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March Part 1 2024

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Welcome to the Emory Friends of Music e-Newsletter!

Message from the Editor

This month, we begin a season of music student recitals. These are generally given by juniors and seniors, and in some cases are given as part of their requirements for graduating with honors (as is the case for the two recitals featured in this issue). They are all free and open to the public. I hope to feature most of these recitals in this newsletter, and that is the reason that there will likely be two issues this month and next. Even if you will not be able to attend these recitals, I hope you will spend a few minutes reading about the students and their programs. We are so fortunate to have such gifted students at Emory and it is fascinating to read about their accomplishments while at Emory and to see the care and imagination in crafting their programs. There can be considerable expenses in putting these programs together. I am certainly pleased to report that the Friends of Music is one of the sponsors of both of the student recitals featured below.


There are also other events in the first part of March. In particular, the EUSO program with Eight Blackbird promises to be a great concert. You can also read about another way that Friends of Music supports students and faculty—by providing funding to bring in faculty for student classes. We are sponsoring Thomas Cressy’s visit to Stephen Crist’s Global Bach course as well as a separate lecture. 


If you are reading this before the end of February, don’t forget about two programs featured in our previous issue:


Artist Affiliate Alexandra Shatalova Prior’s recital on February 24 (click here for program)


The Merian Ensemble on February 27 (click here for program)


With best wishes,

Gray Crouse

Student Recitals

Eli Parrish (clarinet/composition/conducting)

Friday, March 1, 2024, 1pm

Schwartz Center

"The Unifying Principles of Performance and Compositional Intent" demonstrates the accumulation of Eli Parrish's four years of study into the intersections of acoustic composition, ensemble conducting, and clarinet performance. This program will feature the Emory Young People's Concert Orchestra—a student-led, volunteer orchestra of forty student and alumni musicians—as well as the originals works of two Emory student poets. To create a historical framework for the multifaceted musician, the recital will open with Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano followed by seven original compositions that Eli will either perform on clarinet or conduct.

The program for this recital can be seen by clicking here. The program is well worth reading, even if you are not able to attend Eli's recital, because it demonstrates the many ways Eli has used the resources at Emory to construct a fascinating program of music. One of the student poets, Mato-Wacipi (Dancing Bear) Horse is a citizen of the

Comanche Nation and will be a reciter of her poetry in Eli's Weeping WIllow. Eleven other Emory student musicians plus Artist Affiliate Sonny Yoo will also be performing, as well as the members of the Emory Young People's Concert Orchestra. Emory Friends of Music is very pleased to be one of the funders of this recital!

Eli's Bio

Eli Parrish, 22, has conducted his original compositions, contemporary chamber music premieres, and standard orchestral repertoire across the United States and Europe at venues such as the Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli and Cortile Palazzo Fodri (Cremona, Italy), Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, and the University of the South’s Guerry Hall (Sewanee, Tennessee). His works for symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber, voice, and solo instruments explore the intersections of environmentalism, theatrics, and sound-to-color.


Parrish studies orchestral and wind ensemble conducting with Paul Bhasin. As a student conductor, he has premiered original compositions with the United States Army Band Brass, collegiate instrumental faculty, and the Emory Wind Ensemble. During his Emory career, Parrish has served as music director for the Emory Young People’s Concert Orchestra and founder, director, and president of the Emory Pep Band.


As a student of music composition at Emory, Parrish’s mentors have included Adam Mirza, Katherine Young, and Davor Vincze. Parrish frequently collaborates with fellow student composers in the Emory composition studio to curate showcases and workshops for contemporary acoustic and electronic music.


Parrish’s clarinet instructors include Atlanta Symphony Orchestra clarinetists Marci Gurnow (acting associate principal) and Laura Ardan (principal emeritus). He has served as principal clarinetist in the Emory University Symphony Orchestra and Emory Wind Ensemble in addition to various chamber ensembles.


Parrish’s recent festival attendance includes the Darmstadt Summer Course, the Cremona Music Festival, and the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.

