Success Stories

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

  • Jun 10, 2024Piano

    MSM student Dmitry Yudin places second at the 2024 Géza Anda International Piano Competition

    On June 8, Dmitry Yudin (MM ‘25), who studies at MSM with Horacio Gutierrez, was awarded second place at the prestigious Géza Anda International Piano Competition in Zurich, Switzerland.

    Second prize includes award money of 20,000 Swiss francs, along with many concerts arranged by the Géza Anda Foundation over the period of 2024 to 2027.

    Dimitri is a prizewinner of numerous national and international competitions, and has performed across Russia and abroad both as solo recitalist and in concertos, with orchestras including the Moscow Virtuosi Orchestra (Spivakov).

    Learn more about Dimitri here.

    Learn more about the competition here.



  • Jun 1, 2024Jazz

    Recent graduate Kellin Hanas (BM ’24) wins first prize in the International Trumpet Guild’s Ryan Anthony Memorial Jazz Trumpet Competition

    Kellin Hanas (BM ’24) was the student speaker at MSM Commencement 2024, and placed first on June 1 in the International Trumpet Guild Ryan Anthony Memorial Trumpet Competition: Jazz Division.

    At MSM, Kellin took on several student leadership roles, and she is also the leader of her own band, the Kellin Hanas Quintet, which debuted in 2022 at the iconic Birdland Jazz Club in NYC.

    Kellin spoke with us a few days before graduating in this blog post.

  • May 31, 2024Strings

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

    MSM Alumnus and faculty member Xiao Wang (BM ’13, MM ’15, AD ’16) placed first of ten finalists in the New York Classical Violin Competition which was held at Manhattan School of Music in late May.

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

    Learn more here.

  • May 23, 2024Orchestra Performance Program

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

    Violinist and conductor David Chan joins the artistic team of the Apollo Orchestra as 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 the MET Orchestra.

    Learn more here.

  • May 15, 2024Jazz

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

    Congratulations to the MSM Jazz Arts alumni and faculty members who won high-profile awards in the prestigious Jazz Journalists Association Awards for 2024. The winners in the MSM Community include faculty member Darcy James Argue who won Best Arranger, and the ensemble Artemis with MSM Dean of Jazz Arts Ingrid Jensen which won for Best Mid-Sized Ensemble.

    Learn more here.

  • May 7, 2024Vocal Arts

    The Met Opera 2024–25 season features many MSM alumni

    The Metropolitan Opera’s 2024–2025 season features many MSM alumni including SeokJong Baek (BM ’16, MM ’18), tenor, in Tosca, performing Sep 25, 28; Oct 3, 6, 11, and J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09), mezzo-soprano, in Rigoletto, performing Sep 30; Oct 4, 8, 12, 17, 20, 23, 26; Nov 1, 4, 8.

    Learn about the performers and the productions here, in alphabetical order.

  • May 1, 2024Musical Theatre

    MSM trustee Bebe Neuwirth receives Tony Award nomination for her performance in the Broadway revival of Cabaret

    The Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and MSM trustee Bebe Neuwirth (HonDMA ’15) has been nominated for Featured Actress in a Musical at the 2024 Tony Awards for her role as the landlady Fräulein Schneider in the current Broadway revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Cabaret. The production (full name: Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club) has received nine Tony Award nominations, including for lead performers Eddie Redmayne and Gayle Rankin.

    Read an interview with Ms. Neuwirth in The New York Times here.

  • Apr 29, 2024Jazz

    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 Jensen is 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 Noordhuis and 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 here.
    Learn more about the 2024 Jazz Journalist Awards here.

  • Apr 29, 2024Jazz

    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 here.
    Watch video clips of Salvant’s tour in France featuring arrangements by Darcy James Argue here.
    Information about the Carnegie Hall concert here.

  • Apr 26, 2024Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus and trustee Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) to lead Opera Philadelphia

    MSM alumnus and trustee Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) — the celebrated American countertenor who is one of opera’s biggest stars — will be leading Opera Philadelphia as its next general director and president beginning in June, the company announced on Thursday.

    “Costanzo will be a rare figure in classical music: an artist in his prime who is also working as an administrator,” writes The New York Times.

