Success Stories

Explore Recent News and Success Stories about MSM Students, Alumni, and Faculty.

  • May 11, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    OP cello student Jessamyn Fry (MM ’24) wins a section cello position with the Delaware Symphony

    Current cello student Jessamyn Fry (MM ’24), who studies with Alan Stepansky in the Orchestral Performance program, recently won a section cello position with the Delaware Symphony.

    Jessamyn grew up in the Bay Area of California where she began studying cello at age nine. She graduated with a bachelor of music degree in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music after studying with Dr. Melissa Kraut, before her master’s studies at MSM.

  • May 10, 2023Vocal Arts

    MSM faculty member Damien Sneed along with alumni George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76) and Justin Austin (BM ’14, MM ’17) lead the world premiere of a new production of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha

    The world premiere of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha, re-imagined with a new prologue and epilogue by composer and MSM alumnus and faculty member Damien Sneed and librettist Karen Chilton, will be taking place at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis on May 20. Performances run through June 26. The production is conducted by MSM alumnus George Manahan, and features baritone MSM alumnus Justin Austin as Scott Joplin.

    Treemonisha was published in 1911, but Joplin never lived to see a fully realized stage production. This new edition of Treemonisha celebrates the strength, beauty, and wisdom of Black women and brings back to light a forgotten figure of history — Freddie Alexander Joplin.

    Learn more and purchase tickets here.

  • May 7, 2023Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts student Motswedi Modiba (BM ’24) wins Best New Age R&B Artist at the South African MetroFM Awards

    Jazz voice student MoeMotswedi Modiba (BM ’24) — from Pretoria, South Africa, won the Best New Age R&B category of the South African MetroFM awards on May 7. It was her first time being nominated for an award. The MetroFM Awards are considered the South African equivalent to the American Music Awards.

    “This is a huge milestone for me,” says Moe. “I want to thank MSM for creating a space for me to flourish and really put my best foot forward, especially because I’m so far from home.”

    Moe studies at MSM with Jean Baylor.

    More about the awards here.

  • Apr 28, 2023Composition

    MSM Dean of Academic Core and Head of Composition Reiko Füting releases the world premiere recording of the opera Mechthild

    German composer Reiko Füting, a composition faculty member and department administrator at MSM, is releasing the world premiere recording of his opera Mechthild with libretto by poet and theologian Christian Lehnert on New Focus Recordings.

    Füting’s subject, Mechthild of Magdeburg, was a 13th-century female Christian mystic whose influential writings were rediscovered in the 19th century. Füting and Lehnert’s score explores topics of faith and asceticism in the context of the musicality inherent in language, connecting different eras of artistic expression through time and memory.

    Learn more about the recording here.
    Purchase the album here.
    Watch a video feature in German about the recording here.

  • Apr 27, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Maggie Miao is a featured performer at a concert with the New York Chamber Players Orchestra

    Maggie Miao, Precollege piano student of Golda Tatz performed on April 27 with the New York Chamber Players Orchestra, as a winner of their annual competition.

    The concert featured four young performers aged 10 to 16 and took place at the The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, located at 450 West 37th Street: Orchestra of St. Luke’s first permanent home and New York City’s first space dedicated to classical music rehearsal, recording, and education.

    The New York Chamber Players is one of New York City’s finest chamber orchestra.

    Information about the competition here.

  • Apr 26, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Madison Lee wins first prize with the 2023 Bravura Young Artists Concerto Competition

    Madison Lee, a 14-year-old Precollege violin student of Lucie Robert has been awarded first place as the Gold Winner of the 2023 Bravura Young Artists Concerto Competition. Madison performed  Violin Concerto No.5, Opus 37, movement 1 (Henri Vieuxtemps) in the competition.

    Madison will be performing her winning piece with the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra (in photo above) on June 4th, 2023 at the Princeton Alliance Church in Plainsboro, NJ.

    More information here.

  • Apr 19, 2023Jazz

    MSM alumnus Donald Vega (MM ’07) wins 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship

    Jazz pianist, composer, and educator Donald Vega (MM ’07) has been named a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded to who have artists who have “demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”

    Donald Vega was trained classically in piano in his native Nicaragua. He emigrated to the United States at age 14. He currently performs internationally as the pianist for world renowned bassist Ron Carter’s (also a MSM alumnus) Golden Striker Trio with whom he has recorded several albums.

