Keeping Her Composure: Composer Esther Ollivier ’18

Keeping Her Composure: Composer Esther Ollivier ’18

Walking through the Norton Simon Museum, Esther Ollivier ’18 stopped at a painting of a ballerina massaging her foot while sitting in a dimly lit room. Ollivier scanned the painting as ideas of how to transform the piece of art into her next musical composition raced through her mind. She began composing music in middle […]

We should not write off hip-hop

There is a part of our community that is apathetic or openly hostile to the genre of hip-hop. I hate hip-hop,” a student said. “Hip-hop is not real music,” a teacher said. I have been a hip-hop fan my entire life. I don’t remember a time in which it was not my favorite genre of […]

Student wins music competition

Ben Beckman ’19 won first place in the high school division of the Frost Composition Competition at the University of Miami for his original piece “Three Views” for Piano Quartet. Beckman plays French horn for the upper school symphony, and his compositions have been played by the symphony in previous concerts. A frequent participant of […]

Striking a Chord

Striking a Chord

Sitting at her desk, violinist Clara Ross ’19 read over her schedule for her next school year, realizing that she had to make an important decision that could define her Harvard-Westlake career: choosing between orchestra and debate. An eighth grader at the time, Ross sat in frustration as she weighed her two options. Ultimately, she […]

Genius Grant recipient Josh Kun ’89 speaks about music’s impact

Genius Grant recipient Josh Kun ’89 speaks about music’s impact

Kutler Center Scholar in Residence and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Josh Kun ’89 discussed interpreting music as social change in his meetings with students and faculty this week. Kun asked students to share the big problems that they have encountered in the world and then offered his perspective on the way to approach them. “Being ‘woke’ is a […]

Musicians perform in instrumental concert

Musicians perform in instrumental concert

Musicians from the Upper School Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Camerata Strings and String Quartet performed in the Fall Instrumental Music Concert in the Rugby Theater Nov. 18. Students performed piecessuch as Bela Bartok’s “Romanian Folk Dances,” Antonin Dvorak’s “String Quartet in F” and other compositions. Performing Arts Teacher Shawn Costantino conducted the Wind Ensemble, and Mark […]

Upper school students perform at annual KAPA dinner, raise money for charities

Upper school students perform at annual KAPA dinner, raise money for charities

Upper school symphony students who are members of Soma, which aids the disabled through music, previewed their upcoming “Melody of Compassion” performance for the Korean American Parent Association’s annual dinner at the Oxford Hotel on Aug. 21. “We performed for them and showed them a little bit of what our symphony is and how Harvard-Westlake […]

Anna Gong ’18 pursues her passion for violin

Anna Gong ’18 pursues her passion for violin

Every night, Anna Gong ’18 plays scales to warm up her fingers for 10 minutes. She flips through her music looking for her solo piece, and plays through the piece from beginning to end, replaying the challenging parts. Gong is a third-generation violinist. Her grandparents were violin professors during the Cultural Revolution in China. Fleeing the Communist […]

Composer speaks at annual Brown Family Assembly

Composer speaks at annual Brown Family Assembly

World-renowned composer, pianist and conductor Thomas Adès performed pieces from his opera, “The Tempest,” and shared his experiences with international composition today at an upper school assembly as the annual Brown Family Speaker. Adès began composing at 19 years old after winning second place at a national piano competition, in England. In 1995, his opera, […]

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