Welcome to our Alumni News Highlights page!

This page consists of some of the many activities and accomplishments of our former students from the college division. The information on these pages has been submitted directly to us by individual alumni and/or their publicity representatives.

These listings are organized under the last year each alumnus/na attended the School and shows the degree program(s) in which they were enrolled. There is also a section honoring the memory of those alumni and faculty who have passed away in the last few years (In Memoriam).

Precollege | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

In Memoriam

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Robert Lopez '93 won a 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Let It Go" from the Disney film Frozen.This makes him one of only twelve people who have ever won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award (known as the EGOT). 

Judith Oringer '61 has produced a CD in memory of her mother, Estelle Parnas Oringer (BM '45), comprised of recordings her mother made over the years. It was edited and mastered at MSM's Recording Studio by Chris Shade and Kevin Boutote.


CLASSES OF 1950–1959


Roy Eaton (BM ’50 / MM ’52) has been performing selections from his latest solo piano CD, I Play for Peace, at New York venues this year. He also appeared on the Piano in the Park series in Bryant Park, performing works of Joplin, Chopin, and Gershwin. [posted 01/11/13]

Dianne Danese Flagello (BM ’52 / MM ’52) oversaw the re-release of Nicolas Flagello’s Passion of Martin Luther King (1968), L’Ininito (1956), and The Land (1954) on the Naxos label. The recording features Nick’s brother Ezio Flagello as bass-baritone with the London Philharmonic and I Musici di Firenze with the composer conducting. Fanfare reported, "Throughout, the composer’s sense of musical and dramatic timing remains absolutely flawless.... This is music to live with and love, in performances of color and commitment.” [posted 01/11/13]



CLASSES OF 1960–1969


Fredrick Kaufman (BM ’59 / MM ’60) has seen the world premiere of his Piano Concerto “Guernica” given in Prague by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, with Kemal Gekic as soloist, in February. Prague’s Musical Review called the work “a convincing, emotional and vivid piece of music.” Parma Records has recorded the work, which will be released by Naxos this summer, along with other works by Kaufman. [posted 6/17/2013]

Richard Elder Adams (MM ’61) has written his first play, The Treachery of Honesty, which will receive eight performances at The Birdcage Theater in Northern California this January. [posted 01/11/13]

Lenard Bowie (MM ’63) has seen his book, entitled African American Musical Heritage 1600–Present, published by Xlibris. The 574-page resource includes six remastered CDs with 117 songs. Dr. Bowie is a member of the faculty at the University of North Florida. [posted 01/11/13]

Capt. Kenneth Force, USMC (BM ’64 / MM ’65 / Professional Diploma ’70) was a featured speaker at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery this October for the unveiling of a restored gravesite for American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Capt. Force had initiated the effort, which has been some fifteen years in the making. [posted 01/11/13]

Nancy Marano (undergraduate studies, ’64–67) toured The Netherlands and Belgium this spring introducing her new book, Musicianship for the Jazz Vocalist. Published by Advance Music, the book describes her unique “vocal and piano system, designed to empower all vocalists to become complete musicians.” She also sang in clubs with big bands in The Hague, Amsterdam, and Brussels and gave master classes at the conservatories of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Prins Claus in Groningen. [posted 6/17/2013]

Jim Petercsak (BM ’66 / MM ’68) was honored this May by the State University of New York for his 45 years of service. He has taught percussion at SUNY-Potsdam since 1968 and is currently a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. [posted 6/17/2013]

Joseph Rescigno (MM ’69) conducted the American premiere of the new critical edition of Rossini’s comic opera La Gazzetta, featuring the world premiere of the newly discovered Act I quintet, in a production at New England Conservatory this April. [posted 6/17/2013]


CLASSES OF 1970–1979


Elmar Oliveira (BM ’72) appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center this past spring, performing the solo part in Chausson’s Concerto in D for Violin, Piano and String Quartet and Saint-Saëns’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor. The New York Times reported that he “dexterously navigated both its bravura challenges and its more intimate moments.” [posted 01/11/13]

Michael Feves (BM ’73 / MM ’74) has co-written the book A Cellist’s Companion: A Comprehensive Catalogue of Cello Literature with Henk Lambooij. The 700-page hardcover edition is published by Lulu.com. [posted 6/17/2013]

Walter Simmons (BM ’72 / MM ’74) was executive reissue producer on the Naxos release of works by the late Nicolas Flagello. (See Flagello 1952 listing above.) [posted 01/11/13]