Solomon Young-joon Kim (composition)

Sunday, March 3, 2024, 3:30pm


Solomon Kim is a senior studying Music Composition and Economics and is a Robert W. Woodruff Dean’s Achievement Scholar. He is also an Undergraduate Humanities Honors Fellow in the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. His Honors Recital in music composition is entitled “Let’s Flood the Market! Reflections on the Commodification of Art.” In collaboration with Emory student musicians and groups such as the Atlanta Improvisers Chorus, Solomon is composing/co-creating a recital of seven compositions and improvisations, which will be performed in Emory’s Performing Arts Studio on March 3, 2024. His thesis argues for the centering of community in the way that artists navigate their relationship to capitalism and commerce. Solomon’s work on this thesis has been supported by Emory Friends of Music, the Katherine Blumenthal Award, John H. Gordon Stipe Society, and the Dennis L. Kam Composition Award, among other grants and awards.

In developing this recital, Solomon has used extensive resources both on- and off-campus. Solomon states "I'm honored to have received funding from the Friends of Music on several occasions for conferences and workshops to further this project, and in helping to fund performer's compensation!"

Emory University Symphony Orchestra featuring Eighth Blackbird Thursday, March 7, 2024, 8pm

Schwartz Center

In this Schwartz-Artist-in-Residence Program, the Emory University Symphony Orchestra performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Viet Cuong’s (pictured above) newly orchestrated Vital Sines featuring the Grammy Award-Winning sextet, Eighth Blackbird.

The concert is free, but tickets are required for entry. Tickets may be ordered by clicking here or can be obtained in person at the Schwartz Center Box Office. Please note that phone and online orders will incur a $6.00 processing fee per order.

Global Bach 2024

Preparing for the September Conference in Atlanta

For its biennial meeting in Atlanta, GA, September 26-29, 2024, the American Bach Society has chosen the theme of “Global Bach.” Bach’s music has long since transcended the local uses for which it was originally created to become a global phenomenon. It has inspired performances, adaptations, reinterpretations, and new compositions in many styles, genres, and mediums across the world. Although Bach’s music serves for some as fuel for the imagination and a standard of artistic perfection, for others it has been a lever of exclusion. The Conference will explore Bach’s music in twenty-first century contexts as well as Bach within his own sphere, from the perspectives of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, performance, cultural studies, and other fields of study. Stephen Crist, Chair of the Emory Music Department, and a Bach scholar, is very involved in this Conference, as Emory is hosting it. 

In preparation for the Conference this fall, Stephen Crist is teaching a course this spring titled "Global Bach." As part of the course, the Friends of Music is pleased to sponsor a visit by Thomas Cressy (pictured above) to lead two sessions of “Bach in Japan” for Crist's Global Bach course and a luncheon talk at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Thomas Cressy earned master’s degrees in musicology and social anthropology from the University of Glasgow, Tokyo University of the Arts, and the University of Oxford. This year he is completing his PhD at Cornell, and he has been named George Kingsley Roth Research Fellow at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. His talk at the Fox Center on March 18 is

"Who Owns Culture? Decentering “Western Music” in a Polarized Global Age"

Colonialism, imperialism, white hegemony; these are just some of the terms postcolonial scholarship has applied to the embrace of “Western” culture by “subaltern” peoples. Japan, as a world center for the production and consumption of Western Art Music, raises important questions pertaining to cultural ownership. Japan’s own pre-war colonial past and post-war economy – larger than any European nation – forces us to reconsider assumptions of “Western Music” as an innate cultural form disseminated from a superior “Western” center. In this casual talk I trace concepts of national identity and cultural ownership, applied to J.S. Bach in Japan, to uncover an unsettling marriage of fascism and decolonization in tension with local concepts of universality and cosmopolitanism.

Given our sponsorship, Stephen would be delighted for interested FOM members to attend the luncheon talk if space is available. If you would like to attend, you should email him as soon as possible as space is limited.

ECMSA: Masterclass Series—Bertrand Giraud, piano

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 10am – 12pm

Tharp Rehearsal Hall

This is part of the ECMSA Masterclass Series, giving the public an opportunity to observe master musicians working with some of Emory’s finest undergraduate talents.

From the outset, Bertrand Giraud's career has been marked by diversity. For the pianist, music was a matter of course. So it was only natural for him to embark on a comprehensive training program: music theory, composition, analysis, improvisation, fortepiano and melody. ​He is a double graduate of the Conservatoires Nationaux Supérieurs de Paris and Geneva, where he obtained his piano and chamber music diplomas in 1995 with "Mention Très Bien", in the class of Dominique Merlet. ​He completed this curriculum with masterclasses with A. Schiff, C. Hellfer, S. Perticaroli, V. Repin, R. Goode and P. Serkin. His encounters with C. Zerah, B. Canino and A. Delle Vigne have played a key role in his artistic development.

