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Success Stories

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

  • May 31, 2024Strings
    Faculty

    MSM College and Precollege faculty member Xiao Wang wins first prize at the New York Classical Violin Competition

    MSM Alumnus and faculty memberXiao Wang(BM ’13, MM ’15, AD ’16) placed first of ten finalists in theNew York Classical Violin Competitionwhich was held at ϲͼapp in late May.

    In addition to winning $22,000 in prize money, Xiao Wang is eligible to participate in the invite-only inauguralClassic Violin Olympus International Competitiontaking place in Dubai in April 2025.

    Learn more

  • May 23, 2024Orchestra Performance Program
    Faculty

    David Chan, the head of the MSM Orchestral Performance Program, is named new principal conductor of the Apollo Orchestra

    Violinist and conductorDavid Chanjoins the artistic team of theApollo Orchestraas principal conductor this month. The Orchestra was founded in 2010 and provides a platform for many of the Washington D.C. area’s finest professional freelance classical musicians. In addition his role as head of the Orchestral Performance Program at MSM, David Chan is also the concertmaster for theMET Orchestra.

    Learn more .

  • May 15, 2024Jazz
    Faculty

    MSM faculty and alumni among top winners at the 2024 Jazz Journalist Awards

    Congratulations to theMSM Jazz Arts alumniandfaculty memberswho won high-profile awards in the prestigiousJazz Journalists Association Awardsfor 2024. The winners in the MSM Community include faculty memberDarcy James Arguewho won Best Arranger, and the ensembleArtemiswith MSM Dean of Jazz ArtsIngrid Jensenwhich won for Best Mid-Sized Ensemble.

    Learn more here.

  • Apr 29, 2024Jazz
    Faculty

    MSM Dean of Jazz Arts Ingrid Jensen is nominated for a 2024 Jazz Journalist Award as part of the ensemble Artemis

    MSM Dean of Jazz Arts Ingrid Jensenis part of the critically acclaimed ensemble Artemis that has been nominated Best Small Ensemble by the Jazz Journalist Association (JJA) for the all-female group’s recent recording In Real Time.

    Ingrid is also part of MSM faculty member Darcy James Argue’s ensemble Secret Society that played with him on his JJA award-nominated recording Dynamic Maximum Tension, along with two other MSM faculty members, Nadje Noordhuisand Ryan Keberle. Darcy James Argue has been nominated for four awards by the JJA, including best album.

    The winners will be announced on May 8.

    Learn more about Artemis .
    Learn more about the 2024 Jazz Journalist Awards .

  • Apr 29, 2024Jazz
    Faculty

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty member Darcy James Argue is nominated for four top 2024 Jazz Journalist Association Awards

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty member Darcy James Argue has been nominated in the categories of Record of the Year, Composer of the Year, Arranger of the Year, and Large Ensemble of the Year, in the 2024 Jazz Journalist Awards for his most recent release Dynamic Maximum Tension, recorded with his ensemble Secret Society.

    “I’m absolutely thrilled and deeply honored to be nominated, ” he says. The winners will be announced on May 8.

    Darcy James Argue was recently in Paris attending the world premiere of his new orchestral arrangements for singer Cécile McLorin Salvant with L’Orchestre National d’Île-de-France. These arrangements will receive their New York premiere next March at Carnegie Hall, with Salvant and The Knights, as part of Carnegie’s Perspective series.

    Learn about the 2024 Jazz Journalist Association nominees .
    Watch video clips of Salvant’s tour in France featuring arrangements by Darcy James Argue .
    Information about the Carnegie Hall concert .

  • Apr 4, 2024Strings
    Faculty

    MSM strings faculty member Ilmar Gavilán to take part in Summerfest at the Kaufman Music Center this summer

    MSM faculty member, the respected violinist Ilmar Gavilán, will be part of Summerfest at the Kaufman Music Center taking place this summer at the respected arts center in New York City from August 19 to 24, 2024.

    Kaufman Music Center’s SummerFest is an intensive week of masterclasses, lessons, workshops, chamber ensembles and performance opportunities led by world-renowned guest artists and faculty for advanced pianists, violinists and cellists age 14 – 22.

    Musicians taking part also include: Adele Anthony,Fabio Bidini,Amir Eldan, Richard Goode,Grigory Kalinovsky,Yoheved Kaplinsky,Masao Kawasaki,Clara Minhye Kim, and others.

    Learn more about Ilmar Gavilan here.

    Learn more about Summerfest .

