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Student, Faculty & Parent News - Summer 2016



Piano students of Catherine FabianDavin Khan (age 9), Aidan Khan (age 12), Chenghiz Chakmak (age 11) and Sean Zhang (age 15) – participated in the Long Island Music Teachers Association Music Festival on June 12. All four students scored 100% and were awarded gold medals.

LMS students of Bonnie McAlvin (Theory) wrote and produced their own compositions, and recorded them in June. Watch the videos:
Note Reading Class: “Treble Lovesay Keeboo Hot!
Theory I Class: “Musical Dolphins”
Theory II Class: “Brains-eating Snickerdoodle”  
Theory II Class: “Crayon Skateboarding”
Accelerated Theory I Class: “The Lone Mountain”

Tamar Benami (age 16, flute student of Valerie Holmes), won the National Flute Association High School Flute Choir Competition and will perform at the National Flute Competition in San Diego, CA this August.

Mia Bramel (age 16, piano student of Golda Tatz) performed in the Mozart Piano Quartet  at 'Teens Take the Night' at the Metropolitan Museum on May 20.

Anton Everts (age 10, piano student of Irina Nuzova) won First Prize at the Rondo Vanguard Piano Competition in March and performed in the winners’ concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on May 17.

Nikita Fidelia (age 15, piano student of Irina Nuzova) will participate in Interharmony International Music Festival in Archidosso, Italy this summer.

Sophia Freed (age 14; violin student of Nurit Pacht) will attend Greenwood Music Camp in Cummington, MA. In the fall she will be a freshman at La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Ariel Gurevich (age 12, piano student of Irina Nuzova) will participate in Interharmony International Music Festival in Archidosso, Italy this summer.

Daniel Lee (age 9, violin student of Olga Popova) played on a Winners' Recital of American Fine Arts Festival International  Competition on June 12 at a Carnegie Hall. He played Concerto No. 9 By Ch. De Beriot III movement.

Vivian Lee (age 12, violin student of Olga Popova) was awarded Honorable Mention at the 2016 American Protégé Competition and performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in A minor at Carnegie Hall on May 30.

Isabel “Coco” Mavrides (age 10, violin student of Olga Popova) played on a winners' Recital of AFA Festival  International Competition at a Carnegie Hall on June 12. She played Variations in D minor by Ch. de Beriot.

Liz Merrifield (age 18, violin student of Nurit Pacht) will attend the Chautauqua Institute Music School and Festival this summer. In the fall she will be a freshman at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

Jana Petrovic (age 9, piano student of Eva Zinger) won First Prize in the Rondo Competition at Carnegie Hall. She performed Bach’s Piano Concerto in G minor.

Christopher Vazan (age 18, piano student of Genya Paley) will has been accepted at the Vienna Conservatory, where he will study conducting. He performed a graduation recital on June 15 in Ann Goodman Recital Hall.

Special Music School

Claudius Betz (7th grade piano student of Irina Nuzova) won First Prize at the Rondo Vanguard Piano Competition and performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on May 17.

Santiago Del Curto (2nd grade, clarinet student of Liam Burke) recorded a commercial with Latin jazz legend Paquito D'Rivera for the clarinet maker Vandoren. At the Vandoren showroom they performed "Blues for Santi," a piece written for Santiago by Mr. Rivera. Below: Santiago with Mr. Rivera and Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic.

Asia Hickman (7th grade, piano student & saxophone student of Aakash Mittal) was awarded Honorable Mention (Junior Category) at the 2016 American Protégé International Piano & Strings Competition and performed at Carnegie Hall. On June 21 she performed at  Glass on Water as part of Make Music New York (below).

Sasha Karpov-Bakhchiev (2nd grade, cello student of Alex Croxton) received First Prize in the All-Russian annual children’s duo piano competition in Vologda, Russia on April 30, performing in the teacher-student category with his grandmother, Elena Sorokina. On May 1, Sasha and the 7-year old Vologda native Maria Piskunova performed in the youngest category and received Fourth Prize.

Jonah Kernis (7th grade, cello student of Yari Bond) was a Grand Winner, with his piano trio, the Dumky Trio, at the 2016 National Young Artists Chamber Music and Ensemble Competition. The trio performed at the Winners Concert at Merkin Concert Hall on June 5.

