Faculty Achievements

This page includes achievements, performances, and publications of the Bienen School faculty from the fall 2017 issue of Fanfare

Faculty: If you would like your achievements to be published on this page, please use our online submission form, or submit via email to fanfare@northwestern.edu. (Note: If you are submitting digital images to go along with your news item, you must use the email address and attach those images to the email.) We reserve the right to edit your item for either online or print publication.

Stephen Alltop (conducting) appeared as guest harpsichord and organ soloist with the Rembrandt Chamber Players and the Peoria Bach Festival. He conducted “A Celebration of Celtic Music” at Chicago’s Symphony Center in a program narrated by former Senator George Mitchell about the peace process in Northern Ireland. In the past year he has given invited lectures for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Osher Lifelong Learning at the Ravinia Festival, Jane Austen Society of North America, Kellogg School of Management, and Continuing Education Series of the Alumnae of Northwestern University. Alltop was selected to direct the 2017 Iowa All-State Chorus.

Linda Phyllis Austern (musicology) gave an invited lecture and participated in a practical-staging workshop at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Her recently published writings include the article “Manipulating Music at the Court of Elizabeth I” in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the chapter “Music, Its Histories, and Shakespearean (Inter-)Theatricality in Beaumont’s Knight of the Burning Pestle” in the book Shakespeare, Music, and Performance (Cambridge University Press).

Sarah Bartolome (music education) served on the faculty at the Kodály Levels Program of Seattle this summer and also led a week-long professional development workshop for local music teachers in Panama City, Panama. Her article “Melanie’s Story: A Narrative Account of a Transgender Music Educator’s Journey” was published in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. Bartolome was named the new associate director of the Evanston Children’s Choir.

Lawrie Bloom (clarinet) is a member of Civitas Ensemble, a Chicago-based quartet whose most recent season explored music of the Czech Republic. In January, Civitas performed in Prague with the Gipsy Way Ensemble, a group specializing in music from the Romani tradition. The two groups collaborated again in May in a performance at Chicago’s Merit School of Music. Funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, this collaboration’s goal is to raise awareness of the Romani heritage and introduce Chicagoans to Romani musical traditions.

Karen Brunssen (voice and opera) is the National Association of Teachers of Singing president-elect and a consulting editor for Plural Publishing. She was featured as a master teacher and adjudicator for Central Region NATS and Wisconsin NATS and as a master teacher at the 2017 China Folk Song Choral Festival and the International Federation for Choral Music’s World Voices Conference in Qiandongnan, China. Author of articles recently published in the New York Singing Teachers’ Association Voice-Prints journal and the American Choral Directors Association Choral Journal, Brunssen gave a presentation at the 2017 International Congress of Voice Teachers and held teaching residencies at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Switzerland’s Zürcher-Sing Akademie. She performed Bach’s Cantata No. 165 and St. John Passion with the Grace Lutheran Bach Cantata Series.

Helen Callus (viola) will be featured on the Naxos label with its rerelease of her recording of the Walton Viola Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The original release was named Orchestral Disc of the Month by Britain’s Classic FM Magazine and “the most beautiful Walton on disc” by the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs. Gramophone gave the disc its highest recommendation, with its reviewer noting that “Helen Callus plays with a sumptuous tone matched by flawless intonation to give the most beautiful account I have ever heard of the Walton Concerto.”

Joe Clark (jazz studies) was featured at St. Sabina Church in June when his arrangement of Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” was performed by Yo-Yo Ma and players from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The concert was part of a collaboration between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and St. Sabina aimed at helping reduce violence across Chicago.

Steven Cohen (clarinet) was the featured guest artist at the University of Maryland’s 2017 Clarinet Symposium.

Alan Darling (voice and opera) performed recitals in London and Paris with the Mirror Visions Ensemble, a group dedicated to art song repertoire. At Eastern Michigan University he taught master classes and performed with German soprano Christiane Karg. In April he performed a recital with soprano Amber Wagner and baritone Reginald Smith Jr. as part of a Morgan Library recital series presented by the George London Foundation. Darling spent three weeks teaching collaborative pianists and singers at the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and returned for his 19th year as a faculty member of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.

