This year, the students of the Manhattan School of Music are dedicating their showcase concert to spotlighting the work of the United Nations Messengers of Peace Program. They are proud to honor the organization's commitment to raising global awareness of peace and tolerance through the shared language of music.
Maestro Daniel Barenboim, acclaimed pianist, conductor, and current Messenger of Peace, is aware of MSM's decision to focus this year's concert on the work that he and his fellow Messengers of Peace have taken on. The Maestro is deeply touched by the commitment of the students here, and has sent a personal message to them that Elsa Jean Davidson, Dean of Students, will deliver this evening as part of her opening remarks.
To learn more about the United Nations Messengers of Peace Program, please visit http://www.un.org/sg/mop
A second year Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Manhattan School of Music, Christine Carter also holds a Master of Music Degree from McGill University and an Honors Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario for which she was awarded the prestigious University Gold Medal. Christine currently holds a Doctoral Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, in addition to a full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.
As a clarinetist, Christine has performed with orchestras across North America, including a summer with the National Repertory Orchestra, two national tours with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, a week of concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa under Pinchas Zukerman, and two productions of Schoenberg's monumental Gurrelieder with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Her trio was featured at an International House Sunday Supper, closing a lecture given by President Obama’s chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Paul Volcker. Most recently, she performed with the inaugural Castleton Festival Orchestra under New York Philharmonic Maestro Lorin Maazel, and joined the jazz ensemble, “Subtone,” for their performance at the international jazz festival in Avignon, France.
A native of South Korea, Wan Gyu Choi started to play the cello at the age of 7. With Myung-Wha Chung’s generous support at the age of 8, he was accepted to study at the preparatory division of the Korean National University of Arts when the school was first established. While he was studying with Ms. Chung, he won several prestigious awards, such as 2nd Prize at the Ewha & Kyunghyang Concours in Seoul and a debut concert with the Seoul National Philharmonic.
In 1998, at the age of 13, Mr. Choi went to Germany to study with Maria Kliegel. He also attended many music festivals in Western Europe and participated in master classes with Mstislav Rostropovich, Janos Starker, Bernhard Greenhouse, David Geringas, Miklos Perenyi, Mischa Maisky, and Arto Noras, among others.
In 2001, he won the Grand Prix at the German Federal Competition "Jugend musiziert" in Hamburg and as a special prize, the German Federal Music Instrument Foundation generously loaned him a prestigious cello, made by C.F.Gand in Paris 1842, for two years. As a part of his prize, he was invited to participate in the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. He served as the principal cellist of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and also played Lalo's cello concerto with them. It was there in Michigan, he met another important cello teacher in his life, Mr. Lynn Harrell.
In 2005, with generous support from his teachers, Mr. Choi was able to play a concert at the International Cello Festival in Kobe, Japan, in which thousands of cellists from around the world participated.
After studying with Mr. Harrell for several years, Mr. Choi is now studying at the Manhattan School of Music with Mr. David Geber.
Peter Gall was born in 1983 in Bad Aibling, south of Bavaria. He won first prizes at the Bavarian Youth Jazz Competition and the German Youth Jazz Competition and was a longtime member of the Bavarian Youth Jazz Orchestra ("Bavarian First Herd") and the German National Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO), conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer.
Peter shared the stage with many popular and renowned musicians and ensembles, such as Nils Landgren, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Henning Sieverts, Johannes Enders, Zollsound, The Uptown Orchestra, Torsten Goods, and others. He was a member in the groups Subtone, Inner Shape, Torsten Goods Band, as well as many more. Peter played at renowned events like the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz Baltica, Bohemia Jazzfest, Ostsee Jazzfestival, and Palatia Jazzfest. He studied at the University of Arts and Jazz Institut Berlin with Joey Barron, John Hollenbeck, David Friedman, and Jamey Haddad.
Brittany Hicken studies harp with Susan Jolles and Deborah Hoffman. She has participated in master classes with Catherine Michel, Elizabeth Hainen, Gretchen Van Hoesen, and Carrol McLaughlin. She has been a prizewinner in the Utah State Fair Music Competition and the Utah Symphony Youth Guild Recital Competition. Brittany grew up in South Jordan, Utah, where she began studying harp at age 10.
Cyrus von Hochstetter was born in Switzerland and started playing classical piano at the age of 6. He discovered jazz as a teenager and soon played in several local bands. As a leader of his own piano trio, he won an award at the Young Lions Swiss Jazz Festival and was able to perform at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival in 2004. He was then invited back to play for the Montreux Jazz Chrysler Award the next year. Cyrus moved to New York City where he studied jazz piano with Jason Moran, Fred Hersch, Mark Soskin, Garry Dial, and classical piano with Zitta Zohar. In 2009 he graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a degree in jazz piano performance.
