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SMTD Welcomes New Faculty


The 2015-16 academic year brings a celebrated group of artists and pedagogues to the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance as the School's newest faculty members. SMTD is delighted to welcome David Daniels (voice), John Granzow (performing arts technology), Nathan Martin (music theory), Tiffany Ng (carillon), John Pasquale (conducting), Scott Pingel (bass), René Rusch (music theory), Oriol Sans (conducting), and Kathryn Votapek (violin). Short biographies and links to their SMTD web pages are below. We wish them all great success in their U-M careers!

David Daniels, who was described by the Chicago Tribune as "today's gold standard among countertenors," is the newest professor in the Department of Voice. Daniels received a bachelor of music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati in 1988 and his master of music degree from SMTD in 1992. He has since been honored with two of classical music's most coveted awards: Musical America's Vocalist of the Year and the Richard Tucker Award. Among the major opera houses of the world at which he has sung are the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Wiener Staatsoper, Paris Opera, Royal Opera, English National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Liceu Barcelona. His performances in concert have included the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, BBC Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony with such conductors as James Levine, Harry Bicket, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Andrew Davis, Christopher Hogwood, and John Nelson. Daniels's highly acclaimed recordings include: The Enchanted Island, Operatic Arias, A Quiet Thing: Songs for Voice and Guitar, the Handel operas Theodora, Serse, Rinaldo, and Hercules, and his recital of songs by Beethoven, Gounod, Poulenc, Schubert, and others with collaborative pianist and SMTD Professor Martin Katz, entitled Serenade.

John Granzow joins the Department of Performing Arts Technology as an assistant professor. Granzow is an instrument designer and music researcher presently pursuing his PhD in computer based music theory and acoustics at Stanford University. He studied classical guitar with Dale Ketcheson and constructed his first instrument, a flamenco guitar, with luthier George Rizsany in Nova Scotia. In 2006, he completed a masters of science in psychoacoustics at the University of Lethbridge in the lab of Dr. John Vokey. At the Analogous Fields: Arts and Science residency at the Banff Centre in 2009, he explored instrumentation in artistic and scientific practices with collaborator Denton Fredrickson. In recent research, Granzow investigates applications of computer aided design and digital fabrication for experimental instruments. Outcomes from this research have been presented at concerts and sound installations in Canada, France, and the United States.  Instruments include a long-wire installation for Pauline Oliveros' Tower Ring, Sonified easles for a large scale show at La Condition Des Soies in Lyon, France, a hybrid gramophone for composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinski's Pointing Twice commissioned by Steve Schick and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.

Kathleen Kelly joined the Department of Voice last winter as the school’s first coach/conductor of opera. Kelly enjoys a wide-ranging and dynamic musical life as a pianist, opera coach, conductor, and master teacher. The first woman and first American director of musical studies at the Vienna State Opera, Kelly is a regular guest coach for Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz program, and works regularly with young artist programs nationally, notably at the Los Angeles Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. While on faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, she was the principal coach of the Butler Opera Center. She was trained in the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera, after which she joined the house music staff as pianist, rehearsal conductor, and prompter. She was an assistant to James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera from 1997-2006, specializing in the works of Wagner, Strauss, and Berg. She was music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio as well as that company’s head of music staff from 2006-2010, and has also been notably associated with the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young American Artist Program, the CoOperative Training Program at Westminster Choir College, the Seattle Opera, Opera Australia, and the Moscow Conservatory. As a recital pianist she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Vienna’s Musikverein. 

Nathan Martin joins the Department of Music Theory as an assistant professor. Martin received a bachelor of music degree in cello performance from the University of Victoria. He received his PhD in musicology from McGill University in 2009, with the dissertation, "Rameau and Rousseau: Harmony and History in the Age of Reason."  Since then, he has published extensively on Rameau, Schubert, Mozart, and other topics, including 13 articles and four book chapters. Martin is the co-editor of a book on musical form, to be published by University of Rochester Press. He has also completed approximately 42,000 words on a book in progress, The Philosophers' Rameau: Music Theory in the Encyclopédie. He won the Society for Music Theory Outstanding Publication Award, a rarity for such a young scholar. Martin was recently a lecturer in music theory at Yale University and has been a postdoctoral fellow in musicology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, and a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in music at Columbia University.

Carillonist Tiffany Ng joins the Department of Organ as assistant professor of carillon. Ng earned an MM in organ performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music in 2008, where she studied with William Porter. An energetic proponent of new music, she has commissioned and premiered over a dozen acoustic and electroacoustic works for carillon and for organ, and revived carillon pieces by Kaikhosru Sorabji and Robert Morris. On a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation, she studied with Geert D'hollander at the Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn" in Belgium and graduated magna cum laude in 2006. She earned a BA in English and music at Yale, where she managed belfry renovations and preparations for the 2006 congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. Ng has curated exhibits at the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments and at the Municipal Museum of Mechelen, Belgium. 

