Success Stories

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

  • Sep 16, 2021Composition

    MSM Alum Eun-Kyung Kim (MM ’90, DM ’97) named 2021 Woman of Distinction in Queens, NY

    MSM Alum Eun-Kyung Kim (MM ’90, DM ’97) received the honor by State Senator John Liu (in photo on right). Eun-Kyung Kim’s work over the past two decades has focused on advocacy, management and fundraising for her community and most recently, helping families during COVID-19. She is the Executive Director of the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) in Queens.

    During the pandemic, the YWCA of Queens opened a food pantry that provided fresh produce for more than 22,000 of the borough’s families and offered virtual classes for the community.

    Read more about Eun-Kyung Kim here.

  • Aug 31, 2021Education

    MSM President Jim Gandre is interviewed by Arts Engine

    MSM President Jim Gandre appeared recently on the online program Arts Engines hosted by Aaron Dworkin.

    In the interview, Dr. Gandre offers his opinions about leadership principals and challenges in today arts world.

    Watch the interview here.

  • Aug 23, 2021Voice

    MSM Voice Department faculty member Ruth Golden featured in September’s Opera News magazine

    MSM Voice faculty member Ruth Golden speaks to the magazine Opera News in a feature article about lessons learned by US music conservatories during the past year of online instruction.

    Magazine subscribers may read the article in the September issue here.

  • Aug 20, 2021Opera

    MSM Board of Trustee Terence Blanchard is featured in Opera News

    MSM Board of Trustee and award-winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard speaks to Opera News about his opera Fire In My Bones which will be opening the 2021-2022 season at the Metropolitan Opera of New York beginning on September 27.

    It is an historic event for the MET Opera, as the first time it has performed an opera by a Black composer.

    Read the Opera News interview here.

    Buy tickets for the opera here.

  • Aug 18, 2021Collaborative Piano

    Park Avenue Armory concert series this fall to feature MSM faculty members Warren Jones and Myra Huang, and a series curation by MSM alumnus Jason Moran (BM ’97)

    The Park Avenue Armory Recital Series returning this fall will feature MSM Collaborative Piano faculty member Warren Jones accompanying mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton on November 9 and 21, as well as MSM faculty member Myra Huang on October 10 and 11, who will accompany baritone Will Liverman. The concerts will take place in two of the Armory’s period rooms.

    The Park Avenue Armory Artists Studio series, launched in 2016 and curated by jazz pianist, composer, and MacArthur Fellow and MSM alumnus Jason Moran (BM ’97), is returning this fall as well.

    More information on the Park Avenue Armory Recital Series here.
    More information on the Park Avenue Artists Studio upcoming concert here.

  • Aug 11, 2021Strings

    Incoming MSM student Sicelo Chris Njapha (MM ’24) featured in WorldVision Music Competition

    South African Sicelo Christopher Njapha was principal cellist of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO) and member of the University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra. He was the 2021 rising star performer in the Endler hall concert series.

    WorldVision contest winners are determined by public voting, with a first place prize of approximately $140,000.

    Chris will begin his studies for a Master of Music degree at MSM in September 2021. He will study with Marion Feldman.

    Chris began his formal music lessons at the age of 15, first with the violin for two years, then switching to the cello, taught by Nigel Fish at the Durban Music School in South Africa. Having made unusually fast progress, in Stellenbosch he participated in masterclasses with world renowned cellists David Cohen (2019), Alexander Buzlov (2018) and Norman Fischer (2017).

    See a video of Chris and vote for him here.

  • Aug 10, 2021Organ

    Organist Dr. Gordon Turk (MM ’86, DMA ’89) to perform rarely heard work “The Storm” on historic organ in Ocean Grove, N.J.

    MSM Alumnus Dr. Gordon Turk (MM ’86, DMA ’89) will perform Clarence Kohlmann‘s The Storm, written in the mid-1920s, on the historic  Great Auditorium Pipe Organ, showcasing the organ’s 12,000 pipes. The concert, free of charge, takes place at 12 Noon on Saturday, August 14 in the 5,000 seat The Great Auditorium.

    The Storm was recorded in 1929 in this same auditorium by Thomas Edison.  The rarely-heard piece follows a Civil War army unit as it marches and encamps with snippets of music from that era: “Dawn” from the Peer Gynt Suite,” a bugle’s reveille, “America,” hymns and church bells, a funeral march.

