Richard Sussman


Richard Sussman is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, educator, and author. Passionate about sharing his knowledge with young people, Richard has been an integral member of the Jazz Composition Faculty at the highly esteemed Manhattan School of Music in New York City since 1986. Equally skilled in the areas of jazz and classical theory, composition, jazz improvisation, and many aspects of music technology including film scoring and contemporary media production, Richard can offer a wide array of lessons to the aspiring student.

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Christian Reichert


Christian Reichert shows a command of the guitar that encompasses both extreme sensitivity and virtuosity. The guitarist with “the fascinating technical experience and perfect rhythm” (Chicago Tribune) “fills the audience easily with enthusiasm” (El País, Spain).

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Eugene Levinson

Double Bass

Double bassist Eugene Levinson, born in Kiev, Ukraine, is former principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra. He formerly played bass with the Leningrad Philharmonic. Levinson’s solo performances with the New York Philharmonic have included concertos by Koussevitsky (live recording conducted by Zubin Mehta), Tubin (conducted by Kurt Masur), and Mozart’s Per questa bella mano, conducted by Riccardo Muti and broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center in 2004. He wrote School of Agility (Carl Fischer), many editions of solo bass music, and a guide to orchestral excerpts for Boosey & Hawkes. He was awarded Distinguished Special Recognition in Orchestral Performance by I.S.B. (2003) and has made solo recordings for the Pro Arte, Melodiya, and Cala labels. He has taught master classes and coached worldwide and has adjudicated for the Koussevitzky and Sperger Double Bass competitions.

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Gina Levinson

Vocal Arts

A graduate pianist with honors at the Leningrad Conservatory, Gina Levinson in her career has ranged from the interest in piano as a solo instrument, to vocal coaching and to the teaching of Russian diction for singers. He has a long teaching experience, which includes, among other things, the Leningrad Conservatory and from 1987 to the Juilliard School in New York.

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Sergei Kvitko

Piano, Recording Engineer

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). 

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Jeffery Palmer

Counter Tenor

JEFFREY PALMER, countertenor, had his debut as a soloist at the age of nine, singing the Pie Jesu from the Fauré Requiem Mass. Described by American operatic tenor Paul Groves as possessing “a beautiful voice and on the track to success,” he has performed in venues across the globe, including the Theatre Royal Bath in England, Knock Shrine in Ireland, the Hefei Grand Theatre in China, and San Francisco’s Kanbar Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall, and New York’s Steinway Hall in the United States.

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Kenneth Kiesler

Conducting Masterclass

Kenneth Kiesler is a Grammy nominee and recipient of The American Prize in Conducting.  He has conducted many operas, premieres, recordings, and over 85 orchestras on 5 continents.  He is Conductor Laureate of the Illinois Symphony where he led Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall debuts during 20 seasons as Music Director.  As one of the world’s most sought-after mentors of conductors, he has taught masterclasses in Berlin, Paris, Ottawa, Moscow, New York, São Paulo, Mexico City, and Los Angeles, and is the director of the renowned graduate program in conducting and the orchestras at the University of Michigan. His students have won many major international competitions and regularly conduct major orchestras worldwide.

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John Cuk

Choral Conductor

John Cuk has conducted choral and orchestral ensembles in Italy, Argentina, Ireland, Russia, Finland, Estonia, England, Moldova, Poland and the United States. His groups have performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall.

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Alina Kozachenko

Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music

Professor 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.

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Olga Yanovich

Violin Performance Faculty

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.

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Nargiza Yusupova

Cello Performance Faculty

Nargiza Yusupva is a recipient of Yehudi Menuhin’s society “Live Music New”. As a soloist and chamber musician she performed concerts throughout Germany with musicians such as Rebekka Hartmann, Sabrina Hausmann, Boris Schoenleber, Jan Schulte-Bunnert, Oliver Klenk, Viola Mokrosch and Luis Borda.

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Svetlana Gorokhovich

Piano Faculty

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.

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Paulina Derbez

Violin and Chamber Music Faculty, "Conscious Musician" Seminar

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 Yoliztliwhere 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.

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Tammy Hensrud

Voice and Chamber Music Faculty

A most versatile artist, she has sung in Opera Houses in Europe and the USA, as well as in Musical Theater, Cabaret and in Kurt Weill one-woman shows both in NY and abroad. Ms. Hensrud serves on the Faculties of Hofstra University and St. Olaf College as Professor of Voice.

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Irena Portenko

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.

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Lidiia Vodyk

“Rising Stars” Program Coordinator and Assistant to the Director

Cameron Gilmour

Assistant to the Director, Recording Engineer

A music technology student at the University of Vermont, Cameron Gilmour is a tenor saxophone and electric bass player with a passion for recording and composing music.

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