Manhattan School of Music (MSM) hosted its 2022 Gala on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022, at The Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza, in New York City.
The gala honored Trustee Emerita Carla Bossi-Comelli (HonDMA ’20) and celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the School’s prestigious Orchestral Performance Program (OPP).
Hosted by Isabel Leonard (HonDMA ’21), an alumna of MSM’s Precollege program and recently appointed member of the School’s Vocal Arts College faculty, the gala featured performances by faculty and distinguished OPP alumni from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera Orchestra, Harlem String Quartet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic.
Notable attendees included: MSM Gala 2022 honoree Carla Bossi-Comelli; MSM President James Gandre; MSM Board Chair Lorraine Gallard; Katherine Aulitzky – Executive Director, American Austria Foundation; Tony Bechara – Abstract painter and Chairman Emeritus of El Museo del Barrio; Ambassador Markus Börlin – Consul General of Switzerland in New York; Noreen Buckfire – New York Philharmonic International Council Member; Veronca Bulgari – President, Washington Square Park Conservancy; Fabrizio Di Michele – Consul General of Italy in New York; Adolphus Hailstork – MSM alumnus, American composer; Daisy Soros – Co-Founder, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans; Sylvia Hemingway – Trustee of the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra; Elinor Hoover – Chair of the Board of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Dominique Laffont – An Advisory Director of the Metropolitan Opera Board and sponsor of the Met’s Laffont Competition; Ambassador Philip Reeker – Acting Assistant Secretary of State, European and Eurasian Affairs; So-Chung Shinn Lee; Adrienne Vittadini – Hungarian-American fashion designer and philanthropist.
Following the School’s Centennial celebrations in 2018–19, which culminated in an all-star Gala concert hosted by Alec Baldwin at Carnegie Hall, the School’s most recent two gala celebrations have been ‘virtual’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2022 Gala represented a return to the in-person celebration and a return to the Rainbow Room, where the school has held several Gala celebrations in past years.
Orchestral Performance Program
In 1991, the Manhattan School of Music inaugurated the Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance, the first accredited degree program of its kind in the United States.
Chaired by former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Glenn Dicterow for its first 30 years – Met Opera Orchestra concertmaster David Chan picks up the mantle of program leadership this summer – the program produces polished musicians of the highest artistic caliber, who are prepared intensively in the orchestral repertoire for careers as symphonic players.
Students are trained to participate fully in both performance and other nonmusical aspects of life in the modern orchestra, such as orchestra governance, artistic planning, community engagement, and audience development. Graduates from the program populate many of the most prestigious orchestras in the world.
Since 2009, Carla Bossi-Comelli has chaired MSM’s International Advisory Board (IAB), a group of philanthropists and music lovers who represent 12 countries.
The IAB comes together to support the school and to ensure the success of MSM’s immensely talented international students, including by raising essential funds for scholarships.
Ms. Bossi-Comelli has ardently supported MSM’s physical transformation in recent years, helping to ensure that the school’s facilities are state-of-the-art.
In 2011, she made a generous gift for the renovation of what is now The Carla Bossi-Comelli Studio, one of the school’s most versatile performance spaces.
The Studio was dedicated in 2012 and is in constant use for jazz, classical, and musical theatre rehearsals and performances as well as for lectures and masterclasses.
Ms. Bossi-Comelli was also a leading sponsor of the renovation of MSM’s principal performance venue Neidorff-Karpati Hall, which reopened in 2018 in conjunction with the School’s Centennial.
She led the charge to raise funds for this much-needed and highly visible project amongst the IAB and the School’s other international friends.
The “International Advisory Board Lobby,” an elegant space that adjoins the Hall, is the result of her successful efforts.
Manhattan School of Music
Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today MSM is recognized for its more than 985 superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come from more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states; its innovative curricula and world-renowned artist-teacher faculty that includes musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Met Opera Orchestra, and the top ranks of the jazz and Broadway communities; and a distinguished community of accomplished, award-winning alumni working at the highest levels of the musical, educational, cultural, and professional worlds.
The school is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, from its Precollege students through those pursuing doctoral studies.
Offering classical, jazz, and musical theatre training, MSM grants a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
True to MSM’s origins as a music school for children, the Precollege program continues to offer superior music instruction to 475 young musicians between the ages of 5 and 18.
The School also serves some 2,000 New York City school children through its Arts-in-Education Program, and another 2,000 students through its critically acclaimed and pioneering Distance Learning Program.
Photo credit: 1) Michele Wright, Edward Lowenthal, Caitlin Anto, Jennifer Anto, Chris Anto. 2) 1 Daisy Soros, Marco Pecori, Carla Bossi-Comelli 3) Isabel Leonard, and James Gandre. 4) Chiona Schwarz and, James Gandre, guests.