Besides being an avid performer Cyrus keeps pursuing his interest for video and film making. He has shot shorts on 16mm film and digital video over the last eight years and received an award from the International Film Festival in Kundl, Austria.
As a multimedia artist, his explorations in the combining of live music performances with video projections led to a collaboration with piano duo 'Ferdiko' and a sold out multimedia concert at Merkin Hall, NYC in June 2009.
Cyrus has been the leader, singer, pianist and songwriter of 'Orange Democracy', an 8-headed joint effort, that brings together some of the finest musicians active in the jazz, opera and classical fields respectively to create a unique style of music. In 2009 the band won a Downbeat Student Award for outstanding performance.
As a performer, Cyrus has played on stages such as the Moods Jazz Club in Zurich, the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, at the Caramoor Music Festival in Katonah, NY and has appeared on television with country star Clint Black on NBC's 'Celebrity Apprentice'.
Florian Hoefner is an up-and-coming pianist and composer who had already established himself as one of the most successful young jazz artists in Germany before he came to New York. He has appeared as a pianist and composer on four CD releases, including one featuring guitarist, Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Florian’s experience as a jazz pianist has included extensive touring throughout Europe and abroad. He is the pianist and main composer of the quintet “Subtone” which combines musicians from New York and Berlin and belongs to the most active ensembles on the European Scene. The group has just recorded its third album and will set off for a South America tour in 2010. Its merits include the Audience Award and the Jury Award at the International Jazz Competition Tremplin Jazz in Avignon, France as well as appearances at major festivals like Jazz Baltica in Salzau, Germany and the Bohemia Jazz Fest in the Czech Republic.
Florian has also collaborated with various other ensembles and musicians. He recently toured Germany with the group, Inner Shape, featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel. As a composer and arranger he worked for the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the German trumpet star, Till Brönner.
Trumpeter/composer Matt Holman has performed and/or recorded with such diverse jazz and creative artists as Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling, Darcy James Argue, Jon Gordon, Kate McGarry, Matt Ulery, Bob Newhart, and Human Motion in countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and Australia. He has earned national and international performance awards including International Trumpet Guild's Jazz Improvisation Competition, the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, the National Trumpet Competition, and Down Beat. Taking inspiration from such diverse influences as Wayne Shorter, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Sigur Ros, Matt has composed works for Marvin Stamm, Ed Soph, David Baker, Marie Speziale, and The National Conservatory of Costa Rica and was a 2009 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Competition winner. Matt holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University and is currently a master’s candidate at Manhattan School of Music where he studies composition with Dr. Mark Stambaugh. His teachers have included Laurie Frink, Dominic Spera, George Garzone, and Pat Harbison.
Elizabeth Kalenik is a flutist from Hollis, New Hampshire studying under the direction of Linda Chesis at Manhattan School of Music. She has performed with various ensembles, including the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, and Ureuk Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Elizabeth enjoys teaching. She has taught at Promise Academy in East Harlem, and most recently served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music Summer Camp for New York City public school students.
Born in Spain, Tamara Lorenzo Gabeiras studied piano at the Cracow Music Academy with Professor Andrzej Pikul. Since 2009, she has been a student of Nina Svetlanova at the Manhattan School of Music with the help of the Spanish Ministry of Education.
She received the Grand Prix at the XXI Tournament of Foreign Pianists in memory of Prince Antoni Radziwill in Kalisz (Poland), 1st prize at the Young Performers Competition organized by Ibercaja in Guadalajara (Spain) and 2nd prize at the VII Piano Competition Veguellina de Órbigo in León (Spain). She was the recipient of scholarships from the Galician Institute of Music and Scenic Arts, from the Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza, from the Fundación Segundo Gil Dávila and from the Deputación Provincial de A Coruña.
She has participated in the International Nice Summer Academy (France), in the Cracow Summer Academy (Poland), in the Liszt Institute Masterclasses in Bologna (Italy) and other summer international masterclasses in Spain where she played for Michel Beroff, Leslie Howard, Staffan Scheja, Shoshana Rudiakov, Adam Wodnicki, and Adam Harawiewicz among others. She recorded her first CD in 2007 with the support of the Fundacion Paideia Galiza, and has performed in Spain, Poland, France and Morocco.
