The MSM Experience

Welcome to Manhattan School of Music. We invite you to take this opportunity to explore all that makes the School vibrant and exceptional.

Manhattan School of Music's main building houses spaces for instruction, performance, dining, research, and study, as well as all administrative offices. The 19-story G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Hall, adjacent to the main building, incorporates a mixture of performance, academic, and residential functions and creates a dynamic vertical campus for Manhattan School of Music. We boast a total of 104 dedicated practice rooms on campus.

Manhattan School of Music's dorm in the G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Hall - with 60 practice rooms, a well-equipped fitness room, and a beautiful central student lounge—offers some of the best views of the city, as well as an opportunity to establish life-long friendships.

Our residence hall features practice rooms on every floor (most with Steinways). The entire second floor is dedicated to practice rooms that can be used at any hour, day or night.

John C. Borden Auditorium, the School's 846-seat performance space, opens its doors nightly for opera productions, symphony orchestra concerts, chamber recitals, and jazz concerts. Originally completed in 1931, the auditorium is a lustrous example of the Art Deco style.

The state-of-the-art William R. and Irene D. Miller Recital Hall, opened in 2007, is a jewel-box space that provides a rare immediacy for both performer and listener. This 153-seat hall is outfitted with a sophisticated lightning system, audio amplification, and multimedia projection and is linked to the School's central recording studio.

Opened in 2007, the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Performance Space is a versatile 215-seat venue featuring cutting-edge light, audio, and multi-media projection systems, which is used for everything from orchestra rehearsals, opera workshops, and cabaret to intimate jazz and chamber music concerts.

Gordon K. and Harriet Greenfield Hall, which seats 281, is ideally suited for chamber music concerts, solo recitals, and many of the School's numerous master classes. Renovated in 2002, the restored interior echoes the hall's original Edwardian design and features a stained-glass window allowing for natural lighting.

Completed in 2004, the Peter Jay Sharp Library more than doubled Manhattan School of Music's original library space. We now offer a separate performance library, humanities reading room, seminar rooms, listening room, vast array of premier audio equipment, and exquisite views of Sakura Park, in front of Grant's Tomb.

We share our upper Manhattan neighborhood with Columbia University, Barnard College, Columbia Teachers College, Bank Street College, Union and Jewish Theological seminaries, and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

Sakura Park, next door to Manhattan School of Music, is a delightful oasis for students and our community. Many practice under the cherry trees in spring, and a pavilion in the center of the park is sometimes used as a performance space.


Manhattan School of Music is at the heart of New York City's vibrant Morningside Heights neighborhood, framed by bustling Broadway to the east, serene Riverside Park to the west, legendary Harlem to the north, and the City's "Academic Acropolis" of neighboring colleges to the south. Our campus has been described by the New York Times as "one of the richest architectural compositions in the city," including the 1910 seven-story main building and the G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Hall, a contemporary multi-use building and dormitory inaugurated in 2001. Our performance spaces embrace both history and cutting-edge technology, from the Art Deco gem of John C. Borden Auditorium to our groundbreaking Distance Learning Program streaming internationally from the William R. and Irene D. Miller Recital Hall. Students from 44 states and 47 countries make Manhattan School of Music their home.
Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, chairs the Orchestral Performance Program, which prepares students for careers in symphony orchestras. Here he instructs former student Daniel Andai, current concertmaster of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Many students forge life-long relationships with faculty mentors.

Dona D. Vaughn, Artistic Director of the Opera Program, coaches student Raquel Suarez Groen and alumnus Devon Estes. Students in the opera program refine their technique while gaining exposure before New York City audiences by performing in opera scenes, community outreach concerts, and two full-length productions each year.

Assistant Dean Justin DiCioccio, Chair of the Jazz Arts Program, designed the program for "the complete artist-musician: performer, composer, and pedagogue." Manhattan School of Music was one of the first conservatories in the United States to offer a full jazz program, which remains one of the best of its kind.

The Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program, under the supervision of internationally acclaimed violinist, violist, and conductor Pinchas Zukerman (left), accepts a limited number of exceptionally gifted violinists and violists as private students at Manhattan School of Music each year. Patinka Kopec (right), Teaching Associate and Program Coordinator of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program, instructs student Jesus Reina.

