Dina Volkova – founder, pianist, teacher, piano accompanist. Ms. Volkova is a winner of many International piano competitions and a graduate of legendary Russian Gnessins`Music Academy in Moscow, Russia. After graduation Ms. Volkova was accepted as a full scholarship student, and moved to the United States in order to pursue her Masters of Music degree at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. In the last several years, Ms. Volkova`s focus has been on music education. Today she is a founder of New York Piano School and a proud faculty member at Mahanaim School of Music in Huntington, NY.
Irina Smirnova started her music career at the age of four in her native city, St. Petersburg, Russia. While she studied at the school of Arts, Irina was actively performing on various stages of Russia as a classical pianist and choir soloist. In 1995 Irina continued her studies as a pianist, choir conductor, classical singer in the renowned N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Academy of Music. During her studies, Irina worked at the Russian State Agency ‘Len Concert’ where she constantly participated as a pianist and choir chamber soloist led by famous Russian conductors such as N. Kornev, J. Temirkanov, V. Gergiev, A. Titov.
In 2001, Irina immigrated to the USA where she obtained her Master’s degree in Music Education from New York University. She was constantly mastering her piano performance and pedagogical skills with NYU music professor, Kathleen Riley, PhD. Ms. Irina Smirnova obtained New York State Certification K-12 in Music and had a great opportunity to work as a music educator and piano accompanist in New York public and private school settings such as Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, Hunter Elementary School, Little Red School House, and Martin Van Buren High School. Since 1996, Irina has been a commited piano instructor and vocal coach for children, teenagers and adults of all levels, ages, and various educational background. Irina is also an instrumental, voice, and piano accompanist. Classically trained, Ms. Irina Smirnova is adept at various musical and teaching techniques as well as different genres and styles. Her creative pedagogical approach is an amazing inspiration for many students that helps them to open their undiscovered talents.
Roy Assaf. Breaking into the music scene only a few years ago, pianist Roy Assaf has already earned acclaim from jazz masters Kenny Barron and Jason Moran. With appearances on 20 albums as a sideman and co-leader, Roy’s first album as a leader—titled “Respect” and being released on Jazz Legacy Productions—includes such remarkable players as Reuben Rogers, Greg Hutchinson and special guest Roy Hargrove.
Roy arrived in New York in the Autumn of 2005 with a dream of pursuing his musical career. Shortly after that, he was invited to join the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band on piano for an extended European tour consisting of 13 cities, as well as additional performances in Canada, Puerto Rico, and one week at the famed Blue Note in New York City. Since that time, he has been steadily working both with small groups as well as big bands in various venues and festivals around the world. In accompanying these famous groups, Roy has had the honor of sharing the stage with such jazz legends as Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Paquito D’Rivera, Roy Hargrove, Ron Carter, Lewis Nash and many more.
In Addition to performing, Roy loves to teach and over the past 14 years, Roy has been teaching all over the world, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, South America and Israel. Roy has been teaching mostly private students but he had also conducted master classes at the PS 361 School in New York City and Introduction to Jazz in more than 20 elementary schools in Jersey City. Roy also served as artist in residence in Imatra International Festival and taught at the famed Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Finland.
Some of the musical areas Roy covered with his students are -basic theory, various piano technique, sight reading, learning songs, improvisation, composition, among many others.
Having been awarded numerous honors, Roy earned the 31st Annual Downbeat Student Award for Outstanding Performance, the 2008 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, the 2nd place honor for the Charlie Palmieri Memorial piano Competition, the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute Award, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians and the 30th Annual Downbeat Student Award for Best Jazz Arrangement.
Roy holds a Master Degree from Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor degree from Berklee College of Music.
