Success Stories

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

  • Mar 30, 2024Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Jancis Xu wins first prize at the Musical Life Competiion

    Pianist Jancis Xu, who studies in the MSM Precollege Division program at MSM with Irina Edelman, won first prize at Musical Life Competition held by the Musical Life Foundation.

    Jancis started playing piano since she was 5 years old.  She has won many music competitions including the Grand Prix of Young Maestro International Music Competition 2022, First Prize in the William Knabe International Piano Competition in 2022, Second Prize in 2022 in the XIII Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, CT, and first place winner of the 2022 American Music Talent Competition and won first place in the Crescendo International Competition in 2021,

    The Musical Life Competition and Composers in Residence supports meaningful talent development opportunities for up-and-coming musicians and composers, to provide visibility and a platform for musical and artistic growth.  It features young musicians under 18 years of age in piano, violin, viola and cello in solo or small ensembles.

    The winners will be performing at Carnegie Hall on April 30th. Information about that concert can be found here.

    More information about the Musical Life Competition here.

  • Feb 15, 2024Precollege

    MSM Precollege faculty member and MSM alumna Kariné Poghosyan performs in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall

    MSM Precollege faculty member Kariné Poghosyan (MM ’05, DMA ’07) performed to a full house at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on February 14.

    The centerpiece of the program was the centennial celebration of the world premiere of George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue which debuted on February 12, 1924. The concert was presented by the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations.

    “We were happy to have partnered, once again this year, with our distinguished artist, the New York-based Armenian-American pianist Kariné Poghosyan, to bring together dear friends and colleagues,” said His Excellency Ambassador Mher Margaryan during pre-concert remarks before the group of Permanent Representatives of the U.N. member states.

    The Armenian Weekly is calling the performance “magnificent… (she has) impeccable phrasing, breathtaking vulnerability and power.”

    The cultural advisor of the Embassy of Armenia to the U.S., Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian said “Kariné Poghosyan is one of those virtuoso spectacular pianists with extraordinary stamina and musical skills as well as jaw-dropping performances. It’s a musical reverie to attend Ms. Poghosyan’s performances.”

    Read the review in The Armenian Weekly here.

  • Feb 8, 2024Precollege

    MSM Precollege student wins top award at the Canadian International Music Competition (CIMC)

    Stanley Hyun studies at MSM Precollege with Kayoung An. Stanley has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Zankel Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.

    At the Canadian International Music Competition, he earned the highest score as an Absolute Platinum Medalist (scores of 99% to 98%) in the Young Artist (age 12-19) category.

    Stanley has also earned first prize at Elite Music Competition, Crescendo International Music Competition and Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition.

    The CIMC is an online international music competition in classical, jazz, pop, and contemporary music categories.

    Learn more about the competition here.
    Watch Stanley’s competition entry here.




  • Feb 1, 2024Precollege

    MSM Precollege faculty member and MSM alumna Kariné Poghosyan headlines at Carnegie Hall on Feb 14

    Pianist, Precollege faculty member, and MSM alumna Kariné Poghosyan (MM ’05, DMA ’07) will perform a concert in honor of the 100th anniversary of the premiere of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on February 14 at 8 PM at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Presented by The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, the concert will also feature works by Alberto Ginastera, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Tania León, and Arno Babajanian.

    Rhapsody in Blue is to me one of those iconic works that speaks to absolutely everyone,” says Poghosyan. “It is a stellar example of what Gershwin was aiming for with his compositions – erasing boundaries between different genres and styles of music. Therefore, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its premiere, I have created a program that highlights that magical combination of classical, jazz and Latin elements, alongside works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Alberto Ginastera and Tania Leon, with a bit of my Armenian roots sprinkled in through virtuosic selections by Arno Babajanian.”

    Learn more about the concert and purchase tickets here.

