Timeline

This timeline of the history of the School contains information and details of particular interest to our former students. Alumni who have archival materials that they wish to give to the School may contact the Office of Alumni Affairs; such donations to our archives will be greatly appreciated.

1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990 | 2000

1917

Janet Daniels Schenck, a young musician and graduate of the New York School of Social Work, begins the planning of a new music school.

1918 

School is established by Janet D. Schenck at the Union Settlement on East 104th Street, later moving to a rental brownstone on East 105th Street. She is director from 1918–1956.

There are 120 students, representing 10 nationalities, and a faculty of 23. The fee charged is 50 cents a lesson or 25 cents with two in a class. A budget of $3,000 for 1918–1919 is approved.

In March, Harold Bauer and Pablo Casals become the founding members of the artist auxiliary board.

1919

The first District Music Service begins (community outreach) with concerts given at various divisions of Ellis Island, including the tuberculosis and psychopathic wards. Surgical and shell-shock hospitals are visited weekly.

1920

The School’s first charter is issued. The School is incorporated as the Neighborhood Music School under the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

The School has 200 students in the upper and lower divisions.

1922 

May — The first commencement is held and the first diploma awarded.

Hugo Kortschak joins the conducting and string faculties, where he remains for 30 years.

October — The School is moved to facilities at 238 East 105th Street.

1923 

The first concert in a public hall is performed in the Heckscher Theatre in May.

1924 

The first Town Hall recital is given in January.

There are 246 students representing 14 nationalities, with 244 on the waiting list, 28 teachers, and a budget of $19,854.37.

Pianist Harold Bauer gives his first master class in the fall.

1925 

The School’s first auditorium is constructed seating over two hundred people.

In November, the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York grants the School’s permanent charter.

1926 

Dora Zaslavsky, one of the first graduates of the School, joins the piano faculty, where she teaches for over 60 years.

1928

The School moves into a new four-story building, built on the same site as the old

There are 28 theory classes; 20 scholarship students; Senior Orchestra numbers 28.

1930 

New library and elevator for the library are added; a beautiful reading room is constructed in place of the entrance court.

Hugh Ross, conductor of New York’s Schola Cantorum, joins the faculty, where he remains for over 50 years.

1932

The School has 320 students representing 18 nationalities; there are 44 teachers on faculty.

1934

There are 403 students representing 25 nationalities

Weekly concerts at the Museum of the City of New York are started. From February 27 to June 5 the School gives 88 programs of music in 29 different centers: 37 programs in educational organizations, 31 in social centers, 15 in health centers, and 5 in churches.

1935 

“District Music Service” (community outreach) includes 32 concerts at 15 different agencies; 23 additional agencies are reached regularly through concerts, designed especially for the community, and given at the School. This program grew out of the first music programs given in the hospitals immediately after the last war.

There are 435 students representing 21 nationalities in attendance: 25% are under 12 years of age, 36% between 12 and 18, and 39% over 18 years old (61% under 18 and 39% over 18 years of age).

1938

Amendment to charter of the Neighborhood Music School renames the institution Manhattan School of Music.

The School has 482 students, 55 scholarship students, 46 theory classes; Senior Orchestra numbers 70.

The new Hubbard Auditorium and additional rooms added to the building are completed.

1940

The Concert and Placement Bureau (placement office) opens in May “to secure engagements for our gifted students so that they may have the encouragement and discipline of frequent appearances.”

The School has 525 students and a faculty of 58.

Pianist Harold Baur (pointing) with two students.Appearing in recital at the School are Harold Bauer (pictured, pointing), Rudolf Serkin, Dora Zaslavsky, (pictured, seated at piano) and the two-piano duo of Rudolph Gruen and Frances Hall.

1941

Postgraduate department is formed. Courses are offered in conducting by Hugo Kortschak; in ensemble by Harris Danziger, Dora Zaslavsky, and by Oliver Edel, Julius Shaier, and Rachmael Weinstock of the Roth Quartet; in scoring, arranging, fugue, and composition by Vittorio Giannini; and advanced dictation, ear-training, analysis, score reading, and keyboard harmony by Dr. Howard Murphy.

1942

The School awards its first postgraduate diploma.

Monthly concerts for children are inaugurated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1943

Amendment to the charter authorizes the School to grant the bachelor of music degree.

1945

June 1 — Janet D. Schenck, the School's director, is assisted by Dr. Harold Bauer in conferring the degree of bachelor of music for the first time.

