Met Day 2018

On Friday April 6th, Cali students in Music in Time, Place and Ideas (MUHS 308) had an extraordinary experience in the new instrument gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The renovated gallery had opened only the week before and the Associate Curator, Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, was keen to share the new curatorial vision for the collection with us. At the front of the galleries, the curators have placed a spectacular case of brass instruments and nicknamed the display “Fanfare.” Everyone agreed that it’s fairly impossible not to smile as one approaches it. To our delight, Bradley retrieved a conch shell and handed it to the nearest brass player, Justin Hovi, who did us all proud. The Met’s permanent collection has been reinvigorated by its new associations within type and themes across cultural boundaries, and has to our relief discarded the former Eurocentric models of “west” versus “east.” It’s a triumph, and will no doubt continue to be a world-class resource for Cali School students and thousands of other students for years to come.








Icons of sound

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A collaboration between Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and Department of Art & Art History. This research focuses on the interior of Hagia Sophia built by emperor Justinian in 532-537 and employs visual, textual, and musicological research, video, balloon pops, the building of architectural and acoustic models, auralizations, and the recording of Byzantine chant.

Jacek Blaszkiewicz ’10 wins AMS 50 Fellowship

Montmartre headshotCongratulations to Jacek Blaszkiewicz, a former Cali School student in piano performance (B.M.), who has won a prestigious Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship from the American Musicological Society. The Award is awarded solely on the basis of academic merit.

Jacek is currently a PhD candidate in musicology at the Eastman School of Music. After graduating summa cum laude from MSU, Jacek earned an M.A. in Music History & Theory from Stony Brook University. He is completing a dissertation, “City Myths: Music and Urbanism in Second-Empire Paris,” which explores the ways in which music helped articulate urban identity during a period of intense architectural, economic, and cultural change in the nineteenth century. Jacek’s research has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, the Elizabeth Bartlet Grant from the American Musicological Society, and the Eastman School of Music. He has presented his work at conferences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Italy.

Music History Day at the Met 2017


Kudos to Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, Associate Curator of Musical Instruments, for a fascinating tour of the musical instrument galleries at the Metropolitan Museum, which are still under construction (due to open Spring of 2018). Cali students witnessed in the real time the wholesale reworking of this world-class collection, both in terms of its new physical layout but more importantly, the reasons for these changes. Instead of a division between “West” and “the rest,” the new exhibition will feature one hall devoted to “Music through Time” and another featuring “Music through Place.” This means that some of the Met’s most famous examples – like the 1560 “Kurtz” Amati violin and the Ming Dynasty pipa (with its spectacular ivory ornamentation) – will be side by side in the exhibit. Students also examined up-close the 1840 Érard piano, which is one of the first instruments to be placed in its new position.

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After the instrument tour, we fanned out into the museum to explore the other examples of music-making in the collection.



During our decompression session near the Temple of Dendur, there was general consensus that the museum is an awe-inspiring lesson in the human experience. We can’t wait to go back!