    Mr. Vega is also a professor at The Juilliard School and Hofstra University and sits on the board of BackCountry Jazz, a non-profit organization which provides music education programs and performances to underprivileged youth.

  • Apr 18, 2023Strings

    MSM faculty member Peter Winograd is concertmaster for The Discovery Orchestra concert airing on WNET’s all arts channel April 22

    MSM faculty member violinist Peter Winograd, a member of the American String Quartet, is the concertmaster for The Discovery Orchestra’s performance of Saint-Saëns “Organ” Symphony conducted and presented by George Marriner Maull, airing on April 22 at 11 AM on WNET’s (New York PSB affiliate) online All Arts channel.

    Recorded by this Emmy-nominated and Telly Award-winning symphony orchestra and its 91 musicians last October, the interactive, educational concert will also be distributed nationally by American Public Television (APT) on May 1 for broadcast on U.S. public television stations (check local listings).

    More info here.

  • Apr 17, 2023Composition

    MSM alumnus Pascal Le Boeuf (BM ’07, MM ’10), composer and pianist, wins 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship

    Gugggenheim Fellowships are awarded to who have artists who have “demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” Pascal was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition; he is Assistant Professor of the Practice of Music and Technology at Vanderbilt University and is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University.

    More about Pascal Le Boeuf here.

  • Apr 11, 2023Piano

    MSM student Seiran Tozlian (BM ’26) wins a top award at the Chopin International Piano Competition

    The Connecticut Chopin Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut sponsors the prestigious annual Chopin International Piano Competition. In this year’s Professional category, pianist Seiran Tozlian (BM’ 26) (in photo, on right) of Armenia who is a freshman at MSM received the second prize. Along with a cash prize, the winners are invited to perform in Poland.

    Tozlian, 20, is also a prize winner at the Anselmo Academy of Music’s Fifth International Competition in New York and a semi-finalist at the 2023 Boesendorfer-Yamaha International Piano Competition.

    Tozlian studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Alexandre Moutouzkine.

    More about the Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, CT, here.

  • Apr 10, 2023Woodwinds

    MSM alumna Coreisa Janelle Lee (BM ’17) is principal flute in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Bad Cinderella on Broadway

    Coreisa Janelle Lee (BM ’17) is the principal flute in Andrew Lloyd Weber‘s production of Bad Cinderella on Broadway, and she will be the featured artist for the final installment of the 2022-23 Flutes Out Front series sponsored by the New York Flute Club‘s DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Committee on Sunday, April 30

    Coreisa studied for her Bachelor of Music degree at MSM with Linda Chesis. She earned her Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, and is currently working on her doctorate at West Virginia University.

    More about Coreisa Lee here.


  • Apr 9, 2023Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts student Christian McGhee (BM ’21, MM ’23) wins the BMI Future Jazz Master Award

    Christian McGhee (BM ’21, MM ’23) is a film composer and multi-instrumentalist studying for his master’s at MSM after completing his bachelor’s degree. Christian is also a music director and orchestrator.

    The BMI Future Jazz Master Award is an annual competition open to rising jazz stars enrolled at colleges and universities nationwide. The award was established by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) in 2015.

    More about Christian McGhee here.
    More about the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship here.

  • Apr 7, 2023Composition

    Composer and MSM alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras is awarded $50,000 prize from the Vilcek Foundation Awards

    Composer and MSM alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras was awarded the $50,000 prize for his work as a composer and conductor of orchestral music that draws on his Mexican heritage and for his leadership in founding the Orquesta Latino Mexicana.

    The Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music is awarded by the Vilcek Foundation as part of the Vilcek Foundation Prizes Program. The Vilcek Foundation prizes are awarded annually to immigrant artists and scientists whose work has had a profound impact on U.S. culture and society.

    More information here.

  • Apr 7, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege faculty member Judith Insell was awarded an advocacy award of “Jazz Hero” from the Jazz Journalist Association

    MSM Precollege faculty member Judith Insell has been awarded an advocacy award of “Jazz Hero” from the Jazz Journalist Association, the jazz industry’s most respected association. She earned this honor for her work leading the Bronx Arts Ensemble. Judith has been executive director of the Bronx Arts Ensemble since March 2021, and was formerly its artistic director.

