News & Events


The UCSB Gamelan Ensemble rehearses for their March 1 performance in a communal and peaceful atmosphere. Photo by Richie DeMaria.
The Santa Barbara Independent recently previewed the UCSB Gamelan Ensemble's upcoming World Music Series performance. The Independent's Richie DeMaria spoke with Richard North, director of the UCSB Gamelan Ensemble, about the history of the ensemble at UCSB, and what makes Indonesian gamelan music so unique. Read more...

From left: Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian, Professor Ben Brecher, and graduate student Molly Clementz at Opera Santa Barbara's Opera Ball Gala (February 17, 2017).

UCSB Assistant Professor of Voice, Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian, is set to star in Opera Santa Barbara's production of Leoš Janáček's "The Cunning Little Vixen" on March 3rd and 5th at the Granada Theatre. UCSB Associate Professor of Voice, Benjamin Brecher, will join Dr. Bayrakdarian as the Schoolmaster/Mosquito, and graduate student Molly Clementz (a student of Dr. Linda Di Fiore and a 2016-2017 Mosher Studio Artist) will play Lapak the Dog and the Woodpecker. Additionally, UCSB faculty member Jon Nathan will perform as part of the Opera SB orchestra. He is a charter member of the company/orchestra and a member of the orchestra committee. Read more...

Dmitriy Lipay and Alexander Lipay (holding award) accepting the Grammy for "Best Surround Sound Album" (February 2017).
UCSB Department of Music alumnus Alexander Lipay '05 recently won the Grammy for "Best Surround Sound Album" for his work as a surround mix engineer on a Seattle Symphony album featuring the music of Henri Dutilleux. Conducted by Ludovic Morlot, the album features Dutilleux's Sur Le Même Accord, Les Citations, and Mystère De L'instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement. Mr. Lipay worked with his father, Dmitriy, who produced and engineered the album—Alexander's third Grammy nomination and his father's sixth. Mr. Lipay received a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute and Piano Performance from UCSB, where he studied with Professors Jill Felber (flute) and Paul Berkowitz (piano). He is currently Principal Flute of the Tucson Symphony, and has held the position for eleven years. Read more...


Music Theorist and UCSB Assistant Professor Ben Levy recently gave a talk at the Ligeti Symposium 2017, held by the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. His paper focused on the connections between György Ligeti and Kaija Saariaho, both composers who are indirectly associated with the so-called “Spectral School” of composition. He will give another talk related to this line of research at the Spectralisms conference held at Oxford University this March (more information: He is pictured here after chairing a session with Jane Piper Clendinning (Florida State University) and Klaas Coulembier (University of Leuven, Belgium) in the Organ Hall of the Helsinki Music Centre. Read more...

  • "Elegy II" album cover by Gaby Goldberg.

UCSB Department of Music graduate composition student Nick Norton and alumnus Dr. Jonathan Morgan just released the single Elegy II through Aerocade Music. The single, which features Morgan on solo viola, was composed by Norton in 2014, in the wake of the Isla Vista tragedies. The single's video (shot and directed by Gaby Goldberg) was recently featured by the popular new music blog, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. Morgan and Norton are donating 100% of the single's proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Watch the video and read the full press release here.

  • Jennifer Kloetzel

Cellist Jennifer Kloetzel recently released her final recording with the Cypress String Quartet, Brahms: String Sextets. Recorded in front of a live studio audience at Skywalker Sound Studio, Brahms: String Sextets includes the two string sextets by Johannes Brahms, and features the Cypress String Quartet along with guest artists Barry Shiffman (viola) and Zuill Bailey (cello). The album debuted at Number 6 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart, and was also featured as the Bay Area Classical KDFC's "CD of the Week." To download the album, please visit the Avie Records website.

UCSB Department of Music alumna Carol Joe (second from left) performed at the inauguration last Friday as part of the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own." Ms. Joe won her position in the nation's premier musical organization last year after competing against flutists from all over the country. Read more about Ms. Joe and her audition experience in her Alumni Q&A from this summer. 

Flutist Jill Heinke talks about the new Areon Flutes album, Thriveher time at UCSB, and what it takes to make it as a chamber musician in today's creative market. Photo by Charlie Homo.

  • Jennifer Kloetzel

UCSB cello professor Jennifer Kloetzel's album, Lift: Chamber Music by Elena Ruehr, was recently named to the ARTery's "13 Best Classical Music Recordings of the Year." The album, released by AVIE Records, features Ms. Kloetzel, violinist Irina Muresanu, violist Ethan Filner, and pianist Sarah Bob. The Boston-based blog ranked Ms. Kloetzel's album among releases from artists such as Roomful of Teeth, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.