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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. Of his July 2015 performance of 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.” Critic Donald Isler lauded Mr. Forough’s performance of Beethoven Sonata No. 7 in August 2016 as “a very fine performance of a great work,” saying he “played with great flair and stylistic understanding.”

    A laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Competition, Mr. Forough also won first prize in the Milwaukee Symphony Violin Competition and was a finalist in the Munich International Violin Competition. He and his wife Steinway Artist Carolyn McCracken, as the Forough/McCracken Duo, won the United States Artistic Ambassador Program's National Violin/Piano Duo Competition. He 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 international cultural centers with three of the twentieth century’s legendary violin masters—Arthur Grumiaux, David Oistrakh and Josef Gingold—has made him a prominent representative of the Franco-Belgian school of violin playing.

    When he was five years old, he began his violin studies with his mother, who herself was a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium. First in Liège she had studied under the tutelage of Ernest Chaumont and Leopold Charlier, both distinguished professors of the Franco-Belgian violin school, and subsequently with André Gertler at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where she graduated with a First Prize in violin and history of music.

    Within the first few years Mr. Forough performed publicly in concerts and on Iranian television. At the age of seven he performed a recital at the Ministry of Arts and Culture recital hall in Tehran, where he played three concertos with piano, namely Vivaldi A minor, Viotti Concerto No. 23 in G major, and Rode Concerto No. 8. At age eight his parents took him to Europe in order for him to further his violin studies with well-known European pedagogues of the time. In Vienna he auditioned for distinguished violinist and pedagogue Ricardo Odnoposoff; in Paris for internationally recognized professor Gabriel Bouillon at the Paris Conservatory and Michelle Auclair; in Salzburg, Austria for André Gertler; and in Brussels for the internationally renowned violinist and professor Arthur Grumiaux, all of whom agreed to take him as their student.

    As a result, Cyrus Forough became the youngest student ever to attend the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, admitted at the exceptional age of nine to study with the legendary Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux for the first year of his studies. He graduated at age sixteen with a First Prize and High Distinction Medal in violin and at age seventeen with a First Prize with Distinction in chamber music. He then at the age of eighteen became one of only thirteen students chosen by national competition to attend Europe's most renowned school for promising young performers, the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, for the 1968–71 session. During this time he also obtained his Superior Prize with High Distinction in violin from the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music.

    Subsequently, after hearing Mr. Forough perform, the legendary violinist David Oistrakh invited him to pursue post-graduate studies with him at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, which he attended from January 1973 to January 1976. Upon Mr. Oistrakh's untimely death in October 1974, he completed his studies with David Oistrakh’s assistant Mr. Oleh Krysa, who today is a Professor of Violin at the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Forough then attended Indiana University School of Music for two and a half years, where he studied with and was the personal assistant to Professor Josef Gingold, himself a student of the great Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe.

    Cyrus Forough has performed in recital, with orchestras, and in chamber music ensembles throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas, including live broadcasts on radio and television. He has performed and taught at festivals in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. His solo concerts for international dignitaries have included command performances for Queen Fabiola and then-Princess Paola of Belgium, the Shah and Queen Farah Pahlavi of Iran, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, President Hassanali of Trinidad and Tobago, and President Kreiske of Austria. He also gave a special performance in Bangkok for the birthday celebration of Queen Sirikit of Thailand.

    Mr. Forough has worked with conductors such as Rudolf Barshai, Sidney Harth, Alan Heatherington, Daniel Hege, Zdenek Kosler, Farhad Mechkat, Paul Polivnick, Alexander Rahbari, Vladimir Sirenko, Adrian Sunshine, Loris Tjeknavorian, André Vandernoot, and Ronald Zollman, amongst others.

    He has performed at numerous 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 throughout his career. He gave the Tehran Symphony Orchestra’s premiere of the Shostakovich First Violin Concerto in 1975 with conductor Adrian Sunshine. In 1985, he gave the Milwaukee Symphony’s premiere of that same concerto under the baton of Paul Polivnick. Among other performances of contemporary works, in 2010 he performed Witold Lutosławski's Chain 2, Dialogue for Violin & Orchestra with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic under Ronald Zollman. Mr. Forough has also performed the works of composers including Erberk Eryılmaz, Alan Fletcher, Lukas Foss, Ramin Heydarbeygi, Otto Luening, Alireza Mashayekhi, Behzad Ranjbaran, Amir Mahyar Tafreshitour, and Reza Vali, including Vali's Khojasteh “Majestic”, a duo for violin and cello. This work was dedicated to Cyrus Forough, who gave the premier at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. in January 2013. He is also the dedicatee of Alan Fletcher's Woman Holding a Balance, which he premiered in 2011 at the National Gallery.

