The Elizabeth & Michel Sorel Charitable Organization Inc. is a 501©(3) private foundation, established in 1996 by pianist Claudette Sorel and named for her parents. The mission of The Sorel Organization (www.SorelMusic.org) is to expand opportunities and stretch the boundaries for women musicians in the fields of conducting, composition, film scoring, performance, arts leadership, education, and scholarship.  

Notable activities of The Sorel Organization include The Sorel Classics Label, Sorel Medallions in Choral Composition and Recording, collaborations with the American Pianists Association, prominent choral organizations and symphony orchestras, as well as scholarship funds in film scoring at New York University and in solo piano at SUNY Fredonia, where Claudette Sorel taught for many years.

Throughout her career, the American pianist and educator Claudette Sorel was a passionate advocate for women in the arts. Before her death in 1999 at age 66, Ms. Sorel placed an endowment for women conductors and composers at the New York Philharmonic. The fund has supported Philharmonic commissions by Julia  Adolphe, Lera Auerbach, and Kaija Saariaho, and podium appearances by Jane Glover, Emmanuelle Haim, Susanna Maalkki, Jeannette Sorrell, Simone Young, and Xian Zhang, among others.


Claudette Sorel was a child piano prodigy. Born in Paris of French-Hungarian parentage, she was trained
in the United States under Olga Samaroff Stokowski, Rudolf Serkin, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. At the age of 10, she made her New York Town Hall debut and the following year performed with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. Her scholastic honors include completing high school in three years as valedictorian and simultaneously attending The Juilliard School on full fellowship, from which she graduated with highest honors and as its youngest graduate. At the Curtis Institute of Music she received an Artist Diploma with highest honors. This was accomplished while she was also a student at Columbia University, from which she received a degree in Mathematics, Cum Laude.

During her career Ms. Sorel made more than 2,000 concert, recital, and festival appearances and appeared as soloist with 200 orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, NBC Symphony, and London Philharmonic. Her signature work was Edward MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and she gave world premieres of music by Lukas Foss, Harold Morris, Paul Creston, and Peter Mennin, among others. Her numerous awards and citations include the Ford Foundation Concert Artist Grant, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Award (as its youngest winner). She judged for countless international and national music competitions, and recorded for the RCA Victor, Monitor and Musical Heritage labels.

Ms. Sorel held professorships at the University of Kansas, Ohio State University, and the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she was the chairman of the piano department for 13 years. She was the first woman to be named Distinguished University Professor by the Trustees of New York State’s university
Claudette Sorel's publication, "Mind Your Musical Manners."http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Musical-Manners-Claudette-Sorel/dp/0793552745?tag=s601000020-20http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Musical-Manners-Claudette-Sorel/dp/0793552745?tag=s601000020-20http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Musical-Manners-Claudette-Sorel/dp/0793552745?tag=s601000020-20shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1
system, among a faculty of 30,000.



  1. Melodia Women's Choir, Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director, New York, NY

  2. Musica Sacra, Kent Tritle, Artistic Director, New York, NY

  3. Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Joshua Habermann, Music Director, Santa Fe, NM

  4. Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra, Dennis Keene, Artistic Director, New York, NY


  1. Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Artistic Director, Tallinn, Estonia

  2. The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Schulze, Artistic Director, Flagstaff, AZ

  3. The Janacek Philharmonic, Heiko Mathias Foerster, Artistic Director, Ostrava, Czech Republic

  4. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Schulze, Artistic Director, Baltimore, MD

  5. The New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden, Artistic Director, New York, NY

  6. The New York Youth Symphony, Joshua Gersen, Music Director, New York, NY

  7. The Orchestra Now, Leon Botstein, Music Director, New York, NY

  8. Orchestra of the Swan, David Le Page, Artistic Director, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Chamber Groups

  1. The Catalyst Quartet, String Ensemble,

  2.      Jessie Montgomery, composer/violinist, New York, NY


  1. Limon Ballet, Carla Maxwell, Artistic Director, New York, NY

  2. Jose Limon, founder of the organization, was dedicated to the collaborative spirit of commissioning new works or using live musicians. This perfect synergy is realized today with their leadership team. Join us in our effort to continue his vision.

Festivals, Workshops & Master classes

  1. The Buddy Baker Film Scoring Workshop, Ron Sadoff, Director, NYU Steinhardt School

  2. The Daniel Ferro Vocal Festival, Daniel Ferro*, Founder, New York, NY

  3. Songfest, Rosemary-Hyler-Ritter, Director, Colburn Conservatory, Los Angeles, CA

  4. VISI Song Festival, Rena Sharon, Vancouver, BC

Emerging Solo Artists

  1. Kinga Augustyn, Violin

  2. Emily Bear, Jazz & Classical Piano, (child prodigy division)

  3. Lucille Beer, Contralto

  4. Martha Guth, Soprano

  5. Silvie Jensen, Mezzo Soprano

  6. Vanessa Perez, Solo Piano

  7. Tami Petty, Soprano

  8. Anna Shelest, Solo Piano

Collaborative Pianists

  1. Sunglee Victoria Choi

  2. Marnie Hauptson

  3. Taisiya Pushkar

  4. Erika Switzer

Competitions & Residencies

  1. The Alexander and Buono Competitions in Piano, Voice, Flute & Strings

  2. The American Pianists Association Awards, Joel Harrison, Executive Director

  3. The Claudette Sorel Piano Competition, SUNY Fredonia

  4. The Claudette Sorel Visiting Artist Residency, SUNY Fredonia

  5. National Opera Association Convention

  6. New Triad for Collaborative Arts, Arlene Shrut, Founder

  7. Orchestra of the Swan Residency, David Le Page, Artistic Director

  8. Santa Fe Desert Chorale Residency, Joshua Habermann, Music Director

  9. The Sorel Medallion in Choral Composition

  10. The Sorel Medallion in Recording

  11. The Sorel Medallion in Symphonic Composition


  1. The Claudette Sorel Endowment for the commissioning of women composers for:

  2.      The New York Philharmonic

  3. The Claudette Sorel Fellowship in Solo Piano, SUNY Fredonia

  4. The Claudette Sorel Film Scoring Scholarship, NYU Steinhardt School

Sorel's Esteemed Composers List

The following composers have either placed in our Medallion programs, won our Recording Grants or have been commissioned through a Sorel Grant:


  1. Lera Auerbach

  2. Emily Bear

  3. Melinda Bargreen

  4. Eve Beglarian

  5. Abbie Betinis

  6. Lisa Bielawa

  7. Jenni Brandon

  8. Margaret Brouwer

  9. Lucia Caruso

  10. Judith Cloud

  11. Christine Donkin

  12. Emily Doolittle

  13. Mira Eom

  14. Reena Esmail

  15. Gabriela Lena Frank

  16. Dorothy Frisch

  17. Stacy Garrop

  18. Jocelyn Hagen

  19. Juliana Hall

  20. Jennifer Higdon

  21. Gao Hong

  22. Annie Hsieh

  23. Chiayu Hsu

  24. Leanna Kirchoff

  25. Yea Kyung

  26. Lori Laitman

  27. Sally Lamb McCune

  28. Libby Larsen

  29. Chris Lastovicka

  30. Missy Mazzoli

  31. Jessie Montgomery

  32. Sheena Phillips

  33. Augusta Read Thomas

  34. Christina Whitten Thomas

  35. Pauchi Sasaki

  36. Marilyn Shrude

  37. Sheila Silver

  38. Nina Siniakova

  39. Sarah Kirkland Snider

  40. Allison Sniffin

  41. Martha Sullivan

  42. Dobrinka Tabakova

  43. Nancy Wertsch

  44. Chen Yi

  45. Bora Yoon

  46. Judith Lang Zaimont

Board of Directors


    Walter T. Killmer, Jr., President

    Wende Persons, Managing Director

    JoAnn Falletta, Vice President & Secretary

Advisory Board

    Mark Adamo

    Barry Alexander

    Lera Auerbach

    Timothy Blair

    Cosmo Buono

    Tony Caramia

    David Curtis

    Kevin Deas

    Emma Lou Diemer

    David Dubal

    Margo Garrett

    Joel Harrison

    Neeme Järvi

    Dennis Keene

    Lori Laitman

    Tania Leon

    Niels Muus

    Barbara Petersen

    Ronald Sadoff

    Peter Schickele

    Gerard Schwarz

    Anna Shelest

    Pedro da Silva

    Judith Lang Zaimont



    Wende Persons, Managing Director

    Dmitri Shelest, Administrator and Recordings Consultant

This website and all content copyright 2006-2019 The Sorel Organization.