August 31, 2018

Announcing MSM’s 2018–2019 Centennial Performance Season

MSM is celebrating its Centennial during the 2018–19 season with performances and events that draw inspiration from its rich 100-year history of music-making and education.

“We’re thrilled to share elements of our past, present, and future with New York audiences and the world in a year of events that tell a ground-breaking story of vision, community, inclusiveness, and artistic excellence,” says Dr. James Gandre, President of Manhattan School of Music.

2018–2019 Centennial Events include:

  • Season Opening, Four Concert Mini-Festival (September)
  • Re-Opening of Newly Renovated Neidorff-Karpati Hall (November)
  • Gala Finale Concert at Carnegie Hall (April)
  • Mainstage Opera Theater Productions of Puccini’s Suor Angelica (December); Tobias Picker’s Emmeline (April)
  • Jazz Arts Concerts led by Arturo O’Farrill, Patrice Rushen, Billy Childs, John Beasley, and Paquito D’Rivera
  • 70th Birthday Celebration of Pinchas Zukerman (March)
  • Mainstage Musical Theater Productions of Kander/Ebb’s Cabaret (February); Bock/Harnick’s Fiorello! (April)
  • Conductors include Leonard Slatkin, Jane Glover, Roderick Cox, Daniela Candillari, Rob Kapilow, Perry Pak, Hin So, Kent Tritle, Thea Kano, and George Manahan
  • Alumni Guest Appearances and Master Classes by Susan Graham, Elmar Oliveira, Yuan Sheng, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Logan Skelton, Matt Decker, Shuler Hensley, Elaine Alvarez (appearing by courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera), Bryan Register, and Kirill Gerstein
  • Voice Master Classes by Stephanie Blythe, Håkan Hagegård, Jane Glover, Hei Kyung Hong, andHarolyn Blackwell
  • Faculty Performances by Olga Kern, Glenn Dicterow, Lisa Yui, Nicholas Mann, André-Michel Schub, and Artists in Residence Windscape and the American String Quartet

Three ‘tent-pole’ concert events will serve as focal points for MSM’s season-long Centennial celebrations:

  • Season Opening Mini-Festival (Sponsored by Bill & Patricia O’Connor) on Friday, September 28, 2018: A day-long series of four concerts will showcase the full range of genres taught at the School, from classical soloists and chamber music to jazz and musical theatre, culminating in a performance at neighboring Riverside Church of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The Beethoven 9 is historically significant for the School as it was performed in 1970 at MSM’s dedication concert for John C. Borden Auditorium (recently renamed Neidorff-Karpati Hall). The multi-faceted performance will feature the MSM Symphony, choruses, and a distinguished gathering of alumni soloists, including alumna/soprano Elaine Alvarez (BM ’02, MM ’04), alumnus/tenor Bryan Register (MM ’94), alumna/mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller (MM ’03), and faculty/bass James Morris. Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra Roderick Cox, recent recipient of the Solti Award, will conduct.

“We’re thrilled to share elements of our past, present, and future with New York audiences and the world in a year of events that tell a ground-breaking story of vision, community, inclusiveness, and artistic excellence.”

President of Manhattan School of Music

  • Re-Opening of Neidorff-Karpati Hall and MSM’s grand new entrance (Sponsored by Michael & Noémi K. Neidorff) on November 17 and 18, 2018: A glittering, multi-artist concert unveiling the $15-million, 18-month Centennial Project, which includes a sweeping renovation of the School’s flagship performance hall (formerly Borden Auditorium, renamed to acknowledge Noémi K. and Michael Neidorff’s anchor gift to the project); a newly expanded lobby; and a grand new Claremont Avenue entrance. More than a refurbishment, this endeavor is in fact a wholesale reimagining of the aesthetic and acoustic environment of MSM’s principal performance space; the hall’s re-opening will reverberate through every corner of the institution. A larger, more open stage will easily accommodate the largest symphony and jazz orchestras, opera, and musical theatre productions, while new, comfortable chairs in an acoustically sound and resonant listening environment will enhance the live music and theatre experience for future generations of listeners. George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76), Music Director of American Composers Orchestra and MSM’s Director of Orchestral Activities, will conduct, and soloists will include faculty/pianist Olga Kern, alumnus/baritone Shuler Hensley (BM ’90, HonDMA ’14), alumnus/tenor Simon O’Neill (MM ’00), and alumna/soprano Jeanine De Bique (BM ’02, MM ’06, PS ’08), among others. Leonard Bernstein’s 100th-year jubilee will join with the MSM’s own in selections from his musicals, ending with “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide.
  • Centennial Gala Finale at Carnegie Hall on April 17, 2019: Leonard Slatkin, MSM Distinguished Visiting Artist, will serve as principal conductor for a stellar evening of performances that will draw from the School’s talented pool of distinguished alumni and current College and Precollege faculty and students. Guest artists will include alumna/mezzo Susan Graham (MM ’87, HonDMA ’08), alumna/violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17), faculty/violinist Glenn Dicterow, trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard (HonDMA ’17, MSM Board of Trustees), among many others.

