Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Sonya Hofer Joins the Music Department at Colorado College

August 4, 2014 Comments off

hoferSonya Hofer (Ph.D. Music History/Theory – Stony Brook University) has been appointed as Visiting Assistant Professor, Riley Scholar-in-Residence at Colorado College starting Fall 2014. At Colorado College, Hofer will be teaching classes ranging from Experimental Music, Music Fundamentals, and Indie Rock, while also developing a monograph on various forms of Experimental Electronica and Sound Art.

Categories: Alumni, Musicology

Solomiya Ivakhiv (DMA, 2010) Joins University of Connecticut Faculty

April 22, 2014 Comments off

Solomiya Ivakhiv (DMA, Violin – Stony Brook University) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola and Head of Strings in the Department of Music in the School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut starting Fall 2014.

Prior to University of Connecticut, Dr. Ivakhiv has been Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Ohio University and has taught and given masterclasses at Temple University Music Preparatory, Swarthmore College, Utah’s Tuacahn Summer Arts Institute, Curtis SummerFest, West Chester University, SUNY Fredonia (New York), Mansfield University, Guangzhou and Hunan Conservatories in China. She is also currently on the faculty at Mannes College the New School for Music Extension Division.

Categories: Alumni, Violin

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

Nicholas Tochka (Ph.D., Ethnomusicology 2012) has accepted a visiting position as Instructor in Ethnomusicology at Northern Arizona University’s School of Music

July 17, 2013 Comments off

Tochka_headNicholas Tochka (Ph.D., Ethnomusicology 2012) has accepted a visiting position as Instructor in Ethnomusicology at Northern Arizona University’s School of Music in Flagstaff, AZ. Beginning Fall 2013, Nick will be teaching courses in ethnomusicology and popular music to undergraduate and graduate students while continuing work on a book project examining the politics of popular music in post-1945 Eastern Europe. Nick had most recently been appointed lecturer in Tufts University’s Music Department (Spring 2013).

Categories: Alumni, Ethnomusicology

Eleanore Oppenheim (DMA Candidate, Double Bass) Awarded CAP Recording Grant

January 4, 2013 Comments off

New Music USA’s third annual round of the Composer Assistance Program for Recording proved to be our most competitive round of applications to date, with a 140% increase in applicants from 2011, requesting over $2 million dollars in support. Our peer panelists had their work cut out for them, but after weeks of remote review and an intensive 2-day, in-person meeting here at our offices in New York City, we were left with an immensely talented final group of composers, performers, and artists who represent a tremendously diverse range of musical and aesthetic styles. Our final mix of awardees includes DVDs, video companions, CDs, digital releases, and works incorporating jazz, voice, multi-media, opera, film, string quartet, Partch instruments, thermin and shakuhachi, juststrokerods and zoomoozophone, instructional compositional videos for percussion, works for solo bass and electronics, among many other creative compositions and performances, all listed below.

Without giving too much away, we think it’s safe to say that the 2012 Composer Assistance Program for Recording awardees are some of the more unique – and extraordinary – artists that define and pioneer our field today.

“Home” is a self-released, ongoing commissioning project founded by bassist Eleonore Oppenheim in 2006, aiming to inspire talented emerging composers to create exciting repertoire for the upright bass. The works featured on this album are of composers Florent Ghys, Wil Smith, Angélica Negrón and Jenny Olivia Johnson. These composers offer a range of compelling techniques, unique sonic textures, and genre-defying idioms for upright bass.  Johnson places the instrument in a rock setting, adding guitar effects to create a sound world akin to noise rock; while Negrón utilizes the performer’s voice, a gamelan-like electronics track, and the body of the bass as a resonating chamber for music box. Ghys, a bassist himself, creates beautifully interlocking melodic lines by layering sounds of the instrument with speech samples and live singing. Smith includes distorted, manipulated electronic samples of the bass while challenging the instrument’s extended percussive capabilities. The CD is virtuosic without sounding difficult, stylistically varied, but with a cohesiveness of aesthetic: to explore and experiment with the boundaries of the physical instrument, the player, and the genre associated with each work. Oppenheim will release the album in April of 2013.

