Faculty and Guest Artists

Our internationally recognized, dedicated faculty has grown since the very first program. Their significant performing and teaching background, experience, vision, and mentoring ignite a spark of inspiration in students’ hearts and minds. Our professors serve as a generator of further success for those lucky ones who attend the program and have the opportunity to learn from them.


Irena Portenko (USA/Ukraine)

Irena Portenko (USA/Ukraine)

Founder and Artistic Director

A Masterclass with Dr. Irena Portenko in Austria is a singular experience to enhance musicianship and broaden skills for dedicated students.

Irena Portenko’s acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital of Chopin’s Complete Etudes prompted Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times to place her “in a select company,” praising her “resourceful technique and admirably honest and clear-textured playing.” She appears regularly throughout the United States and Europe as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician.

Ms. Portenko’s auspicious solo debut with the Ukrainian National Orchestra at the age of eight has led to an impressive, multifaceted career. While bringing to the international stage the richness of her Eastern-European cultural heritage and her vibrant American educational and professional experience, as a devoted teacher she has inspired her students to appear in successful performances at venues worldwide.






Paulina Derbez (Canada/Mexico)

Paulina Derbez (Canada/Mexico)

Violin, chamber music

One of the 50 celebrities that are transforming Mexico 2013
– Magazine Quién, CNN Expansión

One of the Top ten most successful Mexicans in Canada
– The Globe and Mail.

Paulina Derbez began studying violin at the Yuriko Kuronuma Academy in Mexico City. At an early age she was selected to participate in a tour in Japan playing as a soloist with the Fujiwara Symphony orchestra. She continued her studies at the music school Ollin Yoliztli where she was the concert master of the youth orchestra Vida y Movimiento and assistant concert master of the Orquesta de las Juventudes Musicales, world organization, in Bogotá, Colombia.

Subsequently traveled to Lugano, Switzerland to complete her training at the Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana, under the tutelage of Carlo Chiarappa, and at the D’Archi Vivaldi Academy under the tutelage of Susan Holm. She received scholarships on three occasions from the FONCA (Mexico’s National Fund for Arts and Culture).

She has performed concerts in countries around the world, including Japan, Colombia, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Mexico, as a soloist and with chamber and symphony orchestras. She is the creator of the Conscious Musician music teaching method, and has taught courses in Switzerland, Canada and Mexico at institutions such as the Rudolf Steiner School in Lugano, the International Music Festival in Morelia, the Yuriko Kuronuma Academy in Mexico City, the Young artscape in Toronto, and recently at Escuela Superior de Música in Mexico city.  In spring 2017 she will be giving masterclasses at the Cultural Institue in Campeche, Mexico.

Paulina is a classical and avant-garde violinist. She successfully premiered her one-woman multidisciplinary concert Shika: Out of the Silence the Sound Is born at the University of Toronto in 2014 and presented her CD “Altri Suoni” at the Festival Internacional Cervantino 2014, the most important Festival in Latinoamerica and one of the most important festivals in the world.  She has perfomed at the Glenn Gould Studio CBC, Koerner Hall, Palacio De Bellas Artes, Fujisawa Civic Hall, Sala Netzahualcoyotl, Teatro Juárez, Expo Hannover, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, among others.

In  2013, she received an award from the Mexican magazine Quién, recognizing her as “one of the 50 celebrities that are transforming Mexico 2013”, a list that also included Mexican luminaries like Alfonso Cuarón and Plácido Domingo. Recently she was also recognized as “One of the Top ten most successful Mexicans in Canada” by Latinos Magazine and The Globe and Mail.

Paulina’s book The Conscious Musician, published in June 2014 by Editorial Ink, was originally published in Spanish as El Músico Consciente in 2012 which was launched at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, one of the most important Book Fairs in the world. She gives conferences and talks about The Conscious Musician and is also the co-author of the interactive audiovisual book Depictions of a Concert, with Jaime Luján. Her book El Músico Consciente is available in printed version at the main bookstores in Mexico and several institutions in the world are already applying the methodology of her book in their curriculum.  She has been selected as a speaker, to talk about her book, at the Tedx Paseo Santa Lucía in Monterrey. Tedx is part of the world organization TED Ideas worth spreading.

Paulina is currently working with the dancer Lucy Rupert on the multidisciplinary show “Mirrors” for which they have received a grant from Ontario Arts Council and also have been selected to perform at Culture Days at   Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory Telus Centre, in Toronto, October 2016.

With her duo Luna-Derbez Salazar Paulina  will tour in North America next fall 2016 including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She gives talks, concerts and masterclasses around the world. Paulina’s violin “Luna” was made by the Mexican luthier Itzel Avila.

Paulina is also member of the Ontario Philharmonic and the Artistic Director of México Contemporáneo Foundation a not profit organization that promotes the arts and culture from Mexico such as Mexican chamber music, visual arts, literature and photography among others.

