Congratulations to the 2016 Graduates!
Many of this year’s 20 graduating seniors have been making music at Kaufman Music Center since early childhood. We’re sad that they’re leaving us, but excited about all the adventures they have to look forward to as they move on to the next stage of their lives. Next fall they’ll be attending college including Harvard University, Cornell University, Columbia University, New York University, Duke University and Northwestern University.
"Being able to play a musical instrument is such a rare and special gift. It’s definitely something I will carry with me forever.” - ELEANOR BENT
"What I love about music is the way it makes me feel when I perform it. The thrill, excitement, and satisfaction I get after performing my pieces is indescribable. Music has become a part of who I am.”
- KENATEA CHAVEZ-MODRCIN
“I have always been deeply moved by the palpable spirit of passion and generosity that pervades Lucy Moses School, from the teachers to the staff to the administration. Making music is the only means by which we communicate with one another in a purely abstract way. This abstractness gives the experience of sharing music a magic that is impossible to replicate through anything else.”
- CHRIS VAZAN
Find out more about the 2016 graduates below!
JUNO ADAMS has studied piano at Lucy Moses School for four years. With the guidance of her teacher Vladimir Yudilevich, studying the piano has helped her appreciate the craft that goes into creating a piece of music. Her knowledge has given her the ability to listen to music and have a fuller, more rewarding experience. Juno is thankful for her time at LMS, as it has given her the opportunity to be a part of a community separate from her school and family. It has been a wonderful experience! Juno will attend Sarah Lawrence College in the fall.
ELEANOR BENT attended Special Music School from Kindergarten through 8th grade, studying flute with Valerie Holmes. She is a senior at the High School of American Studies at Lehman College. She has continued her flute studies with Diane Taublieb for the past four years through Lucy Moses School’s Young Artist Program. In 2012, Eleanor won the New York Flute Club's Young Musicians Contest and in 2016 was a winner of the Kaufman Music Center Concerto Competition and performed Mozart Flute Concerto with a professional orchestra at Merkin Concert Hall. Other Lucy Moses School courses include chamber music, Summer Musical Theater Workshop, and ballet. In her spare time, Eleanor teaches ukulele and plays tennis on her high school tennis team. She will attend Cornell University next fall. “I loved going to school here,” she says. “It was a wonderful experience and gave me both extensive academic and musical skills. I think my best experience at this school was with the chamber music program. I love playing with other musicians my age and the ones at this school are all so talented! Being able to play a musical instrument is such a rare and special gift and even though I don’t plan on pursuing music as a career, I love being able to connect with people over it. It’s definitely something I will carry with me forever.”
EMMA BERTKE first expressed an interest in piano to Mark Lakirovich when she began Kindergarten at Special Music School in 2003. She studied piano with Irina Krivinos for six years. Emma began her flute studies at SMS in fifth grade as a student of Valerie Holmes, who continues to teach Emma through Lucy Moses School. Emma is the first flute for the Hunter College High School Concert Band. She performed twice at Lincoln Center with Kate Gonzales and Emma Toh as winners of the Chamber Music Society's Young Artist Concert series. For the last five years, she has been a member of the Inter-School Orchestra Symphonic Band, led by Brian Worsdale. Emma participated in the Chamber Music Center of New York's summer intensive program and was selected to play in the Flute Performing Ensemble at the 2014 Conference of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and played in a flute ensemble supporting Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway at Carnegie Hall. Emma was a winner, with Tamar Benami, of the 2015 Kaufman Music Center Concerto Competition and the Rondo Young Artist Competition, which led to an appearance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. When she’s not playing music, Emma enjoys writing, ice skating, and working with animals at the ASPCA. She will attend Bowdoin College in the fall.
AUTUMN BOUTIN joined Lucy Moses School in 2001 at the age of three and began her piano studies with Catherine Fabian at the age of four. In addition to her piano studies, Autumn has danced with Alvin Ailey in their junior division for 15 years. Autumn is a senior at Trinity High School and the president of the Booster Squad, the Black Affairs Club, and the Dance Club. She was also a founding member of the Aaron School Alliance, a group at Trinity focused on helping special needs students. Autumn will attend Harvard University in the fall.