    The Great Auditorium is located at Pilgrim and Ocean Pathways in Ocean Grove, NJ.

    More information here.

  • Aug 7, 2021Strings

    Sujari Britt (BM ’18) performs as soloist in return concert by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

    The first concert by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra of their Summermusik 2021 festival featured a cello solo by MSM alumnus Sujari Britt (BM ’18).

    In a review of the outdoor concert held August 6, the Cincinnati Business Courier describes her as an emerging cellist destined for an important career:

    “Sujari Britt, 20, made an impressive debut in Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” for cello and orchestra. A native of New York, she began cello at age 4, appearing on the radio show “From the Top” at age 10, ” writes critic Janelle Gelfand.

    “With mentors such as Marion Feldman at the Manhattan School of Music, the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, with whom she played at the White House in 2009, and her current teacher, Martti Rousi at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, she seems destined for an important musical career,” Janelle concludes.

    Read the full review here.

  • Aug 4, 2021Strings

    Alumni Yuan Tian (MM ’16) is appointed to the college faculty of the China Conservatory of Music

    Violinist Yuan Tin (MM ’16) received his second master’s degree from MSM studying with Lucie Robert. He will be one of 300 faculty members at The China Conservatory of Music, a prominent Chinese music conservatory that’s regarded as one of the leading institutions for the study of traditional Chinese music and musical instruments.

    Yuan Tian was the First Prize winner of the 2001 China National Young Artist Competition, recipient of the Special Prize in the 2010 Cuellar-Nathan Chamber Music Competition, winner of the 2014 Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, and Second Prize winner in the 2015 Eisenberg-Fried String Concerto Competition.

  • Jul 29, 2021Jazz

    Contemporary chamber trio 9 Horses featuring MSM alum and faculty member Sara Caswell (MM ’06) releases its second album “Omegah”

    9 Horses is an improvising chamber ensemble featuring MSM alum, faculty member, and 2018 GRAMMY nominee Sara Caswell (MM ’06) (Esperanza Spalding) on violin, Joe Brent (formerly of Regina Spektor’s band) on acoustic and electric mandolin, and Andrew Ryan (Kaia Kater) on bass.

    Their latest recording Omegah will be released on August 7 on Adhyâropa Records, a double album that Sara Caswell describes as reflecting 9 Horses’s natural progression. “This record is the culmination of years of experimenting with band members, musical timbres, colors and styles. In a way, it portrays our group’s entire odyssey.”

    Purchase the album on Basecamp here.
    Watch a song from the the new album by 9 Horses here.

  • Jul 6, 2021Jazz

    MSM jazz arts alumna Alison Crockett (MM ’97) to headline Chesapeake Music concert in Maryland on August 7

    The respected arts organization Chesapeake Music has announced its Summer Jazz Concert with vocalist and pianist Alison Crockett on Aug. 7 at 8 PM at its new home and recently renovated Ebenezer Theatre at 17 South Washington Street in Easton, Maryland.

    Alison will be performing her Echoes of an Era show highlighting music from Chaka Khan, Chick Corea and the American Songbook.

    “I consider myself a musician who comes out of the jazz tradition, the Black music tradition where jazz people take established forms and reimagine them in new and different ways,” she tells the Cecil Whig, the oldest newspaper on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

    Read about the event here.

    Learn more about Alison here.


  • Jul 5, 2021Precollege

    Precollege faculty member Felipe Tristán celebrates 10 years as a conductor in the US with commissions, recordings, and concerts

    To celebrate his 10 years as artistic director with different orchestras in the United States, Felipe Tristán has commissioned two works from the composers Arturo O’Farrill (who studied at MSM Precollege, and has been a MSM faculty member) and José Gurría. Felipe is also preparing to record two albums along with a series of concerts that will close at Carnegie Hall on May 28, 2022, where he will perform the reorchestration of Canto a la Música by the Mexican composer Samuel Zyman, among other works.

    For this, and for next year’s concert at Carnegie Hall, Felipe will visit Mexico to search for at least thirty voices.

    The symphonic piece commissioned from Mexican-Cuban composer Arturo O’Farrill, an Afro-Latin jazz specialist, will premiere February 2022 with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Space in Manhattan.

    Felipe is the founder and music director of the Symphony Orchestra of the Americas, an organization that promotes Latin American concert music as well as intercontinental dialogue and collaboration. He teaches conducting at the MSM Precollege program.

    Learn more here.

  • Jul 2, 2021Brass

    MSM alumnus Sam Nester (DMA ’17) in one-month residency in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Arcadia, the interactive sound and light installation by acclaimed Australian-born trumpet player Sam Nester (DMA ’17) is featured in the residency. It uses the biorhythms of plants to create music and corresponding light cues. “It works by converting the fluctuations in galvanic conductance of plants to MIDI data to control MIDI instruments in real time so you can experience ‘plants making music'”, explains Sam.

    Learn more about the Arcadia installation here.

    Nester has performed for Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival & Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, the Paris Opera Ballet, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, among others. For these ensembles and others, Nester has premiered works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams, John Cale (Velvet Underground), and John Zorn.

    The recipient of numerous awards, Nester has been a Fulbright Scholar and a recipient of the Australian Music Foundation Award. At MSM he earned the Helen Cohn Award for outstanding performance.

    Learn more about the residency here.

  • Jul 1, 2021Strings

    National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) names cellist John-Henry Crawford (AD ’20) as its 2021-2023 Young Artist in Strings

    The award, which is presented every other year, includes a $20,000 prize and two years of NFMC booking engagements with affiliate organizations. It’s open to instrumentalists between the ages of 18 and 30, and vocalists between the ages of 25 and 37.

    “I feel extremely grateful and honored to receive this award from such a long-standing and esteemed organization as the National Federation of Music Clubs,” Crawford said. “It will be revitalizing to bring music to concert halls throughout the country after a year as trying as this past one.”

    Crawford plays a 200-year-old European cello — that his grandfather smuggled out of Austria — and on the Tourte “L’Ainé” bow from 1790. His extramusical hobbies include reading about astrophysics, running, performing magic tricks, and photography.

    His most recent album, Dialogo was released on June 4.

    Watch a video of John-Henry Crawford performing here.

  • Jun 30, 2021Jazz

    Bassist and Composer Ali Meyerson (MM ’20, Jazz Double Bass) is featured in Bass Magazine

    The respected Bass Magazine announces the release on August 6 of Ali’s latest CD I Want To Sing My Heart Out In Praise of Life . The compositions on the album are inspired by the work of legendary avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama.

    At MSM, Ali studied with renowned jazz bassist Ron Carter. She will be celebrating the album release at Minton’s in New York City on August 6 at 7 PM and 9 PM.

    The recording project is generously funded by a grant from the New York Foundation Arts 2020 Women’s Fund.

    Read the Bass Magazine article here.

  • Jun 29, 2021Strings

    Daphna Sadeh-Neu (BM ’89, Classical Double Bass) releases EP “Magic of the Moment” on 33Jazz records

    Produced over an 18-month period, the EP is the first time the double bassist has added her voice to a recording, reciting poetry over a jazz-fusion score. Some verses she wrote herself, another is written by the 12th-century Persian poet Rumi, and others are written with a Trinidadian poet, Patricia Lashley-Charles. An Israeli jazz vocalist, Gani Tamir, sings on some of the choruses.

    Daphna Sadeh-Neu studied double bass at Manhattan School of Music with renowned classical bassist Homer Mensch, whose many students included MSM alumnus and faculty member, Ron Carter. She toured widely with the Israel-based East West Ensemble absorbing Arabic and Middle Eastern music. She also co-led the all-female Eve’s Women playing jazz, klezmer and rock.

    “My background is so mixed,” explains Sadeh-Neu,”Arabic music, Jewish music, contemporary music… I studied classical. It’s fusion music. I’m a fusion person.”

    Read more and watch a video from the album here.

  • Jun 27, 2021Jazz

    New CD “Echos” released by pianist Dahveed Behroozi (BM ’02, Jazz Piano)

    Taking its name from Greek mythology, Dahveed Behroozi‘s new album Echos released this month on the indie label Sunnyside was recorded with his NYC-based trio featuring bassist Thomas Morgan and veteran drummer Billy Mintz.

    The trio performs original compositions by Behroozi that draw on his love of Bach, Brahms, and Irving Berlin.

    “Spacious, austere and quietly conversational until it suddenly surges with tidal force, the music makes for edge-of-the-seat listening,” writes the San Francisco-based Mercury News.

    Read more and watch a promo video of the album here.