For more information about Paulina, visit www.paulinaderbez.com

Olga Filippova (Russia)

Olga Filippova (Russia)

Harpsichord, Baroque studies


Harpsichordist Olga Filippova has received double education at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory – first as a musicologist under Professor Yuri N. Kholopov and then as a performer on historical keyboard instruments under Professor Olga Martynova. After graduation, she also took a postgraduate course in musicology at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and in harpsichord under Prof. Wolfgang Glüxam at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

As a historical keyboards’ player she trained at numerous international workshops including those by Jasper Christensen, Andreas Staier, Patrick Ayrton, Christopher Stembridge, Maria Leonhardt, Rachel Podger, Davitt Moroney, Kris Verhelst, Bart van Oort and many more. She was a participant and prize winner of a number of International competitions, and in 2011 she received in ensemble with Maria Grokhotova (baroque violin) R. Weichlein Prize for the advancement of Austrian baroque music at one of the most significant early music competitions – Biber International Competition in St Florian, Austria.

Olga Filippova cooperates extensively with a number of Russian and European groups such as Moscow Baroque, Orpharion, Catherine the Great Orchestra, Musica Antiqua St. Peterburg, Musica Petropolitana, Zefiro, Pratum Integrum etc. Her concert performances were broadcasted by Russian TV and radio companies as well as by Austrian radio and radio of The Netherlands, and she released a CD “Favorites of the Baroque”.

She played in concerts together with Alfredo Bernardini, Bob van Asperen, Alexei Lubimov, Alberto and Paolo Grazzi, Andrey Reshetin, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Paul Esswood, Steven Wallace, Simone Kermes, Carlos Mena, Deborah York. Her international festival appearances include, among others, Russian “Moscow Forum”, Festivals in Potsdam, Utrecht, Premio Bonporti Festival, J. S. Bach Music Festivals in Riga and chamber music festivals in Croatia.

A. Professor Olga Filippova currently teaches harpsichord and historical chamber ensemble at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory’s Department of historical and contemporary performance.

Svetlana Gorokhovich

Svetlana Gorokhovich (USA)

Svetlana Gorokhovich (USA)

Piano, chamber music

Svetlana Gorokhovich is internationally recognized pianist and a prolific recording musician. Her performances include major concert halls in USA, Germany, Holland, Japan, Caribbean, Iceland and Italy. Svetlana’s wide range of musical abilities makes her highly attractive as a soloist and chamber music partner. As highly demanded chamber musician Svetlana participated in international music festivals in Holland, Germany, Italy and New York during 2005-2014. Her latest performances include recitals in Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Ridotto Music Series.

Svetlana’s most recent recoding with cellist Misha Quint “Tempo Trapezio” was released in 2014 on Blue Griffin label. “One Piano Four Hands” was released in 2012 by SMH Records. In 2010 Volshebnik Productions released “Valse Sentimentale” recorded with cellist Misha Quint. During 1991-1996 Svetlana has worked with internationally acclaimed violinist Dmitri Berlinsky, touring worldwide. Their unique recording of Russian chamber music compositions, Souvenir D’un Lieu Cher (Helicon), released in 1997, received enthusiastic reviews. Ms. Gorokhovich is a winner of International Bartok-Kabalevsky Piano Competition at Radford University (1997) and IBLA International Competition in Italy (1999). Her solo recital in Carnegie Hall in 2000 was highly acclaimed by the New York Concert Review. Today Ms. Gorokhovich continues her busy recital schedule; she is also a highly sought-after teacher and coach. She is on the piano faculty of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, White Plains, New York.

Elisabeth Halliday-Quan (USA)

Elisabeth Halliday-Quan (USA)

Soprano, Guest Artist

Elisabeth Halliday, Soprano

Soprano Elisabeth Halliday works with established and emerging composers to commission and promote new classical vocal repertoire. Elisabeth sings primarily with the commissioning opera ensemble Rhymes With Opera, of which she is a co-founder, and additionally with such diverse ensembles as Hotel Elefant, Experiments in Opera, Resonant Bodies Festival, NYsoundCircuit, Chelsea Opera, Ashcan Orchestra, New York Opera Alliance, the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, the Emerging Voices Project, The Fourth Wall Ensemble, and more. She has performed at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, (le) Poisson Rouge, Issue Project Room, Roulette, the National Opera Center, Omaha Under the Radar, New Music Gathering, UC San Diego, the Tenri Cultural Institute and many other venues and festivals on the front lines of promoting new and experimental classical music.

Elisabeth trained at the Peabody Conservatory and studies with Manhattan School of Music’s Ashley Putnam.

rhymeswithopera.org | soundcloud.com/elisabeth-halliday | @ElisabethMusik

Waleed Howrani (USA)

Waleed Howrani (USA)

Piano, chamber music

Born in New York in 1948, Waleed Howrani was reared in Beirut where he studied
piano, theory and harmony privately while engaging in trials of his first Opuses. At
thirteen, he came to the attention of Aram Khatchaturian, who arranged for him to receive
scholarships to study piano at Moscow’s Central Music School and the Tchaikovsky
Conservatory (1964 -1973), of which three years were under the tutelage of Emil Gilels.
By the time Howrani was nineteen, he had been awarded the Certificate of Honor at the
Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition and the Laureate at the Queen Elizabeth
International Piano Competition, paving the way to concert tours in the former Soviet
Union, East and West Europe, the Middle East, as well as in the Americas.

