Our Judges

Mark Latham, Conductor and Judge

Born in Tanzania and educated in the United Kingdom and the US, MARK LATHAM has been active as a violinist, violist, composer, conductor, chamber musician and teacher in the UK, Canada and the US.  

Latham received his musical training at the Guildhall School (London), the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, Brooklyn College Conservatory, and the University of Michigan, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting. Mark was privileged to have studied with some of the great musicians and pedagogues of the past century: violin with Masao Kawasaki, Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman; chamber music with the Juilliard, Emerson and American Quartets, with Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet; and conducting with Kenneth Kiesler, Helmut Rilling, Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.

As a violinist, Mark was a member of the Atlantic String Quartet for 6 years in St. John’s, Canada, with whom he made many broadcasts with CBC Radio. He has been a regular with Emmanuel Music in Boston and the New England Bach Festival, and previously was a member of the New Hampshire, Delaware and New Haven Symphonies He is a founding member of the Aryaloka String Quartet and is a member ‘in absentia’ of the Canadian contemporary improv ensemble, The Black Auks.

Mark Lathma has conducted the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in Santa Cruz, CA, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, the MIT Symphony Orchestra, and has directed several orchestras in Canada, New England and Michigan, where he was director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Each summer he conducts and coaches amateur musicians at CAMMAC in Quebec, and directs the orchestra and gives master classes at the Iceberg Chamber Music Institute in Newfoundland. A firm believer in exploring new music, he has commissioned and conducted many world premieres of orchestral pieces.

Mark holds a deep belief that music is transformational and can be a broad and powerful educational and social medium for both children and adults. Now in his tenth season as Music Director of the New Hampshire Philharmonic, he continues to lead the University Orchestra at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where he teaches as adjunct professor of conducting, violin and viola, and chamber music.  He and his wife Theresa live in Somerville, where they enjoy gardening, tennis, their cats, and reading their too many books.

Yuka Yanagi, Judge

YUKA YANAGI is an adjunct faculty member of the music department at County College of Morris and Montclair State University both College and Extension Division.  Ms. Yanagi has performed throughout the New York metropolitan area, including Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Steinway Piano Gallery, Richter Arts Center, Paul and Morse Recital Hall in the Juilliard School and has performed overseas in Japan and Taiwan. She is a co-founder of the Cosmos Piano Duo and actively performs in the Tri-state area.  

Ms. Yanagi has excelled in classical piano performance instruction, as her students have won numerous New York/New Jersey area piano competitions. As winners, her students have performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  

In recognition of her teaching excellence, Ms. Yanagi has received numerous pedagogy awards including the National Pedagogy Award from the Piano Teacher’s Society of America and the Cecilian Music Club. She has also served as Second Vice President and Co-Chair of the Piano Competition for the MEA-NJ. She frequently serves as an adjudicator for auditions and competitions, including the TV show “Pitch Slapped” which aired in 2016.

Ms. Yanagi holds a Bachelor of Music degree, Summa Cum Laude, and a Master of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Montclair State University. In 1996, she received the Outstanding Performance Award from Montclair State U. She has studied with Edmund Battersby, Dr. Julie Jordan and Mark Pakman.

Larry Rosen, Judge

LARRY ROSEN entered The Juilliard School Pre-College Division at eight for one year. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Juilliard in composition and piano, studying with Vincent Persichetti, Roger Sessions, and Luciano Berio. He held the Richard Rodgers scholarship for a year, was awarded the Freschl Prize, was granted a Teaching Fellowship at Juilliard, and subsequently joined the Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music faculties while still a student, retiring from institutional teaching at twenty-two. 

Mr. Rosen made his New York piano debut at Carnegie Hall, 1983, performing works of J. S. Bach, Charles Ives, Cole Porter, and Lawrence Rosen. He was a Student/Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center for one summer. He served as Assistant to Italian composer Luciano Berio in Rome for a year, composing, arranging, performing, and conducting throughout Western Europe.

Mr. Rosen is a prolific composer, with numerous musical works (music, lyrics, and other incedental music) for on-Broadway and off-Broadway theatres, and many other non-commercial and workshopped shows.


  • Composer in residence and musical director, Williamstown Theater Festival, composing incidental music for several mainstage plays starring (among many others) Frank Langella, Blythe Danner and Joel Grey, and creating a weekly cabaret-style review.
  • Music and Lyrics for The Phantom of the Opera (original production at the Hirschfeld Theater), subsequently over 50 productions, Carbonell award, movie (a film of the stage version) of same on PBS, première at the 57 Street Playhouse (now the Directors Guild Theater.)
  • Sterling Patron Award, Steinway Hall, 1997. 
  • 2010-11: one of 17 composers chosen (along with Jason Robert Brown, Andrew Lippa, Milton Babbitt, etc.) for inclusion in the choral series Mr. President (composing a vocal quartet on words of Thomas Jefferson) premièred on NPR, published by Subito Music, 2014.
  • Former Editor-In-Chief for Piano, The Schirmer Library of Musical Classics. Member, the Dramatists Guild. Member ASCAP, permanent member of the ASCAP Special Classification Committee.
  • Over 50 original compositions, arrangements, transcriptions in print (or, out of print), including concert paraphrases of The Songs of Stephen Foster, published in 2001 by G. Schirmer. Special Projects Editor, CD Sheet Music Library, a comprehensive catalog of scores in digital format, published by Subito Music Corporation.

Highlights, Continued:

  • Created the piano-vocal scores for Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec’s operas The Letter and The Shining.
  • Music and Lyrics for the new musical Gatsby, in collaboration with Daniel Landon, adapted from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
  • Also with Daniel Landon, a new, original musical, Dream On.
  • Scenario, music, and lyrics for two “Dramatorios:” Thanksgiving At Molly’s, and Peacefield, both for a cast of soloists and chorus.
  • The Accompaniment Studio (a Subito Music Corporation product): created and recorded a series of (several hundred) piano accompaniments of masterworks for learning, study, and practice.
  • Contracted by the Gershwin Estate to create a new piano-vocal score for DuBose Heyward and George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, based on the definitive version of the complete opera (not to be confused with the recent, rewritten Broadway version) by Wayne Shirley of Yale University, completed 2016.
  • 2017: by arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc., and the estate of Sergei Prokofiev, copyright holders, creation of an original stage musical based upon Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf, and Lucky, a one-act prequel to the Peter And The Wolf stage musical, scenario/libretto, music, and lyrics, now scheduled for production late 2022 (pandemic-delayed.)
  • Recently completed the book, music, and lyrics for an original musical, Eternal Stages, about the early days of the Yiddish Theater in America.
  • 2021: Book, Music, and Lyrics for an original, two-character musical, Central Park Bench; from the 1924 original Gershwin/Whiteman/Grofé première score, creation of an updated, contemporary version of Rhapsody in Blue, announced for publication in Spring of 2022.
  • August, 2022: world première of the new musical, Gatsby, An American Musical (see above,) with a cast of 25 at the Woodstock Playhouse, Woodstock, NY.