Success Stories

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

  • Jan 21, 2020Jazz

    MSM jazz students honored at Jack Rudin Championship

    This past weekend, ten of the nation’s most well-regarded university jazz programs—including Manhattan School of Music—competed in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championship.

    Three MSM students were recognized for their outstanding performances during the awards ceremony on January 19th:
    Dabin Ryu (MM ’20, Jazz Piano)
    Joseph Miller (BM ’21, Jazz Alto Saxophone)
    Geoffrey Gallante (BM ’22, Jazz Trumpet)

    Beginning this year, the Jack Rudin Jazz Championship provided participating ensembles with quality literature and a forum for celebrating excellence and achievement, while introducing higher education to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s education methodology and philosophy. View the full list of winners here.

  • Jan 17, 2020Precollege

    Precollege alumnus appointed as concertmaster of ISO

    Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Kevin Lin, Precollege alumnus and student of Patinka Kopec, this week.

    Kevin currently serves as Co-Leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and has previously been a Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh, Houston and Cincinnati Symphonies.

    “I’m extremely excited and honored to join the Indianapolis Symphony … it’s been a pleasure getting to know the musicians and the community of the ISO … I look forward to many memorable years of music making,” Lin said.

    Read the full release on The Violin Channel.

  • Jan 16, 2020Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts performs live on PIX11

    Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts joined forces with Juilliard Jazz this morning on PIX11 News to promote Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jack Rudin Jazz Championship happening this weekend January 18 & 19.

    This inaugural two-day competition features ensembles from ten of the most well-regarded university jazz programs in the country. The event will include a combo showcase in The Appel Room and a final concert featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Rose Theater. Named for Jack Rudin, founding supporter of our signature Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival, this event will celebrate the excellence and achievements of the next generation of jazz musicians.

    Watch their performance and purchase tickets to the championship here.

  • Jan 14, 2020Jazz

    Matthew Jamal models in Zara campaign

    Double bassist Matthew Jamal (BM ’22) is featured in clothing retailer Zara’s latest menswear campaign “story line”, which shows models with their favorite person, objects, and hobbies.

    Matthew shares his story on Zara’s Instagram profile, which currently has a following of almost 40 million. “I came to New York to attend Manhattan School of Music. I knew that I wanted to study both classical and jazz performance at a conservatory, but I chose one in NY because it’s really a hub for artists who are non traditional.”

    In addition to his musical accolades, Matthew has modeled in campaigns for Nike, Converse, and more. Visit his website to learn more.

  • Jan 13, 2020Jazz

    Jazz student advances to semi-finals in national saxophone competition

    Senior Rico Jones (BM ’20) has been selected as a semifinalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance Collegiate Competition. The semi-final round will take place in Tempe, Arizona on March 5 in conjunction with the 2020 NASA Biennial Conference in Tempe, AZ. Up to six finalists will advance to the final round, and the first place winner will perform in a special recital on March 8 in Tempe.

    Learn more + buy tickets to the NASA 2020 Conference and Competition here.

  • Jan 8, 2020Voice

    Voice student and alumni to compete at Houston Grand Opera

    Current student Laureano Quant (MM ’20) and alumni Polixeni Tziouvaras (BM ’17, MM ’19) and Adam Kiss (BM ’16) have been selected as semifinalists for the 32nd annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers Concert of Arias, to be presented in the Wortham Theater Center on Feb. 7, 2020 at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets for the performance are available for purchase here. The program will also be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube for all to enjoy, inviting viewers to cast their votes for the Online Viewers’ Choice Award.

    The field of semifinalists will be narrowed to approximately eight finalists on the Monday prior to the final Concert of Arias. The selected finalists will perform two arias each, competing for up to $10,000 in cash prizes. Past prize winners who are now artists on the international stage include Jamie Barton, Joyce DiDonato, Ana María Martínez, Ryan McKinny, and Tamara Wilson.

    Read the full press release on Broadway World.

  • Jan 6, 2020Piano

    Student, alumni, faculty selected in WQXR’s “20 For 20”

    National public radio station WQXR announced their 20 artists to watch for the upcoming year today in an article. Among the notable musicians are two of Manhattan School of Music’s own: classical piano student Elham Fanous (MM ’21), faculty member Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95), and alumnus Nicholas Phan (’02). As members of this list of “Artists to Watch”, the three musicians will collaborate with WQXR in concerts, podcasts, live events, and more throughout 2020.

    Elham, a Kabul native described as a “Musical Diplomat” shares, “I am looking forward to using this opportunity as a platform to inspire people all around the world.”