After settling in the United States in 1973, Howrani pursued his lifelong interest in
creating music by studying composition with William Albright. As a composer, he has
been the recipient of a number of honors, including the Michigan Council for the Arts
Award for his Animal Rags for piano; the Artistic Excellence Award from Wayne
County, Michigan; two Khalil Gibran Fine Arts Awards; and a grant from the Hariri
Foundation. In 2008 his Concerto for Alto Saxophone, Strings and Percussion received
its world premiere in London by the English Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Clark
Rundell, with Simon Haram as soloist.

In addition to giving concerts, Howrani continues to compose and to teach. He currently
resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Boris Ivanov

Boris Ivanov (USA)

Boris Ivanov (USA)

Pianist, Composer, Producer

Boris Ivanov is a Moscow-born, NYC area-based pianist, keyboardist, composer, and producer. He has experienced more than two decades of training with the traditional Russian method of musical education, which culminated in a two semester study at the Moscow State Conservatory in the piano class of Professor Aleksey Nasedkin. He has also since earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Montclair State University in the piano class of Professor Mark Pakman. In 2016 he earned his Master’s Degree in Music Composition at NYU Steinhardt studying and working with Grammy-award winning composer and producer Michael Patterson. His works have been performed by several groups including the NYU Percussion Ensemble and the NYU Composers’ Ensemble.

Since leaving Moscow in 2007 Boris has stretched his musical capacity into different genres, experimenting with jazz, funk, latin, blues, and progressive rock. He has shared the stage with such musicians as guitarist Bobby Bell, trumpeter James Gibbs, drummer Victor Jones, and bassist Victor Bailey.

Boris currently resides in Newark, NJ, where he performs and composes with various projects. He teaches piano, keyboard, composition, theory, electronic music, and music production.

Alina Kozachenko (Ukraine)

Alina Kozachenko (Ukraine)

Piano, accompanying, chamber music

Alina Kozachenko is a sought after performer and a teacher. The array of her professional activities combines solo performances, accompanying, teaching and working as an orchestra musician. She has frequently traveled Europe, North America, Middle and far East in various capacities as an accompanist for the Ukrainian National Veriovka Choir and, as a member of Kiev Ballet and Opera Theater orchestra.

Professor Kozachenko has multiple publications and recordings. She has collaborated with the leading vocal and instrumental soloists. Her class at the National Music Academy of Ukraine flourishes with talented students, many of them are prize-winners of International Competitions. Former students of Professor Kozachenko are teaching at the music schools, universities and conservatories around the globe.

Serguei Milstein (Switzerland)

Serguei Milstein (Switzerland)

Piano, Guest Artist

Born in Moscow to musician parents, Serguei Milstein began piano lessons at the age of five and, one year later, entered the Moscow Central Music School, where he studied with A.Soumbatian.   He later enrolled in the class of his father, Jacob Milstein, at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire.

Serguei Milstein is a prizewinner of major international competitions: Second Prize in the « Prague Spring » International Competition (1988), as well as Third Prize in the International Vercelli Competition (1991). In 1997, he won the First Prize at the International Musical Tournament (Rome). His soloist career has brought him to Czech Republic, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, England, the United States, Japan and Russia.

He has also performed at numerous festivals, including the Prague Spring Festival, the Moravian Autumn and the Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France.

From 2003 to 2006, Serguei Milstein held the position of visiting professor of piano at the Department of Music of Kobe College in Japan.

Currently Serguei Milstein is professor of piano at the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland.

Sviatoslav Richter saw in Serguei Milstein a serious and introspective musician, and a profoundly erudite and talented pianist. The press has rounded out the accolade, describing him as « a pianist with an electrifying and visionary style, capable of providing rare moments of musical joy, that music lovers long to encounter, if only a few times, in their lives. »

Yong Hi Moon

Yong Hi Moon


Accomplished pianist and teacher Yong Hi Moon made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at age 10 as winner of the National Korean Broadcasting Competition. Ms. Moon has won top prizes in the Elena-Rombro Stepanow Competition in Vienna, the Viotti International Competition in Vercelli, Italy, the Vienna da Motta Competition in Lisbon, Portugal, and also received the Chopin Prize from the Geneva International Competition in Switzerland.

Ms. Moon performs extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the US as recitalist and soloist, having appeared with the Korean National Symphony and the Osaka, Seoul, and Tokyo Philharmonics. In 1975, the South Korean government invited Ms. Moon to perform in a festival to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Korean, and she continues to maintain a strong performing and teaching presence in her native country. To celebrate Mozart’s bicentennial year in 1991, she participated in a cycle of the composer’s complete piano concerti with the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997, Ms. Moon undertook the complete solo piano works of Schubert, performing them in six recitals in both Korea and the US. The summer of 2000 marked her first extensive concert tour of Korea, which included solo recitals in five cities and performances with the orchestras of Kwangju and Daejun. Notable among her more recent performances are concerto appearances with the Korean Symphony, Korea Chamber Orchestra, Korea Symphony Orchestra Orchestra, Peabody Alumni Orchestra of Korea, and performances of Beethoven’s monumental Diabelli Variations, both in the US and Seoul.

