Manhattan School of Music (MSM) is one of the
world's leading music
conservatories located on the Upper West Side of New York
The school offers degree
on the bachelors
, and doctoral
levels in the areas of classical
performance and composition. With a faculty of 275
and over 800 students from 40 countries, the school also has a
pre-college division which trains 500 students per academic
1917, the school is located on Claremont Avenue in the Morningside
Heights neighborhood of New York City, adjacent to Broadway and W. 122nd Street
. The MSM campus was
originally the home to The Juilliard School, until Juilliard migrated to the Lincoln Center area of Midtown
The campus of Columbia University
resides close by,
where it has been since 1895. Many of the students live in the
school's residence hall, Andersen Hall. At the present time, 75
percent of the students come from outside New York State and 47
percent from outside the United States.
Admission to MSM is based primarily on a live audition. In 2005,
MSM received 863 total applications, and admitted 287, for a total
acceptance rate of 33%.
The Manhattan School of Music.
Entrance to the John C.
The School was founded in 1917–1918 by Janet D. Schenck, pianist
and philanthropist, as the Neighborhood Music School. It was
located in a brownstone building on New York City's Upper East
Side. Pablo Casals
and Harold Bauer
were among the first of many
distinguished artists who offered guidance to the School.
Eventually, its reputation for excellence extended throughout the
greater metropolitan area, and its name was changed to Manhattan
School of Music.
In 1943, the artistic and academic growth of the School resulted in
a charter amendment to grant the bachelor of music degree. Two
subsequent amendments authorized the offering in 1947 of the master
of music degree and, in 1974, the degree of doctor of musical arts.
In 1956, Dr. Schenck retired and John Brownlee, noted Metropolitan Opera
appointed director, a title later revised to president. President
Brownlee initiated the idea of relocating the School to the
Morningside Heights neighborhood; his death occurred only months
before his efforts were realized. In 1969, George Schick,
Metropolitan Opera conductor, accompanist, and distinguished opera
coach, succeeded Brownlee as president and led the School's move to
its present location. He created a wonderful opera program, while
all other major school functions are managed by Senior Director
John O. Crosby, founder and general director of the Santa Fe Opera,
was appointed president in 1976. He was followed by Gideon W.
Waldrop, who was appointed in 1986, and Peter C. Simon in 1989. On
July 1, 1992, Marta Casals
was named President, a position which she held until
October 2005 when she retired.
October 2005, Dr. Robert Sirota, former director of the Peabody
Institute of the
Johns Hopkins University,
took over the presidency of the Manhattan School.
Manhattan School faculty are currently engaged in an effort to form
a union under the auspices of the New York State United Teachers
Performing Ensembles at MSM
Manhattan School of Music offers a wide variety of live audience
performance experiences for its students. There are three major
orchestras: The MSM Symphony, the Philharmonia, and the Chamber
Sinfonia. In addition, many smaller ensembles are assembled for
orchestral chamber music. The MSM Wind Ensemble also performs
throughout the year. The Jazz Arts Program also contains various
ensembles, such as the Jazz Philharmonic (full jazz big band
with full orchestra), the Jazz Orchestra,
Concert Jazz Band, and Chamber Jazz Ensemble. The Claremont
Ensemble and TACTUS are the student ensembles for contemporary
chamber music. The school also holds an annual concerto competition
with which the winner gets the opportunity to perform with the
The Manhattan School contains multiple performance spaces, each
dedicated to separate genres and ensemble requirements. The largest
is the John C. Borden Auditorium, where all orchestral and large
jazz ensemble concerts are held. The smaller Greenfield Recital
Hall and Miller Recital Hall are used for solo and small ensemble
recitals, especially for graduation-required recitals. The Ades
Performance Space is the newest of MSM's venues, and is dedicated
more toward small jazz ensemble performances and contemporary
music. Additionally the Mitzi Newhouse Pavilion (the school's
cafeteria) is the chosen performance venue for the school's jazz
Current and former prominent faculty include:
June 2009 was the inaugural summer of the Manhattan School of Music
Summer Voice Institute. The program is a total of 4 weeks long.
Students from around the world are given the opportunity to work
with MSM faculty. The program includes classes in acting, movement
and English diction among others. Singers are granted two hours
with a voice teacher and two hours with a voice coach each week.
The program also includes a daily master class.
Board of Trustees
The school's president is Robert
and the Board of Trustees is chaired by Peter Robbins
. Other members of the Board of
Trustees include such notable persons as:
- Beckerman, Jim. "Ridgewood native is the voice of the Met",
The Record , . Accessed