  • Apr 3, 2024Composition
    Faculty

    MSM Composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini record releases new recording Ebony Chants on April 12

    Ebony Chants, Paolo Marchettini‘s second album on the label New Focus Recordings showcases music for clarinets in both solo and ensemble setting and will be released on April 14th.

    The album features Rome-born and New York City-based Paolo Marchettini as both composer and clarinetist, working alongside with three other clarinetists who are MSM current and former students: Meng Zhang (DMA) (also worked as recording engineer), Ka Hei Chan (MM ’23) and Tommy Shermulis (MM ’23).

    In liner notes, the respected guitarist Dan Lippel comments that Ebony Chants evokes the rich wood used in clarinet construction, and highlights Marchettini’s “subtle, lyrical composition voice.”

    “Marchettini strikes an engaging balance between experimental elements such as the use of microtones and extended techniques, and more traditional material, performing the works with elegance and virtuosity… Allusions to multiple eras and styles of music are seamlessly integrated in music that is natural and always breathes,” he writes.

    Preorder the CD .

  • Feb 15, 2024Precollege
    Faculty

    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

  • Feb 1, 2024Precollege
    Faculty

    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 .

  • Feb 1, 2024Strings
    Faculty

    MSM faculty member Eugene Drucker is named director of the Berkshire Bach Society

    Eugene Drucker — violinist, author, educator, composer, founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, and MSM violin faculty member— has been named Artistic Director of The Berkshire Bach Society (BBS). The 34-year-old arts organization presents live performances of Baroque music by world-class musicians in the Berkshires and surrounding areas.

    Mr. Drucker is a longtime member of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble and director of the BBS Bach at New Year’s concert series. As Artistic Director of the BBS, he will help spearhead new programming and performance opportunities.

    The appointment comes following the retirement of the Emerson String Quartet, which Mr. Drucker co-founded 47 years ago. Over the course of its existence, the Emerson earned nine Grammy Awards, three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” award.

  • Jan 29, 2024Piano
    Faculty

    MSM faculty member Elio Villafranca headlines at the University of Arkansas Black Music Symposium on February 2

    MSM faculty member pianist Elio Villafranca will be the headlining musician and a lecturer at the University of Arkansas‘s annual symposium dedicated to educating and exposing the community to the music contributions of Black Americans. The 11th annual conference will be held Jan. 31 toFeb.4.

    The theme for the 2024 symposium, “Celebrating Afro-Caribbean Music,” explores the rich culture of the Caribbean nations and their contributions to music genres ranging from reggae and salsa to merengue, calypso and more. Throughout the symposium, there will be lectures that support the theme exploring the ways in which Afro-Caribbean music relates to the experiences of Black musicians as well as social movements.

    On Feb 2, Elio Villafranca will deliver a lecture on “The Music of the Afro Diaspora in the Caribbean,” hold a master class, and be the featured performer at an evening concert.

    More information on the event.

  • Jan 21, 2024Musical Theatre
    Faculty

    MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Andrew Gerle to release a recording of his latest production Whisper Darkly on February 23

    MSM faculty member Andrew Gerle is a composer/lyricist, librettist, pianist and author whose most recent production Whisper Darkly, set at the height of Prohibition in 1928, is “the world’s first eclectro-swing musical,” he says, an immersive theatre experience that follows the lives of three women living their lives on their own terms. The music and lyrics are by Andrew Gerle; the book and concept is by librettist DJ Salisbury.

    The video teaser for the production was recorded in The Back Room, one of the last Prohibition era speakeasies still operating in NYC.

    For more on the musical and to see both the production and recording teaser, visit the production’s website

    Learn more about Andrew Gerle.

  • Jan 1, 2024Jazz
    Faculty

    The latest album by MSM faculty member Darcy James Argue Dynamic Maximum Tension is named to high-profile “Best of 2023” lists

    The album Dynamic Maximum Tension by MSM Jazz Arts composition faculty member Darcy James Argue has been named to NPR’s list of 50 Best Albums of 2023, as well as to Slate’s list of Best Jazz Albums of 2023.

    The albumhas been nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

    Find the NPR list.

    Find the Slate list .

  • Nov 20, 2023Musical Theatre
    Faculty

    MSM Dean of Musical Theatre Liza Gennaro wins Kurt Weill Prize for her book Making Broadway Dance

    The 2023 Kurt Weill Book Prize for an outstanding scholarly book on music theater since 1900 has been awarded to Making Broadway Dance, by Liza Gennaro, Dean of Musical Theatre at the ϲͼapp, who is also a choreographer.

    Her book, published by Oxford University Press, was selected by the Kurt Weill Book Prize advisory panel as the unanimous top choice for this year’s distinction.

    The panel praised Liza’s book as a “remarkable work, that is as approachable and engaging as it is carefully researched,” and lauded the inclusion of “many illuminating and overdue corrections to misconceptions about the authorship of some pieces of choreography, and the provocative questions raised about the legacies of certain Golden Age musicals as a result.”

    Learn more about the book here.

  • Nov 14, 2023Strings
    Faculty

    Violin faculty member Lucie Robert was a jury member at the International Global Music Education League Violin Competition in Beijing, China

    Violin faculty member Lucie Robert was a jury member at the International Global Music Education League Violin Competition in Beijing, China that took place from November 3 to 13.

    There were four rounds to the competition. The finals two rounds were of Mozart and a romantic concerti with orchestra which included members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The competition included prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,00 dollars.

    In photo: International jury members pose with the six finalists, including MSM student Risa Hokamura, along with competition pianists. Lucie Robert is pictured in the back row, first on the left.

  • Oct 30, 2023Jazz
    Faculty

    New recording by Jazz Arts MSM faculty member Darcy James Argue is featured in The New York Times and on National Public Radio

    Dynamic Maximum Tension, the new album on Nonesuch records by MSM Jazz Arts faculty member Darcy James Argue and his group Secret Society — the recording also features Dean of Jazz Arts Ingrid Jensen — has been featured recently in two national media outlets: The New York Times writes about the album in its column “5 Classical Music Albums You Can Listen To Right Now” and the album is featured on NPR‘s program Fresh Air.

    Read The New York Times article .

    Listen to the NPR program

  • Oct 19, 2023Strings
    Faculty

    MSM faculty member violinist Ilmar Gavilán is featured in a Tucson Symphony Orchestra performances October 28 and 29

    MSM faculty member violinist Ilmar Gavilán will be performing in a special concert event with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra on October 28 and 29, Strings without Borders. Also performing is with violist Jaime Amador. Both are currently artists in residence at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

    Learn more.

  • Sep 25, 2023Strings
    Faculty

    Grammy-nominated flutist and MSM faculty member Valerie Coleman along with MSM alumnus Thomas Mesa are featured soloists on new release by Sphinx Virtuosi

    MSM faculty member Valerie Coleman and MSM alumnus cellist Thomas Mesa (DMA ’17) are both featured soloists on the new album Songs for Our Times by Sphinx Virtuosi released on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

    Ms. Coleman is featured on two songs, Tracing Visions for String Orchestra I: Till. and Tracing for String Orchestra II: Amandla!

    Cuban-American cellist Thomas Mesa, first prize winner of the 2016 Sphinx Competition and the Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions, is soloist on the concerto Divided, written for Thomas and Sphinx Virtuosi by Jesse Montgomery.

    Sphinx Virtuosi is a groundbreaking self-conducted American string ensemble comprised of 18 exceptional young Black and Latinx string players.

    More about the album .
    Listen to the album on Spotify .

  • Sep 11, 2023Guitar
    Faculty

    MSM guitar faculty member Oren Fader performs in The Village Trip GuitarFest in New York

    The Village Trip GuitarFest features talented guitarists from the tri-state region for a three-day festival of new and old music for guitars.

    Sept 14 showcases a tribute to the late Scott Johnson with a performance of his “Bowery Haunt” for two electric guitars, performed by MSM guitar faculty member Oren Fader, joined by William Anderson.

    On Sept 16 at 6 PM,the Bowers Fader Duo will perform “Beyond the Line of Blue”, by Damon Ferrante, and Oren is joined by guitarist Jack Ward in Martin Rokeach’s “Fantasy on Twelve Strings.” And at 8 PM, the Bowers Fader Duo performs Richard Cameron-Woolf’s “Gazelle in my Garden.” The Bowers Fader Duo will also perform on Sept 19 and 29.

    Festival information is found .

  • Sep 11, 2023Guitar
    Faculty

    MSM guitar faculty member David Leisner is a featured soloist in a GuitarFest concert on Sept 16

    MSM guitar faculty member David Leisner will be a featured soloist in the final of three GuitarFest concerts in the Village Trip Festival in New York City. David will play the second performance works he recently commissioned and premiered:

    Chester Biscardi Finding Beauty in Small Places
    Laura KaminskyRuminations
    Bun-Ching Lam Five Contemplations

    The concert takes place Sat., Sept. 16 at 8 PM at St. John’s in the Village, 218 W. 11 St. At 6 PM in the same venue, Sebastián Molina, a current student of David Leisner, will perform the world premiere of a piece commissioned for him by a Chilean foundation, Volver a los 19 by Felipe Pinto d’Aguiar, and will also play David’s composition Freedom Fantasy no. 1 (“Go Down, Moses”).

