Providing fiscal leadership and oversight of MSM’s mission, strategic goals, and objectives.
Joan Taub Ades (HonDMA ’14)
Carla Bossi-Comelli (HonDMA ’20)
Marta Istomin (HonDMA ’05), President Emerita
David A. Rahm (HonDMA ’07), Chair Emeritus
Robert G. Simon
Lorraine Gallard was elected as Chair of the Board of Trustees in the spring of 2014. Ms. Gallard is president and CEO of Bonness Enterprises, Inc., an investment advisory firm for high net worth families that she joined in 1985. Previously, she worked in New York for Soros Fund Management and Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc. Lorraine began her vocal studies in Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division, then continued at Eastman School of Music and later privately with Marlena Malas and Renata Babak. She has released two cabaret CDs with her music director David Loud and recently performed at the Park Avenue Armory. Lorraine was Treasurer of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange for three years. She has a B.A. in French Literature from the University of Rochester and an M.A. from NYU. Lorraine is a Chartered Financial Analyst and qualified as a CPA; she also was granted the DALF by the French Ministry of Education. She joined the Board of Trustees in fall 2009.
David G. Knott, PhD is a Senior Partner in McKinsey’s Global Health Practice and leads the Firm’s Center for US Health System Reform.
Over the past two and a half decades, he has worked with many of the industry’s leading stakeholders including health insurers, Medicaid health plans, health systems, PBMs, large employers, and health agencies. His engagements have focused on both strategy development as well as transformation programs, including the design and execution of future operating visions, organization re-designs, capability building programs, and M&A integration.
David has published research on a variety of topics, including most recently: Understanding and Engaging a New Era of Medicaid Consumers; Accounting for the Cost of US Health Care; The Big Data Revolution in Health Care; and Maximizing Value in High Performance Networks. Over the past two years he has presented to the management teams and Boards of over 75 companies on the implications of health care reform and has served as a keynote speaker at industry forums such as the National Governors Association, AHIP, World Health Care Congress, Health Datapalooza, National Institute for Health Care Management, Medicaid Health Plans of America, Alliance for Community Health Plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
In addition to his client commitments, David serves on the Advisory Board of the New York Metropolitan Opera, where in 2012 he and his wife, Françoise Girard, underwrote a new opera entitled The Enchanted Island, staring Placido Domingo, Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, and Anthony Roth Costanzo. In 2012, they supported the launch of a new baroque summer music festival with Maestro William Christie in Vendee, featuring Les Arts Florissants and The Juilliard School, now in its fifth season. In 2013 David and Françoise sponsored the HD broadcast and DVD of a new production of Don Pasquale at Glyndebourne, starring Danielle De Niese. In 2015, they funded the PBS broadcast of the Chicago Lyric Opera’s commissioned work, “Bel Canto.” David also serves on the Advisory Board of Improbable, a UK-based theatre company with directorial credits that include two Philip Glass operas, Satyagraha and The Perfect American. In 2009 he was a David Rockefeller Fellow with the Partnership for New York City.
Prior to joining the firm, David earned a Ph.D. and Master’s in Political Philosophy from Oxford University as well as a B.A. Honours degree in Canada from Queen’s University, where he was a Gold Medalist. He and Françoise live in Manhattan, where she is a lawyer and President of the International Women’s Health Coalition, a non-governmental organization dedicated to advancing the health and rights of women and girls around the world. She is also President of American Friends of Les Arts Florissants. David and Françoise share many passions in life, including a love of opera, travel, reading, art, fashion, skiing, cycling, fine food, and wonderful wine (especially Burgundian!).
James Gandre, an educator and musician with a deep commitment to students and the development of American conservatory learning, returned to Manhattan School of Music to assume the presidency in May 2013. He had served the School for fifteen years (1985–2000), most recently as Dean of Enrollment and Alumni. In 2000, Dr. Gandre became Dean of Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he went on to serve concurrently as the Interim Dean of the College of Education and ultimately as the University’s Provost and Executive Vice President.
