I first heard of the New York Youth Symphony in 1993 when the violin teacher Anna Pelekh at the Manhattan School of Music told me about this wonderful organization.
The Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education was established by the New York Youth Symphony in 1995 to recognize significant dedication by an individual or institution making outstanding contributions in nurturing young people in the arts.
The award is named in memory of the remarkable man who served the arts and the New York Youth Symphony as Board President from 1985 to 1994.
Ted Kesselman graduated Harvard with bachelors and law degrees. He served for many years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Bankers Trust Company in New York City. In addition to the New York Youth Symphony, he served on the boards of the Arts and Business Council, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Vineyard Theatre. He was married to Shirley Kesselman and had two children: Suzanne, a former Executive Director of the New York Youth Symphony and who now is the Executive Director of The American Friends of Hebrew University, and Stuart, who lives in California. Ted was known for his charm, ingratiating spirit, optimistic outlook, intelligence, and storytelling. He was charismatic and admired by everyone for his qualities as an exceptional leader and friend.
|Year||Award Recipients||Award Presenters|
|2016||Leonard Slatkin||Frederick Zlotkin|
|2015||Alan Gilbert||Alec Baldwin|
|2014||Clive Gillinson||Anna Weber|
|2013||Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Emilie and Michael Corey Foundation||Rufus Reid|
|2012||A. Slade Mills, Jr. and WQXR||Zarin Mehta|
|2011||Judi Linden||Elliott Forrest|
|2010||Marta Casals Istomin||Kurt Masur|
|2009||Jimmy Heath||Sigourney Weaver|
|2008||Francis Thorne||Philip Glass|
|2007||New York Philharmonic and Zarin Mehta||Kenneth Mirkin|
|2006||ASCAP and BMI||Elliott Forrest|
|2005||Curtis Institute of Music and Gary Graffman||Bruce A. Stevens|
|2004||Juilliard School and Joseph W. Polisi||Eugenia Zukerman|
|2003||John Corigliano||Ned Rorem|
|2002||Leslie and Johanna Garfield||David Alan Miller|
|2001||Phyllis Susen Barbash||Senator Roy M. Goodman|
|2000||Jacques d'Amboise||Charlotte d'Amboise|
|1999||Senator Roy M. Goodman||James S. Marcus|
|1998||Nathan Leventhal||Rudy Crew|
|1997||Midori and Carlos Moseley||Isaac Stern and Beverly Sills|
|1996||Phyllis Jackson Mills||Kurt Masur|
|1995||Ruth K. Martin||Skitch Henderson|