Archives for the month of: February, 2013

Yi Xin (DMA ’14) advanced to the final round of live auditions for the Principal Cello position in the Lyric Opera Orchestra in Chicago, IL. He was one of only four cellists remaining from 200 or so applicants worldwide. It was Yi’s first time competing for an opera orchestra position.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the world’s great opera companies with Sir Andrew Davis as its Music Director since 2000. It is renowned internationally for its artistic excellence and financial strength. Lyric Opera has operated in the black for 24 of the past 25 years, a record among the country’s major not-for-profit music and performing-arts companies.

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Bion Tsang Appointed as Fellow to Newly Created Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Chair in Cello

AUSTIN, Texas — The Butler School of Music in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin has appointed Bion Tsang, an associate professor of cello, as the initial Fellow to the Long Chair in Cello.

Austin-based arts and culture philanthropists Joe and Terry Long created the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Chair in Cello in the Butler School of Music with a $1 million gift to support excellence in the cello faculty. Additionally, another Austin-based philanthropic couple, Andrew and Mary Ann Heller, led the campaign to create the Friends of Cello Scholarship that will be used in conjunction with the Long Chair for the enrichment of the school’s cello studio instruction.

“These endowments will serve to strengthen the Butler School of Music’s String program and Professor Tsang’s studio by supporting his teaching and the superb students he’s attracting from all over the world — which will in turn enrich the cultural life of Austin and Texas,” said Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

“The extraordinary gift of the Long Chair in Cello, as well as the Friends of Cello Scholarship, are a reflection on Bion Tsang’s popularity and enthusiastic support in Austin,” said Dempster. “Anyone who has heard his exquisite performances understands why he is a favorite of Austin audiences and audiences across the U.S.”

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Watch and hear Michelle Ferry Williams (BM ’09) this and every Sunday as she plays in the Orchestra at Temple Square with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the weekly television broadcast Music and the Spoken Word.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s first network radio program (with the organ, choir, and announcer sharing a single microphone) was transmitted on July 15, 1929. Today, after more than 80 years and over 4,100 broadcasts, Music and the Spoken Word is the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in America.

With the Orchestra of Temple Square, Michelle can also be heard on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s latest CD Teach Me to Walk in the Light released on December 26, 2012.

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Tonight at 5:30 PM in the San Antonio Museum of Art, Benjamin Westney (BM ’03, MM ’05) performs his last of three concerts at the Brahms Festival in San Antonio, TX. The Brahms Festival is created and curated by Sebastian Lang-Lessing and the San Antonio Symphony. Ben performs the Brahms Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8, and the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34. For tickets, visit

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…Francesco Mastromatteo (DMA ’12) profiled in La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

…just a sneak preview of the zaniness that will take place next month when the Longhorn Cellos travel to Fort Worth, TX to participate in the 2013 TCU Cellofest.

Jonathan Dexter (MM ’05, DMA candidate ’07) and his wife, flutist Naomi Seidman (DMA ’07), Assistant Professor of Flute at Pennsylvania State University, will perform and present Dan Welcher’s “The Need to See” at the Texas Music Educators Association’s 2013 Clinic/Convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX on February 13-16. The work was initially commissioned with a NEA grant for performances in Kingsville, TX in November 2012. The performances reached 800 students in five schools. The work will be recorded immediately following the TMEA convention.

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Nathan Harrenstein (MM ’12) has joined the Southbank Sinfonia 2013, Britain’s leading orchestral academy based in London that features partnerships with the Royal Opera, National Theatre, BBC Concert Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Meanwhile, Nathan continues his association with the Seattle based Parnassus Project, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional audiences in the community, such as Café’s, bars, libraries, bookstores, etc.

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American Public MediaThe Longhorn Cellos is on American Public Media’s Performance Today!

Heard today during the second hour of the broadcast is the Longhorn Cellos’ performance of Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for Soprano and Cello Ensemble with soprano Mela Dailey and conductor Peter Bay. The recording was made during a concert in Bates Recital Hall in Austin, TX on Friday, September 14, 2012.

Performance Today is broadcast on 260 public radio stations across the country and is heard by about 1.3 million people each week. To find out where and when Performance Today is broadcast in your area, visit

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Graduate student Yi Xin (DMA ’14) has been awarded a UT College of Fine Arts Continuing Fellowship for 2013-14. The scholarship includes a $12,000 stipend plus a tuition assistance benefit, a tuition waiver and a supplement for basic student medical insurance with the package totalling more than $21,000.

Yi’s last year of his doctoral degree at the UT Butler School of Music is an ambitious one: in addition to his DMA 2 Recital, where he will perform the same solo program that Janos Starker performed in Tokyo in 1988, and his Lecture-Recital on the Gyorgy Ligeti Solo Sonata, Yi plans to compete in the 2013 Leoš Janáček International Competition in Brno.

Congratulations, Yi!