Columbia University has announced that Cliff Colnot, distinguished conductor, composer, arranger and educator, is the recipient of the 2016 Ditson Conductor’s Award for the advancement of American music.
Zosha Di Castri has been awarded a Koussevitzky Commission by the Library of Congress to write a piece for the International Contemporary Ensemble with Steven Schick.
Marc Hannaford published "The Challenge of Comparing Improvisation across Domains," co-authored with Andrew Goldman, in American Music Review, Spring 2016.
The Music Department is offering a wide range of elective courses this semester.
For the entire listing, please see Directory of Classes.
Magdalena Stern-Baczewska's new album, "Magdalena Baczewska Plays Chopin and Szymanowski," is already enjoying enthusiastic reviews. Now available for pre-ordering in digital and CD format, the official release date is September 9th, 2016.
Stephen Lehman (DMA, Composition, 2012) has released a new album, Sélébéyone, in collaboration with French saxophonist Maciek Lasserre.
Read the interview with Courtney Bryan (DMA, Composition, 2014) about the première of "The Dream Unfinished."
Zosha Di Castri's orchestral piece Lineage had its Japanese première at Suntory Hall on August 30th in a performance by the Tokyo Symphony alongside works by Kaija Saariaho (the featured theme composer) and Jean Sibelius. On September 2, Di Castri's String Quartet No.1 was given its première as the Canadian Commission Round of the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
The complete listing of Graduate and Undergraduate Music classes for Fall 2016 is now available. Featured new and elective courses for this semester include Paris for Romantics, Music in Multimedia, Bach: St. Matthew Passion, Jazz and Cinema, Popular Music Aesthetics and Sexuality in Music and Dance Cultures.
Columbia Composition DMA student Stylianos Dimou's piece "my grounding | surrounding [it]_self / h_I. v.2" (2015-2016) for one percussionist and electronics has been awarded First Prize at the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “Amici della Musica di Cagliari” 2016. The piece will be performed in Cagliari on the 28th of September.
DMA alumnus Jeff Talman has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in Music and Sound. Less than 4% of applicants to the award receive it - congratulations for this very prestigious fellowship, Dr. Talman! More information can be found on NYFA's website, here.
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.
The Computer Music Center was awarded a faculty grant for their Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), History of Music Production Techniques, which will be taught by Terry Pender. Congratulations, CMC!
Alec Hall (DMA, Composition, 2016) is featured as a composer in the Manifeste 2016's Chamber Music Composition Workshop concert in Paris this evening at 7pm. More information here. Congratulations, Alec!
Harald Kisiedu (PhD, Historical Musicology, 2014) has been appointed Post-Doctoral Fellow at Memorial University of Newfoundland's International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation for 2016-2017.
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!