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History

The Monmouth Cobnservatory of Music was founded in 1964 by Felix Molzer and his wife, Jeannette. Beginning with five teachers and a dedication to nurturing musical talent in young people, they went on to establish a Children’s Opera Chorus and all-woman adult vocal ensemble in 1969. Professor Molzer was a graduate of the Vienna Academy of Music and director of the Vienna Boys Choir. He taught the history of opera on annual visits to Vienna, where he was awarded the Johann Strauss Medal. Retiring as Director in 1992, Molzer remained Director Emeritus, an active teacher and an inspirational presence until his death in 2005 at age 83.

Alice Berman served as Executive Director from 1992 to 1997. Continuing MCM’s non-profit mission to promote the study and performance of music, she directed the Women’s Consort and organized performance tours for the Children’s Opera Chorus in the U.S. and abroad.

Vladislav Kovalsky and his wife Iirna assumed operations in 1998. At the time, Mr. Kovalsky was a world-class concert pianist and music educator. Born in Khabarovsk in the Far East of Russia, he moved to the U.S. in 1980.  Prior to his arrival in Red Bank, he and his wife Irina founded and directed the Southfield Conservatory in Southfield, Michigan.

Until his retirement in 2017, Mr. Kovalsky maintained an active schedule of teaching, performance, publication and lecture, including performances at Carnegie Hall and instruction of master classes across the globe.

In 2017, the Monmouth Conservatory of Music was gifted to the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre, to be operated by the organization's education department. The organization's missions are similar: to inspire, educate and entertain through distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings reflecting the diversity of the region. As nonprofit organizations, the Basie and the MMC are committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity

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