Best of Biddle

Welcome to Best of Biddle, a virtual series of concerts, workshops, and lectures curated by Duke Music faculty.

The Best of Biddle virtual series began in Fall 2020 as a way for Duke Music to highlight the creativity, resilience, and musicianship of our students and faculty during the Covid-19 pandemic. All the Best of Biddle videos, from October 2020 to the present, are permanently available on this blog to view free of charge.

As the Best of Biddle begins its second season in 2021-2022, we hope you’ll take time to explore this site and enjoy our eclectic library of past performances.

Return to music.duke.edu.

Mary Duke Biddle Music Building, Duke University

Mary Duke Biddle Music Building, Duke University

Ciompi Quartet: “Spiritual Voices”

This video will premiere on Friday, June 18 at 7:30 pm Eastern.

View the complete program, which includes composer and musician bios.

In celebration of Juneteenth 2021, the Ciompi Quartet and Electric Earth Concerts will present a major work of Olly Wilson (1937-2018) pictured at left: “A City Called Heaven” for large ensemble. Also on the program is “Grist for the Mill,” a work by Duke composer Anthony Kelley, who earned his Ph.D. studying with Wilson; Mark Kuss’s arrangement of “7 Spirituals and Work Songs of the United States”; and Ben Johnston’s “Amazing Grace” quartet, which takes the archetypal hymn as the basis for a wild and deeply moving journey. Professor Kelley will introduce the program.

In addition to the Ciompi Quartet (Eric Pritchard, violin; Hsiao-mei Ku, violin; Jonathan Bagg, viola; Caroline Stinson, cello) performers include Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; Laura Gilbert, flute; Michael Williams, percussion; Chris Lennard, percussion; Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; and Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, conducting “A City Called Heaven.”

 

2021 Senior Recital Highlights

This video premiered on Friday, May 21 at 7:30 pm.

Highlights from this spring’s Senior Recitals, featuring performances by Ansley Arnow, Emily Dean, and Bryn Lawson (voice); Geo Carattini and Angel Shi (flute); Caleb Woo (saxophone); Steven Oh (violin); Holly Kim (cello); Annabelle Yang and Ethan Shen (piano); and Alina Xiao (conducting).

View the complete program with musician bios and texts/translations for the vocal pieces.

Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes, Op. 34

Video will premiere on Friday, May 14 at 7:30 pm ET.


Duke Music’s Piano Area premieres a semester-long project as undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and guests collaborate to record the entire cycle of piano works written early in the career of this Soviet master.

D. Shostakovich, 24 Preludes Op. 34

Prelude 1 in C major (2:30):  Larry Todd
Prelude 2 in A minor (3:54):  Aram Lindroth
Prelude 3 in G major (5:15):  Yi Chen
Prelude 4 in E minor (7:33):  Jing Zhang
Prelude 5 in D major (10:56):  Rui Xi
Prelude 6 in B minor (11:43):  Ted Choi
Prelude 7 in A major (13:22):  Hannah Duke
Prelude 8 in F sharp minor (14:53):  Nathaniel Maxwell
Prelude 9 in E major (16:11):  Joanna Chang
Prelude 10 in C sharp minor (16:59):  Danika Dai
Prelude 11 in B major (19:12):  Kevin Xu
Prelude 12 in G sharp minor (20:22):  Florence Liu
Prelude 13 in F sharp major (22:28):  Andrew Moenning
Prelude 14 in E flat minor (23:47):  Catherine McMillan
Prelude 15 in D flat major (26:17):  Devon Valdez
Prelude 16 in B flat minor (27:36):  Debosir Ghosh
Prelude 17 in A flat major (29:05):  Inge Walther
Prelude 18 in F minor (31:10):  Daniel Seyfried
Prelude 19 in E flat major (32:16):  Ieva Jokubaviciute
Prelude 20 in C minor (34:17):  Danika Dai
Prelude 21 in B flat major (35:13):  Joanna Chang
Prelude 22 in G minor (36:10):  Andre Hall
Prelude 23 in F major (38:46):  Davis Wu
Prelude 24 in D minor (40:35):  Aram Lindroth

[dnme]: Duke New Music Ensemble

This video will premiere on Friday, May 7 at 7:30 pm EDT.

Directed by Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, [dnme]’s final concert of the year features multiple premieres performed and/or written by undergraduate performers and composers, graduate composers, Music Department faculty members, guests Alex Sopp, flute and Alissa Roca, soprano, in addition to the Ciompi Quartet, Vice Provost for the Arts John Brown, and community members.

Program:
David Johnston: “Prelude, Intermission, & Rondo” (Caleb Woo, saxophone)

Jason Mulligan: “Easter, 1916” (Alissa Roca, soprano & Jason Mulligan, piano)

Courtney Dantzler: “Woodland Mischief” (Alex Sopp, flute)

Brooks Frederickson: “Carson Yoga” (Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano & Jennifer Curtis, violin; Julie Rooney, videographer and editor; Carson Moody, yogi, writer)

Brittany Green: “Embers” (Mike Kris, trombone)

Steven Bryant: “Dusk” (The [dnme] Ensemble: Courtney Dantzler, voice, Nidhi Dhupati, violin, Happy Yao, cello, Peter Liu, piano, conducted by Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant)

Dayton Kinney: “Falling Between the Worlds” (Sandra Cotton, mezzo soprano & David Heid, piano)

James Budinich: “Fragments Cast in Bronze” (Alex Sopp, flute)

Minato Sakamoto: “Partita Americana” (Hsiao-Mei Ku, violin)

Huijuan Ling: “Two Elastic Canons” (Carla Copeland-Burns, flute & Susan Fancher, saxophone)

Maximiliano Amici: “Solo” (Daniel Seyfried, piano)

Steven Bryant: “The Low Arc of the Sun” (Ciompi Quartet, John Brown, community members)

The majority of the works were edited and recorded by Rick Nelson. Stephen Downing recorded and edited “Dusk” by Steven Bryant.

Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant is the Artistic Director and Project Manager of dnme and this collaborative effort.

Duke Opera Theater: Flute & Figaro al Fresco

This video premiered on Friday, April 30 at 7:30 pm EDT.

“Flute & Figaro al Fresco” features staged scenes from Mozart’s Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro filmed outside the Biddle Music Building on Duke’s East Campus.

 

View the video trailer for The Magic Flute.

View the video trailer for The Marriage of Figaro.

Conceived by director David Heid and featuring pianist Daniel Seyfried, this homage to silent films is a creative, theatrical and comic response to the limitations placed on performances by the Covid-19 pandemic. The soundtrack, sung in English, was recorded one voice at a time in Baldwin Auditorium with the filming and editing of the video done by Rick Nelson, with additional footage shot by Ryan Harrison. This unique 35 minute film is fast-paced and engaging, demonstrating the creativity and resilience of Duke student vocalists and breaking new ground for creative opera presentations in the future. This video release includes a behind the scenes chat with Opera Theater director David Heid and pianist Dan Seyfried following the film.

Featuring Matthew Bao, Heather Berman, Charlie Bonetti, Alexa Burnston, Devon Carter, Francesca Herrera, Alex Kintzer, Bryn Lawson, Julia Leeman, Sophia Leeman, Elliott Loverin, Jia Jia Shen, Roy Thompson, Rebecca Williamson, Priya Zahrt, and Xuanyu Zhou.

Senior Distinction Concert 2021

This video premiered on Friday, April 23 at 7:30 pm EDT.

Join Duke Music as we bring you a virtual concert featuring our three seniors graduating with Distinction in Music Performance. View the program online (includes bios of the seniors and descriptions of their distinction projects).

We begin with Annalise Bracher, violinist, performing Mvt. 1 of Debussy’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Minor with pianist Debosir Ghosh; Mvt. 2 of Ravel’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano with pianist Andrew Nguyen; and the final movement of Franck’s Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano with pianist Blake Ray.

Our second senior graduating with distinction, pianist Alina Xiao, will then perform “Bluedream” by Duke graduate composer Brittany J. Green and three works by Rachmaninov: two Étude-Tableaus from Op. 39 and the Prelude Op. 32 No. 10 in B minor.

Charlie Todd, violinist, our third senior graduating with distinction, will finish the program with a Scottish Fiddling medley; a selection from Haydn’s “Scottish Songs” with soprano Julia Leeman, cellist Holly Kim, and pianist Bryan Tong; a selection from Beethoven’s “25 Scottish Songs” Op. 108 with soprano Sophia Leeman, Holly Kim, and Bryan Tong; Mvt. 2 of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, Op. 56 “Scottish” with Kim and Tong; and the final movement of Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy” Op. 46 with pianist Blake Ray.

Music of Nature and Nation: Jennifer Curtis, violin and Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano

This video premiered on Friday, April 9 at 7:30 pm EDT.

Ieva Jokubaviciute and Jennifer Curtis perform music by George Enescu (1881-1955) and Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).

View the complete program

Sonata No. 3 in A Minor “dans le caractère populaire roumain” for violin and piano, Op. 25, is a chamber-music composition written in 1926 by George Enescu. It is dedicated to Franz Kneisel.

Five Esquisses (Five Sketches), Op. 114 was written in 1929 by Jean Sibelius.

Portfolio Project: The Ciompi Quartet commissions Duke Graduate Composers 2020

This video premiered on April 2, 2021 at 7:30 pm EDT.

Last summer, the Ciompi Quartet commissioned four graduate students in Duke Music’s Composition program to create new, short pieces conceived to be rehearsed and performed remotely as a response to the Covid pandemic. This video premiere features the Ciompi Quartet’s performance of:

James Budinich: Rotation Study
Ryan Harrison: Disconnected
James Chu: Mk
Maximiliano Amici: Mirage

Read more about the project, the composers and their pieces, and view scores

Duke Chorale Spring Concert

This video premiered on Friday, March 26 at 7:30 pm EDT.

View the program, with texts and translations.

The Duke Chorale, directed by Rodney Wynkoop, presents its annual Spring concert virtually this year. Recorded in Baldwin Auditorium adhering to all distancing and safety protocols, the Duke Chorale brings you a diverse selection from Renaissance pieces to contemporary works, including American folk songs and spirituals.

Composition/Counterpoint Undergraduate Virtual Showcase

This video premiered on Friday, March 19 at 7:30 pm local time.

Students in Professor Anthony Kelley’s Music 465S (Counterpoint) and Music 281T & 381T (Composition) classes present their final semester projects.

Student contrapuntists performing their own works
Jerry Liu, Roy Xiong, Vincentius Martin, and Nathaniel Maxwell

Student composers works
“Solo for Bb Tenor Saxophone” by Ben Rubin, performed by Caleb Woo
“Through the Forest” by Bryn Lawson
“One Line Comp” by Alex Kintzer
“Telu Sora Nusantara” by Vincentius Martin, performed by Priscilla La (flute) and Vincentius Martin (guitar)