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Evening Division Fall 2017
The Juilliard School
   
 
  Nov 24, 2017
 
 
    
Evening Division Fall 2017

Faculty & Student Spotlights


 

Evening Division Faculty Spotlight

Mirian Conti

Where are you from?

I was born in Argentina and moved to the U.S.A. in 1977 where I became a citizen. I come from a family of artists (painters, sculptors, poets, weavers) and feel fortunate that I was surrounded by a loving, receptive, and artistic family.

What do you do outside of the Evening Division?

I am actively performing and recording as well as teaching and organizing piano competitions, piano marathons, and festivals. I recently released my 15th CD, the complete Chopin Mazurkas, and a wonderful premiere recording of Michael White’s solo piano music. I have devoted the last 20 years to recording and promoting 20th-century Spanish, Latin, and American classical piano repertoire, which deserves to be heard more often. As an alumna of The Juilliard School, I am grateful to the teachers who inspired me to promote the works of living composers. The close contact with these great musicians opened up a world of new possibilities to the repertoire I perform.

I am also interested in the cultural exchange between Argentina and the United States. I was awarded a grant from the U.S. State Department to work closely with the U.S. Embassy in Argentina as the director of a program to bring young pianists to the States to study and gain musical experience — and in exchange, I invite American professors to experience cultural life in Argentina by giving master classes, judging, and performing.

In my spare time, I enjoy watching old movies and listening to singers such as Piaf, Aznavour, Gardel, Peggy Lee, and Billie Holiday. I also like to listen to legendary opera singers — they help my piano playing tremendously. And finally, I love cooking and trying out new dishes: it is almost like learning unusual repertoire, you are hoping the “audience” will like it and enjoy digesting it.

What courses have you taught or do you teach currently in the Evening Division?

I have taught newly created courses such as The Spanish Piano, The American Piano, The Evolution of Tango — all repertoire I love and believe should be part of the standard classical repertoire in all music conservatories.

Why do you like teaching in the Evening Division?

First of all, I want to say that I love teaching. I must have inherited this trait from my mother’s side of the family where everybody excelled as teachers and principals of schools. I need to learn constantly so that I can teach both the young and old. Teaching adults requires a special mindset since you are dealing with a very sophisticated, educated, and savvy student body. The wide variety of interests they exhibit helps expand the ways you teach a subject. You deal with many aspects of the music: the historical background, the social and philosophical concepts surrounding a specific composer or style. The wonderful encounter of talented teachers and bright and enthusiastic students makes the Evening Division an enticing place to expand the mind.

Evening Division Faculty Spotlight

Michael Shinn

Where are you from?

I am originally from Montgomery, Ala., although it’s sometimes difficult to convince people of the validity of that statement!

What you do outside of the Evening Division?

First and foremost, I am a pianist. I frequently play solo concerts and chamber music, including lots of two-piano music with my wife, Jessica Chow.

I teach Literature and Materials of Music (L&M) in the College Division, maintain a large private piano studio in New York, consisting of both pre-college and adult students, and passionately love to organize events such as the recent Liszt Festival at Juilliard. Jessica and I are just entering the inaugural season of our piano Sonoma Music Festival, which is geared toward adult amateur pianists, and combines great music with great wine in Santa Rosa, Calif.

My other big passion in life is triathlon; the focus, discipline, and determination required by the sport mirror that of being a professional pianist. I recently completed my first full Ironman in Madison, Wis.

What courses have you taught or do you teach currently in the Evening Division?

I currently teach L&M I, but have taught other courses on one of my favorite subjects, the music of Franz Liszt.

Why do you like teaching in the Evening Division?

The Evening Division is a truly unique environment, where music lovers of all abilities and backgrounds come together to learn not only from the faculty, but also from fellow students. As a faculty member, I am continually inspired by the zeal with which my students approach their work. So often I see the students coming together outside of class to get in extra time on a particular subject, and as a result, these musicians forge lasting relationships and partnerships that would otherwise be nearly impossible to find. Because of the brilliance of each student and the diversity within each class, I have learned a tremendous amount as a musician and educator by working with my classes.

