Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Soloists for the Brahms Double

Here is the bio of our violinist for the Brahms Double concerto.

Stephen Miahky has garnered acclaim for his performances as a recitalist and as a chamber musician. His most recent engagements include performances at New York City's Steinway Hall, Trinity Church, and Mannes College of Music, Atlanta's ProMozart Society, Vancouver's Sonic Boom Festival, Albany's Young Musician's Forum, Detroit's Institute of Art, the Southwest Virginia Festival of the Arts, NPR's Performance Today and for the Dalai Lama's most recent trip to the United States. He has performed with such distinguished artists as Martin Katz, Nicholas Eanet, Martin Beaver, Steven Doane, Norman Fischer, and Anthony Elliott, as well as members of the Tokyo, Blair, Concord, and Arianna String Quartets. Miahky is a member and frequent concertmaster of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra based in Memphis, Tennessee, under the direction of Michael Stern. A founding member of Trio 56 and the Bryant Park Quartet, he is also a member of Brave New Works, a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to education and enrichment through new music. He is featured on an upcoming Naxos release of the chamber music of Jonathan Leshnoff, as well as an upcoming Brave New Works release featuring quintets by William Bolcom and William Albright. Miahky received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Michigan and received additional training at the Meadowmount School, the Blossom Festival, Canada's National Arts Centre and the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a fellowship student and member of the contemporary ensemble. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University and serves on the faculties of the Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Camp and Cornell University. His major teachers are Arnold Steinhardt, Paul Kantor, Stephen Shipps, and Alan Bodman.

Soloists for the Brahms Double

Here is the bio of our cello soloist for the Brahms Double concerto.

John Haines-Eitzen has performed in most of the world’s major concert halls. He was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1995 until 2005 and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony. His solo and chamber music appearances have taken him to cities in Japan, Brazil, and Italy, as well as the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, and numerous concert series throughout the United States and abroad. Highlights of recent seasons include a performance of the Brahms Piano Quintet with pianist Yefim Bronfman at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and a recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall with The Vandermark Ensemble, of which he is Artistic Director. Mr. Haines-Eitzen is a frequent guest of the Lenape Chamber Ensemble and the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with distinguished pianists Wolfgang Sawallisch and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and many of the principal musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His chamber music performances have been featured on National Public Radio stations throughout the United States. Mr. Haines-Eitzen was a finalist or prizewinner in numerous solo competitions including the D’Angelo International String Competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition, and the Kathryn P. MacPhail Competition. He is a graduate of Indiana University where he was a student of Janos Starker. In reviews, his playing has been described as “romantically yearning” (Columbus Dispatch), “forceful and emotional” (Greensboro News and Record), and “with technical mastery and perceptive maturity” (Trent, Italy, Bluarte Review). Mr. Haines-Eitzen is a Senior Lecturer and Artist in Residence at Cornell University.

poster for December 3rd concert

Here is a poster to our concert this coming Sunday.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shostakovich festival

After an exciting concert by the Moscow Symphony last night, we will have two more days to experience his music. Miri Yampolsky and Xak Bjerken are putting together a chamber music festival over the next two days exploring Shostakovich's music.

Note two orchestra members are featured in the concerts.
Jian Liu of CSO and Abe Katzen of CCO.
Also our two Brahms Double soloists; John Haines-Eitzen and Stephen Miahky are featured soloists.

Here is the press release info.

Shostakovich Festival
Miri Yampolsky, director
Friday and Saturday, November 17-18, 8:00 PM
Barnes Hall

On the heels of the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra's all-Russian program on November 15 (with the Cornell Concert Series), the Department of Music presents a Shostakovich Festival organized by faculty pianist Miri Yampolsky. Funded, in part, by a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts, the festival features two evening concerts (8:00 PM) in Barnes Hall on Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, with faculty and selected student musicians, as well as a number of guest artists--all in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975).

"Celebrating the life and music of any composer is a good 'excuse' for a festival," says Miri Yampolsky, "but I could think of no twentieth-century composer other than Dmitri Shostakovich for whom it would be a special privilege to put together the best of his chamber music works--in the form of chamber music concerts here at Cornell--to celebrate the 100th year of his birth. Being of Russian heritage myself adds a special personal feeling. All of my life as a musician I have felt an incredible bond with the music of this genius whom I (and many others) consider perhaps the 'grand' genius of the twentieth century. His Jewish elements add a special personal link to me. Every piece of music featured on this festival carries an 'emotional weight' of the most intimate kind; his music is moving beyond belief--at times almost too 'strong' to bear. Sharing the stage with the most wonderful musicians and friends and amazing students could not be more perfect for this occasion. I hope that my colleagues, my students, and the public will experience a similar connection to this music during the course of the two concerts."

On the Friday night concert, November 17, concert-goers will hear Satires, a song cycle for soprano and piano (Judith Kellock, Miri Yampolsky) and the Viola Sonata, op. 147 (guest Michael Zaretsky, with Xak Bjerken). Following intermission, three students perform the Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, op. 67 (Cris Valenzuela, piano; Jian Liu, violin; Abe Katzen, cello).

