Stephen Mulligan Named Assistant Conductor of Winston-Salem Symphony Reply

mulliganStephen Mulligan (MM ’13, Conducting) – former student of Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, and Markand Thakar -has been named assistant conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony in North Carolina. While at Peabody, Mulligan led performances by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Opera Theatre, Peabody Mozart Ensemble. and served as the chamber/assistant conductor for the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra. Selected from a competitive field of 96 worldwide applicants, Mulligan was lauded by Music Director Robert Moody as “our overwhelming choice for the position” and joins the staff this August for the Symphony’s 68th season.
Read the full press release.

Nasar Abadey leads Washington Renaissance Orchestra in celebration of African American Music Month Reply

abadeyJazz percussion faculty artist Nasar Abadey and music director Allyn Johnson lead the Washington Renaissance Orchestra for “In the Tradition,” presented in the historic Lincoln Theatre this Friday, June 20 at 8:00 pm. The concert, featuring an ensemble of the DC area’s most prominent musicians, celebrates June as African American Music Month.

From the press release:

Presented by ARTSdpc and H STREET Main Street, the Washington Renaissance Orchestra features many of DC’s premier musicians, composers, bandleaders and educators in what promises to be amongst the most explosive musical highlights of this summer season.  Given its august history the Lincoln Theatre, which has hosted many of the most historic big bands in the annals of jazz and dance, is an auspicious venue for this roof-raising evening of great sounds.

Under the leadership of drummer and Artistic Director Nasar Abadey, and pianist and Music Director Allyn Johnson, the Washington Renaissance Orchestra is by turns a thoroughly contemporary ensemble while maintaining a profound connection to the jazz tradition.  Abadey, leader of his own enduring band SUPERNOVA® and Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Institute percussion professor, “continues to develop and experiment with color and texture in his sound” (Washington City Paper); and Johnson as “Dean of DC Jazz piano; the best representative for the state of creative Black music in DC” (CapitalBop) is Director of Jazz Studies at University of the District of Columbia.  Together, their broad perspectives on the music bring a rich color pallet to the Washington Renaissance Orchestra, an ensemble loaded with DC’s elite instrumentalists.  As special guest, the multi-talented Navasha Daya brings her exceptional vocal perspectives to this compelling program.

The Washington Renaissance Orchestra features:

Elijah Balbed:  Tenor Saxophone; Brian Settles:  Tenor Saxophone; Antonio Parker:  Alto Saxophone; Charlie Young:  Alto Saxophone; Julien Lane:  Trombone; Reginald Cyntje:  Trombone; Leon Rawlings:  Trombone; DuPor Georges:  Trombone; Whit Williams:  Baritone; Alvin Trask:  Trumpet; Michael Thomas:  Trumpet; Thad Wilson:  Trumpet; Tom Williams:  Trumpet; Nasar Abadey:  Drums; Allyn Johnson:  Piano; James King:  Bass; and Navasha Daya:  Vocals.

For more information and ticketing:

Walker Phillips won NATS Mid-Atlantic Competition Reply

Walker Phillips, student of Preparatory Voice Department Chair Elysabeth Muscat, won first place at the NATS Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition and qualified to compete in the National Competition. He won first place at the State level in February. In his category, high school men, only 14 singers were chosen as semifinalists. He will be competing at the national convention in Boston in July 5-9.

A Personal Memorial and Tribute to Cellist Dmitry Volkov by Daniel Heifetz Reply

Daniel Heifetz, president and founder of Heifetz International Music Institute, where Dmitry Volkov first studied in the United States and returned as artist-in-residence, delivered these words today at the remembrance gathering for Volkov held at the Peabody Institute. We leave them for you here:

by Daniel Heifetz
President & Founder Heifetz International Music Institute

Rarely does a bright star come into the lives of a person, a family, a school, a community and flash for only a short period of time. Such a star was the amazing cellist, Dmitry Volkov.

I discovered Dmitry seven years ago when he sent me an audition tape to gain entrance into the Heifetz International Music Institute. Upon hearing his DVD, I immediately accepted him and arranged for him to have full scholarships for every one of the three summers he was a student with us.

As an alumnus, he continued to come to the summer Institute as an Artist in Residence and ultimately, this past year, as the Institute’s first full academic year Artist in Residence at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. His work as our first yearlong Artist in Residence was nothing short of heroic. He performed throughout the Shenandoah Valley for over four thousand people in venues ranging from concert halls to Rotary Clubs to Senior Centers to schools. He inspired students from elementary age to college students. He went into the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and had students hold his cello and feel the vibrations as he played. He touched and inspired audiences throughout the Shenandoah Valley, in addition to almost every citizen, young and old, of Staunton.

When I first brought Dmitry to the Institute, he had not been to America. After a few weeks, he came to me with tears in his eyes. He said that, until then, he had never experienced being free to play music in a personal way that expressed what was in his own heart. In Russia, he was forced to play music only in the way his teachers told him to play.

For me, Dmitry was like a son. For his father, Vadim, mother Natalya, and brother Evgeny, he was a shining light in their lives. In all my years of teaching, I have rarely brought a young musician so close to my heart. My wife and I loved him! The Chairman of the Heifetz Institute Board of Directors, Gary Abramson, and his wife Pennie, brought him into their family. Several of the Institute’s Board
members supported him financially throughout his life in America, even loaning him a beautiful cello on which to play.

After several summers at the Heifetz Institute, after earning a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the Moscow Conservatory of Music, after earning an Artist Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studied with the great Israeli cellist Amit Peled, he was the winner of international cello competitions. He also won international chamber music competitions with his newly formed Russian Trio, comprised of Heifetz Institute alumnus violinist Nikita Borisevich and pianist Katherine Harris Rick.

Dmitry Volkov was poised for a truly exciting future. As an artist, Dmitry was brilliant, with complete mastery of the cello. As a human being, Dmitry had charm, charisma, a great sense of humor, personality, warmth, and sensitivity. Whoever met him loved him. Wherever he performed audiences acclaimed him.

The only way I know how to cope with our tragic loss is to feel grateful I had the honor and privilege to have known and experienced, for any amount of time, this bright star in our lives.