She collaborates regularly with her husband, pianist/conductor Dai Uk Lee, in duo piano concerts and has performed under his baton with the Busan, Bucheon and Ulsan Philarmonics, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Korea Chamber Orchestra, Peabody Alumni Orchestra of Korea and the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 they performed Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen in both the US and Korea. Their CD recording of four-hand piano music on the Czech label Music and Art has received outstanding critical acclaim.

Ms. Moon is in high demand as a guest master class teacher and adjudicator. In 1993, she released a popular teaching video in Korea entitled Artistic Piano Playing. Ms. Moon has been a regular faculty member at the Shandelee Music Festival, Aria Academy, Prague International Masterclasses, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Valencia Piano Academy, Rebecca Pennys Piano Festival, and the Art of Piano Festival at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. In addition, she has been invited to perform and conduct master classes at Chautauqua Summer Festival in New York, the International School for Musical Arts in Canada, and the Gijon International Piano Festival. Recently she has given master classes at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Korean National University of Arts. In addition, she is a frequent visitor to Beijing and is scheduled to visit again the Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music in November of 2016.

She has served on the juries of the CCC Toronto International Piano Competition, Senigallia International Piano Competition in Italy, Gilmore International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Competition, as well as numerous MTNA competitions throughout the US. In March of 2014, she chaired the jury at Seoul International Piano Competition.

Ms. Moon was a professor of piano at Michigan State University School of Music for fifteen years, and since 2002 she has been a member of piano faculty at Peabody Institute.

Ms. Moon studied at the Vienna Academy, graduating with the highest honors. She continued her studies in London before pursuing an Artist Diploma at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her major teachers include Dieter Weber, Maria Curcio, György Sebok, Leon Fleisher, Wilhelm Kempff and Fou T’song, who have always been inspirations in her work.

Cyrille Oswald

Cyrille Oswald

Flute, Saxophone

Cyrille Oswald started playing professionally in 1994 when living in the Caribbean. Upon returning to the Netherlands, he studied jazz saxophone at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he graduated in 2001. The same year he started his first modern jazz quartet called Amalgam and recorded his first album, on which he performed original compositions and became a finalist at the yearly North Sea Jazz festival competition for new emerging jazz bands.

In 2004 he recorded an album with originals together with Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug. In 2007, Cyrille set up a new trio and quartet with Stefan Lievestro on acoustic bass, Jeroen van Vliet on piano and Erik Kooger on drums. They also recorded the CD Nerve with original compositions by Cyrille, which was acclaimed both by the public and the press (5 stars in JAZZ magazine).

His first recording in the Czech Republic was under the Animal Music label in 2010, with his new quartet featuring David Dorůžka on guitar, Tomáš Liška on bass and Dano Šoltis on drums, again with original compositions.
He is a member of one of the most prestigious jazz orchestras of today, the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. In 2014, he founded the band Cirilic together with guitarist Kirill Jakovlev and bassist Taras Voloschuk. They just released their second album. He is also member of various other bands (Petr Benes quartet, Marek Novotny quartet, Milli Janatkova quartet, Daniel Bulatkin quartet).

Robert Redweik

Robert Redweik

Vocals, Guitar, Piano

Robert Redweik is a multifaceted musician.
He has been writing and playing music all life long and has worked with and for artists such as Midge Ure (Ultravox), Selig, Howard Carpendale and many more.
After releasing his band’s album in 2014 under Warner and Universal, he started his solo career and worked on his debut album over the last year.
On August 25th, 2017 his solo album, “DEIN VEGAS”, will be released.
Robert Redweik is touring in 2017 from November to December.

Yury Revich (Russia-Austria)

Yury Revich (Russia-Austria)

Violin, Guest Artist

Yury Revich (violin)

ECHO Klassik Prize Winner 2016

“full-blooded authority, fleet-fingered dexterity, innate musicality and substantial accuracy…” -The Strad

Young Artist of the Year 2015 by the International Classical Music Awards and winner of the “Young Musician of the Year” award by Beethoven Center Vienna , at only 24 years of age, Yury Revich already is a very mature and serious artist. He is one of the most expressive musicians of his generation and is based in Vienna, Austria.

Since 2016 Yury performs on the Golden Period Stradivari 1709 from the Goh Family Foundation.

Whenever he is not at performances in all corners of the world – in 2009, he played his debut at Carnegie Hall and in 2013 at La Scala, Milan, he has performed at the Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, Tonhalle Zürich, Vienna Konzerthaus, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Metropolitan Art Space Tokyo,Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Cadogan Hall London as well as the Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago and many others, and can be heard at many international festivals – Yury tries to use his music for charitable events.

Yury organized a concert in Vienna in 2011 for the victims of the tsunami in Japan.

Additionally, he collaborates with the organisation „Kleine Herzen“ that helps Russian and Ukranian children. In 2015 he organized the First Austrian Gala Charity “All for Autism”, and in September 2015 performs in the WDR summer night concert at the Gerry Weber Stadion broadcasted internationally.

