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Sound engineer Adam Abeshouse to record student groups

March 9, 2012

Sound engineer Adam Abeshouse to record student groups

Adam Abeshouse

Adam Abeshouse

Drawn by the quality of sound achieved by performers in the Arthur Zankel Music Center's Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, one of the world's most respected recording engineers and producers will spend a two-day residency at the College March 29 and 30.
Adam Abeshouse, who has won Grammy awards for Classical Producer of the Year and for Best Classical Instrumental Solo Performance, will record and edit performances by four student chamber groups and produce a CD that the College may distribute as it wishes. These sessions will be open to all students, faculty, local performers and others in the community who wish to observe.

In each of the sessions, Abeshouse will teach about the recording process, discussing not only the acoustics, equipment and technical requirements of the process, but also his philosophy of recording, including its physical, artistic and psychological aspects. To reserve a seat for any of the four sessions, please write Jan Vinci, senior artist in residence, at

Abeshouse will set up his recording and editing equipment in Ladd Concert Hall and in the adjacent Beckerman Rehearsal Studio, which will serve as both his control room and classroom. He will record the following four chamber groups:
  • Thursday morning: Heather Zhang '15 and Sasha Zabludoff '15 will perform on one piano Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Piano for Four Hands. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Thursday afternoon: Hannah Emery '14, clarinet, and Rebecca Conneely '12, flute, will perform Ezra Laderman's Duetti for Flute and Clarinet. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday morning: The Skidmore Guitar Ensemble -- Aaron Silverstein '14, Canaan Gifford '13, Esther Kim '12, and Benjamin Mickelson 12 -- will perform Courante by Michael Pratorius. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Friday afternoon: A string quartet -- Victoria Vitale '12, violin; Jane Esterquest '13, violin; Grace Eire '12, viola; and Robin Luongo '15, cello -- will perform William Grant Still's Danz s de Panama for String Quartet. 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Abeshouse, who has a broad music background as a violinist with a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music, is well-acquainted with Zankel. His daughter, Emily, is an outstanding pianist and Filene Scholar who has performed Ladd Hall. Abeshouse also has recorded in Ladd Hall performances by Jan Vinci, Skidmore senior artist-in-residence and director of the Skidmore Flute Institute, and pianist Pola Baytelman, distinguished artist-in-residence.

"I've been giving a lot of thought to what I would teach in a master class, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it," said Abeshouse. "My daughter loves being at Skidmore, and this is a way I can give back. I'm excited to be working with the students."

The many challenges that recording and editing pose to both engineer and performer are detailed in the Feb. 6 issue of The New Yorker by pianist Jeremy Denk, whose performance of Charles Ives' s"Concord" Sonata was recorded by Abeshouse. Denk writes:

"The most maddening paradox of recording is that what you hear in the playback does not resemble what you're sure you played. You hear two tracks at once: what you desire and what you produced. Notes dangle before you without their motivation, minus the physical struggle of playing them; my muscles twitch strangely while I listen."

In 2002, Abeshouse founded the Classical Recording Foundation to meet the growing need for artists not supported by major labels to be able to record music about which they are passionate. He also is a partner the Original Music Workshop, a venue for young musicians and composers of new classical, jazz and experimental music, currently under construction in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Artists with whom Adam Abeshouse has worked include Garrick Ohlsson, Leon Fleischer, the Guarneri String Quartet, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Orion String Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Fine Arts Quartet, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the St. Petersburg (Russia) Philharmonic, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, Gary Graffman, Jamie Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Joseph Kalichstein, Joel Krosnick, Gilbert Kalish, Simone Dinnerstein, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Samuel Sanders, Paula Robison, Zuill Bailey, Glen Dicterow, Heidi Grant Murphy, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Naruki, and Bobby White. Composers with whom Abeshouse has worked with include Milton Babbitt, George Crumb, Andr Previn, Andrew Imbie, Paul Moravec, Peter Schickele, Charles Wuorinen, Gunther Schuller, Richard Wernick, Steven Hartke, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Melinda Wagner.


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