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Matt Albert joins SMTD as first chair of Department of Chamber Music


The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) has appointed renowned violinist and violist Matt Albert as the first chair of its new Department of Chamber Music. Albert, currently director of chamber music and of SYZYGY at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, will begin his tenure at SMTD in September.

Called "preposterously talented" by Time Out Chicago, Albert has been in his current position at the Meadows School since 2011. He was a founding member of 'eighth blackbird,' with whom he received numerous awards, including first prizes at the Naumburg, Concert Artists Guild, Coleman, and Fischoff Competitions, and three GRAMMY awards for their recordings on Cedille Records. During the summer, Albert serves as the artistic director of the Music in the Mountains Conservatory in Durango, Colorado.

Albert has worked with artists as diverse as Meredith Monk, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues, and Wilco, and his orchestral playing has included work with the Shreveport Symphony (as concertmaster), the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. His principal teachers include Kenneth Sarch, Gregory Fulkerson, Kurt Sassmannshaus, and Almita Vamos. Albert holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Northwestern University School of Music.

"We are thrilled to have Matt join SMTD in this critically important new role," said Aaron Dworkin, dean of SMTD. "His incredible musicianship, breadth of accomplishment across multiple genres, and proven track record as a pedagogue make him uniquely qualified to lead this new department. I have no doubt he will develop it into an unrivaled incubator for the chamber arts, contributing significantly to the success of our students as well as the growth of the field."

"The creation of a Department of Chamber Music at SMTD is an incredible opportunity," said Albert. "It's an opportunity to build on the amazing small ensemble work already being done at Michigan, with new resources, support, faculty collaborations, and ways of learning--both curricular and extra-curricular. I am thrilled, humbled, and inspired to be chosen to lead this Department, and I can't wait to begin our work together at Ann Arbor this fall."

Launched in fall of 2015, the Department of Chamber Music has been under the leadership of interim chair Christopher Harding, chair of the Department of Piano and associate professor of music.

The new department was one of the key initiatives launched by Dworkin as he began his SMTD tenure as dean last fall, along with a robust new entrepreneurial and career development program (EXCEL: Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment, and Leadership); a reinvigorated partnership with Ann Arbor Public Schools in which SMTD students provide music instruction to local schoolchildren (MAC: Michigan Artist Citizens): and M-Prize, an international chamber music competition-the largest, in terms of both number of applicants and the $100,000 grand prize-created to identify and showcase outstanding chamber arts ensembles and raise awareness for chamber arts.

All of the initiatives share the goal of increasing the relevance of the performing arts by providing students with the tools needed to make impactful contributions to their communities. Chamber arts figure prominently, as Dean Dworkin believes the field offers tremendous educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for musicians and other performing artists. 




past news

November 2015
October 2014

Anisha Nandi, from The Michigan Daily, sat down with professor Michael Gould to talk about his "Remember Me" show. The video can be seen on the Michigan Daily website.   10/01/2014

July 2014

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Dance, Peter Sparling is a recipient of a Distinguished University Professorship. Effective September 1, Sparling will be a Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor. This appointment is one of the highest honors the University can bestow upon a faculty member.   07/18/2014

Professor Patricia Hall will be presenting her paper, "Alban Berg's 'Guilt' by Association to the Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union conference at the Colburn School in Los Angeles this August.   07/12/2014

April 2014

Prof. Ed Sarath Receives U-M's "Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award" 04/21/2014

Professor Kuster Wins Prestigious OPERA America Grant 04/04/2014

Professor Mukherji to Speak in London this July 04/04/2014

Áine Heneghan, Assistant Professor of Music Theory, will present her research on Schoenberg's Formenlehre at the following conferences, all in 2014: Music Theory Midwest (Appleton, WI), the Eighteenth Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music (Toronto, Canada), EuroMAC (Leuven, Belgium), and the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory (Milwaukee).   04/01/2014

March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

A Multimedia Installation on Climate Change 03/28/2014

Wayne Petty, Associate Professor of Music Theory, will read his paper, "Some Multimovement Designs in C. P. E. Bach's Late Keyboard Sonatas" at the Seventh EuroMac conference, which will gather scholars from all music theory societies in Europe in Leuven, Belgium, from 17 to 21 September, 2014.  An adaptation of the paper will be presented to the Society for Music Theory in Milwaukee in the Fall of 2014.   03/26/2014

Walter Everett, Professor of Music Theory, announces the publication of Los Beatles como músicos: De Revolver de la Antología (Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia, 2013), the Spanish translation of his The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology (Oxford University Press, 1999).   03/21/2014

Celebration of Professor George Shirley's 80th Birthday 03/19/2014

Prof. Korsyn presents keynote in The Hague, serves in scholarly appointments 03/14/2014

December 2013

In January 2014 Professor Wayne Petty will read the paper, "Wilhelm Fischer and the Fortspinnung-type Sonata Exposition," at the Seventh International Conference on Music Theory in Tallin and Pärnu, Estonia.  The conference theme is "Musical Form: Mapping the Territories."   12/17/2013

AmeriGrove II, edited by Professor Charles Garrett, is published 12/13/2013

November 2013

Gosman Presents Beethoven Research 11/16/2013

Department of Music Theory Announces Visiting Speakers of 2014 11/16/2013

Everett Launches Beatles Observances 11/16/2013

Interarts professor Holly Hughes presents The Dog and Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony) in a webcast performance at the Chicago Humanities Festival on Mon., Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Her newest performance work, the piece offers a poetic and comic meditation on midlife crises in the key of canine.   11/01/2013

September 2013

SMTD Welcomes New Faculty 09/27/2013

Ramon Satyendra, associate professor of music theory, has published his essay, "Morphisms of Generalized Interval Systems and PR-Groups" (co-authored with Thomas Fiore and Thomas Noll), in Journal of Mathematics and Music 7/1.   09/20/2013

Alan Gosman Co-authors New Beethoven Book 09/06/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

June 2013

SMTD Mourns Professor Emeritus Erling Bengtsson 06/10/2013

Holly Hughes, professor of interarts performance in the Department of Theatre & Drama, was profiled in Hyperallergic, an online magazine about art and culture, which included a Q&A with Hughes about her role as one of the "NEA Four."   06/06/2013

Music theory professor Walter Everett's role as an expert on the music of the Beatles was the subject of an article in      06/06/2013

Hall presents in Copenhagen 06/03/2013

May 2013

Robert Hurst, associate professor of jazz and contemporary improvisation, was featured in a Q&A article in on the occasion of the release of his new CD, BOB: a palindrome.   05/01/2013

November 2012
November 2011
February 2010
Photo: Kim Leeson
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