William Cheng Wins 2016 AMS Philip Brett Award

Assistant Professor William Cheng won the 2016 Philip Brett Award from the American Musicological Society for his new book, Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good.  Read the press release from the University of Michigan Press that includes an interview with Professor Cheng from the Harvard Music Department Newsletter.  Additionally, Professor Cheng was interviewed by Hannah Silverstein for the Dartmouth News regarding his award.

New Publication by William Cheng

Read Professor William Cheng's interview with Junction Magazine about his newest book Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good.


Just Vibrations bends our collective ears toward the vitality and precarity of optimism, dependence, and reparative agendas in academia and in daily life. William Cheng calls for a radical embrace of interpersonal care as a core--as opposed to extracurricular--component of intellectual labor. In the event we break, who will rush to criticize and who will stop to offer aid? Should our voices crack, who may take pains to listen all the more closely? Traversing the resonant archives of reindeer games, personal impairment, scholarly strife, queer hope, and accessible soundscapes, this book advocates for care work as a barometer of better worlds.

2016 Gerald Tracy Memorial Piano Competition Results

Five Dartmouth pianists competed in the 2016 Gerald Tracy Memorial Piano Competition this past weekend.  The event was adjudicated by pianist Marc Ryser of Boston, the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra acting conductor Filippo Ciabatti, as well as Dartmouth piano faculty Greg Hayes and Sally Pinkas.  The judges agreed that this year's level was remarkably high; first prize was won by Andrew Liu, '19, and second prize was shared by Christina (Hye Ri)  Bae '19, and Rick Gangopadhyay '19.  Guest judge Marc Ryser offered an inspiring masterclass the following morning at Faulkner Auditorium, teaching four student pianists.  

Department of Music 2016 Senior Recitals

All recitals are free and open to the public.  Recital dates and times are subject to change, so please check schedule often for any updates.

Recitals are part of the [email protected] series.

April 8
Jordana Composto, mezzo-soprano
7:00 pm • Faulkner Recital Hall, Hopkins Center
This recital explores the role of women in the classical Mezzo-Soprano repertoire—the common archetypes portrayed, the stereotypes perpetuated and those who create them.

Selections from the program: Voi che sapete from Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart and “Una voce poco fa” from Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini.

William Cheng in a Washington Post Opinion Piece

From Dartmouth Now published 1/21/16:

I’m a Musician Who Can’t Play Music (‘The Washington Post’)

“History sparkles with stories of musicians overcoming illness, impairment, and adversity,” writes Dartmouth’s William Cheng in a Washington Post opinion piece. “Beethoven composed his ‘Ninth Symphony’ while deaf. Ray Charles performed blind. Itzhak Perlman plays through polio. Watch American Idol this season and you’ll hear tear-jerking tales of contestants beating herculean odds.”

But sometimes suffering doesn’t produce better art, writes Cheng, an assistant professor of music. Sometimes suffering prevents it from happening.

Sally Pinkas' Musical Tour in the Philippines

Professor Sally Pinkas spent most of December 2015 in the Philippines, performing as both a soloist and as half of the Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo (with her husband Evan Hirsch). Her solo program, presented at the University of the Philippines's Abelardo Hall, featured rarely-heard works by Filipino composers of the late 19th and early-20th century.  With Evan she presented a program at the prestigious Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and in the Metro Center of Tagbilaran, Bohol.  The two taught young pianists in Masterclasses at the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, St. Paul University, and Centro Escolar Conservatory, all in Manila.  Professor Pinkas plans to record the Filipino program for commercial release.

Reviews of Professor Pinkas' performances are featured in the Musikang Kaloob blog and Inquirer.net.

Recent Publication by Tim Atherton

Tim Atherton, Senior Lecturer of Low Brass recently had his book published by BearManor Media. Leave It To Me… My Life In Music is the as-told-to autobiography of music legend Donn Trenner. At 88, Donn is professionally active and living in Connecticut. Mr. Trenner lived most of his working life in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas, while traveling the world as Musical Director for celebrity entertainers including: Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett and Ann-Margret. His bands were integral in the pioneering television shows of Bob Hope and Steve Allen. As a jazz pianist, Donn recorded with Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Charles Mingus. This book is a recounting of a life well-lived by a distinctively talented musician. Tim was inspired to write Donn Trenner’s story capturing this unique tale of American musical history.