Steven Demorest (music education) was named editor of the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, the scientific research journal of the American Choral Directors Association. In April he presented two papers—on adolescent singing development and cross-cultural music learning—at the Research in Music Education Conference in Bath, England. His article “Stop Obsessing over Talent: Anyone Can Sing” appeared on The Conversation, and his article “The Effect of Focused Instruction on Young Children’s Singing Accuracy” (coauthored with Brian Nichols and Peter Pfordresher) was published in Psychology of Music.

Ryan Dohoney (musicology) presented the paper “Élan vital and How to Fake It” at the international conference “Performing Indeterminacy” at the University of Leeds in June. He was awarded a faculty research grant from Northwestern’s Graduate School to conduct fieldwork in July for a new project on the Wandelweiser experimental music community.

James Giles (piano) organized and hosted the 2017 festival of the American Liszt Society on campus in April. He also served as director of the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival and taught on the artist faculty of Italy’s Brancaleoni Festival and Spain’s Gijon International Piano Festival.

Victor Goines (jazz studies) performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in two concerts at Chicago’s Symphony Center in March. Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich wrote, “To hear Goines’s long, plush strands of melody on tenor saxophone set against a softly nocturnal orchestral backdrop was to realize, anew, the singularity of what these musicians can articulate in sound.” Goines and Pamela Hinchman (voice and opera) will perform at the Teatro Lirico Nacional de Cuba in November as part of a cross-cultural music exchange supported by an Alumnae of Northwestern University grant.

Nancy Gustafson (voice and opera) presented the keynote address at the Northwestern Alumni Association’s “A Day with Northwestern” event in April. Gustafson spoke about her nonprofit organization Songs by Heart, which provides interactive musical programming to improve the lives of people with memory loss.

Robert G. Hasty (conducting) was appointed principal conductor of the Highland Park Strings after serving as principal guest conductor the previous year. He continues as artistic director and conductor of the International Schools Choral Music Society Festival, which held its 10th annual event in Beijing in 2017. As part of Gordon College’s summer workshops for music educators, Hasty led a weeklong workshop on string pedagogy and techniques that foster long-term success. He also taught and conducted at the summer 2017 Credo Flute program, along with alumnae Jennie Brown (91) and Karin Ursin (81).

Maud Hickey (music education) hosted a three-day professional development workshop for area music teachers in April. The Evanston campus workshop brought together students and faculty in music education and music composition to aid teachers in incorporating composition and improvisation into their music curriculums. Over 40 Chicago-area teachers attended.

Pamela Hinchman (voice and opera) will perform with Victor Goines (jazz studies) at the Teatro Lirico Nacional de Cuba in November as part of a cross-cultural music exchange supported by an Alumnae of Northwestern University grant.

D.J. Hoek (musicology) participated in the Summer of Love Conference in San Francisco, sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement and the California Historical Society. He presented the paper “All You Need Is Revolution: John Cage and the Beatles in 1967.”

Hans Jørgen Jensen (cello) served on the faculties of the Meadowmount School of Music, the National Arts Centre at the University of Ottawa, and Korea’s PyeongChang summer festival and school. He attended the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Brussels, where two of his students advanced to the final round.

Chris Mercer (composition and music technology) presented his ongoing collaborative work with violinist Rodolfo Vieira (G05, G14) at Portugal’s University of the Azores, performing a concert of works for violin and live electronics at the Arquipelago Center for Contemporary Art and conducting a workshop at the Regional Conservatory. The duo’s project for violin and iPad-controlled electronics has previously been featured at the International Computer Music Conference, the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States Conference, the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, the Electric Spring Festival at England’s University of Huddersfield, and most recently at the New York City Electro-acoustic Music Festival.

Alex Mincek (composition and music technology) is featured as saxophonist in two extended works on Torrent, released on the Sound American label in April. The album’s performers also include members of Wet Ink Ensemble, a New York–based contemporary-music group that Mincek founded.

Toni-Marie Montgomery (dean) led seminars on best practices for effective leadership in music administration at the Eastman Leadership Conference in June. The conference focused on preparing the next generation of music school leaders and provided a forum for aspiring administrators to learn about 21st-century challenges in the evolving music field.