David Bernard (B.A., 1986, M.M. 1987, Orchestral Conducting) Completes Residency With China Conservatory Orchestra

January 4, 2013 Comments off

Rehearsing Violins 2

In November, David Bernard (B.A., 1986, M.M. 1987, Orchestral Conducting) traveled to Beijing at the invitation of the China Conservatory for a weeklong residency of chamber music coaching and conducting the China Conservatory Orchestra.  The series of coaching, rehearsals and readings with the orchestra culminated in a performance of the student groups with the China Conservatory Orchestra led by Bernard.

The League of American Orchestras published a blog of Bernard’s residency at the China Conservatory on Symphony Now here:

Categories: Alumni, Conducting

Composer Max Giteck Duykers (Ph.D. 2012) Wins ISU’s Music Now Competition

October 26, 2012 Comments off

Stony Brook Alum Composer Max Giteck Duykers’ String Quartet Glass Blue Cleft was selected as a winner of the Music Now Competition, and will be featured at ISU’s 46th Annual Festival of Contemporary Music, with guest composer Christopher Theofanidis.  Cellist and festival chair Kurt Fowler will lead a faculty performance.

Max Giteck Duykers is a composer whose work is dedicated to unusual beauty.  His music has been performed throughout the United States, in Italy, England, and Romania.  He was recently commissioned by the Jerome Foundationto compose The Apricots of Andujar for his father, tenor John Duykers, electro-acoustic percussionist Joel Davel, and pierrot sextet. This is a chamber opera which is being developed with acclaimed filmmaker and playwright Philip Gotanda and veteran director Melissa Weaver. The piece was workshopped with Birds on a Wire at Western Michigan University in March 2012, and will be premiered by Fear No Music in Oregon and by Earplay in San Francisco and Petaluma in the 2013-2014 season.

Duykers has also received commissions to compose music for over 35 theatrical, dance, film, and multimedia projects in the New York City area, and with the theatre group Prototype he was an artist-in-residence at HERE Arts Center in 2002-2004. In 2000-2001 he worked for Philip Glass’ The Looking Glass Studios and Dunvagen Music Publishers, where he did studio recording, Pro-Tools post-production, music sequencing, music copying and music editing for the Philip Glass Ensemble, film scoring projects, and operatic works.  He holds a BM from Oberlin Conservatory where he studied composition with Randy Coleman, and he has just finished his PhD at Stony Brook University where he studied with Sheila Silver. At Stony Brook he also taught music theory, musicianship and private composition to music majors.  He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rebecca and sons Quinlan and Liev.

For for information, visit his website at

Categories: Alumni, Awards, Composition, Prizes

Iryna Krechkovsky (DMA Candidate) Wins Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition

September 26, 2012 Comments off

Eighteen classical musicians are excited to have the opportunity to play an instrument from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank for the next three years.

Since last Sunday, 28 finalists have been auditioning at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto for a 3-year loan of one of 17 fine-stringed instruments and one cello bow created between 1689 and 1929. The winner’s placement in the competition determined the order in which they chose their instrument—the most coveted being the Stradivari violins and cello along with the Guarneri del Gesù, valued in the millions.

Download photos of winners, and biographical notes and instrument descriptions in the eletronic press kit.

“These artists will travel the globe bringing to life the Instrument Bank’s violins and cellos for countless audience members,” said Canada Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman. “Over the next three years, they will develop a very personal relationship with their instrument while sharing with the world their love of music, their passion for performance and their exceptional talents.”

Celebrated for her tone, emotionality and precision, violinist Iryna Krechkovsky has been featured at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Town Hall in Seattle, and The American Church in Paris, France. She was a top prize winner at the Sorantin International Competition (San Angelo, Texas), the Canadian Music Competition and the Kocian International Violin Competition (Czech Republic). She has performed as soloist with the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra (Ohio), the Toronto Sinfonietta, and the Lviv National Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine).

