Archive for the ‘Chamber Music’ Category

Bassist Rachel Calin Joins Stony Brook Music Faculty

April 27, 2015 Comments off

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome bassist Rachel Calin to our faculty.  She will serve as interim double bass and chamber music coach in 2015-16.  Ms. Calin has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Live from Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Mostly Mozart Festival.  She also has performed with many contemporary music ensembles, including Sequitur, Composers Concordance, and Mosaic, and can be heard on numerous movie and commercial soundtracks, including “The Departed” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

Click here for more information


Stony Brook Department of Music Welcomes the Calidore String Quartet as “Quartet-in-Residence”

July 28, 2014 Comments off



The Stony Brook University Department of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of the Calidore String Quartet, hailing from the renowned Los Angeles conservatory the Colburn School, as Quartet-in-Residence for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years. The ensemble will join the Emerson String Quartet as members of the faculty, and will also be coached by members of the Emerson Quartet and David Finckel, former cellist with the quartet. “We are thrilled to welcome the Calidore String Quartet to Stony Brook in a new program for young quartets,” said Emerson Quartet violinist Philip Setzer, “It will be a great joy for us to work with them and it’s exciting to imagine what they will bring to the university and community.” David Finckel, Artistic Co-Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, noted, “Today’s classical music world is heavily populated with young string quartets and it’s a rare occasion when one turns heads as convincingly as the Calidore Quartet. This dynamic and intelligent ensemble has already demonstrated skill and maturity beyond their collective years, and they show seemingly endless potential. I know the Calidore will be a stimulating presence in the Stony Brook community, and I very much look forward to contributing to their Stony Brook experience.” This residency is made possible through the generosity of Erwin and Freddie Staller.

In addition to being coached and mentored by the Emerson Quartet, the Calidore String Quartet will take part in outreach programs in Long Island schools funded by the Staller Educational Outreach Endowment and the Barbara N. Wien Endowment for Arts & Education. They will perform on the Stony Brook campus and in the local community, and will coach undergraduate chamber ensembles and collaborate with student composers. Stony Brook University will also sponsor a New York City concert appearance during their second year in residence. The Calidore String Quartet’s commitment to music education—as manifested in their numerous pre-concert talks, post-concert Q&A’s, classroom visits, public school assemblies, traditional master classes and multi-day community residencies—make them an especially good match for Stony Brook.

The Calidore String Quartet was formed at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in 2010 and has amassed several grand prizes in American chamber music competitions including Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs. Internationally, the Calidore captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD Munich International String Quartet Competition and the 2012 Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet’s performances and interviews were broadcast on Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich) and Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg) and the group was also featured on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting. The quartet has participated in residencies and fellowships at the Banff Centre, Verbier Festival Academy, Aspen Music Festival and McGill International String Quartet Academy. This summer, they are featured as Quartet-in-Residence at the Bellingham Festival of Music in Bellingham, Washington.

The Emerson String Quartet has a long history of mentoring excellent young string quartets at the beginning of their highly successful careers, including the St. Lawrence, Artemis, Avalon, Pacifica, Calder, Ying, Borealis and Escher Quartets. “The Emerson Quartet has left a legacy of recordings and performances that represent the pinnacle of string quartet playing,” said Perry Goldstein, chairman of Stony Brook’s Department of Music. He continued, “They also have contributed greatly to the future of the string quartet by sharing their wisdom so generously with the most talented young groups that are following in their footsteps.”

For more information about the Calidore String Quartet, please visit:

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

Faculty Members Michael Powell (trombone) and Kevin Cobb (trumpet) Honored With Chamber Music America’s National Service Award

January 25, 2013 Comments off

American Brass Quintet Awarded Chamber Music America’s Highest Honor
The Richard J. Bogomolny Award

On Sunday, January 20, 2013 in New York City, Chamber Music America will officially confer its highest honor, The Richard J Bogomolny National Service Award, on the American Brass Quintet.

ABQ’s receipt of the prestigious award marks only the fourth time in 35 years the award has been given to an ensemble, the first time an ensemble recipient has not been a string quartet, and the first time it has been given to wind or brass performers. Past recipients include Rudolph Serkin, William Schuman, Menaham Pressler, Guarneri Quartet, and Richard Goode.

The award will be formally presented at the Chamber Music America’s national conference banquet at the Westin Hotel, New York City, on January 20, 2013 with special guest speaker composer Joan Tower. On January 19 at Symphony Space in New York City CMA presents a concert honoring the ABQ featuring noted performers including the New York Woodwind Quintet, trumpeters Wayne DuMaine and Joe Bergstaller, and renowned composer of brass chamber music Eric Ewazen, among others.

Founded in 1960, the American Brass Quintet is the longest continuously performing brass quintet in North America. It has to date commissioned or premiered approximately 150 works and has released over 50 recordings marking the largest recorded legacy of serious brass chamber music by an ensemble. Current members of the quintet are Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb, trumpet; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, trombone; John D. Rojak, bass trombone.

Three Stony Brook Students Join Ensemble ACJW

September 20, 2012 Comments off


Twenty New Musicians Join The Academy, A Two-Year Fellowship Program Combining Performance, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership

A new class of twenty young professional musicians will join The Academy at the start of the 2012–2013 season. The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—is a two-year fellowship designed to prepare the world’s finest young musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, and leadership. It offers performance opportunities and residencies in New York City and beyond, partnerships within New York City public schools—with each fellow paired with an instrumental music teacher for a year-long performance residency—and intensive professional development.

