FRI MAY 10 | 12:00 PM | The Riverside Church
Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb, conductor Jane Glover, composer Adolphus Hailstork, and jazz legend Barry Harris will receive the Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts degree from MSM during the School’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony this Friday.
The Ceremony represents the final event of many in MSM’s season-long Centennial celebrations, a 100th anniversary that has seen the reopening of MSM’s fully renovated principal performance space Neidorff-Karpati Hall and, on April 17, a Gala performance at Carnegie Hall that was hosted by Alec Baldwin (HonDMA ’12), conducted by Leonard Slatkin (HonDMA ’13, MSM Trustee), and featured 325 performers drawn from the distinguished ranks of MSM’s extended family of artists.
This year’s Honorary Doctorates will be presented by MSM President James Gandre and Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs. The event will also include a variety of musical performances from current and graduating MSM students, a Commencement address given by Mr. Gelb, and the presentation of diplomas to the Class of 2019.
From left: Peter Gelb, Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66), Jane Glover, Barry Harris
Since becoming the 16th general manager of the Metropolitan Opera in 2006, Peter Gelb has launched a number of initiatives to revitalize opera and to connect it to a wider audience. Under his leadership the Met has recruited many of the world’s greatest theater, film, and opera directors, increased the number of new productions, and launched The Met: Live in HD, the award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters, now seen in more than 70 countries. Other Met initiatives under Peter Gelb include a commissioning program for new operas, free outdoor transmissions and recitals, a rush tickets program, a 24-hour Met radio channel on SiriusXM, and the online subscription streaming service Met Opera on Demand.
Gelb began his career at 17 as an office boy for the impresario Sol Hurok. He became an assistant manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was Vladimir Horowitz’s manager during the pianist’s career revival in the 1980s. Gelb served as President of CAMI Video until 1992 and was President of the Sony Classical record label before coming to the Met. His honors include multiple Emmy, Grammy, and Peabody awards, the Sanford Prize from the Yale School of Music, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.
Adolphus Hailstork received his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed. He had previously studied at Manhattan School of Music, under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax.
Dr. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, chamber ensembles, band, orchestra, and opera. Among his early compositions are Celebration, recorded by the Detroit Symphony in 1976, and two band works, Out of the Depths (1977) and American Guernica (1983), that won national competitions. Consort Piece (1995), commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Ensemble, was awarded first prize by the University of Delaware Festival of Contemporary Music. Significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York) have been led by leading conductors such as James de Priest, Paul Freeman, Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maezel, Jo Ann Falletta, and David Lockington. This March, Thomas Wilkins conducted Hailstork’s An American Port of Call with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Hailstork’s second symphony, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony, was inspired by a trip to Ghana, where he saw the dungeons where captive slaves had been held before being shipped overseas. He wrote, “I put my reaction to that sad scene in movement II of this symphony. In movement IV I sought to reflect the determination of people who had arrived in America as slaves, but struggled, with courage and faith, against numerous odds.” The symphony and his second opera, Joshua’s Boots, commissioned by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Kansas City Lyric Opera, both premiered in 1999. Hailstork’s second and third symphonies were recorded by the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Lockington, and released by Naxos. Naxos also released An American Port of Call (Virginia Symphony Orchestra) in 2012.
Other commissions include an opera about the Underground Railroad, Rise for Freedom, premiered in 2007 by the Cincinnati Opera Company; Set Me on a Rock for chorus and orchestra, a response to Hurricane Katrina, commissioned by the Houston Choral Society (2008); and the choral ballet The Gift of the Magi for treble chorus and orchestra (2009). In 2011, Zora, We’re Calling You, for speaker and orchestra, was premiered by the Orlando Symphony. I Speak of Peace, commissioned by the Bismarck Symphony in honor of President John F. Kennedy and featuring his words, was premiered in 2013, conducted by Beverly Everett. Hailstork’s newest works include The World Called, based on Rita Dove’s poem Testimonial, for soprano, chorus, and orchestra, commissioned by the Oratorio Society of Virginia and premiered in May 2018, and Still Holding On (February 2019), commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Dr. Hailstork is Professor of Music and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
British conductor Jane Glover has been Music Director of Music of the Baroque, “one of Chicago’s musical glories” (Opera News), since 2002. She made her professional debut at the Wexford Festival in 1975, and in 1979 joined Glyndebourne and became Music Director of their touring opera from 1981 until 1985. She was Artistic Director of the London Mozart Players from 1984 to 1991 and has also held principal conductorships of both the Huddersfield and the London Choral Societies. From 2009 until 2016 she was Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is now the Felix Mendelssohn Visiting Professor.