  • Jan 17, 2024Precollege

    MSM Precollege student pianist William Lauricella headlines with the Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra on Jan 21

    MSM Precollege student William Lauricella is making his professional debut performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor with the Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra (SSSO) at the historic Proctors Theatre on January 21.

    William is a senior at the Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York, just south of Albany. He performed the work with the Empire State Youth Orchestra’s (ESYO) concert in October.  He won the ESYO’s 2023 Lois Lyman Concerto Competition and the SSSO’s 2018 Parillo Piano Competition.

    At MSM, where William studies with Inesa Sinkevych, he won a recent Precollege Concerto Competition.

    Learn more about William here.

  • Jan 16, 2024Precollege

    MSM Precollege alumnus Charlie Puth performs at the Emmy Awards during the In Memoriam segment

    On the Emmy Awards broadcast on January 15 during the In Memoriam segment, singer, pianist and composer Charlie Puth (PC ’10) performed his hit song See You Again, and closed with a moving rendition of the theme song from the TV program Friends in honor of one of its actors, the late Matthew Perry, bringing tears to the eyes of many in the audience.

    Charlie Puth was asked to perform on the broadcast after producers saw a viral video of him performing the songs during a concert in Melbourne, Australia shortly after Matthew Perry’s death.

    Watch a news report about his Emmys performance here.

  • Jun 29, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Lauren A. Marchand wins Best Actress at the Jimmy Awards

    Lauren A. MarchandPrecollege student of Giuseppe Spoletini won “Best Performance by an Actress”at the 2023 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards.  She received a $25,000 scholarship.

    The Jimmy Awards are the highest honor forHigh School musical theater students in the United States. 

    In photo: Lauren Marchand (on right) poses with Best Actor Langston Lee (on left), and Jimmy Awards host Corbin Bleu (in middle). Photo by Tricia Baron.

  • Apr 27, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Maggie Miao is a featured performer at a concert with the New York Chamber Players Orchestra

    Maggie Miao, Precollege piano student of Golda Tatz performed on April 27 with the New York Chamber Players Orchestra, as a winner of their annual competition.

    The concert featured four young performers aged 10 to 16 and took place at the The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, located at 450 West 37th Street: Orchestra of St. Luke’s first permanent home and New York City’s first space dedicated to classical music rehearsal, recording, and education.

    The New York Chamber Players is one of New York City’s finest chamber orchestra.

    Information about the competition here.

  • Apr 26, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Madison Lee wins first prize with the 2023 Bravura Young Artists Concerto Competition

    Madison Lee, a 14-year-old Precollege violin student of Lucie Robert has been awarded first place as the Gold Winner of the 2023 Bravura Young Artists Concerto Competition. Madison performed  Violin Concerto No.5, Opus 37, movement 1 (Henri Vieuxtemps) in the competition.

    Madison will be performing her winning piece with the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra (in photo above) on June 4th, 2023 at the Princeton Alliance Church in Plainsboro, NJ.

    More information here.

  • Apr 7, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege faculty member Judith Insell was awarded an advocacy award of “Jazz Hero” from the Jazz Journalist Association

    MSM Precollege faculty member Judith Insell has been awarded an advocacy award of “Jazz Hero” from the Jazz Journalist Association, the jazz industry’s most respected association. She earned this honor for her work leading the Bronx Arts Ensemble. Judith has been executive director of the Bronx Arts Ensemble since March 2021, and was formerly its artistic director.

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 28, 2023Precollege

    Two Precollege students to perform with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra

    Yuqing Li, a violin Precollege student at MSM of Lucie Robert, and Meagan Lee, a Precollege piano student of Jeffrey Cohen, have been chosen to perform on April 18 in the Young People’s Concert Series of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Stuart Malina (shown in photo conducting the GSO Orchestra).Yuqing will perform the first movement of Lalo Symphony Espagnole, and Meagan the second movement of Saint-Saëns Concerto no 2.

    Learn more about the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra here.