George Manahan (BM ’73 / MM ’76) was awarded the 2012 Ditson Conductor's Award for the advancement of American music. The award was presented by Columbia University in January at an American Composers Orchestra concert at Zankel Hall. Previous recipients of the award, established in 1945, include James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, and Alan Gilbert. [posted 6/17/2013]

Judy Blazer (BM ’77) was featured on the PBS Great Performances broadcast of The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater, a work by Michael Tilson Thomas. Blazer portrayed Thomas’s grandmother, Bessie, and fellow alumnus Shuler Hensley played her husband Boris. [posted 01/11/13]

Caryn Block (BM ’78) had her new dramatic song cycle—Long, Too Long America for soprano, baritone, and piano, written in commemoration of 9/11—performed in a vocal concert by singers of the Opera Project in Lambertville, New Jersey. Block’s new duo, Dionysus for marimba and cello, received a favorable review in the March 2012 issue of Percussive Notes. [posted 01/11/13]

Elinor Abrams Zayas (BM ’76 / MM ’78), co-founder and pianist of the duo Cross Island, appeared in concert last October in an evening of chamber music honoring the birthday of Ned Rorem, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in New York. [updated on 01/11/13]


CLASSES OF 1980–1989


Anthony de Mare (BM ’80) is continuing his project to commission and perform new solo piano works based on the music of Stephen Sondheim with a second set of premieres at Symphony Space. Composers featured at the March concert include Mary Ellen Childs, Michael Daugherty, Jake Heggie, Nico Muhly, John Musto, Frederic Rzweski, and Nils Vigeland, among others. The New York Times wrote: “Mr. de Mare performed with vivid commitment throughout, fully plumbing the nuances of each work.” [posted 6/17/2013]

David Higgs (BM ’81 / MM ’85), Chair of the Organ Department at the Eastman School of Music, has received the Paul Creston Award, which recognizes “artistic excellence by a significant figure in church music and the performing arts who embodies the Creston Creed and his ideals as a composer, performer, and educator.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Aaron Jay Kernis (BM ’81) has been awarded the Nemmers Composition Prize, a biannual award that comes with a residency at Northwestern University's School of Music and a commission by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

Robert Losinno (undergraduate studies ’81-84) and Ian Burr (undergraduate studies ’74-76) performed the Danzi Concertino for clarinet and bassoon with the CVE Deerfield Symphony Orchestra in Deerfield Beach, Florida. [posted 01/11/13]

Peter Sanders (BM ’84) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, which he founded. The festival is featured in the March 2012 issue of Chamber Music Magazine. [posted 01/11/13]

Lynn Marie Delmato (BM '84 / MM '85) toured as keyboardist with the heavy-metal rock band Virgin Steele in New York, Argentina, Brazil, and throughout Europe. This June she appears on a re-issued recording entitled Life Among the Ruins by the same band. [posted 01/11/13]

Phillip Kawin (BM ’82 / MM ’85) has recently given piano master classes for the Sibelius Academy of Music via MSM’s distance learning program, as well as at the Harvard Club, Busan International Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, DMZ International Festival (Korea), and the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy. His solo piano performances include such venues as the Busan Cultural Center in South Korea, McKenna Theater in New Paltz, Berman Hall at Manhattanville College, and the Teatro Comunale Vittorio Alfieri in Italy. He has been juror this spring for the International Beethoven Piano Competition - Vienna (New York jury) and New York Concert Artists. [posted 6/17/2013]

Richard Sussman (MM ’85) has co-authored the book Jazz Composition and Arranging In the Digital Age, with Michael Abene, which has been published by Oxford University Press. Sussman is heard playing piano and synthesizer on a new jazz quintet CD, released in June on Origin Records, which also features Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Mike Richmond, and Jeff Williams. Sussman composed and arranged most of the tunes. [posted 01/11/13]

Dawn Upshaw (MM ’85) has collaborated with jazz composer Maria Schneider on the album Winter Morning Walks — which features works for voice and orchestra based on the poetry of Pulitzer prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade — with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. [posted 6/17/2013]

Audrey Axinn (BM ’86) has been appointed to the collaborative piano faculty at Mannes College of Music; its expanded curriculum now includes blended vocal and instrumental Master’s and Professional Studies programs. She will also be teaching fortepiano at Mannes and continuing in her role there as Assistant Dean. [posted 6/17/2013]