Chris Lysack studied at Indiana University, where he received undergraduate degrees in Piano, Voice and French, an M.M. in Piano, an M.A. in French Literature, and is currently in the final stages (ABD) of a D.M. in Piano and a Ph.D. in French Literature. While in Bloomington, his piano teachers included André Watts, Menahem Pressler and Edward Auer, and he studied chamber music with Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson and Mauricio Fuks. He has appeared in recitals with baritone Timothy Noble, and has served as studio accompanist/coach for Sylvia McNair, Timothy Noble and Carlos Montané. His performance activities over the last few seasons have included appearances with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra and premieres of over 15 new works ranging from solo piano with tape to opera to chamber and orchestral repertoire. He is currently writing his thesis on Massenet’s Manon and is a Classical voice student at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Patricia McCaffrey. He is the recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship in Opera Studies.
Kevin Majeski is a 19-year-old baritone majoring in voice at the Manhattan School of Music. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Kevin began singing and playing piano at the age of 6. His passion for music has led to his success in numerous competitions, performances, and Royal Conservatory of Music exams. In May 2009, Kevin received 1st place in the Alberta Provincial Music Festival for the Senior Vocal division.
As an amateur Canadian artist, Kevin has sung with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, performed as a soloist in Handel’s Sing Along Messiah, and played a leading role in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado at the Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival. In 2008, Kevin played the role of Joseph in a high school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat.
Kevin currently studies voice with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell and is excited to be a student at MSM.
Catherine Parsons is a student of Patinka Kopec. She has also studied with Roberto Diaz, Karen Dreyfus, and Burton Kaplan. This is her third year at the Manhattan School of Music. Catherine grew up in Duluth, Georgia where she began studying the viola at the age of 12.
Mike Ruby has been referred to as “one of the next generation of legends” by industry pundits. At the age of 18, Mike was signed to Alma Records, the jazz label of Universal Music in Canada. Mike is now living in New York City playing shows as a sideman, and attending the Masters Program at Manhattan School of Music on full scholarship.
Mike has received instruction from Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dave Liebman, and other esteemed musicians. He has studied privately with George Garzone, John Riley, Miguel Zenon, Mark Turner, Dave Douglas, Steve Wilson, and many others. Before entering into university, Mike was already becoming internationally recognized, being awarded with a Downbeat iazz magazine award for outstanding performance on the tenor saxophone, the Humber College Community Jazz Program Woodwind and Musicianship Awards, and was selected to play with the Yamaha/Canada All Star Jazz Band.
Mike has toured extensively throughout the U.S and Canada with his own band, the Mike Ruby Quartet, and as a sideman with the Ari Hoenig Quartet and with the Le Boeuf Brothers. He has been a member of the Hermeto Pascoal Orchestra, the Chucho Valdes Banff Orchestra, and has shared the stage with such notables as Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Elling, and many others.
Mike Ruby recorded his debut CD entitled “Play Time” on Alma Records, and it was internationally released in 2008, being distributed by Universal Music. Please visit www.mikeruby.com for more information.
At the age of twelve, Ruben Samama started playing the mighty double bass. A year later he was admitted to the 'young talent' department at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague where he also studied classical composition. After experimenting with classical music, he focused mainly on jazz music. In 2004, Ruben made his debut as a composer when he wrote music for ZTHollandia's Richard the III. In 2006, Ruben started to collaborate with Eef van Breen as the writing duo Soundkraft. They have since composed and produced music for numerous films in the international art house scene. In 2007, Ruben finished his studies in the Hague with Hein van de Geyn and Frans van der Hoeven and pursued his Master’s degree in New York at the Manhattan school of Music. Ruben can often be found in a small Japanese restaurant around the corner from where he lives. The food is "spectacular!" or so he says...
Jing Yang was born in China and began to study piano at the age of five. Jing studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing from 1998 to 2006. In 2006, she started her Bachelor’s degree with full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, majoring in piano performance and studying with Dr. Solomon Mikowsky.
In 1998, Jing won a Special Prize in the St. Petersberg International Piano Competition for Juniors in Russia. In 2000, she won Third Prize in the Xinghai Cup Piano Competition in Beijing, as well as Third Prize in the Chopin International Piano Competition for Young Artists in Taipei. In 2004, she won Fourth Prize in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition for Young Musicians held in Japan. In 2005, she won Second Prize at Eastman’s Young Artists International Piano Competition.
Jing has given concerts in many cities in China, as well as the United States, Russia, Spain, Japan and Taipei. In May 2007, she was invited to play at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She has been invited to the embassies of Poland and Russia to give concerts, as well. Jing successfully gave four piano recitals at Nanjing Concert Hall in China from 2005 to 2007. She was a repeat winner of an annual scholarship awarded at the Central Conservatory of Music, and in 2004, also won a top scholarship named after Fu Chengxian at the Conservatory. In 2001, she recorded a demo CD for the national piano grading examination hosted by Professor Zhou Guangren in China.