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James Ferla

Artist Lecturer in Guitar, Director of Guitar Ensemble

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James Ferla's teaching reflects an integrated philosophy of musicianship skills and methodology by providing musical training that connects the broad spectrum of historical and current practices. The emphases throughout the guitar curriculum are connections, immersion in a wide range of musical repertoire, independent skills, sequential development of skills, and seeing the guitar as part of a great historical tradition. At Carnegie Mellon, Ferla also directs the Carnegie Mellon Guitar Ensemble. 

As a performer, James Ferla has given numerous solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States including programs at the Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, Wolf Trap, the Chautauqua Institution, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Notre Dame. He has been heard on NPR, PBS, CBS, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo in Japan, and, in Pittsburgh on WQED-FM. Mr. Ferla has published several articles on guitar repertoire in SoundBoard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is heard on seven CDs. He performs most frequently in a guitar duo with colleague John Marcinizyn with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance to Jazz. In addition to concerts with the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo, he has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, singer/actress Kate Young, the Renaissance City Winds, the Dear Friends Ensemble, oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, tenor Doug Ahlstedt and mezzo-soprano Daphne Alderson. Ferla is on the advisory board of the Guitar Society of Fine Art.

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Cyrus Forough

Professor of Violin

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Noted for the “fiery intensity” and “poetic vision” of his playing, Cyrus Forough's reviews comprise a lexicon of superlatives in more than a dozen languages. In a recent review of Mr. Forough’s performance of the Debussy’s violin sonata Jim Lowe wrote, “…With a warm sound and deft technique, Forough was an expert musician, utilizing skilled articulations and a broad palette of tonal colors, in delivering Debussy’s unique mix of Romanticism and Impressionism.” 

A Laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Competition, he has won first prize in the Milwaukee Symphony Violin Competition and was a finalist in the Munich International Violin Competition. With his wife Steinway Artist Carolyn McCracken as the Forough/McCracken Duo, they won the United States Artistic Ambassador Program's National Violin/Piano Duo Competition. Mr. Forough also holds the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media Award in recognition of his contributions to classical music and education.

Mr. Forough's unique succession of studies in three major cultural centers with three of the twentieth century's most legendary masters make singular his recognition as a prominent representative of the Franco-Belgium school of violin playing. 

When he was five years old he began his violin studies with his mother, who was a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium.  In Brussels and Liege she studied under the tutelage of E. Chaumont and L. Charlier, both  distinguished masters of the Franco-Belgium school. 

Cyrus Forough also attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels where, as the youngest ever to attend, he was exceptionally admitted at age nine to study with the legendary Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux for the first year of his studies. He graduated with a Superior Prize and Special Distinction Medal at age sixteen in both violin and chamber music. He then became one of only thirteen students chosen by national competition to attend Europe's most renowned school for promising young performers, the Chapel Musicale Reine Elisabeth, living and studying in Brussels and Waterloo for a total of twelve years. He then pursued post-graduate studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory for three years under the tutelage of the legendary violinist David Oistrakh. Upon Mr. Oistrakh's untimely death, he continued his third year of studies with David Oistrakh’s assistant Mr. Oleh Krysa who today is a Professor of Violin at the Eastman school of music. Subsequently Mr. Forough attended Indiana University School of Music for two and half years where he studied with and was the personal assistant to his teacher, Proessor Josef Gingold, who himself studied in Belgium under the great Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye.

Cyrus Forough has performed in recital, with orchestras, and in chamber music ensembles throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America, including live broadcasts on radio and television.  His solo performances for international dignitaries have included command performances for Queen Fabiola and Princess Paola of Belgium, the Shah and Queen Farah Pahlavi of Iran, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and President Kreiske of Austria.  He also gave a special performance for the birthday celebration of Queen Sirikit of Thailand. He has appeared at many summer festivals such as the Weimar Festival in Germany, the Plovdiv Music Festival in Bulgaria, the International Schubert Festival at Indiana University, and the American Sacred Music Festival in Milwaukee invited there by composer and conductor Lukas Foss.

Mr. Forough has championed contemporary music and gave the Milwaukee Symphony’s premiere performance of the Shostakovich First Violin Concerto in 1985.  He has performed the works of Behzad Ranjbaran, Reza Vali, premiered Vali's Khojasteh “Majestic”, a duo for violin and cello  which was dedicated to Cyrus Forough, at the National Gallery in Washington DC in January 2013. Other works include Witold Lutoslawski's Chain 2, dialogue for violin & orchestra, and he also premiered Alan Fletcher's Woman Holding a Balance, also dedicated to him and has performed numerous contemporary works.

The Forough/McCracken Duo performed William Kraft's Double Play with orchestra, and premiered the Violin/Piano Sonata of Shostakovich and Central Park Reel by Lukas Foss in numerous cities in the United States, the Caribbean, and South America. Called “musical treasures of absolute mastery,” the Forough/McCracken Duo has charmed and captivated audiences with the artistry of their unique duo partnership. They have performed in many concert venues, including the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and others.

