Faculty News: Winter 2018

  • Steven Morrison
    Professor Steven Morrison, chair of Music Education (Photo: courtesy the Whole U).

UW Music faculty report new publications, recordings, appointments, presentations, and more in their recent work at the UW and beyond.

Jonathan Bernard (Music Theory)

The Music Theory professor delivered a keynote address, “The Path to Ligeti’s Late Style: Surface Disjunction, Underlying Continuity,” at the György Ligeti Symposium at the Helsinki Music Centre (Sibelius Academy) in Helsinki, Finland. His essay, “‘Octatonicism,’ the Octatonic Scale, and Large-Scale Structure in Joan Tower’s Silver Ladders,” is included in Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960−2000, published last year by Oxford University Press. He has just completed a two-year term of service on the Publication Awards Committee of the Society for Music Theory.

George Bozarth (Music History)

His new critical edition of the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms, prepared in collaboration with Johannes Behr, was published in the Johannes Brahms-Gesamtausgabe (G. Henle Verlag, Munich) in late 2016. He delivered a paper on the young Max Reger at the School of Music’s Max Reger conference in November 2016 as well as public lectures at the Ladies Musical Club in Seattle and for the Gallery Concerts series. The Seattle Early Keyboard Collection, of which he is the curator, welcomed two new replica instruments—a German Lautenwerck, a gut-strung harpsichord of the type that J. S. Bach helped to design, and an 1814 Johann Fritz Viennese grand fortepiano. He completed his 27th season as artistic director of the chamber series Gallery Concerts, and in summer 2017 became artistic director of the Kennebec Early Music Festival in Bath, Maine, laying the groundwork for an inaugural season of chamber and organ concerts and solo soirées performed on historical instruments.

Patricia Campbell (Music Education, Ethnomusicology)

Professor Campbell is in her tenth year of membership on the advisory board of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (six years as chair). She also serves on the board of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She was recently reappointed as external examiner at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, for 2018-2020. 

Huck Hodge (Composition)

The chair of UW’s Composition program was recently awarded the Charles Ives Living, a two-year, $200,000 cash award presented annually by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (See story here). The award is intended to free a promising American composer from the need to devote time to any employment other than music composition.  The award term begins July 1, 2018. Hodge also received word recently that his 2017 work for wind ensemble and solo trumpet, "At dawn I chant my own weird hymn," was awarded special distinction in the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize competition. Presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work requiring a conductor that has not been performed professionally, the annual prize was established through a bequest from Dr. Rudolf Nissim, former head of ASCAP's Foreign Department and a devoted friend of contemporary composers.

Robin McCabe (Piano)

The piano professor recently gave a presentation, “ Hearing Between the Notes,” for the Eastside. Music Teachers’ Association.  She was a jury member for the University of British Columbia School of Music Concerto Competition and presented master classes at New York University, Rutgers University, and Adelphi University.

Steven Morrison (Music Education)

The chair of UW’s Music Education program presented new research on a statistical model of culture-specific music learning at the International Conference for Research in Music Education in Bath, England and at the Asia-Pacific Symposium for Research in Music Education in Malacca, Malaysia.

Michael Partington (Guitar)

The head of the UW’s guitar program held the first annual intensive classical guitar workshop for young adults at the UW this past June. He was guest performer and conductor at Guitar New Mexico and completed a concert residency in Spain last summer for CaminoArtes. He was recently seen onstage in Seattle Opera’s Il Barbiere di Sviglia. He performed solo and duo concerts in the United States and Canada and performed with Timothy Salzman and the UW Wind Ensemble the West Coast premiere of Concerto of Colours by Stephen Goss.

Ted Poor (Jazz and Improvised Music)

The faculty drummer launched the first full season of A Prairie Home Companion with mandolinist/songwriter Chris Thile with performances in St. Paul, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York City; he also performed on Thile’s Nonesuch release Thanks For Listening. He began a collaborative recording project with saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo and Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Blake Mills; performed with guitarist Ben Monder in New York City and in Los Angeles with violinist/songwriter Andrew Bird; and recorded with Grammy nominated producer Tony Berg and with the aforementioned Bird, with whom he is writing and recording demos for a new record set to be cut in early 2018.

Kari Ragan (Voice)

Her article “Understanding Voice Doctors: Whom to Call and When to Call Them” appeared in the October Journal of Singing, published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She presented on the topic of rehabilitation of injured singers and impact of cool-down exercises this past summer at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden.

David Rahbee (Orchestral Activities)

Dr. Rahbee appeared as a guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, where he led performances of works by Rossini, Stravinsky and Beethoven. He also returned to the Pierre Monteux Music Festival where he conducted a chamber orchestra of alumni of the school (Ensemble Tremblay) in works by Boyce, Boccherini, Haydn, Glanville-Hicks, and Mozart, and accompanied Mark Schuman, cellist with the New York City Opera Orchestra and faculty at Columbia University. 

Christopher Roberts (Music Education)

The Music Education faculty member has published two articles recently: “Elementary Students' Situational Interest in Lessons of World Music” in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and “Self-Determination Theory and Children’s Singing Games In and Out of the Classroom: A Literature Review” in Update.

