On stage and off: A busy season for music and dance faculty

An opera's debut at the Met, an HBCU collaboration, an open-access virtual textbook, and more

Brinae Ali, a Dance lecturer, was awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts grant for her Baby Laurence Legacy Project, an archival/performative process to create an integrated work of jazz tap dance and jazz music that celebrates the artistic and social influences that Baltimore native Laurence Donald Jackson, known as Baby Laurence, had on the culture of tap and jazz music.

Manuel Barrueco's entire legacy of recordings for Warner Classics was released by that label in an 11-CD set in November. Barrueco is a professor of guitar.

Oscar Bettison, a Composition professor, was awarded a Koussevitzky Music Foundation commission by the Library of Congress to write a new work for loadbang, the New York chamber ensemble. Additionally, Bettison's "La hija del neón" for cello, piano, and electric guitar, appears on the EP 20 for 2020, Volume IV, the final volume of Israeli cellist Inbal Segev's project of pieces commissioned during the pandemic.

Du Yun, a Composition professor, received one of two 2023 Vilcek Prizes in Music from the New York–based Vilcek Foundation, which gives annual awards to immigrants who have made lasting contributions to American society. Du Yun's award celebrated how her work "subverts the boundaries of traditional classical music by incorporating influences from punk, electronics, [and] experimental music."

Zane Forshee, who holds the Marc C. von May Distinguished Chair of Professional Studies, and colleagues in Peabody LAUNCHPad, the school's career services hub, debuted the institute's first open-access educational resource, The Path to Funding, a free virtual textbook designed to help independent artists and educators break down the process of building, articulating, and funding a creative project.

Denyce Graves, the Rosa Ponselle Distinguished Faculty Artist, launched Shared Voices, a Ford Foundation–supported collaboration between historically Black colleges and universities and top conservatories and music schools in the United States. Shared Voices' inaugural 16-student cohort brings together students and faculty from Howard University, Fisk University, Morgan State University, and Morehouse College with those at Peabody, the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Oberlin College.

In Michael Hersch's recent album, The Script of Storms, (Naxos) the Composition professor sets works by poets Fawzi Karim and Christopher Middleton and features the singing of associate voice professor and soprano Ah Young Hong.

Sean Jones, who holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies, is featured on the soundtrack for Babylon, the 1920s-set movie from La La Land director Damien Chazelle scheduled to open Dec. 23. Jones plays the soaring trumpet solos in "Voodoo Mama," recently released from the soundtrack.

Ildar Khannanov, an associate professor in the Department of Music Theory, translated and annotated Russian musicologist Boleslav Yavorsky's 1908 treatise, Stroyeniye Muzykal'noi Rechi, which Moscow-based publishing house Kompozitor released as The Design of Musical Speech in English and Russian parallel text.

Kevin Puts, a Composition professor, had his opera The Hours debut on Nov. 22 at the Metropolitan Opera, led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Seguin. Based on Michael Cunningham's 1999 novel that was adapted into an Oscar-winning 2002 movie, The Hours tells the stories of three generations of women—played in the opera by Renée Fleming, Kelli O'Hara, and Joyce DiDonato—thematically connected through Virginia Woolfe's modernist classic novel, Mrs. Dalloway. In addition, Puts' Contact, performed by the Trio Time for Three and the Philadelphia Orchestra, was nominated for a Grammy Award in Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Posted in News+Info