Success Stories

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

  • Dec 1, 2022Woodwinds

    MSM Alumnus Yevgeny Faniuk (BM ’01) appointed Assistant Principal Flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    MSM alumnus Yevgeny Faniuk (BM’01), who studied at MSM with Linda Chesis, has been appointed Assistant Principal Flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    Yevgeny has performed in numerous subscription programs with the Chicago Symphony, and has appeared regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Yevgeny has played principal flute with Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and his past engagements include work with New York City Ballet Orchestra, the American Symphony, and DCINY Orchestra, among others.

    Read Chicago Symphony Orchestra news release sbout Yevgeny’s appointment here.
    Learn more about Yevgeny Faniuk here.

  • Dec 1, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) is a clue on Jeopardy!

    Congratulations to MSM alumnus countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08), a MSM Board of Trustee member, for being a clue on a recent episode of the long-running television quiz program Jeopardy!

    Learn more about Anthony Roth Costanzo here.

  • Nov 30, 2022Strings

    Violinist Risa Hokamura (BM ’24) to have Young Concert Artists recital debut at Merkin Hall in Feb 2023

    Violinist Risa Hokamura (BM ’24) who studies at MSM with Koichiro Harada and Lucie Robert will have her recital debut with Young Concert Artists at the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Hall in New York City on February 8, 2023 and at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C. on March 23, 2023.

    At the age of 10, Risa Hokamura began to capture top prizes in competitions in Japan. She won the 2018 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and First Prize in the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions at the age of 17.

    Merkin Hall concert info here.
    Kennedy Center Terrace Theater concert info here.

    More about Risa Hokamura here.

  • Nov 17, 2022Strings

    MSM student Thierry de Lucas Neves and alumnus Ramón Carrera-Martínez named as Sphinx Competition Semi-Finalists

    Violinist Thierry de Lucas Neves (top photo), who studies at MSM with Patinka Kopec, and violist and MSM alumnus Ramon Carrera-Martînez (BM ’19, MM ’21) have been named two of the 10 Sphinx Competition (Senior Division) Semi-Finalists. The competition takes place in Detroit from January 26 to 28, 2023, and awards more than $100,000 in prizes.

    The Sphinx Organization is a social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.

    Learn more here.

  • Nov 13, 2022Precollege

    MSM Precollege alumnus Michael Davidman wins 3rd Prize at the Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris

    Precollege alumnus Michael Davidman, who was a student of Efrem Briskin for 10 years, recently won 3rd prize at the prestigious Long-Thibaud International competition in Paris, which took place November 6 to 13.

    The Long-Thibaud Competition was created nearly 80 years ago by renowned pianist Marguerite Long, to whom Maurice Ravel dedicated his concerto in G, and violinist Jacques Thibaud.

    Learn more about the competition here.
    Learn more about Michael here.

  • Nov 9, 2022Musical Theatre

    MSM Musical Theatre junior Victoria Baroni (BM ’24) is a semi-finalist in The American Pops Orchestra Next Gen Vocal Competition

    MSM Musical Theatre junior Victoria Baroni (BM ’24) is a semi-finalist in the The American Pops Orchestra Next Gen Vocal Competition. The vote for advancing to the finals at Lincoln Center will take place on November 19.

    Victoria performed the role of June Mathis in the MSM Musical Theatre production of the new musical Valentino’s Tango that took place at The Riverside Theatre in October.

    Learn more here.
    Learn more about Victoria here.

  • Nov 6, 2022Woodwinds

    Flutist and MSM student Joohyung Park wins first place in the American Protégé International Woodwinds and Brass Competition

    Flutist and current MSM student Joohyung Park (MM ’23), a native of Seoul, South Korea, and student of Michael Parloff, was one of five first-place winners in the American Protégé International Woodwinds and Brass Competition in the Advanced Category, College Students and Professionals.

    As a winner, she will be performing on May 31, 2023, at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

    More information about the competition here.

  • Nov 2, 2022Composition

    MSM composition alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras named a winner of Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music

    MSM composition alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras (MM ’12) was named a winner of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music.

    The Vilcek Prizes support immigrant professionals who have demonstrated exceptional achievements early in their careers and have made a positive impact in the U.S. Juan Pablo is the first Mexican-American to receive this award. Each winner receives a trophy and a $50,000 cash prize.

    In the past, the foundation has given prizes to musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Osvaldo Golijov.

    Learn more about the award here.
    Learn more about Juan Pablo here.