President Gandre has broad knowledge of the history and discourse of the American conservatory, the subject of his doctoral dissertation, And Then There Were Seven: An Historical Case Study of the Seven Independent Conservatories of Music that Survived the 20th Century. He has also written about conservatories and music schools in Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped Our Culture (ABC-CLIO, 2013). He presented his views of conservatory education and i ts impact on cultural life in America in the 2014 Musical America Directory.
As a performer, James Gandre has appeared as a tenor soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Classical Players, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and members of the San Francisco Symphony.
His professional choral engagements include more than 175 performances with the New York Philharmonic, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (The Netherlands), Israel Philharmonic, Warsaw Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, American Symphony, Opera Orchestra of New York, and Voices of Ascension, and more than 20 commercial recordings and television appearances on EMI/Angel, EMI/Capital, Teldec, Delos, MusicMaster, Warner Records, and on NBC’s The Today Show, PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, ABC, and CBS. In these performances, he has worked under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Sir Colin Davis, Mstislav Rostropovich, Riccardo Chailly, Robert Shaw, Edo de Waart, Christopher Hogwood, Roger Norrington, John Nelson, Carlos Kalmar, Giuseppe Patane, Dennis Russell Davies, and Eduardo Mata.
Gandre is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMYS) and a member of the Recommendation Board of the Avery Fisher Artist Program. He has been a judge for the Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was a panelist for the William Randolph Hearst Foundation/New World Symphony’s symposium on future multicultural recruitment for the orchestra and for the joint Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Aspen Music Festival panel about bridging the worlds of musical training and future music performance. He led the effort to create the National Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs presented by the National Association for College Admission Counseling and served as the first and third Chairperson of the Advisory Committee. Dr. Gandre also has presented numerous panels on issues affecting LGBT youth and college/high school professionals at educational conferences.
President Gandre has lectured at higher education institutions throughout the country, including the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, University of Michigan, Peabody Institute, Mannes College of Music, Stanford University, University of Michigan, the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland, the University of the Arts, University of New Mexico, and Interlochen Arts Academy. For four years he served as the external adjudicator for graduation performance examinations at Australia’s University of Melbourne School of Music, and he has been a regional selector for the Alberto Vilar Global Fellowship in the Performing Arts at NYU. He is the coauthor of a chapter in The New First Among Equals: The Role of the Chief Academic Officer (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014) on the role of the provost and of the chief financial officer.
He has served on the Board of Directors of Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago High School for the Arts, and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. He has also served on the Board of Visitors of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the Board of Advisors for Music in the Loft, and on the Diversity Working Group sponsored by the Elizabeth Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trusts.
Dr. Gandre has been a consultant to institutions as diverse as Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music, Chicago’s Institute for Clinical Social Work, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and has served as a site team member for the American Bar Association’s accreditation division at City University of New York, University of Pittsburgh, University of North Dakota, and Indiana University–Purdue University.
A Wisconsin native, President Gandre earned his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Lawrence University, a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his Doctor of Education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He also attended the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education and pursued postgraduate music study at the Blossom Festival School of Music/Kent State University.
He is married to Dr. Boris Thomas, a psychotherapist and executive coach in private practice.
Edward Lowenthal, jazz enthusiast and Manhattan School of Music Board member since 2002, is cofounder of Wellsford Strategic Partners, a real estate investment and development company, as well as President of Ackerman Management, a private investment management and advisory company. He is a former director of both the American Campus Communities (NYSE) and Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE). He holds a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University (1966) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1969). In addition, Ed serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of American Campus and is a Trustee of the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
Noémi Neidorff, a native of Budapest, Hungary, escaped with her family, during the 1956 Revolution. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano at Manhattan School of Music, and continued post-graduate studies at Columbia University. An active volunteer, she serves on numerous boards; among them, as a Vice-Chair, Saint Louis Symphony, Radio Arts Foundation, Saint Louis Art Museum, and Artist Presentation Society. As past President of the National Trustees of the National Symphony, she remains active on the National Trustees Board and the International Committee on the Arts at the Kennedy Center. She also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Opera Theatre Saint Louis.