    In September 2016, Mr. Forough recorded Alireza Mashayekhi’s fourth violin concerto with the Ukraine National Symphony, Vladimir Sirenko conducting. Mashayekhi's fourth and fifth violin concertos and his fourth Violin and Piano Sonata are dedicated to Cyrus Forough. He will give the world premiere of the sonata along with other Mashayekhi compositions dedicated to him, including the transcriptions for violin of Sonata Electronica and Tonalian, in a November 2017 recital at the ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn, NY.

    The Forough/McCracken Duo performed William Kraft's Double Play with orchestra, and premiered the Violin and 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 Colón 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 at universities and conservatories, and giving benefit recitals for anti-drug education/rehab and Down syndrome research 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 a sought-after and highly effective violin pedagogue. Having studied on three continents with some of the greatest violin virtuosos of the twentieth century, he is one of the living links to the great Franco-Belgian school 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. Mr. Forough has previously taught at several other universities and was an Artist Faculty member of the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy for the Gifted. He was also a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music in 2009, 2010, and 2015.

    Mr. Forough’s former students are members of professional orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra (concertmaster) in Copenhagen, Denmark; National Symphony of Argentina in Buenos Aires (concertmaster); Dallas Symphony Orchestra (associate concertmaster); Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Cleveland Orchestra; Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic; Naples Philharmonic (Florida); Calgary Symphony Orchestra; Hong Kong Sinfonietta; and many others. Former students are members of chamber ensembles such as the JACK Quartet and the Palladian Ensemble, amongst others.

    Mr. Forough’s college and pre-college students have also received first prizes, awards, and other prizes in many international and national competitions. Among these are 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, Wieniawski International Violin Competition (3rd round), and prizewinner at the Henryk Szeryng International Competition in Mexico. His students have won numerous first and other prizes at competitions in the United States such as the Washington International Competition for Strings, the Johansen International, the Klein International String Competition, the Stulberg International String Competition, the Cooper International Violin Competition, the Lynn National Competition, and the Illinois Bell Young People's Concerto Competition, performing live on television with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Forough’s students have also taken first prizes at the Fischoff, Rembrandt, and countless other violin and chamber music competitions.

    Numerous pre-college students have been chosen to perform on "From the Top" including at Carnegie Hall, New York, and throughout the nation broadcast on radio and television. His students have included winners of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and a Presidential Scholar.

    In the summer of 2017, Mr. Forough will return as a faculty member at the Summit Music Festival in Pleasantville, New York, to perform and teach. He has also been on the faculty at numerous other summer music festivals. U.S. destinations have included the Beverly Hills International Music Festival (California), Bowdoin International Music Festival (Brunswick, Maine), Indiana University String Academy (Bloomington, Indiana), Killington Music Festival (Rutland, Vermont), Madeline Island (Wisconsin), Meadowmount Summer School of Music (New York), and the Northwestern University Summer Violin Institute (Evanston, Illinois). Internationally, he has been on the faculty at the Cambridge International String Academy (Cambridge, Great Britain), Chateau de Champ Music Festival (Paris, France), International Music Festival Montpellier (France), Niagara International Chamber Music Festival (Canada), Pilsen International Music Academy (Czech Republic), Schlern International Music Festival (Italy), and Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival (Germany).

    Mr. Forough has been an adjudicator for competitions including the Stulberg International Competition and the Sorantin International String Competition, and has conducted master classes at the aforementioned summer festivals as well as 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, Peabody Institute Preparatory, Mount Royal College-Academy "Program for Gifted Youth" in residence in Calgary, Canada, the Glenn Gould School of the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, and many others. In March 2016 he gave a master class and violin recital as part of the A.I. Lack Master Class series at the University of Houston’s Moore School of Music.

    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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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.

Candice Gu

Director of Percussion Ensemble

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Candice Gu joined Carnegie Mellon University School of Music as a percussion ensemble instructor in September 2013. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Candice Gu received a Bachelor of Music from Duquesne University under the tutelage of Andrew Reamer and Chris Allen and a Master of Music from DePaul University in Chicago, studying with Eric Millstein and Marc Damoulakis. She has received grants and awards from the Pittsburgh Concert Society and women’s advisory society. Ms. Gu was the regular member in percussion section of Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2008-10. Also, she was a fellow at the Pacific Music Festival in 2008. Gu has performed several other professional orchestras as an extra percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Orchestra, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphonietta and New World Symphony.