Organist and composer Trent Johnson (BM ’89, GPD ’91, Organ) premiered his song cycle Songs of Irony for tenor and piano, with tenor Rufus Muller in May at the Watchung Arts Center in New Jersey. This song cycle was inspired by the poems of Stephen Crane. In March, Johnson previewed his concerto for clarinet, bird whistles, chorus and orchestra entitled Cantus Avium Solamen Est (Birdsong Brings Relief to My Longing) in Westfield, N.J. The clarinet soloist was Andrew Lamy of the NJSO, with the Oratorio Singers of Westfield, and members of the NJ Symphony Orchestra conducted by Johnson. The work sets poems of Rilke, Rumi, and Laura Richards to music, with bird inspired motives and actual bird calls.
The Peabody student guitar ensemble GQGQ – juniors Young Ik Jang and David Kalwa, senior Ben Lougheed, and DMA candidate Cassidy Payne (MM ’12, Guitar) – will perform Guitar Foundation of America Symposium’s College Ensemble Showcase Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 12:30 pm, at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street, New York, New York.
Kevin Puts, a member of the Conservatory’s Composition Department, was recently commissioned by the Minnesota Opera to write an opera, with librettist Mark Campbell, based on the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, slated for the 2014-2015 season. The combination of Puts, Campbell, and the Minnesota Opera won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Silent Night.
Doctor of Musical Arts candidate Eunkyung Yoon, a student of Yong Hi Moon, won second prize in The Second Asia-Pacific International F. Chopin Piano Competition in Korea with cash award of €10,000. All prize winners performed at the following gala concert on Oct. 26 at the Keimyung Art Center, Daegu, South Korea.
Washington Garcia (MM ’98, DMA ’03, Piano) was featured as guest soloist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 19 and 20, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The performances were conducted by Peter Bay (MM ’80, Conducting), who is celebrating his 15th season as Austin Symphony’s music director.