Desiree Elsevier (BM ’85 / MM ’87) gave the world premiere performance of a Viola Concerto written especially for her by fellow alumnus Glen Cortese with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra this February in Buffalo. [posted 6/17/2013]

Chris Hajian (BM ’87) wrote the musical score for the documentary Unraveled about Ponzi schemer Mark Dreier, which premiered at the NYC Film Festival this past spring. He also wrote the soundtrack for First Position, about the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition. [posted 01/11/13]

Tian Jiang (BM ’87) was presented by the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture in a solo recital at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall this past May. The concert, billed as “From Mao To Mozart To Stern,” commemorates Isaac Stern’s momentous 1979 visit to China and honors Mr. Stern, who sponsored a young Tian Jiang’s move to the U.S. to study Western classical music. [posted 01/11/13]

Susan LaFever (PS ’89) appeared at the International Horn Symposium at the University of North Texas this past May as hornist of the Zinkali Trio, performing the world premiere of a work by Adrienne Albert. [posted 01/11/13]

CLASSES OF 1990–1999



Michael Dabroski (BM ’90) and the members of his Vermont-based chamber music group, Burlington Ensemble (be), were appointed Artists-in-Residence at Castleton State College, where they will be  developing “Making Music with a Social Mission” projects—sustainable and community-based chamber music performances and education program activities. [posted 6/17/2013]

Gila Goldstein (MM ’90) appeared as soloist this past March as part of New York City's Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church Concert Series. The New York Concert Review wrote: “Goldstein gave one of the finest accounts I can recall of Bach Partita in E minor… Liszt's Vallee d’Obermann was given great loving attention to detail in the gentler sections and a bold approach in the octave fusillades… such abounding excellence.” [posted 01/11/13]

Shuler Hensley (BM ’90) starred on the PBS broadcast of The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater this past spring (see Blazer 1974 listing above). He also appeared in the lead role in The Whale, a new drama by Samuel D. Hunter, at Playwrights Horizons last fall. Samuel Hunter of the New York Times wrote: “Never before have I encountered anyone resembling Charlie, portrayed with easygoing humanity and grace by Mr. Hensley.” Shuler also appeared in the New York Philharmonic’s presentation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel in the role of Jigger Craigin. The performance was broadcast on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center this April.  [updated 01/11/13]

Peri Mauer (MM ’90) recently saw the performances of several of her compositions, including Illuminations of the Night for orchestra by New York Repertory Orchestra and Nudibranch Friday for violin and cello at Symphony Space and Bargemusic. David Abrams wrote: “Peri Mauer’s innovative compositions are at the forefront of contemporary music, and Nudibranch Friday is clearly one of her most captivating and imaginative compositions.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Robert Cassidy (MM ’92) is pianist of the Almeda Trio, which can be heard on Albany Records in their debut recording. A review in Fanfare Magazine states: “an excellent chamber group and the music herein is fascinating… with a finely drawn cantilena that caresses the melodic material with superb style and grace-note, particularly, the last movement, which rolls through the mind like gentle ocean waves… A heck of a debut disc.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Stephen Gaertner (MM ’92) sang Montano in this season’s run of Otello at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as the Tower Guard in Francesca da Rimini. Both were broadcast in HD. [posted 6/17/2013]

Gary S. Press (MM ’92) has joined the American International Group as a Senior Analyst in the Executive Leadership Development team. [posted 01/11/13]

Victor Kioulaphides (BM ’84 / DMA ’92) saw his Piano Trio premiered at Merkin Concert Hall last November by fellow alumnus/pianist John Kamfonas, violinist Sharon Park, and cellist Caleb van der Swaagh. [posted 6/17/2013]

Peggy Kriha Dye (MM ’93) has been appointed General Manager of Opera Columbus, overseeing all artistic and educational programming and main stage productions, as well as producing their new series Opera Cabaret. [posted 6/17/2013]

