An award-winning clarinetist and composer as well as a respected educator, newly appointed Chair of Music James Falzone seeks a department that "meets today’s challenges and reflects Cornish’s rich history and values.
Moira Scott Payne, provost and vice-president for academic affairs, announced today that clarinetist and composer James Falzone was selected as the Chair of Music at Cornish College of the Arts, effective September 1. Interim chair Tom Baker will begin a new position as Associate Professor of Composition, as well as assist with the transition.
“Tom worked tirelessly with our faculty and students to find the right person to lead Cornish’s music department,” said Provost Moira Scott Payne. “The selection of James Falzone not only honors the college’s rich jazz history but also continues its long tradition of fostering new works and composers.”
Selected by the college’s faculty and administration following an international search, Falzone is an award-winning composer who has been commissioned by chamber ensembles, dance companies, choirs, and symphony orchestras around the globe. He leads his own ensembles Allos Musica and The Renga Ensemble, performing throughout North America and Europe with these projects and as a solo artist, and has released a series of critically acclaimed recordings on Allos Documents, the label he founded in 2000. Recent projects include a series of performances in March 2016 with the Tapestry vocal ensemble at the historic Mount Wilson Observatory in California, the May 2016 premiere of an original score in collaboration with physically integrated dance choreographer Alice Sheppard, and the June 2016 premiere of his choral work My Bright Abyss in Latvia and Sweden.
Also a respected educator, lecturer, and researcher, Falzone has served on the faculty of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Deep Springs College, North Central College, and was a fellow at The Center for Black Music Research. His teaching and research interests explore areas of music cognition, jazz and improvisation studies, arts policy, and interdisciplinary studies. “In the 21st century, music education is evolving,” said Falzone. “In one sense, many traditional concerns continue as they always have with the need for solid training in the practice, theory, and history of music. And yet revolution is upon us with important questions arising about the canon, about diversity, and about music’s cultural agency in complex times. Cornish has always been at the apex of this discussion and I’m delighted to be joining the community and looking forward to working with the faculty to educate 21st century music students in a way that meets today’s challenges and reflects Cornish’s rich history and values.” Learn more about Falzone at his website: www.allosmusica.org.
Cornish started in 1914 as a school of music that quickly added the other performing and visual arts to its curriculum. It has long been known for its tradition of fostering avante garde musicians, including the composer John Cage who worked in the dance department and began his collaboration with Merce Cunningham at Cornish. In 1964, the formation of the Cornish Jazz Quintet of Bob Winn, Chuck Metcalf, Floyd Standifer, Bill Kotick, and Jerry Gray marked the beginning of Cornish’s rich history of jazz instruction and performance. Distinguished music alumni in recent years include composer and violist Eyvind Kang, singer/songwriter/activist Mary Lambert, and singer/actress Catherine Harris White (also known as Sassy Black).