Success Stories

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

  • Oct 20, 2020Woodwinds

    Brandon Patrick George releases debut recording

    Alumnus Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) has released an album of flute sonatas and solo works by J.S. Bach, Boulez, Aho, and Prokofiev. George describes his debut album as a dialogue between the past and the future, and this CD indeed represents a walk through musical history spanning 300 years. You can learn more about the recording here.

    Brandon Patrick George is the flutist of the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds and has made appearances as a concerto soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra, among others.

    George was also interviewed by The New York Times in anticipation of his album release. Read the New York Times feature here.

  • Oct 18, 2020Strings

    Kelly Hall-Tompkins to guest host WQXR

    MSM faculty member, alumna, and renowned violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) will be a guest host on WQXR this Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM EST. For her guest appearance, Kelly has chosen works and recordings that inspire her by Mahler, Debussy, Brahms, Price, and others.

    Ms. Hall-Tompkins is an entrepreneur who has been acclaimed for her “tonal mastery” (BBC Music Magazine), and named New Yorker of the Year by The New York Times.

    Read more about the session here.

  • Oct 16, 2020Composition

    Anna Clyne and BBC Symphony Orchestra release Mythologies

    The BBC Symphony Orchestra has released a new album today devoted to orchestral works of alumna Anna Clyne (MM ’05). The album was released by the label Avie Records, and features conductors Marin Alsop, Sakari Oramo, Andrew Litton, and André de Ridder.

    Clyne composed the last piece, >>rewind<<, while still a student here at MSM. It was premiered in 2005 by the MSM Composers’ Orchestra and David Gilbert, and last year Nathan Hetherington conducted it with the Precollege Philharmonic.

    Purchase or stream Anna Clyne’s Mythologies here.

  • Oct 13, 2020Woodwinds

    New album by MSM Alum Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) featured in the New York Times

    The New York Times writes about MSM alum Brandon Patrick George (MM’10), a member of Imani Winds, in its Arts section on October 13, 2020, reviewing his debut album with music by composers Bach, Boulez, Prokofiev and the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho.

    Read the article here.

  • Oct 11, 2020Piano

    Faculty member Kariné Poghosyan is featured artist for Armenia Humanitarian Relief event

    MSM piano faculty member Kariné Poghosyan performed at the fundraising event presented by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations. The concert raised money for the ArmeniaFund Humanitarian Relief Effort, with Kariné performing Khachaturian, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Chopin.

    The event can be watched here.

  • Oct 10, 2020Voice

    Justin Austin stars in The Three Penny Opera

    MSM alumnus Justin Austin (BM ’14, MM ’17) will star in City Lyric Opera’s virtual production of The Three Penny Opera running October 29–November 15.

    The singer was featured by PIX11 News in a video segment, available to watch here. “Being able to have that release through my craft is extremely important especially during this time,” he told PIX11 News.

    For tickets and more information, visit

  • Oct 5, 2020Brass

    Kesem Ninio wins at Bucharest Music Competition

    Tenor trombonist Kesem Ninio (MM ’22) recently won third prize in the brass portion of the 2020 Bucharest International Music Competition. Ninio is currently studying with Haim Avitsur at Manhattan School of Music.

    You can watch several of Ninio’s performances on his YouTube channel here.

  • Oct 2, 2020Orchestra

    MSM Alumna I-Jung Huang (PS ’20) appointed to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section

    I-Jung Huang comes to the SLSO with an impressive resumé of competition appearances and wins, as well as a long list of orchestras with whom she’s soloed, including the Houston Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Taiwan Philharmonic, and Taipei Symphony. She served as the concertmaster of prestigious music school orchestras, including the Manhattan School of Music, where she received a Professional Certificate in 2020.

    Read more here.

  • Sep 28, 2020Precollege

    Ole Akahoshi joins Horszowski Trio

    Last month, the New York-based Horszowski Trio announced the appointment of MSM Precollege faculty member Ole Akahoshi to the ensemble. Akahoshi will replace cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, who performed with the ensemble for the past nine years.

