Visiting Artist Lecture

Join us for a Visiting Artist Workshop: “Photographer Rachael Papo – Public Lecture” on Monday, Mar. 9 in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P), Room 208 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm.

Rachel Papo will present about her life and work. She was born in 1970 in Columbus, OH and was raised in Israel. She began photographing as a teenager and attended a renowned fine-arts high school in Haifa, Israel. At age 18, she served in the Israeli Air Force as a photographer. She earned a BFA in Fine Arts from Ohio State University (1991-1996), and an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2002-2005). Rachel’s photographs are included in numerous public and private collections, and have been exhibited and published worldwide. She is represented by ClampArt Gallery in New York City, and has published two monographs, Serial No. 3817131, and Homeschooled. This is a CLUE event.

If you have any questions, please contact CSI Photography Program Coordinator, Prof. Chris Verene:  chris.verene@csi.cuny.edu.

By the Division of Academic Affairs

Student Art Gallery Reception

The Photography Club of the College of Staten Island presents Cameraless/Illusions with an Opening Reception today, Thursday, Mar. 5, in the Center for the Arts Student Art Gallery (Building 1P, Room 118) from 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

This exhibition is curated and mounted entirely by the student members of The Photography Club, and can also be viewed during gallery hours: Mondays through Thursdays from noon to 4:00pm. Please call ahead for access during these hours: 718.982.2520 

For any questions, please contact The Photography Club Faculty Advisor, Professor Chris Verene:  chris.verene@csi.cuny.edu.

By the Division of Academic Affairs

I Like Feminism and Feminism Likes me

Please join us on Tuesday, Mar. 10 at 2:45pm for the 3:00pm live performance of I Like Feminism and Feminism Likes me at the Center for the Arts Art Gallery of the College of Staten Island (Building 1P, Room 112). The performance is free, but seating is limited to a first come, first served basis. CLUE credit is available.

The performance is the first episode in a series of events associated with the exhibition I Like Feminism and Feminism Likes me with Swedish artist Oskar Korsár. The project reimagines a 1974 encounter—a clash—between the charismatic German artist Joseph Beuys and a group of 32 feminist artists, curators, and critics over breakfast at the Stanhope Hotel. The individual male artist-leader confronted the collective, multi-voiced dissonance of these rebellious women. Both sides were involved in remaking the world, but in forms barely recognizable to each other. Korsár explores the uneven ways in which this event has been recorded in history, probes the different approaches to art and politics, and presents a hybrid and carnivalesque series of objects, drawings, and actions including documentation in film and photography by CSI students.

This project enjoys the support of IASPIS (Swedish Art Grant Committee). 

Exhibition: Thursday, Mar. 12 to Saturday, May 9.

Opening reception: Thursday, Mar. 12 in Building 1P, Room 112 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm

By Siona Wilson, PhD

Young Talent on Display at Fourth Annual CSI Performance Competition for Strings

Left to Right, Dr. Dan Auerbach, Alexandra Cuevas, Alejandro Cuevas, Ricky Chui, Jake Kitchen, Lila Bruschi, Prof. Edward Brown. Photo credit: Rolland Smith

Young orchestra musicians from around Staten Island traveled to the College of Staten Island (CSI) for the fourth annual CSI Performance Competition for Strings. The only competition of its kind on Staten Island, the event featured the maturing musical talents of five high school students. This performance opportunity is the concept of Dr. Dan Auerbach, “These young people in the CSI competition show just what can happen if we can keep a young person’s dream alive. My goal is to focus much-deserved attention on the wonderful musical talent in Staten Island and also on the hard work of area music teachers.”

The competition celebrates the dedicated efforts of the students and their teachers, and supports middle school and high school strings students who are Staten Island residents.

The adjudicators for this year’s competition were Dr. Dan Auerbach and Professor Edward Brown, both of the CSI Music Program of the Department of Performing and Creative Arts.

The talented student-performers included Lila Bruschi, student of Jesse Mills; Alexandra and Alejandro Cuevas, students of Yvette Wheatley; Jake Kitchen, student of Page Silverman; and Ricky Chui, student of Sanchie Bobrow.

Winners in the high school division are as follows:

Ricky Chui, first-place winner (sharing with Jake Kitchen), performed Bruch’s romance for viola and orchestra; Jake Kitchen, first-place winner (sharing with Ricky Chui), performed Rebecca Clarke’s viola sonata; and third-place winner, Lila Bruschi, performed Adagio and Presto from Bach’s Sonata No. 1 for solo violin. Honorable mentions were given to Alexandra and Alejandro Cuevas.