Just as diverse as the students, the course offerings in the Evening Division are astounding. I cannot think of another place where a student — matriculating or not! — could take in a full dose of music theory, history, and ear training, while spending an entire course each on the music of Monteverdi, the operas of Mozart, Pelléas et Mélisande, and “Opera This Season”!

Evening Division Faculty Spotlight

Jihea Hong-Park

Where are you from?

I was born in Tae-Gu, South Korea. Both my parents were high ranking officials in the military and so as a child, I had opportunities to live in and experience many wonderful places in Korea. Then in 1991, our family moved to Clifton, N.J., where I grew up until I began my studies at Juilliard. I currently live in New York City with my husband, Jun, and two sons, Aaron, 5, and Toby, 1.

What you do outside of the Evening Division?

I am an active performer, educator, scholar, and arts advocate. For instance, I am a co-founder and pianist of the Ardelia Trio, a chamber group committed to presenting innovative and engaging interactive concerts with a mission to bridge the gap between performers and audiences. Recently, we made our debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and are looking forward to a busy performing season ahead of us.

As a Teaching Artist faculty of the New York Philharmonic, I share my expertise of experiential and inquiry-based learning in the arts. I am also in the midst of completing my doctoral studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. I am passionate about organizing and implementing various outreach projects — from establishing community concert residencies to raising funds for community organizations.

Above all, my true joy comes from being a mother to my two young children. I admit, it is not always easy to juggle the various aspects of my life, but like all working parents, I’ve learned to manage my time and priorities. I am grateful and proud to be a musical mother.

What courses have you taught or do you teach currently in the Evening Division?

For more than six years, I’ve taught group piano classes at many different levels. I’ve also offered a course called “At the Piano With Women Composers.” I am especially thrilled to introduce a new course in spring 2013 entitled “The Art of Listening Deeper,” which will focus on becoming active and better listeners through a uniquely interactive and experiential-based approach.

Why do you like teaching in the Evening Division?

I love teaching in the Evening Division because it is truly an inspiring place! My students beautifully exemplify what it means to be lifelong learners. It is an honor for me to work with people who are highly successful in their own right yet committed to developing their musical curiosity, interest, and talent. My adult students are motivated and dedicated. They hunger to obtain new knowledge. They also come from all walks of life. Despite many differences, such as gender, age, ethnicity, occupational background, and so forth, once we enter the classroom, we become unified in striving to become better listeners, interpreters, and communicators of music. As an instructor, it gives me great fulfillment to see my adult students connect and make meaningful relationships with the works they study and perform. Although many of my students take these piano classes simply because they love music, we all take it pretty seriously and have high standards and expectations. After all, it is Juilliard.

Evening Division Faculty Spotlight

Kendall Briggs

Where are you from?

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but graduated from high school and college in Washington State.

What you do outside of the Evening Division?

I am a faculty member in Juilliard’s College Division, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. Besides teaching, which I truly enjoy, I am a composer and pianist as well as an author of several books on music. Most recently, I published an open score edition of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. I also enjoy the theater, cabaret, museums, and traveling. I live in the city, which allows me to spend time with close friends and family.

What courses have you taught or do you teach currently in the Evening Division?

Last year I taught a course on the Beethoven String Quartets; we explored these great works by closely examining the scores as well as the personal and historical elements which surround their composition. I have taught a variety of both lecture and credit courses, including “The Great Choral Masterworks,” “The Life and Work of Igor Stravinsky,”  “Bach’s Sacred Vocal Music,” “The Life and Work of Alban Berg,” “The Life and Work of Jean Sibelius,” and many others. I am looking forward to the two new courses I am offering this year: “The Life and Work of Bela Bartok” and “Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.”

Why do you like teaching in the Evening Division?

Teaching in the Evening Division is perhaps the most rewarding teaching experience for me. Students here bring life experience, knowledge, and curiosity to our classes and discussions. This life experience and personal curiosity helps to broaden our inquiries into the music. It also allows me to give tools of understanding and meaning to a broad spectrum of music lovers who have not all had the opportunity to study music in such a focused way. Sharing, exploring, studying and analyzing music with non-professional musicians helps to educate our audiences by informing them of the wonders of the great composers and their works in a way that program notes, books, and online sources cannot provide.

I require that all my students look at the scores as we talk about the music — even if they do not read music. In this way, the secrets of the music and of the composer are revealed. Not only do we hear the music but we see it as well. Composers write music for the eye as much as they write music for the ear. It is why I teach and believe so firmly that the answers to why we are moved by music are found in the score, and it is through this lens that I approach my teaching and love of this great art.

Evening Division Faculty Spotlight

Thomas Vasiliades

Where are you from?

I was born and live in New York City

What you do outside of the Evening Division?

I am the director of the Alexander Technique Center for Performance and Development. In my private practice, I work with performers, people with chronic pain and respiratory problems, and help train Alexander Technique teachers. It is gratifying helping people improve their lives. Also, I teach the Michael Chekhov Technique and coach actors in character development for theater, film, and television. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many talented artists, most notably Alan Rickman.

What courses do you teach currently in the Evening Division? What courses have you taught in the past?

The Alexander Technique.

Why do you like teaching in the Evening Division?

The Juilliard School has an international reputation for excellence. The students in the Evening Division come from all walks of life and from around the world. This diversity creates an exciting and fruitful learning environment and experience. I am proud and honored to be on the faculty of a prestigious school with high standing.

Evening Division Faculty Spotlight

Kyle Blaha

Where are you from?

I was born in Belleville, Ill., a suburb of St. Louis, where I began my early musical education with Tina Ward, clarinetist with the St. Louis Symphony. Under her guidance, in addition to my clarinet lessons, I studied music theory, transposition, and composition. She encouraged being a well-rounded musician and even suggested starting piano in addition to clarinet. She is an amazing, one-of-a-kind teacher!

What you do outside of the Evening Division?

In addition to Evening Division I teach Ear Training in the College and Pre-College Divisions, and I am the artistic director of New York Youth Symphony’s Composition Program, which is lots of fun! In addition, I have taught musicianship and counterpoint for many summers at the European American Musical Alliance program in Paris. I am also an active composer, having a premiere of my orchestral work Triptych with the American Composers Orchestra in January 2013, and an upcoming commission with the legendary Eastman Wind Ensemble under Mark Scatterday.

Outside of music, I am an avid gymnast (yes, you read correctly), and practitioner of yoga. In addition, I love learning languages. I received a grant to study German in Berlin, I lived in Egypt to study Arabic, and my many summers in France have produced a very pedestrian knowledge of French.


What courses do you teach currently in the Evening Division? What courses have you taught in the past?

I currently teach Sight-Reading and Musicianship I and II. In the past, I have taught Instrumentation, Ear Training I and Introduction to Ear Training. I love teaching the introductory courses of Ear Training so I can get students off on the right footing and also hopefully instill a love for music and the study of musicianship.

Why do you like teaching in the Evening Division?

When I first began teaching in the Evening Division, I was shocked at how much the students craved the material – they actually wanted homework! It is that spirit and dedication that makes teaching in the Evening Division so fulfilling. When teaching these students, it’s a wonderful experience to see them discovering the intricacies and complexities inherent in our musical system, to see the awe and frustration, but most of all, to have the communal experience of how moving this art can and should be. I love that students in the Evening Division are devastated when they miss a class, and that they hold on to every minute of the class and express how excited they are for next week – it brings me such joy. I also thoroughly enjoy working with the amazing, friendly, knowledgeable Evening Division administration.

 


  

Evening Division Student Spotlight

Carol A. Minnerop

Where are you from?

I’ve lived my whole life within 20 miles of Juilliard. I was born in Holy Name Hospital in Hackensack, N.J. My family (whose name is Wetjen) came from Bremen, Germany, over 100 years ago.

What you do for a living and what are some of your interests?

I am a practicing internist in New York City and an active equestrienne with a dressage horse, Kosmos, currently being shown in South Carolina, and a thoroughbred mare, Tune, in Bronxville, N.Y. I manage to ride one of my horses almost daily.

What courses have you taken in the Evening Division?

I have taken some history and opera courses with Michael White; ear training with Wayne Oquin; L&M (from the introductory level up through L&M IV) with Greg Knowles, Michael Shinn, Wayne Oquin, and Sam Zyman; and instrumentation with Daniel Ott.

Why do you like studying in the Evening Division?

Originally, after bypassing my first goal (“cowgirl”), I decided to be an opera singer. But that didn’t come to fruition, and after my father had a heart attack when I was 14, medicine became an attractive and rewarding goal. However compelling my profession has been, it has never fulfilled a basic creative need I’ve always felt. My wish had been to study at Juilliard after high school, and then after two years of college — but it was not meant to be. Now, with the Evening Division courses, I’ve had a taste of the life I wanted originally.

The professors in the Evening Division are wonderful. They take us seriously, especially in the credit courses I’ve taken, and in turn, expect to be taken seriously. This is a great opportunity to say thank you to Juilliard for the Evening Division and to the brilliant, generous, and kindly faculty I’ve been privileged to study with.

Evening Division Student Spotlight

Altary Sherman

Where are you from?

I was born in New York City but my family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when I was 7 years old and I stayed in Florida until I was 18. I joined the Air Force after graduation and was stationed in Washington, D.C., but always wanted to move back to the city. I decided to come back to N.Y.C. in 2001 and have been here ever since.

What you do for a living?

I am an assistant comptroller for Webster Hall, a nightclub in the East Village. I have been working there since 2001, and this job has taught me the ins and outs of the entertainment business.

I also serve on the board of directors for two music organizations: the New York Virtuoso Singers with Harold Rosenbaum, artistic director, and the Israeli Chamber Project with Tibi Cziger, artistic director, and Assaff Weisman, U.S. director.

What courses have you taken in the Evening Division?

Since first enrolling in the Evening Division in January 2003, I have taken L&M I, II, and III, many lecture courses covering individual composers and individual operas with amazing teachers like Kendall Briggs, James Kurtz, and John Mueller. My favorite course is a weekly piano class with Assaff Weisman.

Why do you like studying in the Evening Division?

The Evening Division initially was a way to get back in touch with classical music and to explore the repertoire. I learned to play the piano when I was a child, playing mostly liturgical songs in my community church; I also assisted the musical director for the church’s children choir. Even though I had a piano teacher, I did not receive the foundation I needed to explore the classical music world.

When I moved to N.Y.C. I went looking for a piano teacher so I could relearn the piano as an adult. My research brought me to the Evening Division. At first, I thought there was no way I could even step foot into the Juilliard building, let alone study there. With this mindset I went into an audition; I figured I would audition and learn from the experience. When I was accepted, I thought this was going to be an incredible opportunity. It has been so much more than that.

Before studying here, when I listened to music or played the piano it was a black and white experience. Now, the world of music has an entirely new palette of colors. The Evening Division has made me so aware of the nuances of playing the piano. I love the Juilliard environment because I am surrounded by people who share my passion. I hope to have a long history with the Evening Division.

Evening Division Student Spotlight

Seth Glickman

Where are you from?

Although I spent quite a few years out in Oregon, Washington, and then Colorado, I’m originally from and am now back in New York City.

What do you do for a living?

I’m the technology and marketing director at a fashion company in SoHo. I work with a group of designers and programmers to shape the company’s message and deploy a host of Internet-based projects to build awareness and ultimately sell the company’s product. In some spare time, I help a number of local businesses and nonprofit organizations build their Web presence, and also teach a few piano lessons.

What courses have you taken in the Evening Division?

L&M I and II, Ear Training I and II, Orchestration, and Conducting.

Why do you like studying in the Evening Division?

I believe the value of a class is determined by the proficiency, preparedness, and devotion of its instructor. The merit of a school is based on its ability to design and facilitate a curriculum that promotes the greatest quantity and highest quality of learning. Juilliard’s Evening Division has the rare distinction of consistently providing both of these — and far beyond the standards found elsewhere.

Studying with Wayne Oquin, Michael Shinn, Daniel Ott, and Vincent La Selva during these recent few years has been an honor and a privilege. Each of them possesses the most distinguished qualifications, and their passion and enthusiasm to share their vast musical knowledge is to their great credit. Offering such a high level of musical education to the public is what makes Juilliard’s Evening Division a one-of-a-kind resource for those inclined to further their study of music in this remarkable city.

