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Kesselman Award


Kesselman Award

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
2021 Jessie Montgomery Barbara Field
2020 Anthony McGill Seth Baer
2019 Joseph Conyers Susanna Loewy & Matias Tarnopolsky
2018 Marin Alsop Michael Repper
2017 Alan Fletcher Christopher Theofanidis
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 The 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