Artist renderings of the renovation of MSM's new entranceway at 130 Claremont Avenue, scheduled to re-open in November 2018.

Programming for these and other concerts throughout the season will include music written and/or premiered around the time of the School’s founding in 1918: IgorStravinsky’s Ragtime, Frederick Delius’s A Song Before Sunrise, and Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica, to name a few. MSMs Percussion Ensemble Co-Director Mike Perdue has written a new work inspired by IgorStravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat, which will be premiered on September 28, exactly one-hundred years to the day that the Stravinsky work was premiered in Switzerland.

Music by Leonard Bernstein, whose centennial birthday is this year, will be featured, as will that of Claude Debussy, who died in 1918.

Works by noted alumni will include: To Music by John Corigliano (’63, HonDMA ’92); A Goldoni Overture by Nicholas Flagello (BM ’46, MM ’49); Epitaph For A Man Who Dreamed (for Martin Luther King, Jr.) by Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’63, MM ’65); <<rewind<< by Anna Clyne (MSM ’05); Harlem River Reveille by Aaron Jay Kernis (BM ’81); Recuerdo by John Musto (BM ’76, MM ’80 ); and an MSM Opera Theater mainstage production of Emmeline by Tobias Picker (BM ’77).

The School’s founder, Janet Daniels Schenck, was a pianist who studied with Harold Bauer in Paris. Faculty/alumna Lisa Yui (DMA ’05) will present the “Lives of the Piano” series, which will feature a program on “Legacies” (October 18) that celebrates the lineage of piano at MSM with performances, video presentations, and panel discussions. Another performance in the series will chronicle 10 decades of piano music (February 21) with selections connected to the School’s past.

Susan Graham, pictured here in the MSM Opera Theater production of Massenet's Chérubin in 1987, will return for MSM's Centennial Gala Finale at Carnegie Hall in April.

Over the course of the institution’s distinguished history, more than 200 compositions have had their first performance at Manhattan School of Music (not including hundreds of student works), and several others were commissioned for the School’s special events and anniversaries. In celebration of this heritage of creative output, a touchstone of developing the 2018-19 Centennial programming has been to give some of these pieces new life; the “Re:Premieres” series will expose today’s audience to this music. This season will include featured works by distinguished former faculty and alumni such as former MSM President Robert SirotaJohn Corigliano (’63), Ludmila Ulehla (BM ’47, MM ’48), Aaron Jay Kernis (BM ’81), Giampoalo Bracali, Vittorio Giannini, Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’63, MM ’65), Nicolas Flagello (BM ’46, MM ’49), Anna Clyne (MSM ’05), Tobias Picker (BM ’77), David Noon, Elias Tanenbaum, Ursula Mamlok (BM ’57, MM ’58), John Musto (BM ’76, MM ’80), Rupert Holmes (’67), and Ned Rorem (HonDMA ’00), among others.

“You only have the opportunity to celebrate your 100th anniversary once,” said President Gandre. “In our case, that means drawing on a full century of musical excellence but also looking to our future. Thanks to our prodigiously talented current students, an involved and committed Board of Trustees, Faculty, and staff — not to mention the successful realization of the Centennial Project — that future is looking bright indeed.”

Our full 2018–2019 season calendar can be viewed here! Keep checking the Performances page for more information.