Acclaimed jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard made a name for himself early in his career as a top-tier jazz trumpeter from New Orleans. He has gone on to enjoy a multifaceted, prolific career. A five-time Grammy winner, he has written scores for over 50 films and Broadway shows and the opera Champion, commissioned by Opera Theater of Saint Louis and Jazz St. Louis. Scored for full orchestra and jazz trio, it was presented by the Washington National Opera in March during Mr. Blanchard’s residency at the Kennedy Center.
A veteran of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (recommended by Wynton Marsalis as his replacement in 1983), Terence Blanchard launched his career as a solo bandleader in the early 1990s, eventually delivering nine albums for Columbia and Sony before signing with Blue Note in 2003. To date, he has released more than 20 solo albums.
In addition to his work as a composer, arranger, and bandleader, he has served as artistic director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s jazz series, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami. His playing is perhaps best described by Vanity Fair: “He plays the most coolly expressive trumpet in jazz, transmuting the instrument’s repertoire of smears, growls, peeps and blasts into an astonishingly fluid language both luxurious and controlled.’’
Mr. Blanchard became a go-to composer for film in the early 1990s, sparked by his work with director Spike Lee. He scored Lee classics Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, and 25th Hour and composed the music for Lee’s 2006 post-Katrina HBO documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. He has also worked with George Lucas, Kevin Costner, and Oprah Winfrey, among many others, on film projects, including, most recently, The Comedian with Robert DeNiro.
As a Henry Rutgers Scholar, Delano Copprue graduated summa cum laude with a major in English and a minor in art history from Rutgers College. His undergraduate honors thesis examines the underpinnings of American Transcendentalism in the writings of Emerson and Thoreau. Seeking to extend his literary studies, Delano attended Columbia University in the City of New York as a Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellow. At Columbia, he earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate while conducting original archival research for Harvard University Press, collaborating on book projects with New York City writers, and participating in Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. His doctoral thesis investigates how the improvisational nature of jazz music can be used as a critical lens for interpreting canonical American writers ranging from Hawthorne and Melville to Morrison and Ellison. A specialist in nineteenth-century American literature, Dr. Copprue has published widely on various aspects of history, philosophy, literary criticism, music, and popular culture.
Delano’s teaching career began at Columbia, where he taught literature and writing courses for over a decade. Over the course of his two decades of teaching, Delano has taught students of all ages, and he remains a proponent of the inherent value of lifelong learning. He brings to his board appointment academic expertise on virtue ethics, clinical trials, and patient’s rights from summers spent teaching first-year medical students.
He is currently serving his second tenure at Manhattan School of Music having rejoined the faculty in the 2020/21 School year. He is a member of the Curriculum Committee and Curriculum Working Group creating a cultural inclusion policy. Dr. Copprue resides in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Margaret Mack, and he enjoys studying the humanities and watching the New York Mets.
Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. His debut album, ARC, on Decca Gold was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and he is Musical America’s 2019 vocalist of the year.
Costanzo has appeared with many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Dallas Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Spoleto Festival USA, Glimmerglass Festival and Finnish National Opera. In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has performed at a wide-ranging variety of venues including Carnegie Hall, Versailles, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Minamiza Kyoto, Joe’s Pub, The Guggenheim, The Park Avenue Armory, and Madison Square Garden.
Costanzo is a Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and won first prize in Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in a Merchant Ivory film. He has begun working as a producer and curator in addition to a performer, creating shows for National Sawdust, Opera Philadelphia, the Philharmonia Baroque, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, Master Voices and Kabuki-Za Tokyo. Costanzo graduated from Princeton University where he has returned to teach, and he received his masters from the Manhattan School of Music. In his youth he performed on Broadway and alongside Luciano Pavarotti.
