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February 16, 2023

GRAMMY-nominated flutist and composer Valerie Coleman joins Manhattan School of Music’s prestigious faculty

The multi-faceted artist will have a teaching schedule that reflects her artistic versatility, with appointments in the School’s Composition, Flute, Chamber Music, and graduate Contemporary Performance programs.


NEW YORK, February 16, 2023 – Renowned international music conservatory Manhattan School of Music (MSM) announced today that beginning in the Fall 2023 semester esteemed flutist and composer Valerie Coleman will join the School’s Composition, Flute, Chamber Music, and Contemporary Performance faculty.

Ms. Coleman’s appointment to the MSM faculty comes as she enjoys a 2022–23 season of milestones, beginning with the world premiere of flute concerto The Light We Can See by composer Jennifer Higdon, which Ms. Coleman performed with the Chicago Philharmonic and conductor Leonard Slatkin, himself an MSM trustee. While she was performing in Chicago, the second installment of Ms. Coleman’s song cycle, Eternal Flame, was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra with Metropolitan Opera soprano Angel Blue. Months later, the New York Youth Symphony album featuring her work, Umoja: Anthem of Unity, received a Grammy award win, while her concerto for bassoon, Opus Serena, was premiered by MSM faculty member and alumna bassoonist Monica Ellis and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Jeri Lynn Johnson.

The appointment follows several high-profile faculty additions announced by the School in recent months, including violinists Eugene Drucker (Emerson Quartet founding member) and Ilmar Gavilán (Harlem Quartet founding member, MSM alumnus); collaborative pianists, MSM alumni, and members of the Metropolitan Opera artistic staff Myra Huang (MM ’01), Thomas Lausmann (PS ’00), and Bryan Wagorn (DMA ’13); and, beginning in fall 2023, violinists and MSM alumni Xiao Wang (BM ’13, MM ’15, AD ’16) and Chloé Kiffer (MM ’14, PS ’16). In addition to these and other high-profile faculty appointments, longtime concertmaster of the MET Opera Orchestra David Chan assumed the mantle of leadership of MSM’s renowned Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance in July 2022.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Valerie to Manhattan School of Music,” says MSM President James Gandre, who recently led the School through a series of major campus improvements, including the renovation of MSM’s principal performance space, Neidorff-Karpati Hall, and the opening of a grand new main entrance on Claremont Avenue. “This is an exciting time to be joining MSM; our applications for 2023–24 represent the most the institution has ever received for a single academic year; we’ve experienced record giving over the past four years; and in the last two years, we’ve welcomed more than two dozen new artist-faculty to the School. Valerie’s teaching, across four areas of study, will add luster and excellence to an already deeply accomplished faculty.”

An iconic artist who has been called one of the “Top 35 Women Composers” by the Washington Post and was named Performance Today’s 2020 Classical Woman of the Year, Ms. Coleman has continued to manage her success, balancing a multi-faceted career as composer, musician, and educator.

“Valerie’s career reflects the versatility we know emerging artists need as they enter their performing careers,” says MSM Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs. “I’m thrilled to have Valerie join the School as a faculty member and support our planning of new and revised curriculum that gives students more agency in developing all facets of their careers. There is an urgency to Valerie’s work, a sense that although the work is universal and will stand the test of time, it is also relevant and vitally of the moment. That is also true of her work as an educator, and we are delighted that she will be joining us in the Fall.”

Certainly in her 2021–22 season, Ms. Coleman found a way to express the collective present; her Fanfare for Uncommon Times gave voice to a moment in time and received its world premiere at the Caramoor Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In October 2021, Carnegie Hall presented her Seven O’Clock Shout, which was dedicated to the essential workers of the pandemic and commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra.

“I have had the pleasure of teaching master classes at Manhattan School of Music, and many of my former colleagues in Imani Winds are MSM alumni,” says Ms. Coleman, “so I know the School and its tradition of excellence well. It is an honor to join its superb faculty and contribute to MSM’s vibrant community.”

“As MSM continues to chart a successful course into its second century, it is exciting to welcome this talented artist-educator-entrepreneur to MSM’s faculty,” says Provost Griggs. “Valerie’s track record as musician, composer, and teacher, combined with her belief in the mission of MSM and the core values reflected in the School’s Cultural Inclusion initiatives, will greatly enhance the institution – notably the Composition, Flute, Chamber Music, and Contemporary Performance programs.”

Valerie Coleman’s bio, as well as further information about Manhattan School of Music, can be found below.

For further information, please contact Jeff Breithaupt, Vice President for Media and Communications, at or (917) 493-4702.


Manhattan School of Music acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the Lenape and Wappinger past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we inhabit as well.

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