As Artistic Ambassadors of the United States, they concertized in many countries, performing in recitals and with orchestras, giving master classes and interviews, participating in symposiums and discussions with universities and conservatories, and giving benefit recitals for educational and medical foundations, all for the purpose of fostering goodwill and cultural understanding between people and nations.

Mr. Forough's dedication to teaching and his skill at communicating his art have earned him a reputation as one of the most sought after and most effective violin pedagogues, drawing students globally seeking admittance into his studio.  Not only did he study with some of the greatest violin masters of the twentieth century, he also is one of the few last living links to the great schools of violin playing and pedagogy. At present he is a full-time tenured professor of violin at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music in Pittsburgh, has taught at several other universities and was an Artist faculty member of the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy for the Gifted, and was a visiting professor at Eastman School of Music in 2009, 2010 and 2015.

In summer 2016 Mr. Forough will be a faculty member at the Summit Music Festival in Pleasantville, New York. He has also been a faculty member at numerous other summer music festivals such as the Cambridge International String Academy, Cambridge, Great Britain; the Northwestern University Summer Violin Institute, Evanston, Illinois; the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine; the Schlern International Music Festival in Schlern, Italy; the Killington Music Festival, Rutland, Vermont;  the Meadowmount Summer School of Music, New York; the Indiana University String Academy, Bloomington, Indiana; the Chateau de Champ Music Festival, Paris, France; the International Music Academy in Pilzen, Czech Republic; the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival, Germany and numerous others. 

Mr. Forough has been an adjudicator for competitions including the Stulberg International Competition and the Sorantin International String Competition, and conducted master classes at the aforementioned summer festivals and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; Northwestern University; the Cleveland Institute of Music; Beijing Central Conservatory; Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory of Music; Mount Royal College-Academy "Program for Gifted Youth" in residence, Calgary, Canada; the Glenn Gould School of the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, and many others. An upcoming master class and violin recital at the Moore School of Music as part of the A.I. Lack Master Class series of the University of Houston will take place in March 2016.

Ever since Mr. Forough joined the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music faculty, his college students have been frequent winners of the school-wide concerto competitions and have distinguished themselves in international and national competitions, which was previously unprecedented. 

Having taught students as young as six, his college and pre-college students have received first prizes, awards, and other prizes in countless international and national competitions including:  Finalist and "Public Prize" at the Sibelius International Violin Competition, the Paganini Award at the Indianapolis International Violin Competition, Prizewinner at the Menuhin International Violin Competition, "Best Talent" at the Sarasate International Violin Competition, the Wieniawski International Violin Competition (3rd round), and other prizes, including first prizes at competitions such as the Washington International Violin Competition, the Johansen International Violin Competition, the Klein International Violin Competition, the Stulberg International Violin Competition, the Cooper International Violin Competition, Illinois Bell Young People's Concerto competition performing live with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on televised winners concerts, and first prizes at the Fischoff International, Rembrandt, and at other countless violin and chamber music competitions. 

Numerous students have been chosen to perform on "From the Top" including at Carnegie Hall, New York, and throughout the nation with broadcast on radio and television.  His students have included winners of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and as Presidential Scholar. Mr. Forough’s students are also members of many international and national professional orchestras including the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra, (concert master) in Copenhagen, Denmark; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Argentina, Hong Kong Symphony, the Palladians and many others.

Mr. Forough performs on the 1718 " Wilmotte" Antonius Stradivarius. 

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Nancy Galbraith

Professor of Composition

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Composer Nancy Galbraith is Professor and Chair of Composition at Carnegie Mellon University. In a career that spans three decades, her music has earned praise for its rich harmonic texture, rhythmic vitality, emotional and spiritual depth, and wide range of expression.

Galbraith's symphonic works have enjoyed regular performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, including premieres led by Gennady Rozhdetsvensky and Mariss Jansons. Her Piano Concerto No. 1 was recorded by Keith Lockhart and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Chamber Music Magazine hailed Galbraith's Rhythms and Rituals as "the kind of piece that should be the 'sound of classical music' on today's radio stations." Her chamber works have been performed by members of the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and by Mexico's Sinfonietta Ventus and Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Galbraith's popular works for wind orchestras have become standard repertoire for concert bands around the world, and are recorded often by American college ensembles.

In recent years, Galbraith has produced a substantial body of major choral works, beginning with commissions from Robert Page and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh to compose Missa Mysteriorum and Requiem, a landmark achievement that was declared a 'masterpiece' by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. These successes have led to commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Providence Singers, Pittsburgh Camerata and many others.

Born into a musical family in Pittsburgh in 1951, Galbraith began piano studies at age 4. She later earned degrees in composition from Ohio University (BA) and West Virginia University (MA). Her works are published by Subito Music in Verona, New Jersey.

