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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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