Music

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

March 2020

  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the first fully source-critical editions of the full score and piano–vocal score Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s symphony-cantata Lobgesang(Song of Praise) with Bärenreiter-Verlag. Widely hailed after its 1840 premiere as the beginning of a “completely new art-form” and performed at least 26 times in the seven years between its completion and Mendelssohn’s death, the Lobgesangwas later derided by critics such as Wagner for supposedly being unbecomingly indebted to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Cooper’s edition, in addition to drawing on previously never-before-cited correspondence and review and drawing on sources from six archives and libraries in four countries, shows that the work is not a unilinear sequence of movements, as the Ninthis, but rather an audacious experiment in musical time and narrativity, specifically in its transferal of the idea of the “frame story” (after the model of the Decameronor A Thousand and One Nights) into musical form. Cooper began work on this pair of editions (spanning 295 pages and 103 pages, respectively) in 2015 but seems to have survived. 





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published six new source-critical editions of compositions by Florence B. Price with G. Schirmer, the single largest publisher of sheet music globally: “First Romance,” “In Sentimental Mood,” “Three Roses,” “Your Hands in Mine,” “Fantasy No. 2 for Violin and Piano,” and “Valsette Mignon.” The first four of these editions were released simultaneously by acclaimed pianist Lara Downes on her new EP From the Heart  and are available on one of Cooper’s Price playlists on Spotify here . The editions are nos. 19–24 in Cooper’s currently contracted set of 64 Price editions to be released in the near future. 





February 2020

  • Part-Time Professor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s composition “Fireflies” will enjoy its world-première performance by Inversion Ensemble and Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music Matt Teodori at 7:00 p.m. on February 29, 2020, , at the Concordia University Chapel and at 3:00 p.m. on March 1, 2020, at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Commissioned by Inversion Ensemble, “Fireflies” (2019) for mixed chorus, piano, and percussion evokes the vivid imagery of Margaret Noodin’s bilingual poem “Fireflies,” from her 2015 book Weweni: Poems in Anishinaabemowin and English.Honoring the composer’s Ojibwe ancestors, the piece sets the poem’s English text, including the Anishinaabemowin word for fireflies (Waawaatesiwag). Moments of musical and whispered aleatory capture visions of fireflies on a summer night. Colorful augmented sixth chords and lush harmonies kindle visions of love and nature amid the dreamy mixolydian modality and lilting ¾ time.





  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa  participated as an invited performer in two events at the recent Texas Music Educators Association’s (TMEA’s) convention in San Antonio. On Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13, he performed Ravel’s Tzigane  with former Texas All-State Orchestra member and current Eastman School of Music student Grace Song as part of It Starts with Music , a video and performance event commemorating TMEA’s centennial. On Friday, February 14, he accompanied internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano and Texas Tech graduate Susan Graham at the session “A Conversation with Susan Graham” and during her appearance at the Past Presidents’ dinner.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari recently conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s 4th Symphony. The concert was presented in the Alma Thomas Theater on February 8, 2020. Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the guest soloist. A preconcert talk was given by SU alumni Walter P. (Gus) Sterneman III ’07.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper published seven world-première editions of works by Florence B. Price with G. Schirmer (New York): “Remembrance,” “Sketches in Sepia,” “Clouds,” “Meditation,” “Summer Moon,” “On a Quiet Lake,” and “Down a Southern Lane.” The editions are nos. 12–18 in Cooper’s series of 67 editions of Price’s music to be published with Schirmer, and their recordings are part of a series of 17 world-première recordings of Price’s music to be released by pianist Lara Downes in the spring of 2020, all timed to coincide with the publication of Cooper’s editions. Inquisitive and courageous souls will find abridged versions of the editions’ impossibly tedious forewords at Schirmer’s homepage for Price’s piano works here; those interested in hearing Price’s lyrical and deeply original music may access Downes’s recordings for free through Spotify, YouTube, or Naxos Music Library in the SU Libraries’ collection of databases, courtesy of Naxos America (Cooper’s Price–Downes playlist on Spotify is here). 