Jane Glover has conducted all of the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain, as well as orchestras in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia. In recent seasons, she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, Sydney, Cincinnati, and Toronto symphony orchestras, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Belgrade Philharmonic, and Orchestre Nationale de Bordeaux et Aquitaine. She also works with the period- instrument orchestras Philharmonia Baroque and the Handel and Haydn Society.
In demand on the international opera stage, Jane Glover has appeared with numerous companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Washington Opera, English National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Glyndebourne, the Berlin Staatsoper, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Opera National de Bordeaux, Opera Australia, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera National du Rhin, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Luminato, Teatro Real, and Teatro La Fenice. Known as a Mozart specialist, she has conducted all the Mozart operas all over the world regularly since she first performed them at Glyndebourne in the 1980s.
Jane Glover’s discography includes a series of Mozart and Haydn symphonies with the London Mozart Players and recordings of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Britten, and Walton with the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers. Recent releases include Handel’s Messiah (Signum) and Haydn Masses (Naxos). Her critically acclaimed book Mozart’s Women was published in 2005. Her new book, Handel in London, was published in September 2018.
Jane Glover was created a Commander of the British Empire in the 2003 New Year’s Honours.
Considered the foremost interpreter and exponent of the classic bebop jazz style, Barry Harris is an internationally renowned jazz pianist, composer, and teacher. For the past several decades he has traveled the world over as an ambassador of jazz.
Barry Harris’s earliest musical mentor was his mother, who played for their church and taught him his first song at the age of 4. This led to him studying with different teachers in Detroit as a child. In intermediate school he played clarinet and somehow heard Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and Fats Navarro, which proved to be his real love. Sometime in the late 1940s he sat in with Charlie Parker and Gene Ammons at dance halls.
Barry Harris had musicians coming from all over to study with him, Joe Henderson and Yusef Lateef among them. John Coltrane came to Barry’s house to see how he was teaching some young students such as Charles McPherson, Lonnie Hillyer, James Jamerson, Paul Chambers, and Harry Whitaker.
In the early ’50s he traveled to New York City and recorded with Benny Golson, Thad Jones, Carmell Jones, and others. Later he went to Chicago and recorded with Sonny Stitt and then played with Miles Davis in Detroit. He joined Max Roach’s band in 1956, then returned to Detroit and joined Cannonball Adderley’s band in 1960. Barry Harris also recorded with Dexter Gordon and played with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young.
Devoted to the tradition and the advancement of jazz throughout his life, Barry Harris founded the Jazz Cultural Theatre in the 1980s and has presented and produced annual concerts at venues such as Symphony Space in New York.
Barry Harris has received the Living Legacy Jazz Award from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, the highest honor the National Endowment for the Arts bestows on jazz artists. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Northwestern University and Lewis College of Business and of the Award for Excellence from the Manhattan Borough President in recognition of his devoted public service and excellence in the field of music. He received the 1999 Mentor Award for his work with youngsters at the Manhattan Country School in New York City.
Barry Harris appears as a guest lecturer at universities and musical venues all over the world and gives interactive workshops on all aspects of music. When he is not traveling, he holds weekly music workshop sessions in New York City for vocalists, piano students, and other instrumentalists.
SLIDESHOW: Highlights from Commencement 2018!
Inaugurated in 1998, the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service is the highest honor bestowed upon members of the Manhattan School of Music Community by the President of the School. It is given in recognition of extraordinary commitment to the School in two or more of the following areas:
John K. Blanchard is currently Manhattan School of Music’s Institutional Historian and Director of Archives and played an important role in the planning and production of its Centennial Season. He is a member of the Society of American Archivists. Over his 30-year career at MSM, he has held positions with responsibilities in admissions, development operations, annual fund, and alumni affairs. As Director of Alumni Affairs, he modernized the School’s alumni database, brought an online presence to alumni services, established the School’s first Student Philanthropy Program, and implemented a series of annual reunions and distinguished alumni awards. From 1993 to 2006 he also served as head of the School’s placement/career services office which grew to become the current Center for Music Entrepreneurship. He has lectured on the development of effective job-search materials, appearing as a guest speaker at the New World Symphony in Florida, the Juilliard School, Chamber Music America, and the Royal College of Music (London). He has been quoted in articles in the New York Times, Chamber Music magazine, the New York Post, and Martha Stewart Living magazine, as well as in the musicians’ career guide Beyond Talent. For the past 23 years, he has co-hosted annual meetings of the Network of Music Career Development Officers, an organization he co-founded, made up of career counselors and professionals who gather to discuss issues regarding careers in music. He holds a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he was a scholarship student of flutist and conductor Ransom Wilson.
