The Distinguished Alumni Award is an honor bestowed upon select alumni who have demonstrated exceptional career achievement and have provided extraordinary service to the School.
Dr. Elaine Bearer (BM ’70, Theory)
Neuroscientist, professor, and composer
Dr. Nicholas Goluses (BM ’81, MM ’82, DMA ’85, Guitar)
Professor of Guitar, Eastman School of Music
Cori Ellison (’79, Voice)
Dramaturg, Santa Fe Opera
Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, Composition)
Susan Quittmeyer (MM ’78, Voice)
Mezzo-soprano and educator
Steve Turre (MM ’88, Jazz Trombone)
Jazz trombonist and educator
David Wolfsohn (DMA ’84, Piano)
Larry Hochman (BM ’75, Theory)
Tony Award-winning orchestrator
Hyung-Ki Joo (BM ’93, MM ’99, Piano)
Pianist, composer, and educator
(BM ’03, Jazz Drumset)
Drummer and Recording label President
Angelo Badalamenti (BM ’58, French Horn / MM ’59, Music Education)
Grammy Award winning composer
Stefon Harris (BM ’95, Percussion / MM ’97, Jazz Vibraphone)
Pablo Villegas (PD ’04, PS ’06, AD ’07, Guitar)
Joseph Joubert (BM ’79 / MM ’81, piano)
Broadway pianist, conductor, music director
Margaret Juntwait (BM ’80, voice)
“The Voice” of the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts
David Handler (BM ’04, composition) and Justin Kantor (BM ’02, cello)
Co-Founders, (le) Poisson Rouge
Robert McGrath (MM ’59, voice)
“Bob” on Sesame Street
Dr. Cynthia Boxrud (BM ’78,theory)
Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99 / MM’00, piano)
(BM ’69 / MM ’70)
2010 NEA American Jazz Master
Jesse Rosen (BM ’75)
President and CEO, League of American Orchestras
Lauren Flanigan (’84)
Founder, Music & Mentoring House
Alexandre Moutouzkine (MM ’01 / PS ’04 / AD ’05)
Johanna Meier (BM ’60)
Carol Wincenc (BM ’71)
John Musto (BM ’76 / MM ’80)
Jason Moran (BM ’97)
Roy Eaton (BM ’50 / MM ’52)
Pianist and music marketing executive
James Petercsak (BM ’66 / MM ’68)
Percussionist and educator
Judy Blazer (BM ’77)
Vocalist and actor
Sebastian Currier (BM ’82 / MM ’83)
Olivera Medenica (BM ’96)
Joe Wilder ’53
Jazz performer and educator
Capt. Kenneth Force ’64 / ’65 / ’70
Director of Music, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Elliot Goldenthal ’77 / ’79
Grammy- and Academy Award-winning composer
Laquita Mitchell ’01 / ’02
Richard Adams ’61
Retired MSM Vice President/ Dean of Faculty
Clement De Rosa ’55
Jazz Educator, Bandleader and Founder of IAJE
SungEun Han-Andersen ’89
Donor, G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Hall
Aaron Jay Kernis ’81
Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer
George Manahan ’76
“Outstanding Young Alumni” Award
Jane Monheit ’99
Previous Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Gunther Schuller (composer, educator, and conductor) in 1985 and Dr. Walter Turnbull (founder of the Boys Choir of Harlem) in 1990.
Each year at our commencement ceremonies in May, a select group of students receive special awards for their character, talent, and participation. Many of these awards were established by friends and alumni to honor the memory of important figures in the history of Manhattan School of Music.
The annual College and Alumni Awards include:
Harold Bauer Award
Established by Janet D. Schenck, founder of Manhattan School of Music, to honor her teacher, pianist Harold Bauer, who was instrumental in the development of the School. This award is given to a graduating student in recognition of outstanding accomplishment, cooperation, and promise.
William H. Borden Award
Given in memory of Mr. Borden, who was a trustee of Manhattan School of Music for thirty years, ten of which he served as chairman of the board. His greatest affinity was for jazz, and therefore this award is given for outstanding accomplishment in that discipline.
Pablo Casals Award
Created in honor of Maestro Casals, who served as an early member of the Advisory Board of Manhattan School of Music. The award is given for musical accomplishment
and human endeavor.
Helen Cohn Awards
Created by the friends of Mrs. Cohn to honor her memory and her devotion to the piano. There are two awards—the first is given to a pianist who has done outstanding work in chamber music, and the second is given to an outstanding graduate of the doctor of musical arts degree program.
Richard F. Gold Career Grant
Given by the Shoshana Foundation to recognize a graduating student who demonstrates exceptional promise for a career on the operatic stage.
Hugo Kortschak Award
Given for outstanding achievement in chamber music.
Kraeuter Musical Foundation Award
Given to a student who has excelled in ensemble work.
Bronson Ragan Award
Honors the memory of a former Manhattan School of Music faculty member who taught both organ and theory. The award goes to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding ability in organ performance.
Roy M. Rubinstein Award
Given to a young woman who demonstrates exceptional promise in piano performance.
Raphael Bronstein Award
Established by friends to honor the memory of this beloved faculty member, this award is given to an outstanding violinist who demonstrates great promise as a performer, and in whom can also be seen a dedication to carrying on the pedagogical devotion so exemplified by Professor Bronstein.
John Clark Award
Given for excellence in brass performance. John Clark was an alumnus of Manhattan School of Music and a faculty member for over forty years. This award was established in his memory through gifts from his family and friends.
Cecil Collins Award
Created by Manhattan School of Music alumni to honor the memory of Mr. Collins, a former faculty member and chairman of the brass department, for excellence in brass performance.
Nicolas Flagello Award
Given annually to a student for outstanding achievement as a composer. Established by family, friends, and colleagues to honor the memory of Mr. Flagello, a former faculty member and esteemed composer.
Homer Mensch Award
Celebrates the life of a remarkable gentleman, an exceptional musician and a devoted teacher. He touched our hearts and will always serve as an inspiration to all. Given to a double bass student who exemplifies the spirit of Homer Mensch.
Hugh Ross Award
Given annually to a singer of unusual promise.
Janet D. Schenck Award
Honors the woman who, in 1917–18, founded the School that grew to become Manhattan School of Music, one of the largest and most prestigious private conservatories in the United States. This award, bestowed in Mrs. Schenck’s memory, is in recognition of distinguished contribution to the life of the School.
Josephine C. Whitford Award
Honors Mrs. Whitford, who was for many years a dean of Manhattan School of Music, and is given to a student whose exceptional personal qualities have contributed significantly to the enrichment of the spirit of the School.
Outreach Commencement Award
The recipient of this award has demonstrated outstanding leadership, an exemplary humanitarian spirit, and comprehensive involvement in the Manhattan School of Music outreach programs.
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