Success Stories

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

  • Apr 18, 2023Strings

    MSM faculty member Peter Winograd is concertmaster for The Discovery Orchestra concert airing on WNET’s all arts channel April 22

    MSM faculty member violinist Peter Winograd, a member of the American String Quartet, is the concertmaster for The Discovery Orchestra’s performance of Saint-Saëns “Organ” Symphony conducted and presented by George Marriner Maull, airing on April 22 at 11 AM on WNET’s (New York PSB affiliate) online All Arts channel.

    Recorded by this Emmy-nominated and Telly Award-winning symphony orchestra and its 91 musicians last October, the interactive, educational concert will also be distributed nationally by American Public Television (APT) on May 1 for broadcast on U.S. public television stations (check local listings).

    More info here.

  • Apr 4, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    The New World Symphony accepts MSM Orchestral Performance program current cello student and an alumnus

    The New World Symphony has accepted MSM cello student Shirley Kim (MM ’23) who is graduating this year from the Orchestral Performance (OP) program, and OP alumnus cellist Marcie Kolacki (MM ’21, PS ’22). The prestigious New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, is based in Miami and prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles.

    The New World Symphony consists of young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years.

    Learn more about the New World Symphony here.

  • Apr 3, 2023Piano

    MSM faculty members Jeffrey Cohen (piano) and Lucie Robert (violin) to perform at the Liszt Academy in Budapest

    On April 7, MSM piano faculty members Jeffrey Cohen (in center of photo) and MSM strings faculty member Lucie Robert (violin) will perform Brahms and Schubert in a chamber recital at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, along with Gábor Farkas (in photo on left).

    Admission is free.

    More information about the concert here.


  • Mar 24, 2023Strings

    MSM violin student Taihi Chen (MM ’23) named Concertmaster of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra

    Taihi Chen (MM ’23), second year master violin student at Manhattan School of Music in the class of Lucie Robert just won the position of Concertmaster of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra in Chengdu, China with principal conductor, Mo Darell Ang.

    Ms. Chen will also be performing in June of 2023 the Wieniawski D minor violin concerto with the Manila Symphony Orchestra in the Philippines under the baton of Mo Darell Ang.

  • Mar 5, 2023Strings

    MSM alumnus Tommy Mesa (DMA ’17) a recipient of the 2023 Sphinx Medal of Excellence

    On March 1, cellist and MSM alumnus Tommy Mesa (in photo on right) (DMA ’17) was honored along with soprano Aundi Marie Moore and composer Joel Thompson by the Sphinx Organization for their accomplishments which distinguish them from their peers in the field.

    The Sphinx Medal of Excellence is the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, and comes with a $50,000 career grant. The medal recognizes extraordinary Black and Latinx classical musicians. Recipients are artists who, early in their career demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.

    More about the Sphinx Organization 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 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 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Nov 12, 2021Strings

    MSM Strings faculty member Lucie Roberts featured in La Scena magazine

    Acclaimed violinist and MSM faculty member Lucie Roberts speaks about the benefits of teaching online in the feature article in the current issue of Canada’s respected La Scena magazine. Lucie has been a faculty member of MSM College and Precollege for more than 30 years.

    Read the article here.
    Learn more about Lucie here.

  • Nov 5, 2021Strings

    MSM student Risa Hokamura (BM ’23) awarded valuable instrument loan from the Nippon Music Foundation

    MSM violin student Risa Hokamura (BM ’23) who is studying at MSM with Lucie Robert has been selected by the prestigious Nippon Music Foundation to be the recipient of a 5-year loan of one of their valuable instruments.

    Nippon Music Foundation was established in 1974 with the objective to “enhance music culture” in Japan. In 1994, the Foundation started the “Instrument Loan Project” loaning the top quality stringed instruments acquired by the organization. It now owns 21 stringed instruments: 15 Stradivarius violins, 1 viola, 3 cellos and 2 Guarneri del Gesu violins, and maintains them for future generations, loaning them free of charge to internationally active musicians of all nationalities.

    Learn more here.

  • Nov 1, 2021Strings

    MSM alumnus violist Jesús Rodolfo (PS ’15) named New Artist of the Month by Musical America

    Musical America, the nation’s oldest publication of classical music news and features, has named violist Jesús Rodolfo (PS ’15) as New Artist of the Month for November 2021. About his new album Remembering Russia, Thomas May of Musical America writes:

    “His accounts of Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky offer fresh perspectives on well-known pieces. It’s not just a matter of a different sonic lens… but, even more, the sense of urgent confession Rodolfo distills through his passionate, emotionally invested musicianship.”

