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Kesselman Award

Kesselman Award Nyys

Ways to Support

The Kesselman Award recognizing outstanding contributions in nurturing young people in the arts

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
2023Deborah BordaHenry Timms
2022Arturo O'FarrillRichard Kessler
2021Jessie MontgomeryBarbara Field
2020Anthony McGillSeth Baer
2019Joseph ConyersSusanna Loewy & Matias Tarnopolsky
2018Marin AlsopMichael Repper
2017Alan FletcherChristopher Theofanidis
2016Leonard SlatkinFrederick Zlotkin
2015Alan GilbertAlec Baldwin
2014Clive GillinsonAnna Weber
2013Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Emilie and Michael Corey FoundationRufus Reid
2012A. Slade Mills, Jr. and WQXRZarin Mehta
2011Judi LindenElliott Forrest
2010Marta Casals IstominKurt Masur
2009Jimmy HeathSigourney Weaver
2008Francis ThornePhilip Glass
2007New York Philharmonic and Zarin MehtaKenneth Mirkin
2006ASCAP and BMIElliott Forrest
2005Curtis Institute of Music and Gary Graffman Bruce A. Stevens
2004The Juilliard School and Joseph W. PolisiEugenia Zukerman
2003John CoriglianoNed Rorem
2002Leslie and Johanna GarfieldDavid Alan Miller
2001Phyllis Susen BarbashSenator Roy M. Goodman
2000Jacques d’AmboiseCharlotte d’Amboise
1999Senator Roy M. GoodmanJames S. Marcus
1998Nathan LeventhalRudy Crew
1997Midori and Carlos MoseleyIsaac Stern and Beverly Sills
1996Phyllis Jackson MillsKurt Masur
1995Ruth K. Martin Skitch Henderson

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