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Manhattan School of Music Explores Collaboration with NTNU on Taipei Visit

On the morning of April 18, Dr. James Gandre, President of the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), accompanied by Chief of Staff Devon Kelly and Lincoln Lin, Creative Director of Infinity Island, visited National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). They were warmly received by Dr. Cheng-Chih Wu, President of NTNU, Hsiu-Mei Hsieh, Associate Vice President for International Affairs, and Professor Chen Hsiao-Fen, Chair of the Music Department.

Founded in 1917, MSM is located in northwest New York City and is among the first notable music schools in the United States. The school specializes in professional training in classical and jazz performance and composition. It is committed to providing educational resources and rigorous training, offering comprehensive academic courses through an exceptional faculty. They strive to develop students with unique musical talents by enabling them to gain extensive performance experience and by providing a supportive educational environment.

This visit marked MSM's initial outreach to NTNU and President Gandre's first trip to Taiwan. Despite a brief stay of only one day, the delegation made NTNU their first stop. President Gandre remarked on the notable achievements of NTNU alumni at MSM, which spurred his interest in understanding the educational practices at NTNU that contribute to such stellar candidates. He expressed an interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation through potential initiatives like faculty and student exchanges or jointly developed online courses. In response, President Wu expressed gratitude for MSM’s recognition and noted that NTNU has a longstanding commitment to nurturing outstanding musical talent.

NTNU Music Department Chair, Professor Chen discussed the historical interactions between MSM and NTNU’s Music Department, noting previous visits by distinguished MSM musicians such as Solomon Mikowsky, Heasook Rhee, and Alexandre Moutouzkine who came to NTNU for academic exchanges and mentorship. After their meeting, Professor Chen led the MSM delegation on a tour of the College of Music and the auditorium, culminating in a performance by a string quintet of NTNU music students. President Gandre praised the students for their thorough preparation and their caliber of performance.

Concluding the visit, President Gandre expressed enthusiasm for future comprehensive collaborations with NTNU, especially in the realm of performing arts. Alongside its esteemed music programs, MSM is also noted for its musical theater specialization. President Gandre hopes to expand international cooperation in musical theater, enabling broader interactions between students from both institutions in the future.