Mikhail Tarasov. Born in Vladivostok, a city in the Russian Pacific Coast, Mikhail began studying classical piano at age 7 and was soon improvising and composing his own music. At age 8 he joined the class of professor Mary Kalman at the Prokofiev Music School and soon became a frequent participant in school’s concerts and competitions. By 12 years old, Mikhail was taking jazz piano lessons from pianist/composer Alexandr Belenko. At 15, Mikhail joined the production team at Vladivostok’s New Wave Radio, becoming the youngest employee at the station, and worked as a part-time jingle writer for over two years. In 1998, Mikhail wrote a number of cues for New Wave’s new television channel. In 1995, Mikhail enrolled in Vladivostok Music College, where he studied for two years. In 1997, auditioned by famous Russian musicians Igor Bril and Yury Saulsky, Mikhail moved to Moscow, joining Bril’s jazz piano class and Saulsky’s composition class at the ‘Ordynka’ jazz college (officially named GMUEDI, former Gnesin Music College jazz department). In November 1998, Mikhail won the Third Place at the Jazz Improvizacija piano competition in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 1999, Mikhail graduated from the College with Honors earning a Degree in Jazz & Classical Piano Performance, Band Leadership, Arranging and Sound Engineering. In April 1999, Mikhail received a Special Prize from the Russian Academy of Composers and a Diploma at the Christal Pitchfork (Krustalny Kamerton) Young Composers’ Competition for his original composition. In spring 2000, Mikhail participated in Berklee World Scholarship Tour in Helsinki, Finland, and was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. Later in the year, Mikhail received an additional scholarship after Berklee’s BEST audition for music writers and in January 2001 began his first semester at Berklee. In fall 2001, Mikhail received Honorable Mention from the Billboard 10th Annual Song Contest for two of his compositions. In January 2002, three of Mikhail’s compositions were published in a lead sheet compilation “Jazz Melodies of Moscow”, compiled by renowned music theorist and composer Yury Chugunov. The book is distributed nationally in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union. In April 2002, Mikhail won BMI Foundation’s Pete Carpenter Fellowship competition and spent six weeks in Hollywood studying with the legendary TV composer Mike Post (multi-Grammy award winning writer of some of the most memorable theme songs in television history, including Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, Magnum P.I., The Rockford Files, The A-Team, L.A. Law, Quantum Leap and City of Angels). The Fellowship is one of the most competitive international awards for young aspiring TV and film composers. While at Berklee, along with jazz piano, improvisation and composition, Mikhail also explored music production and songwriting. In early 2004, artist Andrea Capozzoli, produced by Mikhail, was named Artist of the Year in the R&B category at New York International Music Festival. In December 2003, Mikhail graduated from Berklee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music. At Berklee, among other outstanding professors, Mikhail studied with world-renowned Grammy-winning musicians Joe Lovano and Dave Samuels. In Spring 2004, Mikhail won the 3d place at BMI’s John Lennon Scholarship competition for songwriters in New York. The judges that year included Grammy-winning producer Russ Titelman (George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, James Taylor, etc.) and hit Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn. In June of the same year Mikhail received the award from BMI and Yoko Ono, personally. In spring 2006, Mikhail graduated at the Gnesin Academy of Music (class of professor Igor Bril and Alexandr Oseichuk) in Moscow, with a Degree in Jazz and Classical Piano Performance, Band Leadership and Music Education. In fall 2007, Mikhail produced a jingle package for Tokyo’s #1 Radio Station 81.3 FM J-WAVE, featuring EMI Music Group recording artists Raul Midon and Dave Koz, Universal Music Group recording artist Mindi Abair and Razor & Tie recording artist Kelly Sweet. Mikhail’s teaching experience goes back to Boston and his work as a student private piano instructor at Berklee, helping entry-level piano students improve their skills. As well as working as a piano teacher at numerous music schools in and around Boston. Mikhail holds a Degree in Music Education from the prestigious Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. Since August 2007, Mikhail is a Yamaha-endorsed artist.
Anahid Syourapian is a prominent International Recitalist, Chamber Musician, and Piano Teacher with an impressive repertoire of international awards and performances. Born in Bulgaria, of Armenian heritage, she began studying piano at the age of 5 and attended the State Music Academy of Bulgaria on a full scholarship where she graduated with honors. Ms. Syourapian has participated in piano master classes led by many influential pianists such as Oxana Yablonskaya (U.S), Detlef Kraus (Germany), Paul Van Ness (U.S.), Boris Bloh (Germany), Yuri Bukov (France), Atanas Kurtev (Bulgaria), Victor Chuchkov (Bulgaria) and many more.
