Alum Christine Goerke Returns Home to Rave Reviews at Met

December 5, 2013 Comments off

Originally posted in Stony Brook Happenings:

Christine Goerke at SBU’s 2010 Distinguished Alumni Awards with (from left): President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Professor David Lawton and former Alumni Association President Gloria Snyder

Grammy Award winning soprano Christine Goerke has performed in the world’s major opera houses. But her return after four years to New York City’s Metropolitan Opera — the stage where she made her debut in 1995 — was marked with an ovation not heard at the Met in recent years. Goerke is playing the role of Die Färberin in Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, and within days of her opening performance, the Met signed her to sing upcoming performances in Wagner’sRing cycle and Lohengrin, as well as Strauss’ Elektra.

“Christine Goerke was extraordinary and received one of the biggest ovations I’ve heard there in some time,” said Ryan Minor, an associate professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Music, after attending her November 12 performance at the Met. “She’s also gotten extraordinarily good reviews in The New York Times and elsewhere.”

“This was a breakthrough night at the Met for the American soprano Christine Goerke, who received an ecstatic ovation for her powerfully sung and wrenching portrayal of the hard-bitten Dyer’s Wife.” — The New York Times

“Christine got her start in Stony Brook’s opera program,” said David Lawton, a professor in the University’s Department of Music who worked with Goerke as an undergraduate. “She sang Fiordiligi in our production of Mozart’sCosì fan tutte and Asteria in our production of Handel’s Tamerlano when she was an undergraduate. Normally we would not cast an undergraduate in a leading role, but her talent was exceptional and extraordinary.”

While at Stony Brook, Goerke studied voice with the internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano Elaine Bonazzi who provided her with the vocal foundation and musicianship to begin her career. In addition to Bonazzi and Lawton, she also worked with Sarah Fuller, Timothy Mount, Dan Weymouth and Peter Winkler.

Goerke grew up in Medford, New York. She graduated from Stony Brook in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, concentrating in vocal performance, and then became a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist Program from 1994 to 1997. Since then Goerke has performed in lead roles in major opera houses throughout the world. She has also appeared at notable music festivals, given recitals at venues such as Carnegie Hall and has performed with the world’s leading orchestras.

Goerke has been the recipient of numerous awards and has won several music competitions. She is featured on two Grammy Award winning CDs: the 1999 recording of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra and the 2003 recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orcehstra. In 2001 she earned the prestigious Richard Tucker Award and in 2010 she received aDistinguished Alumni Award from Stony Brook University.

“We are so pleased by Christine’s success in the competitive world of opera and are proud that the Department of Music’s rigorous undergraduate requirements in music history, musicianship, theory and performance provided the excellent foundations for her development as an artist of the highest caliber,” said Perry Goldstein, professor and chair of Stony Brook’s Department of Music.

Click here to read The New York Times review.

Categories: Alumni, Opera, Reviews

Stony Brook Alum Julia Ageyeva (Hess) Awarded Second Prize in the XV “Paola Bernadi” International Harpsichord Competition

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Harpsichordist and Stony Brook University graduate Julia Ageyeva (Hess), who studied with faculty member Arthur Haas, was the recently awarded second prize in the XV “Paola Bernadi” International Harpsichord Competition, which took place on November 2-5, 2013 in Bologna, Italy. Additionally, she was awarded the Mariolina De Robertis prize for the best performance of a contemporary piece, which includes a performance at the Procembalo Festival in Parma, Italy.

The competition included three 40-minute rounds of solo music, including a basso continuo round (a manuscript score was provided for a 15-minute pre-performance study without an instrument, and then rehearsed with a singer infront of a jury). The jury consisted of Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini (Italy), Ewald Demeyere (Belgium), Frédérick Haas (Belgium), Maria Pia Jacoboni Neri (Italy), and Silvia Rambaldi (Italy).

For more information on the competition, visit

Categories: Uncategorized

American Musicological Society Honors Professor Sarah Fuller

December 4, 2013 Comments off

At its 2013 annual meeting of November 7-10, the American Musicological Society awarded Stony Brook emerita Professor Sarah Fuller with an honorary membership in the Society. Prof. Fuller was recognized for her significant scholarly contributions in musicology as well as her service to the Society on the Board and on a number of key committees.  Prof. Fuller was awarded an honorary membership in the Society for Music Theory in 2009 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011.