As a distinguished chamber artist, she has been invited to perform at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, the Stony Brook Faculty Recital Series (New York) and The Banff Centre for the Arts. Iryna Krechkovsky is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University in New York.

She was born in Ukraine, raised in Toronto and is currently based in Irvine, California.

1689 Baumgartner Stradivari, valued at $5 million

Categories: Alumni, Awards, Violin

Stony Brook Students Among Winners of the Westfield Harpsichord Competition

September 26, 2012 Comments off

Second Prize – Julia Ageyeva Hess (DMA, 2011)

Third Prize – Stephen Gamboa (DMA Candidate)

Semifinalists also included DMA candidates Wing Yin Wong and Elena Zamolodchikova.

Mario Gotoh (DMA, 2012) Wins SUNY Arts Honor

September 20, 2012 Comments off

Stony Brook University alumnus Mario Gotoh (Doctor of Musical Arts ’12) received the 2012 Patricia Kerr Ross Award for exemplary student achievement in the arts. The award is given annually by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher to students who have demonstrated excellence, originality and promise in the arts. It is accompanied with $1,000 and is intended as a bridge between SUNY study in the arts and entry into a professional arts career.

“The Patricia K. Ross Award allows SUNY to honor some of our most creative arts students and provide them with financial assistance to support their ongoing work,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Congratulations to Mario Gotoh for winning such a prestigious and competitive award.”

Gotoh, a dual-degree recipient with a DMA in violin and viola performance, was nominated for the award by two professors, Nicholas Cords, viola artist-in-residence at Stony Brook University; and Philip Setzer, professor of violin and chamber music at Stony Brook University and a founding member of the renowned Emerson String Quartet.

“It is very unusual to work with a student who does many different things in music and does all of them equally and very well,” said Setzer. “Mario Gotoh is just such a musician. She is an excellent violinist and violist, strong and exciting soloist, intelligent and sensitive chamber musician and an excellent teacher and citizen of the University. She is most deserving of this prestigious award.”

Mario Gotoh is pictured performing the Walton Viola Concerto with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra at the Staller Center for the Arts.

“I have been very fortunate to work with Philip Setzer and Nicholas Cords, who have nurtured my development as a musician and in becoming my own teacher. I’m grateful to receive the Patricia Kerr Ross Award to support my work and life as a violinist and violist,” said Gotoh. “The invaluable support from the faculty throughout my studies in the newly-proposed dual-degree doctorate in violin and viola performance attests to the open-minded environment and broad outlook of the Stony Brook University Music Department.”

About Mario Gotoh
Mario Gotoh has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia, with performances being broadcast worldwide on NPR, PBS Television, TF1 French Television and more. She has served as concertmaster, principal violin, and principal viola in orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, Music Academy of the West, Stony Brook University and the Eastman School of Music. She performs with several ensembles in New York City, including the Knights and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She currently serves as a viola instructor at Suffolk County Community College, a violin teacher at the Bloomingdale School of Music and the violin and chamber music teacher at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Camp. She received her BM and Performance Certificate at the Eastman School of Music and her MM at Stony Brook University.

About the Patricia Kerr Ross Award
Patricia Kerr Ross dedicated 30 years of service to SUNY, where she began in 1969 as assistant to the University Dean in the University-wide Program in the Arts. Ross directed the University-wide Programs in the Arts from 1971-91, and over the years, was also a board and committee member, panelist and speaker for a variety of arts-related organizations in New York State. She was a founding board member of the Gallery Association of New York State in 1973 and the Association of SUNY Arts Presenters in 1982. Following her death in 1999, Ross’ $30,000 bequest created the Patricia Kerr Ross Award to benefit graduates in the arts by enhancing the outreach of the Thayer Fellowship program. Nearly 100 applications for the awards are received each year. The applications are evaluated by a jury panel of experts in the various arts disciplines. The finalists are then interviewed in person by the jury panel, and their work is reviewed during performances, readings, screenings, and exhibitions. At the end of this process, the jury panel determines the winners.

Categories: Alumni, Awards, Violin

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