January 2020

  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper  published two editions of previously unpublished works by Florence B. Price (1887–1953) with G. Schirmer (New York). “Night” (1945) is scored for women’s chorus with piano and was given its posthumous premiere by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Beth Everett  and the SU Chorale in November 2018. This work is based on a poem by Bessie Mayle (1898–1959) that was first published in The Crisis  in 1930; the poem celebrates the beauty and resilience of the blackness of the nighttime sky as a metaphor for the beauty and resilience of Black experience. The second edition, Fantasie Nègre No. 4 , is a milestone in the ongoing Florence Price renaissance. Its release was timed to coincide with acclaimed pianist Lara Downes’s world-première recording of the work (available on Spotify here ). The editions are nos. 10 and 11 in Cooper’s series of 67 editions of Price’s music to be published with Schirmer, and the recording is the first in a series of 17 world-première recordings of Price’s music to be released by Downes in the spring of 2020, all timed to coincide with the release of Cooper’s editions. For more information on this project, see here .





December 2019

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra in a December performance of Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons , featuring Austin Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jessica Mathaes. Also on the program was Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite  and other holiday favorites.





  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper published five editions of previously unpublished works by Florence B. Price (1887–1953) with G. Schirmer (New York): “Memory Mist” for piano solo; “Andante con Espressione” for violin and piano; “Judgement Day,” (based on a text by Langston Hughes) for voice and piano; and “I’m Troubled in My Mind” and “Peter, Go Ring dem Bells,” both traditional spirituals for voice and piano. Cooper’s edition of “Memory Mist” was featured by acclaimed pianist Lara Downes as the opening track of her March 2019 Holes in the Sky, an album comprising music exclusively of, by, and for women. The publications are nos. 5–9 in Cooper’s series of 64 editions of hitherto-unpublished works by Price with Schirmer.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  began her 18th consecutive appointment as music director of the Austin Civic Orchestra with two concerts this past semester: Cosmos , featuring music from the science-fiction and fantasy genres, and New York, New York , a musical tribute to the Big Apple. For the latter, composer Anthony Iannaccone was on hand to present a preconcert talk regarding his piece Waiting for Sunrise on the Sound , and previous Pearl Amster winner Ben Laude flew in from New York City to perform Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody  for piano. The orchestra also performed the music of Bernstein and Rodgers, plus a suite of music from The Godfather  by Rota.





November 2019

  • Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde’ s composition Revolve/Retract  was performed four times by Line upon Line Percussion, with choreography by the Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, November 14–16, at the Ground Floor Theatre, in Austin, TX.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave two presentations on Florence Price in Boston. The first, titled “Nevertheless, She Persisted: The Homecoming of Florence B. Price,” given on November 1, 2019, was a full lecture–recital given at the New England Conservatory of Music, Price’s alma mater, and featured posthumous premieres of five of Price’s compositions for solo piano, performed by acclaimed pianist Lara Downes. The second, titled “Florence Price and the Poetics of African-American Musical Identity,” was a paper given at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society on November 2, 2019, in a session titled “Negotiating Class and Ethnicity in the United States, 1920–1950.” Both presentations centered on Cooper’s excavation and research of more than 300 unpublished compositions by a composer who is currently experiencing the most powerful sustained musical renaissance since the mid-20th century’s rediscovery of Gustav Mahler.





  • Selections from Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde ’s Don Juan Project  were performed at the Butler University School of Music, in Indianapolis, IN, on November 3.





October 2019

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the guest mezzo-soprano for High Holy services at Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, TX, under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Jones-Ragona and Dr. Maimy Fong.





  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the guest mezzo-soprano for High Holy services at Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, TX under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Jones-Ragona and Dr. Maimy Fong. 