Categories: Awards, Faculty, Musicology

David Blake (Ph.D. candidate, Music History/Theory) Awarded Grant Through Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

December 4, 2013 Comments off


David Blake (Ph.D. candidate, Music History/Theory) was awarded a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Visiting Scholar Program at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives in Cleveland. The grant supports two weeks of research in residence at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. David will be examining primary source radio broadcasts, fanzines, and magazines associated with alternative rock scenes in Cleveland and Champaign-Urbana during the 1980s for a book project on non-mainstream popular music and American universities.


Nara Lee (B.A. Piano, May 2014) Winds First Prize in American Protégé International Music Talent Competition

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Listen to a Podcast Interview with Professor Margaret Schedel

October 30, 2013 Comments off

Via Darwin Grosse:

“Podcast 3 introduces an old friend: Meg Schedel. I’ve known Meg for a long time; she’s part of the “New York Crew” that I interact with, and also was a co-worker at Cycling ’74 for a while. Meg now teaches at Stony Brook, but remains very active in the whole region doing installations, performance and seminars – both in visuals and audio. This was a very interesting interview, where we discuss background, teaching concepts, women in art and Deep Listening. An awesome chat, and a great opportunity to spend a little time with Meg. Enjoy!”

Grammy Winner David Finckel Gives Grad Students Career Guidance

October 25, 2013 Comments off

Musicians everywhere are clamoring to understand the ever-shifting world of their changing profession. Former longtime member of the nine-time Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet cellistDavid Finckel is sharing his firsthand knowledge of that evolving landscape with Stony Brook University Department of Music graduate students through an already underway six-part career course known as “Residence Days.”

Finckel, currently the co-artistic director ofThe Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, is collaborating with the University’s Department of Music to provide distinct, targeted initiatives for graduate students on the art of building and maintaining a career in the performing musical arts.

The project consists of four unique initiatives that address the full range of issues in artistry and professionalism in classical music performance: Career Seminars, Immersive Chamber Music Study, Ensemble Workshops and Repertoire Classes. Finckel is exploring these initiatives, titled Residence Days, during six visits to the campus throughout the current academic year on September 18, September 30, November 20, February 3, March 10 and April 21.

At the core of the project are seminars titled, “Being a Musician,” in which Finckel tackles issues central to navigating the volatile professional market, with topics such as “What is an Artist?” and “Performing.”

“We will observe the human qualities, habits and skills of successful musicians and attempt to discover and nurture those attributes within ourselves,” said Finckel. “It’s more about trying to make sure that people become really interesting artists and are inspired in such a way that the industry is attracted to them rather than the other way around.”

Finckel’s approach is born out of his experiences as one of the most sought-after cellists in the industry, along with his entrepreneurial efforts in the founding of a successful independent record label, ArtistLed.

In addition to career-focused seminars, other initiatives will include immersive chamber music study, where Finckel guides two premier student ensembles through the preparation of a single work.

Another initiative puts Finckel in the center of the student ensemble during which he sits in as the cellist with student groups for an intensive hour of rehearsal to offer students real-time learning with a professional.

Capping off the Residence Days are cello repertoire classes, in which Finckel coaches cello and piano duos through the seminar sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms, works that form the core of Finckel’s respected duo with his wife, pianist Wu Han.

“David’s departure from the Emerson Quartet and retention by the Department of Music allow us to reconsider some of the many ways he could be of value to our students,” said Perry Goldstein, chair of the Department of Music. “Every person I spoke with about the wide range of expertise David is offering our students was enthusiastic about his knowledge and success in the professional music world. Here’s an artist of the highest accomplishment who also thoroughly understands, and has been an innovator, in the industry.”

“I think this is the time of life I should take on new projects,” said Finckel. “It’s exactly what I wanted, to challenge myself in new ways.”

George England, a Stony Brook graduate student working toward his DMA, sat in on the first two classes and said, “So far we’ve reflected on what attracted us to music and how to create that initial spark that may resonate with others. David Finckel has helped us recall our individual paths in a way that meets our personal artistic and professional goals. My path, like many classical musicians, involves both teaching and performance. I came to Stony Brook from Los Angeles where I taught as an adjunct lecturer and worked as a performer and guitar instructor. I think the fact that the University is offering this course shows how daunting the job market for musicians appears for students and professors. It is a unique opportunity to meet with David Finckel and broach the subject of the elephant in the room — the fact that there are not many jobs available and once students are finished with school, the ‘real world’ forces us to be open-minded, improvisational, creative, and of course, hard-working. Finckel approaches it in a very positive way — attitude has a huge impact on how one adjusts to change — and it is refreshing and inspiring to listen to these lectures and apply the ideas to our individual paths.”

— Glenn Jochum


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