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A Rare Violin in Honor of a Rare Woman


In the prodigious hands of Frost School of Music violin student Miclen LaiPang, a 300-year-old Guarneri violin makes its University of Miami debut while honoring community leader, philanthropist, and education advocate Sue Miller.

UM News

With the Miller siblings, Jeffrey, Leslie, and Stuart, and Dean Shelly Berg behind him, senior Miclen LaiPang plays the Sue Miller Viloin, a 1714 Guarneri.  

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 31, 2017)—The moon was rising over Miami Beach on a recent Friday night as friends and family arrived at the Miller family home to pay tribute to a beloved community jewel, the late Sue Miller, who passed away in November 2016.

The highlight of the evening was the debut of a rare 1714 Giuseppe Guarneri ‘filius Andreae’ violin, purchased recently by the Frost School of Music through a major donation from the Miller family in honor of their matriarch, an avid music lover and tireless community supporter. Now called the Sue Miller Violin, the instrument will be loaned to a talented Frost School violin student each year upon the recommendation of the string faculty.

During the evening, Frost senior Miclen LaiPang played one of the most daunting pieces in the violin repertoire, Paganini’s Nel cor più non mi sento (variations on a theme from the opera La Molinara by Paisiello) on the Guarneri violin. Next, Frost faculty violin artist Charles Castleman, playing his Stradivarius, joined LaiPang on the outdoor stage. Accompanied on the piano by Wideman Piano Competition winner Asiya Korepanova, D.M.A. ’16, they performed the beautiful slow movement of J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.

“This Guarneri has silvery timbre in its high register that is so characteristic of a Stradivarius,” Castleman says. “But it also has the ability to ‘dig in’ and have a nice ‘growl’ in its low register, which devotees of Guarneri violins love. It’s got the best of both worlds in one instrument. I’m incredibly pleased that Miclen and other students of the Frost School will have such a fine instrument to help launch their careers.”

Sue Miller’s husband, the late Leonard M. Miller, who founded Lennar Homes, was a longtime member of UM’s Board of Trustees and served as its chair in the 1990s. Their three children, Stuart Miller, J.D. ’82, who also chaired the Board of Trustees; Jeffrey Miller, A.B. ’84, and Leslie Miller Saiontz, hosted the Guarneri’s unveiling, an event filled with music, laughter, and joyous reminiscing—“definitely the way our parents loved to entertain,” Jeffrey Miller said.

The Guarnari’s debut also launched the Miller Instrument Collection campaign to raise additional funds to purchase two dozen other high-end instruments for the Frost School. Before the tribute performance started, over $40,000 already had been donated or pledged for additional string, brass, and woodwind instruments.

Comedian Alonzo Bodden, who was introduced as an eminent musicologist and shared the Guarneri’s pedigree and design features with the audience, switched the rare instrument off stage with an inexpensive violin. He then proceeded to drop the instrument while handing it to Stuart Miller, who was on stage with his siblings for a close-up viewing. The move elicited big gasps and cries until his siblings revealed their ruse.

“It’s hard to pull anything over on Stuart,” said sister Leslie. Added Jeffrey, “He’s such a practical joker, the look on his face was priceless. I think it’s going to be pay-back time, big-time; I’d better be on my toes!”

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg expressed his gratitude. “Thanks to a magnificent gift from the Miller family, Frost School of Music students will be privileged to play a 300-year-old masterpiece violin from one of the greatest of the Italian makers, dedicated to the memory of one of Miami’s most significant philanthropists, Sue Miller. Nothing could make me more proud.”

The Miller family’s generosity has left an indelible mark on the University of Miami, particularly its Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, with gifts totaling over $200 million since 2004, including $6 million to the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music.

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A Champion for Children and the Arts


Dean Berg, right, with University of Miami Trustee Paul DiMare, a previous Twelve Good Men honoree

Dean Berg, right, with University of Miami Trustee Paul DiMare, a previous Twelve Good Men honoree

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton G. Berg was among the dozen outstanding men honored at the 25th annual Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Twelve Good Men Luncheon, which recognizes distinguished men whose contributions and community involvement enhance the well-being of children in South Florida.

Bestowed at the Coral Gables Country Club on April 25, the award comes on the heels of another community honor for the noted jazz and classical pianist, four-time Grammy nominee, and past president of the International Association for Jazz Education. In March, Berg received the Champion of the Arts Award from Citizens Interested in Arts (CIA), a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to “keeping the arts alive in South Florida.”

Now in its 25th year, the Twelve Good Men Luncheon is the premier fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, which provides a home away from home to families of seriously ill children undergoing treatment at Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital. The event honors a dozen leading men who exemplify exceptional kindness, caring, sacrifice, and generosity for the needs and causes in our community.

“It is an honor to celebrate these men who have worked hard for the betterment of our community and who share our passion in helping those who are less fortunate,” said Soraya-Rivera Moya, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House.