  • Nov 1, 2022Strings

    Violinist Peiwen Liao, MSM DMA student, releases first album Brushstrokes: The Intersection of Art and Music

    Peiwen Liao, a DMA student of Lucie Robert, earlier this year released her first album, Brushstrokes: The Intersection of Art and Music, a collaboration with Hollywood composer and MSM alumnus William Goldstein (BM ’65), on the Gold Music label. The album is based on instant composition with no rehearsals, created in real time. It has been receiving positive reviews, including one from Fanfare Magazine.Peiwen will be Artist-in Residence at the Arvo Pärt Centre in Tallinn, Estonia, in Spring 2023, in addition to performing Brahms Double Concerto with cellist and MSM alumna Jung-Hsuan Ko (BM ’13) at the National Concert Hall in Taiwan in Summer 2023.

    Purchase the album here.

  • Oct 27, 2022Piano

    Pianist and MSM faculty member Yefim Bronfman is featured in New York Philharmonic concerts Nov 2 to 5

    MSM faculty member and internationally renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman (HonDMA ’15) returns to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from November 2 to 5 to perform Mozart’s jubilant Piano Concerto No. 22.

    Also on the program, Music Director Jaap van Zweden leads the Orchestra in Anton Bruckner’s monumental Symphony No. 7.

    More about the concert here.

    More about Yefim Bronfman here.

  • Oct 26, 2022Musical Theatre

    The New York Times features playwright, novelist, and MSM alumnus Rupert Holmes

    The New York Times features the esteemed multi-award-winning playwright, novelist, and composer Rupert Holmes (’67, HonDMA ’21) – who studied at MSM in the 1960s – in the publication’s “At Home With” section. Mr. Holmes has written a soon-to-be-produced new play about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as well as a new novel.

    MSM Musical Theatre performed The Mystery of Edwin Drood, his musical adaptation of the unfinished Dickens novel, in an online production in February 2021. Mr. Holmes called the production, which took place roughly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a “triumph of innovation.”

    Read The New York Times article here.
    Read Rupert Holmes’ response to the MSM production of Edwin Drood here.

  • Oct 25, 2022Strings

    MSM Alumna Lumeng Yang wins a violin position with the National Center Orchestra of the Performing Arts in Beijing

    MSM alumna Lumeng Yang (BM ’20, MM ’22) recently won a violin position with the National Center Orchestra of the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.

    The NCPA is an arts centre known colloquially as “The Giant Egg,” which contains three performance spaces for opera, theatre, and music.

    NCPA website here.

  • Oct 24, 2022Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty member Phil Markowitz releases solo piano album

    Jazz pianist, composer, and MSM faculty member Phil Markowitz has released Solo Piano Live in Rome, a nearly 90-minute live recording of a concert held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome. The three-encore performance includes original compositions and re-imagined standards. The album is Mr. Markowitz’s first solo release in his long and storied career.

    Available at Amazon Music and iTunes. More about the album here.

  • Oct 23, 2022Musical Theatre

    Recent MSM Musical Theatre alumna Torinae (BM ’22) on tour with My Fair Lady through December

    Recent MSM Musical Theatre alumna Torinae (BM ’22) is part of the cast of the 2nd National Tour of Lincoln Center Theater‘s production of My Fair Lady. The critically acclaimed production is touring Missouri, Colorado, and Texas from October 28 to December 7.

    Torinae is in the ensemble, plays Clara Eynsford-Hill, and understudies the role of Eliza Doolittle.

    Learn more about the production here.
    Learn more about Torinae here.

  • Oct 22, 2022Strings

    Violinist and MSM alumna I-Jung Huang (PS ’20) earns a position with the New York Philharmonic

    Violinist and MSM alumnus I-Jung Huang (PS ’20), who studied at MSM with Lucie Robert, was recently appointed to the New York Philharmonic. Prior to joining the Phil, I-Jung had been a member of the first violin section of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra since 2020.

    Originally from Taiwan, Huang received First Prize at the 2017 Ima Hogg Concerto Competition and the 2016 Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition, and was a laureate of the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

    Learn more about the New York Philharmonic appointment here.

  • Oct 15, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM Dean of Vocal Arts Carleen Graham presents masterclasses at Brigham Young University

    In late October, Dean Graham will present two masterclasses at Brigham Young University and speak about the process of auditioning for graduate school programs in voice.

    Dean Graham has also been invited to present with Darren Woods at the plenary session for the National Opera Association Conference in Houston in January 2023.

