U.S. Army Band during a July tour of Michigan and Ohio. 

Steven Mercurio (MM ’83, composition) led the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on singer-songwriter Sting’s Symphonicity tour in June, July, and August. Mercurio collaborated with Sting to create arrangements of the pop artist’s hits as a soloist and with his band, the Police.

In May, David Bernard (Pre-College ’82) conducted the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony in a concert titled “Rhapsodie,” featuring music from and inspired by France. The program included Bizet’s Symphony in C, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and Debussy’s Nocturnes and Première Rhapsodie. Clarinet and faculty member Jon Manasse (BM ’86, MM ’87, clarinet) was a featured performer.

Eliza Garth (Postgraduate Diploma ’82, piano) appeared at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in March, performing Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion and George Crumb’s Music for a Summer Evening with pianist Brian Ganz, percussionist Sean Statser, and Pre-College percussion faculty member Jonathan Haas (MM ’78, Professional Studies ’79, percussion). In May, the group reprised their performance of Crumb’s work at the Alba Music Festival in Alba, Italy. 

Jeffrey Lang (BM ’82, French horn) will perform with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra at Mishler Theater in Altoona, Pa., on March 19. In July, he was a guest artist at Lieksa Brass Week in Lieksa, Finland. Lang performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in June at the Mann Center in Philadelphia. In May, he performed with the Greater Shore Concert Band at his alma mater, Wall High School in Wall, N.J. 

In July, the online magazine Guitar International published an interview with Katherine Thomas (Diploma ’82, violin), a.k.a. the Great Kat.  

In June, Sara Davis Buechner (MM ’81, piano) gave the opening concert at the Aloha International Piano Festival at Hawaii Convention Center’s Liliu Theater in Honolulu, performing a program that included Instincts, by master’s composition student Jared Miller. In September, Buechner played Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra in Northern Arizona University’s Ardry Auditorium in Flagstaff, Ariz. That same month, she performed in Brandeis University’s Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Waltham, Mass., and also gave a lecture there. On October 16, Buechner will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Canada’s Orchestra London at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario. She will give a solo recital at Prague’s Rudolfinum on October 30. Also in October, E1 Entertainment will release volumes two and three of Buechner’s The Bach-Busoni Edition

In June, Dmitry Rachmanov (BM ’81, MM ’82, piano) was on the jury of the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose, Calif., and the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. He toured Turkey in May, presenting recitals in Malatya and Istanbul. In October, Rachmanov will lead master classes and give recitals with clarinetist Julia Heinen at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and a number of universities in Michigan and Arizona. Rachmanov will present commemorative Schumann and Chopin solo programs at California State University, Northridge on October 2, the University of New Mexico on October 31, Tulane University on November 8, and in various locations in France in December. 

Milla Ilieva (’80, voice) will perform at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in New York City on October 10.

William Ransom (BM ’80, MM ’81, piano), artistic director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, appeared in several concerts at the event, which took place in July and August. His performances included the festival’s final gala concert, where he shared the spotlight with Charles Wadsworth (BS ’51, MS ’52, piano) and the Vega String Quartet, including Fia Durrett (BM ’01, MM ’03, violin). Alumni participating in the festival included Attacca Quartet members Amy Schroeder (BM ’06, MM ’08, violin), Keiko Tokunaga (BM ’07, MM ’08, violin), and Andrew Yee (BM ’06, MM ’08, cello); the Albers Trio, including Laura Albers (MM ’01, violin) and Rebecca Albers (BM ’05, MM ’07, viola); and the Eroica Trio, including Erika Nickrenz (BM ’85, MM ’86, piano) and Sara Sant’Ambrogio (’84, cello). Laura Ardan (BM ’80, MM ’81, clarinet), Christopher Rex (’73, cello), Eric Pritchard (MM ’85, violin), and current master’s viola student Molly Carr also performed in the festival. 


James Jeter (MM ’73, bassoon) taught and performed at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Manistee National Forest, Mich., in July and August. He was also the principal bassoonist for the summer tour of Star Wars: In Concert, performing in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, May-July. Patricia Wang (BM ’04, MM ’06, bassoon) performed as second bassoon. 

In July, Nathaniel Ayers (’72, double bass) performed at the White House in a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 


In June, Albinas Prizgintas (BM ’69, MS ’70, organ) was honored by the Preservation Resource Center (P.R.C.) of New Orleans and received a proclamation from the city’s mayor at the 10th annual Ladies in Red gala—supporting the P.R.C.’s African American Preservation program—at Generations Hall in New Orleans. Prizgintas was recognized for his contributions to the community, culture, and jazz heritage of the city.  

In August, Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee’s (’60, piano) Infini was premiered by tenor Damien Topp and her Bagatelle, Op. 206, was premiered by pianist Diane Andersen at the Centre Artistique de Piégon in Piégon, France. Also in August, a program of Goolkasian Rahbee’s works was performed by Andersen and Nadine Delsaux at the Château de Saint-Senoch in Varennes, France. In September, soprano Noune Karapetian appeared in a performance of Goolkasian Rahbee’s one-act musical Robbery at the Armenian Cultural Foundation in Arlington, Mass. On October 9 in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, pianist Kathy Southworth and soprano Karol Carroll will premiere Goolkasian Rahbee’s Four Songs, Op. 205. In an October 17 memorial concert for the piano teacher Carola Grindea at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Andersen and Nancy Lee Harper will premiere Goolkasian Rahbee’s In Memoriam, Op. 189, for piano four-hands. 


John Canarina’s (BS ’57, MS ’58, orchestral conducting) book The New York Philharmonic: From Bernstein to Maazel was released by Amadeus Press in September. Canarina, a former assistant conductor of the Philharmonic, gave a book talk, followed by a signing, on September 28 at the Juilliard Store.

Henry Grimes (’54, double bass) toured the United States and Canada in August and September, performing as a double bassist, violinist, and poet. He collaborated with a number of musicians, giving concerts at such venues as the Windup Space in Baltimore, the Velvet Lounge in Chicago, and Gallery 345 in Toronto. The album Spirits Aloft, which Grimes recorded with the late jazz drummer Rashied Ali, was released in September by Porter Records. On October 1, Grimes will lead a master class at Cal Arts in Valencia, Calif., with Wadada Leo Smith, and on October 2 he will perform at Redcat (the Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater) in the Angel City Jazz Festival in Los Angeles. Grimes and his wife, Margaret, are the November curators at the Stone in New York City, where Grimes will perform that month with bassist Mark Dresser and spoken word poet Edwin Torres, among others. 

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