Success Stories

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

  • May 11, 2022Composition

    Two MSM alumni named the two finalists for the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes award for music

    MSM alumna Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (DMA ’16) was named one of the two finalists in the Pulitzer Prize category for music for her composition “with eyes the color of time.” The other finalist in music is MSM alumnus Andy Akiho (MM ’09) for his composition “Seven Pillars.” The winning Pultizer Prize for music was awarded to Raven Chacon for his composition “Voiceless Mass.”

    Andy Akiho also received a 2022 Grammy Awards nomination this year for his composition.

    The Pulitzer music jury was headed by The New Yorker‘s music critic Alec Ross.

    Learn more about Anne’s composition here.

    Learn more about Andy’s composition here.

  • May 1, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM Vocal Arts student Le Bu (BM ’22) a winner of the Met Opera’s Laffont Competition

    Bass-baritone Le Bu (BM ’22), from Yancheng, China is one of six winners named in the Met Opera’s 2022 Laffont Competition Grand Finals held on May 1.

    Le Bu, pictured above in a recital in Greenfield Hall at MSM, is one of six winners of the Met Opera 2022 Laffont Competition:

    Le Bu, 26, Bass-Baritone
    Matthew Cairns, 27, Tenor
    Alexandra Razskazoff, 30, Soprano
    Julie Roset, 25, Soprano
    Anne Marie Stanley, 30, Mezzo-Soprano
    Esther Tonea, 28, Soprano

    The winners each receive $20,000 prize money, and the chance to launch a major operatic career while accompanied by the Met Orchestra, conducted by Marco Armiliato.

    Learn more about Le Bu here.

  • Apr 25, 2022Conducting

    Conductor and MSM alumnus Earl Lee (MM ’13) is named winner of the 2022 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

    The award is given annually by the Solti Foundation U.S. to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger. It is the largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers. The prize includes $30,000 as well as career guidance and industry connections.

    Earl Lee currently serves as Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

    This season, Lee made his debut with both the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. He was formerly resident conductor with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2015 to 2018. He is a regular guest conductor with the orchestras of North America’s top music schools, including Manhattan School of Music and the New England Conservatory.

    Learn more about Earl here.

  • Apr 11, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM alumna mezzo-soprano Erin Wagner (BM ’19) makes Carnegie Hall debut on April 19

    MSM alumnus and mezzo-soprano Erin Wagner (BM ’19) is being showcased at Carnegie Hall on April 19 at 7:30 PM as the Naumburg Foundation 2021 Vocal Award Winner.

    The concert marks the solo debut of Erin Wagner at Carnegie Hall, and takes place in the Weill Recital Hall with accompaniment by pianist Shawn Chang. Music performed is by Edie Hill, Fauré, Ravel, Errollyn Wallen, Shawn Change, and Mahler.

    For tickets visit the Carnegie Hall website here.

  • Apr 4, 2022Composition

    MSM alumni and faculty members win 2022 GRAMMY Awards

    Congratulations to MSM faculty and alumni who won 2022 GRAMMY Awards for classical, jazz, and composing/arranging!

    The awards were presented on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas. Winners include MSM alumni Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) (in photo on left) and J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09) soloists in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Philip Glass’ Ahknaten which won Best Opera Recording.

    View the full list of winners here.

    View all MSM faculty and alumni nominated for the 2022 awards here.

  • Apr 1, 2022Guitar

    MSM alumnus and classical guitarist Rupert Boyd (MM ’06) is Musical America Artist of the Month

    Congratulations to classical guitarist and MSM alumnus Rupert Boyd (MM ’06) who is featured as the April 2022 Artist of the Month in the prestigious magazine Musical America.

    Later this month, the Australian-born, 40-year-old guitarist is relaunching his respected concert series GatherNYC which will run from April 24 to June 26 at Manhattan’s Museum of Arts and Design, featuring artists such as ETHEL, South Korean guitarist Jiji, and musicians from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

    Read the Musical America article here.
    Learn more about Rupert Boyd here.
    Find out about GatherNYC here.

