Newest teachers of music getting guidance from a master
Yale School of Music students hoping to inspire musical passion in younger generations are getting some guidance this year from an acclaimed violinist and music educator.
Brian Lewis, who is also widely recognized as a leader in music education, is on campus as the Class of ‘57 Visiting Professor of Music Education at the School of Music for the 2010-2011 academic year. He is teaching a course in community engagement and working with students who participate in the Music in Schools Initiative, which supports public school music and the training of young artist/teachers to help ensure that music is a birthright for all children.
“We are fortunate that Brian has agreed to work with our graduate students in developing their skills as teachers,” says Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music. “Our students must understand their important role as cultural leaders, and Brian is uniquely qualified to train and guide them.”
Known for his imaginative programming and his ability to communicate with audiences of all ages, Lewis is dedicated to promoting the value of music in education while he tours as a concert violinist.
“Wherever I go to perform, I try to schedule some sort of teaching or school concert through the local sponsor,” he says. “It’s not always possible, of course, but I consider it a very important part of my role as a musician. Performance should be fused with music education, and I try to show how music study is relevant to other disciplines.”
In addition to the Yale College Class of ‘57 visiting professorship and programs in the public schools, the Music in Schools Initiative also hosts a biennial symposium on music education.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Lewis holds the David and Mary Winton Green Chair in String Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Texas-Austin. He has had concerto debuts in New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, and has performed in Europe and throughout the United States. He has recorded six CDs, most recently for Delos as soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra of music by Leonard Bernstein and Hollywood composer Michael McLean.
The violinist has won numerous young artists’ competitions, including the grand prize in the Mid-America Violin Competition. In addition to the Waldo Mayo Talent Award, he holds both the Peter Mennin Prize and William Schuman Prize awarded by Juilliard for outstanding achievement and leadership in the field of music. He was one of the first recipients of the Sony ES Award for Musical Excellence. In 2005-2006, Lewis received both the Texas Exes Teaching Award and the University of Texas School of Music Teaching Excellence Award.
Lewis frequently presents concerts, workshops and master classes for Young Audiences of Houston (YAH). Named National Artist of the Year in 1998 by Young Audiences Inc., he was presented with the Fredell Lack Award by YAH for having performed for more than 165,000 young people in the Houston area.
Also director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School, Lewis is concertmaster of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, a founding member of the Texas Piano Quartet and artistic director of the Starling Distinguished Violinist Series at the University of Texas.