Bertrand Giraud will be performing for the ECMSA: Cooke Noontime Series—Bertrand Giraud, piano Friday, March 1, 2024, 12pm in the Carlos Museum (free registration required).

Thank You to Our Members!

A big Thank You to those who have contributed during this year, and especially to those of you who have contributed in the past few months and have even increased your level of support or are new or returning supporters! There is no way to thank you enough. It was the strong level of giving last year that enabled us to substantially increase our grants to music students and faculty for this year.


Much of our support for students and faculty is through grants to provide scholarships for students to help pay for required music fees, to help fund undergraduate research projects, and to provide enhancements for classes. You can see the grants for this year by clicking here.


A special thanks to those of you who are sustaining members, either through payroll deduction, or a continuing contribution on your credit card. After two years of asking, our donations page is finally updated to make it easy to choose to give a one-time gift or a monthly gift. You can click here to donate or visit our FOM page for other ways to give.


If you have not yet contributed in this academic year, we of course would greatly appreciate your continued support!


The list of members can be seen by clicking here.


Please Note: It is surprisingly difficult to generate a list of members who are current in their giving. We measure our giving year from the start of our annual campaign, which is usually in July of each year. Some members give through payroll deduction or give more than one gift per year (thank you to both!) and we want to make sure we correctly acknowledge the level of giving. We don't have a set format for how names are listed and depend on member's preference. Sometimes we make mistakes. Please let us know if you find any errors in the list of members above. You can just reply to this newsletter and we will be glad to correct any mistakes. The date that the list was updated is given at the bottom. Among other problems, we are finding that it can take several weeks for us to get news of gifts.

Music Series with Strong Emory Affiliations

This newsletter focuses on Emory music students and faculty. There is clearly much additional music being performed in Atlanta, including many performances at Emory. There is no space in this newsletter to give specific information about those many performances, and most of them are separately well advertised. All music performances on the Emory campus are listed in the Emory Arts Calendar (linked to in the top left of our newsletters). Below is information about the separate music organizations with strong Emory ties.


I assume that all of our readers are familiar with ECMSA, whose Artistic Director is Professor William Ransom. All of their concerts are free, which is certainly remarkable given the extremely high quality of their performances with professional musicians. ECMSA has a variety of music series, most of which are at the Schwartz Center. The full array of their concerts can be seen on the ECMSA website.


Of particular note is the Masterclass Series which is an incredible gift for our students. These masterclasses feature outstanding musicians who will teach Emory students in these classes. Moreover, our members are invited to attend these masterclasses. There are ten masterclasses planned for this year, with an impressive array of artists involved.

Atlanta Master Chorale

The Artistic Director of the Atlanta Master Chorale is Professor of Music Eric Nelson, and the chorale is one of the finest in the country. All of their local performances are in the Schwartz Center, and there is a livestream option for concert tickets.  In addition, all purchased tickets include a link to the livestream recording for one week after the concert. I usually view the recording at least once after attending the concert, surely a form of having one's cake and eating it too! For those of you who can't attend their concerts live, viewing the livestream is a great option.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Not only is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra a great orchestra, but our students benefit greatly from the ASO, as many of the Music Department Artist Affiliates are ASO musicians.


The entire ASO concert series is detailed on the ASO website. There continues to be a lot of excitement about the ASO’s new (as of a year ago) Music Director Nathalie Stutzmann. An indication of her “rock star” status is this paragraph from her ASO biography:


Nathalie made her spectacular debut at the 2023 Bayreuth Festival with Wagner's Tannhäuser, BR Klassik observed having "never experienced such a standing ovation at a pit debut in Bayreuth," with Oper Magazin describing her as a true possessor of "the Bayreuth gene." The 22-23 season also saw her acclaimed debut at the Metropolitan Opera with productions of both Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni; the New York Times declaring it "the coup of the year."


The ASO responded to the pandemic in a very creative way, beginning a series of "Behind the Curtain" performances featuring musicians playing without an audience. The "Behind the Curtain" series has continued, with a very modest yearly charge, featuring a selection of recorded performances from previous weeks.  Even if you can attend the live ASO performances, viewing the Behind the Curtain programs gives an entirely different perspective than you can get from the audience. Unless you are a player, it is rare to get close enough to a player to see the strings vibrate!

Emory Friends of Music
Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
1700 N. Decatur Rd, Suite 206
Atlanta, GA 30322