Yury also lives out his creativity in the film medium: He is practicing to direct and to act and has already produced a short film of his own. He records for Sony Classical, ARS, Odradek and OnePointFM, WDR, BR, Radio France, among many other European and American radio and television networks. His CDs are on playlist of Lufthansa flights.

Yury is artist in residence of Aurora Star Festival, Bad Ragaz Festival etc. Yury Revich is very versatile in his works: he finds it fascinating to play baroque music on historical instruments –with the harpsichordist Olga Fillipova – but equally enjoys working with modern influences. In order to fully expand on his repertoire, Yury also plays as a chamber musician in ensembles with renowned artists such as Massimo Quatra, Daniil Trifonov, Gary Hoffman, Liana Isakadze, Lawrence Dutton, Robert McDuffie and others.

In 2015 Yury launched a new international concert cycle in Vienna “Friday Nights with Yury Revich” with artists like Paul Badura-Skoda, Alexey Igudesman, Johanna Doderer, Kotaro Fukuma and many other celebrities taking part.

As a soloist with an orchestra, Yury performs with many Orchestras, including Svetlanov State Symphony, La Verdi Milano, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinald-Pfalz, North-West Deutsche Philarmonie, Il Pomeriggi Musicale, Zagreb Soloists, Russian National, Moscow Soloists and collaborates with conductors like Yuri Bashmet, Mikhail Pletnev, Zhang Xian, Gintaras Rinkevicius, Yuri Simonov, Justus Frantz, Stanislav Kochanovsky and others.

Since 2008, Yury has been playing on a violin that was specifically built for him by the French master luthier Alan Karbonar, on a Balestrieri from 1783 which was generously placed at his disposal by the Goh Family Foundation in Singapore and the Amadeus International School in Vienna from 2013 till 2016, since 2016 Yury performs on the Golden Period Stradivari 1709 from the Goh Family Foundation. Moreover, he was accorded the honor of performing on a Duke Alba Stradivari and a Guarneri del Gesu Ex-Max Rostal that were furnished by the Stradivari Society.

He is the Music Ambassador of the Amadeus Vienna International and Beethoven Center Vienna.

Yury Revich started playing the violin at age five. He comes from a dynasty of violinists: his father, grandfather and greatgrandfather were all dedicated to the string instrument. When Yury turned seven, he entered the Central Music Acadamy of the Moscow Conservatory as a student of Galina Turchaninova. Between 2005 and 2009, he studied under V. Pickaizen and then went to the Vienna Conservatory in 2009, where he is being taught by Pavel Vernikov. Furthermore, his teachers in Vienna and Moscow included Yury’s father, A. Revich and V. Vorona.

Stanislav Rosenberg (Germany)

Stanislav Rosenberg (Germany)

Stanislav Rosenberg was born 1976 in Odessa (Ukraine). He currently lives in Frankfurt and in Berlin and performs in numerous concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist in Europe and overseas.
Stanislav divides his passion between performance and composing,  writing various works for orchestra, instrumental pieces and songs. He also does multiple arrangements of the music by another composers.

A special place in his heart is taken by jazz. Mr. Rosenberg performs jazz as a soloist as well as in various settings, such as the Big Band of Frankfurt Radio and also, with a famous Norwegian guitar performer Terje Rypdal.

Stanislav Rosenberg’s educational background includes piano studies at the Music Academy in Odessa and at the University of Music in Frankfurt (Germany). His degree in solo performance was completed at the University of Music in Saarbruecken under Prof. K.Merscher. He has enhanced his performing experience by participating in the Masterclasses with such renowned artists as I.Edelstein, M.Voskressenski, M.Frani, J.Swann, R.Kehrer etc

Jiří Slavíček (Czech Republic)

Jiří Slavíček (Czech Republic)


Jiří Slavíček is one of important musicians in Jazz music scene in East Europe. Musicians call him “Mr. Swing”.
Jiří graduated music conservatory in Ostrava. Started his music career in 1992 with a band “The Four” and became  a winer of International Jazz Festival in Karlovy Vary. Since that time he had worked with the great local Czech musicians like Jaromír Honzak, Roman Pokorný, Yvonne Sanchez, Robert Balzar , David Doruška ,Miriam Bayle, Ondřej Štveraček, Matěj Benko,  Najponk, Libor Šmoldas. And with the Jazz stars like Art Farmer, Piotr Baron, Kuba Stankiewicz, Sandy Lomax,  Christian Rover, Craig Handy,  Budapest Jazz Orchestra,  John Abercrombie, Inbar Friedman and many others. Also he cooperating with the musical project “Illustratosphere”.  Jiří Slavíček is profesor on Music Academy in Prague and  International conservatory.

Natalia Tolstaia

Natalia Tolstaia (France)

Natalia Tolstaia (France)

Viola, Guest Artist

Natalia Tolstaia, co-principal solo violist at Lyon Opera House, France, was born in Moscow and began her music studies at the Gnessin School for children with exceptional musical abilities.