However, it is also worth pointing out that New Yorkers themselves contribute quite a lot to the Evening Division experience. The student body is as talented as it is diverse. From instrumentalists and singers to composers and conductors, I’ve met musicians of all ages and abilities, many of whom have contributed to my understanding of the instructed material. This is especially the case in collaborative coursework, but present nonetheless in all settings. I’ve always found the school to have a constructive and supportive community. Many classmates have become friends and I even have the Evening Division to thank for introducing me to my fiancé—whom I met in a class last spring.

And while I experienced a genuine breakthrough in musicianship through the Ear Training coursework, obtained a more comprehensive theoretical foundation in L&M, and accelerated my score reading ability in Conducting class, the most rewarding component of my Evening Division classwork has thus far been the final project of the Orchestration program. Each semester an orchestra, comprised of College Division students, is assembled to perform the students’ final assignments. Their performance was nothing short of inspiring and has directed the focus of my personal composition work ever since. It has been my great fortune to enroll in the school’s Evening Division courses and to learn from its world-class instructors. Thank you, Juilliard.

Evening Division Student Spotlight

Robert Boorstyn

Where are you from?

I was born and have always lived in New York City.

What you do for a living?

I am now retired and have more time to be with my two grandsons. For almost my entire professional career I was on the Electrical Engineering faculty of Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, now Polytechnic Institute of N.Y.U. My first field of specialization was communications theory, which includes material that is related to the mathematics and physics of sound. I chose not to pursue this link since I wanted to learn how music is structured, why it sounds as it does, and to enhance my listening experiences. From the early days of the Internet my second area of specialization has been networking. I concentrated on the modeling, analysis, and design of networks.

What courses have you taken in the Evening Division?

I have been taking Evening Division courses since 1990, and almost all of them have been taught by Michael White and Kendall Briggs. They possess a deep knowledge of their subjects and are able to convey it meaningfully and enjoyably at a level somewhat consistent with how they must teach their undergraduate and graduate students in the College Division. This is not an easy task, especially since some of the students in the Evening Division (like me) have modest musical skills and knowledge. I know how challenging it is since I have taught in similar situations.

Some of the courses I’ve taken were about Mozart’s operas, chamber music, concertos, and music of his last year; Bach’s secular music, cantatas, and fugues; Beethoven’s piano sonatas and quartets; Haydn’s string quartets; and the music of Stravinsky and Monteverdi.

Why do you like studying in the Evening Division?

By 1990 I had developed a love for classical music, attended many concerts with my wife (who has taken a number of courses with me at Juilliard), but knew nothing about music. I never played an instrument and could not read a score. For some reason, which I cannot remember, I decided that now was the time to learn. I knew of Juilliard’s reputation and had attended many concerts of the Juilliard String Quartet. I decided to start at the top! On my own I learned how to read a score (still not well) and the fundamentals of music. I relied on my mathematical training in this effort. I began to read many books about music. Not having played an instrument and not having any ear training skills has made this difficult. It is the high level of instruction and the dedication of my teachers that have kept me coming back, eager for more.

Evening Division Student Spotlight

Doreen Weisfuse

Where are you from?

I was born in Newark, N.J. and spent most of my childhood in Union, N.J. I raised my family in Scarsdale, N.Y., and moved to New York City, right next to Juilliard, in 2006 — a great move!

What do you do for a living?

I have been practicing law since 1977. After several years of practice in the fields of real estate and corporate law, I joined my husband in his civil litigation practice. We have our own boutique firm in midtown Manhattan. One of our sons joined us last year as an associate. Now it’s a real family business.

What courses have you taken in the Evening Division?

Since 1998, I have taken at least one course each semester in the Evening Division, far too many to list here. I started with a survey course, Music History, was very proud to have accomplished two years of study in music theory, and took as many classes on

Bach as possible: the Fugue, the Passions, the Baroque. I signed up for Opera Through the Ages and several classes focusing on specific operas such as Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, The Damnation of Faust, Peter Grimes, and, currently, Otello. I am enjoying my second year of Opera This Season. I’ve studied several composers, such as Monteverdi, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky. I’ve focused on particular masterpieces, such as Mozart’s Requiem, and certain time periods in such courses as The Romantic Masters and 1905: An Extraordinary Time. I have been fortunate to indulge my love of dance by studying Terpsichore: Muse of Dance, Les Noces, Juilliard Dances Repertory, and, currently, Spirit of American Dance. Looking back, the list seems long, but I feel like I’m just getting started.

