mannes school of music announces the appointment of jessie montgomery to faculty

Jessie Montgomery

July 28, 2020, New York - The New School announced today that acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator, Jessie Montgomery, will join the faculty of the College of Performing Arts and Mannes School of Music this fall semester.

Jessie Montgomery is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, making her an acute interpreter of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post). 

“We are so very happy to welcome Jessie to the faculty at Mannes and the College of Performing Arts," said Richard Kessler, Executive Dean, College of Performing Arts and Dean of Mannes. “Jessie is a very special artist, a brilliant composer, violinist, and citizen artist. I have followed Jessie’s career for quite a while and know her through the Chamber Music America Board of Directors, where we are both honored to serve. I would also like to think that David Mannes himself would be proud, with Jessie having studied at the Third Street Music School Settlement, the very same institution where David Mannes was the director at the turn of the 20th century.” 

At Mannes, Montgomery will take on a dual appointment, serving on both the composition faculty and the violin faculty. She will also serve on the faculty for the new MM: Performer/Composer degree - a new program at the College of Performing Arts for musicians who identify as performer/composer/improvisers.

“I am truly honored to be joining the faculty of the College of Performing Arts and Mannes School of Music. I look forward to contributing to an exciting new curriculum that builds upon the values of creative musicianship that drive this institution into the future," said Montgomery.

About Jessie Montgomery:

Jessie Montgomery was born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s during a time when the neighborhood was at a major turning point in its history. Artists gravitated to the hotbed of artistic experimentation and community development. Her parents – her father a musician, her mother a theater artist and storyteller – were engaged in the activities of the neighborhood and regularly brought Jessie to rallies, performances, and parties where neighbors, activists, and artists gathered to celebrate and support the movements of the time. It is from this unique experience that Jessie has created a life that merges composing, performance, education, and advocacy. 

Her growing body of work includes solo, chamber, vocal, ballet, and orchestral works. Some recent highlights include Shift, Change, Turn… (2019) commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Passage (2019) a ballet commissioned by Dance Theatre of Harlem, Coincident Dances (2018) for the Chicago Sinfonietta, and Caught by the Wind (2016) for the Albany Symphony and the American Music Festival.

The New York Philharmonic has selected Montgomery as one of the featured composers for their Project 19, which marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting equal voting rights in the United States to women. Other forthcoming works include a cadenza for the Brahms Violin Concerto, to be premiered by Hilary Hahn; a cello concerto for Thomas Mesa jointly commissioned by Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, and The Sphinx Organization; and a new orchestral work for the National Symphony.

A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and recent member of the Catalyst Quartet, she continues to maintain an active performance career as a violinist appearing regularly with her improvising duo Big dog little dog with bassist Eleonore Oppenheim.

Montgomery’s teachers and mentors include Sally Thomas, Ann Setzer, Alice Kanack, Joan Tower, Derek Bermel, Mark Suozzo, Ira Newborn, and Laura Kaminsky. She holds degrees from the Juilliard School and New York University and is currently a Graduate Fellow in Music Composition at Princeton University.

The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and brings together the iconic Mannes School of Music, the legendary School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the ground-breaking School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances. 

As a part of The New School, students across CoPA experience a supportive and rigorous environment that provides abundant opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty in a wide array of disciplines including the visual arts, fashion, design and technology, architecture, philosophy, psychology, public policy, advocacy, and more. CoPA has over 1100 students seeking degrees and diplomas in performance, composition, acting, writing, as well as arts management and entrepreneurship. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.

Founded in 1916 by America’s first great violin recitalist and noted educator, David Mannes, Mannes School of Music is a standard-bearer for innovative artistry, dedicated to developing citizen artists who seek to make the world a better and more beautiful place. Through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs, Mannes offers a curriculum as imaginative as it is rigorous, taught by a world-class faculty and visiting artists. Distinguished Mannes alumni include the 20th century songwriting legend Burt Bacharach, the great pianists Richard Goode, Marray Perahia, and Bill Evans, acclaimed conductors Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, Joann Falleta, and Julias Rudel, beloved mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, as well as the great opera stars of today, Yonghoon Lee, Danielle de Niese, and Nadine Sierra.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School
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