Susan Ennis is the Executive Vice President, Program Strategy & Planning at Home Box Office (HBO). Named to the position in November 2009, Ennis’ responsibilities include the overall linear and digital scheduling of HBO and Cinemax, as well as the strategic planning and operations for all HBO and MAX original programs. Under Ennis’ leadership, the Program Planning group encompasses program and promotion scheduling for HBO/Cinemax 15 linear services, HBO and Cinemax On Demand, HBO/MAX GO, and HBO’s new streaming service HBO NOW. She also oversees the Market, Audience, and Digital Analytics Research groups of HBO, which help advise senior management strategies as global technologies and viewer habits evolve. Ennis joined the Program Strategy & Planning group in 1992 as Director, and has been managing the long-range planning of HBO/Cinemax Original Series, HBO Films & Miniseries, HBO Documentaries & Family, and HBO Sports since being named Senior Vice President in 2000. Before working in Program Strategy and Planning, Susan was Director of Market Research for HBO and Cinemax from 1989 to 1992. She joined HBO in 1982 as a member of the Research department.
Prior to her employment at HBO, Ennis held research positions at Grey Advertising and Dancer Fitzgerald Sample. She earned a BA in Art History from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Columbia University. A board member of the Manhattan School of Music, Susan’s professional memberships include BAFTA, ATAS, AFI, and NYWIFT (NY Women in Film & Television). She is married to Owen Lewis, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia as well as a published poet. The couple lives in New York City with two beloved cats.
Eric Gronningsater retired from Cowen and Company in 2016 after a rewarding and varied career in capital markets that focused on designing, implementing and executing risk management programs for trading desks and complex investment portfolios. Prior to Cowen he worked at PwC, Citibank, Banco Santander and Goldman Sachs. He received a B.A. in English from Yale College and an MBA in Finance from New York University. He and his late wife, Amy Levine, attended MSM performances for many years. Eric joined the School’s Board of Trustees in 2021 after serving on its International Advisory Board. In addition to his financial support of MSM and medical research & treatment, for several years he was involved in fundraising for The Spence School (NYC) where both his daughters attended.
Marcia Clay Hamilton was introduced to MSM through her daughter, Alexandra (BM ’08). Marcia’s career spans nearly four decades and includes positions of leadership in both corporate and small companies, community organizations, and entrepreneurial enterprises. A former Board member of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra and founding member of the Greenwich Music Festival, she currently serves as a Trustee and Executive Committee member of MSM, the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic, Greenwich Pen Women, a branch of the national and Washington D.C.-based Pen Women, a group of professional women writers, artists and musicians. An ardent believer in the power of music to transform lives and enhance academic learning, she is an advocate of making music part of the core curriculum at all school grade levels. She and her husband Don support this initiative at the leading-edge Gateway School in NYC and within both the Greenwich and Stamford, CT public school systems. Marcia received her B.A. in English Literature and Urban Studies from Wheaton College and an M.B.A from the London Business School. She joined the Board of Trustees in fall 2010.
Thomas Hampson, Visiting Distinguished Artist and Honorary Professor of Distance Learning at Manhattan School of Music, is one of today’s leading baritones. His versatility, imagination, and vocal charisma have set new standards on stages the world over. His operatic repertoire encompasses over 60 roles, spanning known repertoire as well as rarely performed works and world premieres. To provide a forum for intercultural dialogue and understanding through the art form of song, Hampson established the HAMPSONG Foundation in 2003. He joined the Board of Trustees at Manhattan School of Music in summer 2007 and is a member of the Artistic Advisory Board. www.thomashampson.com
Lori Harris was born and raised in New York City and received a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages from Boston University with a minor in Mathematics. She continued her studies at Yale University’s Center for Language Study and received an MBA from the University of Denver.
After working in the field of finance for 15 years, including assignments in France and England, she became a full-time mother to twin daughters Sophie and Sascha. Lori is married to Alan G. Harris, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist and drug development executive with extensive experience in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industries. They currently reside in New York City, but have lived in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.