Why do you like studying in the Evening Division?

I come to The Juilliard School for many things: concerts, operas, theater and dance performances, class observations, fund-raising events, and most often, Evening Division classes. Whatever the reason, coming to Juilliard is always the best part of my day.

I think my love of music started before birth. My grandmother was the neighborhood piano teacher. My mother studied classical piano and then carried on a lifelong love affair with Gershwin and the other great composers of her day. Her first language was scat and there was no song she could not play by ear. I gave up my early studies of piano and violin and carried my guitar to college just in time for the British Invasion, a fully electric Bob Dylan, and the great jams of the Grateful Dead. But as I grew up along with my children, I was ready for something else. When I heard a radio ad for Juilliard Evening Division classes, it felt like the announcer was speaking directly to me.

I have had some excellent and inspiring teachers in my many years of schooling, but none as fine as those I have had in the Evening Division at Juilliard. They are experts in their fields and more important, they are passionate about what they teach and that passion is contagious. Michael White, Kendall Briggs, Scott Eyerly, John Muller, Henning Rübsam, Deborah Jowitt, and so many other great professors analyze and explain complex pieces of music and dances in ways that make them understandable and accessible to everyone in the class. They are able to pull back the curtain to reveal those very special things a great composer, choreographer, or performer does to amaze, dazzle, and move us. That is the gift of exceptional teachers.

Every wonderful performance I am privileged to see in New York City is made that much more meaningful with the knowledge and background I have received in my Evening Division classes. The surprise in all of this learning is what I am figuring out about myself. Just when I think I know what interests me and what I like, I discover or begin to understand something else that turns out to be exactly what interests me and exactly what I like, if only I knew.

Evening Division Student Spotlight

Jonathan Harris

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Nyack, N.Y., 20 minutes into the Palisades across from northern Manhattan, and have been living in Brooklyn for the past 12 or so years.

What do you do for a living?

Apart from my coursework at Juilliard, I am a double bassist in private study with Kurt Muroki, and I perform with numerous ensembles including Camerata Notturna, a chamber orchestra that presents concerts just off of the Lincoln Center campus. Additionally, for the past 15 years I have worked in arts management and development for cultural institutions including Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music, and I currently serve as the business manager for the International Contemporary Ensemble. Outside of this work, I have provided a range of business development, financial management, and fund-raising services in board or advisory roles at a number of nonprofit arts organizations, and I am the director of Il Fiore Giallo, which has actively provided fund-raising and strategic planning support to arts and social services organizations throughout New York since 2006.

What courses have you taken in the Evening Division?

This spring, I will be concluding both the Musicianship and Theory tracks, in which I have been enrolled for the past three years. This past year, I also began a course of study on orchestral instrumentation, and I have plans to continue along the Composition track in the coming year, with classes in both orchestration and composition.

Why do you like studying in the Evening Division?

The courses taught in the Theory and Musicianship tracks are identical to those offered in Juilliard’s College Division. They use the same syllabi, are taught by the same generous, world-class professors, and exact the same rigorous standard of involvement from its students. My classmates are inquisitive and intellectually curious, and, as one might expect, they are actively engaged in the musical community at a high level: a critically acclaimed new-music composer, an emergent opera composer, the conductor of a prominent orchestra in Brooklyn, several active Juilliard professors, and members of the current College Division student body.

The classes themselves are tremendously rewarding, and they have consistently inspired and challenged me to stretch my musicianship. In every session, there is a sense of discovery – some technical obstacle removed, some wonderful and intricate musical moment in the literature elucidated and made even richer. Whether I am hearing Mahler with new ears, getting lost in the stacks in the great Lila Acheson Wallace Library, learning to transcribe three-voice harmonic and melodic progressions by ear, or arranging a suite of Janacek piano masterworks for a performance by a subsection of the Juilliard Orchestra in a laboratory setting, these studies have constituted some of the most engaging and enriching experiences I have had, musical and otherwise.