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May 13, 2022

JT Kane Appointed Inaugural Dean of Manhattan School of Music’s Instrumental Studies and Orchestral Performance Division

NEWS RELEASE

The esteemed musician and Vice President for Musician Advancement and Dean of Orchestra at New World Symphony will lead this major new MSM division, which incorporates six areas of study

NEW YORK, May 12, 2022 – Renowned international music conservatory Manhattan School of Music (MSM) announced today that beginning July 1, esteemed cultural and academic leader JT Kane will join the School to lead its newly created Instrumental Studies and Orchestral Performance Division. He comes to this new role from New World Symphony, where he has served as Vice President for Musician Advancement and Dean of Orchestra. As the inaugural Dean of this major new division at MSM, Mr. Kane will oversee six areas of study: brass, guitar, percussion, strings, winds, and the prestigious Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance, which is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary.

This new division – the largest in the School with more than 80 faculty and enrollment of approximately 350 students – will provide a cohesive pedagogical and performance framework for students enrolled in these six areas of study. Mr. Kane’s teaching and performance background – he is an accomplished violist – as well as his executive leadership at the groundbreaking New World Symphony (NWS), among other institutions, combine to make him uniquely suited to this new role.

At NWS, Mr. Kane helped lead the design and implementation of Fellows’ curriculum in the areas of musicianship, and community and audience engagement; organized a roster of 120 distinguished visiting faculty each season; and served as liaison between Fellows and NWS administration in all matters relating to day-to-day operations.

“JT’s deep range of institutional leadership experience in the orchestral and academic worlds will allow him to play a pivotal role in contextualizing six major areas of study into one newly cohesive division at MSM,” says the School’s President, James Gandre. “We are thrilled to welcome him.”

Before joining NWS, Mr. Kane held positions as Artistic Operations Manager for Artis—Naples, Orchestra Personnel and Popular Programming Manager with the Louisiana Philharmonic, and Manager of Orchestral Operations at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is a graduate of the 2019–2020 League of American Orchestras Emerging Leaders Program and is an alum of the League’s Essentials of Orchestra Management Program. Notably, especially given MSM’s trailblazing work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Mr. Kane serves as a senior consortium member for the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), a national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras; as part of this work, he helped facilitate annual NAAS Audition Intensives, hosted by New World Symphony.

“I am so proud to be joining MSM to lead a major new division at this auspicious moment in its history,” says Mr. Kane. “Still fresh from its centennial celebrations a few years ago and the transformative renovation of its principal performance space, Neidorff-Karpati Hall, as well as other major campus improvements, MSM is newly invigorated. The School’s widely hailed focus on artistic and academic excellence, and its inspired work and deep commitment to cultural inclusion, make this a very special time to be joining MSM to lead this major new division.”

In addition to his leadership with NWS and other institutions, JT is an active violist and teacher. He was invited to Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, in 2001 to begin the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruz, a training orchestra and school of music. During his eight years in Mexico, he was Professor of Viola at the Facultad de Música-Universidad Veracruzana, and the Acting Assistant Principal Violist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa. He has played with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Louisiana Philharmonic, Palm Beach Opera, and Palm Beach Symphony.

“Formally bridging our brass, guitar, percussion, strings, winds, and Orchestral Performance Program into a single new division gives MSM an opportunity to create exciting artistic and academic programming; leveraging synergies and expertise from all six areas to benefit all of the division’s students,” says MSM Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs. “JT’s impressive background, combined with his belief in the mission of MSM and his commitment to our Cultural Inclusion initiatives, will enhance our students’ experiences and their career-readiness.”

The announcement of Mr. Kane’s new role at MSM comes just days after two other appointments to the School’s leadership and faculty were announced. David Chan, the accomplished violinist and longtime concertmaster of the Met Opera Orchestra has been named Head of MSM’s Orchestral Performance Program; and Grammy Award-winning violinist and MSM alumnus Ilmar Gavilán (MM ’00) will join the School’s violin faculty in the fall of 2022.

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

ABOUT JT KANE

In July 2022, JT Kane will join the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) as its inaugural Dean of Instrumental Studies and Orchestral Performance. He comes to MSM from the New World Symphony (NWS) in Miami Beach, where he served as Vice President for Musician Advancement and Dean of Orchestra. At NWS, JT helped lead the design and implementation of Fellows’ curriculum in the areas of musicianship, and community and audience engagement; organized a roster of 120 distinguished visiting faculty each season; and served as liaison between Fellows and NWS administration in all matters relating to day-to-day operations.

Before joining NWS, JT held positions as the Artistic Operations Manager for Artis—Naples, Orchestra Personnel and Popular Programming Manager with the Louisiana Philharmonic, and Manager of Orchestral Operations at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is a graduate of the 2019-2020 League of American Orchestras Emerging Leaders Program and is an alum of the League’s Essentials of Orchestra Management Program. He is proud to serve as a senior consortium member for the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS)—a national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras, and helped facilitate its annual Audition Intensives, hosted by New World Symphony.

As a professional violist, JT was invited to Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico in 2001 to begin the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruz, a training orchestra and school of music. During his eight years in Mexico, he was Professor of Viola at the Facultad de Música-Universidad Veracruzana, and the Acting Assistant Principal Violist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa. He has played with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Louisiana Philharmonic, Palm Beach Opera, and Palm Beach Symphony.

JT received his Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Harid Conservatory (now the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University) and was the Teaching Assistant while completing a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. JT has two beautiful daughters—Isabel and Amanda, enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling with his wife Lisa, and playing the ukulele.

ABOUT MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today MSM is recognized for its more than 980 superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come from more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states; its innovative curricula and world-renowned artist-teacher faculty that includes musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Met Orchestra, and the top ranks of the jazz and Broadway communities; and a distinguished community of accomplished, award-winning alumni working at the highest levels of the musical, educational, cultural, and professional worlds.

The School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, from its Precollege students through those pursuing doctoral studies. Offering classical, jazz, and musical theatre training, MSM grants a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. True to MSM’s origins as a music school for children, the Precollege program continues to offer superior music instruction to 475 young musicians between the ages of 5 and 18. The School also serves some 2,000 New York City schoolchildren through its Arts-in-Education Program, and another 2,000 students through its critically acclaimed Distance Learning Program.

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