After graduation Ms. Tolstaia studied at Moscow Conservatory with world-famous violists Mikhail Terian, Yuri Bashmet, and with Mikhail Kopelman, 1st violin of the Borodin Quartet.

She served on the faculty of the Gnessin Music School as violin, viola and chamber music teacher. At the same time she became a member of the Composers Association String Quartet, and principal viola of “Vivaldi” Moscow Chamber Orchestra.

In 1991 she wins the position of assistant principal viola at the orchestra of Opera de Lyon, and moves to France, where she continues to work currently.

In 1991 Natalia Tolstaia was awarded the first prize of International Nicanor Zabaleta Competition in Spain. Natalia Tolstaia played numerous recitals and chamber music concerts in France, Italy, Russia, United States and Japan.

She has her own studio as a private teacher; among her most successful pupils is violinist Maria Milstein, winner of the Citta di Brescia International Violin Competition in Italy.

Taras Volos (Czech Republic)

Taras Volos (Czech Republic)

Double Bass, Guest Artist

The Czech leading bassist Taras Vološčuk was born in Bobrujsk (Belorus). his first music lessons began at age of 6, when he started to play violin,primarily studying classical music. In 1979 he went to the Lysenko Music School in Kyiv, Ukraine to study violin with prof. Peter Bondas.

In 1990-1995, Vološčuk attended Ukrainian National Academy of Music, studying with professor Alexander Panov and Alexey Gorochov.

Before 1999, he had worked in Kyiv Chamber Orchestra, Kyiv Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Piano Quintet Kyiv, with which he became a winner of National Chamber Music Competition in 1993. He has also frequently performed with Avlos, medieval music and avant-garde musician Gregory Nemirovsky.Then, in 1995 his first experiments in Jazz music started.

1999 Taras Vološčuk moved to Prague and switched his musical career to double bass. He has collaborated with many musicians and bands, such as Najponk, Yvonne Sanchez, Cechomor, Suzanne Vega, Gerry Leonard, Glen Hansard, Osian Roberts, Oran Etkin, Limbo, Cirilic, Alan Stivell, Doug Yowell,Roman Pokorný and many others.

Taras Vološčuk has recorded hundreds of albums, he has cooperated with Warner Bros., Universal.

Currently, Taras is playing with Najponk trio, Cirilic, Roman Pokorný, Limbo. He is working on his own solo project, in which he explores creating a new technique and perspectives how to play double bass.

olga yanovich

Olga Yanovich (USA)

Olga Yanovich (USA)


Dr. Olga Yanovich, violinist, studied at the Moscow Gnessin Music Academy and at St. Petersburg Conservatory with the legendary violinists Boris Goldstein and Vladimir Spivakov.

Olga Yanovich has performed extensively as a member of a quartet and a soloist in Russia and many European cities. In the USA, she appeared in recitals and as soloist with orchestras at Constitution Hall, Kennedy Center, Music Center at Strathmore, Warner Theater, The Smithsonian, Merkin Hall in New York.

Dr. Yanovich has coached violin/viola and chamber ensemble master classes in Russia, Finland, Italy, France, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Germany, and at music festivals in the USA. Her students have been accepted into major music schools such as Manhattan, Juilliard, Eastman, Boston Conservatory, San Francis­co Conservatory, Royal College of Music in London, and the Moscow Conservato­ry; many of her students became winners of local and national competitions, as well as successful professional musicians.




Nargiza Yusupova

Nargiza Yusupova (Germany/Uzbekistan)

Nargiza Yusupova (Germany/Uzbekistan)

Cello, Guest Artist

Nargiza Yusupova grew up in the city of Tashkent (Uzbekistan) to a family of musicians. At the age of seven, she started to learn cello at the Uspensky music school for gifted childrenin Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She graduated with the Bachelor and Master’s degree at the State Conservatory in Tashkent. Upon graduation Ms. Yusupova continued her higher music education in Munich (Germany), where she studied with Katalin Rootering, Rainer Ginzel, Christoph Poppen and Friedemann Berger. She participated in Masterclasses with such renowned musicians as Janos Starker, Alexander Malter, Wolfgang Boether, Wen-Sinn Yang and Sir Colin Davis. In 2009 she graduated with honors from the Higher School of Music in Munich. Nargiza Yusupova is a winner of many national and international competitions. From2008 to 2013 her musical activity was supported by Yehudi Menuhin’s society “Live Music New”.

As a soloist and chamber musician she performed concerts throughout Germany with musicians such as Rebekka HartmannSabrina Hausmann, Boris Schoenleber, Jan Schulte-Bunnert, Oliver Klenk, Viola Mokrosch and Luis Borda. She has been featured on air numerous times. In 2010, upon the invitation of the cultural department of the German embassy in Uzbekistan Nargiza Yusupova has performed concerts and has given masterclasses in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara (Uzbekistan).

Nargiza Yusupova’s interests expand beyond the area of classical music. In 2009 she performed with the group «Sportfreunde Stiller» in the MTV project «Unplugged in New York», which was awarded a Platinum Disc. She was featured as a soloist with the group «ADORO» during their 2012 concerts. In the following year, Nargiza Yusupova played at a presentation of Helena Fischer’s album «Farbenspiel», followed by a tour 2014-2015.

