Success Stories

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

  • Mar 19, 2020Precollege
    Alumni

    Charlie Puth performs in #TogetherAtHome series to promote social distancing

    MSM Precollege alumnus Charlie Puth performed a concert live on Instagram as part of Global Citizen and World Health Organization’s #TogetherAtHome series. You can watch the mini-concert on his Charlie’s Instagram profile.

    “Together, At Home” was designed to promote unity amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing protocols. Previous performers include John Legend and Chris Martin of Coldplay. Learn more about the series and future performers here.

  • Mar 9, 2020Precollege
    Alumni

    Dianne Flagello receives Music Educator Award

    Former Precollege Director and Alumni Advisory Council Member Director Dianne Flagello (BM ’52, MM ’52, HonDMA ’99) received the Distinguished Music Educator Award from JCC Thurnauer School of Music last month at their 30th Gift of Music Gala Benefit Concert. Read more about the event here.

    During her time as a student at Manhattan School of Music, Dianne studied Percussion and Music Education. She returned to her alma mater in 1974 as director of MSM Precollege, known then as MSM’s Preparatory Division, until 1999. Dianne is currently an active member of the Alumni Advisory Council.

  • Mar 2, 2020College
    Alumni

    MSM Students and Alumni receive 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award

    Four MSM students and alumni were recently named recipients of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award.

    Angelo Di Loreto (MM ’13, Jazz Piano)
    Eliana Fishbeyn (MM ’21, Jazz Composition)
    Rin Seo (MM ’20, Jazz Composition)
    Matthew Whitaker (Precollege alum)

    The program was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30. It carries the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to the program. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 17 to 29 and are selected through a juried national competition. For more information, visit their website.

  • Feb 24, 2020Jazz
    Alumni

    Precollege alum Matthew Whitaker featured on 60 Minutes

    Former precollege student Matthew Whitaker was inteviewed on CBS’s 60 Minutes during February 23rd’s feature segment. Matthew is a jazz pianist who is blind, and since the age of 11, has been performing around the world. Called a prodigy with extraordinary talent, he has caught the attention of scientists who are now studying his brain and trying to understand his vision of music.

    For Matthew’s full story, visit CBS’s website for the segment and article.

  • Feb 19, 2020Precollege
    Students

    Precollege student Giorgio Poma wins LaGuardia Concerto competition

    Precollege cellist and student of Marion Feldman Giorgio Poma recently won the LaGuardia High School Performing Arts Concerto competition. He will play as a soloist with LaGuardia Symphony Orchestra on April 3, 2020.

    For information regarding the concert, visit LaGuardia High School’s website.

  • Feb 18, 2020Education
    Students

    Several Precollege students of Jeanai La Vita to receive high honors

    On February 9th, 2020, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held their prestigious competition for young vocal artists in which several MSM Precollege voice students of Jeanai La Vita placed. The honors and students are listed below:

    Kate Vandermel 1st place Upper High School Classical
    Bonita Pan 2nd place Upper High School Classical
    Meghna Das 1st place Upper High School Musical Theatre
    Henry Hsiao 2nd place Lower High School Classical
    Karly Chan 3rd place Lower High School Classical
    Stephanie Lopez 2nd place Lower High School Musical Theatre
    Franziska Diefenbach 1st place Youth
    Amy Wang 1st place Lower College Classical

    The NATS Artist Awards competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career and, to that end, substantial monetary and performance prizes are offered. For more information regarding the competition, visit their website.

  • Feb 18, 2020Piano
    Students

    Eleven-year-old Cary Wang featured in Daily Voice Plus

    Cary Wang, Precollege piano student of Jeffrey Cohen, made his piano debut at the age of six with Claude Debussy’s Le Petit Nègre at Carnegie Hall in December 2015 and it has only gone up from here—having won first prize in national and international piano competitions. And in December 2018, he won a competitive Manhattan School of Music Annual Concerto Competition — the youngest performer in the 10-to-13-year-old age group — with his performance of Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467, 3rd Movement.

    The young pianist was featured in Daily Voice Plus given his astounding accomplishments; the full article can be found here.

  • Jan 17, 2020Precollege
    Alumni

    Precollege alumnus appointed as concertmaster of ISO

    Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Kevin Lin, Precollege alumnus and student of Patinka Kopec, this week.

