Vivian Perlis and Libby Van Cleve with Aaron Copland
Libby Van Cleve
Photo by Robert Lisak
Photo by Lindsay Flanagan
Founder / Senior Research Scholar
Vivian Perlis is an historian in American music, specializing in twentieth century composers. She is widely known for her publications, lectures, and recording and film productions. On the faculty of the Yale School of Music, Perlis is founding-director of Oral History, American Music, a unique archive of oral and video-taped interviews with leading figures in the music world. This important collection of source materials is well known and widely-used by scholars, historians, broadcasters, and producers.
Book publications by Perlis include Charles Ives Remembered: An Oral History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), for which she was awarded the Kinkeldey Prize of the American Musicological Society, and "An Ives Celebration" (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976). With composer Aaron Copland, Perlis is co-author of Copland: 1900 Through 1942 (New York: St. Martin's/ Marek, 1984), which garnered a Deems Taylor/ ASCAP award, and Copland: Since 1943 (New York. St. Martin's, 1989). Her most recent book, Composers' Voices from Ives to Ellington, co-authored with Libby Van Cleve, includes two CDs and is derived from interviews in the OHAM archive. Publications by Perlis include numerous articles and reviews. Among her productions are recordings of the music of Leo Ornstein and Charles Ives, and television documentaries on Ives, Eubie Blake, Aaron Copland, and John Cage.
OHAM's interviews are conducted by OHAM staff, as well as freelance interviewers. Current interviewers include:
Gregg Bendian is a percussionist and composer well-known for his innovative and varied musical output. He has collaborated with some of the strongest personalities in jazz, rock and classical music, including Pat Metheny, Todd Rundgren, Jan Hammer, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Gavin Bryars and Derek Bailey. In addition to his work as archival consultant and producer for SONY/Legacy, Gregg is an adjunct faculty member at William Paterson University of New Jersey, where he develops curricula and teaches music production, composition and arranging. www.greggbendian.com
Taylor Ho Bynum
Taylor Ho Bynum is a composer, cornet player, bandleader and interdisciplinary collaborator; his projects range from his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across expansive regions like New England or the West Coast) to his stewardship of artist-driven non-profit organizations like Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation. He currently leads his Sextet, works with many collective ensembles, and has performed with legendary artists including Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, and the late Bill Dixon, and forward-thinking peers like Gerald Cleaver, Tomas Fujiwara, Mary Halvorson, John Hébert, Jason Hwang, Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, and Tyshawn Sorey. He has toured throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia as a bandleader, composer, and sideman, with recent awards including a 2013 Performing Arts Grant from Creative Capital and a 2013 Artist Fellowship in Music Composition from the Connecticut Office of the Arts. taylorhobynum.com
Maura Valenti is a harpist and educator currently residing in New Haven, CT. She holds degrees in performance from The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. At Juilliard, her research paper Rock Music’s Social Conscience: Exploring the idea of political music from the Sixties through the post-9/11 era earned her the special citation of graduating with Scholastic Distinction. In addition to her activities as a performer, Maura enjoys a close association with the Oral History of American Music where, among other things, she is regularly invited to conduct in-depth recorded interviews with major figures in contemporary American music. Her interest in emerging voices has led her to interview such composers as Samuel Carl Adams, Andy Akiho, and Hannah Lash.