This year’s competition sponsors were:

Rustic Music Center, the Music Program of the CSI Department of Performing and Creative Arts, the CSI Administration, and an anonymous donor.

The upcoming May 17 orchestra concert at 3:00pm at the CSI Center for the Arts Springer Concert Hall will feature the middle school winner of the previous year’s competition, Noshi Norris, performing Bach’s A Minor Violin Concerto. In addition, the concert will feature various classical favorites. The orchestra will be joined by professional musicians from the New York area, who have both coached the kids during the semester and will perform with them side-by-side.

Left to Right: [Competition Winners with Judges] [ photo credit: Rolland Smith]

Dr. Dan Auerbach, Alexandra Cuevas, Alejandro Cuevas, Ricky Chui, Jake Kitchen, Lila Bruschi, Prof. Edward Brown

Music Hour: Composers Now

The Music Program of the Department of Performing and Creative Arts presents a Music Hour: “Composers Now” on Tuesday, Feb. 25 in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Recital Hall at 3:00pm. More information is available online.

By the Division of Academic Affairs

CSI Orchestra Performs with SI Philharmonic and Rutgers String Quartet

Dan Auerbach playing violin and Maria Zakharycheva '19, soprano, with James Minenna conducting at the CSI Orchestra performance.

The College of Staten Island (CSI) Orchestra performed their spring fundraiser concert at the Springer Concert Hall at CSI. Joined by musicians from the Staten Island Philharmonic, as well as the Rutgers String Quartet, the performance celebrated the unique collaboration between CSI and Curtis High School, where students receive college credit through the College Now program. Since its inception, the orchestra has grown to include other Staten Island area schools, as well as various community members. The co-directors include CSI Professor Dan Auerbach and Curtis High School representative James Minenna.

“The College is very proud of the collaboration represented by Dan Auerbach and James Minenna, who work with so many talented local high school musicians to produce the CSI Orchestra concert series on campus.  The fruitfulness of this collaboration was fully in evidence at the recent spring concert, where the young musicians successfully tackled a varied and interesting program.  CSI looks forward to the continuation of this collaboration and these wonderful concerts,” noted CSI Provost Gary Reichard, PhD, who attended the performance.

The Orchestra performed a diverse selection of classical repertoire, including the lamenting G Minor symphony No. 40 by Mozart, the lighthearted “Spring” from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, as well as two baroque selections: Bach’s Erbarme Dich from the St. Matthew Passion, with CSI student soloist Maria Zakharycheva ‘19, as well as a concerto grosso by Geminiani with the Rutgers String Quartet.

The concert was made possible by the Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation through a generous grant, which enabled the students to work with professional musicians from the Staten Island Philharmonic, as well as rehearse with members of the Rutgers String Quartet.

“Such dedication on the part of both the professional musicians and students is what enabled the students to be able to master the difficult repertoire,” commented Auerbach.

Additional sponsorship came from Valpak of Staten Island and Greater Brooklyn. This company has been a generous contributor, supporting the Strings Competition at CSI, bringing talented Staten Island high school and middle school students on campus for a chance to win prize money and a guest solo spot with the orchestra. As this was a fundraiser event, the Orchestra is grateful to the many community members, staff, faculty, and generous parents who purchased tickets, thereby giving financial support and helping to fund future concerts at CSI.

Professional musicians gather after the concert.

Zakharycheva ‘19, a voice student of Professor Elena Heimur, performed an elegant and lyrical rendition of Bach’s famous aria, Erbarme Dich, accompanied by orchestra co-director Auerbach, and alongside concertmaster Isabel Bruschi, who provided the additional solo violin part.

Auerbach and Minenna agreed that, “The orchestra did a wonderful job of maintaining a subordinate role to the soprano soloist.”

Auerbach performed “Spring” from The Four Seasons, guiding the orchestra through this programmatic work and ensuring that students played in a stylistically authentic manner. Curtis High School student soloist, Skivon Hardy, concluded the concert with My Shot! From Hamilton. Additional selections in the program included a Geminiani concerto grosso with the Rutgers String Quartet.

“The orchestra ably supported the quartet, conversing with them in dialogue fashion, demonstrating their knowledge of proper performance practice. All throughout the concert, the professional musicians made sure to aid the students without overshadowing them. This was also the case in the first work on the program, Mozart’s G Minor symphony, No. 40. That the students were able to tackle some of the more demanding passage work is a testament to the level of professionalism exhibited by students and professionals alike,” said Auerbach.