    Learn more here.

  • Apr 6, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Orchestral Performance program horn alumnus Andrew Angelos assumes managerial responsibilities at the Spokane Symphony

    MSM Orchestral Performance horn alumnus Andrew Angelos (BM ’20, MM ’22) was recently named Operations and Personnel Manager of the Spokane Symphony based in Spokane, Washington.

    He won the position of third horn in the Symphony in August 2022, which he continues to hold in addition to his managerial work with the respected orchestra.

    Information about the Spokane Symphony here.

  • Apr 5, 2023Conducting

    MSM doctoral student Glenn Alexander II is music director of the musical Anastasia national tour

    MSM doctoral student Glenn Alexander II is the music director of the production which tours Texas, California, and other US west coast states from April 3 to May 25.

    Anastasia features a book by celebrated playwright the late Terrence McNally, a lush new score by the Tony Award® -winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics), and tour direction by Sarah Hartman based on original direction by Tony Award®-winning director Darko Tresnjak.

    More about Glenn Alexander II here.
    More about the Anastasia tour here.

  • Apr 5, 2023Piano

    MSM alumnus Kirill Gerstein is featured in The New York Times discussing the importance of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff

    MSM alumnus pianist Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ’00) talks with The New York Times about the importance of Sergei Rachmaninoff on the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

    Kirill Gerstein is releasing on April 14 a new account of Rachmaninoff solo works and the Second Piano Concerto, with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Kirill Petrenko.

    Read article here.

  • Apr 4, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    The New World Symphony accepts MSM Orchestral Performance program current cello student and an alumnus

    The New World Symphony has accepted MSM cello student Shirley Kim (MM ’23) who is graduating this year from the Orchestral Performance (OP) program, and OP alumnus cellist Marcie Kolacki (MM ’21, PS ’22). The prestigious New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, is based in Miami and prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles.

    The New World Symphony consists of young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years.

    Learn more about the New World Symphony here.

  • Apr 3, 2023Piano

    MSM faculty members Jeffrey Cohen (piano) and Lucie Robert (violin) to perform at the Liszt Academy in Budapest

    On April 7, MSM piano faculty members Jeffrey Cohen (in center of photo) and MSM strings faculty member Lucie Robert (violin) will perform Brahms and Schubert in a chamber recital at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, along with Gábor Farkas (in photo on left).

    Admission is free.

    More information about the concert here.


  • Apr 2, 2023Composition

    New work by MSM theory and composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini to be premiered in Italy on May 16 and 17

    The new work by MSM theory and composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini is called Armoniosi accenti and was commissioned by the Orchestra Haydn of Bolzano in Italy. It will be premiered on May 16 and 17 in the cities of Bolzano and Trento in Italy under the baton of the famous conductor and harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone.

    Armoniosi accenti features the same unusual instrumentation of Mozart Gran Partita, which will be also in the program together with Haydn Symphony 96,” says Paolo.

    More information about the concert here.

  • Mar 28, 2023Precollege

    Two Precollege students to perform with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra

    Yuqing Li, a violin Precollege student at MSM of Lucie Robert, and Meagan Lee, a Precollege piano student of Jeffrey Cohen, have been chosen to perform on April 18 in the Young People’s Concert Series of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Stuart Malina (shown in photo conducting the GSO Orchestra).Yuqing will perform the first movement of Lalo Symphony Espagnole, and Meagan the second movement of Saint-Saëns Concerto no 2.

    Learn more about the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra here.

  • Mar 26, 2023Musical Theatre

    MSM Musical Theatre “Acting the Song” instructor LaDonna Burns is an understudy performing in White Girl in Danger

    MSM Musical Theatre “Acting the Song” instructor LaDonna Burns is an understudy performing in White Girl in Danger, the latest musical from Tony- and Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael R. Jackson.

    The Off-Broadway production will have its world premiere when it opens on April 10 in New York City at the Tony Kiser Theater and is a co-production by Second Stage Theater and Vineyard Theatre.

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 25, 2023Precollege

    Two MSM Precollege students of Carmel Lowenthal win national and international competitions

    Christopher Ramos, 14, a student of Carmel Lowenthal at MSM, was awarded second prize in his age group for the Honors Competition offered by Piano Teacher’s Congress. He received a cash prize and will perform the Mendelssohn Opus 14 at the Winner’s Recital at Weil Recital Hall on Monday, March 27, 2023. Information about the award here.

    Claire Chang, 16, also a student of Carmel Lowenthal, was a winner in her age group of the virtual division of the Young Maestro International Competition. Her recording of Chopin Ballade No. 2 will be presented in the virtual winner’s concert on March 25. Information on the competition here.

  • Mar 24, 2023Strings

    MSM violin student Taihi Chen (MM ’23) named Concertmaster of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra

    Taihi Chen (MM ’23), second year master violin student at Manhattan School of Music in the class of Lucie Robert just won the position of Concertmaster of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra in Chengdu, China with principal conductor, Mo Darell Ang.

    Ms. Chen will also be performing in June of 2023 the Wieniawski D minor violin concerto with the Manila Symphony Orchestra in the Philippines under the baton of Mo Darell Ang.

  • Mar 23, 2023Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus Joseph Tancredi (BM ’19) is among the semi-finalists for the MET Opera 2023 Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition

    MSM alumnus Joseph Tancredi (BM ’19) will compete among 20 singers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico regions to compete in the semifinal round of the 2023 Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition on April 17 at 10 am ET.

    The semifinal competition will take place on the Met stage before a panel of judges who will determine the finalists who will advance to the Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, April 23, at 3 pm ET.

    The winners of this prestigious competition will receive a cash prize of $20,000 and career-making exposure.

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 22, 2023Precollege

    Former MSM Precollege student pianist Chloe Flower is featured in the New York Times

    The New York Times featured former MSM Precollege student pianist Chloe Flower this month in an article entitled “A Pianist Who Changes Key From Liberace to Cardi B.”

    “Chloe Flower has performed at the Grammys, and went viral during the Golden Globes. Naturally, a Christmas album is on the way,” writes Alex Vadulkul. The article mentions that Chloe got her first “big break” after studying at Manhattan School of Music.

    Read NYTimes article here.

  • Mar 21, 2023Vocal Arts

    MSM alumna mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges is featured on PBS American Masters on March 24

    On Friday, March 24, the PBS public television network is featuring MSM alumna mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09) on its award-winning flagship program American Masters in a mini-documentary called  J’Nai Bridges Unamplified, directed by Christine Turner.

    In the program, the critically acclaimed, Grammy–winning opera singer takes the stage in A Knee on the Neck, a choral tribute to George Floyd. Hosted by Broadway legend Audra McDonald.

    Learn about the episode here.

  • Mar 20, 2023Piano

    Piano Magazine features an article by MSM piano faculty member Lisa Yui

    An article by MSM alumna and piano faculty member Lisa Yui’s entiled “Piano Music by Composer’s from Asia: A History of the Piano in Asia” has been published in the spring 2023 edition of Piano Magazine.

    Dr. Yui is a long-time faculty member at MSM and hosts the ongoing performance series in Greenfield Hall called Lives of the Piano.

    Read the article in Piano Magazine here.

  • Mar 18, 2023Composition

    Naxos releases new concerto by MSM alumnus composer Adolphus Hailstork

    The Naxos label presents this recording of brand new concertos “from two vibrant and contrasting American composers.” Adolphus Hailstork‘s (BM ’62, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) First Piano Concerto “draws on his African American heritage to create a work brimming with energy and high spirits, reflecting the rich traditions of jazz and blues,” writes the record label.

    Listen to the recording here.

  • Mar 5, 2023Strings

    MSM alumnus Tommy Mesa (DMA ’17) a recipient of the 2023 Sphinx Medal of Excellence

    On March 1, cellist and MSM alumnus Tommy Mesa (in photo on right) (DMA ’17) was honored along with soprano Aundi Marie Moore and composer Joel Thompson by the Sphinx Organization for their accomplishments which distinguish them from their peers in the field.

    The Sphinx Medal of Excellence is the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, and comes with a $50,000 career grant. The medal recognizes extraordinary Black and Latinx classical musicians. Recipients are artists who, early in their career demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.

    More about the Sphinx Organization here.

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