News

Stephanie Chou (CC'09) Album Release: Asymptote

STEPHANIE CHOU, a singer, saxophonist, and composer from NY, combines classical and Chinese influences with jazz and pop harmony and rhythm. She released an album, Asymptote, which features fresh arrangements of Chinese classics including "Kangding Love Song," "The Moon Represents My Heart," a tongue-twister about Eating Grapes, and a setting of one of LiBai's most famous poems.

GRAND HARMONIE ENSEMBLE PERFORMS ALL-MOZART PROGRAM

Grand Harmonie, a period music ensemble who is performing two concerts in NYC November 3 & 4. The concert on November 3 is a free preview concert as part of the Mt. Sinai Concerts for Patients series, and the full program on November 4 at St. Ignatius of Antioch offers discounted students tickets for $15.

The all-Mozart program will be performed with violinist Cynthia Roberts as concertmaster and leader. Cynthia is concertmaster of the New York Collegium, Apollo's Fire, Concert Royal, and Les Arts Florissants. Together with Grand Harmonie they will perform:

Mozart: Violin Concerto in A K. 219
Mozart: Serenata Notturna K. 239
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 Jupiter

Anahid Ajemian Avekian (1924-2016)

IN MEMORY OF ANAHID AJEMIAN AVAKIAN

Ms. Avakian was a member of the Composers String Quartet, in residence at Columbia in the 1970s, and she was a longtime member of Columbia's music faculty. Her full obituary is available below:

Anahid Ajemian was born in New York, in 1924. She began her music studies early at the Institute of Musical Art, which later merged with the Julliard School. After graduating from the Lincoln School, Miss Ajemian continued her education at Julliard, studying violin with Edouard Dethier, chamber music with Hans Letz and Felix Salmon, and played in and with the Julliard orchestra under Albert Stoessel and Edgar Shenkman. In 1946, while still a student of Edouard Dethier at the Juilliard Graduate School of Music, she won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Award. In the same year, she made her debut at Town Hall and received the Distinguished Achievement Medal from Mademoiselle magazine as the Young Woman of the Year in Music. Among the many honors that have followed, the Order of St. James appointed her a Knight of Malta for her lifelong support of contemporary classical music.

With her pianist sister Maro, she concertized in Europe, Canada and throughout the United Stares in a wide repertoire including works which for written for them by such distinguished composers as John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, Alan Hovhaness, Ernst Krenek, Wallingford Riegger, Carlos Surinach and Ben Weber, among many others. Together and separately, the Ajemians recorded extensively for Columbia, RCA Victor, MGM and Composers Records Inc. They were the first musicians to receive the Laurel Leaf Award of the Composers Alliance for Distinguished Service to American Miss Ajemian and her sister were equally known for their interpretations of the standard classical repertoire. A unique feature of the many television programs they taped for NBC’s “Recital Hall” and the National Educational Television Network was their series of programs comprising the complete cycle of all ten Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano. They appeared as soloists under the batons of Dmitri Mitropoulos, Leopold Stokowski and Izler Solomon, and recorded with the latter two.

Also during the 1940s, Miss Ajemian co-founded the New York City-based organization “Friends of Armenian Music Committee”, which did much to launch the career of fellow Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness, via a series of well-received New York concerts of his music. These concerts were repeated in Boston, San Francisco and Los In the mid sixties, Miss Ajemian and her fellow violinist Matthew Raimondi founded the Composers String Quartet at the suggestion of Gunther Schuller, which quickly earned an international reputation and toured in more that 26 countries, including the Soviet Union, India, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and China. The Composers String Quartet recorded extensively for The Musical Heritage Society, Nonsuch Records, Composers Recordings, Inc and Columbia Records among many others. The Quartet’s 1970 recording of Elliott Carter’s First and Second Quartets was honored by a “Grammy” nomination, received “Stereo Review’s “Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year” Award, and was acclaimed by “High Fidelity” as “Best Quartet of the Year” and one of the “Fifty Greatest Albums of the Decade.” Time magazine called it “an astonishingly brilliant and unique achievement.”

The Quartet was in residence at Columbia University in New York City and The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. For many years, they were the primary performers at the Mt Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Northeast Harbor, For many years, Miss Ajemian was a long-time member of the Columbia University music faculty and served as a judge for several music organizations, including the annual Naumburg Foundation Awards.

She is survived by her husband of sixty-eight years, recording executive George Avakian, their daughters Maro and Anahid (Gregg), son Gregory, and two grandchildren.

Vince Cherico wins a GRAMMY with Arturo O’Farrill

Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Congratulations to Vince Cherico, associate in jazz drums at Columbia's Music Performance Program for your amazing GRAMMY win! On February 8, 2015 at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles, The Offense of the Drum, the fourth album from Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, won the GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.

"Meet Our Students" Omar Abboud (SEAS '16)

Featured Music Performance Program Student: OMAR ABBOUD (SEAS '16)

MPP

What year are you at Columbia and what are you majoring in?

I am a senior at Columbia majoring in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research (IEOR).

How long have you been a participant of the MPP?

I have been a participant in MPP since my sophomore year, making this my third year in the program.

'MEET OUR STUDENTS" GRAHAM JACOBSON (CC'16)

Featured Music Performance Program Student: GRAHAM JACOBSON (CC'16)

MPP

What year are you at Columbia?

I am currently a senior at Columbia College (CC’16). 

What are you majoring in? 

I am double concentrating in Anthropology and Jazz Studies. I also participate in the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange.

How long have you been a participant of the MPP?

I have participated in the MPP since I arrived on campus my freshman year.

How have you benefited by MPP programs and performance opportunities?

MPP performance opportunities have enriched my Columbia experience, because they have been moments in which I performed for and with people dear to me.

"Meet Our Students" Olachi Oleru (CC'16)

Featured Music Performance Program Student: OLACHI OLERU (CC'16)

MPP

What year are you at Columbia and What are you majoring in?

I am a senior in SEAS majoring in biomedical engineering with minors in mechanical engineering and music. 

How long have you been a participant of the MPP?

I have been in the Music Performance Program since my freshman year.

How have you benefited by MPP programs and performance opportunities?

The MPP is amazing because it allows students to study with world renowned musicians with whom we would never otherwise have the chance to study.

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