To date, Ms. Syourapian has performed at many prestigious events and venues both within the United States and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in multiple locations within the United States and abroad. New York City’s performances include the internationally renowned Carnegie Hall on four separate occasions, Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts, Brooklyn Conservatory Concert Hall, Gershwin Theater at Brooklyn College, Saints Cyril and Methody Cathedral during The Royal Players Virtuosi concert series, Fellowship Moravian Church and International Music Nights at Eisenhower Park. She has also made appearances in Newman Hall in Los Angeles, New England Conservatory in Boston, Saint Sophia in Chicago, Illinois, Washington DC, and others. She has also made multiple recordings for Bulgarian National Radio and Television.
Ms. Syourapian’s international awards and prizes include First Prize at the National Competition of “Young Musicians’ Talent in Sofia, Bulgaria; First Prize at the International Youth Festival Competition “The Coast of Hope”, Bulgaria; Second Prize at the International Competition” Music and the Earth” in Sofia, Bulgaria; Second Prize at the International Competition for Czech and Slovakian Music in Varna, Bulgaria and many more.
During the last 15 years, Ms. Syourapian has shared her incredible education and talent with students of all ages and levels, group piano classes, as well as special needs children within the Tri-State and Boston areas. Her Russian Pianism influence on teaching allows her to bring her student’s individual talents and abilities to a new level of excellence. Ms. Syourapian believes that piano lessons should be a part of every child’s curriculum, and that the benefits are immeasurable! Pianists are able to read a universal language, learn to play many genres of music and express their individual style through the music they love. In addition, young pianists learn important skills such as self-discipline. They are taught the benefits of staying committed to a long term goal, even when it is difficult to do so.
Ms. Syourapian’s goal as a teacher is to help and train each of her students to excel in note reading, musicianship, dedication, and to celebrate their accomplishments, but above all to become independent musicians!
Ms. Syourapian is a member of the American College of Musicians Association, New York State Music Teachers Association and the Music Teacher’s National Association which allows her to enter students in many varied performances, competitions, and master classes.
Ms. Syourapian’s students have earned distinctive marks at a wide variety of piano competitions both statewide and nation wide. She offers professional training for those preparing for the Associated Board of Royal School of Music (ABRSM); New York State School Music Association Examination (NYSSMA); Achievement Program Exam (Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music); and National Guild of Piano Teachers exams at all levels, including theory and aural comprehension classes.
Ms. Syourapian is able to teach piano lessons in English, Bulgarian & Armenian.
Curt Sydnor began his musical training around the age of 8 and finished high school studying with Ray Luck at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. He graduated with a degree in piano performance from Vanderbilt University in 2002 where he worked under the guidance of pianist Amy Dorfman. This experience was followed by a pilgrimage to Russia from 2003 to 2005 studying at the Russian Academy of Music under Arkadi Sevidov and composer Yuri Butsko, among numerous others. After receiving an exemplary Red Diploma from the Russian Federation, Curt enrolled in 2006 as a student and assistant instructor at Indiana University where he studied with the Brazilian virtuoso Arnaldo Cohen for two years. While at Indiana University, Curt came under the guidance of composer and Jazz legend David Baker, who significantly encouraged his interest in composition and improvisation, which he began to pursue as a composition fellow at the 2008 Wintergreen Summer Music Festival. From 2008 to 2009 Curt worked as a pianist/arranger with various Indiana University jazz ensembles and big bands, receiving a 2010 Downbeat Student Music Award for his big band arrangement of Deerhoof’s “Spirit Ditties of No Tone”. Curt graduated with a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Jazz Studies in Spring of 2010. In 2011, his music was selected to be recorded by the Owl Studios record label as part of its Emerging Jazz Artist Project, and is being prepared for release under the group name Disassembly. Curt has recently begun teaching and performing in New York City, where he is developing a new work inspired by American Architect Louis Sullivan.
Alexander Zlatin – a pianist, composer, top conservatiry graduate started his music career in his native Russia.
In 2001 while working on his music degree at a Music College Mr. Zlatin participated in numerous music competitions around the country. In 2001 he won a1st prize at the Regional Piano Competitionin Smolensk, as well as the 4th prize at theInternationalPiano Competition in memoryof Rachmaninovin St.Petersburg. In 2002 Mr. Zlatin won the 4th prize at the InternationalPiano Competition in Belarus.
In2003 Mr. Zlatin graduated from the Music College and entered a Music Conservatory in Orenburg, Russia. At the years of study Mr. Zlatin won a 1st prize at the composer competition, participated in a master-class of the greatest musician Mstislav Rostropovich, won a 3rd prize at the second International Piano Competition “Europe- Asia” and 2nd prize at the Eleventh International Competition “Hopes, Talents, Masters” in Bulgaria. Mr. Zlatinwashonored with numerous committee, governorand presidentialscholarships.