  • Oct 12, 2022Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus and faculty member Malcolm J. Merriweather (DMA ’15) is named director of the New York Philharmonic Chorus

    Conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather (DMA ’15), an MSM alumnus and faculty member, has been appointed the first-ever director of the newly formed New York Philharmonic Chorus. The  ensemble will have its premiere performance during the David Geffen Hall opening galas beginning on October 26 at 7 PM in a concert that will feature some of opera and Broadway’s biggest stars, including Renée Fleming, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, and Vanessa Williams.

    Learn more about the appointment here.
    Learn more about Malcom here.

  • Oct 11, 2022Conducting

    MSM alumnus, conductor, pianist, and composer Kristjan Järvi is featured in respected Estonian World publication

    Estonian conductor, composer, pianist, and prolific recording artist Kristjan Järvi (BM ’95), who has more than 60 albums to his credit, is featured in Estonian World, the most popular English-language Estonian web magazine.

    The feature includes a video interview conducted by the Living the Classical Life videocast in which Järvi discusses his immersive experiential musical events that foster unity between audience and performers alike. He also speaks about his musical beginnings within the prominent Järvi dynasty, starting as a pianist while growing up in New York.

    Read the article here.

  • Oct 10, 2022Vocal Arts

    Morningside University honors MSM vocal arts faculty member Mark Schnaible with a lifetime achievement award

    Morningside University in Sioux City, Iowa, recently honored MSM vocal arts faculty member Mark Schnaible with the institution’s respected CODA Legacy Award for lifetime achievement in the field of the performing and visual arts.

    The internationally renowned bass-baritone and vocal technician has enjoyed a distinguished career in the classical music world for the past 35 years.

    The award is given to graduates of Morningside University who have demonstrated academic and performance excellence, unusually high leadership and service on a local, regional, and/or national level.

    More about Mark Schnaible here.

  • Sep 14, 2022Percussion

    MSM percussion student Leo Simon (MM ’23) wins a position with the Tulsa Symphony

    A current student in MSM’s Orchestral Performance Program, percussionist Leo Simon (MM ’23) has won a position with the Tulsa Symphony.

    Leo, who performs with the MSM Percussion Ensemble, intends to finish his studies at MSM while taking on his new performance duties. At MSM, Leo studies with Christopher Lamb, Principal Percussionist at the New York Philharmonic.


  • Sep 13, 2022Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty to play key roles in Town Hall series celebrating four women composers

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty members Damien Sneed and Theo Bleckmann are both featured in a groundbreaking series at New York City’s Town Hall celebrating four women composers who have shaped American culture over the decades.

    Theo Bleckmann is part of Meredith Monk‘s Vocal Ensemble on Saturday, October 15, for the New York premiere of Memory Game. On January 7, composer/producer/arranger Damien Sneed will be music director in a program celebrating the Grammy-winning Gospel singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, and evangelist Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark.

    Also being celebrated as part of this Town Hall series: legendary singer-songwriter Judy Collins and composer Laura Kaminsky.

    More information on the series here.


  • Sep 11, 2022Piano

    MSM doctoral student Yeontaek Oh wins first prize at the 2nd International Piano Festival Rio de Janeiro

    Yeontaek Oh, a South Korean doctoral student at MSM, placed first at the 2nd International Piano Festival Rio de Janeiro along with Xiaohui Yang from China on September 10. Yeontaek studies at MSM with Solomon Mikowsky.

    The event received 35 entries from 14 countries. The Rio de Janeiro International Piano Festival continues the BNDES International Piano Competition, which discovered and promoted talents from Brazil and abroad from 2009 to 2016.

    More about the festival with video of Yeontaek Oh here.

  • Sep 8, 2022Woodwinds

    MSM doctoral student Leo Sussman joins DePauw University

    Flutist Leo Sussman, a current doctoral student at MSM, joins the faculty at DePauw University as Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music and will lead the university flute studio. 

    A native of San Francisco, Leo recently completed a fellowship with Ensemble Connect and has performed with groups including Alarm Will Sound, SEM Ensemble, and Metropolis Ensemble. Leo is a member of the New York-based wind quintet ConnectFive as well as Bash the Trash, an environmental arts group. 

    Learn more here.