The Saturday night, November 18, concert opens with Seven Romances on verses by Alexander Blok, op. 127, for soprano and piano trio (Judith Kellock with Ariadne Daskalakis, violin; Elizabeth Simkin, cello; Xak Bjerken, piano), followed by the Cello Sonata, op. 40 (John Haines-Eitzen, with Xak Bjerken). The program--and festival--ends with Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G Minor, op. 57, featuring Ariadne Daskalakis (violin) and Michael Zaretsky (viola), along with music faculty Stephen Miahky (violin), John Haines-Eitzen (cello), and Miri Yampolsky (piano).
[Note that Alla Yampolsky will not be playing on this concert as originally advertised.]

Satires, op. 109
with Judith Kellock, soprano, and Miri Yampolsky, piano

Viola Sonata, op. 147
with guest Michael Zaretsky, viola, and Xak Bjerken, piano


Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, op. 67
with chamber music students Cris Valenzuela, piano; Jian Liu, violin; Abe Katzen, cello

Seven romances on verses by Alexander Blok, op. 127
with Judith Kellock, soprano; Xak Bjerken, piano; and
guests Ariadne Daskalakis, violin; Elizabeth Simkin, cello
Cello Sonata, op. 40
with John Haines-Eitzen, cello; Xak Bjerken, piano

Piano Quintet in G Minor, op. 57
with Miri Yampolsky, piano; guest Ariadne Daskalakis and
Stephen Miahky, violins; guest Michael Zaretsky, viola; John Haines-Eitzen, cello

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Concerto competition info

Here is the concerto competition guide lines.
You can also download the form as a pdf from the link.

Important dates;
deadline for application December 4, 2006
Date of the competition January 27, 2007
Date of performance of the winner March 4, 2007

Cornell Concerto Competition Guide lines

The winner will perform with Cornell Symphony Orchestra on March 4, 2007.
Eligibility: All currently enrolled undergraduates and graduate students from any Cornell college and in any major. Must be studying privately with a Cornell music faculty member or faculty-sponsored outside instructor.

Instrument: The competition is open to all orchestral instruments, also guitar, saxophones, piano, and voice.

It is important that the private teacher and the student know ahead of time what the goal or goals of the student’s audition will be. The competition itself can serve either or both of two functions:

1) The first is as a great opportunity to audition for a distinguished panel of professional musicians from the Ithaca area. To fulfill this purpose, the student and teacher are free to select whichever piece is best for the student’s education in the long run, provided the piece adheres to the rules of the competition.

2) The second function is as an opportunity to play a solo with an orchestra or Wind Ensemble. If a student truly desires to win the competition, he or she—in consultation with the private teacher—must take into account the following considerations.
The orchestra part must be playable by the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. No matter how good the performance or the piece is, if it is not playable by CSO, it will not be possible for CSO to award a prize to that student.
The piece should be as highly polished as possible. The judges will not take into account the student’s ability or potential to play well, nor will they take into account the difficulty of the piece, only the quality of the performance at that moment.
It is absolutely critical that each student have plenty of rehearsal with his or her accompanist. Since the winners will have to perform with an orchestra after very limited rehearsal time, they will need to be very familiar with the accompaniment. The judges will be looking for indications of the student’s level of comfort in this area.
Since it will be impossible to reconvene all of the judges, there will be no effective make-up date or appeals process; the decision of the judges on the day of the audition will be final.

CSO strongly encourages students to rely on their private teachers’ experience and judgment when choosing a piece to play for the competition. Teachers who have questions are encouraged to contact CSO directly.

Repertoire: A selection not to exceed 15 minutes of a major work for soloist and orchestra, ONLY single movement or single movement of a larger work is acceptable. Memorization is mandatory. You must provide your own accompanist. Musicians who are unable to provide an accompanist for the live audition should contact Xak Bjerken, no later than December 1. 2006 [ xb10@cornell.edu ]

Please complete the enclosed application form. Note: It is mandatory that the applicant's current private teacher signs the application in the appropriate space. No application will be accepted without the approval of the student's private teacher.

Date: Saturday, January 27, 2007
Location: Barnes Hall
The panel of judges will consist of Chris Younghoon Kim, director of orchestras at Cornell, as well as at least two other musicians of professional stature.

The deadline for receiving applications is Monday, DECEMBER 4, 2004. Please mail your completed application to:

Chris Younghoon Kim
Director of Orchestras at Cornell University
Music Department
101 Lincoln Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Questions? Contact Chris Kim at cyk8(at)cornell.edu or call 5-8614.

new members

We would like to welcome new members to the Symphony.
Zach Fletcher will be joining us in the horn section. And Michael Halper will be joining us in the bass section.

We will have auditions for seats in the orchestra for members who will not be joining CSO or CCO for the Spring semester. Usually we have members who either go abroad like Sean in the cello section, or class or work conflict that can not be resolved or even someone who is training for a triathlon.

Auditions for Spring semester will take place on Monday December 4th.
So far we will have a few openings in the viola, bass, horn, oboe and a few violin spots.

