valerie coleman joins mannes school of music and college of performing arts faculty at the new school

Coleman has also been named the Clara Mannes Fellow for Music Leadership

Valerie Coleman

September 24, 2021, New York - For many years now, the Mannes community has been admiring and cheering on the beautiful career and practice of its alumna, the flutist, composer, chamber musician, and musical leader, Valerie Coleman. Today, we are grateful to announce that Valerie Coleman has joined the Mannes School and College of Performing Arts faculty, returning to the institution where Valerie received her graduate education. Valerie will serve as the Clara Mannes Fellow for Music Leadership.

“I have known Valerie’s work since I first heard the Imani Winds shortly after Valerie founded the ensemble in 1997. I was struck then by the beauty of her playing and her vision for redefining and renewing the repertoire for and role of the wind quintet. Since then, I have come to know the big field of vision Valerie has for education, community, musicianship of the highest standard, and a deep devotion to equity, inclusion, and social justice. It gives me the greatest of pleasures to say: welcome back to Mannes, Valerie Coleman, we’ve been waiting for you,” said Richard Kessler, Executive Dean, College of Performing Arts, and Dean, Mannes School of Music.

Valerie Coleman, the Clara Mannes Fellow for Music Leadership, will join the Mannes flute, composition, and ensemble faculties, as well as take on leadership in a variety of other areas of practice including teaching in the Master of Music Performer-Composer program and a variety of special projects. It is also anticipated that Valerie’s work will extend across the College of Performing Arts to include work with students from the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and the School of Drama. 

“It is such an honor to join the flute and composition faculty at Mannes and to be a part of the innovative Performer-Composer Program. As an advocate for tomorrow’s versatile virtuosi, COPA's vision of being a global epicenter and place of belonging for hybridity is one that deeply resonates within me. I look forward to working with those who dare to be excellent in their own right as musical architects and citizens of NOW, for the future,” said Valerie Coleman.

About Valerie Coleman
Valerie Coleman-Page is an internationally acclaimed, Grammy® nominated visionary who commands a multi-faceted career as both flutist and composer. Recently named Performance Today's 2020 Classical Woman of the year, she is the flutist of the contemporary ensemble, Umama Womama, an alumna of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Bowers Program (formerly known as CMS Two), laureate of Concert Artists Guild competition, and the creator/former flutist of the ensemble Imani Winds.

Throughout her early career, her flute teachers, Julius Baker (New York Philharmonic), Doriot Anthony Dwyer Dwyer (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Leone Buyse (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Mark Sparks (Baltimore and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras), Kathleen Karr (Louisville Orchestra), and Judith Mendenhall (American Ballet Theatre) all played a critical role in Coleman’s development as a hybrid artist through orchestral study. It was Doriot Dwyer who bestowed upon her the honor of being the inaugural Michelle E. Sahm award, which allowed her to attend the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) and proved to be pivotal in shaping her career. She would later be featured at BUTI as a guest artist for multiple seasons.

Valerie is a Yamaha flute artist, an artist-in-residence with The Juilliard School Music Advancement Program and is known to be a highly sought-after recitalist and clinician with a reputation of transformative skill. She has given masterclasses and performances at several top institutions, summer music festivals, flute festivals and more, including Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, Carnegie Mellon, Oberlin College, Cleveland Institute, Spoleto USA, Mannes School of Music, Rice University, University of Chicago, Ravinia Festival, Music at Angelfire, Chautauqua Institution, Banff, Interlochen Arts Academy, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, Mid-South Flute Festival, San Diego, Austin, Portland and Seattle flute festivals, and many more. Her work as a recording artist features an extensive discography with Imani Winds, with legendary artists like Wayne Shorter Quartet, Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance, Chick Corea, the Brubeck Brothers, Edward Simon, Jason Moran, René Marie, and Mohammed Fairouz, on the record labels Naxos, Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, eOne and Cedille Records. Her music is also featured on several albums by notable artists, including the McGill/McHale Trio, clarinetist David Shifrin, and flutist Jennie Oh Brown. Her performances and compositions can be heard regularly “on the air" at Sirius XM, NPR, WNYC, WQXR and Minnesota Public Radio and abroad including RadioFrance, Australian Broadcast Company, and Radio NZ.

Valerie is listed as “one of the Top 35 Women Composers” by the Washington Post and has recently become the first African-American woman to be commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the first with the Metropolitan Opera. She has received the Herb Alpert Awards Ragdale Prize, Van Lier Fellowship, MAPFund, ASCAP Honors Award, among others. Her work, UMOJA, was listed by Chamber Music America as one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works”. Alongside her work with the Philadelphia Orchestra, her multi-faceted career has led her and her works to be featured with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New Haven Symphony, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, The Atlanta Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Library of Congress, New York Philharmonic, Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI). Her performances at Music at Angelfire, Banff, Spoleto USA, Bravo! Vail, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, Coleman Chamber Music Association, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, DaCamara Houston, LaJolla Music Festival, Coleman Chamber Music Association, Chamber Music Yellow Springs, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and many more have featured performance collaborations with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D’Rivera, David Shifrin, Orion String Quartet, Harlem Quartet, Miami String Quartet, Dover Quartet, pianists Anne-Marie McDermott, Wu Han, Gil Kalish, Shai Wosner, Jon Nakamura, Edward Simon, Danilo Perez, Alex Brown, and Chick Corea, among many others. Recent commissions include Sphinx Virtuosi, Bravo! Vail Festival, The Library of Congress, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Collegiate Band Directors National Association, Chamber Music Northwest, National Flute Association, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Chamber Music America/OboeBass! Duo, University of Michigan, and Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

A cornerstone to her work is the advocacy and mentorship of artists and emerging ensembles, and she has immensely enjoyed their success stories. In 2011, she created the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, a summer mentorship program in NYC that has welcomed musicians from over 100 institutions globally. She has also served as an adjudicator for National Flute Association’s High School Artist Competition, Concert Artist Guild Victor E. Elmaleh Competition, APAP’s Young Performing Concert Artists fellowship, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award, MapFund Award, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She is on the board of advisors for Composers Now, Sphinx LEAD, Composers Concordance, and has previously served on the APAP’s Classical Connections Committee, National Flute Association’s New Music Advisory Committee and Board Nomination Committee.

Valerie is published by Theodore Presser, and her own company, VColeman Music.

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, Murray Perahia, and Bill Evans, acclaimed conductors Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, Joann Falleta, and Julius Rudel, beloved mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, as well as the great opera stars of today, Yonghoon Lee, Danielle de Niese, and Nadine Sierra.

The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and draws 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.

The over 1,100 students at CoPA are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty at CoPA collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at CoPA is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. 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.


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