Special classes are arranged to help the returning veterans. The School is one of two music schools in New York City, outside the universities, qualified by the government to accept returning veterans both under Public Law 346 (G.I. Bill of Rights) and Public Law 16 (Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Law).

1947

Amendment to the charter authorizes the School to confer the master of music degree.

The School has 663 students.

1950

Raymond LeMieux joins the faculty and begins a graduate program in music education.

The opera department is formed.

1951

Robert Goldsand joins the piano faculty, where he teaches until his death in 1991.

1952

Jonel PerleaJonel Perlea, a conductor at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, is appointed to the faculty.

1954

School is expanded; library wing is added.

The School has 650 students representing 30 foreign countries and 36 U.S. states.

1956

September — Janet Schenck retires as director; she remains on the School’s board of trustees and becomes director emeritus and trustees’ representative to the administration.

John BrownleeBoard of trustees appoint Metropolitan Opera baritone John Brownlee (pictured) as the School’s new director. He serves as director/president until 1969.

School receives full membership to the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

1957

First time School makes a widespread drive for funds; slogan is “Help us to raise the roof,” as they need two new floors, one to be a new dining hall, the other to have a recital hall.

1958

Two additional floors are added, which include a large and beautiful dining hall, a recital hall, studios, and additional practice rooms.

Student body numbers 831 students.

Pablo Casals returns to the School to teach a master class.

1960

The advanced opera workshop coaches 72 entire roles, from seven different operas — sung in French, German, and Italian — with two casts each.

Yehudi Menuhin gives a string seminar.

1961

Rosina Lhevinne appears as piano soloist with the School’s Symphony, under the baton of Jonel Perlea.

1962

Lillian Fuchs joins the chamber music and viola faculities, and teaches at the School for almost 30 years.

1963

May — The board of trustees announces an $8.5 million expansion program which includes the purchasing of the Juilliard building on Claremont Avenue.

Alumni Campaign Fund established for move to new building.

1964

Anton CoppolaAnton Coppola, pictured, joins the conducting and opera faculties where he teaches for 15 years.

1965

Artur Balsam joins the piano and chamber music faculties, where he teaches until 1993.

1966

March — Anton Coppola conducts the Opera Theater production of The Judgement of St. Francis by Nicolas Flagello.

November — Jonel Perlea leads the Orchestra in a performance of the Wheeler version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony, performed only once previously in New York.

1967

Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson is honorary chairperson of the School’s Salute to American Musical Theater presented at the Waldorf-Astoria and repeated twice at the White House.

1968

Children’s opera theater, under the guidance of Cynthia Auerbach, is established to present opera for children, sung by children.

1969

School president John Brownlee dies unexpectedly on January 10.George Schick

George Schick (pictured), noted opera conductor and music director of the Metropolitan Opera Studio, is appointed president and assumes office in the fall term, (president until 1976).

Josephine Whitford begins the School’s first comprehensive alumni mailing list.

A workman moves a timpani out of the east side building.September — The School moves to 120 Claremont Avenue.

1970

John C. Borden Auditorium dedication concert is held on January 31. School's new home on 120 Claremont.

A special event introduces alumni to the new building.

October 14 — The School sponsors a Salute to Jack Benny at the Waldorf-Astoria. Dick Cavett is master of ceremonies for a program which features members of the School’s Orchestra conducted by Anton Coppola.

Classes are suspended as students organize concerts in memory of those slain during the Kent State protests.

1971

An official charter establishes an independent Alumni Association.

Old school on E. 105th StreetA group of alumni organize an effort to redeem the stone seal from the old building (pictured) by contracting stone cutters working on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

The first Alumni Award is announced at Commencement.

1974

Amendment to the charter authorizes the granting of the doctor of musical arts degree.

1975

An alumni event is held celebrating violin faculty member Raphael Bronstein and featuring his student Elmar Oliveira, the first and only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow's Tchaikovsky International Competition.

Class of 1975 refurbish lounge in John C. Borden Auditorium.

1976

Judy Blazer and Michael Philip DavisThe Opera Theater mounts a production of Kurt Weill's Street Scene (pictured are Judy Blazer as Rose and Michael Philip Davis as Sam). Anton Coppola conducts, James Lucas directs.

Master classes are given by Jean-Pierre Rampal, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Gina Bachauer, Arthur Rubinstein, Abby Simon, Dame Eva Turner, Vladimar Spivakov, and Bidu Sayao.

John Crosby conductingJohn Crosby becomes president, a position he holds until 1986 (pictured). 

1977

Soprano Johanna Meier (Class of 1960) gives a benefit concert at Alice Tully Hall for the alumni association.

1979

Jazz pianist Marian McPartland appears in concert with the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Band.

Master classes are given by Arnold Steinhardt, John Mack, Raymond Lewenthal, Ezio Flagello (Class of 1953), Nico Castel, Jon Vickers, and Magda Tagliaferro.

Josephine WhitfordJosephine Whitford, pictured c. 1960, is given an honorary doctorate for her over 50 years of service to the School.

1980

Alumni reunion honors faculty members who have taught at the School for 20 years or more.

Josephine C. Whitford, dean of students, retires. She is named dean emeritus.

1981

The Business of Music: Anatomy of a Career is offered in the spring. Taught by Richard E. Adams (Class of 1961), it is the first course of its kind.

1983Soprano Birgit Nilsson teaches Dawn Upshaw in a master class.

October — Birgit Nilsson (pictured with Dawn Upshaw) teaches a master class, her first anywhere, before a specially invited audience, thus beginning a series of annual appearances at the School for the next several years.

1984

American String Quartet becomes quartet in residence.

Jazz/commercial music major is announced with courses offered are towards a master’s degree.

1985

Violinist Elmar Oliveira (Class of 1972) receives an honorary doctorate at commencement.

1986

Gideon W. Waldrop, composer, conductor, and former dean of The Juilliard School, becomes president (president until 1989).

Dora Zaslavsky Koch is given an honorary doctorate for her 60 years of teaching excellence.

1987

Jazz/commercial music department offers new bachelor’s degree program.

Jazz Orchestra wins its first Down Beat magazine “Outstanding College Jazz Band of the Year” award, for its first recording, Shades of Time.

March — Classical guitar legend Andrés Segovia is awarded an honorary doctorate following a series of master classes. President Gideon Waldrop presided over the special convocation, where Butros Butros-Galli, Secretary-General of the United Nations, gave the keynote address.

Gunther SchullerGunther Schuller (alumnus of the Preparatory Division) is awarded an honorary doctorate at the May commencement ceremonies.

1988

Frances Hall Ballard, a member of the piano faculty from 1932–81 and benefactress of the music library, is given an honorary doctorate.

New recording facilities and a performance space are established in honor of Charles Myers (Class of 1965).

1989

Peter Simon, pianist and former director of academic studies at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, becomes president (president until 1991).

The Honorable Richard Owen (Class of 1960), a member of the board of trustees and a noted composer, is given an honorary doctorate.

Marc Silverman (Class of 1983) is appointed chair of the piano department.

1990

Jazz legend Max Roach (Class of 1952) is given an honorary doctorate.

1991

Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance begins.

Professional Musical Theater Workshop is developed.

Birgit NilssonNovember 3 — Soprano Birgit Nilsson is honored with a gala concert celebrating her years of master classes at the School. Guest performers include Ned Barth (Class of 1986), Karen Beardsley (Class of 1981), Mignon Dunn, Susan Graham (Class of 1987), Marvis Martin (Class of 1980), Johanna Meier (Class of 1960), Sherrill Milnes, Henry Runey (Class of 1986), Dawn Upshaw (Class of 1984), Joseph Wiggett (Class of 1991), and Dolora Zajick (Class of 1983), among others. George Manahan (Class of 1976) leads the School’s Symphony.

The School’s administration incorporates the activities of the disbanded alumni association.

1992

Pinchas ZukermanMarta Casals Istomin (pictured), formerly artistic director of the Kennedy Center, becomes president (president until 2005).

First American Musical Theater Ensemble production, Love Songs and Alka Selzer, is performed.

Composer John Corigliano (Class of 1963) receives an honorary doctorate.

1993

School celebrates its 75th anniversary.

The School has 875 students, having admitted 39% of 1,725 applicants. The preparatory division has 470 students.

Alumni receptions held in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Pinchas ZukermanA special performance program is inaugurated in the fall with Pinchas Zukerman (pictured), offering an intensive two-year course of study for exceptionally gifted violinists and violists.

Jazz Orchestra features guest artists Wynton Marsalis, Priscilla Baskerville (Class of 1974), and Jon Hendricks, in a performance of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert.

1994

May 16 — The culminating event of the seventy-fifth-anniversary season features Kurt Masur conducting the Manhattan School of Music Symphony in a gala concert. The concert includes the world premiere of Manhattan Concerto by noted German composer Siegfried Matthus, commissioned by the School for its anniversary. After intermission, the School confers the degree of doctor of musical arts, honoris causa, upon Maestro Masur. Alumni reunion held in conjunction with festivities.

The Augustine Guitar Series moves to Manhattan School of Music and presents recitals by David Russell, Eduardo Fernandez, and Julian Bream in its first year.

New York Wind Soloists (later renamed Windscape) becomes an ensemble in residence.

First comprehensive Alumni Directory published.

1995

Alumni Council established with 24 members.

1996

A celebration of the legacy left by Raphael Bronstein (violin faculty from 1950–1988) is held in John C. Borden Auditorium on February 11, when alumni, faculty, friends, and colleagues gather for a gala concert.

Jazz pianist and composer John Lewis (Class of 1953) is given an honorary doctorate.

A Gala Benefit Concert is held on October 4. Guest artists include Pinchas Zukerman, Lauren Flanigan (Class of 1984), and John Lewis (Class of 1953).

Videoconferencing begins at Manhattan School of Music on November 1 — esteemed French composer Henri Dutilleux is broadcast live from Paris into Borden Auditorium at a concert which features the New York premiere of his composition, Timbres, espace, mouvement. A live international question and answer session allows students and audience members to ask Maestro Dutilleux about his music, life, and compositional process.

1997

May 18 — A second transatlantic videoconference enables the School to bestow concurrent honorary doctoral degrees on Mstislav Rostropovich (who is in France) and Clark Terry (who is in New York City). President Istomin confers the honors upon both musicians and gives her annual commencement greeting from Evian, France, where she is engaged as the director general of the Rencontres Musicales.

Four recordings of the School’s opera productions are released on CD: Rorem’s Miss Julie, Donizetti’s Il campanello di notte, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Daniel Catán’s Rappaccini’s Daughter.

Summer — Jazz Orchestra embarks on its first European tour to the Netherlands, Italy, and Switzerland.

A memorial concert is held in November honoring Lillian Fuchs.

1998

April 24 — The library celebrates the installation of its new computer catalog, ManxCat.

Ludmila Ulehla (Class of 1947) receives the first Presidential Award for Distinguished Service for her 50 years of teaching excellence.

Jazz bassist Ron Carter (Class of 1961) and soprano Dawn Upshaw (Class of 1985) are given honorary doctorates.

A daylong, interdisciplinary symposium on Dmitri Shostakovich is held in September in conjunction with the Harriman Institute of Columbia University. Yuri Temirkanov leads a reading of Shostakovish’s 10th symphony with student orchestral musicians.

Six principal musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra lead sectional rehearsals of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the School’s Symphony. A full orchestra rehearsal of the work, conducted by Graziella Contratto, follows.

1999

Alumni receptions are held in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Dianne Danese-Flagello (Class of 1952), director of the preparatory division for 25 years, receives an honorary doctorate.

July 5 — The Manhattan School of Music Summer Music Camp opens exclusively for public school students in grades 5 through 8 from the five boroughs, created in association with the NYC Dept. of Education and the ASCAP Foundation.

Conductor Kurt Masur leads a reading rehearsal with orchestral students.Second annual interdisciplinary symposium on significant composers is held on October 12 to examine the music of Johannes Brahms. Kurt Masur (pictured), music director of the New York Philharmonic, leads the Manhattan School of Music Symphony in a reading of Brahms’s Symphony No. 1.

An alumni reunion is held at the School celebrating the decade of the 1950s.

Justin DiCioccio (Class of 1971) is appointed chair of the Jazz Department.

2000

A gala benefit, Salute to Glenn Dicterow, is celebrated on April 10 in cooperation with the New York Philharmonic to recognize Dicterow’s profound influence on the worlds of orchestral music and music education.

A Mendelssohn symposium takes place on October 6 and features Kurt Masur conducting the Manhattan School of Music Symphony in Avery Fisher Hall. This is the third annual event of its kind organized by the School.

Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin performs in John C. Borden Auditorium in October, offering the concert for the faculty, students, and supporters of the School. Kissin is awarded an honorary doctorate in the spring.

An alumni reception is held at Santa Fe Opera honoring soprano Lauren Flanigan and former President John Crosby.

MSM buildingManhattan School of Music constructs an additional multi-use building directly north and adjacent to the School’s existing building. This long-awaited facility permits the School to house students and provide expanded facilities for both practice and performance.

2001

January — Jazz department has three ensembles featured in performance at the International Association of Jazz Educators conference in New York City. An alumni reception is held in conjunction with the conference.

Dr. David Noon’s 15-year anniversary at Manhattan School of Music is celebrated with a mini-festival that includes an alumni reception.

May — Over one hundred student musicians from Manhattan School of Music travel to Caracas, Venezuela for a musical and cultural exchange with the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

At the May commencement ceremonies, faculty member Adele Addison is awarded an honorary doctorate; Stanley Bednar (Class of 1949/54) and Lucile Lawrence are recipients of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service.

The second comprehensive alumni directory is published in print form and CD-ROM. New features of this edition include email addresses, spouse/partner names, and up to three business/career affiliations for each alumna/nus.

The G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Hall is dedicated and opened in the fall, housing over 350 students. This wonderful new facility provides our students with an increased sense of community as well as much-needed practice rooms, doubling the practice space previously available for our students. There are also plans for an expanded library and two new performance spaces in Andersen Hall. SungEun Andersen is a member of the Board of Trustees and a Manhattan School of Music graduate, having studied piano with Constance Keene.

2002

At the May commencement ceremonies, the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, honoris causa, was awarded to mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick (Class of 1983).

The fall opera production features the New York premiere of The Seagull, a setting by Thomas Pasatieri and Kenward Elmslie of the Chekov play.

A special internship program is announced for a selected group of students in our Orchestral Performance program to work with the Berlin Philharmonic during the 2003 Easter Festival in Salzburg.

Hubbard Recital Hall is given major renovations over the summer and renamed Gordon K. and Harriet Greenfield Recital Hall, in honor of the long-standing trustee and his wife.

Dr. Joanne Polk (Class of 1990) is appointed to head the Preparatory Division, which is later renamed Precollege.

2003

The School’s orchestras are led in concert by such conductors as Graziella Contratto, Sergiu Comissiona, JoAnn Falletta, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Jerzy Semkow, and Julius Rudel, with readings given by David Robertson and Charles Dutoit. A symposium on Berlioz is held in Borden Auditorium. The Claremont Ensemble celebrates the music of faculty member Ned Rorem in honor of his 80th birthday. Master class artists include Lauren Flanigan, David Sanchez, Joseph Seiger, Licia Albanese, Pamela Frank, Brian Zeger, Glenn Dicterow, and Anna Moffo. Justin DiCioccio, an alumnus who was recently named assistant dean of jazz studies, leads our Jazz Orchestra in two recordings released this year: Sketches of Spain with guest soloist Dave Liebman and a collection of contemporary jazz compositions dedicated to the memory of Manny Albam, jazz faculty member who passed away in 2002.

A new degree offering in the doctoral program is announced for the fall: the jazz department will offer a DMA in Jazz Arts Advancement. This degree is unique in its shared emphasis on composition, performance, and pedagogy.

A new Web site was launched in April, providing the School with a dynamic, comprehensive presence on the World Wide Web.

May 18 — At the commencement ceremonies, the President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Richard Elder Adams (Class of 1961) and Ursula Mamlock (Class of 1957/58). Honorary doctorates are awarded conductor/music director Paul Gemignani and jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis.

2004

January — Manhattan School of Music is a strong presence at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference (IAJE) held in New York, including the debut of the School’s Jazz Philharmonic, and various performances by students, faculty, and alumni. An alumni reception is held, sponsored by the Alumni Council.

March — A weeklong conducting workshop is established featuring Maestro Kurt Masur.

May — At commencement, honorary doctorates are awarded to Sidney Harth, the acclaimed violinist and conductor, and Constance Keene, the renowned pianist and admired faculty member who is also a member of the board of trustees. The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Leonard Davis, Rosetta Goodkind, and Nathan Stutch. The commencement speaker is Ara Guzelimian, artistic director of Carnegie Hall.

Work is completed on the Peter Jay Sharp Library in the new building, and doors open for use in the fall.

November — The inaugural event to establish the Josephine Whitford Fund is held November 1 in John C. Borden Auditorium. For detailed information about this fund and how to support its cause, please click here.

2005

February — Leading American soprano and Manhattan School of Music alumna Catherine Malfitano gives a four-part master class series that allows a group of students to work with her privately on interpretation, acting, projection of character, and body movement. The project culminates in a public class on February 16.

April — Composer, conductor, and founding director of IRCAM Pierre Boulez is in residence for a week of lectures, rehearsals, and performances of his music.

