Recent Faculty Achievements

Richard Lavenda, Professor of Composition and Theory and Director of Graduate Studies

Winner of the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Doctoral Adviser


Karim Al-Zand, Professor of Composition and Theory

Performance of Lamentation on the Disasters of War by The Cleveland Orchestra 

Winner of the Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition of the American Guild of Organists 

Performance of Parizade and the Singing Tree for Orchestra at the 2023 George Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Romania 


Robert Atherholt, Professor of Oboe 

Delivered inspiring Master Classes at Oberlin College and Conservatory in October 2022 

Faculty at the Atlantic Music Festival at Colby College in July 2023 


Anthony Brandt, Professor of Composition and Theory 

A 2023 MacDowell Fellowship recipient 

Individual Artist Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance 


Shih-Hui Chen, Professor of Composition and Theory 

Chamber opera or/and 《給女兒的話》will be touring in Taiwan in Hualien 花蓮, Taipei 台北, Taichung台中 and Chiayi 嘉義 in March 2024

2023 Walter Hinrichsen Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters 

Chen’s opera, or/and premiered at the Asia Society Texas Center in September 2022 (was also performed in Germany and Italy) 

Multimedia cello concerto Our Son Is Not Coming Home to Dinner premiered performed at the University of Connecticut in April 2023 

Composer-in-Residence at the SoundScape Music Festival in Italy 

Fellow, Center for Asian and Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelberg (June 2022) 

Residency, Civitella Ranieri Foundation (May 2022) 


Joan DerHovsepian, Artist Teacher of Viola 

Appointed Principal Viola of the Houston Symphony in May 2023 after a screened international audition 


Arthur Gottschalk, Professor of Composition and Theory

Won the Global Music Award for Classical Music for Litany, libretto by W.E.B. DuBois, recorded by the Prairie View A&M Concert Choir with the Axiom String Quartet 

Won the Presidential Award for Mentorship bestowed by Rice University 

Brunetti Meditations recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, released 3/10/23 on Navona Records 

Fanfare for a Great City recorded by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra Brass Section with Larry Rachleff, conductor, released 3/3/23 on RMN Classical 


Jerry Hou, Artist Teacher of Orchestras and Ensembles 

Made his conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic 

Made his subscription conducting debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Concert at the Grand Teton Music Festival 


Alexandra Kieffer, Associate Professor of Musicology 

Received a George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship 

Shepherd School of Music State of the School Report Academic Affairs Committee – December 2023 


Peter V. Loewen, Associate Professor of Musicology 

H. Colin Slim Award from the American Musicology Society in November 2022 for the article “A Rudder for The Ship of Fools?: Bosch’s Franciscans as Jongleurs of God.” (


Ana María Martínez, Professor of Voice 

Sang the role of Catrina in El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego) by composer Gabriela Lena Frank (Shepherd School of Music alumnus) and librettist Nilo Cruz at LA Opera 

Performed Spanish-language song recitals with acclaimed pianist Craig Terry at the Toronto Summer Music Festival and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; also a guest teaching artist at Toronto Summer Music Festival

Sang the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City 

Sang the role of Elisabetta in Don Carlo at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany 

Sang the role of Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at the Aspen Music Festival 

Guest Lecturer, University of Chicago 


Sohyoung Park, Artist Teacher of Piano and Piano Pedagogy 

Lecture recital at Piano Teachers Congress of New York (co-presented by New York University) 


Jon Kimura Parker, Professor of Piano 

Toured with the Taiwan Symphony Youth Orchestra as soloist in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Named Artist of the Season by Chamber Music International 

Guest Artist-in-Residence, Colburn School, Los Angeles 

Teaching Artist and Finalist Concerto Coach, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Fort Worth 

Creative Partner, concerto soloist, and solo performer, Minnesota Orchestra 


Timothy Pitts, Professor of Double Bass 

Guest artist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Saint Paul, Minnesota, October 21, 22, and 23, 2022 

Guest artist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Saint Paul, Minnesota, March 10, 11, and 12, 2022 

Performed at Larry Rachleff’s Memorial Concert with other Shepherd School Faculty on October 29, 2022 in Stude Concert Hall 

Member of the Artist Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School, Aspen, Colorado, June-August 2023 


Danielle Ward-Griffin, Assistant Professor of Musicology 

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship 


Robert Yekovich, Professor of Composition and Theory 

Appointed to the board of the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Foundation in New York City