CCM Student Olivier Ochanine Takes First Prize at Inaugural Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition

We are thrilled to announce that CCM student Olivier Ochanine has returned home from Budapest with first prize in hand from the inaugural Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition. Ochanine is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of CCM Professor Mark Gibson.

In addition to a cash prize of €1.500, Ochanine has been offered a career-advancing contract proposal with Contempoars International Artists Agency.

This exciting new competition for conductors is open to all ages and nationalities. Over the course of six days competitors advanced through five rounds in total. While the eliminatory round welcomed an unlimited number of applicants, jurors only advanced 30 people to the first round. By the end of the competition, jurors eliminated all but three outstanding contestants who advanced to the final round.

In the final round, contestants rehearsed for 60 minutes with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV. Each rehearsed two pieces, Béla Bartók’s Hungarian Peasant Songs Sz.100, and either Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 movement I, Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 movement IV or Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune. Directly following the rehearsal each contestant performed a work from their assigned repertoire in concert for a public audience.

The competition was judged by some of Europe’s finest conductors:

  • Tamás Vásáry (Hungary), president of the jury
  • György Lendvai, managing director of Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV
  • Pietro Borgonovo (Italy), artistic director of Giovine Orchestra Genovese and chief conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Savona
  • Vittorio Parisi, teacher of orchestra conducting at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan
  • Márton Rácz (Hungary), conductor, music director, Eszterháza Centre of Culture, Research and Festivals, Esterházy Castle; Szigligeti Theatre, Szolnok
CCM doctoral student Olivier Ochanine.

CCM doctoral student Olivier Ochanine.

About Olivier Ochanine
Regularly praised for his charisma on and off the podium as well as for his breadth of orchestral repertoire, Olivier Ochanine is the youngest music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in the orchestra’s history.

A native of Paris, Ochanine began music studies in France. He continued his studies in the US, and expanded his focus to orchestral conducting, taking up graduate studies and attending master classes with some of the best conducting mentors, including Mark Gibson, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, Larry Livingston, Robert Baldwin, John Barnett, John Farrer and Achim Holub. He obtained his Master of Music degree in Conducting from the University of Southern California (USC), where he was given the Conducting Department Award in 2003. In 2009, he began his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at CCM.

A flutist and bassist, Ochanine earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kentucky. He has also played as bassist for the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ochanine has been invited to the California Conductors Institute several times. In 2009, Ochanine was among a handful of conductors nationally to be invited by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop to conduct in the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, California and to participate in a conducting workshop. He has also been a participant in CCM’s prestigious conducting workshops.

Ochanine’s term with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the nation’s leading orchestra, started with the 2010-11 performance season. Under his leadership, the orchestra has performed numerous Philippine premieres. In the Philippines, Ochanine is an active clinician, leading chamber music master classes at schools; he has also led conducting master classes for the Cultural Center of the Philippines. As part of his outreach mission, Ochanine serves as head visiting conductor for the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth, a program geared toward talented youth that stem from severely unfortunate financial backgrounds. Ochanine is a strong believer in advocacy and heritage, and recently won a campaign he spearheaded to save the best performance hall in Manila – the Philamlife Theater – from demolishment by a large commercial developer.

Olivier is second prizewinner in the 2015 London Classical Soloists International Conducting Competition, where he conducted the orchestra in various Beethoven symphonies. He was also selected as semi-finalist for the American Prize (2015) in the Professional Orchestra Conducting division. Finalists are announced later in the year.

Guest conducting appearances have led him to the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, CCM orchestras and regular engagements with the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and a Russian debut with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

Learn more about Olivier Ochanine by visiting www.olivierochanine.com.

Learn more about CCM’s Department of Orchestral Studies by visiting ccm.uc.edu/music/orchestra.

 

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CCM's Concert Orchestra.

Award-Winning Conductor and Educator Aik Khai Pung is Named Assistant Professor of Orchestral Studies at CCM

Aik Khai Pung, Assistant Professor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM.

Aik Khai Pung, Assistant Professor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Aik Khai Pung to the position of Assistant Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Orchestral StudiesPung first joined CCM’s faculty on a visiting basis in 2014. His new appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

An all-around conductor and educator, Pung is music director of the CCM Concert Orchestra, NANOWorks Opera and Café MoMus, CCM’s contemporary music ensemble.

An alumnus of CCM, Pung (MM Orchestral Conducting, 2009; DMA Orchestral Conducting, 2014) studied under Mark Gibson, Annunziata Tomaro, Xu Xin, Zhang Yi and Ulrich Nicolai. He has also worked with Gustav Meier and JoAnn Falletta. Pung holds a BA from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in addition to his degrees from CCM.

Prior to his engagement at CCM, Pung taught at Earlham College in Indiana, Akademie der Chinesische Bunte Blätter in Munich and Peking University in Beijing. He has served as head instructor of the Orchestral, Choir and Opera Conducting Workshop in Malaysia, and was a clinician for Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music Orchestra Festival in New Jersey.