    Kevin currently serves as Co-Leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and has previously been a Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh, Houston and Cincinnati Symphonies.

    “I’m extremely excited and honored to join the Indianapolis Symphony … it’s been a pleasure getting to know the musicians and the community of the ISO … I look forward to many memorable years of music making,” Lin said.

    Read the full release on The Violin Channel.

  • Jan 14, 2020Precollege
    Students

    Precollege student wins first prize at Golden Classical

    Connor Tsui, Precollege cello student of Ole Akahoshi, has won first prize at the Golden Classical Music Competition. As a prize winner, Connor will play at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on March 10th at 8 p.m. You can learn more about the concert and purchase tickets here.

    Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition is open to all nationalities and ages in strings, piano, wind and vocal each discipline is divided into different age categories. Their purpose is to discover artists of outstanding personality and provide awards which can help to launch international careers.

  • Dec 30, 2019Precollege
    Alumni

    Charlie Puth performs on Sesame Street

    Precollege alumnus and Grammy-nominated musician Charlie Puth performed on the PBS staple, Sesame Street, earlier this month. In the video segment (available to watch here), Charlie teaches muppets Grover, Elmo, Abby, and Cookie Monster how to sing aloud as they perform a classic song from the show.

    A pop musician who advanced from YouTube likes to RIAA certifications, Charlie Puth has regularly achieved multi-platinum status on his own and with high profile collaborators. He released his debut album Nine Track Mind in 2016 and his second full length album Voicenotes in 2018.

  • Dec 10, 2019Precollege
    Students

    14 Precollege students and alumni selected as 2020 YoungArts winners

    YoungArts award winners—686 of the nation’s most accomplished young artists from 40 states in the visual, literary and performing arts—gain access to one of the most prestigious programs for emerging artists in the United States in which they will have opportunities for creative and professional development throughout their entire careers. View the full list of winners here.

    Congratulations to the following MSM Precollege students and alumni selected as 2020 YoungArts winners:

    Jason Arkins+, jazz baritone saxophone – finalist
    Jason Arkins+, jazz alto saxophone – honorable mention
    Oliver D’Avolio, jazz piano – honorable mention
    Meghna Das, voice – merit
    Yuki Kanazawa+, violin – merit
    Anton Kot, jazz percussion – merit
    Joanne Lau+, flute – merit
    Cooper Malanowski, jazz trombone – merit
    Ian Maloney, cello – merit
    Satchel Peterson, jazz guitar – merit
    Vittorio Stropoli*, jazz piano – honorable mention
    Jack Towse, jazz trumpet – merit
    Alexandra Woroniecka+, violin – merit
    Chelsea Xia+, violin – honorable mention
    Isaac Yi, jazz tenor saxophone – merit

    (* indicates Precollege alumnus and current MSM college student, + indicates Precollege alumni)

  • Oct 17, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege student performs with Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra

    Cedar-Rose Newman, a 15-year-old Precollege violin student of Lucie Robert, performed Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, Op 21 with in New South Wales, Australia last month.

    Ann Carr-Boyd, a composer and patron of the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra, shares this of Cedar-Rose’s performance: “Her performance at these two concerts was outstanding and a tremendous achievement for any violinist, let alone a violinist who is still only fifteen years old.”

  • Oct 10, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege will participate in Luna Lab for second year

    Last year, a Precollege chamber music group had the opportunity to work with Luna Composition Lab and MSM Precollege will continue to collaborate with Luna Lab for their 2019-2020 season.

    Luna Composition Lab addresses the gender gap in the field of classical music by inspiring young self-identifying female, nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals to compose. Founded in 2016 by 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid – the first composer to have been commissioned by Los Angeles’ four major classical music institutions – and 2019 Grammy nominee Missy Mazzoli – one of the first two women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera – with NYC’s Kaufman Music Center, Luna Lab provides mentorship and performance opportunities to girls and young women from eighth grade through college freshmen.

    The culminating performance will be on April 29, 2020 at Merkin Hall.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Oct 4, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege chamber group performs on From the Top

    The music group, “Kalico Quartet”, performs on Show 376 of the weekly NPR broadcast which will be released November 4, 2019 here.

    Kalico Quartet is comprised of three current MSM Precollege students and one graduate — Cheng Io Lo, violin (’19); Lena-Marie Stoger, violin; Kevin Wallace, viola; and Andrew Wallace, cello. Last season, Kalico Quartet won the 2018-2019 Precollege Chamber Music Competition.