  • Mar 31, 2022MSM Summer

    Former MSM Summer student Danielle Clavell is featured on American Idol

    A former MSM Summer student Danielle Clavell from Queens, NYC is featured this week on the television singing competition program American Idol.

    A singer and dancer, Danielle is currently finalist in the elimination round of “Hollywood Week” on the popular ABC-TV show that’s currently in its twentieth season.

    Watch a video of Danielle in the competition here.



  • Mar 30, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM student Bass-baritone Le Bu (BM ’22) advances to the semifinals of the Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition

    Current MSM student Bass-baritone Le Bu (BM ’22) (in photo top row, third from left), from Yan Cheng, China, has been named one of 21 semifinalists in this year’s Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition (previously known as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions).

    More than 800 singers have participated in this respected national competition that takes place in rounds of regional competitions before the national semifinals on April 24 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

    The competition is designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers, and is sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

    Learn more about the competition here.



  • Mar 29, 2022Piano

    Book by MSM alumnus Donald Isler (BM ’73; MM ’75) features interviews with many MSM faculty and alumni

    In the series of dozens of essays that comprises Afterthoughts of a Pianist/Teacher: A Collection of Essays and Interviews, author Donald Isler (BM 1973; MM 1975) reflects on more than fifty years’ experience teaching, attending concerts, and living a professional life dedicated to music.

    Featured in the book include famous names from the School’s past like Constance KeeneArtur Balsam, and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. There are also chapters and interviews devoted to Arkady Aronov, Efrem Briskin, Michae Davidman, Solomon Mikowsky, Dmitry Rachmanov, Yuan Sheng, and Lisa Yui.

    MSM faculty member Lisa Yui writes, “The interviews are informative and observant, the articles witty and self-reflective. Each is fascinating, informative, enlightening—in short, a wonderful read!”

    Learn more and purchase the book here.

  • Mar 26, 2022Composition

    More than 30 MSM alumni and faculty members nominated for 2022 GRAMMY Awards

    The GRAMMY Awards take place on Sunday, April 1, with more than 30 MSM alumni and faculty members nominated, including MSM trustees Terence Blanchard (HonDMA ’19) and Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08), as well as J’nai Bridges (BM ’09), and faculty member, Miguel Zenón.

    Read the full list of MSM community nominees here.

  • Mar 8, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus Jonathan Tetelman (BM ’11) signs to Deutsche Grammophon

    Deutsche Grammophon has announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Jonathan Tetelman (BM ’11). The recording by the acclaimed 33-year-old Chilean-American tenor will be released internationally in summer of 2022.

    “We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to the Yellow Label,” says Dr. Clemens Trautmann, President of Deutsche Grammophon. “Critics have already compared him to the finest tenors of yesterday and today, comparisons justified by his exceptional artistry, vocal qualities and gift for expressive communication. He’s truly a major talent with a brilliant career ahead.”

    Jonathan Tetelman recorded the Deutsche Grammophon debut album of Verdi and verismo arias and other lyric works at the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria and its Chief Conductor, Karel Mark Chichon.

    Learn more about Jonathan here.

  • Mar 4, 2022Jazz

    MSM faculty member Ron Carter (MM ’61, HonDMA ’98) to celebrate his 85th birthday at Carnegie Hall on May 10.

    GRAMMY-winning jazz musician Ron Carter, a MSM alumnus and faculty member, is one the most recorded jazz bassist of all time with over 2,200 individual recording credits, and has been named one of the “10 Greatest Bassists of All-Time” by Rolling Stone.

    At the Carnegie Hall concert, Ron Carter will play select material from his six-decade career, leading groups in three combinations: trio, quartet, and octet.

    Ron Carter has performed and collaborated with other legends of jazz and music including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gil Scott-Heron, Wayne Shorter, Paul Simon, McCoy Tyner, Aretha Franklin, Stan Getz, Roberta Flack, Bill Evans, Chet Baker, and dozens more.

    Learn about the concert here.

