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August 14, 2017

Sharing Our Archival Treasures

Every Thursday we share a “Throwback Thursday” post on the Manhattan School of Music Alumni Association Facebook Page. If you haven’t already, please like our page here to receive these updates, in addition to other announcements of interest.

Below are some special finds and new additions to the School’s archive, many never before published, for you to enjoy — curated by MSM’s resident historian, John Blanchard (MM ’89).


Street view of Manhattan School of Music’s former home on 105th Street, ca. 1959.


Dr. David Noon taught at MSM from 1981–2011 and was known for his engaging music history lectures. He’s pictured here at a student/alumni event in 2008.


Students in the 1962 Summer Opera Workshop at Manhattan School of Music pose for the camera during a July rehearsal.


Students, faculty, and administrators relax in August of 1981 at Manhattan School of Music’s summer music retreat in East Hampton, known as Mostly Dune.


Conductor Philippe Entremont invited an orchestra comprised of Manhattan School of Music instrumentalists to give concerts with him in Nice, France, during the month of August in 2011.


Lillian Fuchs, pictured here coaching a student ensemble in 1965, taught chamber music and viola at MSM for almost 30 years. Chamber music is alive and well at MSM, with a mini-festival of eight concerts presented this past April, including one in Ms. Fuchs’ memory.


In July 1995, jazz saxophonist David Sanborn appeared as soloist with the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan.


A song recital was given at Manhattan School of Music on May 27, 1976, by soprano Judith Raskin with George Schick at the piano. Raskin was a member of the MSM voice faculty and Schick was President of the School, having formerly been a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.


At Manhattan School of Music’s 1997 commencement ceremony, President Marta Istomin bestowed an honorary doctoral degree upon Mstislav Rostropovich in Evian, France, which was viewed live by those assembled in Borden Auditorium via transatlantic videoconference.


In the spring of 1966, Manhattan School of Music held a fund-raising event that featured a concert by alumnus John Lewis (BM ’52, MM ’53) and the Modern Jazz Quartet at Carnegie Hall. The performance was later released by Atlantic records as Blues at Carnegie Hall.


Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Theatre presented Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II in April of 2009.


Former Dean of Students Josephine Whitford, in a rare photo, received an honorary doctorate from Manhattan School of Music in May 1979.


Elias Tanenbaum, shown here with Manhattan School of Music students in 1985, joined our composition faculty in 1974 and ran our Electronic Music Studio.


Hugh Ross — conductor of the premier professional chorus Schola Cantorum of New York — taught the art of choral singing and conducting at Manhattan School of Music from 1930–1981 (photo ca. 1940). MSM programmed Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in November 1986 (publicity flyer shown) and honored Maestro Ross at a reception following the performance.


Manhattan School of Music presented Dave Brubeck with an honorary doctorate in May of 2007.


In the spring of 1974, Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division presented Leoš Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen/The Adventures of Sharp-Ears.


A 36-year-old Yo-Yo Ma visited MSM in November 1991 to teach a cello master class.


On October 9, 2007, baritone Thomas Hampson gave his first master class at Manhattan School of Music (pictured), utilizing our groundbreaking distance learning technology through Internet2. This past March, we celebrated his 10 years of involvement at MSM with another vocal master class streamed on our website and on Facebook LIVE.


Alumnus, faculty member, and long-time administrator Stanley Bednar (BM ’49, MM ’54), who passed away in September of 2012, is pictured here as a violin student (far right) at MSM ca. 1950.


What MSM Orientation Week would be complete without an Ice Cream Social? Pictured are students in 1989 enjoying cold treats in Sakura Park.


American contralto Marian Anderson visited Manhattan School of Music in 1965, giving the commencement address at the spring graduation ceremony.


In the summer of 2000, Manhattan School of Music began construction on a multi-use building in the empty lot adjacent to the School. The 19-story structure would open the following fall, housing the School’s first dormitory and, eventually, providing practice rooms, performance spaces, and a new library.


Wynton Marsalis, with President Marta Istomin and VP/Dean Richard Adams (MM ’61), gave the commencement address at Manhattan School of Music in May 1995.


In July 1982, students from Manhattan School of Music’s Preparatory Division were invited to perform at the Reagan White House. Dianne Flagello, former Director of the Prep, writes: “One of our prep students’ grandfather was a very close friend of Ronald Reagan. Burton Kaplan conducted our chamber orchestra and I asked alumnus/violinist Elmar Oliveira (BM ’72), who had just won the Tchaikovsky Competition, to present us. It was quite a wonderful affair.”


Classes are suspended in mid-May 1970 as the Manhattan School of Music Community grapples with the aftermath of the Kent State shootings that occurred on May 4. Photos courtesy of Vincent Belford.


Soprano Birgit Nilsson, with President John Crosby, received an honorary doctorate from Manhattan School of Music in May 1982.


A Manhattan School of Music benefit was held at the Waldorf-Astoria in April 1967. President John Brownlee (left) enjoys a moment with honored guests Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein. Photo courtesy of Delphine Brownlee Bashkow.


Arthur Rubinstein gave a master class at MSM in March 1976. He is shown here making a toast at the reception following afterwards; in the background is faculty member Artur Balsam. Photo by Louis Brunelli, courtesy of Delana Thomsen (MM ’76).


MSM founder Janet D. Schenck, left, with Samuel and Mitzi Newhouse at a post-opera event in May 1970.

Thank you for sharing your time, learning a little about MSM’s history.

Have any photos with MSM classmates and faculty or snapshots of campus and the neighborhood? Maybe you performed a work at MSM that you’ve gone on to perform with a professional orchestra or perhaps you participated in the ensemble of a mainstage opera production at MSM with which you’ve gone on to perform the title role. Help us expand our collection by sending photos from your time at MSM. Share your memories and experiences at

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