Berg, who has served as dean of the Frost School for the past decade, has appeared in concert with orchestras around the world, including the Romanian National Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, and Dallas Symphony. But he is also well known for his artistic, civic, and educational contributions closer to home.

He was recently named artistic advisor for the JAZZ ROOTS series at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and was instrumental in the establishment of the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach program, which enables Frost School students to provide free, hands-on music instruction to hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students in Miami-Dade County.

Since its 1997 inception, CIA has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to members of the arts community, including one of the first to a New World School of the Arts student who this year sang alongside Placido Domingo in Verdi’s Nabucco at the New York Metropolitan Opera House.

In honoring Berg, the organization recognized his lifelong commitment to the arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Going Green, Earning Platinum


Special to UM News

Frost School of Music. HOK architectsCORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 19, 2017—The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has received platinum LEED certification for the Patricia Louis Frost Music classroom/studios complex on the Coral Gables campus, making the buildings the first in Coral Gables to receive the highest level of LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designcertification.

The buildings were designed to provide more than  770 Frost School music students and 125 faculty an upscale, state-of-the art space for teaching, learning, performing, and recording–but one that would use resources efficiently, and produce fewer greenhouse gases. The lighting, power and comfort systems alone are designed to save over 50 percent in energy. Other green features include:

    • Electrochromic windows control daylight and reduce glare and solar heat gain
    • Rooftop rainfall is captured in on‐site cisterns for graywater uses inside buildings.
    • Rooftop photovoltaic solar power.
    • Landscaping irrigation system was designed to reduce water use
    • Indoor fixtures and fittings
    • High usage of regional materials and recycled materials

“The Patricia Louise Frost Studios have transformed the life and culture of the Frost School of Music,” said Dean Shelly Berg. “The 80+ spaces are the best possible environment for music teaching, learning, and collaboration.  We are thrilled that this facility leads the way in sustainability.”

The 41,000‐square-foot facility project features two sleek buildings with a reception center and a furnished breezeway terrace. It adds a new grand entrance, highlighted by prominent structures, to act as a gateway and define the edge of the Frost School of Music campus. The buildings sport two extra‐large rehearsal halls plus 77 spacious chamber music and teaching studios. Designed with careful attention to acoustical requirements, each room is a “floating box” within a box; no two rooms share walls, floors or ceilings. This structural independence creates an acoustical isolation, allowing students to learn, practice, perform, and record without interference from other artists practicing in the next room.

Yann Weymouth, the project design director formerly with HOK Architects, said the architectural team used every strategy and cutting-edge tool at its disposal to maximize efficiency, minimize energy and optimize comfort. As he noted, spaces are filled with glare-free natural light to easily read musical scores, using electrochromic glass windows which dim automatically in direct sunlight to cut solar heat load—a first-use in the Southeast. Artificial lighting is from efficient LEDs, which only turn on when light falls below a preset level. The extremely efficient chilled-beam air-conditioning significantly economizes further electricity. The innovative exterior white precast titanium dioxide concrete skin resists mold and catalytically neutralizes outside airborne pollutants. Finally, modern rooftop photovoltaic panels harvest solar energy.

“We set out to help Frost School of Music create the very best possible teaching, practice and learning environment for students and faculty,” Weymouth said. “It was a marvelous experience to have been part of the project, and it is profoundly gratifying that the Patricia Louis Frost Studios received this recognition, setting a leading example of sustainable architecture.”

Coral Gables City Commissioner Vince Lago, a leader in sustainable practices in local government, thanked the Frost School  and the University for its leadership in recognizing the importance of environmentally friendly initiatives and for their ongoing commitment to partner with the city in bettering the community. “These new LEED Platinum buildings set the standard for new construction that teaches us—beyond the classrooms—how to create a more resilient Coral Gables,” Lago said.

In 2016, the Coral Gables City Commission passed a Green Building Ordinance to encourage sustainable and construction best practices, and next week, on Thursday April 27, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce will bestow its Green Means Green Award for a green building on the Frost School studios.

 

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Sir James Galway Dazzles with His Flute and Talent for Teaching

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Sir James Galway Dazzles with His Flute and Talent for Teaching


Sir James Galway, Distinguished Presidential Scholar, inspires flute students with his artistry and masterful teaching

 By Julia D. Berg
UM News

Galway2CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 10, 2017)—With an Irish twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step, Belfast-born and world-revered flutist Sir James Galway conducted a master class at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music on Thursday, entertaining the audience with musical stories from his vast solo and orchestral career, sharing his practice routines, and coaxing student performers to the top of their artistry with a laser-sharp focus on intonation, intent, and interpretation.

The master class was a warm respite in the middle of a long recital tour across the country with his wife and musical soul mate, Lady Jeanne Galway.