  • Feb 21, 2022Strings

    MSM alumnus Giovanni Andrea Zanon (MM ’16) featured in closing ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics

    Violinist Giovanni Andrea Zanon led the Italian national anthem alongside Italian pop singer Malika Ayane at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Their performance accompanied the raising of the Italian flag as a symbolic handing over of hosting duties to Italy for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

    Giovanni received his Master’s degree at MSM at age 16 where he studied with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec in the Pinchas Zukerman performance program.

    Learn more about Giovanni here.

  • Feb 20, 2022Precollege

    Precollege Faculty member Sondra Tammam (BM ’73) receives the Steinway & Sons 2022 Top Teacher Award.

    Recognized internationally as a pianist and pedagogue, MSM alumnus and Precollege faculty member Sondra Tammam (BM ’73) has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and presented master classes, lectures, and workshops in the U.S., Austria, Italy, France, Montenegro, Israel, Taiwan, and Brazil.

    Gavin English, President of Steinway & Sons, told Ms. Tammam she is being awarded “for your hard work and dedication to music education throughout 2021. Steinway & Sons is a name synonymous with artistry, quality, and exquisite musical expression. The Steinway Top Teacher Award demonstrates your commitment to the same ideals.”

    Learn more about Sondra Tammam here.

  • Feb 13, 2022Composition

    Commissioned work from MSM Composition student Elliot Roman (PC ’17, BM ’21, MM ’23) performed by ASQ

    MSM composition student Elliot Roman (BM ’21, MM ’23) had a piece commissioned by the MSM Artists in Residence American String Quartet (all pictured above), Ludwig:sein:Seine was featured in their concert at MSM on February 13.

    Last month, Elliot’s undergraduate orchestral thesis composition, Tzirklshpitz, was performed by the MSM Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76); the score won Elliot a 2021 BMI Student Composer Award.

    Read about Elliot and find out about the concert here

  • Feb 11, 2022Vocal Arts

    Faculty member Jorge Parodi conducts The Tales of Hoffmann at Opera Tampa Feb 11 to 13

    Jorge Parodi is the music director of the Senior Opera Theater at the Manhattan School of Music, who has worked as a conductor at Buenos Aires Lírica (Argentina), The Banff Centre (Canada), Tsaritsynskaya Opera Volgograd (Russia), Encuentros Internacionales de Opera (Mexico), Hofstra University and New York University, among others.

    Hailed as having “the most expressive conducting hands since Stokowski’s” (New York Daily News), Parodi has collaborated with such artists as Tito Capobianco, Sherrill Milnes and Rufus Wainwright and has assisted conductors of the caliber of Lorin Maazel and Julius Rudel.

    Previously at Opera Tampa, he was conductor for The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Anton Coppola’s Lady Swanwhite and The Pearl Fishers.

  • Feb 8, 2022Strings

    MSM student violinist Jisun Kim (MM ’23) featured in The Strad for performance during Lunar New Year concert series

    The Strad reports on MSM graduate student violinist Jisun Kim (MM ’23) who performed Pablo de Saraste’s Carmen Fantasy in one of the virtual concertsof the New Jersey Symphony’s 2022 Lunar New Year Virtual Festival.

    Kim, who is blind tells The Strad, ’I believe that having a disability is not an obstacle for success — it just brings minor limitations that can be overcome.

    Kim studies at MSM with former New Jersey Symphony violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins.

    Read article here.

  • Feb 5, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM alumna mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09) crowned “one of American opera’s thought leaders” by Opera News

    Congratulations to J’Nai Bridges who is featured on the cover of the February issue of Opera News! 

    “I’m at a point where I only want to sing works that really resonate with me vocally, artistically, and spiritually,” she tells the publication.

    Read the article here.


  • Feb 3, 2022Musical Theatre

    Book launch on March 22: Facing the Music by David Loud, the Musical Director of the MSM Musical Theatre program

    Legendary Broadway musical director and arranger David Loud, who is the Musical Director of the MSM Musical Theatre program, is releasing his memoir on March 22.

    His publisher describes Facing the Music: A Broadway Memoir as David’s “wildly entertaining and deeply poignant trek through the wilderness of his childhood and the edge-of-your-seat drama of a career on, in, under, and around Broadway for decades. He also reveals his struggle against the ravages of Parkinson’s and triumphs repeatedly. This memoir is also a remarkable love letter to music.  Loud is the ‘Ted Lasso’ of the theater business, ever the optimist. An inspiration to all!”

    Buy the book in advance here.

  • Feb 1, 2022Piano

    MSM alumna Leah Claiborne (BM ’12) wins 2022 Stecher & Horowitz Power of Innovation Award

    Dr. Leah Claiborne (BM ’12) was among 48 applicants across the US who are considered “amongst the finest and most creative artists and pedagogues within the music teaching profession today,” according to the Music Teachers National Association that presents the award.

    The $10,000 prize is awarded through the generosity of its benefactors and namesakes, Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz.

    Dr. Leah Claiborne is an Assistant Professor of Music in the Division of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia. Pianist, scholar, and educator, Dr. Claiborne promotes diversity in the arts by championing piano music by black composers in her performances, research, and teaching. In 2017, Dr. Claiborne was the first pianist to be awarded the Rackham Predoc Fellowship at the University of Michigan, which allowed her to further her research in compiling, editing, and recording piano music by black composers.

    Learn about the award here.

  • Jan 26, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus and trustee Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) featured in the New York Times

    MSM Alumnus and Trustee Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) is this year’s New York Philharmonic artist in residence, and with the NYPhil, he’s hosting a two-week festival in NYC called “Authentic Selves: The Beauty Within” beginning January 27.

    The New York Times writes about Anthony: “He’s a musician who, among other things, is also a charismatic impresario, cross-discipline connector and community organizer in NYC.”

    Read article here.

  • Jan 23, 2022Precollege

    MSM Precollege alumna Simone Dinnerstein (PC ’89) performs at Carnegie Hall with Renée Fleming, Emerson String Quartet

    MSM Precollege alumna Simone Dinnerstein (PC ’89), a former student of Solomon Mikowsky in MSM’s Precollege program, performed on January 23, 2022 in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in Penelope, a concert that also featured actress Uma Thurman as narrator.

    Penelope is a collaboration from composer André Previn and playwright Tom Stoppard focusing on one of literature’s great heroines, retelling the story of the woman who stood strong awaiting the return of her wandering husband, Odysseus.

    Music included works by Barber, Phillip Glass, and Fauré.

    Learn about Simone here.


  • Jan 16, 2022Conducting

    Marlon Daniel (BM ’93) appointed Associate Conductor of the Florida Grand Opera

    MSM Alumnus Marlon Daniel (BM ’93) has been named Associate Conductor of the Florida Grand Opera (FGO), in residence at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

    “I have always dreamed of a career in music that followed in the footsteps of some of my favorite conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Herbert von Karajan and Carlos Kleiber, who were equally comfortable in the pit as well as on the podium,” Daniel said in an official statement. “This new position gives me a real opportunity to gain even greater experience in full opera productions in addition to my symphonic conducting. I thank General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis and all of Florida Grand Opera for putting their faith in me at this time in my life.”

    Learn more here.

  • Jan 15, 2022Vocal Arts

    Mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis (MM ’12, PS ’13) featured in January Opera News

    “Mezzo Raehann Bryce-Davis puts her heart and soul into her work, and she’s taking the opera world by storm,” writes Jennifer Melick of Opera News in the January 2022 issue of the respected publication.

    2021/22 season highlights for Raehann include performances of Der Komponist in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Preziosilla in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino at Théâtre du Capitole, Azucena in three productions of Verdi’s Il Trovatore at The Glimmerglass Festival, LA Opera, and Staatstheater Nürnberg, Gods and Mortals, at The Glimmerglass Festival, singing selections of Wagner’s Lohengrin as Ortrud and Die Walküre as Fricka, as well as her company debuts at La Monnaie de Munt as La Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Konzert und Theater St Gallen as Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, and her company debut at Teatro alla Scala as Ulrica in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera.

