Pianist Jeremy Denk '90 was featured in April 2001 as National Public Radio's (NPR) The Shelley Winters Project, with Meredith Young-Artist-in-Residence on "Performance Today." He performed solo and chamber music repertoire live during the second hour of the broadcast each day for a week.

When asked by an NPR reporter whether anyone outside of music had spurred along his drive to be a performer, Jeremy said: "My advisor in the chemistry department at Oberlin told me, in my junior year, that I should devote myself to my music major; he probably feared I would blow up the lab if I became a research assistant in my senior year. Seriously, though, that was nice advice.

"My English teacher at Oberlin, David Walker, helped me to love a lot of novels and poems. That seems tan gential, but isn't. That literary education . . . factors very definitely into my musical life. Sometimes I think of pieces like little novels, condensed into 10 intense minutes; or like poems, in 20 rhythmical seconds."

Jeremy is Associate Professor of Music at Indiana University.

Conrad After earning MM and DMA degrees in composition at the universities of Michigan and Yale, Arlene Sierra BA/BMus '92 moved to London, where she is a freelance composer. Among her numerous honors have been fellowships from Aspen, MacDowell, and Tanglewood, and awards from ASCAP and the American Music Center. In 2001 she was the first woman and the first American ever to win the International Toru Takemitsu Memorial Prize for orchestral composition. Arlene's winning work, "Aquilo," was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic at Tokyo Opera City and broadcast on NHK Radio, Japan. At Oberlin, Arlene was a double degree graduate, majoring in East Asian studies and music technology.

Cellist Jakub Jerzy Omsky BMus '95/AD '97, recognized by the Santa Barbara Independent as the "Music Maker of the Year 2000" and "2001 Local Hero," received special Con-gressional recognition in November 2001 from U.S. Representative Lois Capps of California for "outstanding and invaluable service to the Santa Barbara community." Jakub, who is completing master's studies with Professor Eleanor Schoenfeld at the USC Thornton School of Music, has created, organized, and performed in family-oriented concerts in Santa Barbara, and for nearly two years he led a self-created, fully-sponsored outreach program serving more than 7,000 children in the Santa Barbara County public schools, raising more than $20,000 for local symphony organizations in the process. He also received the Brilliant Retrievers of American Goals 2001 Award for his composition "For Martin," dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jakub was awarded First Prize at the 2000 International D'Angelo Strings Competition and First Prize at the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation Competition.

Recent California performances include, in the fall of 2001, a program of Polish poetry and contemporary music for solo cello with the award-winning Polish actor Omar Sangare. Jakub gave a career master class at Oberlin on March 21, 2001. Visit him online at www.omsky.com, e-mail him at omsky@omsky.com, or give him a ring at 626-792-6065.

Oren Gradus BA/BMus '97, took first place at the MacAllister Vocal Competition sponsored by the Indiana Opera Theater and held in August 2001 at the Historical Society Theatre in Indianapolis. Oren, a bass, is presently a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. During the 2001-2002 season at Houston Grand Opera (HGO), Oren will sing Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Biterolf in Tannhauser, Gremin in Eugene Onegin, and Old Hebrew in Samson et Delilah, (with Denyce Graves '85). He returns to HGO next season to sing Colline in La Boheme and Count des Grieux in Manon. Oren made his Wolf Trap Opera debut last summer sing-ing Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. He will return to Wolf Trap Opera in summer 2002 to sing Frank Maurrant in Street Scene, Ariodate in Xerxes, and the bass solo in the Verdi Requiem.