    More information about these events and the festival can be found

  • Sep 7, 2023Piano
    Faculty

    MSM piano faculty member Lisa Yui releases recording of Schumann Fantasie in C major and Liszt Sonata in B minor

    MSM faculty member Lisa Yui says she is releasing these two recordings because for her, the compositions “are examples of the greatest legacies of the human mind and heart.”

    The CD was recorded over three days in New York City in 2017. Ms. Yui writes about her reasons for waiting six years to release in an article

    Schumann Fantasie in C major; Liszt Sonata in B minor is available on and was released on Sep. 7, 2023 on all major .

  • Sep 5, 2023Piano
    Faculty

    MSM piano faculty member and alumna Joanne Polk releases solo CD

    Joanne Polk‘s CD of solo piano music by 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) is released today on the Steinway & Sons label.

    Entitled The Silence Between the Notes, the CD features, according to Joanne, “gorgeous poetic moments, as well as etudes that are quite challenging. Most of the music has never heard before.”

    The CD is available on on streaming platforms; MSM students, faculty, and staff may listen to the CD on MSM’s NAXOS page in the MSM Library.

    More about the CD and Joanne Polk .
    More about Louise Farrenc .

  • Jul 28, 2023Jazz
    Faculty

    MSM faculty member Damien Sneed is praised by The New York Times

    The New York Times classical music critic Zachary Wolfe reviewed Treemonisha praising MSM alumnus and faculty member Damien Sneed’s reworking of Scott Joplin’s opera.

    “Sneed gamely inhabited a Joplin-like idiom in the newly composed material,” writes the critic.

    Zachary Wolfe also hailed MSM alumnus Justin Austin (BM ’14, MM ’17) who has a lead role in the production: “Baritone Justin Austin vibrated with passionate life as Joplin and Remus.”

    Read article .

  • Apr 28, 2023Composition
    Faculty

    MSM Dean of Academic Core and Head of Composition Reiko Füting releases the world premiere recording of the opera Mechthild

    German composer Reiko Füting, a composition faculty member and department administrator at MSM,is releasing the world premiere recording of his opera Mechthild with libretto by poet and theologian Christian Lehnerton.

    Füting’s subject, Mechthild of Magdeburg,was a 13th-century female Christian mystic whose influential writings were rediscovered in the 19th century. Füting and Lehnert’s score explores topics of faith and asceticism in the context of the musicality inherent in language, connecting different eras of artistic expression through time and memory.

    Learn more about the recording .
    Purchase the album
    Watch a video feature in German about the recording .

  • Apr 18, 2023Strings
    Faculty

    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 .

  • Apr 7, 2023Precollege
    Faculty

    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 since March 2021, and was formerly its artistic director.

    Learn more .

  • Apr 3, 2023Piano
    Faculty

    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 .

     

  • Apr 2, 2023Composition
    Faculty

    New work by MSM theory and composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini to be premiered in Italy on May 16 and 17

    The new work by MSM theory and composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini is called Armoniosi accenti and was commissioned by the Orchestra Haydn of Bolzano in Italy. It will be premiered on May 16 and 17 in the cities of Bolzano and Trento in Italy under the baton of the famous conductor and harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone.

    Armoniosi accenti features the same unusual instrumentation of Mozart Gran Partita, which will be also in the program together with Haydn Symphony 96,” says Paolo.

    More information about the concert.

  • Mar 26, 2023Musical Theatre
    Faculty

    MSM Musical Theatre “Acting the Song” instructor LaDonna Burns is an understudy performing in White Girl in Danger

    MSM Musical Theatre “Acting the Song” instructor LaDonna Burns is an understudy performing in White Girl in Danger, the latest musical from Tony- and Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael R. Jackson.

    The Off-Broadway production will have its world premiere when it opens on April 10 in New York City at the Tony Kiser Theater and is aco-production by Second Stage Theater and Vineyard Theatre.

    Learn more

  • Mar 20, 2023Piano
    Faculty

    Piano Magazine features an article by MSM piano faculty member Lisa Yui

    An article by MSM alumna and piano faculty member Lisa Yui’s entiled “Piano Music by Composer’s from Asia: A History of the Piano in Asia” has been published in the spring 2023 edition of Piano Magazine.

    Dr. Yui is a long-time faculty member at MSM and hosts the ongoing performance series in Greenfield Hall called Lives of the Piano.

    Read the article in Piano Magazine here.

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