  • Sep 3, 2022Piano

    MSM alumnus and current doctoral student Juan Lazaro named a 2022 MET Opera Lindemann Young Artist

    Peruvian/Russian pianist and répétiteur Juan Lazaro (MM ’17), currently a doctoral student at MSM, has been accepted into the Metropolitan Opera‘s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

    The program was created in 1980 to identify and develop extraordinarily talented young artists in the realm of opera. It has trained a new generation of celebrated American and international opera singers, as well as coaches and pianists, who perform at the highest standards in productions at the Met and opera houses around the world.

    Learn more here.

  • Sep 1, 2022Contemporary Performance

    Recent MSM alumna Teagan Faran (MM ‘22) joins faculty of DePauw University

    MSM alumna Teagan Faran (MM ’22), who studied Contemporary Performance at MSM, joins the faculty at DePauw University as Assistant Professor of Violin. She leads the violin studio and is launching an electronics experimentation studio for the department. 

    A native of Buffalo, NY, Teagan Faran is a multidisciplinary musician focused on enacting social change through the arts. Faran has collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Palaver Strings, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Recent recording features include albums with Carlos Simon, La Martino Orquesta Típica, and loadbang. Also active in the world of tango music, she has performed with Victor Lavallén and the Orquesta Escuela de Emilio Balcarce, as well as at festivals across the United States. 

    Learn more here.

  • Aug 22, 2022Strings

    MSM faculty member and alumnus Shmuel Katz named Associate Principal Violist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

    MSM faculty member and alumnus Shmuel Katz has been named Associate Principal Violist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Shmuel had been for many years an associate member of the MET Orchestra for a decade before this step up.  He also serves as Principal Violist of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center and the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra.

    Shmuel is on the viola faculty and the orchestral performance program faculty at MSM. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MSM, where he studied violin and viola with Pinchas Zukerman, Michael Tree, and Patinka Kopec.

    Learn more about the appointment here.

  • Aug 17, 2022Piano

    Pianist and alumna Erica (Xiaoyan) Guo appointed joins Minnesota Opera as Resident Opera

    Pianist and MSM alumna Erica (Xiaoyan) Guo (BM ’15), a former student of Solomon Mikowsky at MSM, has been performing as music staff at the Santa Fe Opera this summer in Carmen and Tristan und Isolde. This fall, she joins the Minnesota Opera as a resident artist and principal pianist.

    The Chinese-born Ms. Guo has spent over a decade performing internationally as a solo pianist, collaborative pianist, and chamber musician. She has performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Nymphenburg Palace, and Temppeliaukion Kirkko and Musiikkitalo in Helsinki, Finland.

    Now a highly sought after collaborator in both opera and song, her repertoire includes Later the Same EveningLa finta giardinieraOwen Wingrave, Die Zauberflöte, Falstaff, Partenope, The Bartered Bride, Proving Up, Le nozze di Figaro, and La bohème, as well as an extensive catalog of song repertoire.

    Learn more about Erica here.

  • Aug 8, 2022Precollege

    Pianist and MSM Precollege faculty member Adam Kent releases critically acclaimed recording

    In his new recording out on Albany Records, MSM Precollege faculty member and pianist Adam Kent performs music for piano by 2021 Pulitzer Prize-winner Tania Léon, which she composed over a span of almost 50 years.

    On July 28, The New York Times featured the recording as its top pick in its choice of “Five Classical Albums You Can Listen to Right Now.”

    Adam Kent has performed in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Latin America. A winner of the American Pianists Association Fellowship and Simone Belsky Music Awards, Dr. Kent has also received top prizes in many prestigious competitions.

    Learn more about the CD here.
    Learn more about Adam Kent here.


  • Aug 1, 2022Percussion

    MSM alumnus Kevin Ritenauer appointed Associate Principal Timpanist/Section Percussionist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

    Kevin Ritenauer (BM ’16) has been appointed Associate Principal Timpanist/Section Percussionist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

    Kevin was a fellow at New World Symphony and has also performed as extra with the Cleveland Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra, among others. Mr. Ritenauer was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and Music Academy of the West.

  • Jul 20, 2022Strings

    MSM DMA student cellist Thomas Mesa wins a Sphinx Medal of Excellence

    Cuban-American MSM alumnus and current doctoral student Thomas Mesa (DMA ’17) is the First Prize-winner of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence given to three recipients by the Sphinx Organization.

    The medal recognizes extraordinary Black and Latinx classical musicians who demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.

    Thomas won the Sphinx Organization’s inaugural Robert Frederick Smith Prize in 2016, and was a winner of the Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions. He has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras that include the Cleveland Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

    Learn more here.

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