Kristin Norderval (DMA ’93) sang her song cycle Nothing Proved on the Women’s Work series at the Players Theatre this spring. In a New Yorker article entitled “Even the Score: Female Composers Edge Forward,” Alex Ross wrote: “Although it was a concert piece, it felt like an opera in the making, conjuring in tensely shimmering, computer-enhanced textures the lofty isolation of the subject. A setting of the poem ‘O Fortune,’ which [Queen Elizabeth I] wrote under house arrest during the reign of Queen Mary, rose to a ghostly fury that eclipsed past operatic portrayals of the monarch, from Donizetti to Britten.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Derek-Antoine Harrison (BM ’93 / MM ’94) can be heard as a featured tenor soloist on the Westminster Oratorio Choir recording of Zelenka’s Te Deum, Haec Dies and Magnificat in C available on Koch Schwann Musica Sacra label. [posted 6/17/2013]

Gene Pritsker (BM ’94) saw the world premiere given of his Cloud Atlas Symphony, based on David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas and music Pritsker wrote for the score to the recent film,, in Germany at the IMPULS-Festival last fall. Fellow alumnus Kristjan Järvi conducted the MDR Symphony Orchestra for the premiere and the subsequent recording. [posted 6/17/2013]

Gregor Huebner (MM ’96) performed his Violin Concerto in New York with conductor Dong-Hyun Kim and the Nova Philharmonic. Other appearances this past spring include Theaterhaus Jazzstage in Stuttgart with Richie Beirach and Uri Caine; Tribeca New Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall; New York’s The Jazz Gallery; and concerts in Germany with the Sirius Quartet. [posted 01/11/13]

N’Kenge Simpson (BM ’96) is starring as Mary Wells in the Broadway production of Motown. The New York Post calls her performance “electrifying.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Hsia-Jung Chang (DMA ’97) has seen her recent recording of the piano works of Claude Debussy receive critical acclaim in the U.S. and abroad, including Marvin J. Ward of CVNC, who writes: “Hsia-Jung Chang channels Debussy. . . this recording easily places itself among the best interpretations, those that serve as benchmarks for Debussy's sound world.” [posted 01/11/13]

Salvatore Di Vittorio (BM ’97) conducted the world premiere of his commissioned Sinfonia No. 3, Templi di Sicilia with Palermo’s Philharmonic-Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, in a program with his Overture Respighiana and his completed version of Respighi’s rediscovered First Violin Concerto. La Repubblica of Rome wrote that Di Vittorio’s Third Symphony captured “Respighi’s impressionism, together with [influences of] Berlioz and Richard Strauss.” An article in Il Moderatore featured Mayor Leoluca Orlando as he awarded Di Vittorio the Medal of Palermo, recognizing “the great importance of Di Vittorio’s work as a promoter of the city of Palermo around the world.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Scott Dunn (MM ’97) has appeared recently as conductor of the Atlanta Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. He conducted Vernon Duke’s Orphic Trilogy in Russia with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and gave the West Coast premiere of Phillip Glass’s rarely heard Another Look at Harmony Part IV. The LA Times wrote that Scott Dunn “conducted almost as if he were in the trance of sacred Bruckner. The final, ecstatic section was pure rapture.” He also led a Hollywood Bowl tribute to Serge Gainsbourg. [posted 01/11/13]

Heather Johnson (MM ’97) sang the title role in Holst’s one-act opera Savitri with the Little Opera Theater of New York this past May. The New York Times wrote: “Savitri is given impassioned, ‘Liebestod’-like monologues that the mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson sang with penetrating power and natural phrasing… her eyes were haunted and her performance was both grand and intimate, in the best Wagnerian tradition.” [posted 01/11/13]

David Ludwig (MM ’97) had the honor this January of having his choral work The New Colossus performed at the inauguration of Barack Obama. Dr. Ludwig is currently on the composition faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. [posted 6/17/2013]

Jason Moran (BM ’97) and wife/fellow alumna Alicia Hall Moran were featured in the New York Times this past May in an article about their performance of Bleed, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Ben Ratliff wrote: “Bleed was neither about jazz nor about opera, per se, though it contained some of both, and much else: film, video, dance, poetry, lecture, diary, journalism and alternative medicine… [It] was pretty extraordinary in breadth, depth, planning and execution.” [posted 01/11/13]

Stacey Tappan (MM ’97) can be heard singing the songs of Ricky Ian Gordon, with the composer as pianist, on the Blue Griffin Records release, Once I Was. [posted 01/11/13]

Justin Bischof (BM ’90 / MM ’92 / DMA ’98) saw the world premiere given of his work for chorus and orchestra The Last Words of David in March. Bischof conducted the premiere with his Canadian Chamber Orchestra of New York City at their 6th Annual Children's Benefit Concert for Children, which has raised a total of over $475,000 since its inception and helped over 400 at-risk children attend a life-altering summer camp. [posted 6/17/2013]

Michael Nickens (BM ’98) has recently been given full tenure as Director of Athletic Bands at George Mason University. [posted 6/17/2013]

Richard Owen (MM ’98) recently conducted the NYC premiere of Gluck’s The Reformed Drunkard with the Little Opera Theater of New York; an orchestral transcription of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden with Camerata New York Orchestra; and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra. [posted 6/17/2013]

James Sasser (BM ’98) is based in New York as a performer, writer and producer and is currently an Uncharted Artist-in-Residence at Ars Nova where, along with composer Charles Vincent Burwell, he is developing a new musical entitled Bottle Shock, based on the film of the same name. [posted 6/17/2013]

Hyung-Ki Joo (BM ’93 / MM ’99) is part of the Igudesman & Joo comedy duo, which performed a show entitled A Little Nightmare Music at the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall this past April. [posted 01/11/13]

Pawel Knapik (MM ’99) has given the world premiere of the full orchestral version of his “Wroclaw” Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra, which had been awarded a composition grant by the Arthur Foundation in 2001. The May 2012 premiere took place at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music with Orchestra 54 under the baton of Jean-Pierre Schmitt. He is also a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. [posted 6/17/2013]

Jane Monheit (BM ’99) is heard as vocalist on her 10th and latest album, The Heart of the Matter, which was on Downbeat magazine’s Editors’ Picks list for May. [posted 6/17/2013]

Patrick Soluri (BM ’99) has seen his one-act opera Embedded win Fort Worth Opera's 'Frontiers' Competition, with a showcase to follow in spring 2013. Fort Worth Opera has also recently presented Soluri’s satirical opera Figaro's Last Hangover as part of their Opera Shots series this fall. His newest opera, Polka, received its world premiere at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in October by the Remarkable Theater Brigade. [posted 01/11/13]

CLASSES OF 2000–2009


Alicia Hall Moran (BM ’00) and husband/fellow alumnus Jason Moran performed at the Whitney this past spring (see Moran 1997 listing). [posted 01/11/13]

Anne Ricci (MM ’00) is co-founder—along with alumna Jessica Miller-Rauch—of Opera on Tap, which presented their first full production of an opera, Smashed: The Carrie Nation Story, this spring. [posted 6/17/2013]

Amy Justman (MM ’02) sang the role of Clara this spring in the production of Sondheim’s Passion by the Classic Stage Company, directed by John Doyle. [posted 6/17/2013]

JoAnn Lamolino (MM ’02) won the position of second trumpet of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

James Hines (MM ’03) has become Executive Director of the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, leaving his position as Artistic Administrator of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. [posted 6/17/2013]

R. David Salvage (MM ’03) can be heard performing his own solo piano music on a new CD entitled Lock and Key released by Navona Records. Last summer, he performed on the Bologna Estate Festival in Italy. [posted 6/17/2013]

Yin-Chu Jou (PS ’04) produced The Rhythms of One World 2012 Choral Festival with performances at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and the UN General Assembly Hall. The concert featured seven international choral groups and two world premieres. [posted 01/11/13]

Enrique Marquez (MM ’04) has founded The MESDA Group (Music Education for Social Development Agency), which is now based at Harvard University's Cultural Agents Initiative. MESDA offers orchestra and choir after-school programs for at-risk youth in the Americas to positively affect their lives. [posted 01/11/13]

Michael Rossi (BM ’02 / MM ’04) made conducting debuts this season with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, and Charleston Symphony, as well as conducting the Washington National Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel. [posted 6/17/2013]

Ruth Bennett (PS ’05) won third prize in the Dutch International Harp Competition in Utrecht, Holland this past spring. She is principal harpist of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan. [posted 01/11/13]

Anna Clyne (MM ’05) has written a new double violin concerto, entitled Prince of Clouds, which receives multiple performances by soloists Jennifer Koh and Jaime Laredo during the 2012–13 season, including in Tennessee, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C. Prince of Clouds is Clyne’s third work premiered in 2012, coming after Night Ferry by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in February, and See(k) by Houston Ballet in May. [posted 01/11/13]

Rupert Boyd (MM ’06) can be heard on his latest CD, Songs from the Forest, with his ensemble the Australian Guitar Duo. Classical Guitar Magazine (UK) wrote: “The Australian Guitar Duo has got it all: perfect synchronisation, beautiful phrasing and tone, and charismatic good looks... The whole disc is wonderfully entertaining.” Soundboard Magazine proclaimed: “They are technical masters who also possess beautiful tone at all volume levels, and a wonderfully refined collective musical sense.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Theodore Buchholz (MM ’06) has recently begun his term as President Elect of the American String Teachers Association of Arizona. Buchholz teaches at Pima College and is a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

Kliment Krylovskiy (BM ’06) is founder and clarinetist of the Zodiac Trio, which has launched the Zodiac Music Academy & Festival, an international summer music school and festival in the south of France. They have also recently founded the Boston New Music Project in collaboration with Berklee College of Music. [posted 6/17/2013]

Craig Price (MM ’06) was recently awarded the Wagner Prize at the 2012 Orpheus National Music Competition for Voice. [posted 01/11/13]

Joseph Trapanese (BM ’06) was featured at ASCAP’s first-ever Google+Hangout. Alongside artist M83, he co-wrote the soundtrack for the new sci-fi epic Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. [posted 6/17/2013]

Jenny Q Chai (MM ’06 / PS ’07) appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall this past April in a solo piano recital that featured two world premieres and one U.S. premiere, presented by Ear to Mind, an organization that introduces audiences to contemporary music and for which Chai is a co-director. The New York Times wrote that she “demonstrated true affinity for contemporary music … playing with resourceful technique and sensitivity [and with] rippling clarity and elegance.” [posted 01/11/13]

Wang Jie (BM ’05 / MM ’07) has been awarded the sixth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She will compose a new work that will be given its premiere in the 2013–14 season, in addition to a cash prize and a one-month residency at the artists’ retreat Ucross Foundation. [posted 01/11/13]

Alicia Olatuja (MM ’07) was featured as soprano soloist at the January inauguration of President Obama, singing a rousing rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. [posted 6/17/2013]

Kariné Poghosyan (MM ’05 / DMA ’07) appeared as soloist with the Park Avenue Chamber Orchestra in May, performing the Mozart Concerto for Piano No. 23 in A Major. [posted 6/17/2013]

Michael Scott (BM ’07) accepted a position at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, Belgium as a solo artist for the 2012–13 season. [posted 6/17/2013]

Julia Sakharova (PS ’07) has been appointed the newest member of the Arianna String Quartet and has also joined the faculty of the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where the ensemble is quartet-in-residence. [posted 01/11/13]

Kristi Shade (MM ’07) and fellow alumna Kathryn Andrews (MM ’09) are featured on the cover of the September/October issue of Harp Column magazine. Their ensemble Duo Scorpio has released the CD Scorpion Tales, on the American Modern Recordings label. [posted 01/11/13]

Matthew Tutsky (BM ’07) has been appointed Principal Harp of the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera Orchestra for the 2013–14 season. [posted 6/17/2013]

Wael Farouk (PS ’07) has been appointed to the Piano Faculty of the Chicago Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. [posted 6/17/2013]

William Hestand (BM ’05 / MM ’08) has been appointed second bassoonist of the Cleveland Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska (DMA ’08) joined the faculty of Columbia University, where she is teaching the Fundamentals of Western Music. Magdalena recently presented a lecture-recital on Bach and Mozart interpretation for the Music Educators Association in New Jersey and gave a “Sandy Relief” recital at the Bluesleep Music Salon in lower Manhattan. [posted 6/17/2013]

Devin Gray (MM ’08) placed in the top three on the 2012 Rhapsody Jazz Critics’ Poll as well as in the New York City Jazz Record’s “Best Debut Album” category for his work as a jazz drummer. [posted 6/17/2013]

Billy Hestand (BM ’05 / MM ’08) has won the position of Second Bassoon with the Cleveland Orchestra. [posted 6/17/2013]

Jeanine de Bique (BM ’06 / MM ’08 / PS ’09) was presented in concert this April by Young Concert Artists at Merkin Hall. The Huffington Post published a feature article and wrote: “As the soprano entered stage left, stunning in her sequined silver gown—she stood beside the Steinway concert grand exuding confidence and elegance. I was taken by the supreme control she had over her gifts—voice, presence, and charm… She captivated her audience with seemingly effortless vocal flexibility, commanding stage presence, and sensitive interpretation of each selection on the program.” [posted 6/17/2013]