  • Mar 25, 2023Precollege

    Two MSM Precollege students of Carmel Lowenthal win national and international competitions

    Christopher Ramos, 14, a student of Carmel Lowenthal at MSM, was awarded second prize in his age group for the Honors Competition offered by Piano Teacher’s Congress. He received a cash prize and will perform the Mendelssohn Opus 14 at the Winner’s Recital at Weil Recital Hall on Monday, March 27, 2023. Information about the award here.

    Claire Chang, 16, also a student of Carmel Lowenthal, was a winner in her age group of the virtual division of the Young Maestro International Competition. Her recording of Chopin Ballade No. 2 will be presented in the virtual winner’s concert on March 25. Information on the competition here.

  • Mar 22, 2023Precollege

    Former MSM Precollege student pianist Chloe Flower is featured in the New York Times

    The New York Times featured former MSM Precollege student pianist Chloe Flower this month in an article entitled “A Pianist Who Changes Key From Liberace to Cardi B.”

    “Chloe Flower has performed at the Grammys, and went viral during the Golden Globes. Naturally, a Christmas album is on the way,” writes Alex Vadulkul. The article mentions that Chloe got her first “big break” after studying at Manhattan School of Music.

    Read NYTimes article here.

  • Feb 8, 2023Precollege

    MSM Precollege student Zachary Guo featured pianist in MSM Precollege Symphony performance Feb 11

    MSM Precollege student Zachary Guo will perform the first movement of the piano concerto No. 5 by Camille Saint-Saëns with the Precollege Symphony Orchestra on February 11 at MSM. He is playing this solo after winning in the 2021 MSM Symphony concerto competition.

    Zachary is also the winner of the 2022 MTNA (The Music Teachers National Association) New York State Competition in October 2022,  and the recipient of “The Most Creative Programming Award” at the 2022 7th Annual Claudette Sorel Piano Competition (November 2022).

    Zachary studies piano at MSM with Jiayin Li. He also studies conducting.

    Watch the livestream of the Feb 11 concert 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.

  • 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.


  • Feb 20, 2022Precollege

    Precollege Faculty member Sondra Tammam (BM ’73) receives the Steinway & Sons 2022 Top Teacher Award.

    Recognized internationally as a pianist and pedagogue, MSM alumnus and Precollege faculty member Sondra Tammam (BM ’73) has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and presented master classes, lectures, and workshops in the U.S., Austria, Italy, France, Montenegro, Israel, Taiwan, and Brazil.

    Gavin English, President of Steinway & Sons, told Ms. Tammam she is being awarded “for your hard work and dedication to music education throughout 2021. Steinway & Sons is a name synonymous with artistry, quality, and exquisite musical expression. The Steinway Top Teacher Award demonstrates your commitment to the same ideals.”

    Learn more about Sondra Tammam here.

  • Jan 23, 2022Precollege

    MSM Precollege alumna Simone Dinnerstein (PC ’89) performs at Carnegie Hall with Renée Fleming, Emerson String Quartet

    MSM Precollege alumna Simone Dinnerstein (PC ’89), a former student of Solomon Mikowsky in MSM’s Precollege program, performed on January 23, 2022 in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in Penelope, a concert that also featured actress Uma Thurman as narrator.

    Penelope is a collaboration from composer André Previn and playwright Tom Stoppard focusing on one of literature’s great heroines, retelling the story of the woman who stood strong awaiting the return of her wandering husband, Odysseus.

    Music included works by Barber, Phillip Glass, and Fauré.

    Learn about Simone here.


  • Jul 5, 2021Precollege

    Precollege faculty member Felipe Tristán celebrates 10 years as a conductor in the US with commissions, recordings, and concerts

    To celebrate his 10 years as artistic director with different orchestras in the United States, Felipe Tristán has commissioned two works from the composers Arturo O’Farrill (who studied at MSM Precollege, and has been a MSM faculty member) and José Gurría. Felipe is also preparing to record two albums along with a series of concerts that will close at Carnegie Hall on May 28, 2022, where he will perform the reorchestration of Canto a la Música by the Mexican composer Samuel Zyman, among other works.

