The Manhattan School of Music held the 2022 gala in New York’s iconic Rainbow Room

The Manhattan School of Music (MSM) hosted its 2022 Gala on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at the Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza, New York City.

The gala honored Trustee Emeritus 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 alumnus of MSM’s pre-college program and recently appointed faculty member of the school’s Vocal Arts College, the gala featured performances from faculty and distinguished alumni from the PPO of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera Orchestra, Harlem String Quartet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orchester symphonique de Montréal and New York Philharmonic.

Notable attendees included: Carla Bossi-Comelli, winner of the 2022 MSM Gala; MSM President James Gandre; President of the MSM Board of Directors, Lorraine Gallard; Katherine Aulitzky – Executive Director, American Austria Foundation; Tony Bechara – Abstract painter and President Emeritus of El Museo del Barrio; Ambassador Markus Börlin – Consul General of Switzerland in New York; Noreen Buckfire – member of the International Council of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; 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 of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans; Sylvia Hemingway – Administrator of the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra; Elinor Hoover – chair of the board of trustees of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Dominique Laffont – 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 centenary celebrations in 2018-2019, which culminated in an all-star gala concert hosted by Alec Baldwin at Carnegie Hall, the school’s last two gala celebrations have been “virtual” in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 gala represented a return to in-person celebration and a return to the Rainbow Room, where the school has hosted several gala celebrations over the past few 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 New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow for its first 30 years – Met Opera Orchestra Concertmaster David Chan takes over the program’s leadership this summer – the program produces fine musicians from highest artistic caliber, who are intensively prepared in the orchestral repertoire for careers as symphonic performers.

Students are trained to participate fully in both performance and other non-musical aspects of life in the modern orchestra, such as orchestral governance, artistic planning, community engagement and development public. Graduates of the program populate many of the most prestigious orchestras in the world.

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Carla Bossi Comelli

Since 2009, Carla Bossi-Comelli has chaired the International Advisory Board (IAB) of MSM, a group of philanthropists and music lovers representing 12 countries.

The IAB unites to support the school and ensure the success of MSM’s extremely talented international students, including raising critical funds for scholarships.

Ms. Bossi-Comelli has been a strong supporter of MSM’s physical transformation over the past few years, helping to ensure that the school’s facilities are state of the art.

In 2011, she made a generous donation towards the renovation of what is now the Carla Bossi-Comelli Studio, one of the school’s most versatile performance spaces.

The Studio was inaugurated in 2012 and is constantly used for rehearsals and performances of jazz, classical music and musical theater, as well as for lectures and masterclasses.

Ms. Bossi-Comelli was also a lead sponsor for the renovation of MSM’s main performance venue, Neidorff-Karpati Hall, which reopened in 2018 to mark the school’s centennial.

She led the charge to raise funds for this much needed and highly visible project among the IAB and other international friends of the school.

The “International Advisory Council Lobby”, an elegant space adjoining the room, is the result of his successful efforts.

Manhattan School of Music

Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, MSM is recognized today for its more than 985 extremely talented undergraduate and graduate students who hail from more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 States; its innovative programs 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 and 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 budding musicians, from its pre-university students to those pursuing doctoral studies.

Offering classical, jazz and musical theater training, MSM grants a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

True to MSM’s origins as a music school for children, the pre-college program continues to provide superior musical education to 475 young musicians ages 5-18.

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.

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