The CSI Orchestra plans to continue collaborating with professional musicians after this initial successful partnership. Looking forward to the next concert, Auerbach plans to expose students to the diverse world of 20th century music, as well as enable students to experience diverse programming in the same vein as noted above. The fall 2017 CSI Orchestra concert on December 10 will feature an inaugural performance by the winners of the CSI Performance Competition for Strings, an annual event initiated by Auerbach to help support Staten Island middle and high school string students and their teachers.

 

 

Concert Brings Together Musicians from CSI, Curtis High School, SI Philharmonic, and Rutgers

The CSI Orchestra will perform on May 7.

The CSI Orchestra is a unique initiative between Curtis High School and the College of Staten Island (CSI), in which students who ordinarily may not have the opportunity to participate in musical events can pursue their passion. This semester, through a generous grant from the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, students from the Orchestra were able to experience working with musicians from the Staten Island Philharmonic. Their hard work and dedication will culminate in a concert on May 7 in the Center for the Arts Springer Concert Hall at CSI at 3:00pm, when the professional musicians will perform with the students.

CSI vocal soloist Maria Zakharycheva and a student soloist from Curtis High School will perform, and there will be an appearance by the Rutgers String Quartet playing a concerto grosso by Geminiani. The event is organized and directed by Professor Dan Auerbach with Professor James Minenna as co-director Curtis liaison.

“It is through Prof. Minenna’s tireless efforts that recruitment is successful each year. He has been a wonderful colleague with whom to collaborate in this worthy musical endeavor,” said Auerbach.

Director of Development for the Division of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs Mary Anne Semon also noted the importance of past donors and the support of the College.

“This concert would not have been possible if it were not for the generous grant by the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation. This grant enabled the continued funding of the orchestra, following a generous donation by Gordon Di Paolo, who gave seed money to start this exciting initiative. The CSI administration’s efforts have also aided in the continued existence of this orchestra, the only such venture in Staten Island,” commented Semon.

The program will include staples from the classical repertoire, including “Spring” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, and Bach’s “Erbarme Dich” from the St. Matthew Passion.

General admission to the concert is $10 and free for CSI students.

Strings Competition Debuts at CSI

The violin group at the CSI Strings Competition

Young orchestra musicians from around Staten Island traveled to the College of Staten Island (CSI) for the first annual CSI Performance Competition for Strings. The only one of its kind on the Island, the event drew six high and four middle school students. Parents, students, and teachers experienced the sounds of strings at the winner’s recital, and organizer Dan Auerbach looks forward to continuing the tradition next year.

“These young people in the CSI competition show just what can happen if we can keep a young person’s dream alive,” commented Professor Auerbach, who ran a similar event in Georgia for many years. “I wanted to focus much-deserved attention on the wonderful musical talent in Staten Island and also on the hard work of area music teachers,” he noted.

The adjudicators for this year’s competition were Professors Auerbach and Edward Brown, both of the CSI Music Program of the Department of Performing and Creative Arts, and Maestro Alex Guzman of the Staten Island Philharmonic.

Joining the talent were Beanna Dzhaniashvili, Christina Pan, Teresa Saverimuttu, Michelle Shevtsov, Isabel Bruschi, and Lila Bruschi. All are violin students of Roman Berlinsky.

Maestro Alex Guzman, Dan Auerbach, student winners, and Edward Brown at the CSI Strings Competition.

Also in attendance were Tyler Almquist on classical guitar, a student of CSI’s own Enrico Arcaro; Liam Gates on violin, a student of Deanna Eliot; Teresa Lynch from The Mighty String Demons, a student of Sanchie Bobrow; and Ganling Chu Braganti, a student of Anthony Harper.

Winners in the high school division from Staten Island schools are as follows:

Ganling Chu Braganti, a Port Richmond High School student, playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4; Teresa Lynch, a Staten Island Technical High School student, playing Accolay’s Violin Concerto No. 1; and Isabel Bruschi, a Port Richmond High School student, playing Bach’s Presto, from the G Minor violin sonata.

Winners in the middle school division from Staten Island schools are as follows:

Judges and competitors at the Competition.

Michelle Shevtsov, an IS 24 student, playing Charles de Beriot’s Violin Concerto No. 9; Beanna Dzhaniashvili, an IS 24 student, playing Accolay’s Violin Concerto No. 1; and Liam Gates, a Michael J. Petrides School student, playing Vivaldi’s A Minor Violin Concerto.

This year’s competition sponsors were Nan Sussman, PhD, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences; the CSI Administration; the Performing and Creative Arts Department at CSI; Valpak of Staten Island/Greater Brooklyn; and Strings & Other Things.

While organizers work to secure funding for next year’s event, Professor Auerbach plans to open the competition up to all Staten Island residents, who may or may not attend an Island school.