    Read the full article here.

  • Apr 4, 2024Strings

    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 AnthonyFabio BidiniAmir Eldan, Richard GoodeGrigory KalinovskyYoheved Kaplinsky, Masao KawasakiClara Minhye Kim, and others.

    Learn more about Ilmar Gavilan here.

    Learn more about Summerfest here.

  • Apr 3, 2024Composition

    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 here.

  • Apr 2, 2024

    MSM President James Gandre to receive an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from his alma mater, Lawrence University

    MSM President James Gandre will receive an Honorary Doctor of Music degree and deliver an address at his alma mater, Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wisconsin, on June 9 and 10, during the school’s 2024 Commencement weekend.

    A graduate of the Lawrence Class of 1981, President Gandre will address graduates and their families at the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday, June 8.  The multi-faith service is scheduled for 2:30 pm in Memorial Chapel at the University.

    And then on Sunday, June 9, President Gandre will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree at Commencement, where his fellow honorary doctorate recipient (and Commencement Speaker) will be Lawrence University alumnus Pawo Choyning Dorji, Class of ’06, an Oscar-nominated Bhutanese filmmaker.

    Learn more here.

  • Apr 1, 2024Strings

    MSM alumnus Dr. James Kim is appointed Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Georgia

    Dr. James Kim (DMA 2023) who studied at MSM with Philippe Muller, was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Cello, tenure-track, at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. His appointment will begin in fall 2024.

    “James Kim brings an exceptionally high levels of artistry and teaching to the Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty, and we look forward to welcoming him to the Hodgson school and UGA,” said Hugh Hodgson School of Music Director Pete Jutras in a statement. “We are excited to see the impact he will have on our students and programs.”

    Kim holds an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, where he served as Studio Teaching Assistant to Joel Krosnick, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Manhattan School of Music, where he was a Teaching Fellow.

    “I am proud to join the incredible faculty of Hugh Hodgson School of Music and the vibrant campus of University of Georgia,” said Kim. “It is my honor to be part of a community that not only achieves excellence but also participates in society within and beyond its state borders. I look forward to guiding students toward their goals and sharing the lessons I’ve learned in the process.”

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 31, 2024Jazz

    An MSM student and MSM alumni are featured at Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center in the Diva Jazz Orchestra

    The DIVA Jazz Orchestra performed at Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center in late March that featured MSM student Kellin Hanas (BM ’24) trumpet, who studies and MSM with Dean of Jazz Arts Ingrid Jensen, along with alumni Pureum Jin (MM ’17), alto saxophone, and Barbara Laronga (MM ’02), trumpet.

    In the photo above, MSM President James Gandre poses with the three after the performance.

    Read our interview with Kellin Hanas here.

    Learn more about the DIVA Jazz Orchestra here.

  • Mar 30, 2024Precollege

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

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

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

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

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

    More information about the Musical Life Competition here.

  • Mar 18, 2024Vocal Arts

    MSM alumnus Daniel Espinal is named a winner of the 2024 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition

    Tenor Daniel Espinal (BM ’22) from Sarasota, Florida, is a winner of the 2024 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition along with four other competitors. He receives a prize money of $20,000 prize along with the prestige, exposure, and networking opportunities that come with winning this renowned competition that has launched the careers of many of opera’s most well-known stars.

    Yulin Wang (MM ’25), tenor and Zhenpeng Zhang (MM ’23, PS ’24), baritone, both students of Cynthia Hoffman at MSM, won Encouragement Awards during the Competition.

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 10, 2024Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts student Motswedi Modiba is featured at the Forbes magazine African Leading Women Summit in South Africa

    MSM Jazz Arts student Motswedi Modiba, known professionally as Moe, was a featured speaker at the Forbes magazine African Leading Women Summit held in South Africa on March 8, 2024.

    According to organizers, the event “brings together the who’s who of female leadership from the African continent and beyond – from the world of business, politics, art, sports, civil society and life; a unique collection of female trailblazers who are distinct in their thinking but single-minded in their purpose.”

    Moe was recently a contestant on the high-profile singing competition in China known as “Sing! China” (photo above).

