Brett Scott leading CCM's Chorale at this year's Moveable Feast gala event.

Professor Douglas Knehans’ New Choral Music Album Receives Rave Reviews

Lux Dei features new works for choir composed by CCM Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar Douglas Knehans and sung by the CCM Chorale, under the direction of CCM Professor Brett Scott. Recently released by ABLAZE Records, the new album has garnered praise in multiple music reviews for its accessibility and beauty. 

Knehans' "Lux Dei" choral music album is available for purchase through Ablaze Records.

Knehans’ “Lux Dei” choral music album is available for purchase through ABLAZE Records.

“I’ve always admired composers who can write music that sounds modern but feels ancient,” wrote Jean-Yves Duperron in a review of Lux Dei published by the Classical Music Sentinel. “The contemporary style and technique make it seem new, different and fresh, while the general character of the writing allows for an overall outlook that takes you back through the centuries to the days of early music.”

The review applauds Knehans’ music for being “well rooted and accessible and always seems to hit an emotional nerve.” Duperron concludes that the new album “should be of great appeal to anyone interested in new choral music.”

Fanfare Magazine published Colin Clarke’s glowing review of Lux Dei in the March/April edition of the magazine. The review spotlights the CCM Chorale for its “rich, sonorous blend” in the “beautifully balanced recording.”

Clarke praises each of the album’s six stellar works, which includes Knehans’ Three Psalms — a prizewinner at the First International Sacred Choral Music Festival in the Czech Republic. Lux Dei also showcases Knehans’ Panis Angelicus, Epicideum Hathumode, Two Looks at Silence and Symbolum Apostolorum. Organist Christina Haan joins the CCM Chorale on Missa brevis, the album’s only accompanied piece.

“This is a radiant disc of music by a composer who is blessed with a tremendous imagination and who clearly has great affinity with writing for choir,” Clarke wrote. “There is a huge amount of beauty to be found here. Put simply, Knehans locates and amplifies the spiritual within the religious.”

Click to read the full reviews by Classical Music Sentinel and Fanfare Magazine.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

About Douglas Knehans
Douglas Knehans is the Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has received awards from the American Music Center, the NEA, the Australia Council Performing Arts Board, Yale University, the MacDowell Colony, Opera Australia, The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Meet the Composer and a host of others.

His music has been praised by the Washington Post as “beautiful,” by the Miami Herald as “wildly inventive,” by the Australian as “brilliantly catchy and eerily bright” and by Fanfare Magazine as “…effective…incisive… and hauntingly beautiful.”

Knehans’ music is available on ERM Media, Crystal Records, Move Records, New World Records and ABLAZE Records. His full biography is available online at douglasknehans.com.

For more information on CCM’s Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory visit ccm.uc.edu/music/cmt.

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Story by CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
Haoli Lin

Fanfare Magazine Critic Praises Violin Alum’s ‘Breathtaking’ New Album, ‘Romantic Journey’

Fanfare Magazine critic Robert Maxham heralds Romantic Journey, a new album from alumnus Haoli Lin (BM Violin Performance, 2013; MM Violin Performance, 2015), as both “breathtaking” and “urgently recommended.” Featuring music for violin and piano, Lin’s newest release was recorded in CCM’s own Robert J. Werner Recital Hall between October 2015 and March 2016.

Alumna and current Doctor of Musical Arts piano student Hai Jin (AD Piano Performance, 2013; MM Piano Performance, 2015) collaborates with Lin in Romantic Journey, which is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

“Haoli Lin’s repertoire presents the meat and potatoes of old-time violin recitals with refreshing naturalness and grace,” critic Maxham wrote in his review of the album for Fanfare Magazine.

Lin’s album showcases some of the finest gems of the classical romantic period. Opening with the effortlessly sweet melodies of Manuel Ponce and Jascha Heifetz’s Estrellita and concluding with the virtuosic Carmen Fantasy by Pablo Sarasate, Romantic Journey offers a taste of an entire generation of music in just 60 brief minutes.

When discussing the standard repertory for his instrument, Lin praises that of the romantic era as the most affective and emotionally persuasive. Lin invites listeners to “sit back and enjoy the journey” in a written introduction to the album posted on his website:

“It is often claimed that modern ears, even after decades of acclimation to increasingly modern and harmonically dissonant music, still find their home in the sounds of romanticism. The emotional and sentimental qualities of romantic music, combined with its inherent virtuosity and brilliance, create an undeniable beauty of expression that few can resist. The violin, with its enormous palette of sounds, was a preferred solo instrumental voice of many romantic composers due to its capability to convey character ranging from the sweetest of lyrical singing tone to full-throated aggressive power. It is my hope that this recording elicits in the listener the same wide range of emotions that these pieces have evoked in me since my childhood. Sit back and enjoy the journey.”

Lin performs on not one, but two historic violins of the Neapolitan family Gagliano on this recording. One, provided by the Guadagnini Violin Shop in Chicago, was made by Nicolò Gagliano and dates back to 1732. He also performs on another exquisite instrument, made by Januarius Gagliano in 1750, provided by University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Collection.

