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Department News

Roberto Sierra’s composition “Beyond the Silence of Sorrow” has been nominated for a 2016 Latin Grammy. The recording features Maximiano Valdés conducting the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, with soprano Martha Guth, and is on the Naxos recording Roberto Sierra: Sinfonía No. 3 “La Salsa”, Borikén, El Baile & Beyond The Silence Of Sorrow.

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The inaugural Historical Notation Bootcamp, co-taught by Andrew Hicks (Assistant Professor in the Department of Music and Program for Medieval Studies at Cornell) and Anna Zayaruznaya (Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Yale), took over the ground floor of Yale’s Department of Music on August 8–12. Over the course of the intensive three-day workshop students explored a range of Western notational systems, from early neumatic notation to the complex “ars subtilior” of the late fourteenth century. A multimodal approach including singing, transcribing, interpreting theory, and practicing practice made for a lively and productive experience for nineteen participants from eleven universities across the US and Canada. Plans are already underway for the second annual Historical Notation Bootcamp to take place in Summer 2017.

The program was made possible through the support of the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance, Department of Music, and the Carol T. Sienko Memorial Endowment at Cornell University and the Beinecke Library and Department of Music at Yale University. notation boot camp 1-603x250


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The Department of Music is delighted to announce that acclaimed composer and sound artist Marianthi Papalexandri Alexandri has joined our faculty as Assistant Professor of Composition. She begins this Fall semester, teaching Music 2440: Shaping Sound: An Introduction to Musical Composition and Experimentation in Sound, and Music 7430: Rethinking the Instrument.

Papalexandri Alexandri has garnered international critical recognition through commissions, awards and residencies. Her works have been presented and commissioned extensively throughout Europe, as well as in the United States and Japan.

Her working process often encourages intensive collaborations with artists, students and institutions. She has demonstrated outstanding teaching and advising qualities, and her teaching has been awarded and has consistently received outstanding reviews in a wide range of educational settings.

See for her full CV and more information about her works.

At Cornell, Papalexandri Alexandri’s compositional and teaching thrust will continue to rediscover the musical instrument as a resonant body and performance medium through links between sound mechanism, sculpture and installation. All of this will be with an eye toward collaborations with faculty and students across the University.

IBS Classical’s new release of Roberto Sierra’s “Boleros & Montunos,” performed by Juan Carlos Garvayo on the piano, has received the Melómano de Oro.


Amanda Lalonde (PhD Musicology, 2014) has accepted a position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music History for the 2016-2017 academic year at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada.

Samuel Dwinell  (ABD, Musicology), who currently holds a faculty teaching position in Cornell University’s John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, will begin a job as a Lecturer in the School of Music at the University of Akron, Ohio in August 2016.

Graduate student composer Tonia Ko has been named a winner in the 64th annual BMI Student Composer Awards, one of the world’s foremost talent competitions for young classical artists. The awards were presented at a private ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the J. W. Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City. Ms. Ko was also a winner of the 2015 BMI Student Composer Award.

For more information, visit

Associate Professor Alejandro L. Madrid’s most recent book, In Search of Julián Carrillo and Sonido 13 (Oxford University Press, 2015), has won the 2016 Humanities Book Award from the Mexico Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). The prize is awarded annually to an outstanding and original contribution to the study of Mexico in book-length academic monographs and works published during the previous year. This is the first time a music book or music-based monograph receives this award. The prize will be presented to Professor Madrid on May 29 in New York City, during the annual meeting of LASA.

The New York Youth Symphony First Music program has announced composition graduate student Charlie Peck has been selected as one of seven commissions for the NYYS’s 54th season. His chamber music piece will be premiered on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

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Composition grad student Tonia Ko’s premiere of “Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide,” performed by the New York Youth Symphony, was reviewed in the New York Times on March 7, 2016.