Ashley Gonzalez Daneman (MM ’09) has seen the release of a new CD of original songs entitled Harvest Town, funded by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo. [posted 01/11/13]


CLASSES OF 2010–2013


Jonathan Floril (BM ’10 student) was pianist and artist-in-residence at the Salzburg Vocal Festival this past summer in Austria. [posted 01/11/13]

Sandy Hughes (MM ’10) has been appointed second flutist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

Angela Ko Eun Lee (MM ’09 / PS ’10) has won the position of Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. [posted 6/17/2013]

Joseph Lee (MM ’10) has joined the cello section of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

Jordan Smith (MM ’10) is soprano saxophonist of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet—which includes fellow alumni Daniel Kochersberger and Jay Rattman—who made their Symphony Space debut in November. The concert featured premieres by David Noon and alumna Inhyun Kim. [posted 6/17/2013]

Yoonshin Song (PS ’09 / AD ’10) has been appointed concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, becoming the ensemble’s first new concertmaster since 1988. [posted 01/11/13]

Samuel Gelber (BM ’11) has accepted a position at the Metropolitan Opera as assistant to Artistic Administrator Jonathan Friend. [posted 01/11/13]

Dillon Kondor (MM ’11) has played guitar recently in the Broadway productions of Spider-Man, Wicked and Newsies, as well as on the newly released cast album for Dogfight. [posted 6/17/2013]

Jesús Reina (BM ’09 / MM ’11) was violinist and artist-in-residence at the Salzburg Vocal Festival this past summer in Austria. [posted 01/11/13]

Elise Shope (MM ’11) has won the position of Second Flute with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. [posted 6/17/2013]

Yoobin Son (PS ’10 / AD ’11) has won the position of Second Flute with the New York Philharmonic. [posted 6/17/2013]

Shaun Trubiano (BM ’08 / MM ’10 / PS ’11) has been appointed principal percussionist of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Sydney. [posted 01/11/13]

Julie Castor (BM ’10 / MM ’12) is Director of the Geneva Conservatory of Music on West 57th Street in Manhattan, where she is also a violin teaching artist. [posted 6/17/2013]

Sul Sheryl Hwangbo (PS ’12) has joined the violin section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. [posted 01/11/13]

Eric Hopkins (MM ’13) has won the position of section percussion and Assistant Principal Timpani with the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera Orchestra. [posted 6/17/2013]

Eva Ryan (MM ’13) has won the position of Co-Principal Flute with the Sinfonia Lahti in Finland. [posted 6/17/2013]

Daniel Tosky (MM ’13) has won the position of section bass with the New World Symphony. [posted 6/17/2013]

In Memoriam

We honor the memory of alumni, former faculty, and staff members who have passed away in recent months:

Donald Byrd (DP '58, trumpet / BM '62, trumpet / MM '63, music education) died on February 4, 2013, in Dover, Delaware. He was 80. Byrd was considered one of the leading jazz trumpeters of the 1950s and early 1960s, who became both successful and controversial in the 1970s by blending jazz, funk and rhythm and blues into a pop hybrid that defied categorization.

Earl Carter (BM ’70, Theory / MM ’72,Theory) passed away on July 8, 2013 at the age of 76. Mr. Carter was currently a member of the Precollege Faculty and had taught in the College Division as well. Born in Pennsylvania, Mr. Carter received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Howard University and a master’s degree from New York University before attending MSM where he studied with Ludmila Ulehla. He began his teaching career in the New York City public school system, later teaching at Manhattan School of Music from 1972 to 1987, and serving as the chairman of the preparatory division music theory department. He also taught theory and sight-reading at the Boys Choir of Harlem school and at The Juilliard School Evening Division. 

Christine C. Chu (MM ’02, cello) Christine C. Chu (MM ’02, cello) passed away on May 5, 2013 from lymphoma. Her friends have set up a fund-raising campaign to assist her 20 month old daughter. More information can be found here: http://ral.ly/t/868264

Linda Fennimore (BM ’69, violin) passed away peacefully on February 23, 2013, after a brave battle with cancer. An internationally recognized jazz violinist, Fennimore was involved in a tragic automobile accident in her mid 20s, and was told she would never play again. Yet, with remarkable determination she began the laborious process of picking up and, finally, playing the violin. It took years, but her perseverance paid off. Linda had the ability to play various musical styles, including classical chamber music, jazz fusion, and American standards. Her playing drew accolades from Stephane Grappelli, the acknowledged master jazz violinist, with whom she toured in Europe, and rave reviews from The New York Times, Variety, New York Daily News, among others. A consummate entertainer, she was also known for her elegant fashion flair and a collection of extraordinary hats, which became her trademark. She spent most of her life in New York City, where she played in orchestras, clubs and restaurants, taught violin, and toured with her own one-woman show, “Love Life.” She also enjoyed hiking and sailing. She is remembered for her vibrant personality and resilient spirit, her music and unique style, and her deep faith and love of life. Donations in her memory may be made to Manhattan School of Music.