John Pasquale, previously a lecturer in the Department of Conducting, is now an assistant professor as he continues in his roles as director of the Michigan Marching Bands and associate director of bands. Pasquale received the doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 2008. While at OU, he was a conducting associate to the Wind Symphony, Opera Orchestra, "The Pride of Oklahoma" Marching Band, New Century Ensemble, Faculty Composer Concert Series, Symphony Band, Concert Band, and the Weitzenhoffer Family Department of Musical Theatre. In addition, he was an adjunct instructor and graduate teaching assistant within the Music Education Department. He also holds a master of music degree in instrumental conducting from OU and a bachelor of music education degree from Texas Christian University. Pasquale holds the Donald R. Shepherd Chair in Conducting at U-M, serving as associate director of Bands and director of the Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands. In this position, he oversees the athletic band program, is the conductor of the University Band, guest conductor with the Symphony Band, Symphony Band Chamber Winds and Concert Band, and teaches classes in rehearsal techniques and band repertoire. Prior to this appointment, Pasquale served as the assistant director of Bands at U-M.

Scott Pingel, principal bassist of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), joins the Department of Strings as an associate professor of bass. Pingel has served as tenured principal bassist for the SFS for 10 years and is also an accomplished chamber musician, performing with what is arguably the country's premier chamber organization, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. He earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In 2006, he was a recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Distinguished Alumni Award. He also attended the Manhattan School of Music, and earned a master of music degree in 1999. Pingel subsequently spent two years as a fellow at the New World Symphony, the orchestra founded by Michael Tilson Thomas to help launch the careers of leading young musicians. He has been the recipient of a number of honors for double bassists, including "Best Classical Instrumental Soloist" by Downbeat Magazine Collegiate Music Awards (1997), Whitaker Orchestral Study Fellowship (1981-99), Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition (second prize, 1999), Pablo Casals Award for Musial Achievement and Human Endeavor (1999), and the American-Austrian Foundation Moy Fellowship (2000).

René Rusch joins the Department of Music Theory as an assistant professor. Rusch received a BM in piano performance, cum laude, from Lawrence University (UK). She is an SMTD music theory alumna (MA '03, PhD '07), with cognates in jazz piano and performing arts technology. Rusch was recently an assistant professor of music theory at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. She has distinguished herself as a scholar of late Schubert, publishing four articles in the prestigious journals Musical Analysis, Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, and Journal of the Society for Music Theory in Ireland. Rusch's second main research area, the theory and analysis of jazz, is reflected in her most recent article on the jazz artist Brad Mehldau. The article brings to the study of Mehldau's improvised covers a methodological sophistication that matches the sophistication of the music itself, engaging intertextual relationships between two different styles, rock and jazz, each of which has been developing its own scholarly traditions within music theory in recent years.

Joining the Department of Conducting as an assistant professor is SMTD alumnus Oriol Sans, who received his SMTD degrees (MM '08, DMA '11) in orchestral conducting. The Catalan conductor stands out as an emerging young artist and has performed with orchestras in America and Europe and studied with some of the most acclaimed contemporary maestros and musicians. His recent guest conducting appearances include concerts with the San Juan Symphony in Durango (Colorado), the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco in Guadalajara (Mexico), the Santa Fe Symphony, and the New Mexico Philharmonic. Sans has been assistant conductor to maestros Leonard Slatkin, Hans Graf, Jeffrey Kahane, John Nelson, Jerry Blackstone, Kenneth Kiesler, Martin Katz, and Andrew Grams with several orchestras and projects including the Gulbenkian Orchestra, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO). He previously held the position of music director of the U-M Life Sciences Orchestra. In addition to his engagements as a conductor, Sans also works as artistic director of the webcasts at the DSO.

Violinist Kathryn Votapek joins the Department of Strings as an assistant professor. A member of the Chester String Quartet for 15 years, Votapek maintains an active career as a soloist and guest artist at chamber music festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has participated in numerous commissioning projects and premieres and can be heard with the Chester Quartet on the Koch International Classics and New Albion labels. Along with pianist Ralph Votapek and clarinetist Paul Votapek, she performs as violinist and violist with the Votapek Trio. She has also given numerous duo performances with her husband, violinist and SMTD professor of violin Aaron Berofsky. Votapek has been on the faculty of the Meadowmount School of Music, the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Madeline Island Music Camp, the Las Vegas Music Festival, the Quartet Program, the Banff International Festival, the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival (Italy), and the Peter de Grote Summer Academy (Holland), as well as performing at the Klosterkammerfest (Germany), Speedside Festival (Canada), the International Deia Festival (Spain), the Garth Newel Festival, the Fontana Festival, and with the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Votapek has taught as a lecturer at U-M and is the associate concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. She received her bachelor of music degree at Indiana University and master's degree from the Juilliard School.

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