    For this, and for next year’s concert at Carnegie Hall, Felipe will visit Mexico to search for at least thirty voices.

    The symphonic piece commissioned from Mexican-Cuban composer Arturo O’Farrill, an Afro-Latin jazz specialist, will premiere February 2022 with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Space in Manhattan.

    Felipe is the founder and music director of the Symphony Orchestra of the Americas, an organization that promotes Latin American concert music as well as intercontinental dialogue and collaboration. He teaches conducting at the MSM Precollege program.

    Learn more here.

  • Jun 22, 2021Precollege

    MSM Precollege faculty member Elizabeth Faidley featured in “Influencive”

    The online publication Influencive founded by Inc. 500 Entrepreneur Brian D. Evans and Clinton Senkow calls MSM Precollege violin faculty member Elizabeth Faidley “one of the finest violin pedagogues in the world.”

    “The world of music is one such that has welcomed innumerable talented beings so far, but a few rare gems have gone ahead in totally astounding the world with their expertise and genius in music. One such name that has been buzzing high in the American music scene is Elizabeth Faidley with her ‘The Elizabeth Faidley Violin Studio,'” writes Umesh Agarwal in the article.

    A faculty member in MSM’s Precollege program since 2007, Elizabeth has also been called “amazing and inspiring teacher” by the New York Times.

    Read the Influencive article on Elizabeth here.
    Read Elizabeth’s biography on MSM’s website here.

  • May 21, 2021Jazz

    Jazz students win DownBeat Student Music Awards

    Congratulations to our winners of DownBeat’s 44th Annual Student Music Awards!

    Jazz Soloist (Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances)
    Varun Das (BM ’22), drums
    Vittorio Stropoli (BM ’23), piano

    Jazz Soloist (Graduate College Winner)
    Rico Jones (BM ’20, MM ’22), tenor saxophone

    Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist (High School Honors Winner)
    Meghna Das (Precollege), vocalist

    Small Jazz Combo (Undergraduate College Winners)
    • The Ritual directed by Marc Cary
    Philippe Clément (BM ’22), songwriter/guitarist
    Stéphane Clément (BM ’23), trumpet
    Nolan Nwachukwu (BM ’23), bass
    Miguel Russell (BM ’24), drums
    Vittorio Stropoli (BM ’23), piano/keyboard/synth

    Original Composition—Small Ensemble (Undergraduate College Outstanding Compositions)
    Matanda Keyes (BM ’21), “Contra”

    Jazz Arrangement (Graduate College Outstanding—Small Ensemble)
    Rico Jones (BM ’20, MM ’22), “Central Park West”

  • Mar 28, 2021Precollege

    National Association of Teachers of Singing Eastern Region name four MSM Precollege students as award-winners

    The MSM Precollege student award winners are:

    Lower High School Music Theater Treble Voice

    Honorable Mentioned – Lauren Marchand – Student of Giuseppe Spoletini

    Upper High School Musical Theater Treble Voice

    2nd Place – Meghna Das – Student of Jeanai La Vita

    Upper High School Tenor Bass Baritone – Classical

    3rd Place – Henry Hsiao – Student of Jeanai La Vita

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 27, 2021Precollege

    Precollege student Alex Cha wins 2nd place in NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

    Precollege student Alex Cha (top left in photo), Precollege student of Jo-Ann Sternberg, won second place in the annual NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

    The annual competition for members of the NJYS Youth Symphony was held virtually this year, with 19 entrants performing for guest adjudicators Ilmar Gavilan, violinist of Harlem Quartet, and Mark Laycock, professor of orchestral studies at Wichita State University.

    Learn more here.