As part of the critically acclaimed Ensemble ACJW, the musicians collectively perform a number of concerts throughout the season at Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and other venues throughout New York City, including a series at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village with programs conceived by the fellows themselves. Some program highlights of Ensemble ACJW’s six Carnegie Hall concerts this season include Zankel Hall programs led by early music specialist and artistic director of The English Concert Harry Bicket and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano. Mr. Bicket conducts the musicians in works by Bach, Gluck, and Rebel, with soprano Lucy Crowe as guest soloist; Mr. Spano leads the group in Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… with guest pianist Juho Pohjonen. Other music to be heard on Ensemble ACJW programs in the new season ranges from Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, and Schubert to premieres of new works by Samuel Carl Adams and Missy Mazzoli, commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

The Academy’s in-school residency represents one of the largest in-depth collaborations between a cultural institution and New York City public schools. Each fellow is partnered with a local public school for a performance residency that totals 25 days over the course of the year. Fellows bring mastery of their instruments as well as a professional performer’s perspective to music classrooms in all five boroughs of New York City. They team up with each school’s instrumental music teacher to build students’ musical skills through a tailored and creative approach, depending on the school’s needs. Fellows also create, develop, and perform in interactive ensemble concerts with Academy colleagues in each of the ensemble members’ schools.

Created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson and The Juilliard School’s President Joseph D. Polisi, The Academy supports young professional musicians in developing careers as top-quality performers, innovative programmers, and dedicated teachers who are fully engaged with the communities in which they live and work.

Introducing the 2012–2013 Academy fellows:

Alexandria Le, Piano (Las Vegas, NV)
SUNY Stony Brook (Graduate)
The Eastman School (Undergraduate)

Clara Lyon,  Violin (Boalsburg, PA)
SUNY Stony Brook (Graduate)
The Juilliard School (Undergraduate)

Tyler Wottrich, Piano (Roseville, MN)
SUNY Stony Brook (Graduate)
University of Minnesota (Undergraduate)


David Bernard (MM, 1988) Wins First Prize in the Orchestral Conducting Competition of the American Prize

September 19, 2012 Comments off

NEW YORK, NY (September 7, 2012) – The American Prize Competition 2012 has announced that David Bernard, Music Director of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony has been awarded FIRST PRIZE in Orchestral Conducting.

The American Prize is a series of non-profit national competitions providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances of music by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States. Mr. Bernard was chosen as the winner from a diverse group of conductors from across the country, on the basis of video recordings of their live orchestral performances. The panel of judges was led by Maestro David Katz, conductor and chief judge of The American Prize. Earlier this week, The American Prize Competition 2012 also awarded to Mr. Bernard and the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony FIRST PRIZE in Orchestral Performance.

“Congratulations to Maestro Bernard on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award,” says Andrea Berger, Administrative Director of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony. “We are excited that his artistic leadership and musicianship are being recognized on a national level. We look forward to many more years of collaboration and exciting music making with him.”

“This is a terrific honor,” says Maestro Bernard. “These awards recognize the intense passion and commitment of musicians and ensembles that nourish and brighten our communities. With The American Prize, these efforts are given a national focus.”

The judges of The American Prize provided the following enthusiastic comments:  “A first rate conductor–a stunning, lovely performance–masterly in shaping, phrasing, technique and expressivity.  Insightful and inspired, Maestro Bernard possesses the vision and skill to build beautifully shaped interpretations of the major repertoire. A significant talent.”

David Bernard has performed in more than 20 countries on four continents. His performances have been heard in many of New York City’s most prestigious venues, among them Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, and The Riverside Church, on radio stations WNYC and WQXR and telecast on WCBS, and through an extensive catalog of recordings on iTunes, Naxos/ClassicsOnline, Amazon and Spotify. He and his work have been profiled inSymphony Magazine,, The Juilliard Journal, The New YorkDaily News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Bernard has led the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony on a nine-city tour of the People’s Republic of China and has appeared as a guest conductor with the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble and the Putnam Symphony.

Devoted to the music of our own time, David Bernard has presented world premières of scores by Bruce Adolphe, Chris Caswell, John Mackey and Ted Rosenthal. He has collaborated with distinguished soloists and artists including Carter Brey, David Chan, Catherine Cho, Pedro Díaz, Bart Feller, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Ingolfsson, Christina Jennings, Jessica Lee, Jon Manasse, Todd Phillips and James Archie Worley.

Prior to the 1999 founding of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, David Bernard served as Music Director of the Stony Brook University Orchestra, the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island and Theater Three. He also held the post of Assistant Conductor of both the Jacksonville and Stamford symphony orchestras. Bernard is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Stony Brook University, The Tanglewood Music Center and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and studied with Sergiu Celibdache, David Lawton, Roger Nierenberg and Arthur Weisberg.

Stony Brook Students Win the Beverly Hills Auditions

June 14, 2012 Comments off

The Krechkovsky-Loucks Duo (Iryna Krechkovsky, violin; Kevin Kwan Loucks, piano) has been selected by the Consortium of Southern California Chamber Music Presenters as Winners of the prestigious Beverly Hills Auditions for the 2012/2013 season. The Duo will be featured in recitals throughout the Southern California area beginning with their debut performances in Manhattan Beach and Encinitas in October 2012.


%d bloggers like this: