February 6, 2016

February NWS Alumni News

A number of New World Symphony alumni have just recently undertaken accomplishments that are moving them up the classical music professional ladder.

The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) announced this week that it has extended the contract of its Music Director, Joshua Gersen, through the 2016-17 season. “J.D.” was NWS Conducting Fellow from 2011 to 2014. He has been Music Director of NYYS since September 2012. A year ago he was appointed as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, taking up the post beginning this past September.

A national search for his replacement will begin in the fall of 2016. “I'm very excited to be continuing my work with the NYYS for another season,” said Gersen. “I’ve developed a close relationship with the students, staff, and board, and as time goes on I feel that the relationship is deepening and getting stronger. I’m thoroughly enjoying the work, and love being part of an organization that places music and education at the core of its mission.”

Click here to check out his website

After more than four years as Executive Director of the New York based cham­ber orches­tra The Knights, NWS alumna Elizabeth Mahler (violin 2005-2006) will be joining Carnegie Hall’s artistic programming team, effective March 1st.

As Artistic Administrator, Liz will be responsible for planning and development of the Carnegie Hall concert season in collaboration with Carnegie Hall's senior leadership team. Prior to her position with The Knights, she was Director of Special Projects at Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and for a couple of seasons after her NWS Fellowship, she was part of the NWS development and communications staffs.

A search for Liz’ replacement at The Knights is being undertaken - click here to apply by February 15

Click here for an interesting article by Liz on performance-related injury and career evolution

On Monday February 1, trombone alumnus Doug Rosenthal (2009-2012) launched his new blog entitled "Who's Your Audience? Doug Rosenthal on the Art and Industry of Classical Music" on the Inside The Arts cultural blogging platform. Doug is Assistant Principal Trombone for the Washington National Opera Orchestra. His first post explodes the myth that classical music concert ticket prices are excessive, and he compares them with other comparable events in Washington DC.

ITM introduces its newest blogger: “Although Inside The Arts currently features a number of outlets written by active musicians, Rosenthal adds a distinct voice to the mix as not only the first Millennial author in the group, but he also serves in a number of leadership and governance roles inside the American Federation of Musicians… When it comes to advocacy, I’ve always found Rosenthal to possess a singular level of natural ability and gravitas. Instantaneously charming, his personality rises above typical descriptions such as passionate and enthusiastic. Consequently, he’s an ideal voice to provide an outlet that not only allows him to speak his mind, but share what he describes as delighting in the pursuit of deeper understanding.”

And Doug himself describes the blog: "As most of you know, my heart isn't just in performance alone, but also in the behind-the-scenes happenings. Issues in the workplace, the Union, teaching, and the classical music community at large, to name a few. This blog will be my thoughts, discoveries, etc. about the Art and Industry of Classical Music. While I'm expecting my initial audience to be mostly musicians, I will be doing my best to make it accessible to anyone and everyone."

Click here to read Doug’s blog
Click here to read about Doug’s blog
Click here to read about Inside The Arts

Next week on Friday February 12, Navona Records will release violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk's album Violin Futura. The album showcases a collection of commissioned miniatures for solo violin that highlights over thirty international contemporary composers and how they are re-imagining the solo violin. Szewczyk was a New World Violin Fellow from 2004 to 2007. He was a winner of the NWS Concerto Competition, performing at the Concerto Showcase concerts in April 2007. Since 2007, the Polish-born musician has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony first violin section.

“The purpose of the Violin Futura Project,” says Szewczyk, “is to sample the creative environment of our times by showcasing the wide variety of styles present in the 21st century, and to create a body of new solo violin repertoire.”

All pieces on this recording were written for Szewczyk within a 5-year period, between 2006 and 2010. The composers represent multiple countries and cultures, including the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Mexico, Hong-Kong, Finland, China, Japan, Germany, and Canada.

Click here for information on the recording

Finally, recent alumna Meredith McCook (cello 2011-2015) was featured today February 5 in the Entertainment section of the Kansas City Star. After her four-year NWS Fellowship, Meredith won her first professional orchestra position with the Kansas City Symphony. The article profiles her musical background, her time at New World, what she enjoys about working with KCS, and what she likes to do around Kansas City.

Click here to read the article


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