    Of his new position, Ole write: “I have been admiring the Horszowski Trio for many years and being on stage with them has always been a tremendously invigorating, inspiring, and highly gratifying experience for me.”

    Read the full press release from The Violin Channel here.

  • Sep 27, 2020Strings

    DMA student featured on the cover of Strings

    Cellist and DMA candidate Thomas Mesa is featured on the cover of the September/October edition of Strings Magazine. Print and digital versions of the issue are available to purchase here.

    Mr. Mesa was the winner of the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition; the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013); The Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions; and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition.

    He is currently studying with MSM faculty member Julia Lichten.

  • Sep 24, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical theatre senior shares her Off-Broadway experience in On the Roof

    Pegasus Publishers released On the Roof today, a new book written by MSM student Samantha Hahn (BM ’21). The book offers a “behind-the-curtain” look at Samantha’s time performing the role of Beylke in the Off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.

    Of the author, Fiddler director Joel Grey writes, “Samantha Hahn is not only a gifted performer but a delightful documentarian; she takes you through our auditions, rehearsals, backstage life, mishaps, and relationships.”

    The book is available to purchase here.

  • Sep 23, 2020Piano

    Marlon Daniel interviewed by Opera Wire

    Alumnus Marlon Daniel (BM ’93, classical piano) discusses the music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges and systematic racism in classical music with David Salazar in this article released today from Opera Wire.

    Salazar writes, “Few artists have dedicated themselves to championing the works of composers of African and African American descent the way that conductor Marlon Daniel has.” Daniel has performed new works by such composers as Fred Onovwerosuoke, Dominique Le Gendre, and MSM alumnus Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19), among others.

    Learn more about Marlon Daniel and view his upcoming engagements on his website.

  • Sep 19, 2020Piano

    Joanne Kang selected as Carnegie Hall Fellow

    Joanne Kang (BM ’15, MM ’17) has been selected as the only pianist of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect team of nine performers for 2020-2022. Kang, who is currently a DMA candidate and Teaching Fellow for MSM’s Keyboard Skills department, is a student of faculty member Phillip Kawin.

    This two-year fellowship program prepares extraordinary young professional classical musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. You can view the other fellows here.

  • Sep 18, 2020Woodwinds

    Coreisa Lee wins AKADEMIA award

    Alumna Coreisa Lee (BM ’17) was recognized at the 2020 AKADEMIA Music Awards competition in Los Angeles, California for her performance video, “To You”. The composer, Eugene Magalif, shares the “Best Song: Ambient/Instrumental” award with Lee. Watch the award-winning video here.

    Lee is a former student of MSM faculty member Linda Chesis.

  • Sep 17, 2020Jazz

    Leon Lee Dorsey reimagines The Beatles on new album

    Alumnus Leon Lee Dorsey (MM ’86) has reimagined the iconic Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released as “Wolff Clark Dorsey Play Sgt. Pepper” on the Jazzavenue 1 label. Dorsey states, “it was absolutely a magical experience recording with two such extraordinary musicians like Michael Wolff and Mike Clark on such an iconic piece of music history from a legendary band like the Beatles.” Read the full press release from All About Jazz here.

    Dorsey is currently Assistant Professor of Jazz Composition & Arranging at Berklee College of Music.

  • Sep 15, 2020Voice

    Anthony Roth Costanzo partners with NYPhil to bring back live music in NYC

    Alumnus and Trustee Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) and the New York Philharmonic are bringing live music to neighborhoods around New York City through October via The NYPhil Bandwagon.

    In an interview with The New York Times, Costanzo shares: “We’re reaching out to all the communities we’re going into. We’re talking to, whether it’s the head of the community council, or different community organizations, to understand, not just what our impact could be, but how can we continue the collaboration. How does this dialogue continue?”

    The project was featured on NBS Nightly News with Lester Holt earlier this week. Watch the segment here.