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Ross Garin

Assistant Head

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Ross Garin graduated with BFA and MM degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied with Peter Sullivan and the late Byron McCulloh. His performance credits include the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, River City Brass Band, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Brass, and the Westmoreland, Johnstown, and McKeesport Symphonies, among many others. He has also played with Frankie Valli, the Temptations, Four Tops, Four Coins, the Gene Krupa Orchestra, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, O’Jays, Pat Boone, Jack Jones, and many local groups including the Benny Benack Band, the Balcony Big Band, No Bad JuJu, and the salsa band Azucar.
Ross has been on the staff of the School of Music since 2001, and has served as Assistant Head since 2006.

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Paul Gerlach

Artist Lecturer in Music Education, Director of Kiltie Band

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In addition to leading Carnegie Mellon's legendary Kiltie Band, the university's marching and concert ensemble for non-majors, Paul Gerlach brings a unique and varied background to his position as artist-lecturer in music education. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, he holds a bachelor of fine arts degrees in applied music (trumpet) and music education, a master of fine arts degree in applied music (trumpet) and another master of fine arts in musicology (thesis topic: The Influence of Politics in Russian-Soviet Music.) He studied trumpet with Anthony L. Pasquarelli, conducting with Richard Strange and musicology with Frederick Dorian. 

As an instructor at Carnegie Mellon, Gerlach has taught methods courses in brass, woodwind, percussion and marching band techniques. Concurrently, he worked 32 years in the public schools teaching instrumental music at the elementary, junior and senior high levels, and general music grades K-8. Gerlach devotes considerable time to conducting. Conducting experiences include guest, rehearsal and substitute assignment with the Pennsylvania Music Educators' Honors Band, Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble, Carnegie Mellon Pre-college Wind Ensemble and Trumpet Ensembles, Carnegie Mellon Youth Brass Band, River City Youth Brass Band, and the Lock Haven University Symphonic Band. He is currently music director of the Allegheny Brass Band.

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Jessica Gist Volk

Assistant Director of Music Admission & Student Services

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Jessica Volk is a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music Masters degree program, and has been working with the School of Music’s Admission and Student Services Offices since 2013. In addition to her work in the School of Music, Jessica is an active performer and teacher of flute in the Pittsburgh area.

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Nancy Goeres

Artist Lecturer in Bassoon

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Nancy Goeres, Principal Bassoonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, joined the Symphony's bassoon section in the 1984-85 season.

An avid chamber musician, she has performed at the Tanglewood, Marlboro, Sarasota, LaJolla and Mainly Mozart festivals; and most recently at New York's 92nd Street Y Series, Santa Fe Chamber Festival, Music in the Vineyards (Napa, Ca.), and Instrumenta Verano, Puebla, Mexico. She has also toured with Musicians from Marlboro.

With Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, she premiered the Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Bassoon Concerto, commissioned for her by the Pittsburgh Symphony Society. Ms. Goeres subsequently performed the Zwilich Concerto at the Aspen Music Festival and School and at the 1996 conference of the International Double Reed Society, and recorded it with the PSO and Maazel for the New World label. In May 2004, after working with musicians in Cuba, she performed the Concerto with the Havana Symphony. Other solo performances with the PSO include performances of Haydn's Sinfonia concertante, John Williams's bassoon concerto The Five Sacred Trees, and the Mozart Bassoon Concerto.

An active teacher, Ms. Goeres has given master classes in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Asia and South America, as well as in the U.S., most recently for the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, the Juilliard School, and the Curtis Institute of Music. In October 2004, she gave her first master class over the Internet for the bassoon section of the New World Symphony. Also that month she performed in recital with clarinetist Michael Rusinek in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

A native of Lodi, Wisconsin, her principal teachers were Sherman Walt and Richard Lottridge. Nancy Goeres holds the PSO's Mr. & Mrs. William Genge and Mr. & Mrs. James E. Lee Principal Bassoon Chair. She is a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Music and performs and teaches regularly at the Aspen Music Festival.

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David Harding

Professor of Viola and Chamber Music

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David Harding has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Central America, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, NPR and Deutschland Radio. David is frequently featured on CBC Radio in Canada. He regularly performs at chamber music festivals throughout North America including amongst others the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Strings in the Mountains, CO, Sitka Chamber Music Festival, AK, Festival of the Sound, ON, and the Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, TX.

David is a member of Trio Verlaine and the American String Project, (a collaboration between quartet players, soloists and concertmasters.) David is a seasoned chamber musician, having been a former member of the Chester String Quartet, Toronto String Quartet and Triskelion String Trio. He has collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Tokyo and St. Lawrence quartets, and has made chamber music recordings for Sony, Crystal, Chesky, Innova and New Albion record labels.

David’s latest CD projects include a recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, with Triskelion for CBC records, Brahms’ Viola Sonatas and Horn Trio for Skylark Music and an innovative disc of flute, viola, harp works by Ravel and Debussy with Trio Verlaine for Skylark Music. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, David’s principal teachers were Paul Doktor, Emanuel Vardi and Tibor Vaghy. He was the winner of the Sir John Barbirolli award at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. David has given master classes at the Banff International Centre for the Arts and numerous universities throughout North America. Having served on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend, he is currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the University of British Columbia. David plays on a viola made by Pietro Antonio della Costa, Tresviso Italy, circa 1750.