Bailey Hall plaza design update

Here is a link to the page on the provost's website. There is a beautiful rendering of what Bailey Hall plaza will look like. It would have been more realisic to have a rendering of it in colder weather, but it looks great.

Moscow State Symphony in Bailey Hall tonight

Tonight's rehearsal for the Cornell Symphony will be cancelled so that all members can attend the Cornell Concert Series presentation of Moscow State Symphony's performance in Bailey Hall at 8 pm.

The program will be
Tchaikovsky Marche Slave
Tchaikovsky Rococco Variations with Alissa Weilerstein, cello
Rachmaninoff 2nd Symphony (much to the delight of our trombonist Chris Mayes)

Tickets are $35/ students $20

See you in the balconey.

CCO at Smith College

Sunday was supposed to be our day when we got to perform with Malcolm Bilson at Smith College. At 8 Am members of CCO loaded the bus to make our six hour journey to Smith College. Except, due to a broken hose our bus was stranded on New York Thruway about 60 miles west of Albany. In fact we were stranded on the highway for about 4 hours. After spending many hungry hours on the bus, we finally got off of the highway after the bus was repaired, and had a long wait at the McDonalds before a replacement bus finally came to return us to Ithaca. We missed our performance at Smith College completely. Malcolm Bilson played a solo recital in our place.

Poster from our November 11th concert

Here is the poster from our November 11th concert by the Chamber Orchestra featuring two concertos in our Semester long Mozart concerto project with Malcolm Bilson.

Our soloists were fanatastic. They were Stefania Neonato on K. 456, concerto No. 18 in Bb Major. and Tatiana Vassilieva on K. 271, concerto No. 9 in Eb Major.

Here are their bios;

Tatiana Vassilieva, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, is a dual Master’s degree candidate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, studying piano performance with Nelita True and collaborative piano with Jean Barr. She has recently completed her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Eastman with Nelita True and Fernando Laires. As a soloist, Ms. Vassilieva has appeared with the Rochester Philharmonic, Eastern Festival, and the Greece Symphony orchestras. Other performance highlights include a “Rising Stars Recital” at the Eastman Young Artist International Piano Competition and the Eastern Music Festival concert at the Kennedy Center. In addition to being an active solo pianist, Ms. Vassilieva is also a skilled accompanist and collaborates frequently with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists at Eastman. In the summer of 2006, Ms. Vassilieva attended the Collaborative Piano Program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, where she studied with Anne Epperson and Jonathan Feldman.

Born in Trento, Italy, Stefania Neonato graduated at her home town Conservatory and earned a Master in Fortepiano Performance Practice at the International Piano Academy (Imola, Bologna). After a BA degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Trento, she’s currently a doctoral candidate at Cornell University in the Historical Performance Practice program under Malcolm Bilson. Winner of many National Piano Competitions, she collected gratifying awards at International Contests; she played in the most important Italian cities (Milan, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Brescia, Venice, Padua, Bolzano, Cremona) and in several foreign centres (Paris, Salzburg, Miami, Miskolc, Dortmund), both as a soloist and with orchestras. She attended many master-classes around the world (among them at the Mozarteum in Salzburg) and was recipient of scholarships from the Interlochen Arts Camp (Michigan) and from the School of Music of Miami University. She studied with Riccardo Zadra, Leonid Margarius and Aldo Ciccolini but her interest in historical instruments has been arisen by the meeting with the pianist Alexander Lonquich whom she followed in many seminars on the collections of the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence, Fondazione Giulini in Briosco-Milan, Accademia in Imola-Bologna). In 2004 she was invited to give a seminar on historical performance practice at Trento Conservatory and in 2005 her first recording was released: it features Mozart, Beethoven and Dussek on a 1780 Viennese fortepiano.

panoramic photo

Thanks to Maria Aridgides(mother of Daniel Aridgides, our former horn player who graduated) for this beautiful photo. Photo was taken during the performance of Mahler's First Symphony last season at Ford Hall.
She writes, "In particular I have a very unique photo of the whole orchestra playing that encompasses everybody from left to right. The photo was photostiched from five or six shots. It is approx. 9" high by 48"wide but could be increased or decreased."

The link is to her website.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Malcolm Bilson receives honors

We are indeed quite lucky to be able to work so closely with Malcolm Bilson this semester on the Mozart Piano concerto project. November 11th concert will feature two more of his doctoral students. Stefania Neonato and Tatiana Vessilieva.

Orchestra fund raiser

Sorry for the long time since the last post. A lot of events. Just a short run down of events;

October 19 Midday Music with Guest artist Andrew Eng
October 21 First Family Weekend concert
October 26 Inauguration of Bailey Hall concert
November 4 Berlin tour fund raiser Lunch at Lincoln
November 11 Cornell Chamber Orchestra concert

Also we are in the middle of a violin professor search.
We had our first finalist Joseph Lin audition. He played a recital and gave a lecture and taught three sessions.(two violinists and a piano trio).

Here is the poster for the fundraiser.