About Haoli Lin
Born 1990 in Shantou, China, Lin became the youngest prizewinner in the history of China’s National violin competition at age 18. He also won first prize in Michigan’s Andrews International String competition in 2013. Lin has performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber player throughout China and United States. His solo performances include concerto appearances with the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, China Youth Symphony Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Great Wall Soloists, Shenzhen Youth Symphony Orchestra, Andrews University Symphony Orchestra and the Shanxi Chamber orchestra. He has performed in prominent concert halls in China, including Beijing’s National Center for Performing Arts, Beijing Concert Hall, Hong Kong Sha Tin Music Hall, Tuen Wan Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall and Shenzhen Poly Theatre.

Lin studied with Pei Feng, Pei-yan Liu and with the renowned Chinese violin pedagogue Yaoji Lin in the in Shenzhen Arts School. He has attended the Great Wall International Music Academy for four years, and he collaborated with renowned musicians such as Christopher O’Riley and Rohan De Silva. He has performed in master classes for Midori, Miriam Fried and the Tokyo Quartet. Lin earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as a Starling scholarship recipient at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music studying with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus.

Lin was recently chosen as the recipient of a career Grant from the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation. Lin concertizes on a Nicolò Gagliano violin from the year 1732, courtesy of the Guadagnini Violin shop in Chicago, and a Januarius Gagliano from the CCM collection.

About Hai Jin
Pianist Hai Jin graduated from the China Conservatory of Music in 2009, where she studied with Bing Han. She has received numerous awards and prizes in competitions, and has performed recitals and orchestral collaborations throughout China. She made her American debut at Boston University in 2010. As a collaborative pianist, Jin has served as faculty at the Great Wall Music Academy in Beijing and at the Cleveland International Music Festival. As a chamber musician, she has toured with the Sassmannshaus Piano Trio to critical acclaim in both the United States and Asia. She has studied with Lee Fiser and Sandra Rivers, and has worked with Rohan De Silva, Hiram Diaz, Erinn Frechette, Heather Verbeck Harrison and Gao Can. As a student of Awadagin Pratt, she earned an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she is currently completing doctoral studies with James Tocco.

You can learn more about Haoli Lin and Romantic Journey by visiting http://www.haolilin.com.

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News
CCM alumnus Carmine Miranda. Photography by Cody Vickers.

CCM Alumnus Carmine Miranda Releases New Album to Rave Reviews

Album cover for Carmine Miranda's recording of Piatti's 12 Caprices.CCM alumnus and current doctoral candidate Carmine Miranda (BM Violoncello, 2010; MM Violoncello, 2012) is making waves with his latest recording project, which unearths Carlo Alfredo Piatti’s 12 Caprices for solo cello. This Navona Records release is already receiving rave reviews from music critics around the world.

“Piatti (1822-1901) was a renowned virtuoso and teacher whose name had faded into obscurity – except to cellists, who know his 12 Caprices from their studies,” explains Mary Ellyn Hutton in her review for Music in Cincinnati. “Miranda… seeks to return them to the active repertoire, to take their place beside Niccolo Paganini’s Caprices for Solo Violin and Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello and not treated ‘as mere etudes’,” she continues.

Fanfare Magazine describes the album as, “incredible performances of works that should interest every cellist and that should be in the library of anyone who appreciates the cello and hearing it played by a consummate master like Carmine Miranda.”

According to CCN, “at a mere 25 years of age, this recording places Carmine Miranda as the youngest cellist to professionally record and release this repertoire worldwide.”

Miranda’s Piatti: 12 Caprices for Solo Cello is available now through Amazon, iTunes, Classics Online, Spotify and the Naxos Music Library. Learn more about the album by visiting http://navonarecords.com.

About Carmine Miranda
Born in Valencia in 1988 to Italian immigrants and moving to the United States at an early age, Carmine Miranda is a Venezuelan/American cellist, international soloist and recording artist. Miranda began his musical studies at the age of seven at the Carabobo State Music Conservatory in Venezuela, where he studied his first years of Theory and Solfege, finally graduating from the Private Institute of Musical Education or I.P.E.M. He studied cello with cellists Luisa Fuentes, Valmore Nieves and William Molina, at the Latin-American Academy of Violoncello, and the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music (the institution that spawned the famous “El Sistema”). At the same time he was a member of the National Youth Orchestra and the Orchestra of Beethoven under the direction of maestro Giuseppe Sinoppoli.

At CCM, he studied with Lee Fiser and Yehuda Hanani, obtaining a Bachelors of Arts in music, Masters Degree and Doctorate’s degree candidacy. He has participated in several music competitions as a soloist and chamber player winning several recognitions and awards at a national and international level.

An avid soloist, Miranda has performed with several chamber ensembles, orchestras and has performed in prominent concert halls and music festivals including Carnegie Hall, the Aula Magna Hall (one of the largest and most important halls in Latin America), Bowdoin Music Festival, Close Encounters with Music Series in Great Barrington, NY, among others. Miranda has collaborated with recognized international artists such as Yehuda Hanani, Awadagin Pratt, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Spanish composer Luis Serrano Alarcón and Grammy Nominated composer Michael Hoppé.

At the age of 22, Miranda recorded the Six Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach under the label Centaur Records, joining the ranks of the youngest in the world to record the entire work. In 2013 Carmine completed the United States premiere of Nikita Koshkin’s “L’istesso Tempo” composition for cello and guitar. He was also selected to represent the University of Cincinnati as a soloist for a multi-state American tour with the CCM Wind Orchestra culminating with an opening night performance at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference in North Carolina’s Aycock Auditorium. Currently Miranda is a recording artist for Parma Navona Records and plays on a 2005 Jules Azzi cello made in New York City.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes