Success Stories

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

  • Feb 17, 2019Composition

    The Violin Channel salutes the 81st Birthday of MSM alumnus, composer John Corigliano

    John Corigliano has won the Pulitzer Prize, five Grammys and an Oscar, and has written more than 100 scores. Considered one of America’s most acclaimed composers, he’s most known for his 1st and 2nd Symphonies, clarinet and violin concerti – and the film scores for the movies Altered StatesRevolution and The Red Violin.

    See violinist Lara St. John perform his composition, Stomp here
    Hear an NPR interview with John on his 80th birthday last year, here

  • Feb 15, 2019Piano

    MSM alumnus Kirill Gerstein (BM ‘9, MM ’00) interviewed by the Financial Times

    “I find it puzzling that people finish studying. One should be an eternal learner.” The award-winning pianist Kirill Gerstein speaks to the Financial Times about his lifelong love of learning, mentioning Manhattan School of Music, where he earned two degrees, and his childhood ambition to be a street traffic controller.

    Read the interview here

  • Feb 14, 2019Voice

    MSM student Carolina López Moreno (MM ’20) wins top prize at the American Vocal Arts 2019 International Collegiate Singing Competition

    Soprano Carolina López Moreno is from Germany, and is in the Masters Voice program at Manhattan School of Music, studying with Edith Bers. The goal of this competition, sponsored by American Vocal Arts, is to award the best singers from around the world who are currently enrolled or have recently graduated from an undergraduate or graduate program in music. The winners were selected based on talent, potential, and overall presentation.  Carolina is also the First Grand Prize winner of the Berliner International Music Competition 2018, and was awarded the Special Prize at the TV production SWR Young Opera Stars 2018.

    More about the competition here

    Read about Carolina here

  • Feb 13, 2019Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Cedar Newman student featured in Australia’s Canberra Times

    Writes the Canberra Times about violin maker Harry Vatiliotis “his many customers over the years include Cedar Newman, 15, from Wollongong, who is studying violin in New York as a recipient of the Bambeger Memorial Scholarship at Manhattan School of Music. She fits her school work around her violin playing and also hopes to study law. She started playing violin on her grandmother Simone Merry’s instrument, which Vatiliotis instantly recognised when it was brought to him for a repair. Last year, Vatiliotis made Cedar a new violin, better suited to playing concertos.”

    Read the article here

  • Feb 11, 2019

    Winners at yesterday’s Grammy Awards: Two MSM alumni, and MSM Trustee Terence Blanchard

    Congratulations to all!

    Best Contemporary Classical Composition
    KERNIS: VIOLIN CONCERTO -WINNER Aaron Jay Kernis (BM ’81), composer (James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

    Best Classical Instrumental Solo
    KERNIS: VIOLIN CONCERTO – WINNER James Ehnes; Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony) (Composition by Aaron Jay Kernis (BM ’81)

    Best Instrumental Composition
    BLUT UND BODEN (BLOOD AND SOIL) -WINNER Terence Blanchard (MSM Trustee), composer (Terence Blanchard)

    Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
    STEVE GADD BAND – WINNER Steve Gadd Band, Steven Gadd (BM ’65)

  • Feb 7, 2019Orchestra

    MSM exchange student appointed principal cellist of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra

    Theodor Lyngstad studied with MSM faculty member David Geber during the 2015-16 academic year, on exchange with Royal Danish Academy of Music, where in February 2017, Theodor Lyngstad won the RDAM soloist competition. In 2011, as a member of the string trio Trio Patetico, he was named musician of the year at the Youth Music Championship in Oslo.

    Learn more about the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra here

  • Feb 6, 2019Opera

    MSM alum William Guanbo Su (BM ’17, Voice) wins second place in prestigious Houston Grand Opera hosted competition

    William Guanbo Su (BM ’17, Voice) placed 2nd at the 31st annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers Concert of Arias which took place in the Cullen Theater of the Wortham Theater Center in Houston. It is considered one of the most highly esteemed singing competitions in the United States, with judges including  HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers, HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech, and guest judge Lawrence Brownlee,  the renowned tenor now appearing in HGO’s The Pearl Fishers.

    Learn more about the competition here
    Learn more about William Guanbo Su here

  • Feb 4, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM Musical Theatre’s new version of Kander & Ebb’sCabaret featured on writes about MSM Musical Theatre’s recent collaboration with the composer of the Broadway classic Cabaret, John Kander. The new MSM version reflects his favorite moments from all the various editions of the classic musical, including Bob Fosse’s 1972 film adaptation. He took part in a full rehearsal, giving guidance to students. Performances take place at MSM Feb 4-6 in MSM’s newly renovated Neidorff-Karpati Hall.

    Watch the show trailer here
    Watch John Kander with MSM students here
    Learn about MSM Musical Theatre here

  • Feb 3, 2019Composition

    Christopher Cerrone (BM ’07) joins the composition faculty of the Peabody Conservatory

    The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University welcomes Christopher Cerrone for the 2019-20 academic year. Christoper is “acclaimed for compositions characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a deep literary fluency, and a flair for multimedia collaborations,” writes the Conservatory in a release, citing his recent projects such as a major new orchestral work with electronics to be premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic this season.

    For a full list of commissions and current projects by Christopher, visit his website news page here

  • Feb 1, 2019Piano

    MSM Precollege student Jicheol Ha wins second prize winner at the Fifth annual Camerata Artists International Competition

    Pianist Jicheol Ha, a MSM Precollege student of Carmel Lowenthal, took part in the senior division of the Camarata Artists International Competition, presented by Camerata, New Jersey. He placed in the category for musicians ages 18-22, many of whom are college students at conservatories. The competition is open to musicians of all nationalities, with the goal of furthering musical education and career advancement for talented young musicians around the globe.

    Watch Jicheol perform S. Prokofiev Suggestion Diabolique Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 4, No. 4 at Manhattan School of Music

  • Jan 31, 2019Strings

    MSM Precollege student Gregory Llewellyn joins Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute’s National Youth Orchestra (NYO-USA)

    Cellist Gregory Llewellyn, a student of Marion Feldman, has been invited to join this prestigious youth orchestra, following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians. He joins some of the best young players across the county. This National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) will be touring Europe in summer of 2019, after concerts at Tanglewood, and Carnegie Hall.

    Learn more about the orchestra here

  • Jan 29, 2019Jazz

    Clothing company J.Jill features MSM faculty members in advertising campaign

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty member, the violinist Regina Carter, and MSM piano faculty member, the concert pianist Olga Kern are spotlighted as “Inspiring Women” by the J.Jill clothing company. The campaign features women who are  “breaking barriers in all aspects of the music industry.”

    See the campaign here

  • Jan 28, 2019Musical Theatre

    Darnell Abraham (MM ’13) makes Hamilton debut as George Washington on Jan 26 in Puerto Rico

    Darnell Abraham (photo above: in costume in Puerto Rico as George Washington, and posing with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda) is a member of the cast performing last week in Puerto Rico. The smash-hit musical has moved on to San Francisco, launching the third national tour of the production.

    Info about the tour here
    More about Darnell Abraham here

  • Jan 27, 2019Brass

    Brittany Lasch (BM ’10, Tenor Trombone) is the winner of the 2019 S&R Foundation Washington Award

    The award recognizes talented emerging artists in music, dance, and visual arts, in particular, those who contribute to international cultural collaboration and who push the boundaries of their artistic and performance practices. Brittany is the 2nd Place winner of the 2017-2018 American Prize, and is Assistant Professor of Trombone at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

    More about the award here

  • Jan 24, 2019Composition

    MSM faculty member Susan Botti and her composition EchoTempo featured in “Year of the Woman” concert by the American Youth Symphony on Feb 23

    Susan Botti will appear as soprano soloist during the performance of her composition by the American Youth Symphony, in a program that features works by leading female composers at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA. EchoTempo is a setting of Native American translations for soprano, percussion & orchestra, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in 2001, lauded by the New York Times as “striking” at its premiere. Also on the program: works by female composers Lera Auerbach and Jennifer Higdon.

    More about the concert here

  • Jan 23, 2019Jazz

    Alumnus Alex LoRe (MM ’11, Jazz Alto Sax) is interviewed in Downbeat magazine

    Writes Downbeat‘s Catalina Maria Johnson: “Manhattan-based alto saxophonist and composer Alex LoRe, one of the most versatile musicians in today’s jazz world, recently has contributed to a handful of albums with a fascinating array of artists, all exemplars of the fertile and evolving New York scene.”

    Read the article here

  • Jan 22, 2019Jazz

    Manhattan School of Music faculty member Terence Blanchard receives “Best Original Score” Oscar nomination for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman

    Jazz composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard — who teaches at MSM, and is a member of MSM’s artistic advisory board — has been writing music for Spike Lee’s films for more than 30 years. The publication IndieWire calls him “Spike Lee’s secret weapon.” This is the first Oscar nomination, and one of six for BlacKkKlansman, including best director, and best film. The Oscar ceremony takes place February 24.

    Read the IndieWire article about how the two work together here

  • Jan 21, 2019Opera

    Mila Henry (MM ’08) named Artistic Director of American Opera Projects

    Mila starts her position in July 2019 with this Brooklyn-based opera company that develops and presents new operatic and music theatre works; Opera News praises it for the “rarified range” of its projects. She will continue as Head of Music in their Composers & the Voice program. Mila is called “a stalwart contributor to the contemporary opera scene” by Opera Ithaca, where she will lead a double bill of Francesca Caccini’s Liberation and Kamala Sankaram’s The Infinite Energy of Ada Lovelace in April 2019. She is comfortable leading from piano or podium, in musical styles ranging from opera, musical theater, chamber music, or “somewhere in between.”

    Learn more about Mila here

  • Jan 21, 2019Piano

    Pianist Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ‘00) headlines in two concerts at Carnegie Hall in March

    Called “one of the distinguished classical artists of his generation” by the New York Times, Kirill Gerstein (in photo, right) is a former student of Solomon Mikowsky at Manhattan School of Music. Next month at Carnegie Hall, he partners with pianist and composer Thomas Àdes (in photo, left) on March 13, and is the solo pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on March 20, performing a new piano concerto by Thomas Àdes.

    Tickets for the March 13 concert here
    Tickets for the March 20 concert here

  • Jan 20, 2019Piano

    MSM alumna pianist Sofya Melikyan (MM ’06) releases two critically-acclaimed recordings

    It has been a busy year for this former student at MSM of Solomon Mikowsky. The Armenian-born, New York-based pianist released two CDs, both of which have received praise from critics. “Spanish Piano Music” was given a 10/10 rating by the German magazine Klassik Heute, which they chose as a “pick of the week.” Her next CD, “Women” was awarded the Golden Disc by Melomano magazine, received a positive review by Pizzicato magazine, and was recently lauded in Limelight, Australia’s classical music and arts publication.

    Limelight review here
    Pizzicato review here

  • Jan 17, 2019Strings

    Viviane Hagner featured as solo violin with the Oregon Symphony on Jan 26-28, a “best concert to see” pick by the Portland Mercury

    The MSM alumna Viviane Hagner (Postgraduate Diploma ’00, Zukerman Program) will perform Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto with the Oregon Symphony. Brian Horay of the Portland Mercury says the composition that “phenom fiddler” Vivian Hagner has championed since she gave its world premiere in 2002, is an “utterly unique work” and that “those in the audience will never hear anything like it again.” He lists it among the top 23 music events in Portland for mid-late January.

    Tickets and more info here
    More about Viviane Hagner here
    Portland Mercury listing here

  • Jan 16, 2019Voice

    Fourteen MSM alumni and students taking part in EnsembleNYC concert in NYC on Feb 9

    The goal of EnsembleNYC, created by MSM Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Ronnie J. Oliver, is to encourage a sense of hope to people in NYC, through choral concerts that offer listeners a place of respite and encouragement. 10% of the proceeds are given to NYC charitable organizations. The concert on Feb 9th features MSM alumni Vanessa May-lok Lee (PS ’14), Tom Jennings (DMA ’92), Maggie Woolums (BM ’14, MM ’16), Andrew Jurden (BM ’17), Alex Frankel (BM ’14), Billy Huyler (MM ’18), and Michael St. Peter (MM ’18) and current students Kaitlin Barron (BM ’20), Melanie Dubil (BM ’20), Adam Goldstein (BM ’19), Mia Ludwig (BM ’21), Veronica Mak (BM ’19), Cole Marino (BM ’20), and Alejandro Zuleta (PS ’19).

    Tickets and info here

  • Jan 15, 2019Voice

    MSM alumna Paulina Yeung (MM ’16) receives rave reviews for her performance as Tuptim in touring production of The King and I

    “No one sang better than Paulina Yeung,” writes Adrian Chamberlain of the Times Colonist of Jacksonville, Florida about her performance in The King and I. The show, currently touring the US through end-April, is based on the critically-acclaimed Lincoln Center production. “The young soprano, with a background in opera as well as musical theatre, particularly impressed in ‘My Lord and Master’, displaying a thrilling edge in the upper register,” says Chamberlain. Jonathan Higginbotham for Broadway World writes: “Yeung stood out among the cast.”

    Tour schedule and tickets here
    The Times Colonist review here
    More about Paulina Yeung here

  • Jan 15, 2019Opera

    Six Manhattan School of Music alumni are written about in the current issue of Opera News

    In addition to a full-page article on mezzo-soprano Briana Elyse Hunter (MM ’12), the February 2019 issue of Opera News features Soloman Howard (MM ’10) and Anton Coppola (BM ’14, MM ’65) in the “Noteworthy and Now” section, and Ronnita Miller (MM ’03) is given a complimentary mention in a review of Lyric Opera’s performance of Siegfried. In the “Recordings/ Video” section, the composition Salimar the Clown by Jack Perla (BM ’83, MM ’84), and the latest recording by Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08), both receive positive reviews.

    Find the digital version of Opera News here

  • Jan 14, 2019Conducting

    Marlon Daniel (BM ’95) to conduct preview concert in NYC on Jan. 31 for the Festival International de Musique Saint-George in Guadeloupe on March 16-23

    Marlon Daniel is the artistic and music director of this Guadeloupe festival that pays tribute to native-born violinist and conductor Joseph Bologne (1745-1799), known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, considered the first-known Black composer, and who fought for equality against France’s Slavery Trade Laws. Marlon will conduct several concerts at the festival, some featuring MSM alumni, the mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges (BM ’08) and bass Soloman Howard (MM ’10). The preview concert on Jan 31 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in NYC, includes a concert and lecture, under the direction of Marlon Daniel.

    Tickets to the NYC concert here
    More about Marlon here

  • Jan 13, 2019Opera

    Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09) a WQXR top pick for 2019

    WQXR, the public radio classical music station of the New York City area, has selected Manhattan School of Music alumnus J’Nai Bridges as one of 19 artists to watch in 2019. J’Nai made her Carnegie Hall recital debut in Dec 2018, and was named a San Francisco Opera Emerging Star last July. From Feb 28-March 9, she’ll be making her house debut at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, in John Adams’ highly acclaimed Girls of the Golden West, performing the role of Josefa Segovia.

    Read the WQXR list of “19 for 19” here
    Learn more about J’Nai Bridges here

  • Jan 11, 2019Jazz

    MSM faculty member and alumnus jazz bassist Ron Carter (MM ’61, Hon DMA ’91) featured on new Santana EP

    The EP In Search of Mona Lisa showcases five songs by the group led by legendary guitarist Carlos Santana. It includes the new composition Lovers From Another Time, featuring legendary jazz bassist and MSM alumnus and Jazz Arts faculty member Ron Carter (MM ’61, Hon DMA ’91). The EP will be released on January 25; a full-length album, produced by Rick Rubin, will drop later this year.

    Purchase EP here
    Read about Ron Carter here

  • Jan 11, 2019Conducting

    Manhattan School of Music alumna, conductor Alondra de La Parra (BM ’06, MM ’08), is the subject of a documentary airing on German television

    A rising star in classical music, Alondra de la Parra (BM ’06, MM ’08) has conducted more than 100 orchestras in 20 countries and is now music director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia. For the documentary film La Maestra: Alondra de la Parra, the conductor allowed access to her private archive, and gives a personal view of her life as a jet-setting young mother and podium star (photo above by Cicero Rodriguez).

    La Maestra: Alondra de la Parra will air on Arte-TV in Germany on Feb 3, on DW-TV in German on Feb 17, and in English on Feb 18.

    Read the conductor’s interview with German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle here

  • Jan 9, 2019Jazz

    New York City Opera presents the world premiere of Dear Erich , a Jazz Opera by Ted Rosenthal, renowned pianist, composer, and MSM jazz faculty member

    Based on letters written by Mr. Rosenthal’s grandmother in Nazi Germany to her son in Chicago, this poignant and very personal story of tragedy, love and redemption is set in wartime Europe and Chicago, and uses musical idioms of the ’30s and ’40s. Performances run Jan 9 to 13 at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in New York City.

    Purchase tickets here
    More about Dear Erich here
    Read our blog post here

  • Jan 8, 2019Jazz

    Manhattan School of Music jazz arts student Rico Jones (BM ’20) named first prize winner in jazz saxophone in the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition

    The Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition was launched in 2010 to help identify the next generation of great clarinetists and saxophonists and acknowledge their talent, the efforts to succeed, and their level of artistry. Rico is a Junior at MSM in the Jazz Arts program, studying with Donald McCaslin. He recently released his first album The Search: Live at Dazzle on Synergy Music record label through the Pathways to Jazz grant.

    More about Rico here
    More about the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition here