1. Alumni

Alumni Awards

We’re so proud that you’re a part of our family.

We honor the outstanding achievements of SFCM’s alumni whose success and service promote the Conservatory’s innovation and excellence in the field of higher education. The Presidential Alumni Council (PAC) presents two Distinguished Alumni Awards annually to recognize the outstanding work of alumni at two key events: the annual Fanfare Luncheon and Commencement.

Minna Choi '09 Receives Distinguished Alumni Award at 2017 Commencement

On May 19, 2017, we honored Minna Choi ’09 in recognition of outstanding leadership and innovation. Choi is the founder of the Magik*Magik Orchestra, which debuted at Herbst Theater in 2008 performing Jonny Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver to critical acclaim and a sold-out house. Since then, M*MO has collaborated with over 150 artists and cultural institutions on an international level almost entirely by word of mouth. Ranging in size from a single violinist to an 80-piece orchestra and choir, M*MO has cast orchestral players and arrangers into hundreds of creative endeavors, including a five-week North American tour with Death Cab for Cutie, live performances with Chicago, Sting, Thao, Nick Cave, Third Eye Blind, and Weezer, and recording the score for the major motion pictures Looper, Kill the Messenger, and Young Ones to name a few. To date, M*MO has proudly earned and distributed half a million dollars to freelance orchestral musicians. Recently, Choi is stepped out on her own, combining a love of pop and classical with an album of her original works in Weep.

“It’s not the orchestra part that becomes the link—though it’s there, even mixing with the electronics—but rather her strong, naturally expressive voice.”
—Steve Hochman, KQED

Fanfare Honorees

2018    Jeffrey Kahane '77
2017    Eugene Rodriguez '87
2016    James Freeman '92        
2015    Lisa Delan '89
2014    Amy Schwartz Moretti '94 PC
2013    Marnie Breckenridge '96
2012    Choong Mo Kang '86
2011    Krista Bennion Feeney '81
2010    Chester Patton '91
2009    Yuliya Gorenman '92
2008    Lise Lindstrom '96
2007    Gyan Riley '01
2006    Warren Jones '77
2005    Robin Sutherland '75
2004    Violaine Melançon '88 and Seth Knopp '88, Peabody Trio

Criteria and Guidelines for Awards

PAC has identified key areas of interest for the Alumni Awards. To qualify as a nominee, the committee considers the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate a record of excellence in the field
  • Exemplify the current mission and vision of SFCM
  • Provide an inspiration to the SFCM community
  • Require approval by the PAC and the SFCM President

Nomination process

The PAC calls for nominations from the SFCM alumni community every fall, requesting a formal statement of nomination with a brief rationale and a resume or narrative career outline. An individual cannot nominate himself or herself.

Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Amy Schwartz Moretti '94 PC, 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Marnie Breckenridge '96, 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Choong Mo Kang '86, 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Yuliya Gorenman '92, 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Lise Lindstrom '96, 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Gyan Riley '01, 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Warren Jones '77, 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Robin Sutherland '75, 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

  • Violaine Melançon '88 and Seth Knopp '88, Peabody Trio, 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients