Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence

Founded in 2014, the Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence is presented annually to faculty members of the Music Institute of Chicago who exemplify the high standard of excellence set by Richard D. Colburn in his many musical endeavors. Great teaching is what the Music Institute most values, and includes instruction in art, technique, joyful playing, collaboration with other musicians and sharing one’s gifts with the wider community. We invest in music because we love humanity. 

2021 Richard D. Colburn Award for Teacher Excellence

Nina and Daniel Wallenberg


The Music Institute presents its Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence to Nina Wallenberg and Daniel Wallenberg. A member of the Music Institute’s Suzuki cello faculty and Muiskgarten® early childhood music and movement program for more than 30 years, Nina is a member of the Northbrook Symphony and was formerly principal cellist of Orquestra Sinfonica del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and the Utah Valley Symphony. She previously taught at the Rubin Academy – Community Division in Jerusalem and at Brigham Young University. Daniel, a native of Bogotá, Colombia, has been conductor of the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale since 1987. He also conducts the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation adult and children's choirs and worked with Chicago Children’s Choir’s Neighborhood Choir programs in Rogers Park and Humboldt Park. He has extensive experience conducting collegiate, community, professional, and children’s choral groups throughout the world and has many choral arrangements to his name.


Past Recipients


2020 Arlene Stokman and Abraham Stokman, piano faculty

2019 Susan Charles, voice faculty

2018 Stanley Davis, clarinet and saxophone faculty

2017  Elaine Felder, MIC Piano Department Chair,
         piano and chamber music faculty

2016  Roland and Almita Vamos, violin and viola faculty

2015  Gilda Barston, Dean Emeritus, cello faculty

2014  Claire Aebersold Neiweem and Ralph Neiweem, piano and chamber music