At the years of study Mr. Zlatin lead a very active concert life. He performed in different cities of Russia, Bulgaria, Poland and Kazakstan.
Mr. Zlatin was invited as a Chairperson of the Jury at Jazz Competition “Junior – Jazz – 2012” in Actobe, Kazakstan.
Mr. Zlatin has been working as a piano teacher since 2003 and has a great teaching experience. He can teach different ages and levels at all styles of music.
In 2012 Mr. Zlatin moved to the USA to continue his music career. He was accepted as a full scholarship student in a class of Prof. Tamara Poddubnaya at the Long Island Music Conservatory where he is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma Degree.
Maria Rayzvasser Born in Tver, Russia, Maria Rayzvasser started her musical education at the age of six. In 2004 she graduated with honors from the Tver College of Music where she studied with Alexander Thomas and Galina Moiseeva. Maria holds a Master Degree in Piano Pedagogy, Accompaniment and Chamber Ensemble from Maimonides State Classical Academy where she studied with Alexander Strukhov and Professor Victor Derevyanko, a pupil of the famous G. Neuhaus. She also studied with Professor of Gnesin’s Academy of Music Denis Burshtein and Emmanuil Monaszon, Honored Professor of the Russian Federation, teacher of more than 100 world-renowned pianists.
In 2008-2009 Maria participated in series of master classes on prevention of pianists’ occupational disorders presented by Galina Minsker.
During her studies Maria Rayzvasser has actively taught students of different ages and levels: She worked as an accompanist and a piano teacher at The Lev Vlasenko Music School in Moscow.
In 2001 Maria founded klezmer band “Shemesh”. Since than, she was performing folk music in prestigious international music festivals: KlezFest in St. Petersburg (2003), KlezFest in Kiev (2004 – 2005), Dona-fest (Moscow,2005), Yiddish-fest (Moscow, 2006-2008), Klezmer Festival in Kharkov, Ukraine (2005). In 2005, she debuted at the Moscow Jewish “Shalom” Theater” with klezmer band “Dona”.
In 2012 Ms. Rayzvasser joined the faculty of the Piano School of NYC.
Maria Rayzvasser is an accomplished musician with highly professional approach, ambition and talent for training competitive successful students.
Originally from Siberia, Grigory Smirnov is a New York-based composer of chamber, orchestral and electro-acoustic music and a pianist, actively performing classical, contemporary and improvisational music. Working mainly in a contemporary classical idiom, he tends to combine a new lyricism with modern rhythms in his compositions and performances. Grigory Smirnov’s music was recently featured at Tanglewood Music Center 2011 concerts where he was in residence as a Composition Fellow. Among his recent premieres was Romance for English horn and orchestra, performed by Hassan Anderson and The Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Milarsky at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, 2011. His new collaborative work with choreography “this happens” premiered at Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater in December of 2010. As a pianist, Grigory Smirnov frequently appears in NYC venues with solo and chamber performances and also distinguishes himself by an exceptional artistry in free improvisation. Most recently, he performed at Juilliard’s Paul Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, International House NYC, California Summer Music and Space on White, NYC. Being at The Juilliard School, he was invited to perform as a guest artist by the distinguished pianist and lecturer David Dubal in his “The World of the Piano” program and had a privilege to play for the famous pianist and professor Jerome Lowentahl. Grigory Smirnov is a dedicated teacher of piano, composition and music theory. In his teaching method he uses a synthesis of the rich Russian traditions with his own unique experience and strives to develop in his students strong score reading skills, individual artistic behavior, right practice discipline, ability to analyze music and passion to learn about arts in a broader sense. Born in Novosibirsk (Siberia, Russia), Grigory Smirnov received the Master of Music degree in composition at The Juilliard School where he studied with one of America’s most prominent composers Christopher Rouse. Before coming to the United States, he studied at the Novosibirsk State Conservatory, with the distinguished Siberian composer Yuri Yukechev and award-winning pianist Mikhail Mishchenko, and at the Novosibirsk Music College. During his studies in Russia, he was a prizewinner of the prestigious Prokofiev International Composition Competition and was involved into a number of collaborative projects internationally.
