Success Stories

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

  • Apr 1, 2022Guitar

    MSM alumnus and classical guitarist Rupert Boyd (MM ’06) is Musical America Artist of the Month

    Congratulations to classical guitarist and MSM alumnus Rupert Boyd (MM ’06) who is featured as the April 2022 Artist of the Month in the prestigious magazine Musical America.

    Later this month, the Australian-born, 40-year-old guitarist is relaunching his respected concert series GatherNYC which will run from April 24 to June 26 at Manhattan’s Museum of Arts and Design, featuring artists such as ETHEL, South Korean guitarist Jiji, and musicians from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

    Read the Musical America article here.
    Learn more about Rupert Boyd here.
    Find out about GatherNYC here.

  • Jan 11, 2022Guitar

    92nd St Y to feature MSM Alumni Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ’00), Dawn Upshaw (MM ’85, HonDMA ’98), and Pablo Sainz-Villegas (PS ’06, AD ’07)

    Kirill Gerstein, along with fellow pianist Garrick Ohlsson, will play two-piano show pieces by Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Thomas Adès on Friday, February 25th at 7:30 pm. 

    Pablo Sainz-Villegas will perform “The Soul of the Spanish Guitar” a recital that will feature works by Albéniz, Granados, Rodrigo and others on Saturday, April 2nd at 8 pm.

    Along with the Brentano String Quartet, Dawn Upshaw will present An exploration of the mythological Dido –  music by Purcell, Dowland and others; NY premiere of Melinda Wagner’s Dido Reimagined on Sunday, April 3rd at 3 pm.

  • Oct 8, 2021Guitar

    MSM alums Isabel Leonard (PC ’98) and guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas (PD ’04, PS ’06, AD ’07) featured on PBS’s Great Performances at the Met

    Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (PC ’98) and guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas (PD ’04, PS ’06, AD ’07) were featured on PBS’s Great Performances at the Met on October 8 in an encore broadcast of “Three Divas in Concert” along with sopranos Nadine Sierra and Ailyn Pérez. The concert was filmed this past May at the Royal Opera of Versailles.

    The trio of singers performed a program of classic arias and popular Spanish songs, accompanied by pianist Vlad Iftinca and Pablo Sáinz Villegas who was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award by MSM in 2015.

    Learn more here.

  • Jun 24, 2021Guitar

    MSM Guitar Department Chair David Leisner to perform in New York Guitar Festival tribute to virtuoso Julian Bream

    The 2021 New York Guitar Festival (NYGF) will pay tribute to the iconic classical guitarist Julian Bream with an online series of concerts entitled “Remembering Julian Bream” from July 14 to 20.

    Music include commissions by a group of stellar classical guitarists, lutenists and composers in honor of the late Grammy Award-winning concert artist.

    MSM Guitar Department Chair David Leisner will perform on July 15 at 4 PM EDT.

    Julian Bream is regarded as one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century, playing a significant role in improving the public perception of the classical guitar as a respectable instrument.

    Three video performances will broadcast each day of the festival at 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm EDT on the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel found here.

    Read more about the festival here.

  • Apr 8, 2021Guitar

    Video release of MSM alumnus guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas (PD ’04; PS ’06; AD ’07) solo debut with Berlin Philharmonic

    MSM alumnus Pablo Sáinz Villegas appeared as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic in the orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall in late December 2020.

    The video of him performing Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo, under the baton of the Berlin Philharmonic conductor Kirill Petrenko, can be seen here.

    Visit this page to learn more about Pablo.

  • Jul 22, 2019Guitar

    Guitar faculty member and first-time librettist to premiere new opera work

    Renowned guitarist David Starobin and his wife Becky wrote the libretto for composer Poul Ruders’ new opera, The Thirteenth Child. The opera, based on a lesser-known Brothers Grimm fairytale, will premiere at Santa Fe Opera July 27 and run though August 21.

    The New York Times sat down with Ruders and the Starobins to discuss how their “lighter, lyrical” opera came to be—read the article here.

    In addition to being a teacher at MSM and Grammy-nominated guitarist, David Starobin is also a classical recordings producer and co-founded the recording firm Bridge Records with his wife Becky.

  • Nov 2, 2018Guitar

    Guitarist, author, and educator Jake Hertzog (MM ’16) relesases 7th studio album “Stringscapes: A Portrait if the World in Nylon and Steel” featuring Yishai Fisher (MM ’16)

    The newest project from critically-acclaimed guitarist Jake Hertzog, is a unique fusion of the classical and the jazz world.

    Read more and listen

  • Oct 15, 2018Guitar

    Book release by David Leisner, MSM Guitar Department Chair and renowned classical guitarist

    Playing with Ease (Oxford University Press) is a book about ergonomic technique for the guitar, and other instruments. Leisner introduces the basic anatomy of movement, gives advice on relieving unnecessary tension, pioneering ideas about engaging large muscles, and tips for practicing and concert preparation.

    Learn more here

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