Zenon Fishbein (BM  '60/ MM '61) was a member of the Manhattan School of Music College faculty since 1963 and taught in the Precollege since 1961. Born in Argentina, of Russian parents, he made his official debut to the general acclaim of the press at thirteen. As a recipient of a fellowship from the Argentinian government, he traveled to Rome, Vienna, and Paris, where he studied and coached with such eminent artists as Carlo Zecchi, Paolo Denza, Margherite Long, and Walter Gieseking. He holds a degree from the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, a diploma from the Salzburg festival, and an MM from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Dora Zaslavsky and, upon graduation,received the Harold Bauer Memorial Award. A winner of numerous awards at international competitions held in Geneva, Rome, Vercelli, and Buenos Aires, he has appeared in hundreds of concerts and solo recitals worldwide, as well as performing as soloist in chamber music and orchestral programs. He has collaborated for joint concerts with Herta Gatz, Jens Nygaard, Justino Diaz,and Mishel Piastro. His broad range of repertory includes a cycle of recitals dedicated to the works of Chopin, a series by romantic composers, and the premiere of contemporary piano works.  Mr. Fishbein has been a guest at universities in Seoul, Manila, Beijing, New York, and  Londo, offering masterclasses and lectures. A former chairman of the screening committee for the Fulbright grants for studies abroad, he has also served as a frequent adjudicator in international competitions. He is the founder of Midsummer Music, dedicated to sponsoring music festivals in the Italian cities of Pesaro, Urbino, Sulmona, Caprarola, and Tivoli. He is a former faculty member of the Hartt College of Music, Brooklyn College, and Hanse University in Korea.  A recording artist for the Sound Starton label in Germany, he has also been a contributor to many musical publications. The late Harold Schonberg of the New York Times declared Mr. Fishbein “a  real talent” and his debut “unusually impressive.” Other critics have called him a “master of the grand manner”(Theodore Strongin, New York Times) and “A marvelous colorist… A fine pianist indeed.”  Click here to read a remembrance by his former student Penny Prince (BM ’74 / MM ’76):
 Mr. Fishbein: The Legacy of a Master Teacher.

Raynard Gorobetz (BM ’49, piano) passed away on November 27, 2011. He began his career in the Yonkers Public Schools in 1958.  He served in several schools as instrumental music instructor, guidance counselor, and assistant principal. His last professional assignment was Roosevelt High School. He retired from the district in June, 1991. In addition to his professional duties, Ray was an accomplished and talented musician and composer. However, his proudest accomplishment was his service to his country during World War II. Ray leaves behind his devoted wife Harriet, his two sons David and Peter, as well as his grandsons Jake and Andrew. “We will always miss his spirit of generosity as well as his marvelous sense of humor,” fellow alumnus Jerry Colaio writes.

Morey Shepard (MM ’53, trumpet) passed away on November 10, 2012.

John Warner Swallow (Member of the MSM Brass Faculty from 1978 – 1993) passed away on October 20, 2012, after a long illness. A Professor Emeritus of Music at Yale University (he retired in 2001, Dean Robert Blocker wrote of the community’s “admiration and affection” for Professor Swallow. “John was both artist and teacher in the most exemplary fashion,” wrote Blocker, ”and his ready smile and collegial manner endeared him to students, faculty, and staff alike.” Swallow was a member of the New York Brass Quintet for many years and was considered one the most important trombone performers and teachers in the United States. He enjoyed performance associations with the Utah Symphony under Maurice Abravanel and the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner, and was a member of groups such as Gunther Schuller’s Twentieth Century Innovations and Arthur Weisberg’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He was the subject of a doctoral thesis by Brett Arthur Shuster, “John Swallow: A Study of His Life and Influence in the Trombone World” (Arizona State University, 2002).


CLASSES OF 1960–1969