Lori is an avid lover of opera, ballet, music, art, and literature. She co-chaired Manhattan School of Music’s Concert and Dinner to celebrate the grand reopening of Neidorff-Karpati Hall on November 17, 2018. She has been a member of the School’s International Advisory Board since April 16, 2019.
Lori and her husband support a number of charitable institutions, with a particular interest in medicine, education, and needy and disabled children. Lori serves as a trustee of the Lori G. and Alan G. Harris Family Charitable Trust. She served on the finance committee of her co-op board for 12 years.
Nancy Freund Heller is a senior executive with a distinguished thirty- year career in financial services, managing investments, creating strategic plans, running new and established businesses, serving on boards and committees. Before retiring from TIAA in 2016, Nancy built and served as President of TIAA Charitable. Nancy also created TIAA Direct, an online retail bank, headed TIAA’s Institutional Relationships business, conceived and created TIAA’s third party asset management business and spent decades managing investments for TIAA’s general account. Ms. Heller currently serves on the board of Charles Schwab Investment Management, Jackson Life Insurance Company of New York, Manhattan School of Music and the investment advisory board of Geller & Company Family Offices and the advisory board of Amicus.
Han Jo Kim, MD is a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (2002-2006). He did his residency at HSS followed by a fellowship in cervical spine surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis (provides a common connection to the Neidorff’s and Centene). Dr. Kim serves as the Director of the Spine Fellowship, and he is the lead investigator for numerous research studies on interdisciplinary approaches to spinal abnormalities.
In additional to the heavy demands as a surgeon in New York, Dr. Kim has dedicated his time as a volunteer surgeon at the FOCOS hospital in Ghana, West Africa where he has surgically treated some of the most rare and complex spinal deformities in pediatric and adult patients. Over the course of his career, he has successfully operated on hundreds of rare and complex spinal deformities.
Dr. Kim is the author of numerous scientific articles and more than 35 book chapters, including his own textbook which he co-authored with Dr. K. Daniel Riew on cervical spine surgery (The Riew-Kim Manual for Cervical Spine Surgery). Dr. Kim was selected by the Scoliosis Research Society for the prestigious Edgar G. Dawson Fellowship in 2013 and the Scoliosis Research Society Traveling Fellowship in 2017.
Dr. Kim speaks English, Spanish and Korean.
Nicholas Mann, chair of MSM’s Strings department, grew up surrounded by music and musicians, collaborating from an early age with such noted artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, and his father, Robert Mann. Mr. Mann has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist throughout the United States and Canada. In New York he has appeared on the Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall, performed with Chamber Music at the “Y,” and served as concertmaster of the Jupiter Symphony.
Mr. Mann was a founding member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, which began its career in 1979 and spanned 31 years. The MSQ was a frequent guest at virtually every major music series in the U.S. as well as performing in Canada and Europe. The MSQ commissioned numerous composers, including Mario Davidovsky, Bernard Rands, Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, and Tobias Picker. The quartet’s discography includes recordings for Musical Heritage, Nonesuch, Bis, and Newport Classic.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy Delay, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983. His participation in summer music festivals includes 10 years at Yellow Barn and the Santa Fe Music Festival, several seasons at Ravinia, Aspen Music Festival, and frequent engagements with San Francisco’s Chamber Music West and Colorado’s Baca Ensemble. Mr. Mann has also performed over 100 duo concerts with his father.
Mr. Mann has a long distinguished career teaching. He taught at the University of Delaware (1989–1998), Harvard University (1992–2001), North Carolina School of the Arts (1997–2003), and the Hartt School of Music (2000–2003). Currently, Mr. Mann is also on the faculty of Juilliard.
In addition to being chair of MSM’s Strings department, Mr. Mann has been a member of the MSM Precollege faculty since 2013.
