Brooklyn Music School Announces New Advisory Board

Brooklyn Music School Announces New Advisory Board

Brooklyn Music School (BMS), located at 126 Felix Street, Brooklyn, NY, announces a new Advisory Board, created to play a key role in helping BMS continually enrich its educational and artistic offerings, improve its pedagogical approach, increase visibility in the community, and refine strategies for growth.

The new Advisory Board members are Hanna Arie-Gaifman, Martin Bresnick, Christopher Cerrone, Nels Cline, David del Tredici, Bridie Gauthier, Anthony Laciura, Dr. Victor Lewis, Lester Lynch, Elizabeth (Betsy) Hun Schmidt, Dalit Warshaw, and Dan Zanes. These highly skilled, illustrious, and lauded artists, educators, and leaders will provide support to the board and staff of BMS, and help to shape the future of the non-profit organization, which has grown by more than 30% each year for the past five years.

"We are honored to have such an illustrious group of artists and educators contribute to Brooklyn Music School's mission of making high quality musicand performing arts education accessible to all in our community," said Crocker Coulson, Chair of the BMS Board of Trustees. "In order to remain relevant we need to continually raise the bar of the quality and breadth of the offerings we provide and find new ways to bring the excitement of artistic discovery to the next generation. These Advisory Board members have generously agreed to contribute their time and wise counsel to moving BMS forward."

Members of the Advisory Board have all committed to contribute their time in meaningful ways, and over the next year BMS will be announcing a series of concerts, workshops, master classes, and lectures that will enable children and adults to interact and learn from musicians, dancers, performers, and arts educators at the top of their professions. Other members will contribute by providing strategic advice to the BMS Board or helping with the professional development of BMS faculty and staff. Additional members of the Advisory Board are expected to be announced in the coming months.


Hanna Arie-Gaifman's career and perspectives on culture reflect her experiences as a transnational citizen. As Director of 92nd Street Y's Tisch Center for the Arts, a 141-year old cultural organization and community center, she draws from her experience as a dedicated pianist, a literary scholar and an arts manager who has supervised orchestras, academic programs and music festivals. Her intellectual and geographic travels have led to relationships with some of this century's greatest cultural figures, including Václav Havel, Madeleine Albright, Allen Ginsberg, Arthur Miller, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Isaac Stern. In the United States, Arie-Gaifman has taught at University of California, Berkeley and at New York University. Since her arrival in 2000, Arie-Gaifman has revitalized 92nd Street Y's concert series and carved a distinct place for it among the many first-rate presenters in New York. Her goal has been to give audiences new perspectives on the classical repertoire. She does this by offering unusual combinations of works that highlight subtleties of each piece, by pairing established and emerging artists to create an exchange of experience and energy, by presenting rarely heard International Artists and underplayed repertoire, and by creating programs with scholarly commentary that shed light on the intellectual and historical roots of the repertoire.

Martin Bresnick, a composer of contemporary classical music, film scores, and experimental music, delights in reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable, bringing together repetitive gestures derived from minimalism with a harmonic palette that encompasses both highly chromatic sounds and more open, consonant harmonies and a raw power reminiscent of rock. Bresnick has received many prizes and commissions, the first Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rome Prize, The Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Koussevitzky Commission, among many others. Martin Bresnick is also recognized as an influential teacher of composition. Bresnick was born and raised in the Bronx and is a graduate of New York City's specialized High School of Music and Art. Martin studied at the University of Hartford (B.A.), Stanford University (M.A., D.M.A.), and the Akademie für Musik, Vienna, and studied composition with John Chowning, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Gottfried von Einem. He went on to teach at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University and the Yale School of Music.

