NEXTGen Musician Memorial Scholarships Announced

Midori & Friends announces the Isaac Stern Fellowship and Maureen Guthman Memorial Scholarship for the NEXTGen Teen Musician program in tribute of two profound New York City arts leaders. NEXTGen Teen Musician is a paid apprenticeship for freshmen, sophomore, and junior musicians attending New York City public or charter high schools. Midori & Friends, a non-profit which has provided free, high-quality music education to New York City public school students for over three decades, awarded the scholarships to three passionate students dedicated to advancing their pursuit of musical excellence and arts advocacy. The scholarships are granted through a competitive audition process and underwrite the full cost of each student’s participation in the program. 

In memory of the late Isaac Stern, the first President of Carnegie Hall and a champion of its survival as a landmark in New York City, Midori & Friends established the Isaac Stern Fellowship to underwrite two violin students’ participation in the NEXTGen Musician program. The Fellowship honors Stern’s legacy of advocacy and commitment to young musicians. The 2023 Isaac Stern Fellowship recipients include: 

  • Sofia Deoleo is a freshman violinist and guitarist attending Theatre Arts Production Company High School.  
  • Leo Oiwa is a junior instrument major at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Leo started playing violin at age four and is a recent graduate from the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program.  

Midori, founder, shared with The Strad Magazine in July 2020, “I met Mr. Stern when I first came to New York. He taught me how to become responsible for myself – musically, artistically; and the whole concept of being a global citizen, along with activism.” 

Midori & Friends established the Maureen Guthman Memorial Scholarship for the NEXTGen Teen Musician program in remembrance of Maureen Guthman, a senior executive at BET Networks producer and leader in the media industry. This scholarship will carry the memory of Maureen’s commitment to seeing people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ people represented in entertainment. The 2023 Maureen Guthman Memorial Scholarship recipient:  

  • Ibrahima Guisse is a senior at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Ibrahima is a classical and flamenco guitarist and has also studied the trumpet, djembe, viola, and berimbau. 

As board chair of Midori & Friends, I am proud to support a scholarship that empowers and uplifts the next generation of musicians and underscores the legacy of Maureen Guthman. By investing in their education, we are not only cultivating artistic talent, but also fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding of the transformative power of music,” states Howard Sendrovitz, Chair, Board of Directors.