Nargiza Yusupova gained her extensive teaching experience, while workng in Uspensky Musik School for gifted children and at the State Conservatory in Tashkent, at the music school Bluetenburg in Munich and since 2015 she has been teaching at the music school in Ismaning (Germany)

Dr Rena Baroch (Israel)

Dr Rena Baroch (Israel)


Dr Rena Baroch is a highly regarded acting teacher and theater director in Israel and abroad. For the last 40 years she has taught acting, directing and movement for the stage, creating her own techniques and styles, influencing 4 generations of artists in theater and dance. Rena has taught acting and movement for the stage in Israel’s prominent High School for the arts and in the University of Tel-Aviv’s Theater Department. She created a unique program for movement for opera students at the Rubin Music Academy of T.A. Univ.; also teaching acting, movement and directing at the State Teacher’s College in the Drama Dept. as well as lecturing on theater and tutoring Play Writing for especially talented M.A. students at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Rena was on the Board of Directors, art consultant and house director at the Negev Theater for 12 years. In this capacity and others, she has created many works in mainstream theaters – but Fringe and Avant-garde Theater is her specialty – poetic movement theater her main venue. She has directed highly successful productions, ie: The Only Jealousy of Emer – by W.B.Yeats – a masked production portraying Celtic mythology. Tongues by Joe Chaikin & Sam Shepard – a provocative dialogue between a percussionist and actor that was awarded first prize for directing at the International Fringe Festival in Acco. In Hawk’s Well by W.B. Yeats, Rena used original hand-made Japanese styled wooden masks created by Hadas Ofrat a famous Israeli artist who studied in Japan, and Mr. Fugue by Lilian Atlan – is a perturbing French Holocaust play portraying the intense struggle for life by five youngsters in Ghetto Warsaw during WWII.

Rena is also a modern tragi-comic clown, performing in provocative self-created pieces, with a flair for social critique… often personifying the pains and trials of the Chaplinesque “little guy” with powerful anti-violent messages.

Rena’s PhD – The Fool in European and Israeli Avant-Garde Drama in the 20th Century – (published in 2 volumes May 2017), acknowledges that Rena is a highly respected academic with a great love for research, dance, theater and postmodern circus; ART oriented to expand human perception and consciousness. Rena supports a pluralistic society by acknowledging and addressing man’s deeply rooted need for the arts – for freedom of expression and open-minded dialogue that supports the belief in man’s capabilities to create a better world!

Daniel Baruch (USA)

Daniel Baruch (USA)

Sound engineer, producer


Daniel Baruch brings three decades of professional experience in live mixing–with over 4,000 shows throughout the Untied States as well as Canada and Europe–to a variety of events.

Embracing all forms of sound, musical globetrotter Daniel Baruch is not limited by style. He has engineered live sound for the New York Philharmonic and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and co-produced, mixed, and mastered the evocative, world music infused score for the Academy Award-winning film, Born Into Brothels along with thousands of other projects on three continents over the last three decades. As a well-trained classical musician and expert audio engineer in both live and studio environments, Baruch has brought his technical mastery to projects in Boston, Berlin, Los Angeles, New Orleans to New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Paris.

From intimate venues to larger rooms and outdoor gatherings with huge PA systems, Daniel is comfortable mixing sound for 50 people or an audience of half a million, providing great audio in a smooth, stress-free ambience. His expertise, ranging from corporate functions (Walt Disney, NFL, New York International Auto Show) to music festivals (Philadelphia Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Paleo Festival) assures a polished sound with great attention to details. He also calibrates and designs PA systems.

Sergei Kvitko (USA)

Sergei Kvitko (USA)

Piano, Sound-Recording, Photography, Videography

Sergei Kvitko’s career is as diverse as it is successful. As a pianist, Mr. Kvitko has captured the attention of music critics with his “masterful, intuitive playing… arresting artistry…  an iconoclastic sense for rubato rhythm and phrasing” (Fanfare Magazine), and has been praised for his “luminous touch… warm, round sound… plenty of brilliance” as well as “a natural, appealing musicality and sensual understanding of piano tone” (The Chronicle-Herald).  American Record Guide proclaimed his recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition as “one of the best ever made” and placed on its Critics’ Choice List. In spring of 2013 Mr. Kvitko embarked on a 14-city solo concert tour, which climaxed with his New York City debut at Carnegie Hall that “was met with rousing applause, bravos, and a standing ovation” (New York Concert Review).

As a composer he gathered multiple awards for his incidental music for the production of Steven Dietz’s play “Dracula.” Lawrence Cosentino of City Pulse wrote: “Kvitko wove a borderline insane level of care and sophistication into every bar of his score even when you can barely hear it,” and Fanfare Magazine called it “a well conceived, executed, and imaginative score… entertaining, powerful, witty.”

What makes Kvitko’s career truly unique, is that his artistic accomplishments are balanced by his reputation as an internationally sought-after classical recording engineer and producer of the highest caliber, declared by Fanfare Magazine as “one of the best in the business,” while American Record Guide praised his work as a ”consistent stream of exceptionally enjoyable recordings.” CD produced and engineered by Sergei Kvitko have been favorably reviewed by national and international publications such as Fanfare Magazine,  BBC Music, Flute World, Clarinet Magazine, Clavier, Percussion and Strings Magazine among many others, earning praises such as “superbly well recorded” (International Record Guide, UK), “vividly detailed, vibrant sonics” (Gramophone, UK), “the recording is close to ideal – rich, but clear, truthful and immediate” (American Record Guide), “larger-than-life recording that sounds fabulous at virtually any volume level” (Strings Magazine) “warm and immediate sound” (The Strad).

Sergei Kvitko was born in Russia and began studying music at the age of six. After receiving the highest musical education there, he came to the United States to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Michigan State University, where he studied with Ralph Votapek.

Yuri Omelchuk (Portugal)

Yuri Omelchuk (Portugal)


Yurii Omelchuk, born in Kiev (Ukraine). He began his musical studies at the age of 9. During the period 1980 and 1990 he studied in the bassoon class under the guidance of Professor Y.Dondakov at the Special School of Music “M.Lysenko”. Participated in open classes, various presentations and concerts of young musicians, organized by the School.
In 1990, he joined the State Conservatoire of Music “P.I.Tchaikovsky” of Kiev (currently is National Academy of Music “P.I.Tchaikovsky”) under the guidance of Professors V.Vdovichenko and V.Apatsky. In 1992, he joined the group of bassoons in the Academic Orchestra under the direction of Maestro R.Kofman with which he toured in Germany and France. During the years of studies he gave several concerts in the largest halls of Kiev and in the various cities of Ukraine presenting himself as soloist, chamber music ensemble artist, orchestra artist. In 1995 he was classified in Grand Prix, in the Music of the Chamber mode at the 7th International Interpretation Competition “Pierre Lantier” in Paris (France). In 1995 he completed his degree as Professor, Chamber Music Soloist, Orchestra Soloist and Soloist Interpreter.
Between the years 1992-2000 his experience orchestra artist worked in the several orchestras, such as; Kiev Municipal Wind Orchestra, Children’s Musical Theater Orchestra of Kiev, Chamber Music Orchestra B.Lhatoshinsky, National Orchestra of Soloists “Kiev Chamber”. He has worked as a guest musician in the National Opera Theater Orchestra, National Symphonic Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine. He toured in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Holland, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, Belgium. From August 1995 until 2000, 2nd soloist in the Orchestra of the Opera and National Dance of Ukraine. From September 2000 to June 2002, 2nd soloist of the Classical Orchestra of Madeira. From September of 2003 to July of 2013 invited artist in the Classical Orchestra of Madeira. From May 2015 to present time, guest soloist of Funchal Baroque Ensemble.
In 2000, he began his teaching career in the Autonomous Region of Madeira. During the years of work at CEPAM he gave two Master-Classes as Bassoon Guiding Teacher. He was a member of the official jury at the International Competition “Forum – Musical Interpretation and Pedagogy in the 21st Century”. Several of his students were awarded Bassoon and chamber music in the International Competitions and CEPAM Children’s Competition.

Bob Arthurs (USA)

Bob Arthurs (USA)


Bob Arthurs is a jazz trumpet player who has been playing professionally for over five decades.  He has played in clubs and at festivals in the New York area and abroad.  New York venues include Birdland, Iridium, Jazz Standard, Cornelia Street Cafe, Cleopatra’s Needle, Somethin’ Jazz Club, Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall.  Abroad he has performed in Belgium, The Netherlands, Russia and Japan.

In addition to leading his own groups, Bob has played with Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Sal Mosca, Ted Brown, Warren Vache, Larry Coryell, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne, Tal Farlowe, Carmen Leggio, with whom he co-directed a big band, Etta Jones, Jimmy Hill, and Bill Crow among many others.

He is a founding member of the Tristan Quartet, which can be heard on Bob’s CD on Zinnia Records, Notes From the Underground, which is available through this website, from CDbaby, amazon.com and from iTunes.

Bob’s vocal debut was on his 2013 CD Jazz for Svetlana, a duo album with guitarist Steve La Mattina.  You can listen on the audio page.  Please see the reviews on the Reviewers page.  Jazz for Svetlana can be ordered through this website, from CDbaby, amazon.com and from iTunes.

His latest release (Jan. 2017) is Jazz for Molly on Lost Records.  This recording features Daralyn Jay, voice and Steve LaMattina, guitar.  Please go to the Listen page to hear My Favorite Things from the new album.  A video of the Summertime track is available on the Video page.  Jazz for Molly can be ordered through this website, CDBaby.com, amazon, iTunes and spotify.

In addition to performing, Bob is a trumpet teacher and music educator.  He was on the faculty of the Music Conservatory of Westchester from 1972-2005.  From 1990 to 2005 he served as the school’s Dean of Students and Faculty and Chair of the Conservatory’s Jazz Department.  He also served as the trumpet instructor at Rye Country Day School from 2007 to 2016.