Over the course of her distinguished career, Bebe Neuwirth has achieved extraordinary success in theatre, television and film. In 1980, she made her Broadway debut in A Chorus Line. She then appeared in Little Me, Dancin’, and Sweet Charity, for which she won her first Tony Award, followed by Damn Yankees, Fosse, and The Addams Family. Bebe won her second Tony, as well as the Drama Desk, Astaire, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League Distinguished Performance of the Year Awards for her portrayal of Velma in Chicago. A few years later she played Roxie in the show, making her the only triple-threat to have played both parts on Broadway. Her broad diversity of roles in Regional theatre and off-Broadway have ranged from Anita in West Side Story at the Cleveland Opera to Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. From a Richard Greenberg play at Lincoln Center to a Woody Allen play directed by Mr. Allen at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Several years ago she appeared in the critically acclaimed Here Lies Jenny, a music theatre piece comprised entirely of music by Kurt Weill, at the Zipper Theatre. It was directed by Roger Rees and choreographed by Ann Reinking. Bebe is well known for her work in film and television. She won two Emmy Awards for her role of Lilith Sternin Crane on Cheers, and was nominated for Emmys for her work on Frasier and for her portrayal of Dorothy Parker in the TV movie Dash and Lilly. After recent guest appearances on The Good Wife and Blue Bloods, she now has a regular role on CBS’ new series Madame Secretary. She has appeared in numerous films, including Say Anything, Green Card, Bugsy, Jumanji, Summer of Sam, Liberty Heights, Celebrity, and Tadpole. Ms. Neuwirth toured a symphony show, ‘Bebe Sings Weill and Kander & Ebb’, and a piano cabaret show, ‘Stories with Piano’. Her two CDs are a studio album called ‘Porcelain’, and another recorded live at 54 Below called ‘Stories. . . in NYC’. Ms. Neuwirth is the recipient of the CTFD Rolex Dance Award, the Dance Magazine Award, and the Sarah Siddons Society Award, among others. She is both an Honorary Zeigfeld Girl, and an honorary member of Local One, the Stage Hands Union. She is a vice-chair of The Actors Fund, for whom she founded a program called The Dancers’ Resource – a program aimed at relieving the particular emotional and physical challenges faced by dancers.
Bill O’Connor is a private investor and angel investor (since 2008) focused on consumer packaged goods and service sectors. Prior to 2008 he spent 31 years at The Topps Company, Inc. where he held a variety of operations and human resources positions, including that of Vice President – Administration. His earlier work included business and technical recruiting at The Long Island College Hospital and teaching/publishing as a VISTA Volunteer in Houston, TX. He served on the Board of the National Association of Chewing Gum Manufacturers for 16 years and currently serves on the Board of The Discovery Orchestra (NJ) as Treasurer. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Manhattan College and an M.A. in Corporate and Political Communications from Fairfield University. He is, at heart, a researcher (businesses, ideas, processes) and has a long history of pro bono work for individuals and small businesses.
Lois Roman has a broad range of experiences with MSM. Her children participated in Camp MSM, the Pre-college program and her son, Elliot, is in the undergraduate program (Elliot, BM ’21). Lois spent the bulk of her career in the Investment Management industry, most recently as the Head of Global Equities at Bessemer Trust. In prior years, she was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank/Scudder Stevens and Clark and an equity analyst at Putnam Investments. Lois is a Trustee of The Memorial Scrolls Trust, a London based nonprofit that has a collection of historical artifacts spanning 1,000 years of Czech Jewish history. In addition, she is a member of the Investment Committee of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. She has been on the Board of Trustees for the Dwight Englewood School, VP Opera and The Handel Festival Orchestra. Lois holds an MBA from The Columbia Business School and a BA from Brandeis University. In her free time, she is an avid amateur flutist. She joined the MSM Board of Trustees in 2020.