ETHAN BROWN is a senior at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. He has studied cello since the age of five as a merit scholar with Yari Bond at the Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School and Young Artists Program. Ethan was a winner of the Kaufman Music Center’s Concerto Competition in 2015 and 2012 and the LaGuardia High School Concerto Competition in 2014. He also had the opportunity to perform the Haydn Sinfonia Concertante with the Empire Chamber Orchestra in 2015. Ethan has been a member of the acclaimed New York Youth Symphony for the past five years and has been awarded the Rosengarten principal cello chair. He is also enjoying his second year as the principal cellist of the LaGuardia High School Symphony Orchestra. He has been a member of a variety of chamber groups performing at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Grand Palais in Paris, Moscow’s International House of Music, New York Historical Society, the National Arts Club, Le Poisson Rouge, and Alice Tully Hall, where two of his quintets have been among the winners of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society’s Competition. Ethan has won numerous awards including the ASCAP Foundation’s Ira Gershwin Award and Scholarship, New York Youth Symphony Director’s Award for Commitment and Achievement, the LaGuardia High School Alumni & Friends’ Stephen Kates Award and Scholarship, and the Julius Grossman Memorial Music Conducting Award and Scholarship. He has enjoyed musical summers at Meadowmount School of Music, Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, and Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. He loves to travel and has had the honor of performing for audiences in Moscow, Paris, and Buenos Aires. Ethan also enjoys conducting, photography, and hiking. Next fall, Ethan will be attending Northwestern University as a cello student of Hans Jørgen Jensen in the Bienen School of Music.
AURORA CELESTIN has been attending Lucy Moses School since the age of three, when she began ballet classes with Parsla Vintere. Since then she has continued with ballet, taken thirteen years of piano lessons with Chaim Freiberg and most recently with Emily White, and taken six years of violin lessons with Olga Popova. Aurora has performed on many occasions in both Ann Goodman Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, and she and her younger siblings performed in a private concert at Steinway Hall. Aurora has enjoyed expanding her musical interests by studying classical music history and taking various composition classes both at Lucy Moses and at her high school. Over the course of her studies, she composed two string quartets that were performed by the Manhattan String Quartet. In the fall, Aurora will attend Columbia University. Though she is currently undecided as to her major, her academic interests include religion and philosophy, international relations and human rights, and creative writing. She also hopes to continue with music in some capacity and seeks to join a chamber group at Columbia. “For me, one truly amazing thing that Lucy Moses School has afforded me was the chance to play in recitals,” she says. “Those opportunities forced me to stretch myself in order to take what I was so proud of doing in the privacy of my practice and try to live in the music even as others were watching me.”
KENATEA CHAVEZ-MODRCIN began her piano studies in Croatia at the age of eight in the Dalmatian city of Ploce and continued in Rijeka, where her first piano teachers included Irida Orsulic and Vladimir Babin. She has participated in international piano competitions in Zagreb, Split, Croatia, and has won distinguished prizes. Kenatea returned to New York City at the age of twelve, where she joined Special Music School. She has studied piano with Joseph Ries at SMS and at Lucy Moses School in the Young Artist Program for the past six years. She also studied chamber music with Irina Nuzova and Viktor Basis. Kenatea has performed in master classes for renowned pianists and pedagogues like Oxana Yablonskaya and Sara Davis Buechner. In addition to her piano training, Kenatea attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she majored in vocal studies. She has also actively participated in giving back to the community through clubs like Arts In Action and Music Unites. In her spare time, Kenatea enjoys singing, hiking, and swimming in the Adriatic Sea and spending time with her friends and family. In the fall, she will attend Queens College where she will major in business administration. “I really enjoyed my time at Lucy Moses School because the Young Artist Program really gave all of us the opportunity to be exposed to learning about all aspects of music,” she says. “Whether this was through advanced music theory classes, music history classes, chamber classes, or most importantly your one-on-one lesson with your private teacher, I have grown so much as a musician. What I love about music is the way it makes me feel when I perform it. I have never gotten over stage freight no matter how many numerous times I have performed, yet the thrill, excitement, and satisfaction I would get after performing my pieces is indescribable. Music has become a part of who I am.”
BRANCH FREEMAN began studying piano at age six as a Kindergarten student at Special Music School, and has continued his studies through the Young Artist Program during the past four years while attending Stuyvesant High School. His primary teacher is Sergey Krivonos. He participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in 2013. Branch performed for two years at the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, and then for four years at the Orfeo International Music Festival, also in Italy, where he was awarded the Ruby Holland Junior Prize as well as Best Romantic Repertoire. Branch also won 2nd place at the Gershwin International Music Competition in 2014. He has performed in the Composer Festival at Merkin Concert Hall and has been a member of Face the Music since 2010, performing at the Philharmonic Biennial, Washington, DC’s Atlas Arts Center and on WQXR. Branch’s composition “Fast Movement” was performed by Face the Music at 2015’s Make Music New York Festival, and his new piece Dynamo will be performed at Roulette by Face the Music. Branch also started a service organization called By Heart NY, which is dedicated to bringing music to seniors across New York City. In the past year, he has organized concerts at senior centers, which have included performances by several other YAP students. Branch’s academic awards include Senior Awards in English and Architecture. He has won several medals for his scholarship in Latin and was a Gold and Silver Key winner for poetry and memoir writing in the 2015 Scholastic Writing Awards. He is a National Merit Finalist. Branch will attend Swarthmore College this fall.