  • Sep 11, 2020Brass

    Anthony Barfield premieres new work at Lincoln Center

    Alumnus Anthony Barfield (MM ’10, classical trombone) was commissioned to write a 15-piece brass ensemble work that was recently premiered and filmed on the Lincoln Center campus.

    “Invictus” (or “unconquered”) pays tribute to the resilience of New York and its people, “reflecting hope and the anticipation of a better future on the horizon.” Weaving together elements of classical, gospel, jazz and hip hop, “Invictus” brings together brass players of different stylistic backgrounds from across Lincoln Center’s campus. You can read more about the piece in this Forbes article.

    The new piece premiered last week on Facebook and on Lincoln Center’s website, and is available on demand here.

  • Sep 9, 2020Jazz

    Damien Sneed named MSU artist-in-residence

    Faculty member and alumnus Damien Sneed (’06) has been appointed an artist-in-residence at Michigan State University. According to a press release, Sneed will work with Wharton Center and MSU’s College of Music, helping to bring social impact programming to both institutions.

    “I’m excited about returning to Michigan State University and the Wharton Center,” said Sneed. “We will be able to touch the lives of so many different people through the lyrics and messages in the music.”

  • Sep 3, 2020Jazz

    Former MSM student to co-host new Food Network series

    Jazz trombonist Ezra Potash (’16) and his twin brother Adeev host the new original series, “Takeout Twins”, on the Food Network Kitchen app. In the series, the twin brothers show viewers how to make budget-friendly versions of classic take-out dishes at home.

    “Food is fun, but food with friends is better,” said Ezra and Adeev Potash. “It’s been a blast spending our quarantine teaching our friends how to build their skills in the Food Network Kitchen and help them thrive in this unsettling time.”

    Download the Food Network Kitchen app here to stream “Takeout Twins”.

  • Sep 1, 2020Voice

    Raehann Bryce-Davis premieres new music video

    Alumna and mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis (MM ’12, PS ’13) premiered a music video on August 25 that features her performance of “All’afflitto è dolce il pianto” (“To the Afflicted”) from Donizetti’s opera Roberto Devereux. Watch the video here.

    Raehann writes: “I got my last paycheck five months ago, like many of us. I turned away in horror yesterday as the gunshots reverberated yet again, like many of us. ‘To the Afflicted’ is a solemn remembrance, a celebration, a clenched fist around the reigns of destiny, an open hand raised in praise. I dedicate this to the afflicted, those in opera and those fighting on the front lines for justice and equity.”

  • Aug 31, 2020Precollege

    Precollege faculty members talk teaching in the time of COVID-19 in NATS Journal

    Precollege faculty members Jane Olian and Donna Gill were interviewed by Margo Garrett of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Journal about creative collaboration and technology in the time of COVID-19. In the interview, Jane and Donna talk about how their work as teachers and coaches has changed in the wake of the pandemic.

    Garret writes, “Donna and Jane both feel sustained by the fact that they are teaching in these days, that the students are ever hungry to learn, and that they themselves are doing OK—because they are teaching. Teachers and students need each other in these difficult days, it seems.” Read the full story here.

  • Aug 30, 2020Brass

    Graduate student Sean Alexander featured on KCLU

    Trumpet player Sean Alexander (BM ’20, MM ’22) talks about how he’s finding inspiration during the pandemic with KCLU’s Lance Orozco in this interview which aired earlier this month.

    Sean has been working on a unique original arrangement of a song, a version of the Theme from Howl’s Moving Castle “Merry Go Round of Life”. You can listen to his arrangement here.

  • Aug 27, 2020Composition

    Saxophonist and composer Jacam Manricks to release new album, “Samadhi”

    Alumnus Jacám Manricks (DMA ’07) is set to release his sixth album,”Samadhi,” on September 4 on his own label, Manricks Music Records. While attending Manhattan School of Music, he composed and premiered a large-scale work, “Chromatic Suite for Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra,” for the school’s 90th birthday celebration. Its combination of classical and jazz traditions presaged Manricks’s 2009 debut album, “Labyrinth,” which blended a chamber orchestra with a venturesome jazz quintet.