    Read the Musical America feature here.

    Learn more about Remembering Russia here.


  • Oct 18, 2021Strings

    Cellist and MSM alumna Esther Seitz (MM ’20) begins two-year appointment with the Minnesota Orchestra as a Rosemary and David Good Fellow

    The fellowship, founded in 2017, is designed to encourage greater diversity in the orchestral field by supporting the career development of outstanding young musicians of African American, Latin American, and Native American descent as they embark on professional orchestral careers.

    Esther has performed all over the United States and in Mexico as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician performing at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Riverwalk Center as a fellow with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts with the Kansas City Symphony, and the Teatro de la Reforma in Matamoros, Mexico. Esther is also a founding member of The Bowery Trio based in New York City.

    Read more about Esther here.

  • Aug 11, 2021Strings

    Incoming MSM student Sicelo Chris Njapha (MM ’24) featured in WorldVision Music Competition

    South African Sicelo Christopher Njapha was principal cellist of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO) and member of the University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra. He was the 2021 rising star performer in the Endler hall concert series.

    WorldVision contest winners are determined by public voting, with a first place prize of approximately $140,000.

    Chris will begin his studies for a Master of Music degree at MSM in September 2021. He will study with Marion Feldman.

    Chris began his formal music lessons at the age of 15, first with the violin for two years, then switching to the cello, taught by Nigel Fish at the Durban Music School in South Africa. Having made unusually fast progress, in Stellenbosch he participated in masterclasses with world renowned cellists David Cohen (2019), Alexander Buzlov (2018) and Norman Fischer (2017).

    See a video of Chris and vote for him here.

  • Aug 7, 2021Strings

    Sujari Britt (BM ’18) performs as soloist in return concert by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

    The first concert by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra of their Summermusik 2021 festival featured a cello solo by MSM alumnus Sujari Britt (BM ’18).

    In a review of the outdoor concert held August 6, the Cincinnati Business Courier describes her as an emerging cellist destined for an important career:

    “Sujari Britt, 20, made an impressive debut in Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” for cello and orchestra. A native of New York, she began cello at age 4, appearing on the radio show “From the Top” at age 10, ” writes critic Janelle Gelfand.

    “With mentors such as Marion Feldman at the Manhattan School of Music, the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, with whom she played at the White House in 2009, and her current teacher, Martti Rousi at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, she seems destined for an important musical career,” Janelle concludes.

    Read the full review here.

  • Aug 4, 2021Strings

    Alumni Yuan Tian (MM ’16) is appointed to the college faculty of the China Conservatory of Music

    Violinist Yuan Tin (MM ’16) received his second master’s degree from MSM studying with Lucie Robert. He will be one of 300 faculty members at The China Conservatory of Music, a prominent Chinese music conservatory that’s regarded as one of the leading institutions for the study of traditional Chinese music and musical instruments.

    Yuan Tian was the First Prize winner of the 2001 China National Young Artist Competition, recipient of the Special Prize in the 2010 Cuellar-Nathan Chamber Music Competition, winner of the 2014 Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, and Second Prize winner in the 2015 Eisenberg-Fried String Concerto Competition.

  • Jul 1, 2021Strings

    National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) names cellist John-Henry Crawford (AD ’20) as its 2021-2023 Young Artist in Strings

    The award, which is presented every other year, includes a $20,000 prize and two years of NFMC booking engagements with affiliate organizations. It’s open to instrumentalists between the ages of 18 and 30, and vocalists between the ages of 25 and 37.

    “I feel extremely grateful and honored to receive this award from such a long-standing and esteemed organization as the National Federation of Music Clubs,” Crawford said. “It will be revitalizing to bring music to concert halls throughout the country after a year as trying as this past one.”

    Crawford plays a 200-year-old European cello — that his grandfather smuggled out of Austria — and on the Tourte “L’Ainé” bow from 1790. His extramusical hobbies include reading about astrophysics, running, performing magic tricks, and photography.

    His most recent album, Dialogo was released on June 4.

    Watch a video of John-Henry Crawford performing here.

  • Jun 29, 2021Strings

    Daphna Sadeh-Neu (BM ’89, Classical Double Bass) releases EP “Magic of the Moment” on 33Jazz records

    Produced over an 18-month period, the EP is the first time the double bassist has added her voice to a recording, reciting poetry over a jazz-fusion score. Some verses she wrote herself, another is written by the 12th-century Persian poet Rumi, and others are written with a Trinidadian poet, Patricia Lashley-Charles. An Israeli jazz vocalist, Gani Tamir, sings on some of the choruses.