Timothy Salzman (Band Activities)

Professor Salzman and colleageus and graduate students from UW Bands program recently hosted the 30th UW Pacific Northwest Band Festival, presenting guest conductors, clinicians, master class presenters and soloists and hosting dozens of high school bands from around the region. Among special performances was a guest appearance by the Tsinghua University Symphonic Band, making its first U.S. appearance on a bill with the UW Wind Ensemble. UW alumnus Zhao-Rong Chen, Professor of Flute at the China Conservatory in Beijing, was among guest conductors and soloists.  

Craig Sheppard (Piano)

His new Romeo Records release, “The Essence of an Iron Will,” featuring music by Frederic Chopin recorded live in Seattle’s Meany Theater in February of 2017, received rave reviews in Gramophone and other publications. In October he traveled to Beijing, presenting two weeks of master classes at the China Conservatory and an all-Chopin recital at Tsinghua University. In February he presented Bach's masterwork The Art of Fugue at Meany Theater and several other Northwest venues. 

JoAnn Taricani (Music History)

Prof. Taricani was honored recently by the American Musicological Society, which presented her with the annual Noah Greenberg Award for her edition and recording of newly discovered music for the coronation of the British King Charles II. A 17th-century composition that she recently  discovered was recorded by School of Music alumnae and a visiting artist and presented in September at a conference on the “Water Poet John Taylor” at the University of Cambridge. The piece was performed by School of Music alumnae Emerald Lessley and Maria Mannisto, with visiting artist Linda Tsatsanis.

Carole Terry (Organ)

Head of the UW Organ program delivered a lecture, “Physiology of Organ Technique,” for the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Houston (June 2017). She and graduate students and faculty from the UW joined with organists and scholars from Seattle’s St. Mark’s Cathedral last November to co-present a symposium celebrating the organ music of German composer Max Reger.

Sӕunn Thorsteinsdóttir (Cello)

The faculty cellist premiered a concerto written for her by Páll Ragnar Pálsson, co-commissioned by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestre and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She toured in South Africa with chamber ensemble Decoda, playing concerti and chamber music and working with young musicians at Stellenbosch University. She performed chamber music and presented recitals in New York, Iceland, England, and Sweden and toured in Europe with record label and music collective Bedroom Community.

Cristina Valdés (Piano)

The faculty pianist premiered Richard Karpen's solo piano work, “Program Notes,” written especially for her. She recorded Orlando Jacinto Garcia’s “From Darkness to Luminosity” with the Malaga Philharmonic in Spain. She also performed the Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with the Seattle Philharmonic under Adam Stern; was a featured performer on the Seattle Symphony's [UNTITLED] series performing works by Kyriakides, Lutoslawski, and Zubel; and gave an all-Beethoven chamber music recital on the First Friday Salon series at Resonance (with violinist Victoria Parker and cellist Alistair MacRae).

Melia Watras (Strings)

Her album 26 was released by the Sono Luminus label in January 2017 to critical acclaim, with The Strad calling it “a beautiful celebration of 21st century viola music” and The Journal of the American Viola Society (reviewing 26 and her previous album, Ispirare) calling her recent recording work “an eloquent testimonial to her ever-enterprising, imaginative approach to music and music making.” Watras’s article on the making of 26 was published in the March 2017 issue of Strings. This past year, she also performed with violist Garth Knox for a video series on contemporary viola playing; collaborated with director Ha-Na Lee on a short film of Watras’s composition Liquid Voices (performed with violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim); and appeared on Strings Sessions, a performance video series by Strings magazine. Her compositions were performed in Madrid and Cambrils, Spain, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Bonnie Whiting (Percussion Studies) 

Chair of the UW Percussion Studies Program launched her debut solo album, John Cage: Music for Speaking Percussionist, part of Mode Records’ Cage complete works catalog. She performed release concerts in Boston, Brooklyn, and Seattle. Whiting received a commission from the Indiana State Museum to create a new work for improvising speaking percussionist for the museum’s 2017 Sonic Expeditions series. Control/Resist (2017): is a site-specific piece for field recordings from the Women’s March in Indianapolis; a recording has been installed in the museum. In March, she traveled to Ashgabat to play a concerto and lead workshops with the State Symphony Orchestra of Turkmenistan.

Giselle Wyers (Voice and Choral Conducting)

A new release, Resonant Streams, by the University Chorale was released in June on the MSR Classics label. A CD review-writing and publishing project in her Advanced Choral Techniques class was featured in a chapter of a book for music librarians, authored by Verletta Kern. “Writing for Conductors: Conducting Research for Publication,” by Verletta Kern and Giselle Wyers, was included in the book Information Literacy in Music: An Instructor’s Companion. Wyers conducted Kantorei Summer Choral Institute’s High School Honor Choir in Kansas City, Missouri; was a guest instructor in conducting at University of Iowa, Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College and Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and was commissioned as first composer for a new initiative: ACDA WA State Choral Commissioning Project, with a premiere of her work “To a Friend” occurring in July 2017. The work is now available from Santa Barbara Music Publishers.