A founding member of the American String Quartet, Laurie Carney comes from a prodigious musical family. Her father was a trumpeter and educator, her mother a pianist, and her siblings all violinists. She began her studies at home and at the age of 8 became the youngest violinist to be admitted to the Preparatory Division of the Juilliard School.
At 15 she was the youngest to be accepted into Juilliard’s College Division. Ms. Carney studied with Dorothy DeLay and received both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Juilliard. She has shared the stage with many of the world’s leading artists, including Isaac Stern, Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Frederica von Stade, and been featured in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Bournemouth Symphony and the Basque (Spain) Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Carney frequently performed duo recitals with Guarneri Quartet violist Michael Tree. She was featured in the New York premiere of Giampaolo Bracali’s Fantasia. Robert Sirota wrote his Sonata No. 2, Farewell, for Ms. Carney in 2013. She recorded it in 2014 along with an earlier work, Summermusic, with pianist David Friend on a CD of Sirota’s music entitled Parting the Veil: Works for Violin and Piano (Albany Records).
Since receiving the Walter W. Naumburg Award in 1974 with the American String Quartet, Ms. Carney has performed across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Israel, including special projects with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, New York City Ballet, and Mark Morris Dance Group. The quartet has an extensive discography, ranging from the complete Mozart quartets to the many contemporary works written for them.
A member of the faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1984 and of Aspen Music Festival since 1974, she has held teaching positions at the Mannes College of Music, Peabody Conservatory, the University of Nebraska, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Her frequent master classes have taken her to California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, and New Mexico. Ms. Carney performs the duo repertory with her husband, cellist William Grubb. Her nonprofessional interests include animal rights and environmental concerns. Her violin is by Carlo Tononi (Venice, 1720).
Pianist John Forconi, Chair of the Collaborative Piano Department, has been a member of the faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1989. Appointed Chair in 1995, he oversees the assignment of collaborative pianists to all the vocal studios and voice-related classes and administers the vocal coaching program, among his many other contributions to the School.
John Forconi received his Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, in mathematics from the University of Scranton, where he was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society. He followed this with a year of graduate study in mathematics at the University of Maryland, and two years of teaching high school physics and science. It was while teaching high school that he realized it was time for a career change. He started to prepare for an audition for entrance into Manhattan School of Music.
John Forconi received his Bachelor of Music degree in piano and his Master of Music degree in collaborative piano and was the recipient of the Harold Bauer Award at graduation. While in the Master’s program he had the good fortune to play in the studios of instrumental faculty members Erick Friedman, Ariana Bronne, and Marion Feldman, as well as in the vocal studios of Cynthia Hoffmann, Dominic Cossa, Ellen Repp, Ellen Faull, and Judith Raskin.
After graduation, he became a colleague of June Marano-Murray as Assistant Music Director and pianist at the Asolo Opera Company in Sarasota, Florida for several seasons. He and June formed a duo-piano team and concertized for the next seven years in Merkin Concert Hall and other venues in the New York area, as well as in Taiwan.
Mr. Forconi has collaborated with singers and instrumentalists in concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, CAMI Hall, and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, as well as in many venues and colleges throughout the United States.
In 1982 he was invited to coach chamber music in the Precollege division of Manhattan School of Music. He expanded the chamber music program and had many of his groups perform in venues around the city. He continues to coach chamber music in the Precollege today.
In summers he has been a faculty member of the Downeast Chamber Music Center in Castine, Maine, as well as Music at Orchard Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont and the International Summer Music Festival in Tainan, Taiwan.
He has served as a vocal coach and pianist at Purchase College, State University of New York, and as a piano faculty member at New York University.
Mr. Forconi feels fortunate to have four very distinguished colleagues working with him in Manhattan School of Music’s Collaborative Piano Department.
LIVE STREAM: Watch the MSM Commencement Ceremony here at 12:00 PM on May 10th, 2019!
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