News

Duke student pianist Yi Chen produced a video of himself playing two parts of a Bach Contrapunctus IX arrangement for two pianos. read more about A Little Bach Music With Two Pianos and One Student »

When he was an undergraduate political science student, Kerry Haynie was never taught about the 1921 Tulsa massacre. Nor was there much discussion about the role of race in the founding political documents of this country or much examination of how race influenced public services such as sewer lines and zoning. In one sense, a lot has changed. In 2021, Duke’s faculty includes a strong lineup of leading scholars who examine how race is embedded in issues that cross all the schools of the university. This fall, many of… read more about University Course Raises Race as a Central Element of Undergraduate Education »

Professor Brown and the four other jurors serving on the committee selected composer Tania León's "Stride" as the winning work. In addition to León's Stride, the other two finalists were Ted Hearne's Place and Maria Schneider's Data Lords. Read the full description at pulitzer.org. Professor Brown is Vice Provost for the Arts, Director of the Jazz Program, and Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University. He has served on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in Music twice before, in 2017… read more about John V. Brown serves as Chair of the Jury for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music »

This month we feature a collection of Duke-authored books that explore historical and current aspects of music in the United States and beyond. These books, along with many others written by Duke authors, are available at Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop.   The Song is You by Bradley Rogers Musicals, it is often said, burst into song and dance when mere words can no longer convey the emotion. "The Song is You"… read more about 10 Books About Music from Duke Authors »

View the video of the concert (Minato Sakamoto's "Pacific 21" is at 33:34)View the complete concert program.Minato Sakamoto is a Japanese composer, pianist, and improviser from Osaka. Ranging from classical concert music to electronic music with heavy uses of computational technologies, his compositions practice the unserious seriously, fuse spontaneous and organic qualities, and demonstrate a clear connection to the past. He has collaborated with leading ensembles/groups including Crossing Borders Music,… read more about Graduate composer Minato Sakamoto's "Pacific 21" presented at the Society of Composers National Conference »

With a theme of Scott Joplin’s grand opera Treemonisha, the 2021 institute will offer three days of programming featuring an expert faculty, panel discussions, presentations, workshops and experiential learning. This groundbreaking initiative is presented by SankofaSongs and the Hayti Heritage Center, with support from the NC Humanities Council, sets the stage for teaching music of the African diaspora with authenticity, context and confidence.   SankofaSongs is the non-profit arm of BaobaoTree LLC, a company… read more about Georgiary Bledsoe (Ph.D. musicology, 2002) is Co-Director of SankofaSongs Summer Institute »

Two videos premiering this weekend highlight the vocal groups' commitment to creating new art in challenging times. Duke Opera Theater: Flute & Figaro al Fresco Friday, April 30 7:30 pm EDT, Online at https://sites.duke.edu/bestofbiddle/"Flute & Figaro al Fresco" features staged scenes from Mozart's Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro filmed outside the Biddle Music Building on Duke's East Campus. Conceived… read more about Duke Opera Theater and Duke Chorale videos highlight creative approach to vocal performances »

Listen to scenes from a pigeon’s wing on bandcamp or Spotify.The 30-minute EP consists of four tracks: 1. Nascent 2. 5x8 3. White Stone (after Agnes Martin), feat. Kate Dreyfuss 4. The Way After All four tracks are from Budinich's collaborations with Pigeonwing Dance and its Artistic Director Gabrielle Lamb, spanning their three+ year artistic partnership. Tracks 1, 3, and 4 are from the evening-length performance Plexus: a work in knots, and Track… read more about Graduate composer James Budinich's new EP, "scenes from a pigeon’s wing," released April 22 »

Graduate Degrees Conferred Meredith Graham, Ph.D. (Musicology) Dissertation: “Multi-Text Anthology in the Choral Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, Grace Williams, and Elizabeth Maconchy, 1919-1979” Committee Chair: Philip Rupprecht Karen Messina, Ph.D. (Musicology) -- FALL 2020 Dissertation: "Dramatic Impulse: Diegetic Music in the Operas of Giacomo Puccini" Committee Chair: Philip Rupprecht Maxwell Ramage, Ph.D. (Musicology) Dissertation: "Transcendental… read more about Congratulations to our 2021 Ph.D. Graduates »