Marta Casals Istomin, president of Manhattan School of Music since July 1992, announces her retirement. David A. Rahm, chairman of the board of trustees, states: “Mrs. Istomin has presided over an extraordinary chapter in the history of Manhattan School of Music. During her tenure, Manhattan School of Music has grown in stature from a leading conservatory of music in the United States to a place of international eminence. Among many new and revitalized programs, she has, with the support and approval of the board of trustees, brought in numerous internationally known musicians to lead master classes and orchestral sessions, upgraded the permanent faculty, expanded the curriculum and performance programs, added a model distance learning program, and increased the size and quality of the student body. Her vision and energy encouraged the trustees to embark on a capital campaign that provided a 21-story building, opened in 2001, that doubled the size of the campus and added many new facilities to the School. Mrs. Istomin’s legacy is a Manhattan School of Music that has become an extraordinary institution, staffed by a devoted administration and faculty. She has provided a secure platform on which we can build a great future in the community. For this, we stand forever in her debt.”

May — The School’s 79th Commencement ceremony, which for many years has been held in Borden Auditorium, is held at Riverside Church. Honorary doctorates are awarded to retiring President Marta Istomin and renowned pianist and pedagogue Claude Frank. The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Joseph Robinson and Homer Mensch (in absentia).

The Preparatory Division is renamed the Precollege Division.

The Manhattan School of Music Board of Trustees vote unanimously on June 21 to name the distinguished American composer Robert Sirota the School’s eighth president, effective October 2005. Dr. Sirota had been the director of Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory for the previous ten years.

2006

May — Held in The Riverside Church, the School’s 80th Commencement ceremony includes the presentation of an honorary doctorate to violinist Robert Mann. The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to David Noon and Constance Colby.

American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne is awarded an honorary doctorate during the School's opening Convocation in September.

2007

Construction of a president’s residence and two state-of-the-art performance spaces is completed in the spring. Architects and planners Beyer Blinder Belle spearhead the design of the final phase of campus enhancement started in 2000. The new spaces include: the Peter Jay Sharp President’s Residence located atop the 19-story G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Hall; the William R. and Irene D. Miller Recital Hall, an intimate jewel box space seating 153; and the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Performance Space, a multi-faceted space for informal performances of chamber music, jazz, opera, musical theater, as well as rehearsal space for large ensembles.

A Concert Gala was held at the Manderin Oriental in Midtown on May 1 to raise funds and inaugurate the School’s 90th Anniversary season. Honorees of the event were Pinchas Zukerman, Evgeny Kissin, and Thomas Hampson. Mr. Hampson was unable to attend due to illness; soprano Lauren Flanigan (Class of 1984) graciously agreed to step in on short notice and sing for the guests.

May — The School’s 81st Commencement ceremony, held in The Riderside Church, includes the presentation of honorary doctorates to jazz musician Dave Brubeck and Manhattan School of Music Board of Trustees Chairman David Rahm. The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Sylvia Rosenberg and Justin DiCioccio (Class of 1971).

In the fall, the School's first-ever Online Alumni Directory is launched.

2008

The Opera Theater mounts a production of Kurt Weill's Street Scene as part of the 90th Anniversary Celebration.

Commencement ceremonies feature a once-in-a-life-time experiece for graduates: honorary doctorates are awarded to Pete Seeger (who leads the audience in a sing-a-long), Billy Joel (who adds his own verse to Mr. Seeger's song), and alumna Susan Graham (who gives the commencement address).The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Solomon Mikowsky and Toby Hanks.

The third comprehensive alumni directory is published in print form and CD-ROM.

An All-Alumni Reunion is held October 16–18 in celebration of the 90th Anniversary.

2009

The Opera Theater mounts a productions of John Musto's Later That Same Evening in the Fall and Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus in the Spring.

At the May commencement ceremonies, honorary doctorates are awarded to baritone Thomas Hampson and critic Alex Ross. Conductor JoAnn Falletta, who was also to have received an honorary doctorate, was unable to attend the ceremony; her recognition will happen in September. The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Maitland Peters and Marc Silverman (Class of 1977/1983).

2010 

At the May commencement ceremonies, honorary doctorates are awarded to alumnus Anton Coppola, donor Alan Ades, and actor/singer Angela Lansbury. The President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service is awarded to Orin O'Brien and Arkady Aronov.

A Center for Music Entrepreneurship is launched.