  • Jun 24, 2021Piano

    MSM Alumnus Dominic Chelli (BM ’14) is one of five finalists in the American Pianists Awards taking place June 25-27

    The competition process for the American Pianists Award began this spring and will culminate on June 25-27 with solo performances along with chamber music recitals with the Dover Quartet on June 25 at 8 PM ET and concerto finals with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on June 26 at 8 PM.

    The winner will receive the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship, consisting of career assistance for two years, publicity, performance engagements, an Artist-in-Residence post, and a recording contract with Steinway & Sons record label.

    All five finalists receive a cash prize of $50,000.

    Watch the performances on June 26 here.

    Watch an interview with Dominic on the American Pianists Association Facebook page here.


  • Jun 24, 2021Guitar

    MSM Guitar Department Chair David Leisner to perform in New York Guitar Festival tribute to virtuoso Julian Bream

    The 2021 New York Guitar Festival (NYGF) will pay tribute to the iconic classical guitarist Julian Bream with an online series of concerts entitled “Remembering Julian Bream” from July 14 to 20.

    Music include commissions by a group of stellar classical guitarists, lutenists and composers in honor of the late Grammy Award-winning concert artist.

    MSM Guitar Department Chair David Leisner will perform on July 15 at 4 PM EDT.

    Julian Bream is regarded as one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century, playing a significant role in improving the public perception of the classical guitar as a respectable instrument.

    Three video performances will broadcast each day of the festival at 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm EDT on the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel found here.

    Read more about the festival here.

  • Jun 23, 2021Composition

    National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene salutes its director, MSM alumnus Zalmen Mlotek (BM ’72)

    From July 26 to 30, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the world’s longest continuously running Yiddish theatre in the world, is having a benefit concert online honoring its director of long standing, Zalmen Mlotek (BM ’72), who is celebrating his 70th birthday.

    Zalmen received his Bachelor of Arts from MSM in Theory, and is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music. He is a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds, as well as a conductor, pianist, musical arranger, accompanist, and composer.

    His acclaimed production of “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” with Folksbiene ran for two years after a planned run of just two weeks at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, moving to Off Broadway.  It closed in January, 2020.

    The benefit concert, entitled “Yiddish Renaissance” will include 140 artists from around the world, is also being billed as a celebration of the growing interest in Yiddish language and culture.

    More information here.

  • Jun 22, 2021Precollege

    MSM Precollege faculty member Elizabeth Faidley featured in “Influencive”

    The online publication Influencive founded by Inc. 500 Entrepreneur Brian D. Evans and Clinton Senkow calls MSM Precollege violin faculty member Elizabeth Faidley “one of the finest violin pedagogues in the world.”

    “The world of music is one such that has welcomed innumerable talented beings so far, but a few rare gems have gone ahead in totally astounding the world with their expertise and genius in music. One such name that has been buzzing high in the American music scene is Elizabeth Faidley with her ‘The Elizabeth Faidley Violin Studio,'” writes Umesh Agarwal in the article.

    A faculty member in MSM’s Precollege program since 2007, Elizabeth has also been called “amazing and inspiring teacher” by the New York Times.

    Read the Influencive article on Elizabeth here.
    Read Elizabeth’s biography on MSM’s website here.

  • Jun 21, 2021Piano

    Make Music Day in New York City at the World Trade Center Oculus features world premiere by MSM Alum Hyung-ki Joo (BM ’93, MM ’99), performed by eight pianists from MSM.

    A musical event at the World Trade Center Oculus today celebrating Make Music Day features the world premiere performance of music from Childhood, an album of 10 piano pieces newly published on Universal Edition, composed by the British Korean composer-pianist Hyung-ki Joo (BM ’93, MM ’99). Eight pianists from Manhattan School of Music are taking part in the performance.

    In addition to being a composer-pianist, Hyung-ki Joo is a Steinway artist and one half of the comedy-musical duo Igudesman & Joo.

    Learn more about the Hyung here.
    Learn more about the event at the World Trade Center Oculus here.

  • Jun 20, 2021Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts alumna pianist Dabin Ryu (MM ’20) releases debut album “Wall”

    Classically-trained Dabin Ryu (MM ’20) is an award-winning pianist from Seoul, South Korea, who has been playing piano since the age of 3. She wrote, produced, and arranged all of the 10 songs on her debut album “Wall” released on June 1, 2021.