  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper  published three source-critical editions of music by Florence Price with G. Schirmer, Inc./AMP, the single largest publisher of classical sheet music globally. The editions are Price’s setting of Georgia Douglas Johnson’s poem “The Heart of a Woman,” the Fantasie No. 1 in G Minor  for violin and piano, and the Cotton Dance  for piano solo. These editions are nos. 2–4 in Cooper’s series of 64 editions of previously unpublished music by Price with Schirmer. 





  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa’s book Echoes from the East: The Javanese Gamelan and Its Influence on the Music of Claude Debussy will be released in December 2019 by Lexington Books. In it, he recounts Debussy’s 1889 encounter with the gamelan, the traditional musical ensemble of what is now Indonesia, at the Paris Exposition Universelle and traces its echoes through his entire compositional career. The book adds a commentary on the modern-day issue of cultural appropriation and a survey of Debussy’s contemporaries and successors who have also attempted to merge the sounds of the gamelan with their own distinctive musical styles.





  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper published the world-premiere edition of Florence B. Price’s String Quartet No. 2in A Minor (1935) with G. Schirmer/Music Sales Classical. The firm acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to Price’s complete catalog in 2018. This edition is the first in a series of 64 source-critical editions of Price’s previously unpublished compositions to be released in Cooper’s editions over the next two years. Readers may preview the score, complete with impossibly turgid foreword, here. 





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Beth Everett recently presented a lecture titled “We Belong Together: Choral and Operatic Styles in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle” at the first TEXOMA Regional Conference of the National Opera Association, held at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas. In addition, Everett served on the conference planning committee.





September 2019

  • Under the direction of Professor of Music Lois Ferrari,the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) has won second place for the nationally adjudicated American Prize in community orchestra performance of American music (Ernst Bacon Memorial Award). Ferrari and the ACO submitted a performance recording of a piece by local composer Dan Welcher, as well as the music of William Grant Still and Lee Actor. The ACO also garnered overall praise from the American Prize staff for the orchestra’s 2017–2018 season, titled Made in America, which featured music exclusively by American composers.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari was awarded second place for the 2019 nationally adjudicated American Prize in community orchestra conducting. Ferrari’s work with the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) was also honored in the community orchestra performance category, with the ACO winning third place.





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis ’s composition Wren , for mixed chorus and flute, will enjoy its world premiere performance by Inversion Ensemble on September 28, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wesleyan at Estrella in Georgetown and September 29, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Inversion Ensemble will also perform Wren  at its Sarofim Music Series concert on October 22, and the Southwestern University Chorale will perform it during their fall concert on November 2. Commissioned by Inversion Ensemble, Wren  sets Robert Macfarlane’s acrostic poem of the same name for mixed chorus and flute. With quick harmonic changes, syncopations, and melodic gestures, the composition captures a sense of the charming poem as well as the actual Eurasian wren ( Troglodytes troglodytes ) found year-round throughout the U.K. Macfarlane’s poem “Wren” comes from his 2017 illustrated poetry book, The Lost Words , which conjures pictures of the wild things and untamed spaces that get shortchanged in modern urban life.





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music  Adrienne Inglis ’s composition  Metamorphosis,  for solo flute, solo harp, and string orchestra, will enjoy its world premiere performance by Chaski and the Balcones Community Orchestra on September 22, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. at the Lakeway Activity Center in Lakeway, TX. Commissioned by the Balcones Community Orchestra,  Metamorphosis  honors the life and work of pioneering entomologist, naturalist, and artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717). Merian carefully documented in illustrated detail the life cycle of so many insects; accordingly,  Metamorphosis  musically follows a butterfly from egg and larva to pupa and adult.