    Daphna Sadeh-Neu studied double bass at Manhattan School of Music with renowned classical bassist Homer Mensch, whose many students included MSM alumnus and faculty member, Ron Carter. She toured widely with the Israel-based East West Ensemble absorbing Arabic and Middle Eastern music. She also co-led the all-female Eve’s Women playing jazz, klezmer and rock.

    “My background is so mixed,” explains Sadeh-Neu,”Arabic music, Jewish music, contemporary music… I studied classical. It’s fusion music. I’m a fusion person.”

    Read more and watch a video from the album here.

  • Jun 18, 2021Jazz

    MSM students Teagan Faran (MM ’22) and Zoe Molelekwa (BM ’24) named OneBeat Fellows

    MSM student Tegan Faran, who studies contemporary violin at MSM as part of the Contemporary Performance Program, and Zoe Molelekwa, a jazz composer and pianist from South Africa who is a Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholar, are among 35 Fellows from around the world taking part in OneBeat from July to September 2021.

    OneBeat is a residency and tour program that brings early-career musicians together from around the globe to collaboratively write, produce and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based civic and social engagement. It is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, & produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation.

    Learn more here.

  • Apr 29, 2021Strings

    Interlochen Center for the Arts names MSM alumnus Enrique Márquez (MM ’04) Director of Music

    As Director of Music of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Enrique Márquez will lead music programming, pedagogy, and curricula at Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen Online, and Interlochen College of Creative Arts. Márquez begins his new role June 1.

    “I am eager to create impactful pathways and experiences for Interlochen students that will help them become our next generation of creative change makers,” says Enrique, a seasoned violist.

    Márquez joins Interlochen from the Harvard Department of Music, where he oversaw Music Department concerts and events and served as the administrator of the Fromm Music Foundation. Márquez has collaborated actively with music institutions including Tanglewood, the American Composers Orchestra, the American Academy in Rome, and Sony Classical.

    Learn more about the appointment here.

  • Mar 24, 2021Strings

    Judith Insell appointed to Executive Director of Bronx Arts Ensemble

    Bronx Arts Ensemble announced the appointment of MSM alumna Judith Insell (BM ’92, MM ’93, Classical Viola) to Executive Director today in a press release.

    Judith has previously served as BAE’s Artistic Director and Director of Curriculum and Artist Development.

    “It is my honor to assume the leadership of an organization that was founded nearly 50 years ago through the grit and passion that William “Bill” Scribner had for supporting the arts and culture of the Bronx through music performances and arts education. As a musician born and raised in the Bronx, I am thrilled to be leading BAE’s charge into the future, further lifting up performing arts and arts education in the communities of the Bronx, greater New York City, and worldwide,” says Insell.

  • Feb 12, 2021Strings

    MSM Faculty member and alumna Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) is a featured artist on WQXR’s new Artist Propulsion Lab

    Kelly Hall Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17)  is one of six artists, hand-selected by the WQXR team, who are receiving an honorarium of $15,000 and a budget of up to $5,000 to engage collaborators and commission works. The artists will be able to take advantage of WQXR’s various outlets to reach audiences, too, via Greene Space performances, on-air curation opportunities, and much, much more.

    “I am really excited for their support in bringing some of my projects to life, particularly in such challenging times,” says Kelly.

    Learn more here.

  • Jan 22, 2021Strings

    Biden economic advisor and MSM alum featured on The Argument episode

    Alumnus Jared Bernstein (BM ’78, Classical Double Bass) is a special guest on this week’s episode of The New York Times’s podcast, “The Argument”.

    As a member of Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisors, Bernstein talks about the economy and his ideas. Around the 46 minute mark, he mentions his time at Manhattan School of Music and recommends one of his favorite Bach concertos.

    You can listen to the full episode here.

  • Dec 2, 2020Strings

    Alumnus Jared Bernstein Named to Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers

    AP reports that President-Elect Joe Biden has tapped Manhattan School of Music alumnus Jared Bernstein, who studied double bass at MSM and earned his Bachelor of Music from the School in 1978, for a role on his Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). Learn more about Bernstein’s appointment here.

    To read an exclusive MSM Q&A with Mr. Bernstein from May 2018, please visit this Alumni Spotlight page.

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