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Dec. 15: School of Music Faculty Members Release Recordings of Classic, Contemporary and Original Compositions


Kristi Ries                            

Eric Sloss

Carnegie Mellon School of Music Faculty Members Release
Recordings of Classic, Contemporary and Original Compositions

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Music faculty members have released nine CDs of classic, contemporary and original compositions over the past year. School of Music faculty are renowned practicing musicians and composers who actively contribute to and participate in the local, national and international music scene while bringing their expertise to the Carnegie Mellon community.   
Grammy-nominated artist Andrés Cárdenes, the Dorothy Richard Starling & Alexander Speyer Jr. University Professor of Violin at Carnegie Mellon and concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, released the CD "Brahms and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos" on Artek Records in November 2007. Cárdenes has been called "a remarkable mature performer who still exudes unjaded affection for his repertory" by the Los Angeles Times and "a fleet, accomplished interpreter" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pianist Enrique Graf, artist lecturer and artist-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon and a first-prize winner of the William Kapell International Piano Competition, released a compilation of Bach, Mendelssohn and Mussorgsky on Cougar Records in July 2008. The CD includes a rare recording of the Aria Variata Alla Maniera Italiana by Bach. The Washington Post has called Graf "a musician first and, only after that, an assured and technically complete pianist." His performances have been lauded in such publications as The New York Times, Fanfare and the Philadelphia Inquirer and he is the recipient of many awards and honors, including first prizes in the National Ensemble Piano Competition and the East and West International Competition in New York City.   
Brass player Lance LaDuke, adjunct professor of euphonium at Carnegie Mellon and principal solo euphoniumist with the River City Brass Band, released the recording "Latin Nights" in September. The CD features a Latin classical and jazz repertoire for brass quintet with Latin percussion and guest appearances by vocalist Talita Real and Steve Gadd on drum set.
David Pellow, director of jazz studies at Carnegie Mellon, is featured as a bass player in a recently released recording of the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale's "Pittsburgh on Parade" concert commemorating Pittsburgh's 250th birthday, and the birthday of one of its best-beloved celebrities, Fred Rogers of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." The CD includes three newly commissioned works by Robert Page and Tom Roberts, including a medley of four songs from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" as well as songs by other Pittsburgh legends.
Flutist Stephen Schultz, associate professor in music history and head of the Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble, recently released "Boismortier: Six Concertos for Five Flutes" on Dorian Sono Luminus Records. By over-dubbing, Schultz performs all five flute parts in these baroque works by one of the first composers to make a living without the assistance of wealthy patrons. Schultz has been called "among the most flawless artists on the baroque flute" by the San Jose Mercury News and "remarkable and phenomenal" by the San Francisco Examiner.  
Original compositions by Marilyn Taft Thomas, professor of theory and composition at Carnegie Mellon, were released in a two-CD set on the Carnegie Mellon record label in April. Thomas' compositions are performed by members of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble and an array of faculty and alumni soloists.
A number of Carnegie Mellon faculty, alumni and graduate students appear on the CD "Sacred Songs and Interludes: The Music of Nancy Galbraith" by the Pittsburgh Camerata, released in fall 2007. Works by Gailbraith, professor of composition at Carnegie Mellon, have been performed and commissioned locally, nationally and internationally and featured on numerous recordings, including four anthologies. Artists featured on "Sacred Songs and Interludes" include pianist L. Mark Carver, Carnegie Mellon associate teaching professor; Alberto Almarza, artist lecturer in flute; faculty member Anthony Rollett; graduate student Brandon Schantz; and alumni Rebecca Rollett, Jodi Petroelje, Thomas Octave, Kara Cornell and Jason Ginter. The CD is described as "a powerful musical prayer for wholeness and peace." Gailbraith's compositions are also featured on the CD "Nancy Gailbraith: Cuarteto Latinoamericano," released in September. The CD features the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, former Carnegie Mellon artists-in-residence, and Luz Manriquez, Carnegie Mellon piano instructor.   
The Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, made up of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra players who also serve on the Carnegie Mellon faculty, has released a new holiday album titled "A Song of Christmas." Recorded on the Four Winds Record Label, the CD was produced by famed Chicagoan Arnie Roth. All music on the disc is either composed or arranged by group members and Carnegie Mellon trumpet faculty members Neal Berntsen and George Vosburgh.
Riccardo Schulz, recording engineer for the School of Music, served as technical producer or lead engineer on six of these faculty recordings.