August 2019

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s composition “The Song of the Harp Seal” will enjoy its world premiere performance by Inversion Ensemble Coda August 10–11, 2019, in Georgetown and Austin, TX. Composed especially for Inversion Ensemble Coda, “The Song of the Harp Seal” sets to music Gillean McDougall’s poem of the same title and was commissioned by the composer for this project. For treble chorus and harp, this work tells the story of a mother harp seal and her pup forced south of their usual arctic range by the climate crisis. The pup ingests plastic pollution which contributes to her death near the shores of the Isle of Skye. Scottish legend mixes with modern tragedy as mermaids beckon in Gaelic to the harp pup and summon the audience to remember the harp seal. Inversion Ensemble’s project “Aether: Earth—Conservation/Nature” features guest conductor Cina Crisara and Chaski harpist Shana Norton.





  • An excerpt of Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde ’s opera The Color of Dissonance  was included in the 10th edition of Nancy Rogers and Robert Ottman’s Music for Sight Singing  (Pearson, 2019).





July 2019

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music Hai Zheng Olefsky was invited to give a cello master class and perform a solo and chamber music in concert with violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn at Luzerne Chamber Music Festival’s Legacy Concert on July 21, 2019. Luzerne Music Center (LMC) aims to provide world-class music instruction for passionate young people in a summer-camp environment regardless of their financial circumstances. Musicians ages nine to 18 come from all over the world to train at LMC’s campus, which is located in the foothills of New York City’s Adirondack Park.





June 2019

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s composition “The Rage and Reconciliation of King Lear” will enjoy its world première performance by Inversion Ensemble June 1–2, 2019, in Austin, TX. Commissioned by Jonathan Riemer in memory of his father, Rev. Dr. Milton H. Riemer, the work for mixed chorus, bassoon, and piano weaves passages from Shakespeare’s King Lear with the signature phrases of Rev. Dr. Riemer. Rev. Dr. Riemer’s words bring insight and reflection to the poignant narrative of a parent–child relationship and mental illness. Inversion Ensemble’s project “Heroes/Monsters: Songs of Legends and Beasts” features bassoonist Nathan Koch and pianist Austin Haller.





May 2019

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s work “Innocent Blood” was nominated by the Austin Critics Table for Best Original Composition/Score for 2018–19. Her work was part of the Inversion Ensemble’s concert I, Too, Sing America: Songs of Our Shared History, which was also nominated for Best Concert/Opera Performance.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) on May 18, 2019, in its annual Paint to Music Spring Concert, which features artwork created by Austin ISD students in response to hearing and studying an iconic piece of classical music. This year’s selection was Pictures at an Exhibitionby Modest Moussorgsky (orchestrated by Maurice Ravel). Also featured on the program was “Festive Overture” by Dmitri Shostakovich, the “Sleeping Beauty Waltz” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (conducted by Gus Sterneman ’06), and the “Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in B-Flat Major, Op. 91” by Reinhold Glière (performed by ACO member Chris Simpson).





  • Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde  has published a review of Prefab Sprout’s recording “I Trawl The Megahertz” in the College Music Symposium  (spring 2019, vol. 59, no.1).





April 2019

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Voice Julia Taylor  performed the role of Mimi in the all-female production of Puccini’s La Boheme (La Femme Boheme)  with Local Opera Local Artists (LOLA) at the Women’s Music, Diversity, and Leadership Conference at San Diego State University.





  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music and Concert Cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky has been invited to be an adjudicator for strings and to give two cello master classes April 11–12 at the 2019 Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Arts Festival in Austin, TX. This Festival has grown to be the nation’s premiere annual regional arts festival among independent schools. The festival is a collaborative enterprise with more than 40 participating schools. For more than 50 years, the ISAS Fine Arts Festival has been a celebration of the visual and performing arts, bringing together thousands of students who will share their talents and be inspired for their futures.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a guest lecture titled “The Silence of Florence Price” at Trinity University on April 2. The talk featured recordings by award-winning pianists Lara Downes and Petronel Malan of five still-unpublished piano compositions by Florence Price (1887–1953). Cooper called for a more intersectional and sustained exploration of the composer’s life and works. Those interested may find the narcolepsy-inducing abstract here.