Hailed as a "rising star" by the New York Times and singled out for his work at the "leading edge of operatic innovation" by WIRED, Christopher Cerrone is a Brooklyn-based composer of works ranging from chamber music, orchestral works and fully staged operas to multimedia works, ambient electronic works and collaborations with artists. His first opera Invisible Cities received its fully staged world premiere in 2013 at Los Angeles's Union Station, and its sold-out run of 22 performances led to extending it's showing. Cerrone was the founder and co-artistic director of Red Light New Music and is currently one-sixth of the Sleeping Giant composers collective. He holds degrees from Yale School of Music (M.M. and M.M.A.) and the Manhattan School of Music (B.M.).

Nels Cline is a New York-based guitarist and composer. Known to many as Wilco's lead guitarist, Cline's vast catalog spans four decades and explores many corners of the jazz, rock, punk and experimental genres. Born in Los Angeles CA in 1956, he grew up with his twin brother Alex as a rock 'n roll obsessive before becoming immersed in the world of so-called jazz and improvised music after hearing the musicof John Coltrane. He has played on over 200 recordings and performed and recorded with a wide variety of artists such as Charlie Haden, Julius Hemphill, Tim Berne, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Mark Isham, Ricki Lee Jones, Lee Ranaldo, Joan Osborne, Phil Lesh, Jim Black, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Braxton, and Julian Lage, to name but a few. He has released dozens of recordings as a leader since the 1980s. He has led his band The Nels Cline Singers since 2001, generating several recordings and performing worldwide, and collaborates with improvisers in projects too numerous to mention here. Nels has also composed larger commissioned works such as "Dirty Baby," which combined his compositions for two large ensembles with the paintings of Edward Ruscha and the poetry of David Breskin.

Aaron Copland has described David Del Tredici as "that rare find among composers - a creator with a truly original gift. I venture to say that his music is certain to make a lasting impression on the American musical scene. I know of no other composer of his generation who composes music of greater freshness and daring, or with more personality." David Del Tredici, considered a pioneer of the Neo-Romantic movement, has won a Pulitzer Prize in Music and is a former Guggenheim and Woodrow Wilson fellow. Del Tredici attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied piano and played primarily Romantic works, eventually turning his attention to study composition while at Berkeley.

Head of School and co-founder of the Montessori School of Manhattan, public speaker, and author of Practical life for Parent - A Pocket Guide for Parenting Real-Life Moments, Bridie Gauthier is the founder of the D.R. Project, a charitable outreach endeavor, which built and continues to fund a preschool for two and three-year-old children in the impoverished Batey Lecheria, Dominican Republic, which to date, has taken more than 200 of the youngest children off of the streets of the village.

Internationally recognized tenor Anthony Laciura, most recently known for his role in HBO's Boardwalk Empire, has also performed over 800 times at the Metropolitan Opera alone, not to speak for all the other 100s of performances he's had in the US and abroad. Anthony has performed on stage and screen since he made his debut in a cameo role in the opera "Louise" at the age of 12. The Washington Post has called Laciura "one of the outstanding character tenors of our time." Anthony also has experience directing operas, including "Dido and Aeneas," "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and "The Magic Flute" at New Jersey City University. Anthony brings a very diverse body of knowledge and experience that will be a great support to the BrooklynMusic School. Anthony Holds degrees in music from Loyola University of the South and Tulane University.

Internationally acclaimed drummer and composer Victor Lewis began playing drums professionally on the local scene at the age of 15. "Lewis is a master of shading and color, and the kind of timekeeper that could teach a clock new ways to tick," says jazz writer Bill Kohlhasse. Originally from Omaha, Victor calls New York home these days and can most often be found in the city's recording studios. He made his recording debut on Woody Shaw's classic "The Moontrane." Victor has also also made his mark on the burgeoning fusion and pop jazz scenes, providing the beat on records by Joe Farrell, Earl Klugh, Hubert Laws, Carla Bley and David Sanborn. From 1980 - 1991, Victor worked a lot with the tenor giant, Stan Getz. By the end of the 1980s, Victor was one of jazz's busiest freelancers. Lewis tries to pass on his knowledge, giving private instruction to students, participating as a freelance instructor with the New School University Jazz School. He has participated in a symposium in Modern Drummer magazine and there have been several feature articles about him in publications such as Downbeat, The Wire, Jazz Times and Modern Drummer. In 2003 Victor joined the faculty of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ where he teaches drummers and coaches jazz combos.