  • Feb 4, 2021Precollege

    The Garden State Philharmonic names former MSM Precollege student as President of the Board

    Dr. Nancy Mezey, the Dean of the Honors School at Monmouth University, has been appointed as the President of the Board of The Garden State Philharmonic, the critically acclaimed professional orchestra that is “Orchestra in Residence” at Ocean County College in Tom’s River.

    In addition to the professional orchestra, the GSP sponsors a three-tiered Youth Orchestra program comprised of more than 100 students between the ages of eight and 21, and an auditioned Community Chorus.

    Learn more about Dr. Mezey’s appointment here.

  • Dec 8, 2020Precollege

    Precollege students place first and second in NY Young Virtuoso Competition

    Two students of pianist Robin Freund-Epstein were named winners in the New York Young Virtuoso Competition, which took place virtually this year. Jeffrey Li, age twelve, won first prize in his age category, and Aaron Liu won second prize in the category.

    Due to the ongoing global health crisis, winners recitals have been postponed indefinitely. You can view the full list of winners here.

  • Dec 3, 2020Precollege

    MSM Precollege students among 2021 YoungArts Winners

    Five Precollege students have been selected as winners by the National YoungArts Foundation, one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the United States. Meghna Das was named a Finalist in the Popular Voice, Oliver D’Avolio received a Merit Award in Jazz Piano, Eugene Hong earned a Merit Award in Classical Piano, Olivia Park won a Merit Award in the Singer-Songwriter division, and Jack Towse acquired a Finalist spot in Jazz Trumpet.

    Winners are chosen for their caliber of artistic achievement by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process and are awarded in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. You can view the full list of winners here.


  • Dec 1, 2020Music History

    Pianist Kariné Poghosyan celebrates “Beethoven in C” with December concert series

    Kariné Poghosyan, a member of the Music History (College) and Piano (Precollege) faculty, will perform works by Beethoven during her weekly virtual concerts throughout the month of December.

    Armenian Weekly writes, “In honor of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Ms. Poghosyan had originally scheduled her annual Beethoven’s Birthday Concert for Carnegie Hall. But, when that was cancelled due to the pandemic she was determined that the show must go online.”

    The concerts are free with the option of sending voluntary contributions to the artist. You can watch them live each Friday at 8pm EST on Ms. Poghosyan’s Facebook page.

  • Nov 15, 2020Precollege

    Lauren Marchand wins Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition

    Precollege student Lauren Marchand received the “Most Promising Sophomore” award during the Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition, an honor given to the highest scoring participant in the sophomore group.

    The Schmidt Vocal Competition reaches more than 400 students each year and takes place in 17 locations throughout the U.S. The day-long competition affords singers an opportunity to perform live in front of an audience for the chance to win cash awards and scholarships, and offers coaching and master class training with premier artists. Learn more about the competition here.

  • Sep 28, 2020Precollege

    Ole Akahoshi joins Horszowski Trio

    Last month, the New York-based Horszowski Trio announced the appointment of MSM Precollege faculty member Ole Akahoshi to the ensemble. Akahoshi will replace cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, who performed with the ensemble for the past nine years.

    Of his new position, Ole write: “I have been admiring the Horszowski Trio for many years and being on stage with them has always been a tremendously invigorating, inspiring, and highly gratifying experience for me.”

    Read the full press release from The Violin Channel here.

  • Aug 31, 2020Precollege

    Precollege faculty members talk teaching in the time of COVID-19 in NATS Journal

    Precollege faculty members Jane Olian and Donna Gill were interviewed by Margo Garrett of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Journal about creative collaboration and technology in the time of COVID-19. In the interview, Jane and Donna talk about how their work as teachers and coaches has changed in the wake of the pandemic.

    Garret writes, “Donna and Jane both feel sustained by the fact that they are teaching in these days, that the students are ever hungry to learn, and that they themselves are doing OK—because they are teaching. Teachers and students need each other in these difficult days, it seems.” Read the full story here.

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