Paul Schnell has been named one of the leading lawyers globally and in the U.S., including in areas such as M&A/corporate (Band 1 ranking in Chambers in the U.S., International & Cross-Border, Latin America and Brazil categories), private equity, corporate governance, corporate, finance and health care. Additionally, Mr. Schnell has been recognized as a U.S. legal “legend” for being included among the top 500 lawyers practicing in the U.S. in each of the last 10 years (Lawdragon). Surveys that recognize Mr. Schnell include Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, U.S. News and World Report, The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal, Latinvex, Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America and IFLR1000. Mr. Schnell has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named multiple times as a Dealmaker of the Year and Dealmaker of the Week by The American Lawyer and as a leading lawyer for the Financial Times’ most innovative M&A transactions.
Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.
Highlights of the 2018-19 season include a tour of Germany with the ONL; a three- week American Festival with the DSO; the Kastalsky Requiem project commemorating the World War I Centennial; Penderecki’s 85th birthday celebration in Warsaw; five weeks in Asia leading orchestras in Guangzhou, Beijing, Osaka, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; and the Manhattan School of Music’s 100th anniversary gala concert at Carnegie Hall. He will also conduct the Moscow Philharmonic, Balearic Islands Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Louisville Orchestra, Berner Symphonieorchester, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, RTÉ National Symphony in Ireland, and Monte Carlo Symphony.
Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 33 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).
A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his debut book, Conducting Business. His second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, was published by Amadeus Press in 2017.
Slatkin has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National symphony orchestras, and he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
He has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, including: New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, all five London orchestras, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich’s Bayerischer Rundfunk, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Slatkin’s opera conducting has taken him to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, and Opéra Bastille in Paris.
Born in Los Angeles to a distinguished musical family, he began his musical training on the violin and first studied conducting with his father, followed by Walter Susskind at Aspen and Jean Morel at Juilliard. He makes his home in St. Louis with his wife, composer Cindy McTee. For more information, visit leonardslatkin.com.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time, when at the age of eight he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain, and also felt the same exhilaration when he first picked up a baseball bat. The young student-athlete quickly excelled in both pursuits, going on to attend the special performance arts school Escuela Libre de Musica at the age of thirteen and becoming one of the most noted young athletes on the island, both as a track and field standout posting record times in the 400 meters, as well as one of Puerto Rico’s most sought after young baseball prospects. Bernie was signed by the New York Yankees after high school in 1987. After working his way through the farm system, the switch-hitting Williams made his Major League debut with the Yankees in May, 1991.
In his 16-year career patrolling centerfield for the New York Yankees, Bernie Williams was a four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All Star. Williams has more post-season RBIs to his credit than any other player in Major League history and his resume also boasts four Gold Glove awards, six American League pennants, the 1996 ALCS MVP award, and the 1998 American League batting title. Bernie is also among the Yankees all-time leaders in every major batting category, with his performance statistics often standing alongside such legetnds as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. On May, 24, 2015, the Yankees retired Bernie’s uniform number 51 and a plaque was dedicated and placed in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium, cementing his legacy as an all-time Yankee great.
Throughout Williams’ years with the Yankees, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of his guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights. Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star’s locker or equipment bag, and it was no surprise when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, The Journey Within in 2003. The record featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ Latin heritage and was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart success- reaching #3 on Billboard’s “Contemporary Jazz Chart.”
Bernie Williams raised his musical game even further with the release of his second album Moving Forward. Featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an All-Star cast of renowned studio musicians, Moving Forward debuted as Billboard’s #2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country, and continued to hold that chart position for five straight weeks, and spawned two consecutive Billboard #1 singles, Go For It, and Ritmo de Otono. The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.
In addition to performing at concert venues, music festivals, and special events, since the release of Moving Forward, Bernie spent considerable time authoring his first book, Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Music and Athletic Performance, published by Hal Leonard Books and released in July 2011. The book examines the symbiotic relationship between musical artistry and athletic performance through the eyes of a man who has mastered both.
Bernie is an active crusader for arts and music education in the lives of all students, and is a national spokesman for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition, which unites non-profit organizations, schools, and businesses working to assure that music education is supported in communities everywhere, and that all children have the opportunity to learn and grow with music. He has met with leaders of Congress on Capitol Hill for years lobbying to ensure that arts and music become part of a core education in our schools across the United States.