    Learn more about the event here.

  • Mar 4, 2024Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Orchestral Performance alumna Kayla Burggraf (MM ’16) named Associate Principal Flute with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

    MSM Orchestral Performance alumna Kayla Burggraf (MM ’16) studied at MSM with Robert Langevin. She performed with the Kansas City Symphony in the 2019–20 season. She was previously a fellow with the New World Symphony, served as Principal Flute of the Des Moines and Ann Arbor Symphonies and a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

    During the 2022–23 season she is playing Guest Principal Flute with the San Francisco Symphony for selected weeks as well as for their European tour with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has performed as Guest Principal Flute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as solo piccolo and in the flute sections of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony among others. She has worked with such notable conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Stern, Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden among others.

    Learn  more about Kayla Burggraf here.

  • Mar 3, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM woodwinds student Lucy Rubin wins 3rd prize at the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Young Artist Competition.

    MSM woodwinds student Lucy Rubin (MM ’25)  from Highland Park, Illinois, has placed third at the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Young Artist Competition.

    Lucy Rubin is flutist and music theorist pursuing a Master of Music in Classical Flute under Linda Chesis at the Manhattan School of Music. She recently graduated from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia as a First Honors Graduate (4.0 GPA) with degrees in music performance and music theory, studying under Angela Jones-Reus. She was principal flute of the UGA Symphony Orchestra, Hodgson Wind Ensemble, a member of the UGA Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and numerous chamber ensembles.

    More information about Lucy Rubin here.
    More information about the competition here.

  • Mar 3, 2024Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Orchestral Performance alumna Xiaoxuan Shi (MM ’22) receives tenured position with the San Diego Orchestra

    MSM Orchestral Performance alumna Xiaoxuan Shi (MM ’22) won a violin position with the San Diego Symphony in 2022 and recently received tenure in the orchestra.

    Xiaoxuan has won numerous international and national competitions including the Vivo International Music Competition in New York, Singapore International Violin Competition and the China National Violin Competition.

    She has appeared as a soloist with the Adelphi Orchestra, MSM Chamber ensemble, Singapore Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and the Kids’ Philharmonic in Singapore. An experienced orchestral player, she has served in leadership positions at the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Chamber Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Apex Ensemble and Yale Philharmonia.

    Learn more about Xiaoxuan Shi here.

  • Mar 2, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM student Lorien Britt wins first place in the Central Ohio Flute Association (COFA) Collegiate Flute Competition

    MSM student Lorien Britt (BM’26) won first place in the COFA Collegiate Flute Competition in Ohio on March 2.

    Lorien Britt currently studies flute performance with MSM Woodwinds Department Chair Linda Chesis. She is from Dallas, Texas, where she studied flute with Claire Johnson.

    Lorien received the Outstanding Performer distinction at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest every year she had been in attendance. She has performed for several world-renowned flutists, such as Jasmine Choi, Paul Edmund-Davies, Lorna McGhee, and James Walker.

    More information about the competition here.

  • Feb 27, 2024Strings

    Current MSM strings student Risa Hokamura performs at The Morgan Library & Museum on February 28

    Violinist and MSM student Risa Hokamura (BM ’24) is performing a recital at NYC’s prestigious The Morgan Library & Museum on February 28 at noon with a program that includes solo works by Ysaÿe, Symanowski, and Ravel, plus Dvořák’s Terzetto in C Major.

    The event in the Gilder Lehrman Hall also features guest artists from the YCA family violinist Lun Li and violist Toby Appel. Tickets to this performance include access to current exhibitions.

    Watch video of Risa with details about the concert here.

  • Feb 20, 2024Opera

    Three MSM alumni win top awards in the 52nd George and Nora London Foundation Competition

    MSM alumni mezzo-soprano Erin Wagner (BM ’19), tenor Samuel White (PS ’18), and baritone Benjamin Dickerson (BM ’17) have been named winners in the 2024 George and Nora London Foundation Competition for young American and Canadian opera singers, one of the opera world’s oldest and most prestigious competitions. They are pictured above along with the other four principal award winners.

