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Four Grads Recognized at 2009 Grammy Awards
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Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-559

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


FLUSHING, NY, February 24, 2009 ─ The Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM) at Queens College has many distinguished alumni, and the recent Grammy Awards ceremony recognized no fewer than four of them.

Pianist, bandleader and composer Arturo O'Farrill (MA in Jazz, ’00) received the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year for Song for Chico, which he performed with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Arturo O'Farrill
Pianist, bandleader and Composer Arturo O'Farrill, a graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music, takes a bow for receiving the 2009 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year for Song for Chico, which he performed with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Conrad Herwig, a 2005 MA graduate of the school’s renowned Jazz program, was also recognized in this category. Both a bandleader and composer, Herwig was nominated for his album The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter, which he performed with the Latin Side Band.

Two Copland School of Music graduates and one CUNY Distinguished Professor were recognized in the Classical Music Awards category:

JoAnn Falletta, MA ’78, is the conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which performed Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan, a work that was awarded a Grammy for Best New Classical Composition. The winning composer was Distinguished Professor John Corigliano of Lehman College, CUNY. (The recording also received a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by soprano Hila Plitman.)

Corigliano beat out Copland School of Music alumnus George Tsontakis (’74), whose Violin Concerto No. 2 was also nominated in the Best New Classical Composition category.


“The Aaron Copland School of Music has a strong, longstanding reputation in classical music performance and composition,” says Edward Smaldone, ACSM Director. “George Tsontakis studied composition with Hugo Weisgall, arguably the leading American composer of opera. JoAnn Falletta received an MA degree in guitar performance when her conducting career was just beginning. Our Jazz program—whose formative faculty included Jimmy Heath and Sir Roland Hanna—has developed an international reputation. Its graduates are a force within the field and include five recent winners in the prestigious Thelonius Monk Competition. We’re extremely proud of all of these alumni, and our very talented current students.”

About The Aaron Copland School of Music:
The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College not only offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, but it also maintains a vital presence in the cultural life of Queens and Long Island, as well as in the greater New York City area. Students in the ACSM follow a curriculum designed to develop the interdependent skills of performing, listening to, and understanding music. This provides the thorough training so necessary for graduate study and eventual professional careers. The School also forges strong links with the community, through over 200 annual public concerts and recitals in the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Concert Hall. The School also sponsors many collaborations with the public schools and presents specialized programs and courses for senior citizens. The Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music, a pre-college program, serves up to 400 elementary and secondary students each year.





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Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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