In 2015, he was appointed a Turnaround Arts artist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the White House, and U.S. Department of Education. Turnaround Arts brings arts education programs and supplies to a group of the lowest-performing elementary and middle schools in the country. These resources help schools improve attendance, parent engagement, student motivation, and academic achievement.
On May 13, 2016, Williams graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, in New York, NY, a prestigious music conservatory in New York, NY, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance.
In 2017, Bernie became the national spokesperson for Breathless, an educational awareness campaign for Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a mysterious lung disease that took the life of Bernie’s father Bernabe Sr., and still has no cure. He has been touring the country visiting many cities, Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball ballparks, and speaking at major medical conferences to spread the word about the disease that affects up to 132,000 people and their families per year.
On June 13, 2019, Bernie became “Dr. Williams”, as he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the State University of New York through SUNY Potsdam and the world- renowned Drake School of Music, considered the “birthplace of music education”. Williams was recognized for his record-setting achievements as a New York Yankee, as well as his artistic accomplishments as a musician and dedication to philanthropy.
Joan Taub Ades is a prominent member of New York’s premiere music philanthropic circles.
At Manhattan School of Music, Joan oversees and generously funds the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition each spring, and she conceived of and oversaw the long-running “Joan’s Closet” program. An annual event, Joan’s Closet provided female MSM students with appropriate audition, recital, and concert gowns and clothing at no charge. Joan has also spearheaded additional MSM innitatives including Music for the Seasons, an interactive concert series that brings stellar students and alumni to perform at NYC care programs and facilities.
In 2007, MSM opened the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Performance Space, named in recognition of the important and generous philanthropic contributions to the School by Joan and her late husband Alan. The “Ades Performance Space” is a versatile performance and event venue that accommodates up to 215 audience members.
Joan is a former board member of the American Ballet Theater, served as president of Horizon Concerts, and was a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among many other activities. She has a graduate degree from New York University.
Carla Bossi-Comelli is a resident of the world, having been born in Italy, lived in Argentina, and now residing in Switzerland. She served on Manhattan School of Music’s Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2021 and is the Chair of the International Advisory Board. Carla is a past president of the World Federation of Friends of Museums, an international non-profit organization with 18 different national federations and 27 associations affiliated with over 2 million supporters. She also serves as a member of the International Council of the Metropolitan Opera, the International Council of the Osterfestspiele Salzburg, the Venice International Foundation Board, and the Board of Advisory Trustees of Friends of FAI.
Marta Casals Istomin, gifted musician and seventh President of Manhattan School of Music, was named President Emerita of the School in 2015. During her Presidency, the School grew greatly in stature and quality, revitalizing its curriculum and enhancing its exemplary community outreach programs. The governments of Spain, France, and Germany have decorated Mrs. Istomin with their highest civilian honors for her achievements in the arts. She is the recipient of several honorary doctorates and has been awarded many distinctions throughout the United States.
David A. Rahm, Chairman Emeritus, served on the Board from 1989 until 2016 and was Chairman from 1994 to 2008. He has been a longtime supporter of music education and with his wife, Susan, a devoted partner to the Manhattan School of Music. David is a retired Senior Partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and in addition to his role as a philanthropic leader, David realized the artist in himself and now is a dedicated student of classical piano. He received his A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University (1962), his LL.B. from Yale Law School (1965), and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from Manhattan School of Music in 2007.
Robert Simon was a banker in the JPMorgan Private Bank from 1990 to 2009 and was a member of Manhattan School of Music’s Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2009. Rob is a patron of the Metropolitan Opera and a former Chairman of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York’s Board of Directors. Rob earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont (1970), and a J.D. from the University of Maryland (1973). He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland.
Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard, who joined the MSM Board of Trustees in spring 2017, receiving an honorary doctorate from MSM President James Gandre at the 2017 Commencement ceremonies at Riverside Church.
About President James Gandre
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International Advisory Board
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