  • Aug 26, 2020Woodwinds

    Conor Nelson joins flute faculty at Mead Witter School of Music

    Alumnus Conor Nelson (BM ’03) has been appointed to the faculty of the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as Assistant Professor of Flute. Nelson will also serve as flutist of the Wingra Wind Quintet. He leaves a position at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

    Read Conor’s full bio here.

  • Aug 24, 2020Jazz

    Jazz alum Andrew Rathbun releases two new albums

    Andrew Rathbun (DMA ’11, Jazz Saxophone) has recently released two CD projects: Impressions of Debussy and Northern Noir. The first CD, released on the Centaur Records label, is a collection of improvisations that reimagine Debussy’s Preludes for piano. The second project, released by SteepleChase, is a duo project with Ran Blake that delves into his universe of film noir, plus versions of standards and Thelonious Monk.

  • Aug 18, 2020Piano

    Alumna Carrie-Ann Matheson (PS ’00) named Artistic Director of San Francisco Opera Center

    Carrie-Ann Matheson (PS ’00) will begin her new position with the San Francisco Opera Center in January 2021. She is currently a conductor, pianist and coach with the Zurich Opera where she has been since 2014. Prior to that she was on music staff at the Metropolitan Opera for some eleven years after her training in the Lindemann Young Artist program there.

    For more than 30 years, San Francisco Opera Center has nurtured young artists from around the world through its celebrated training programs.

    “This is a very exciting day for San Francisco Opera, and I am thrilled about (this appointment),” says Matthew Shilvock, Tad and Dianne Taube General Director of the San Francisco Opera.

  • Aug 4, 2020Composition

    Adolphus Hailstork selected as Composer of the Month

    Theodore Front Music Literature, Inc., a leading sheet music and music book dealer based in Santa Clarita, California has named MSM alumnus, Dr. Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) as its composer of the month.

    Hailstork is currently at work on a George Floyd requiem cantata titled “A Knee On a Neck.” The piece is scored for orchestra, chorus, tenor, baritone, and mezzo-soprano. The composer has focused a substantial amount of his work on Black history.

  • Jul 30, 2020Strings

    Bronx Arts Ensemble announces Judith Insell as Artistic Director

    Judith Insell (BM ’92, MM ’93, classical viola) previously served as Bronx Art Ensemble (BAE)’s Director of Curriculum and Artist Development. In the role of Artistic Director, Judith will oversee BAE’s artistic programs in Bronx public schools and onstage.

    “I am thrilled to be amplifying my level of service to the borough where I was born and raised; the borough that first exposed me to the arts in an educational setting. I look forward to continuing my support of the communities of the Bronx by spearheading the artistic vision of BAE’s Arts Education Programs & Concerts,” said Insell.

    Visit the Bronx Arts Ensemble’s website to learn more.

  • Jul 27, 2020Jazz

    Alumnus named 2020 Sundance Lab Fellow

    Aaron Parks (BM ’02, jazz piano) is a Fellow at the 2020 Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Lab in collaboration with Skywalker Sound and supported by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).

    Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound today announced the composers and directors selected for the Film Music and Sound Design Lab, reimagined and expressed digitally this year on Sundance Co//ab. The Lab provides Fellows with firsthand experience of the collaborative process with the goal of nurturing the development of music in film.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Jul 16, 2020Musical Theatre

    Or Matias wins Obie Award

    Musical theatre faculty member Or Matias was awarded a Special Obie Citation alongside Dave Malloy and Hidenori Nakajo for their Music and Sound of OCTET. The award, which was announced during the virtual ceremony on July 14, was given “for their collaboration in creating the soundscape that showcased the boundlessness of the acapella human voice”.

    Later on in the virtual Obie Awards, faculty members Mana Allen, David Loud, and David Cady performed in a tribute to Merrily We Roll Along.

    You can watch the full awards ceremony here.