  • Sep 1, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege students attend prestigious Vail Jazz Workshop

    Precollege students Natalie Barbieri and Anton Kot are attending the Vail Jazz Workshop and featured in this article, where they talk about the start of their careers and their experiences in the week-long intensive for the nation’s top teen musicians. The Vail Jazz Workshop focuses on ear-learning and improvisation, culminating in the Annual Vail Jazz Party alongside their workshop mentors. Precollege alumnus and current college student Vittorio Stropoli (BM ’23) was also in attendance at the workshop.

  • Aug 30, 2019Collaborative Piano
    Alumni

    Alumni join Steinway Artist Roster

    Alumna Myra Huang (MM ’01, Accompanying) and Precollege alumna Chloe Flower were recently added to Steinway & Sons’ prestigious Artist Roster. For decades, Steinway & Sons has cultivated special relationships with pianists from every genre. From Lang Lang to Diana Krall to Billy Joel to such legends as Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein.

    Learn more about Chloe (left) and Myra (right) on their Steinway Artist pages.

    Myra Huang Artist Page

    Chloe Flower Artist Page

  • Jul 14, 2019Precollege
    Alumni

    Three Precollege alumni to participate in Cooper Competition

    Former Precollege students Abigail Nishiwaki (left), Alexandra Woroniecka (center), and Sarah Ma (right) are finalists in the 10th annual Cooper International Competition taking place later this month at Oberlin Conservatory. The annual event brings together young violinists from eight countries and seven states to compete for $40k in cash prizes.

    All rounds of the competition will be streamed here beginning Saturday, July 20. Read the press release for more information.

  • Jun 19, 2019Precollege
    Faculty

    Krzysztof Kuznik named concertmaster of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra

    The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra hosted six candidates for the position during the 2018/19 season, and has selected Precollege faculty member Krzysztof Kuznik as Concertmaster. The violinist is a former student of Glenn Dicterow, Chair of the Orchestral Performance program at MSM, and has been a member of the Precollege Faculty since 2003.

  • Jun 8, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege student wins first place at Prima Volta Competition

    Pianist Jerry Wang, a student of Precollege faculty member Carmel Lowenthal, was awarded the highest honor of the Prima Volta Music Competition as the sole Grand Prize winner. He performed in a winner’s recital last week at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

    Learn more about the Prima Volta Music Competition here.

  • Jun 5, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege Orchestra featured on WQXR

    Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Philharmonic Orchestra is featured in the latest episode of classical radio station WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase. The episode shares a November 10, 2018 performance of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 Scottish by the orchestra and conductor Nathan Hetherington.

    You can listen to the episode here.

  • Jun 2, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Benjamin Rossen advances to Cliburn Piano Competition quarterfinals

    Precollege student Benjamin Rossen joins 13 other top junior-level pianists in the quarterfinal round of the prestigious Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition.

    Out of over 230 applicants, only 24 pianists were selected to compete in the preliminary round for a chance to win prizes, scholarships, and mentorship opportunities.

    A student of Precollege faculty member Jeffrey Cohen for five years, Benjamin has already won numerous prizes in contests held by Steinway & Sons and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

    Watch his incredible performance from the Preliminary round here.

  • May 23, 2019Precollege
    Alumni

    Precollege alumnus wins 2019 Stulberg Competition

    Violinist Daniel Rafimayeri, a graduate of MSM’s Precollege Program, was awarded the Burdick-Thorne Gold Medal, Bach Prize at the prestigious competition. Precollege alumnus Ari Boutris (student of Patinka Kopec) and current student Chelsea Xia (student of Elizabeth Faidley) also competed in the semifinal round.

    The 44th Stulberg International String Competition took place May 18, 2019 at Western Michigan University and was judged by Paul ColettiEmilio Colón, and Jennifer Frautschi.

    You can watch live performances from the competition here.

  • May 14, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Benjamin Rossen to compete in International Piano Competition

    MSM Precollege piano student Benjamin Rossen will compete in The Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition, chaired by Laura Bush, beginning May 31 in Dallas, Texas. The 2019 Cliburn Junior competitors hail from all over the world, representing 11 countries: the United States (7), China (5), Japan (4), Canada (3), Hong Kong (2), Armenia, Australia, Austria, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

    The young musician has been a student of Precollege faculty member Jeffrey Cohen for five years, and has already won numerous prizes in contests held by Steinway & Sons and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

    More information about the competition here.