Music Department Awards The Julia Wilkinson Mueller Prize for Excellence in Music Holly Kim This award is in honor of a former chair of the Department of Music and member of the Ciompi Quartet. It goes to a graduating senior for achievement in musical performance.The William Klenz Prize in Music CompositionHuijuan Ling, for her compositions Two Elastic Canons for flute and soprano saxophone, and Towards a Rediscovery for wind quintetread more about Music Department Awards 2021 »

New Music USA has awarded Brittany Green, a graduate PhD student in Composition, $3000 to purchase equipment for an installation she is collaborating on with Duke CMAC (Computational Media, Arts, & Cultures) PhD student Kate Alexandrite. Green says, "The project, Black Echoes//Brick Ripples will be an interactive multimedia installation that engages past, present, and future histories––real and imagined––of an urban bamboo forest located in Durham, North… read more about Brittany Green receives New Music USA's Creative Development Fund Grant »

In the summer of 2020, the Ciompi Quartet commissioned a unique project from four composers in Duke Music’s graduate program. The parameters of the commission were unorthodox: to find a solution to the compositional and performing challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic by creating short works that could be practiced and recorded remotely by each member of the quartet. Although the members were ultimately able to record together in Baldwin Auditorium in November/December 2020, the pieces submitted by James Budinich,… read more about Portfolio Project: The Ciompi Quartet commissions Duke Graduate Composers 2020 »

The Duke University Department of Music is saddened by the loss of our friend, colleague, and mentor, Dr. Paul Bryan. "PB," as he was affectionately known, was Professor of Music and Conductor of the Duke University Wind Symphony from 1951-1988. He organized and led the Duke Wind Symphony's semester-long Programs in Vienna throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Under his leadership, the Duke Wind Symphony performed concerts in Austria (Vienna, Graz, Lockenhaus, Mayrhofen, Berndorf, Bad Gleichenberg), Italy (Venice, Vicenza),… read more about Paul R. Bryan Jr. (March 7, 1920 - March 25, 2021) »

Brittany Green, a current graduate student in Composition, and Sid Richardson (PhD Composition, 2018) were two of four composers chosen as winners of this year's Transient Canvas fellowship. Green and Richardson will each receive a stipend of $1000, three performances of their works, audio/video recordings of the premiere performance, and workshops with Transient Canvas. Boston-based contemporary duo Transient Canvas is on a mission to revolutionize the modern concert… read more about Brittany Green and Sid Richardson named 2021 Transient Canvas Composition Fellows »

The department congratulates our 2021 Music Majors & Minors. Learn more about each of our graduates by clicking their name below and viewing a poster highlighting some of their academic achievements. Majors Alexander Kintzer - Interdepartmental Major: Neuroscience/Music Concentration Jasmine Leahy - Interdepartmental Major: Neuroscience/Music Concentration Steven Oh - Interdepartmental Major: Computer Science/Music Concentration Minors Naman Agarwal, Annalise Bracher, Tyler Davidson, Ryan Gomez, Holly Kim, Bryn… read more about Meet the Class of 2021 Music Majors and Minors »

On March 11, 2021 at 1:30 pm EST, Budinich's White Stone (after Agnes Martin) for violin and electronics has its Danish premiere as part of the PULSAR Festival at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.Watch the performance. Kate Dreyfuss premiered White Stone as part of her residency with the Duke New Music Ensemble [dnme] in November 2019.James Budinich is in residence at the Royal Danish Academy of Music for the Spring 2021 semester, conducting research for his dissertation composition and… read more about Graduate composer James Budinich's "White Stone" premieres at the Royal Danish Academy of Music »

The new CD, Joseph Joachim: Two Fantasies Rediscovered, released on the Soundset label, features Uhde as a soloist with the Radio Orchestra Warsaw. View the CD trailer. In 2016, Uhde rediscovered the two early fantasies, composed in the 1850s. “Fantasies on Hungarian and Irish [Scottish] Themes” was Joachim's first virtuoso music for the violin with orchestral accompaniment. Bärenreiter published Fantasy on Hungarian Themes (1850), Fantasy on Irish [Scottish] Themes (1852) for Violin and… read more about Katharina Uhde (PhD musicology, 2014) releases CD of rediscovered works by Joseph Joachim »

On February 21, violin students Margaret Lim (pictured), Annalise Bracher, and Charlie Todd participated in an in-person masterclass with visiting artist James Ehnes. This was followed by a piano masterclass where students Aram Lindroth and Debosir Ghosh had the opportunity to interact with Orion Weiss. Both masterclasses took place in Baldwin Auditorium and, while the performers interacted with the… read more about Students participate in masterclasses with visiting artists James Ehnes & Orion Weiss »