ANDREA GONZALES has been a student of Genya Paley at Special Music School since the age of five. In seventh grade, she transferred to Hunter College High School, and continued her music studies in the Young Artist Program at Lucy Moses School, where she held the prestigious Van Lier scholarship from 2012-2015. Andrea has performed numerous times both as a solo performer and in chamber ensembles at Merkin Concert Hall. In the fall, Andrea will study computer science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a Robertson Scholar. Outside of playing piano, Andrea enjoys exploring other genres of music, computer programming, and robotics.
KATRINA GONZALES has been studying cello with Vladimir Panteleyev since she was five years old. She began her studies at Special Music School. After transferring to Hunter College High School in seventh grade, she continued in the Young Artist Program at Lucy Moses School where she held the prestigious Van Lier scholarship from 2012-2015. Katrina has been a special guest at the American Fine Arts Festival and won the Young Musicians Concert with the Associated Music Teacher's League, performing at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. With her school chamber groups, she is also a three-time winner of both the Young Musicians and Young Ensemble Competitions at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing in Alice Tully Hall. Katrina has studied with both the St. Petersburg Quartet and Grammy-winning Harlem String Quartet, and plays in a piano trio with her sister at Lucy Moses School. This past summer, she took part in Cremona International Music Academy in Cremona, Italy. Katrina is actively involved with the New York City music community. She is a Student Producer at the Chamber Music Society, a group that creates pre-concert events to spread classical music to other high schoolers. She also plays at nursing homes with her former Special Music School classmates and with her orchestra at her school. Katrina also enjoys performing in the Shakespeare and musical plays at Hunter, singing with her sisters, and debating between sleeping and binge-watching Netflix. She will attend Bard College in the fall.
SIMONE HUEMER has studied the piano for 10 years, including eight years as a student of Eliran Avni at Lucy Moses School. Over the years, she has performed in numerous recitals in Ann Goodman Recital Hall. As a participant in the Summer Musical Theater Workshop, she has also performed in Merkin Concert Hall. In addition to piano, Simone enjoys theatre, writing, reading, and anything to do with history. Simone will attend Harvard University in the fall and is currently undecided as to her major.
EMMA IKE is currently a senior at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She began studying violin at the age of four at Lucy Moses School as a student of Chris Pors. She started at Special Music School in 2006 as a full scholarship recipient and studied with Anna Basis; other teachers include Viktor Basis and Brian Krinke. In 2012, she enrolled in Kaufman Music Center’s Young Artist Program and continued her studies with Ms. Pors. She has regularly performed in concerts, including the Contemporary Music Festival and ChamberFest at Merkin Concert Hall. In 2012 and 2014, Emma attended Kinhaven Music School’s junior and senior session, where she participated in the camp’s first quartet masterclass with the Shanghai Quartet. In 2015, she performed in a violin masterclass with Dmitri Berlinsky. Emma has been a member of Face the Music since 2010 and has performed contemporary orchestral and chamber works at the New York Philharmonic Biennial Concert, Museum of the City of New York, Metropolitan Museum and Carnegie Hall. This year, her quartet participated in a masterclass with the Kronos Quartet at Weill Music Institute, where she performed a piece from the Fifty for the Future project. Last month, she was featured in “What It’s Really Like To Study Music As A Teen,” by Liz Raiss, for Fader Magazine. See the article. In her spare time, Emma enjoys going to museums, reading, and shopping for shoes. In the fall, Emma will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology where she will major in fine arts.
REBECCA KURK began her study of ballet at Lucy Moses School when she was just four and a half. She fondly recalls her very first ballet class with Parsla Vintere and has been her beloved pupil ever since. Over the past 13 years, Rebecca has participated in Pre-Ballet, Ballet I, Ballet II, Ballet Company, and Voice for Young People. She has performed in Merkin Concert Hall on numerous occasions. Outside of ballet, Rebecca participates in theater classes, choir, and drawing lessons. She can be found listening to both classical and rock music way too much! She also enjoys learning about the human body and how it functions, which has sparked her interest in a medical career. Rebecca will attend Hunter College in the fall majoring in pre-medicine.