A household name with over 30 million recordings sold worldwide, and over five decades of touring and teaching, Sir James, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2001, coached four flutists from the Frost School in the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance. They are all students of Associate Professor Trudy Kane, who was principal flutist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 32 years before joining the Frost School’s faculty.

“The bad news about flute playing is it requires time to be good,” he joked at the start of the class. “I think about Arnold Schwarzenegger in his body-building days. When he posed for a photo, he had all these muscles showing everywhere. He didn’t get them from just doing bench presses! He worked all of his muscles. So, we have to do the same, and practice the nitty-gritty bits.”

Galway trained with famed French flutist Marcel Moyse, whose published

Daily Exercises are used the world over. He then performed with several opera orchestras in London, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic, before launching a solo career.

The master class students, Mackenzie Miller, Maria Vallejo, Trey Bradshaw, and doctoral candidate Emilio Rutllant, M.M. ’14, performed repertoire for solo flute and piano by beloved French composers Philippe Gaubert, Jules Mouquet, and Charles-Marie Widor, accompanied by Frost faculty pianist Oleksii Ivanchenko, D.M.A. ’15.

At first Galway coached each on technical matters such as breathing and fingering, but soon moved on to tone and timbre. “We have to train the embouchure, not the fingers,” he said, referring to the use of facial muscles and mouth on an instrument.

Galway praised the quality of Frost’s rising young talent, and encouraged them to shoot high. He suggested Bradshaw perform a line again without taking a breath, even though most flutists breathe in the passage. “As a teacher, I like my students to strive to be better than me,” he shared. “You don’t want to be the same as the guys before; you want to be outstandingly better.”

On interpretation, he advised, “Don’t be afraid to play soft; it is really impressive to the audience. Show off your dynamics, show what you can really do!” At the end of a pastoral passage: “Look for the color. What does this ending mean? Serenity. You have to bring it into the music,” he said.

When asked about his legacy, Galway, now 77, humbly reflects, “I would like to leave behind a number of committed flute players. That is, committed to playing music, not just a dexterous reading of the score… really committed to showing their soul. I’d like to think I’ve shown a few people how to play a phrase from within, to play a good line, to devote themselves to really making music on another level.”

As the one of the first Presidential Distinguished Scholars, the highly decorated Galway will return again in the fall from his home in Switzerland to work and perform with orchestras in the Frost School, and continue his lessons with the flute studio.

“James Galway reveals his soul to the audience every time he performs, and that inspires everyone who performs with him to do the same,” said Shelton Berg, dean of the Frost School. “Students who were in his presence today will never forget it. I know they will aspire to bolder musical heights, and I can’t wait until he returns for an extended time. I’m proud that our University treasures artistic excellence, and is naming musicians such as Sir James Galway as Distinguished Presidential Scholars.”

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James Galway Named Presidential Scholar

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James Galway Named Presidential Scholar


The world renown flautist  joins the Frost School of Music 

UM News

GalwayCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 6, 2017) – Sir James Galway, the internationally acclaimed flautist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is joining the Frost School of Music as a Distinguished Presidential Scholar, as part of an initiative introduced by UM President Julio Frenk.

“Sir James Galway is a world-class artist and educator who enriches our world through the power of music. The University of Miami is honored to welcome him as one of its inaugural Distinguished Presidential Scholars. Students from the Frost School of Music and from our entire community will benefit greatly from his creativity, proficiency, and dedication,” said Frenk.

As an endowed talent, Galway will conduct his first Master Class on March 9 with Trudy Kane, associate professor of flute at the Frost School of Music.

“We are so delighted to welcome Sir James Galway to the Frost flute studio,” Kane said. “It is a thrilling opportunity for our flute students and the entire Frost community. We look forward to interacting with him and learning from his lifetime of experience.”

As a Distinguished Presidential Scholar, Galway will instill his talents in various settings, including performances and lectures, among the students, faculty and staff. Regarded for his diverse talents as an interpreter of the classical flute repertoire, Galway is also noted as an entertainer with the ability to span generations and genres.

“This is the most exciting thing happening to me since I left the Berlin Philharmonic,” Galway said. “I am looking forward to sharing all the experience I have had in the last 40 years with the students and faculty of this distinguished school.”

“Sir James Galway is one of the greatest musicians of our time, who embodies a panoply of Frost School ideals—performance at the highest level of artistry, breadth of style, dazzling stage presence, entrepreneurship, and citizenship. It is a thrill to have his imprint on our students, faculty, and culture,” said Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music.

One of the most highly regarded musicians in the world, Galway has sold more than 30 million recordings worldwide and has collaborated with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, and Sir Elton John. His musical talents can also be heard throughout television and film soundtracks, including “The Lord of the Rings.”

“The idea of introducing new talent is to infuse our environment with the world’s best thinkers and doers,” said Berg. “And Sir James Galway is certainly fitting to take on the role.”

 

 

 

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