    Raehann Bryce-Davis is a co-founder of the Black Opera Alliance and is an advocate for social justice in opera.

    Learn more about Raehann here.

  • Jan 11, 2022Guitar

    92nd St Y to feature MSM Alumni Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ’00), Dawn Upshaw (MM ’85, HonDMA ’98), and Pablo Sainz-Villegas (PS ’06, AD ’07)

    Kirill Gerstein, along with fellow pianist Garrick Ohlsson, will play two-piano show pieces by Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Thomas Adès on Friday, February 25th at 7:30 pm. 

    Pablo Sainz-Villegas will perform “The Soul of the Spanish Guitar” a recital that will feature works by Albéniz, Granados, Rodrigo and others on Saturday, April 2nd at 8 pm.

    Along with the Brentano String Quartet, Dawn Upshaw will present An exploration of the mythological Dido –  music by Purcell, Dowland and others; NY premiere of Melinda Wagner’s Dido Reimagined on Sunday, April 3rd at 3 pm.

  • Jan 10, 2022Jazz

    Ally Hany Albrecht (MM ’17) Named Musician First Class with United States Navy Band

    Ally Alchrecht (MM ’17) Jazz Trumpet is the newest trumpet instrumentalist with the Commodores Jazz Ensemble, part of the United States Navy Band.

    Previously she was a member of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West. Highlights with the USAFB  include performing as a soloist at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil, on ESPN live for Monday Night Football, and at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

    Ally graduated with her Master’s Degree in Jazz trumpet from Manhattan School of Music in 2017 where she studied with Tony Kadleck.

    Learn more about Ally here.

  • Jan 7, 2022Woodwinds

    MSM alumnus Chris James (BM ’13) is appointed to the position of piccolo with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra

    Chris James will begin his position as piccolo with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal later this year.

    Since 2017, Chris has been the Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo with the Vancouver Symphony. Prior to Vancouver, he held the piccolo position with the Memphis Symphony (which he won during his senior year at MSM) as well as principal flute with the Ann Arbor Symphony.

    Learn more about the Montreal Symphony Orchestra here.

  • Jan 3, 2022Opera

    MSM Alumna Laquita Mitchell (MM ’01, PS ’02) featured as Opera Wire Artist of the Week

    Soprano Laquita Mitchell (MM ’01, PS ’02) is featured as Opera Wire‘s Artist of the Week on January 3. She will be singing the title role in Tom Cipullo’s Josephine part of the New Orleans Opera’s January 6 event “An Homage to Josephine Baker.”

    This season, Ms. Mitchell performs with the On Site Opera, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Art Song Society, and Albany Pro Musica. In summer 2022, she will headline in the highly anticipated world premiere of Omar at the Spoleto Festival in the role of  Julie.

    Learn more about Laquita Mitchell here.

  • Jan 3, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM Vocal Arts alumna Yolanda Wyns is featured on NBC’s The Today Show on Jan 3

    MSM alumna Yolanda Wyns is featured on NBC’s national morning television program The Today Show, in a new feature called Live the Life You Love. Yolanda speaks to the hosts about inspiring children to find their voices teaching them to sing at The Harlem School of the Arts where she is Chair of Music.

    Watch the broadcast here.

  • Dec 7, 2021Musical Theatre

    #1 on Amazon’s hot releases lists for music, and dance! Making Broadway Dance: A new book by Liza Gennaro, MSM Associate Dean and Director of Musical Theatre

    Congratulations to Liza Gennaro! Her book landed the #1 position on two of Amazon’s key book charts: Dance Hot Releases, and Music Hot Releases during the week of December 3, 2021!

    Aimed at students, academics, and anyone who loves musical theatre and dance, the new publication Making Broadway Dance (Oxford University Press) by MSM Associate Dean and Director of Musical Theatre Liza Gennaro gives valuable insights into how Broadway dance is made.

    Learn more about the book here.