Home :: Accolades


:: Maguire Wins International Organ Competition in France
:: Also Holding Keys to Success
:: Violinist Ui-Youn Hong Is Carl Nielsen Laureate
:: Violinist David Bogorad Top Prize Winner at Oeresunds
:: Harpists Yinuo Mu and Nuiko Wadden Win Top Honors
:: Paul Dwyer Wins Hellam Young Artists
:: Bel Canto
:: Grammy Awards and Great Reviews
:: Winning Personalities
:: Mary E. Larew Wins Marshall Scholarship
:: Only Two Javits Fellowships Awarded to Music Students Each Year-
    Oberlin Students Score Both

:: Erika Kulnys-Brain Wins Watson Fellowship
:: Goldwater Fellowships for Churchill and Everett
:: Charles Foldesh '07 Receives John Coltrane Music Scholarship
:: Matthew Jenkins Wins Presser Music Award
:: Michael Gallope '04 Wins Mellon Fellowship
:: A Fulbright for Steven Parker '02

Maguire Wins International Organ Competition in France

In April, Brett Maguire ’06 won first prize in the André Marchal International Organ Competition in France. Maguire also won the audience prize. Commenting on his playing, one of the jurors praised Maguire’s beautiful interpretation and style in all periods of French music.

The contest, which has been held every other year since 1993, was intense, with four consecutive days of competition against organists from the United States, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Poland. Maguire shared his first-prize winnings of 3,000 euros with another competitor, with whom he tied.

After an initial tape round, Maguire sailed through two performance rounds to the third and final round, in which he played Nicolas de Grigny’s Récit de tierce en taille du Gloria de la Messe, Vierne’s Romance and Final from his Symphony No. 4, and Lionel Rogg’s Deux Etudes.

A native of New Hampshire, Maguire began his organ studies with Malcolm Halliday ’79. Maguire was Organ Scholar (class of 2002) at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He is currently pursuing a master of music in historical performance at Oberlin under the tutelage of Professor of Harpsichord Lisa Crawford and Professor of Organ and Harpsichord David Boe. He is also director of music at Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin.

back to top

Also Holding Keys to Success

Ji Yeon Shin ’08 won first prize in the Isabel Scionti Piano Solo Competition, part of the Kingsville International Young Performers Competitions held in Kingsville, Texas, in April. The youngest contestant in the senior division, she performed Chopin’s Ballade No. 2 in B minor. A piano performance major from Seoul, Korea, she studies with Associate Professor of Piano Haewon Song.

Three organ students won top prizes in American Guild of Organist (AGO) and New York competitions this spring. James Feddeck ’05 of Scarsdale, New York, won first prize in the AGO Regional Competition for Young Organists (New York City Chapter). Balint Karosi, AD ’05 of Budapest, Hungary, won first prize in the Arthur Poister Organ Competition in New York. Thatcher Lyman ’05 won first prize in the AGO Regional Competition for Young Organists (Cleveland Chapter). A double-degree student, he is from Woodstock, Connecticut.

Jazz piano performance major Eben Lichtman ’06 won first prize for jazz piano, in the college division, at the 2005 Margaret Guthman Piano Competition at the Georgia Tech College of Architecture in February. Lichtman, who studies with Visiting Teacher of Jazz Piano Dan Wall, won for his performances of I Hear a Rhapsody by George Fragos, Jack Baker, and Dick Gasparre; Infant Eyes by Wayne Shorter; and Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer.

In March, Tian Lu ’07 won second prize in the Iowa Piano Competition, hosted by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. Lu, a native of China, studies with Professor of Piano Monique Duphil and is also a recipient of the Liberace Scholarship for 2004. Kate Boyd ’92, who studied at Oberlin with Professor of Piano Sedmara Rutstein, was a finalist in the competition.

Scott Meek ’05 won a coveted semifinalist spot at the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association Young Artist Competition, held at Macalester College in January. He was also awarded a scholarship to attend the Madeline Island Music Camp in LaPointe, Wisconsin, this summer. A double-degree candidate from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Meek majors in Japanese in the College and studies in the Conservatory with Associate Professor of Piano Alvin Chow.

Spencer Myer ’00 won fourth prize in the 2004 Montreal International Piano Competition, held last June. A semifinalist in the Concert Artists Guild competition this past year, he is one of five finalists selected to compete in the 2005-06 American Pianists Association Classical Fellowships in Indiana. Myer is also a finalist for the 2005 Cleveland International Piano Competition, to be held this summer.

back to top

Violinist Ui-Youn Hong is Carl Nielsen Laureate

Violinist Ui-Youn Hong ’07, already a Wieniawski and Corpus Christi laureate, won third prize in the 7th Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition last June. The competition, which celebrates the famous Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), was held in Odense, Denmark.

A student of Professor of Violin Milan Vitek, Hong was one of only four finalists to outlast 32 musicians from 19 countries during the intensive nine-day competition. For the final rounds she performed violin concertos by Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius with the Odense Symphony Orchestra.

As her prize, Hong was offered an engagement with the Sorø International Music Festival. She also received a cash award of more than $8,000.

Hong, from ChungJu, Korea, has also studied with Associate Professor of Violin Kyung Sun Lee.

back to top

Violinist David Bogorad Top Prize Winner at Oeresunds

Denmark native David Bogorad ’08, a violin performance major, returned to his homeland to win a finalist spot in the Oeresunds Soloist Competition this March. A student of Professor of Violin Milan Vitek, Bogorad placed second for his performance of the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. His prize was DKR 1,000, or approximately $1,000. The competition’s judges—Morten Zeuthen, cello (Denmark); Christina Aastrand, violin (Denmark); Joergen Svennson, violin (Sweden); and Bjorn Arnholdt-Nielsen (Sweden)—also awarded him a special prize: the opportunity to perform with the Danish Radio Symphony (DRS) on September 24, 2005.

According to Vitek, the Oeresunds is a new competition, the result of expanded cultural and economic cooperation between Sweden and Denmark. “To be a soloist with the DRS is a great thing,” says Vitek. “It is a respected and renowned orchestra.”

back to top

Harpists Yinuo Mu and Nuiko Wadden Win Top Honors

(L. to R.) Maestro Osmo Vänskä,
Wadden, and WAMSO President
Teri Popp. (photo by Kimberly Autz)

Harpist Yinuo Mu ’02 of China won first prize and $7,000 in the 13th biennial American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition, held on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, last March. Harpist Nuiko Wadden ’00 of Wilmette, Illinois, won first prize in the 49th annual WAMSO Young Artist Competition, held in January in Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall. Both studied with Assistant Professor of Harp Yolanda Kondonassis, and Mu continues to work with her as a graduate student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where Kondonassis is also on the faculty.

Wadden received the $3,000 WAMSO Young Artist Award, the $2,250 WAMSO Achievement Award, a performance with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä, a taped performance on WQXR in New York, and the Erma Strachauer medal. She earned a master of music degree in 2004 at Rice University. WAMSO is the name of the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteers Association.

back to top

Paul Dwyer Wins Hellam Young Artists

Cellist Paul Dwyer ’08 of Hamburg, Germany, won the ninth annual Hellam Young Artists’ Competition, held in Springfield, Missouri, in March. A student of Professor of Cello Peter Rejto, Dwyer performed Edward Elgar’s Concerto for Cello in E minor to take the first prize award of $4,000 and the opportunity to perform with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra during the 2005-06 season. Last year violinist Maria Bessmeltseva ’05 took third place in the Hellam competition.

back to top

Bel Canto

Bernard Holland of the New York Times reminds us just how competitive, how daunting, the race is for the handful of grand prizes bestowed annually by the Metropolitan Opera:

“Having gone through more than 1,500 entries, 22 regional winners, 9 finalists ending with 4 grand prizes, another year of Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions are done.”

This March, one of the finalists was soprano Ellie Dehn ’02, who studied at Oberlin with Professor of Singing Daune Mahy, teacher of the last two Oberlin alumni to win the nationals—Carolyn Betty ’99 in 2002 and Alyson Cambridge ’02 in 2003.

Although Dehn did not win, Holland notes in his March 22, 2005, review of the final round (held at the Metropolitan Opera House) that her soprano was “big” and “agile.” He also poses the fundamental question: Are these young singers to be judged “on what they are now or on what we expect them to become?”

Based on either premise, here are a few other Oberlin-trained singers to watch out for.

Baritone John Orduña ’07, who studies with Associate Professor of Singing Lorraine Manz, advanced to the national level of the Vocal Arts Competition for Emerging Artists (formerly known as the Leontyne Price Competition), which was held in Houston last July. He won a cash prize of $1,000. Manz says his achievement is remarkable because “he is only 19 years old. The other competitors were older with more mature voices.”

