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April 26, 2023

News Release: Manhattan School of Music Announces the Appointment of Steven White to its Prestigious Percussion Faculty

The appointment of Steven White follows last week’s announcement of four additional MSM faculty appointments: trombonists Demian Austin and Sasha Romero, and pianists Michelle Cann and Jiayin Li. All five appointments begin in Fall 2023.


Steven White (MM ’17)

NEW YORK, April 26, 2023 – Renowned international music conservatory Manhattan School of Music (MSM) today announced the appointment of MSM alumnus Steven White (MM ’17) to the School’s prestigious percussion faculty. Mr. White, who joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (MET Orchestra) as percussionist and assistant timpanist in 2017, will start at MSM beginning in the Fall 2023 semester.

“It is with great delight we share the news about this exciting new faculty appointment,” says MSM Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs. “For Steven, himself a graduate of MSM’s percussion program, being back at MSM will represent a homecoming of sorts, and we look forward to welcoming him. Steven is an accomplished percussionist, and his pedagogical outlook aligns with MSM’s dedication to fostering excellence and artistic versatility as students ready themselves for a professional career as a musician.”

As part of his work in the MET Orchestra Mr. White can be heard on the Met’s Grammy-winning recordings of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Phillip Glass’s Akhnaten. In addition to the Met, Steven remains active as a performer and educator throughout the country, appearing with the New York Philharmonic as well as the symphonies of Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City. He holds a master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from MSM and is an international prize-winner in competitions such as the Percussive Arts Society’s International Vibraphone Competition.

Mr. White’s appointment and the four additional MSM faculty appointments announced last week – trombonists Demian Austin and Sasha Romero and pianists Michelle Cann and Jiayin Li – follow several other high-profile faculty additions announced by the School in recent months. Those include 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, also beginning in fall 2023, GRAMMY-nominated flutist and composer Valerie Coleman, and 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 notable 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 Steven to the MSM faculty,” 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 join MSM; our applications for 2023–24 topped 3,000 and represented 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 30 new artist-faculty to the School. Steven will add luster and excellence to an already deeply accomplished faculty.”

Steven White’s bio and 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.


Steven White joined the MET Orchestra as a percussionist and assistant timpanist in February 2017. His playing can be heard on the Met Opera’s Grammy-winning recordings of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Phillip Glass’s Akhnaten.

Outside of the Met, Steven remains active as a performer and educator throughout the country, appearing with the New York Philharmonic as well as the symphonies of Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City. He has recently given master classes and adjudicated mock auditions at Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, and the Juilliard School.

In the summer, Steven performs as principal percussionist of the Classical Tahoe Orchestra in Incline Village, Nevada. He has spent previous summers playing at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, and Aspen Music Festival.

Steven holds a master’s degree in orchestral performance from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Christopher Lamb, Duncan Patton, She-e Wu, and Kyle Zerna. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, where his teachers were She-e Wu and James Ross.


Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today MSM is recognized for its more than 1,000 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.


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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