Cello Professor Amit Peled is featured on The Strad talking about Ernest Bloch’s ‘From Jewish Life’ and how his Jewish identity has become more important over the years leading to him releasing the CD The Jewish Soul.
Kendra Preston Leonard (BM ’95, Cello) has had many premieres and performances of her work in 2020. “Strawberry Man” commissioned and performed by Arwen Myers was released in April 2020, Fire and Dust premiered at the 2020 N.E.O. Voice Festival, Protectress, a full-length opera collaboration with Jessica Rudman based on Leonard’s novella was a part of the American Opera Project’s First Glimpse program. Par for the Course was premiered by Rhymes with Opera, Sense of Self, with music by Lisa Neher, will be premiered by Opera Elect. Leonard published her first collection of poetry called Making Mythology and also published the book Music for the Kingdom of Shadows: Cinema Accompaniment in the Age of Spiritualism.
Daniel Kazez (MM ’82, Cello) recently launched a redesigned version of InTune, an iPhone app designed to improve and test intonation. The app has been a top-10 music app in 70 countries.
Three cello students were awarded prizes in the Mount Vernon Virtuosi Online Cello Competition. Junior Jorge Giménez was awarded first place with a cash prize of $1,000 and an appearance with the Mount Vernon Virtuosi in the 2020-21 season. Second year Master’s student Natalia Vilchis was awarded second place and senior Mafalda Santos was awarded third prize. The Mount Vernon Virtuosi Online Cello Competition is a competition for students in Maryland started by cello faculty member Amit Peled.
Si-Yan Darren Li (MM, AD ’08, Cello) has been appointed cello and chamber music instructor at the Glauser School of Music at Kent State University.