    Check out the full list of 20 artists here.



  • Dec 20, 2019Voice

    Alumnae collaborate with Lyric Opera of Chicago

    Alumna Suzanne Kantorski (’09) is currently performing the role of Franca at the Lyric Opera of Chicago alongside opera superstar Renee Fleming in The Light in the Piazza. Alumna Kimberly Grigsby (’93) conducts the show, which runs through December 29.

    This anticipated new production is directed by multiple Olivier Award-winning director Daniel Evans. Renée Fleming, who was Tony-nominated for her role as Nettie Fowler in Carousel on Broadway last season, stars as Margaret Johnson in this beloved piece that features “the most intensely romantic score of any musical since West Side Story” (New York Times). The Light in the Piazza tells a story that will sweep you off your feet as it transports you to beautiful, sun-drenched Florence.

    For tickets and more information, click here.

  • Dec 18, 2019Conducting

    Joseph Rescigno to release Conducting Opera in 2020

    Alumnus Joseph Rescigno (MM ’69) has announced the publication of his new book, Conducting Opera: Where Theater Meets Music. The book is set to be published in Spring 2020 by the University of North Texas Press. Rescigno describes the work as “a book with helpful advice and useful insights about 25 standard repertory operas: preparation, practical tips, guiding principles. It also serves as a natural extension of his many decades of working with young musicians and singers.”

    Maestro Rescigno served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee (WI) for 38 seasons beginning in 1981. He also has been Music Director of La Musica Lirica, a summer program for singers in Northern Italy, since 2005. He has conducted in permanent and guest engagements with more than 50 companies on four continents.

    Follow Maestro Rescigno on Twitter or view his website for the latest information on his upcoming release.

  • Dec 17, 2019Voice

    MSM Voice faculty, alumni featured in January Opera News

    Several voice faculty and alumni are featured in the latest edition of Opera News. Pick up a copy on newsstands or view online here.

    Catherine Malfitano (MSM Faculty and MM ’71) – In a photo and highlighted in section #6 – page 7

    — Luisa Miller in Chicago: Solomon Howard (MM ’10) “made an outstanding Lyric debut as the oily Wurm. (His Fafner next spring should be something to hear.)” – page 49

    — The Light in the Piazza in Los Angeles: “Conductor Kimberly Grigsby (’93), a veteran of Piazza’s Broadway run at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in 2005-06, led by buoyant, at times , syrupy, reading of Guettel’s dense-for-a-musical score.” – page 49

    — Le Nozze di Figaro in San Francisco: “His Susanna, soprano Jeanine de Bique (BM ’06, MM ’08, PS ’09), made an excellent company debut distinguished by silvery tone and superb comic skills.” – page 49

    Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08): Arc “Half Handel and half Philip Glass, this recital produces just the sort of cross-pollination that such a venture needs to offer.” – page 57

  • Dec 10, 2019Precollege

    14 Precollege students and alumni selected as 2020 YoungArts winners

    YoungArts award winners—686 of the nation’s most accomplished young artists from 40 states in the visual, literary and performing arts—gain access to one of the most prestigious programs for emerging artists in the United States in which they will have opportunities for creative and professional development throughout their entire careers. View the full list of winners here.

    Congratulations to the following MSM Precollege students and alumni selected as 2020 YoungArts winners:

    Jason Arkins+, jazz baritone saxophone – finalist
    Jason Arkins+, jazz alto saxophone – honorable mention
    Oliver D’Avolio, jazz piano – honorable mention
    Meghna Das, voice – merit
    Yuki Kanazawa+, violin – merit
    Anton Kot, jazz percussion – merit
    Joanne Lau+, flute – merit
    Cooper Malanowski, jazz trombone – merit
    Ian Maloney, cello – merit
    Satchel Peterson, jazz guitar – merit
    Vittorio Stropoli*, jazz piano – honorable mention
    Jack Towse, jazz trumpet – merit
    Alexandra Woroniecka+, violin – merit
    Chelsea Xia+, violin – honorable mention
    Isaac Yi, jazz tenor saxophone – merit

    (* indicates Precollege alumnus and current MSM college student, + indicates Precollege alumni)

  • Dec 9, 2019

    Alumni awarded grants from Aaron Copland Fund for Music

    The Aaron Copland Fund’s purpose is to encourage and improve public knowledge and appreciation of contemporary American music. The following ensembles and organizations featuring MSM alumni have recently been awarded a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music:

    — AndPlay – Hannah Levinson (MM ’12)
    — Ekmeles – Director Jeffrey Gavett (MM ’09) and Charlotte Mundy (MM ’12)
    — Loadbang – Andy Kozar (MM ’09), Jeffrey Gavett (MM ’09), and William Lang (MM ’09)
    — Longleash – John Popham (BM ’05, MM ’09) and Renate Rohlfing (BM ’06)
    — The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra – Music Director Daniel Kochersberger (MM ’11) and Andrew Steinberg (MM ’15)
    — Opera Theatre of Saint Louis – for the premiere of the opera, Awakenings, by Tobias Picker (BM ’77)
    — PubliQuartet – Jannina Norpoth (BM ’03)
    — TAK Ensemble – Executive Director Laura Cocks (MM ’14), Charlotte Mundy (MM ’12), Marina Kifferstein (MM ’14), and Ellery Trafford (MM ’14)
    — Wet Ink – Alex Mincek (BM ’98, MM ’02), Erin Lesser (MM ’01), Ian Antonio (BM ’03), and Mariel Roberts (MM ’11)
    — Yarn/Wire – Ian Antonio (BM ’03)

  • Dec 6, 2019Jazz

    Damien Sneed collaborates with MSM jazz student on new Holiday EP

    Jazz faculty and alumnus Damien Sneed released a a four-song Christmas EP, ‘Joy To The World’ today, according to a press release. The second track, ‘What Christmas Really Means’, features current MSM student Lizzy Ossevoort (MM ’20).

    “One thing I learned from the late Aretha Franklin and Jessye Norman, as well as my mentors Wynton Marsalis and Richard Smallwood, is always to reach forward and tap the next generation,” Sneed shares. “And that’s what I’m doing with my graduate vocal student, Lizzy Ossevoort, from Manhattan School of Music, who is a native of The Netherlands.”

    Listen to Damien’s Joy To The World EP here.

  • Dec 2, 2019Jazz

    MSM to compete in Jack Rudin Jazz Championship

    Manhattan School of Music has been selected to compete in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s first annual Jack Rudin Jazz Championship January 18-19. The two-day invitational competition features ensembles from ten of the most well-regarded university jazz programs in the country.

    The events include a combo showcase featuring an ensemble from each university, a two-part competition, and a final concert featuring performances by the three top-placing bands including a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a culminating awards ceremony.

    Tickets and more info:

  • Dec 1, 2019Jazz

    MSM students perform in Gesellschaftshaus Magdeburg concert series

    Eleven current Manhattan School of Music Students have been selected to perform in a series of concerts held at the Gesellschaftshaus Magdeburg in Germany over the course of the Hall’s 2019-2020 Season. The five concerts, listed below, are sponsored by the US Consulate General in Leipzig and feature students from each area of study at the School.

    October 26, 2019 | Apply Triangle (Contemporary Performance Program ensemble): Jixue Yang, piano; Tyler Neidermayer, clarinet; Joshua Weinberg, flute

    November 30, 2019 | Jahari Stampley, piano
    (Watch Jahari’s performance here!)

    January 25, 2020 | Eunae Koh, violin; Esther Lim, piano

    February 2, 2020 | Laura del Sol Jiménez, flute; Mélanie Clapiès, violin; Georgia Bourderionnet, cello; Yilun Wang, harpsichord

    June 6, 2020 | Vatche Jambazian, piano

    Learn more and buy tickets to these concerts here.

  • Nov 25, 2019Music History

    Dr. Langford publishes A History of the Symphony: The Grand Genre

    Associate Dean of Doctoral Studies and Chair of the Music History Department Dr. Jeffrey Langford announces the publication of his new textbook by Routledge Press. The book, which identifies the underlying cultural factors that have shaped the symphony over the past three hundred years, is designed for use in a one or two semester long college course on the symphony.

    Dr. Langford shares, “This project has been about three years in the making, and it feels good to hold the finished product in my hands.”

    The book is available to purchase online here, and will soon be available in MSM’s Peter Jay Sharp Library.

