Student Accomplishments

Musical America names Benjamin Mitchell and Christopher Koelsch “Professionals of the Year”

December 8, 2016

Musical America has named USC Thornton student Benjamin Mitchell as one of its “Professionals of the Year,” in a focus on artistic innovators and entrepreneurs. Mitchell, a clarinetist and GCRT candidate in the Arts Leadership program, founded the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, which is currently thriving in its third season. Christopher Koelsch, president and CEO of […]


Thornton Winners at Los Angeles International Liszt Competition

December 8, 2016

Several students of the USC Thornton Keyboard Studies department took prizes at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition held last month at Azusa Pacific University. Hanbo Ma (pictured at left), a DMA candidate under professor Daniel Pollack, won the top prize in the prestigious Budapest Concert Division, earning a solo recital tour to Washington D.C., […]


Eric Abramovitz joins alumnus Donald Foster in the Santa Barbara Symphony clarinet section

December 1, 2016

Clarinetist Eric Abramovitz, a USC Thornton Winds & Percussion graduate student of faculty member Yehuda Gilad, has won the 2nd/Eb clarinet position with the Santa Barbara Symphony. The ensemble also includes Thornton alumnus Donald T. Foster (MM ’96) as the principal clarinet.


Georgi Dimitrov receives Maestro Foundation Viola Award

November 7, 2016

Georgi Dimitrov (MM ’14), a DMA candidate in the USC Thornton Composition program, recently received the Viola Award from the Maestro Foundation of Los Angeles, which supports the development of gifted young musicians. Dimitrov, who minors in viola performance at Thornton, was loaned a 2003 “Zanetto” viola and bow created by highly-regarded violin maker Mario […]


Winds & Percussion students shine around the globe

November 6, 2016

Students of the USC Thornton oboe studio have been excelling internationally in recent months. Masters student Bhavani Kotha was a finalist for the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Institute and was the only American who advanced to the finals. Kotha was also awarded 2nd Place in the Enkor International Young Musicians Competition in London for the Wind […]


Masters student receives funding to research and perform Brubeck’s “Gates of Justice”

October 27, 2016

Daniel Newman-Lessler, a second year student in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music master’s program, has received a research grant from The Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific to edit a new edition of Dave Brubeck’s jazz-imbued cantata, The Gates of Justice, which he will later perform. The Gates of Justice dates […]


Pianist Vijay Venkatesh wins Classics Alive Artists competition

October 26, 2016

USC Thornton Keyboard Studies senior Vijay Venkatesh, a student of Jeffrey Kahane, recently took the Grand Prize at the 2016 Classics Alive Artists competition in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, Venkatesh won 1st Prize in the Frances Walton Competition in Seattle, the Pyrenees Music Society Competition in Pasadena, and the USC Symphony Concerto Competition. Violinist […]


Thornton musicians sweep Frances Walton Competition in Seattle

October 20, 2016

Mezzo-soprano and USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera graduate student Lesley Baird (MM ’15) was a winner of the 2016 Frances Walton Competition in Seattle, where she was accompanied by pianist and Keyboard Collaborative Arts DMA candidate Jasper Jimenez (MM ’13, GCRT ’15). Since winning the competition in July, the duo has presented several area […]


Composition student Michael Lee debuts piece for string quartet on new album

October 4, 2016

“Farewell…,” a work by USC Thornton Composition doctoral candidate Michael Lee, is included on the compilation album Between the Echoes: Contemporary Chamber Works, recently released by Navona Records. Lee’s composition for string quartet, which incorporates shifting rhythms, timbres, and moods, was performed by violinists Vit Muzik and Igor Kopyt, violist Dominika Mužíková, and cellist Petr […]


Organist Thomas Mellan takes first place at San Diego competition

August 9, 2016

Thomas Mellan, a USC Thornton junior double-majoring in Organ Studies and Composition, recently took first place in the keyboard division of the Musical Merit Foundation’s competition for instrumentalists and vocalists, earning the distinction of Fenstermaker Scholar. Mellan, who also took the top prize in the 2015 competition, performed at the foundation’s 70th Annual Awards Concert […]


Student accomplishments archive