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Four New Professors Join Lamont’s Star-Studded Ranks

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Ian Wisekal

Feature  •
Lamont Faculty Fall 2019

This fall, the Lamont School of Music welcomes four new full-time faculty members whose international reputations precede them.

David Byrd-Marrow, Assistant Professor of Horn, comes to DU by way of New York City. He’s a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), a new music collective that performs internationally and serves as ensemble-in-residence at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

Byrd-Marrow brings with him a remarkable breadth of experience. He’s premiered works by composers Matthias Pintscher, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, Miguel Zenón, Chick Corea and many others; he performs at festivals including the Ojai Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center and as faculty at the Banff Music Centre in Canada; and he’s made appearances with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta and Tokyo symphony orchestras, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Washington National Opera and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Beyond his live performances, Byrd-Marrow is no stranger to the recording studio, appearing on such major labels as Nonesuch, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon and Naxos. Byrd-Marrow received his bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School and master of music from SUNY at Stony Brook.

Lamont’s new Music Director of Opera Theatre is Sahar Nouri, who was born and raised in Iran. Nouri is in her fourth season serving as Opera Colorado’s chorus master, assistant conductor and principal coach. Her recent wide-ranging engagements have included the world premiere of Today It Rains at Opera Parallèle, Rusalka at San Francisco Opera, Tosca with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Bravo!Vail Music Festival and Carmen at Opera North Carolina. Prior to coming to Colorado, Nouri was a member of the music staff at Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Utah Opera, Opera North Carolina, Glimmerglass Festival, Opera in the Heights, Aspen Opera Theatre, Opera Steamboat and Merola Opera.

Besides English and her native Farsi, Nouri is conversant in many languages: she’s studied in the Czech Republic, Italy and Austria and is frequently in demand as a language coach. Nouri holds graduate degrees from of the University of Michigan, where she studied with Martin Katz, and from Arizona State University.

Award-winning Russian-American Igor Pikayzen, Assistant Professor of Violin, was born in Moscow. Praised by the Moscow Times as “surely at the forefront of a major musical career,” Pikayzen took first prize in both the International Violin Competition Luis Sigall in Chile and the Wronski International Violin Competition in Poland, and was a silver medalist at the Szeryng and Kloster-Schöntal international violin competitions.

Grandson of the legendary Soviet violinist Viktor Pikayzen, Igor earned his bachelor’s degree from Juilliard as well as a master’s degree and artist diploma from the Yale School of Music. He then completed coursework towards a DMA in violin performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he received the Enhanced Chancellor Fellowship.

In addition to performances across the U.S., Igor has made solo appearances with major symphonies in Russia, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Chile, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Romania and many other nations. Like Byrd-Marrow, Pikayzen relocated to Denver from New York City.

Joining the Musicology/Ethnomusicology Department as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology is Aleysia Whitmore. Whitmore’s research focuses on the world music industry, globalization and cultural policy; she teaches popular music, world music and classical music courses.

Although her appointment officially began last fall, Aleysia was in France as a EURIAS research fellow during 2018-2019, conducting investigations into cultural policy and on world music at the IMéRA research institute in Marseille. She is also finishing a book that examines West African and Cuban musics in the world music industry.

Aleysia holds a BMus from the University of Toronto (Canada) and AM and PhD degrees in ethnomusicology from Brown University (USA). She’s taught at Brown University, Boston College, the University of Miami and the University of Colorado Denver.

Keith Ward, Lamont’s director, is enthusiastic in his praise for all four, and the Lamont community has greeted them with open arms. Byrd-Marrow and Pikayzen make their debut with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Newman Center’s Gates Concert Hall. Tickets are free for all DU faculty, staff and students with ID.


[Pictured above from left to right: David Byrd-Marrow, Sahar Nouri, Igor Pikayzen, Aleysia Whitmore.]

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