  • May 6, 2019Precollege
    Alumni

    Precollege alumni win at The American Prize competition

    A group of five Precollege students, who graduated in May 2018, won the high school division of The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance for 2018-2019. The ensemble included Jane Bua, piano; Coco Mi, violin; Ari Boutris, violin; Daniel Rafimayeri, viola; and Alexander Rohatyn, cello; and was coached by Precollege faculty member Emirhan Tunca. Winners of Manhattan School of Music’s 2018 Chamber Music Competition, the members have enjoyed featured appearances with The Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, National Public Radio’s “From the Top”, Aspen Music Festival, Decoda, Heifetz Music Festival, The New York Concerti Sinfonietta, New York Youth Symphony and The York Symphony Orchestra, among others.

    Additionally, MSM alumna Mary Mackenzie was named a Finalist Honorable Mention in the professional division for the Mackenzie-Williams Duo. A passionate performer of contemporary vocal music, soprano Mary Mackenzie works closely with composers to develop and premiere new works for voice.

    Read the full press release here.

  • May 2, 2019Precollege
    Students

    MSM Precollege students join forces with Juilliard and Mannes Precollege

    For the first time, NYC’s major Precollege music programs will perform together for a single concert on Wednesday, May 8 at 7 PM in Merkin Hall. The performance features some of the city’s finest young musicians from top conservatories — Manhattan School of Music Precollege, Juilliard Precollege, and Mannes Prep at The New School’s Open Campus.

    MSM Precollege students Abigail Nishiwaki, Violin; Jack Shigeta, Violin; Wednesday Hsu, Viola; and Francis Fedora, Cello; will be lead by  Surai Balbeisi (Precollege faculty) in the premiere of Somatic, a piece written by budding composer Charlie Meenaghan.

    More information about this event here.

  • May 1, 2019Jazz
    Alumni

    Alumnus Emmet Cohen named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month

    Cohen is a graduate of both MSM’s Precollege and Graduate programs, earning his Master of Music in jazz piano in 2014. In April of this year, he won the prestigious American Pianists Association (APA) Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz, a prize valued at $100,000.

    Read the full feature by Musical America here.

  • Apr 18, 2019Precollege
    Alumni

    Precollege alumnus wins national music award

    Nico Wohl, a jazz guitarist and graduate of Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege program, has been named a 2019 YoungArts finalist. The National YoungArts Foundation selects just six jazz musicians from a pool of over 500 talented applicants.

    Read more of Nico’s story in this article from the Berkshire Edge.

  • Apr 4, 2019Precollege
    Alumni

    Precollege alumnus wins ASCAP Foundation jazz composition award

    Matthew Whitaker, a graduate of MSM’s Precollege division, has been selected as one of the winners of the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards for his original composition, Emotions. Whitaker is currently touring throughout the US and Europe, and recently performed during WBGO‘s 40th Anniversary Concert.

    View his upcoming tour dates here.

  • Apr 4, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Precollege trumpet student Accepted to 2019 NYO Jazz

    Jack Towse, jazz trumpet student of Nadje Noordhuis, and classical trumpet student of Jonathan Heim, has been accepted as one of the youngest members of the 2019 NYO Jazz.

    NYO Jazz gives outstanding young jazz musicians from across the country the opportunity to perform as cultural ambassadors on an international stage, sharing a uniquely American musical genre with cultures around the world through an international tour. NYO Jazz 2019 will be led by trumpeter Sean Jones for performances in Asia this summer.

  • Mar 19, 2019Precollege
    Students

    Three Precollege Students of Solomon Mikowsky Awarded Prizes

    The piano faculty member’s precollege students were recently awarded prizes in the Piano Teachers Congress of New York Honors Program:

    Xiaomin Ou – Third Prize – Beverly Shea Award in Group IV for the 2019 PTC Honors Program
    Sara Chough – Second Prize – Pauline Styler Award in Group IV for the 2019 PTC Honors Program
    Zoe Pian-Chowdhury – Second Prize – Pauline Styler Award in Group III for the 2019 PTC Honors Program

    All three will participate in the Winners Recital on March 24, 2019 at 1 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall. Learn more about the Piano Teachers Congress of New York Honors Program here.