Linda Chesis, Chair of the Woodwind Department, refers to chamber music as "the ultimate collaboration." Almost every classical instrumentalist and vocalist takes part in chamber music and ensemble performance at MSM. Every semester, nearly 100 chamber music ensembles are coached by artist-faculty.

Composer Richard Danielpour confers with students. MSM's composition program embraces a diversity of styles and approaches in the creation of new music and offers abundant opportunities for student composers to hear their works performed.

In our new Contemporary Performance Program, students radically engage the music of our time through expert instruction in technique, improvisation, and composition. Our faculty is drawn from New York City's leading new music interpreters, who challenge students to embrace new performance modes and models.

Our students participate in classes and master classes taught by a stream of acclaimed guest artists, including such world-renowned musicians as Lang Lang (pictured), Thomas Hampson, Stefon Harris, Marilyn Horne, Yo-Yo Ma, Kurt Masur, and Pinchas Zukerman.

American baritone Thomas Hampson, shown teaching a master class, is Honorary Professor of Distance Learning at Manhattan School of Music. In 1996, Manhattan School of Music instituted the first distance learning program of its kind at a major conservatory, which connects students, educators, and distinguished artists around the globe for teaching and learning exchanges.


Manhattan School of Music's reputation as one of the best conservatories in the country rests upon its outstanding faculty of devoted musicians and mentors. Students have the opportunity to work—often one-on-one—with prominent members of New York's most renowned ensembles: the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestras of the New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet. Our teachers are deeply committed to shaping the next generation of world-class musicians and to nurturing each student's talent and development as a person. The School grants Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, training students in performance and composition and providing an essential core curriculum in music theory, music history, and the humanities for the aspiring professional musician.
Students perform in the New York premiere of John Musto's Later the Same Evening. As reviewed by Musical America, "…with the traditional high vocal standards of the Manhattan School's Opera Theater in full play, the entire performance was close to perfection."

Manhattan School of Music's Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, and Chamber Sinfonia provide orchestral students the opportunity to perform in three separate series of public concerts. Shown here rehearsing in the pit of John C. Borden Auditorium, students also play for our two annual fully-staged opera productions.

Living legend Candido Camero (left) performs with our Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bobby Sanabria. The recording of this performance of Kenya Revisited "Live," released on the Jazzheads label, was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award as Best Latin Jazz Album.

Voice major Rachel Kara Perez hits a high note in a jazz performance. recently raved, "A noncommercial island in New York's musical stream, [Manhattan School of Music] has some of the city's best players as students and faculty, who consistently perform miracles."

Recent faculty recitals have included such celebrated artists as Paul Cohen (saxophone), Warren Jones (piano), Robert Mann (violin), Marya Martin (flute), and Samir Chatterjee (tabla), shown here.

Our prestigious resident ensembles, the world-renowned American String Quartet (pictured), woodwind quintet Windscape, and brass Meridian Arts Ensemble, coach students and give frequent performances.

The School offers orchestral, jazz, contemporary, wind, and vocal ensembles, some as small as trios and others large enough to fill a concert stage.

Students and faculty from our prestigious Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance perform side by side. Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and Chair of the program, says, "Every young instrumentalist should receive the essential training in ensemble playing that Manhattan School of Music offers. It will broaden their horizons and make them more complete musicians."

The Manhattan Percussion Project brings together premier percussionists from the Greater New York area for a collaborative series of performances and discussions at MSM. Jeffrey Milarsky, one of the leading conductors of contemporary music in New York City today, is Artistic Director and conductor of our Percussion Ensemble.

Alumnus Stefon Harris, one of his generation's leading vibes players, returns for a guest performance with the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Jazz Ensemble.


"Vibrant", "infectious", "fresh", "lively", and "engaging" raved the New York Times, in describing recent performances at Manhattan School of Music. Our more than 600 annual concerts, opera productions, and recitals are not only excellent opportunities for our students to perform, they are considered some of the finest musical events in New York City. Students also have the chance to hear musicians in concert such as faculty members Robert Mann and Glenn Dicterow, artists in residence the American String Quartet, Windscape, and the Meridian Arts Ensemble, and visiting artists (and returning alumni) Stefon Harris and Jane Monheit.
A taxi bearing Manhattan School of Music's familiar logo pulls up to Carnegie Hall, where our students and alumni regularly perform to sold-out crowds.

Pinchas Zukerman, internationally acclaimed violinist, violist, and conductor, and Artistic Director of MSM's Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program, plays with our students at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall.

The Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar is an annual weeklong program of intensive direct instruction for young conductors selected by Maestro Masur, culminating with a public concert by the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra. Here, the orchestra performs at the expansive Park Avenue Armory.

In honor of Manhattan School of Music's 90th Anniversary Celebration, our students perform "New York, New York" in Times Square, conducted by Justin DiCioccio.

Our jazz students regularly jam several stories high at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, matching spectacular sounds to spectacular views of Central Park.

The Office of Student and Residence Life offers discount tickets to the astonishing range of musical and cultural experiences available in New York: Broadway shows, museums, ballet, film, the symphony, opera, and jazz.

Just around the corner, students can visit the Apollo Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Of MSM's prime location, recent Jazz Drum-set alumnus Norman Edwards says: "Especially for my career, this is the place to be. There are sessions all over the place, and you can hear music all the time, whether it be jazz, opera at the Met, or hip-hop at the Village Underground. $2.25 on the train and you're good to go."

At Manhattan School of Music, the City is both our stage and our playground. Students can take a break from studies to relax in nearby Central Park.


Here at Manhattan School of Music, we have one of the world's greatest cities at our doorstep. In a given weekend, students can catch a Broadway show, cheer on the Yankees or the Mets, stroll through Central Park, and sample the finest in international cuisine. We also have access to the City's unbounded musical resources. Our students have recently performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Park Avenue Armory, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Times Square, the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem, and Le Poisson Rouge, a multimedia art cabaret in Greenwich Village founded by two of our alumni. A New York City performance is a must, both for our aspiring performers and for the world's greatest soloists and ensembles who are only a subway ride away.
"What I love about being a musician is that it is crucial to listen to be inspired. At Manhattan School of Music, being around other departments and listening to what they are doing inspires me. For example, the New Arts Ensemble is all about improvising works between the classical and jazz musician, and together they create beautiful melodies, rich harmonies, and amazing rhythmic feels that I utilize in my playing. To collaborate with both classical and jazz musicians at MSM is a given, because they are so linked to one another. It's easy." -Christian Sands, undergraduate Jazz Piano student
"At MSM I feel both challenged and encouraged. The faculty members have substantial knowledge and experience—I know that I can trust their intuitions. They are attentive to students' tastes and interests, but always urge us to dig deeper and explore fresh possibilities. My colleagues are also very talented and dedicated. Because we are a diverse student body, we are able to set high artistic standards for one another, while still preserving our unique individual qualities." -Kyle Werner, graduate Composition student
"As an undergrad at MSM, I had the incredible opportunity to study with knowledgeable and engaging professors like my voice teacher, Maitland Peters. Beyond the classroom, I was able to develop wonderful relationships with fellow students through the School's extracurricular activities, social events in the dorm, student council, and as a residential advisor. For all these reasons and more, when it came time to select a Grad school, the choice was clear—no other School offers such high level training in such a supportive environment. A Master's at Manhattan it would be!" -Margaret Peterson, graduate Voice student, shown here in Griffelkin
"From my first day at MSM, I was struck by its warm and friendly environment. The interaction between faculty and students is both vibrant and supportive. I have rarely observed a music school that combines the great challenges and demands of our discipline with such a nurturing and positive spirit." -Nicholas Mann, Chair of the String Department

"I believe that Manhattan School of Music exists for one purpose only—to serve our students. I endeavor to provide each of my students with the aural and technical resources to express themselves fully and to find personal fulfillment through artistic growth." -Marc Silverman, Chair of the Piano Department

Café Jazz stays up late in the Mitzi Newhouse Pavilion, the School's dining hall and gathering place. The Office of Student and Residence Life sponsors many educational, cultural, and social activities on campus.

The Precollege Division at MSM is a highly competitive and professionally oriented Saturday music program dedicated to the musical and personal growth of students ages 5-18. Our program provides musical education of the highest quality within a supportive and nurturing environment.

This year Manhattan School of Music celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its Summer Music Camp, which provides intensive music training. Teaching in the Camp can be an extremely fulfilling experience for our College students.

Each year, Manhattan School of Music's Arts-in-Education program gives our College students practical teaching experience in New York City schools, and provides outstanding music education to more than 1,500 schoolchildren. In a new partnership with Yo-Yo Ma and members of his Silk Road Ensemble, we are developing curricula with five pilot schools in Harlem, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Manhattan School of Music's pioneering Distance Learning Program, the first of its kind at a major conservatory, now includes the Global Conservatory. Videoconference technology not only brings an international community through our doors, but heightens global awareness of and participation in the musical arts.