As part of its event series tgiFHI, the Franklin Humanities Institute is conducting interviews with its faculty speakers in order to familiarize broader audiences with the diversity of research approaches in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at Duke University. Philip Rupprecht is Professor of Music. In this edited and condensed interview, he describes the power of the press, the BBC, and other cultural institutions in mediating British musical culture, and how his own research takes part in the… read more about Meet Your Humanities Faculty: Philip Rupprecht »

Twenty-three singers attended the informal conversation, Purposeful Preparation and Meaningful Collaboration, with Jennifer Johnson Cano on February 2, 2021. The event was hosted by Duke Opera Theater for voice students in the Music Department. David Heid, director of Duke Opera Theater, was excited to be able to facilitate this opportunity. "Jennifer is able to bring such a fresh perspective from the outside to so many areas that impact all singers. From concrete help on preparing to imaginative… read more about Renowned mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano holds virtual Q&A with Duke voice students »

As children, many of us learn to sing "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." But despite the familiarity of this tune, few of us realize that what we're singing is actually part of a pervasive - and centuries-old - musical scheme. This particular pattern, the "Sweet Thing" scheme, has generated a large group of songs spanning a broad range of topics, genres, and time periods, but all related through a specific stanzaic form. Early twentieth-century blues songs "My Babe" and "Motherless Children," country songs… read more about Nicholas Stoia's book, "Sweet Thing: The History and Musical Structure of a Shared American Vernacular Form," released by Oxford University Press »

The video of the performance, which was streamed and is still available to view, begins with a Q&A with Keesecker.The Impetuous Winds was written in 2008 for a composition workshop with visiting horn quartet Quadre, while horn player Jamie Keesecker was studying for his Masters in Composition at the University of Oregon. Quadre were struck by the drama and excitement in the work, and took it into their repertoire, including it on their album Our Time. The whole range of the instrument… read more about Jamie Keesecker's (Ph.D. composition, 2016) work "The Impetuous Winds" performed at the Sound Festival in Scotland »

He has played piano since age 10, and has previously competed in a number of national and international piano competitions. A Music major with a concentration in Piano Performance, he studies with David Heid and is also on a Pre-Med track. read more about Ted Choi wins Second Place in the 2021 Camerata International Artists competition »

[dnme] announces a community project for the Spring 2021 semester:  String players at all levels and ages welcome to participate in a PLAY ALONG of Steven Bryant’s The Low Arc of the Sun.Important dates: Saturday, March 6, 2-3:30pm EST: zoom rehearsal/meet the composer/question session (zoom information will be sent via email)Monday, March 22: audio/video recording submission due Sign up here if you are… read more about [dnme]: Call for student and community string players »

Borne by a Wind will be released on February 12, 2021 on New Focus Recordings.  The works on this debut portrait album are in many cases a direct outgrowth of collaborations made during Richardson's time as a Ph.D. student in Composition at Duke University. Recorded and mixed by Rick Nelson at Duke with support from the Duke University Department of Music, the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, and Duke Performances. Mastered by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio; album design by Jessica Slaven. read more about Sid Richardson (Ph.D. composition, 2018) releases new CD, Borne by a Wind »

Courtney Liu '13, MFA in Dance '21, shares "Blurring the Lines" created with undergraduate students in Intermediate Ballet. "Creative projects are still being made and it is more important than ever to share, engage with, and celebrate each other's work," shares Emma Geiger, MFA EDA '22, who collaborated on filming and editing. Part of our “Art and Artists are Essential” collection and invitation. Intermediate Ballet (Dance 122) completed the Fall 2020 semester by producing “Blurring the Lines.”  This short dance film… read more about Blurring the Lines: Collective Resonance During COVID-19 »

Last year, a dozen Duke University doctoral students used Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants (GSTEG) to acquire new skills, knowledge or experiences that will enhance their original research. In these excerpts from their reports, students reflect on what they learned. Jacqueline Allain, Ph.D. in History Birthing Imperial Citizens I used my GSTEG grant to attend the Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA) Summer School. During this week-long program, I attended seminars led by important scholars of critical… read more about Doctoral Students Gain New Perspectives on Their Research »