Derin Öge was born in Turkey. She began her piano studies at age 9 with Nilufer Alkaya. In 1995 she started studying with Professor Perim Köknarer at Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory. In the same year she won the first prize at the Czerny contest held by the Conservatory. She has given several solo and chamber music concerts. She participeted to the piano and improvisation masterclasses of Henry Foures in 2003. In the same year, Derin Öge gained a scholarship to attend the masterclass of Peter Feuchtwanger at the International Summer Academy of Salzburg Mozarteum as an active participant. In 2004 she recorded B flat major Mozart sonata for European Broadcast Union and attended to the chamber music masterclass of Erika Radermaher. In the summer of the same year, she participated to the masterclasses of Friedemann Reiger and Rian de Vaal at Peter the Great Festival in Holland, Groningen. She performed the g minor concerto of F. Mendelssohn with MSGSU State Conservatory Orchestra and participated the piano masterclass of Rolf Plagge in April-May 2005.
In June 2005, she graduated from MSGSU State Conservatory and was accepted to the master program at the State University of New york at Purchase, where she later worked as a faculty member and a keyboard instructor.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Ruzan Asatryan had her first public performance at the age of seven in the Armenian State Philharmony Hall. She completed her Doctoral Degree in Piano Performance at Yerevan State Conservatory and Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Arizona. During these years Ms. Asatryan was actively performing as a Soloist and as a Pianist with Chamber Ensembles in Russia and many countries of West and East Europe. She was awarded a Special Prize in Valentino Bucci International Piano Duo Competition in Rome, Italy. In 2004 Ms.Asatryan was invited to Mexico as a Principal Pianist of Sonora Symphony Orchestra. She was performing on different stages throughout the North Mexico with the Symphony Orchestra and as a Soloist in different Music Festivals including the famous Ortiz Tirado International Music Festival in Alamos. Ms. Asatryan has made many recordings and collaborated with such a renowned Musicians as a composer Arturo Marquez, cellist Carlos Prieto and baritone Luis Ledesma. Some of her recitals were recorded and broadcasted by Radio Sonora.
Sergio Sandí was born in Limón, Costa Rica. Mr. Sandí began piano studies with Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski and M. M. Ludmila Melzer at the Superior Institute of Arts in Costa Rica from 1998 until 2003. In 2003, Mr. Sandí emigrated to the United Stated to attend the Manhattan School of Music; he obtained his bachelors and masters degree and is currently working on his doctoral of musical arts degree, under the guidance of professor Arkady Aronov. Also he has been studying privately with renowned pianist and pedagogue Seymour Bernstein for the past four years. During his career he has participated in numerous concerts, recitals and other presentations at Costa Rica’s principal venues, and also in the Unites States, Italy, France, Lithuania, and Guatemala. Through out his year of study Mr. Sandí has participated in several master classes with distinguished artists such as György Sandor, Martin Canin, Miriam Conti, Garrick Ohlsson, Ana Maria Trenchi Botazzi, etc. Among his many awards Mr. Sandi was given the Costa Rican National Prize in Music as best solo performer, the highest award in Costa Rica, given by the Ministry of Culture.
Photo is coming soon
Elisabetta Foderaro born and raised in Rome, Italy, from an early age immersed herself in musical and classical education. She received her Classical Lyceum Diploma majoring in Music and English. In 1984 she attained her Masters Degree in Piano Performance & Music Teaching. In 1992, Elisabetta received her Certification from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Teaching Diploma For Musical Education in all Italian schools abroad, in English speaking countries, having passed rigorous music and English exams after a minimum of five years teaching experience. Elisabetta is a talented music instructor who developed a long career teaching music in public and private schools in Rome, Italy. She provided music education instruction, encompassing practice of an instrument, history of music, and music theory. Elisabetta always maintained a sharp and consistent focus on correlating music to academics by developing students in discipline and concentration. For family reasons in 1999 Elisabetta moved to New York and joined her husband’s printing firm. She served clients in academic, non-profit and corporate concern. During this time she still maintained private lessons and practice in New York City hroughout these years to children and adults alike. Some of her students came from The Martha Graham School, Neighborhood Playhouse and opera singers. Elisabetta is a proficient piano and music theory teacher and is also very competent in teaching the recorder flute.