  • Nov 20, 2019

    Seventeen MSM alumni and faculty nominated for GRAMMY Awards

    Congratulations to the following members of the Manhattan School of Music community nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards:

    Best Jazz Ensemble Album:
    Miho Hazama (MM ’12), Sam Anning (MM ’12)Meaghan Burke (MM ’13), Sita Chay (BM ’04), Jake Goldbas (BM ’11, MM ’13), Jason Rigby (MM ’01), Kavita S. Shah (MM ’12), Billy Test (MM ’15), and Mike Holober (MSM Faculty)

    Best Latin Jazz Album:
    Rogerio Boccato (MSM Faculty) and Miguel Zenón (MM ’01)

    Best Orchestral Performance:
    Leonard Slatkin (Trustee and HonDMA ’13)

    Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:
    Christopher Cerrone (BM ’07)Jannina Norpoth (BM ’03), and Ilya Kazantsev (PS ’10)

    Best Classical Solo Vocal Album:
    Curtis Macomber (MSM Faculty) and Craig Terry (’99)

    Best Engineered Album, Classical:
    Ilya Kazantsev (PS ’10)]

  • Nov 14, 2019Brass

    Alumni Council member featured on News12 Bronx

    Alumnus and Alumni Advisory Council member Eganam Segbefia (MM ’18, Classical Trumpet) shares his musical journey and how he plans to give back to his community in this video feature on News12 Bronx.

    “I wanted to go to Manhattan School of Music, so I just said I’m going to dive in and play every day, play every day, play every day, then doors just started opening for me,” says Eganam.

    Mr. Segbefia will perform as a special guest artist during the Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College, which runs through Friday (Nov 15). You can find more information about the festival here.

  • Nov 7, 2019Voice

    MSM voice alumni advance to MetOpera regional competition

    Five alumni and one current student received awards at The Metropolitan Opera National Council Eastern District Auditions earlier this week. Yvette Koeng (BM ’19), Jimin Park (MM ’20), Joshua Sanders (MM ’17), and Woo Young Yoon (MM ’17) will advance to the regional level of the competition, held on January 22, 2020 at Baruch Performing Arts Center in Manhattan. Alumni Hyeree Shin (MM ’18, PS ’19) and Yi Yang (MM ’10) received Encouragement Awards.

    The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are held annually in fourteen regions of the United States and Canada. Winners of the District auditions advance to their Region Finals where they compete to win a trip to NYC to participate in the National Semi-Finals held at The Metropolitan Opera. Ten semi-finalists are selected as national finalists and compete the following week in the public Grand Finals Concert accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

    Many MSM voice students and alumni have won the Grand Finals, including countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who currently stars in the title role of the MetOpera’s production of Akhnaten.

  • Nov 5, 2019Piano

    Phillip Kawin reviewed by Fanfare Archive

    Piano faculty member Phillip Kawin has received another rave review of his new recording with Master Performers, a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 with the Russian National Orchestra.

    Fanfare Archive reviewer David Reznick writes, “Most pianists are at their most thrilling while involved in a grand crescendo. But Kawin grips your heart with his subito piano. He goes from the most turbulent emotions to heartbreaking caresses in a way that I’ve only heard from one other artist: Vladimir Ashkenazy. But with Kawin, you feel the power that lurks below.” Read the full review here.

    Purchase Professor Kawin’s recording, available on DVD and Blu-ray, on Amazon.

  • Oct 29, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM students perform at Drama League Gala

    Last night, 14 Manhattan School of Music students performed at The Drama League’s Annual Gala at The Plaza Hotel.

    Musical theatre students sang with Jelani Alladin and Miriam Shor in tributes to honoree Sutton Foster, while several jazz students performed during the cocktail hour.

    The exciting opportunity was a collaboration of efforts between MSM Community members including Joe Pizza, Sceneworks Studios, Center for Music Entrepreneurship, Michele Wright, and Enrique Brown.

    Musical Theatre Participants: Elizabeth Baxley, Rafaela Cicchetti, Liam Collins, Pantelis Karastamatis, Jordan Paige Kliphon, Ariela Pizza, Austin Prebula, Savannah Sinclair, Joey Zook
    Jazz Arts Participants: Kofi Baraka-Shepsu, Joseph Miller, Dabin Ryu, Hamish Smith, Sam Towse

  • Oct 21, 2019Strings

    Alumnus joins LA Chamber Orchestra

    Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) announced the appointment of Manhattan School of Music alumnus Jason Issokson (BM ’06) as Second Violin today via Broadway World.

    Issokson, a Los Angeles resident, begins his new post with the Orchestra’s second 2019/20 season orchestral concerts on October 26 and 27. LACO is regarded as one of the nation’s premier music ensembles and a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire.

    LACO Music Director Jaime Martín shares, “I’m thrilled that a musician of his calibre will be joining LACO’s outstanding string section.”

  • Oct 17, 2019Precollege

    Precollege student performs with Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra

    Cedar-Rose Newman, a 15-year-old Precollege violin student of Lucie Robert, performed Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, Op 21 with in New South Wales, Australia last month.

    Ann Carr-Boyd, a composer and patron of the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra, shares this of Cedar-Rose’s performance: “Her performance at these two concerts was outstanding and a tremendous achievement for any violinist, let alone a violinist who is still only fifteen years old.”

  • Oct 15, 2019Chamber Music

    David Krakauer releases new album with ABRAHAM INC

    Faculty member and clarinetist David Krakauer and his 11-piece band ABRAHAM INC released Together We Stand today on all major music platforms. The band is currently on tour in Europe, and will have their official album launch party tonight at La Cigale in Paris.

    David shares, “Our new album, Together We Stand, was born as our response to what we see as forces that seek to divide us in the name of self-interest. After a short hiatus, the Abraham Inc project felt important to resurrect at this moment in time as we take a stand in the name of tolerance and humanistic values. David talks more about the album in this video.

    Buy Together We Stand on Bandcamp, Apple Music, Google Music, and CDBaby. Streaming is also available on Spotify, Youtube Music and Napster.

  • Oct 11, 2019Jazz

    Damien Sneed premieres new opera at Carnegie Hall

    Jazz piano, voice, and composition faculty member Damien Sneed will premiere his new opera, Our Journey: 400 Years from Africa to Jamestown, at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage today at the Sphinx Organization Performance and Gala, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Robert F. Smith.

    MSM alumna J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09, Classical Voice) and fellow Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient will help bring to life this overture from his ground-breaking opera during the evening’s finale performance. Current student Ruben Rengel (PS ’20, Classical Violin) and alumnus Christopher Johnson (MM ’08, Orchestral Double Bass) are set to perform in the orchestra.

    Composed by Sneed, who also wrote the libretto, Our Journey: 400 Years from Africa to Jamestown, showcases musical styles from the African American diaspora from African rhythms to spirituals to gospel to jazz, all interwoven in the classical genre.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Oct 10, 2019Precollege

    Precollege will participate in Luna Lab for second year

    Last year, a Precollege chamber music group had the opportunity to work with Luna Composition Lab and MSM Precollege will continue to collaborate with Luna Lab for their 2019-2020 season.

    Luna Composition Lab addresses the gender gap in the field of classical music by inspiring young self-identifying female, nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals to compose. Founded in 2016 by 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid – the first composer to have been commissioned by Los Angeles’ four major classical music institutions – and 2019 Grammy nominee Missy Mazzoli – one of the first two women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera – with NYC’s Kaufman Music Center, Luna Lab provides mentorship and performance opportunities to girls and young women from eighth grade through college freshmen.

    The culminating performance will be on April 29, 2020 at Merkin Hall.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Oct 8, 2019Percussion

    MSM Percussionists place at International Competition

    Last weekend, current student William Hopkins (BM ’21) and alumnus Yi Chen (BM ’19) competed in the Majaoja International Percussion Competition in Tampere, Finland.

    William, who represented the United States in the B Category (for contestants under 21 years of age), tied for first place. Yi was selected as a semifinalist in the A Category, where there was no age limit.

    Learn more about the Majaoja International Percussion Competition here.

  • Oct 7, 2019Voice

    Another MSM alum joins Phantom on Broadway

    Meghan Picerno (MM ’10, PS ’11), currently performing as Christine Daaé in the new World Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, will make her Broadway debut in the role Monday, October 14 according to a press release. Meghan previously originated the role of Christine in the North American premiere of Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom.

    She joins two other MSM alumni — Raquel Suarez (MM ’09, PS ’10) as Carlotta and Carlton Moe (MM ’15) as Ubaldo Piangi — in Broadway’s longest running show. Purchase tickets here.

  • Oct 4, 2019Precollege

    Precollege chamber group performs on From the Top

    The music group, “Kalico Quartet”, performs on Show 376 of the weekly NPR broadcast which will be released November 4, 2019 here.

    Kalico Quartet is comprised of three current MSM Precollege students and one graduate — Cheng Io Lo, violin (’19); Lena-Marie Stoger, violin; Kevin Wallace, viola; and Andrew Wallace, cello. Last season, Kalico Quartet won the 2018-2019 Precollege Chamber Music Competition.

  • Sep 30, 2019Voice

    Jorge Parodi conducts Frida at The Atlanta Opera

    Parodi, a vocal coach at MSM, will conduct the moving story of the iconic Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. The production is directed by José María Condemi with music by Robert Xavier Rodriguez and will run for four performances October 5–13. Tickets and more information are available at The Atlanta Opera’s website.

    Later this season, Jorge will conduct Carmen at Opera Tampa and Moscow, Cheryomushki here at Manhattan School of Music.