The same applies for another Manz student, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis ’05. The youngest singer at Tanglewood last summer, she was singled out in an Opera News review (October 2004), for her “especially strong” Hermia in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staged at the Tanglewood Music Center last August.

Leemhuis also advanced to the regional level of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and, with tenor Nicholas Bentivoglio ’05, baritone Todd Boyce ’05, soprano Megan Hart ’05, and tenor Alek Shrader ’08, was chosen by audition for the Opera Theater of St. Louis’ Apprentice Program for Young Singers. Bentivoglio, Hart, and Shrader study with Professor of Singing Richard Miller. Boyce, a student of Professor of Singing Marlene Ralis Rosen, won first prize and the audience favorite award at the Dayton Opera Guild in April 2004. In the 2005 Dayton competition, three of the six finalists were from Oberlin; all of them students of Daune Mahy: soprano Meagan Brus ’05 won first prize, mezzo Katherine Lerner ’06 received an honorable mention, and soprano Jennifer Forni ’06 was a finalist.

Elizabeth DeShong ’02, another Mahy student, was the only mezzo-soprano accepted into the Chicago Lyric Opera’s Young Artists’ Program. The auditions were held in September 2004.

back to top

Grammy Awards and Great Reviews

Professor of Conducting Robert Spano ’83, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), and Gary Bartz, visiting professor of jazz saxophone, were among the winners at the Grammy Awards in February 2005.

Bartz shared the award for best contemporary jazz album for his contributions to McCoy Tyner’s Illuminations (Telarc). Bartz, who appears on the release with Tyner and other artists, also wrote Soulstice, one of the songs on the album.

Spano won the best choral performance award with Norman MacKenzie, ASO director of choruses, for the orchestra’s recording of Hector Berlioz’s Requiem, Op. 5—another Telarc release. Spano and the ASO brought home another Grammy for best engineered album for their Telarc recording of Jennifer Higdon’s City Scape and Concerto for Orchestra, which was also nominated in three other categories.

Professor of Piano Robert Shannon has a new recording out on the Bridge label of George Crumb’s Makrokosmos (Volumes I & II) for Amplified Piano. The release of the 67-minute cycle of 24 ‘zodiac’ pieces earned a perfect score—10 for artistic quality and 10 for sound quality—on ClassicsToday.com. Reviewer David Hurwitz wrote: “Robert Shannon’s performance is simply the last word in sensitivity and excitement ... Equally thrilling are the sonics ... making all the more remarkable the idea that a single player (or composer) is responsible for this glittering universe of new timbres.” The CD was also tapped as one of the 10 best classical instrumental recordings of 2004 by amazon.com.

Associate Professor of Historical Performance David Breitman’s recording of Mozart’s Mannheim Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin, Volume 1, with Jean-Francois Rivest on Analekta, was a featured “disc of the month” in the November issue of WholeNote. Reviewer Larry Beckwith highly recommended it: “The fortepiano provides a wonderful percussive quality and beautiful mellow melodic lines ... This CD is full of a warm and wonderful, intimate collegial spirit; chamber music making at its very best.”

back to top

Winning Personalities

Cellist Ismail Akbar ’07 soloed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) last July as part of the ASO’s National Black Arts Festival. Akbar played the first movement of Boccherini’s Concerto No. 9 for Cello and Orchestra under the baton of ASO Music Director Robert Spano ’83. He studies with Associate Professor of Viola da Gamba and Cello Catherina Meints.

César Alvarez ’03 received the Van Lier Fellowship from Meet the Composer. A project of the New York State Council on the Arts, the fellowship provides career assistance, professional development, training, and financial support. Alvarez, a composer of interactive electronics, multimedia performance, electroacoustic songs, and music for dance, is based in New York.

Cellist Gabrielle Athayde ’08 was featured in a nationally televised PBS documentary film last October. Soundmix: Five Young Musicians chronicled the lives of five teenage musicians responsible for reinvigorating American musical traditions. Athayde, who is from the San Francisco Bay area, studies with Assistant Professor of Cello Darrett Adkins.


Violinist Daniel Austrich ’06 appears as solo violinist on Energia, a recording by legendary tenor José Carreras. The disc was introduced to the world at a live performance in Cologne in March 2004.

Cellist Maria Barrios ’08 has snagged a record deal with Sony for her band Fatty Koo. She studies with Professor of Cello Peter Rejto.

Jian Huang ’07 of China won third place in the Gillette/ Fox International 2004 Bassoon Competition held in Australia in April. He studies with Associate Professor of Bassoon George Sakakeeny.

Farhad Hudiyev ’08 of Ashgabad, Turkmenistan, won an honorable mention in the 2004 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer awards, held in May 2004 at Lincoln Center in New York, for his symphonic work Turkmenistan. A violinist, Hudiyev studies with Professor of Violin Milan Vitek; he also studies with Professor of Composition Lewis Nielson.

Ami Vice
(photo by Bruce Boyajian)

Ami Vice AD ’06 competed as Miss Maine in the 2004 Miss America Pageant. Vice studies with Associate Professor of Singing Salvatore Champagne. She performed two songs at the nationally televised pageant and won both the non-finalist talent award and the Bernie Wayne Scholarship for the Performing Arts.

Aaron Williams
(photo by Susan Sanders)

Aaron Williams ’07, a percussion performance major, will spend the summer in Italy participating in the Rome Festival, where he will perform with the Rome Festival Orchestra under the musical direction of Fritz Maraffi. Williams studies with Professor of Percussion Michael Rosen.


back to top


Mary E. Larew Wins Marshall Scholarship

Music composition major Mary E. Larew ’05 was selected for one of the most prestigious awards to be bestowed upon an American undergraduate: Great Britain’s Marshall Scholarship. Won through a rigorous national competition and financed by the British government, the scholarship supports American students for two years of graduate study at a university in the United Kingdom.

Larew, of Iowa City, Iowa, will pursue a master of arts degree in vocal studies with an emphasis on ensemble singing at England’s University of York next fall. “I look forward to intense study with as many amazing artists and scholars as possible,” says Larew, noting John Potter, the celebrated director of the vocal studies program at York, and the Tallis Scholars, leading exponents of renaissance sacred music.

Larew has a passion for medieval and renaissance music. She is the cofounder of Uncloistered, an a cappella, early-music quintet specializing in Renaissance polyphony, and she has sung with Oberlin’s Collegium Musicum. Her directing credits include a production of the 13th-century music drama Ludus Danielis and Hildegarde Von Bingen’s 12th-century music drama Ordo Virtutum.

“Mary’s range of experience is significant,” says Steven Plank, professor of musicology and director of Collegium Musicum, who served as her advisor for Ordo Virtutum. “Her spirit of adventure is made confident by the discipline of her work. There also seems to be a giftedness in her capacity to enjoy the work she undertakes.”

Larew is the fourth Oberlin student to win a Marshall Scholarship since 1990.

back to top

Only Two Javits Fellowships Awarded to Music Students Each Year–Oberlin Students Score Both


Each year, judges for the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship sort through hundreds of applications to determine the two most deserving music students in the nation. This year, both recipients are Oberlin students: Ross Karre ’05, a percussion performance major from Battle Creek, Michigan, and Michael Bukhman ’05, a piano performance major from Houston, Texas. Each will receive more than $41,000 a year for four years to cover tuition and living expenses as they work toward doctorates in musical arts.
“Ross Karre is one of the most talented students I’ve ever had,” says Professor of Percussion Michael Rosen. “But beyond that, he’s a hard worker. When he sets his mind to something, he does it.”

Karre says that positive pressure at Oberlin pushed him into unfamiliar situations. “It allowed me to discover aspects of my artistic ability that I since learned are my most valuable,” he says. “Michael Rosen helped me find what I want in percussion and provided me with an immeasurable array of knowledge.”

Karre will attend the University of California in San Diego, where he will study with contemporary percussionist Steve Schick as he pursues his DMA.

Bukhman, who will study with pianist Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School, credits Oberlin with paving the way toward his fellowship. “I think Oberlin is the best facility in the country. It has the most practice rooms and the most Steinways, and the teachers give you so much attention. Professor of Piano Robert Shannon is very inspiring, and he understands the big picture of a performance career.”

“Michael Bukhman is an outstanding student—he was admitted to every graduate school to which he applied,” says Shannon. “He’s a big talent with an individual style and a lot to say. He’s also a go-getter who will be the first graduate of our new honors program in performance, for which he learned and recorded all of Shostakovich’s preludes and fugues. The Javits people made a good choice.”

Both students expressed gratitude for the opportunity offered by the Javits Fellowship. “I am relieved to not have to worry about financing my graduate degrees,” says Karre. “In fact, with the fellowship, I’ll even have the funds to purchase instruments, such as a marimba and a vibraphone.”

“I’m thrilled about this opportunity,” adds Bukhman. “I’ll work toward my DMA without stopping. And I know I want to perform.”

back to top

Erika Kulnys-Brain Wins Watson Fellowship

Erika Kulnys-Brain ’05 received the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which offers her a year of travel outside the United States and $22,000 to carry out her self-designed project, “Voices and Hands in Struggle: Folk Music for Social Change.” She will travel to Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, and India. A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, she is a double-degree student majoring in creative writing and music composition for social change.

back to top

Goldwater Fellowships for Churchill and Everett

Hugh Churchill (L) and Wendy Everett

The Goldwater Fellowships are highly competitive awards for undergraduates majoring in natural sciences; a single college can be awarded a maximum of four in any given year. Two double-degree students are among the four Oberlin students to win this year: Hugh Churchill ’07, of Washington, D.C., a physics and tuba major who studies with Teacher of Tuba Ronald Bishop, and Wendy Everett ’06 of Eugene, Oregon, a physics and bassoon major who studies with Associate Professor of Bassoon George Sakakeeny. This is the second time in Oberlin’s history that each of the school’s nominees won a Goldwater.

back to top

Charles Foldesh ’07 Receives John Coltrane Music Scholarship

Charles “Charlie” Foldesh ’07, a jazz studies and performance major from Prescott, Arizona, is one of only 10 successful applicants to receive the John Coltrane Music Scholarship, endowed by the John Coltrane Foundation. Charles is a member of the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble and has performed at the Texas International Jazz Festival and the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival. He appears on 14, the debut album of saxophonist Alex Han. He studies with Assistant Professor of Jazz Percussion Billy Hart.

(photo by John Seyfried)

“Studying with Billy Hart is amazing,” says Foldesh. “There is so much history around everything about him—he worked with everybody in jazz and he’s still right in the middle of what’s happening.”

Foldesh was inspired to attend Oberlin by percussionist Neal Smith ’96, whom he met at the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival. In fact, Oberlin was the only school to which he applied.

“Winning this scholarship is a tremendous honor because it is made in the name of a man who was a huge innovator, who pushed music beyond its boundaries,” says Foldesh.

back to top

Matthew Jenkins Wins Presser Music Award

This year’s winner of the Theodore Presser Music Award is percussion performance major Matthew Jenkins ’06 of Minneapolis. “My project is designed to compare the philosophies and aesthetics of the ancient and modern traditions of Buddhism in the works of Jonathan Harvey, Helmut Lachenmann, Kaija Saariaho, and John Cage,” says Jenkins. He will use the award to fund his lodging in two Buddhist monasteries—one in the U.S. and the other in Japan—and to conduct research and interviews in Europe. He has also been accepted to the Akadamie Schloss-Solitude’s International Master Class for Young Composers in Stuttgart, Germany.

Each year the Presser Foundation awards scholarships, grants, and funds specifically to further the cause of music education and music in America.

back to top

Michael Gallope ’04 Wins Mellon Fellowship

Michael Gallope ’04, a double-degree student who majored in piano performance and the visual arts, received an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies last spring, which has been supporting his first year of graduate study at New York University. He is working toward a PhD in musicology and ethnomusicology. “I’m interested in the way we criticize experimental music and popular music,” says Gallope. “The way people use metaphors and images to describe this music in language, how it is inscribed by gender identity, its potential for political representation, and the cultural meaning of its technology.”

back to top

A Fulbright for Steven Parker ’02

Steven Parker ’02 will spend the upcoming academic year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. A trombonist who studied at Oberlin with Professor of Trombone James DeSano and Associate Professor of Jazz Trombone Robin Eubanks, Parker will study privately with Abbie Conant and Mike Svoboda at the Hochshule fur Musik in Trossingen. “We will primarily work on experimental techniques for the trombone,” says Parker, who graduated in May 2004 from Rice University with a master’s degree in music. “I will also be collaborating with professional and student composers to commission new works for the trombone.”

back to top