Michael Mulcahy (trombone) performed Australian composer Carl Vine’s Five Hallucinations for trombone and orchestra with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in April. Calling his performance “smooth and deft,” the Sydney Morning Herald noted that Mulcahy “cultivates a rich and homogeneous tone, hopping between low and high registers in the cadenza with easy command.” Jointly commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony, Five Hallucinations was inspired by the writings of neurologist Oliver Sacks. Mulcahy premiered the work with the CSO last October.

Donald Nally (conducting) received Chorus America’s Michael Korn Founders Award, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to professional choral music. His ensemble The Crossing has been named a 2017 Champion of New Music by the American Composers Forum. The Crossing’s CD of John Luther Adams’s Canticles of the Holy Wind, commissioned by Nally, was released in May 12 with an accompanying concert at New York’s Symphony Space. The Crossing also received a major grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to coproduce a hybrid choral-stage work with Helsinki’s Klockrike Theatre in 2019. Nally and The Crossing were recently featured in Gramophone magazine, which favorably reviewed the ensemble’s CD Seven Responses.

Albert Pinsonneault (conducting) presented “Thinking Like an Athlete: New Ways to Improve Your Conducting Gesture” at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association in March.

Andrew Raciti (double bass) played principal and tutti bass in the Grand Teton Music Festival this summer, in addition to performing on its chamber music series. Recent teaching engagements include performances and classes at the Chicago Double Bass Festival and the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists convention.

Gerardo Ribeiro (violin) taught this summer at the Meadowmount School of Music and Northwestern’s Summer Violin Institute.

Taimur Sullivan (saxophone) performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in John Adams’s opera Nixon in China, conducted by the composer. This spring Sullivan was a guest soloist with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra in Augusta Read Thomas’s Hemke Concerto: Prisms of Light and performed with Ensemble Dal Niente. XAS Records’ April release Color Theory pairs his Prism Quartet with the iconic percussion ensembles So-Percussion and Partch. The CD features newly commissioned works by Steven Mackey, Ken Ueno, and Stratis Minakakis. Prism recently collaborated with jazz legend Joe Lovano in concerts in New York City and Philadelphia as the latest installment of its Heritage Evolution project, which pairs the quartet with the leading jazz musicians of our time. This summer Sullivan taught at the Interlochen Saxophone Institute.

Mallory Thompson (conducting) led the Symphonic Wind Ensemble in a performance at the College Band Directors National Association’s national conference in Kansas City. Northwestern was one of only 10 ensembles invited to perform. Repertoire from this concert was professionally recorded and will be released on the Summit label later this year. Thompson’s recent guest engagements have included conducting the Oregon Mozart Players and teaching conducting symposia at the University of North Florida, Columbus State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Minnesota.

John Thorne (flute) presented a duo recital with Chicago Symphony Orchestra piccoloist Jennifer Gunn in March. He was the featured soloist in a performance of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble in April. Thorne has also recently appeared with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Philharmonic, and Dempster St. Pro Musica as well as in several performances with the Chicago Symphony under conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Charles Dutoit, Jakub Hruº ša, and Susanna Malkki. Thorne taught at the Aria International Summer Academy at Mount Holyoke College.

Sylvia Wang (piano) presented a solo recital on the theme “All Creatures Great and Small” in Malaysia in January. This summer she served on the faculty of Germany’s Saarburg International Music Festival.

Gail Williams (horn) led Northwestern’s second annual Peak Performance Horn Symposium in June. This summer she performed her 25th season as principal horn of the Grand Teton Music Festival and also appeared in concert with the National Brass Ensemble at the Steamboat Strings Festival.

She-e Wu (percussion) premiered the duo concerto Imaginary Day for vibraphone, marimba, and orchestra with the Philadelphia Orchestra and principal percussionist Christopher Deviney in March. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised Wu’s “knockout performance” as marimba soloist.

Victor Yampolsky (conducting) led master classes at the Wintergreen Music Festival and conducted the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra in performances on the MountainTop Masterworks series. For the 32nd year he served as music director of the Peninsula Music Festival in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Yampolsky will conduct the opening concert of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s 2017–18 season in September.


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