President Robert Sirota, leader of our community, is also a distinguished composer and conductor who is dedicated to nurturing the complete musician. Here he conducts a combined orchestra of College and Precollege students in rehearsal for the inaugural Janet Bookspan Memorial Concert for Children and Families.


Music is not only a common passion for students and faculty at Manhattan School of Music, but a necessity in our lives. At MSM, students find a diverse but like-minded group of peers who are committed to becoming citizen musicians, artists of the highest caliber who also deeply value and contribute to their communities. Our Community Outreach programs give students important experience teaching in public schools and performing in public spaces throughout the city—from museums and churches to senior centers, hospitals, and shelters. Students come to MSM with dedication and passion and leave with the confidence and maturity to make a contribution to the art we all love.
"The School gave me master classes with renowned singers whose experience is invaluable, and opera performances that got reviewed in the New York Times and set me off on a very satisfying career journey. I am forever grateful to Manhattan School of Music." -Susan Graham '87, world-renowned mezzo-soprano

"Playing and being trained in classical music from a very young age, I struggled with the relevance of classical music in my life as a young person. Had I not been at MSM and seen in such living color how committed everybody was, I wouldn't have been as interested in finding that relevance." -David Handler '04 (left), co-founder with Justin Kantor '02 (right) of (Le) Poisson Rouge, a multimedia art cabaret on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village that programs acts from Simone Dinnerstein to Mos Def

"Entering Manhattan School of Music gave me both a great education and a wonderful introduction to the vast cultural life of New York City." -Ron Carter '61, legendary jazz bassist and recording artist

"For me MSM feels just extraordinary. A lot of institutions are very square and have the attitude, 'This is how we do it: You're a piano student. You're a piano freshman. What are you doing conducting? Why do you want me to do this?' Here they don't ask those questions. They just ask, 'Why not?'" -Alondra de la Parra '08, founder of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and the first Mexican woman to ever conduct a concert in New York City

"School productions gave me my first real taste of New York theater, and now I'm constantly running across Manhattan School alumni—people I work with, directors and conductors." -Shuler Hensley '90, Tony Award-winning musical theater performer, shown here in Oklahoma!

"My experience at MSM was an extremely rewarding one, and I have fond memories of my time there. My MSM education prepared me for all the challenges of the professional world." -Keisuke Wakao, Post-Graduate Diploma '87, Assistant Principal Oboe for the Boston Symphony

Through the School’s Career Development Office, students are regularly engaged for off-site performances, internships, and teaching positions. They also receive one-on-one counseling to develop effective résumés, cover letters, and publicity materials. The Career Development Office is part of the Center for Music Entrepreneurship, a unique center of discourse on musical careers and the business of music. All students benefit from this core component of their conservatory education.

"After several one-on-one sessions in the Career Development Office, I have produced documents that are professional and truly convey the image I would like future employers to see — that of an emerging artist. The revisions and assistance I received do indeed make a difference. The proof is in my upcoming auditions with regional orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. My resume passed, and now I have a chance to play." -John-Morgan Bush, graduate French Horn student

MSM's Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance trains students to participate fully in both performance and nonmusical aspects of life in a modern orchestra, including orchestra governance, artistic planning, community engagement, and audience development. Program graduates consistently go on to win positions with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and other premier orchestras throughout the country and the world.

Manhattan School of Music is devoted to training and nourishing a generation of musicians who will reap the benefits, personally and professionally, throughout their lives.


Manhattan School of Music's tradition of musical excellence, our outstanding artist-faculty, and our location in one of the world's most vital cultural centers, with the performance and networking oppor- tunities it offers, make the School an exceptional place from which to launch a career. There is no better preparation for professional life than the performance experience and rigorous training that MSM provides. All enrolled students have access to the resources of our Center for Music Entrepreneurship and can simultaneously land consistent paying performance opportunities around the tri-state area. Upon graduation, they already know what it takes to pursue a career in music. It is no surprise, then, that our alumni are successful in every aspect of musical life—performing, composing, teaching, producing, and recording. Many are among the most distinguished artists on stage today in opera houses, concert halls, jazz clubs, and Broadway theaters.