Lester Lynch, an established dramatic baritone, is known for his charismatic portrayals and commanding voice and has mastered some of the most important baritone roles from Scarpia to Rigoletto to Count di Luna. Opera Today recently enthused, "It was booming baritone Lester Lynch who served notice that he is now in consideration for admittance to the Scarpia Preferred Pantheon - when he needed to pour it on he had the Puccinian firepower and the dramatic heat to raise the hair on the back of your neck." An accomplished concert artist, Mr. Lynch has performed an extensive and varied repertoire with orchestras across the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lynch has received many distinguished awards, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Vocal Competition, and the Sullivan Awards. His work with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis earned him the Richard Gaddes Award.

Elizabeth Hun (Betsey) Schmidt is the Chief Curriculum and Innovation Officer at Ascend Learning where she has led the development of Ascend's ambitious humanities curriculum. She previously taught literature and writing at The Children's Storefront School in Harlem; The New School; Sarah Lawrence College; and Barnard College, Columbia University. At Barnard Schmidt was on a team that developed and taught "The Literature of the Middle Passage," a senior seminar and exchange program that brought Barnard and Columbia students and scholars to Ghana and Ghanaian scholars to New York as part of an in-depth study of the legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Schmidt has published poetry, journalism, and scholarship on American and world literature widely in literary and academic publications; and she was an assistant literary editor at The New Yorker and poetry editor at The New York Times Book Review. She is the editor of Poems of New York (Knopf/Everyman) and The Poets Laureate Anthology (W.W. Norton). Schmidt has a Ph.D. in American literature from New York University and a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University.

An internationally acclaimed composer, pianist, and thereminist, Dalit Warshaw's works have been performed by numerous orchestral ensembles, including the New York and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras (Zubin Mehta conducting), the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, and the Grand Rapids Symphony. Since becoming the youngest winner of the BMI Award for an orchestral work written at the age of eight, Warshaw's music has received praise for its lyricism, unique orchestral palette, distinctive harmonic vocabulary, sense of drama, emotional intensity and vivid portrayal of character. Currently a Guggenheim Fellow for the year of 2016-17, she has just been awarded an OPERA America Discovery Grant, in addition to the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, given to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts. A full-time faculty member of the composition/theory department at the Boston Conservatory from 2004 to 2014, Warshaw obtained her doctorate in music composition from the Juilliard School, also teaching orchestration there from 2000 to 2005. She currently teaches on the composition faculties of CUNY- Brooklyn College and the Juilliard Evening Division.

From thrift shop basements to Carnegie Hall, from Brooklyn to Bahrain and beyond, Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes has been introducing new songs and reconnecting people to songs that have always been there, and still are. Referred to as "the family-music genre's most outspoken and eloquent advocate" by Time Magazine, Dan's widely acclaimed music has been featured on Sesame Street, Playhouse Disney, Nickelodeon, HBO Family and Sprout. Dan just completed his most recent album Lead Belly, Baby!, which celebrates the children music of his main inspiration Lead Belly.

The Brooklyn Music School views music and performance as the birthright of all people, an essential way that human beings connect with others and explore their creativity. The study of music has been demonstrated to enhance academic learning and helps to develop discipline and confidence that will serve children well throughout their lives. As part of the vision of reinventing the community music school for the 21st Century, BMS is dedicated to:

* Making high quality musical instruction approachable and affordable to a wide range of students,

* Creating frequent opportunities for performance for our students and cultural enrichment for our community,

* Representing a wide range of musical traditions, including European, African, Middle Eastern, and American to represent the diversity of Brooklyn's musicaltalent, and

* Offering a warm and welcoming space for families and individuals to explore new talents and make lasting friendships.

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