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The Bard College Conservatory of Music Appoints Four New Faculty Members

Kahane, Ashkenasi, Raekallio, and Ramakrishnan to teach at Bard

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Conservatory of Music has appointed four new faculty members. Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory, announced today that Jeffrey Kahane, celebrated pianist and conductor, has accepted the position of Professor of Music and the Humanities in the Conservatory and the College.  Shmuel Ashkenasi will join the violin faculty of the Conservatory, and Matti Raekallio will join the piano faculty. Cellist Raman Ramakrishnan will join the chamber music faculty of the Conservatory.

Jeffrey Kahane is currently music director of the prestigious Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, a position he will retain after joining Bard College. Equally at home on the keyboard and at the podium, Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov, and John Adams. Also a committed scholar of the humanities, Kahane received his master’s degree in classics from the University of Colorado in 2011. In addition to teaching piano and conducting at Bard, he will offer courses on connections between music and the broader world of humanistic studies.

Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi has gained a reputation as one of the world’s outstanding chamber musicians, leading the famous Vermeer String Quartet for 39 years. Born in Tel Aviv, Ashkenasi studied in the United States with Efrem Zimbalist at The Curtis Institute of Music. In addition to teaching at Bard, Ashkenasi teaches violin and chamber music at the Curtis Institute.  

Pianist Matti Raekallio debuted at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1980 and has performed in Europe, the United States, and Asia.  He was a member of an international research team investigating pianists' choice of fingering from the viewpoint of cognitive psychology. From 1998 through 2000, he served as a member of the Research Council for Culture and Society of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.  He taught at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Germany, before coming to the United States and joining the faculty of Juilliard in 2007.

Cellist Raman Ramakrishnan received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in music from The Juilliard School. He is the founding cellist and an 11-year member of the Daedalus String Quartet, which won the grand prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition.


About The Bard College Conservatory of Music

Building on its distinguished history in the arts and education, Bard College launched The Bard College Conservatory of Music, which welcomed its first class in August 2005. This innovative five-year program of study is guided by the principle that musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences in order to achieve their greatest potential. All students complete two degrees, a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. The Conservatory also includes the Preparatory Division for young people up to the age of 18.

The Graduate Vocal Arts Program is a two-year master of music degree conceived by soprano Dawn Upshaw. The course work is designed to support a broad-based approach to a singing career that extends from standard repertory to new music. Weekly voice lessons, diction, repertory courses, and actor training complement core seminars that introduce and tie together the historical/cultural perspective, analytical tools, and performance skills that distinguish vocal and operatic performance at the highest level.


The Orchestral and Choral Conducting Program is a two-year graduate curriculum that culminates in the master of music degree. The program is designed and directed by Harold Farberman, founder and director of the Conductors Institute at Bard; James Bagwell, director of Bard’s undergraduate Music Program, music director of the Collegiate Chorale, and principal guest conductor and artistic adviser for the American Symphony Orchestra; and Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.


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This event was last updated on 06-19-2012