JAVEN CRISTINA MARIELLA DEANE LARA started playing violin at the age of three and was admitted to Special Music School at the age of five. After switching to viola in fifth grade, she joined the Face the Music ensemble. Two years later she started studying with Suzanne Wagor. After graduating from SMS, she attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and continued her music studies at Kaufman Music Center’s Young Artist Program. She was a recipient of the prestigious Van Lier scholarship for three years. Javen joined New York Youth Symphony in 2015 as the assistant principal violist. She is a winner of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Young Musician Competition, the third place winner of VIVO International Competition 2015-2016, and the 2016 LaGuardia Concerto Competition winner. Javen has performed at Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center, La Poisson Rouge, the Greene Space, and other venues around New York City. She would like to thank her family and friends for the support. Special thanks to her mother, Sharon R. Deane: "Ma, you are my rock, you are the light of my day, week, month, year(s), and my life." Thanks to her older brother. Thanks to her younger siblings. Thanks to her father. Special thanks to Suzanne Wagor, a driving force in Javen's playing career and one of the most important people regarding musical influence, style, and general love for the viola. Javen will attend Bard College/Conservatory of Music in the dual degree program, double majoring in music performance and other studies.
DENA LI began studying violin at the age of five. She started as a string ensemble student at Lucy Moses School more than nine years ago and has studied with Julie Kurtzman since 2008. She was a winner of the Lucy Moses School Concerto Competition in 2010 and 2014 and has actively participated in Kaufman Music Center’s annual ChamberFest, Contemporary Music Festival, and Composer Festival in Merkin Concert Hall. Other Lucy Moses School courses include theory and Summer String Fest. From 2011 to 2013, she played first violin with New York Youth Symphony Orchestra (49th and 50th Carnegie Hall Seasons). She will attend New York University, where she will major in environmental science and continue to explore music not only as an enjoyable pastime but as a part of her life she couldn't imagine living without. “One of my highlights here was performing as a soloist with orchestra as a winner of the Lucy Moses School Concerto Competition,” she says. “I study music because it allows me to take my thoughts and feelings and turn them into something greater. Music challenges me to be creative with something other than academics, and I enjoy playing my instrument. It fascinates me how much we connect ourselves to the past through pieces that have lasted hundreds of years.”
RACHEL SEREBRENIK has studied piano at Lucy Moses School for four years. She is thankful for her lessons with Irina Krivonos and for her time spent at LMS. Music will accompany her in life, regardless of what she is studying or where she is going. After graduating from Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Rachel is moving on to Duke University to study public policy and international comparative studies.
MOSHE STEIN has studied cello with Vladimir Panteleyev at Lucy Moses School since 2003. His other courses have included voice lessons with Ingrid Zeldin, Theory, Chorus, Klezmer Band, several string ensembles, and Dalcroze. He regularly performs at Ann Goodman Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, where he performed in the Contemporary Music Festival and ChamberFest several times. In 2010, he was among the winners of the Lucy Moses School Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with a professional orchestra in Merkin Concert Hall. In his spare time, Moshe enjoys playing board games and reading The Economist. This fall, Moshe will attend The College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University where he plans to major in math.
IMAN SWAIN first began his musical studies at Lucy Moses School, where he entered the Suzuki Program as a violinist at the age of seven. He has studied violin and viola for seven years with Brian Krinke and for the past two years with Sam Marchan. Iman has been a member of the Lucy Moses Chamber Orchestra and Face the Music. He has given numerous performances in Ann Goodman Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall. Outside of his musical interests, Iman is an avid squash player and ranked in the top three at StreetSquash. Iman is also a talented graphic artist, an origami expert, and chef. He will major in liberal arts at York College this fall, and hopes to pursue a career in music production.
OLGA TSYGELNYTSKA began her piano studies at the age of six in Kharkov, Ukraine. She relocated to the United States at the age of eight and continued her music education at Lucy Moses School. Olga has studied piano with Vladimir Yudilevich for the past ten years. In 2008, she joined the chamber music program at Lucy Moses School and has rehearsed and performed in piano duos. Olga has also studied ballet with Parsla Vintere. She has participated in numerous recitals and festivals over the years in both Ann Goodman Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall. Olga will attend Stony Brook University in the fall and plans to pursue a career in medicine.
CHRIS VAZAN began studying piano at the age of four. He has been a student of Genya Paley at Lucy Moses School since 2009. Chris participated in the Orfeo Music Festival in 2012 and 2013, and was a laureate of the Orfeo International Music Competition the latter year. In 2015, Vazan was selected as Conducting Apprentice for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America and toured with the orchestra to Carnegie Hall and venues throughout China and Hong Kong performing under Charles Dutoit. Chris has also performed as a piano soloist and chamber player at Ann Goodman Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Elebash Recital Hall, Bohemian National Hall, the Cosmopolitan Club (NYC) and Phillips Exeter Academy. In his spare time, Chris enjoys foreign languages and architecture as well as world history and politics. In the fall, he will begin orchestral conducting studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. “I have always been deeply moved by the palpable spirit of passion and generosity that pervades Lucy Moses School, from the teachers to the staff to the administration,” he says. “Everybody has been absolutely wonderful to me. Making music is the only means by which we communicate with one another in a purely abstract way. This abstractness gives the experience of sharing music a magic that is impossible to replicate through anything else.”