Category Archives: keyboard-alumni

DMA Pianist Michiko Saiki wins 1st Prize in the Without Words Film Festival

Michiko Saiki

Second-year DMA pianist Michiko Saiki was awarded 1st Prize in the Without Words Film Festival for her work, “a, i, u, e, o.”

The film was one of 263 entries submitted under the theme Digital Superimpositions. The competition was held at the University of Lorraine, Ile du Saulcy, in Metz, France and was judged by experts from France, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. Ms. Saiki’s work was created to remind people of the tragic aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in her native country Japan. Ms. Saiki has studied with Drs. Tom Rosenkranz and Laura Melton.

Thomas Rosenkranz, Professor of Piano, to embark on Chinese tour

Thomas Rosenkranz

Associate Professor of Piano, Thomas Rosenkranz, will tour China giving masterclasses and performances from Nov. 20th-30th. He will visit the conservatories of Southwest University in Chongching, Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, and Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou before performing as part of the Musicarama 2014 at the City Hall of Hong Kong on November 30th. The program features works for two pianos by local Hong Kong composers as well as John Adam’s Hallelujah Junction with pianist, Linda Yim. 

More information on Musicarama Hong Kong:

BGSU CMA Alumna, Kathleen Murray, named President of Whitman College

Kathleen Murray

A letter to the Whitman College Community from, Brad McMurchie ’84, Chair of the Board of Trustees:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees it is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. Kathleen Murray, Provost, Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Music, and former Acting President of Macalester College, will become Whitman’s 14th President on July 1, 2015. The Board voted unanimously to appoint Kathy after having received the same endorsement from the Presidential Search Committee.

The Search Committee began its work by developing a set of principles in consultation with all College constituencies. These principles, summarized in the Presidential Prospectus, guided our selection process. Over the intervening 8 months, the Committee reviewed the applications of more than 100 candidates. The College’s strong position allowed us to attract an extraordinarily impressive pool. A series of in-depth interviews and personal interactions culminated with the selection of Kathy.

From the beginning it was clear to the committee that a leading priority would be to find a President with a deep background in the liberal arts as well as the ability to articulate the power of the type of education offered at Whitman. We also sought a candidate able to lead the College in the development of a new strategic plan and with the experience necessary to turn that plan into reality through both their management abilities and fund raising prowess. Kathy stood out from a pool that included leaders from some of the nation’s best colleges and universities. Kathy is described by a peer as a “calm, good listener [who is] able to clearly and respectfully articulate her views.” In Kathy, the Committee found the person with the experience and vision to lead Whitman forward as we build on the success of the last ten years. We also found a person with great warmth, intelligence, and a sense of humor.

At Macalester, Kathy was responsible for the academic program of one of America’s finest liberal arts colleges. She also directed the planning for Macalester’s new $70 million Fine Arts Center and played a key role in the development of the College’s new strategic plan. As a testament to her leadership skills, Macalester’s Board of Trustees selected Kathy to serve as Acting President of the College during the fall of 2013. Away from Macalester, Kathy serves as the Vice Chair of the American Conference of Academic Deans and as a Director of the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth.

Kathy, as a first generation college student, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance) from Illinois Wesleyan University. She received a Master of Music from Bowling Green State University and a Doctor of Music (Piano Performance and Pedagogy) from Northwestern University. Kathy began her academic career at Lawrence University (a selective liberal arts college and conservatory of music, enrolling approximately 1350 students), where she moved from Department Chair to Dean of the Conservatory of Music to Dean of the Faculty. Before being appointed as Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Macalester in 2008, Kathy served for three years as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Birmingham-Southern College. She is also a 2004 graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management.  Please click here to learn more about Dr. Murray.

The campus owes a debt of gratitude to all the members of the Search Committee and, in particular, to Co-Chairs Nancy Serrurier and Janice Abraham. The Trustees, Overseers, faculty, staff, and students on the committee, along with our search consultants from Storbeck/Pimentel, worked tirelessly and collegially to find the next great leader of Whitman. I also want to thank President George Bridges. Our ability to attract such an outstanding pool of candidates is a testament to his hard work and leadership since assuming the Presidency in 2005.

Kathy and her partner Bridget Reischl are excited to join the Whitman and Walla Walla communities. Please join me in welcoming them.


DMA pianist Michiko Saiki wins awards with her film, “a…i…u…e…o….”

Second-year DMA pianist Michiko Saiki is the winner of several awards with her film, “a…i…u…e…o….” In September the work was competitively selected for viewing at “The Twelfth And The Last Experimental International Film Festival” in Australia. Most recently it was one of 19 out of 263 entries chosen for the “Without Words Festival” in France. Ms. Saiki’s work was created to remind people of the tragic aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in her native country Japan. Ms. Saiki has studied with Drs. Tom Rosenkranz and Laura Melton.

Recently released recordings feature Thomas Rosenkranz, piano

Thomas Rosenkranz

Associate Professor of Piano, Thomas Rosenkranz was recently featured on three commercial recordings of chamber music on the Bridge Record and New Focus Labels.

Paul Lansky: Textures and Threads (Bridge Records)
Premiere recording of Lansky’s work: textures for two-pianos/ two percussion, with pianist, Michael Sheppard and percussionists, Svet Stoyanov and Gwen Burgett

Lei Liang: Bamboo Lights (Bridge Records)
Premiere recording of Lakescape for trio, with Tony Arnold, voice and Aiyun Huang, percussion

Nataraja (New Focus Records)
Duo Recording with Conor Nelson, flute. Works by Harvey, Levine, Carter, Dietz and others