Michael Kelley '96 and Elise Kuder '97 are members of the distinguished Apple Hill Chamber Players (www.applehill.org) founded in 1973 in Nelson, N.H. Alumnus Richard Hartshorne '66 is another member of the ensemble. The Chamber Players, noted for "Playing for Peace" tours, hope to schedule a trip in February 2002 to Cyprus, Israel, Italy, and Turkey. Elise, a violinist and former concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, was first violinist of the former Tate Quartet, which had a successful Wigmore Hall debut in June 2001 but disbanded afterward ("Great fun and music, but too much traveling," says Elise). When in New York City, she plays on a pink violin with the band Dorman (www.dormania.com), whose album, When I Come to You, was recorded at the Youth Room and released in December 2001 by Quixote Blue Records. Michael, a prizewinner at the Primrose International Viola Compe-tition, is a member of the Arden String Quartet, a Teaching Fellow in Electronic Music at Juilliard, and president of Trifecta Music for Film, a New York production company.

Elise and Michael were featured soloists with the Keene Chamber Orchestra in October 2001; Elise performed J. S. Bach's Violin Concerto in E major and Michael presented Hindemith's Trauermusik (Music of Mourning) for viola and string orchestra.

Conrad Violinist Meredith Cooper '97 (www.meredithcooper.com) performs and sings backup with the Boston-based rock group, The Shelley Winters Project (www.rickberlin.com). She says she has not found a more rewarding, incredible musical experience since graduating from Oberlin, and she is using her "wonderful education and contributing it to the band." The group performs regularly throughout New England, in Boston, Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Portland, Maine, and in New York City. Its new, self-named CD was the number one selling album at www.radioboston.com and has been featured on the Abercrombie and Fitch website. Ben Jones '96 created and maintains their fan website www.taxitakemehome.com, Matt Mascolo '97 helps out with sound at their live shows, and Oberlin alumni turn up at almost every performance.

Jazz trombonist Jonathan Arons BA '98, BMus '99 spent much of 2001 touring with the national company of the Broadway musical Swing, a high-energy series of vignettes that showcase dancing and singing. Jonathan's turn was a duet ("Cry Me a River") that moves from torch to angry contretemps; he uses a plunger for his trombone responses. After graduating from Oberlin, he spent six months with a cruise ship band, saving his money for a move to New York, where he played with jazz quintets, salsa, and R&B bands, and with two notable big bands: the Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band (at Birdland) and the Dave Holland Band. He says, "I've found that the great teachers I've had at Oberlin made me realize not only how much personal expression goes into one's music, but also how much business sense is needed when making a living as a musician."

Karin Brown '98 and Daniel Levitov '96
were married in Santa Cruz, Calif., in August 2000, and spent the 2000-01 season in New York City, where Karin was a frequent viola substitute with the New York Philharmonic and Dan was a cellist with the Jupiter Symphony. Karin completed her Master of Music degree at Juilliard while Dan, who holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, continued work on his dissertation at the City University of New York. During the past year Karin twice toured Europe with the Philharmonic and traveled to Japan with the Metropolitan Opera Company Orchestra. In fall 2001 the couple moved to Baltimore, where Karin is the newest member of the viola section of the Baltimore Symphony, and Dan joined the faculty of the Peabody Institute Preparatory Division, where he teaches cello, chamber music, and conducts a string orchestra. Karin performed at the Caramoor Festival in October 2001, and was preparing for her Carnegie Weill Hall debut in February. E-mail: barinkrown@aol.com; dan.levitov@juno.com.

Mirabai Weismehl '98 earned a Master of Music degree with Distinction in 2001 from the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, Mass.), studying violin with Joseph Silverstein. During this time, she was also a member of the Portland Symphony (Maine) and Boston Baroque. Most recently, she has won a position with the New World Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director) in Miami Beach, Fla., where she currently resides.


The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble performed the premiere of Huang Ruo's '00 composition Confluence - Concerto no.3 for Five Players, at the Aspen Music Festival in summer 2001. His YUEH FEI Concerto no. 1 for Eight Players received its European premiere in September 2001 at the Paradiso Hall in Amsterdam with the Nieuw Ensemble, conducted by Jurjen Hempel. Another recent work, Three Pieces for Orchestra, was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of music director Wolfgang Sawallisch in 2000 and received its Asian premiere in September 2001 at the Music Hall in China with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.

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