    The winners were announced after the competition’s final round on February 16 which took place at Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, with both an in-person and online audience.

    Erin Wagner, from El Paso, Texas sang “Sein wir wieder gut” from Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and won the George London Award of $12,000 in memory of Mary Palumbo, sponsored by Donald Palumbo.

    Samuel White, from Columbia, South Carolina sang “Amfortas! Die Wunde” from Wagner’s Parsifal won the George London Award of $12,000 in memory of Lloyd E. Rigler, sponsored by The Lloyd E. Rigler and Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, James D. Rigler, President.

    Benjamin Dickerson, from Burlington, Vermont, sang “Nemico della patria” from Giordano’s Andrea Chénier won the George London Award of $12,000 in memory of Lois Kirschenbaum, sponsored by the George and Nora London Foundation for Singers.

    Learn more about the competition here.

  • Feb 19, 2024Piano

    MSM piano student Jas Ogiste receives critical praise from The New York Times

    MSM piano student Jas Ogiste (MM  ’25), who studies at MSM with Jiayin Li, was singled out by The New York Times in its recent review of “The Chevalier,” a production about the composer Joseph Boulogne, also known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was born in Guadeloupe in 1745.

    “The pianist Jas Ogiste performs tender, yearning solos for Marie Antoinette’s character,” writes The New York Times.

    The production took place at the United Palace theater in Washington Heights in New York City, and will be available for streaming later in February.

    Jas Ogiste was performing as a member of the The Harlem Chamber Players, praised by the paper as offering “sparkling, taut performances.”

    New York Classical Review also applauded Jas Ogiste’s performance: “Pianist Jas Ogiste of the Harlem ensemble ably accompanied Elliott in Bologne’s violin sonatas and set a reflective tone for the epilogue with a moody solo, the composer’s Adagio in F minor.”

    The Jas Ogiste was recently featured in MSM’s Black History Month concert which can be seen here.

    Read the New York Times review here.
    Read the New York Classical Review here.


  • Feb 17, 2024Jazz

    MSM alumnus Ambrose Akinmusire is featured on the cover of DownBeat

    MSM alumnus Ambrose Akinmusire (BM ’05) has been named Best Trumpeter by DownBeat for eight years in a row and the venerable magazine — along with respected general news publications including The Guardian, The Irish Times, and the Wall Street Journal — is giving high critical praise to his latest album Owl Song.

    DownBeat gives Owl Song a five-star review describing it as “a quiet rush of gorgeous sound where space, tone and beauty come together in one of the most impactful albums of 2023… This is one of the most interesting recordings to come along in a very long time by one of the most interesting artists of our time.”

    Read the full DownBeat review here.

  • Feb 15, 2024Precollege

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read the review in The Armenian Weekly here.

  • Feb 8, 2024Precollege

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

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

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

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

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

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




  • Feb 2, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM alumnus Yi Xiang named Co-Principal Flute at the China NCPA Orchestra

    Yi Xiang (BM ’16) has been named Co-Principal Flute at the China NCPA Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

    Yi Xiang has also released an album of flute and harp music with the respected China Record Cooperation, sponsored by the NFA career enhancement fund.

    The National Flute Association will feature Yi’s achievements in an upcoming issue of Flutist Quarterly.

    Yi studied at MSM with Woodwinds Chair Linda Chesis.

  • Feb 2, 2024Jazz

    Research project by MSM Jazz Arts alumnus Jake Hertzog and his academic partner is awarded a $45,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts

    The University of Arkansas has been awarded a $45,000 research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that will support researchers Jake Hertzog (MM’ 16) (in photo on left) and Justin R. Hunter in the Department of Music.

    They are examining the importance of collegiate jazz programs to the jazz ecosystems in three U.S. cities — Kansas City, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; and Atlanta, Georgia.

    Each of these cities represents areas that have varied and expansive jazz scenes and music ecosystems beyond collegiate jazz programs that act as sources, anchors and hubs.

    “We are thrilled to receive support from the NEA on this project — right now is a pivotal time for higher education, the music industry and the evolving and important work on musical and cultural placemaking,” Hertzog says.

    Learn more here.

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