On top of his passion for teaching, Pung is actively involved in music festivals around the world such as Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, S.C.), CCM Spoleto (Spoleto, Italy), Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Lucca, Italy), Georgetown Festival (Penang, Malaysia) and Luminato Festival (Toronto, Canada) where he conducts and assists opera productions as well as symphonic concerts.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Pung plays the piano, violin, Er-hu (Chinese traditional fiddle), Chinese dulcimer and viola da gamba. On top of instrumental music, he is equally involved with vocal music. He programs and performs new operas as the music director of NANOWorks Opera. Aside from the music from the Classical and Romantic eras, Pung has conducted his research on the music of Guo Wenjing, Toshio Hosokawa, Nico Muhly, John Adams, Philip Glass and young composers such as CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (MM Composition, 2009; DMA Composition, 2012), Danny Clay, Eric Knechtges, Li ShaoSheng and Marie Incontrera, among others.

Pung won second prize in the Taiwan Chinese Orchestra (TCO) International Conducting Competition (2015) and was the Special Award winner for Conducting Chinese Music at the First Hong Kong International Conducting Competition (2011).

He was the first international conducting student to be accepted to the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music, the top conservatory in China, where he was awarded outstanding student in 2005.

You can learn even more about Aik Khai Pung by clicking herePlease join us in congratulating him on his new appointment.

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Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM's Department of Voice.

Accomplished Tenor Daniel Weeks Joins CCM’s Voice Faculty

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Daniel Weeks, tenor, to the position of Associate Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Voice. Weeks’ appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM's Department of Voice.

Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Voice.

Praised for his Italianate timbre and sensitive musicianship, Daniel Weeks maintains an active performing schedule including opera, oratorio and recitals. As a concert artist, Weeks has sung with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Winter Park Bach Festival, the Bozeman Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Symphony of Mexico, the National Symphony of Costa Rica, the Xalapa Symphony (Mexico) and the National Youth Orchestra of Caracas (Venezuela). On the operatic stage, he has performed with the Florentine Opera, Kentucky Opera, Mercury Opera, Nevada Opera and in 2001 toured the US in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater.

Conductors with whom he has performed include Steuart Bedford, Christoph Campestrini, Hal France, Stefan Lano, Jane Glover, Christopher Larken, Hans Graf, Gustav Meier, Junkchi Hirokami, Vladimir Spivakov, Alessandro Siciliani, John Keenan, John Rutter, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Eduardo Müller, Gregory Vajda, Stefan Sanderling, Ari Pelto, Lyndon Woodside, Uriel Segal, Robin Stamper, Mark Gibson and Joe Mechavich. Stage directors with whom he has worked include Linda Brovsky, Michael Cavanaugh, Leonard Foglia, David Gately, Casey Stangl, Nicholas Muni, Donald Westwood and John Davies. In 2009, Weeks was honored by his alma mater, Belmont University in Nashville, TN, with their Second Annual “Encore Alumni Award” for excellence in the field of classical music.

A passionate advocate for Art Song recitals, Weeks taught the Vocal Literature seminars at the University of Louisville after joining the voice faculty in 1998. In 1999, he was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions and was also named Young Artist by the National Federation of Music Clubs. In October 1999, he made his New York recital debut with CCM Accompanist-in-Residence Donna Loewy on the Judith Raskin Memorial Concert Series. In February 2000, Weeks was the “On Wings of Song” recitalist with Loewy under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. For the next three years, he and Loewy presented recitals and school presentations for the Horne Foundation across the country.

Additionally, Weeks has collaborated with such notable pianists as Timothy Cheek, Valerie Trujillo and Douglas Fisher. Additionally, he and pianist, Naomi Oliphant have given over 150 performances throughout the US, Canada and Europe since 2002. These performances include recitals in Katowice, Poland, Brno, CZ and an appearance in Toronto, Canada, at the 2007 Collaborative Conference hosted jointly by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association, the Music Teachers National Association and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

In 2009, Weeks and Naomi Oliphant released their album Women of Firsts: A Recording of Art Songs by Lili Boulanger, Amy Beach, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Vítězslava Kaprálová on the Centaur Records label. Critically acclaimed in the US and Europe, this recording showcases art songs by women who were the first in their respective countries to achieve national and international recognition for composition. He and Dr. Oliphant recorded their second album entitled The Lieder of Franz Liszt, which is scheduled for release with Centaur Records in 2015.

You can learn even more about Daniel Weeks by visiting www.tenorweeks.com. Please join us in welcoming him to the CCM family!

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CCM Student Thanapol Setabrahmana Achieves Second Place in National ‘American Prize’ Competition

CCM graduate student Thanapol Setabrahmana.

CCM graduate student Thanapol Setabrahmana.

We are delighted to report that DMA candidate Thanapol Setabrahmana has achieved second place nationally in the band/wind ensemble division of The American Prize‘s 2013 Conducting Competition!

Setabrahmana was selected from applications reviewed this summer from all across the United States. One competition judge commented, “this is a first class musician. Good control over his scores and very solid technique.” Setabrahmana can next been seen at CCM conducting Morton Gould’s “West Point Symphony” as part of the CCM Wind Orchestra’s Sept. 27 concert.

The American Prize is a series of new non-profit competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts.

For a list of additional conducting and ensembles winners for 2013, please visit theamericanprize.blogspot.com.

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CCM Celebrates the Music of Ludwig van Beethoven

CCM's Concert Orchestra.

CCM’s Concert Orchestra.

The CCM Philharmonia and Concert Orchestras open their seasons with a festival celebrating the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven. Running from Sept. 14 through Oct. 12, the Beethoven Festival showcases the talents of CCM students and faculty in a concert series featuring a variety of the composer’s works, including six of his nine symphonies, two overtures, two concertos and a variety of chamber music.

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