    “The entire album is marked by Ryu’s passionate and thoughtful approach to music-making,” writes Dodie Miller-Gould in Lemonwire in a review of the album which can be found here.

    Dabin’s website describes the compositions as “(they) settle within the jazz tradition, yet refuse the conventional instrumentations of a traditional jazz album. In this album, she captures the traces her life-long practice of music have left on her.”

    Listen to and purchase “Wall” here.

  • Jun 19, 2021Orchestra

    MSM orchestral students and alumni featured with MET Opera stars in free Central Park concert on June 28 presented by Opera Italiana is in the Air

    Opera Italiana is in the Air is presenting “REBIRTH!” on June 28, 2021 to launch the reopening of the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park.

    The showcase will feature musicians from Manhattan School of Music, The Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, The Juilliard School, and The New School.

    Among the major performers involved are Jennifer Rowley, Gabriella Reyes, and Stephen Costello.

    The organization will be partnering with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to present the Rising Voices Choir, which will sing the national anthem. The performance will be streamed to the Music Therapy department patients and all patients and staff of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

    Learn more here.

  • Jun 18, 2021Jazz

    MSM students Teagan Faran (MM ’22) and Zoe Molelekwa (BM ’24) named OneBeat Fellows

    MSM student Tegan Faran, who studies contemporary violin at MSM as part of the Contemporary Performance Program, and Zoe Molelekwa, a jazz composer and pianist from South Africa who is a Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholar, are among 35 Fellows from around the world taking part in OneBeat from July to September 2021.

    OneBeat is a residency and tour program that brings early-career musicians together from around the globe to collaboratively write, produce and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based civic and social engagement. It is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, & produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation.

    Learn more here.

  • Jun 17, 2021Woodwinds

    MSM Alumna Sara (Tate) Yarmuth (BM ’09, oboe) joins board of Kentucky Performing Arts

    Sarah Yarmuth is an attorney and manager of a locally owned small business in Louisville, Kentucky. A 2009 graduate of Manhattan School of Music, and a 2013 graduate of the University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law, Yarmuth practiced in both the private and public sectors in Louisville for several years.

    After her son’s birth in 2019, Yarmuth left the practice of law to assist in her family’s business, a preschool owned and operated by her mother and grandmother for 31 years.

    Sarah’s father-in-law is Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, a former newspaper editor who has been the US Representative for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district since 2007.

    Read about Sarah’s appointment here.

  • Jun 16, 2021Voice

    MSM alumna Raehann Bryce-Davis (MM ’12; PS ’13, Voice) helps lead the 2021-22 season of the Opera Vlaanderen in Belgium

    At the Opera Vlaanderen in Belgium from November 9-17, Raehann Bryce-Davis (MM ’12; PS ’13, Voice) will lead the production of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos” along with Carla Filipcic Holm, Michael Weinius, Lisa Mostin, Leon Košavić. Alejo Pérez is conducting the concert that is helping kick off the 2021-22 season for the respected opera house that begins Sept 18.

    For more information about the season, visit the Opera Vlaanderen website here.
    Visit Raehann’s website here.



  • Jun 15, 2021Composition

    Composition by MSM alumna Anna Clyne (MM ’05) will launch the New York Philharmonic’s 2021-2022 season

    Anna Clyne‘s Within Her Arms will open the concerts being held on Sept 17, 18, and 19 at Alice Tully Hall, kicking off the New York Philharmonic‘s new season. NY Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducts.

    It’s the orchestra’s long-awaited return to live performances after what will be an an 18-month period of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    For tickets to hear Anna Clyne’s composition, or to find out more about the 2021-2022 season, visit the NYPhil website here.


  • Jun 14, 2021Composition

    Recent MSM graduates win BMI classical composition awards

    Recent MSM graduates Elizabeth Gartman (MM ’21) and Elliot Roman (BM ’21) are 2021 winners of the 69th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards for classical composition.

    The annual awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with educational scholarships totaling $20,000.

    This year’s group of talented composers are being showcased across BMI’s and BMIF’s digital platforms in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

    Learn more here.

  • Jun 13, 2021Piano

    Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ’00) is featured in the June issue of Piano Magazine

    In a wide-reaching interview with Piano Magazine, pianist Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ’00) details some of his thoughts on commissioning new music, the influence recordings can have on interpretation, and his newest collaboration with mentor Ferenc Rados.

    Read the interview here.