Kiana Lilly (10th grade, vocal student of Lisa Tamagini) performed as a finalist in the WQXR Classical Moonlighter's Competition Grand Finals Concert at The Greene Space on May 6. Watch her performance. Read a profile of Kiana.

Julian Mitchell Israel (11th grade, voice student of Mary Nessinger) and Helen Zhao (11th grade, clarinet student of Pascal Archer) were awarded scholarships to the Columbia University Summer Program for High School Students.

Danielle Morelli (10th grade, vocal student) sang the national anthem at the United Federation of Teachers Spring Conference on May 7.

Laura Navasardian (6th grade, cello student of Vladimir Panteleyev) won First Prize at the New York Music Competition for Young Artists on April 28 and performed in the Winners Concert at Merkin Concert Hall on June 1. Laura also performed in Providence, RI and Boston, MA on April 30 and May 1 in concerts dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia's independence.

Sophia Reyes (7th grade, flute student of Valerie Holmes) was chosen to perform at the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference in Minneapolis, MN at the end of May.

Sophia Shao (2nd grade, piano student of Natela Mchedlishvili) won Second Prize at the New York Music Competition for Young Artists in April and performed Chopin's Nocturne in C minor in the Winners Concert at Merkin Concert Hall on June 1.

The SMS K-8 Percussion Ensemble performed at the Necessary Noise Festival in New Jersey this spring.

Connor Tsui (8th grade, cello student of Vladimir Panteleyev) performed at  Glass on Water as part of Make Music New York on June 21 (below). On June 29 Connor (second from right) and Herbie Waters (8th grade, violin student of Jude Ziliak, at right) played for Eugene Lang and his son Stephen Lang at their family home yesterday with Concerts in Motion.

Herbert Ray Waters IV (8th grade, violin student of Jude Ziliak) received an honorable mention at the InterSchool Orchestras of New York Concerto Competition, and performed in the ISO Honors Recital at the Greenwich House Music School on May 1.

Philina Zhang (3rd grade, piano student of Irina Morozova) won First Prize in the advanced Vanguard category of the Rondo Competition and participated in the Winners' recital at Carnegie Hall Weill Hall.

Special Music High School students performed their first opera, Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell, on Fri, June 10.



Join Face the Music! Registration for the 2016-17 season is now open. To register, email or contact the Lucy Moses School Registrar at 212 501 3360 or

Face the Music was featured in the Lucerne Festival Blog in June.

Whitney George (Face the Music conductor) performed with The Curiosity Cabinet, the non-profit chamber ensemble she conducts and co-directs, at National Sawdust, Dixon Place and the DiMenna Center this spring, including three major theatrical pieces by Whitney:”Night, like velvet: in twelve letters,” “The Wild Called Maxx” and “TheYellow Wallpaper.” Her new work “To Hold My Head High Above the Water,” commissioned by the woodwind quintet Fiat Five, will be premiered in Eboli and Salerno, Italy and then in the U.S. in the fall. Whitney’s theatrical percussion quartet “Cooking for One, commissioned by the Soundmark Project, was premiered in New Yor in June. Another new work commissioned by the University of Tennessee at Martin for chamber ensemble titled “Push | Pull”will be performed this fall.

SMS Alumni

Violinist Lily Holgate performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Novus New York at Trinity Wall Street on May 20.


Orli Shaham (pictured below), pianist and parent of SMS third graders Alex and Nathan Robertson, led the final Baby Got Bach concert of the season at 92Y on Sat, May 14. 



Judith Barnes (Voice) produced and directed the US premiere of a long-lost 1851 opera, Malvina di Scozia by Giovanni Pacini, with her opera company, Vertical Player Repertory. It was performed at Christ & St. Stephen's Church on W. 69th Street on May 11 & 13. LMS Opera Workshop students Allegra Durante, Nichole Martini and Jeanne Holcomb performed in the chorus. The reviews were enthusiastic:
"Pacini’s music was stunning…all of the artists involved did such an extraordinary job that the beautiful bel canto and the gripping drama came across with vivid and lasting power. Seriously, when we walked out of the venue we did not know what hit us.” (Allegri con Fuoco)
“What a glorious evening we spent with this fine group, hearing music that might well have been lost forever…Judith Barnes staged the work well. And the singing!!!” (Voce di Meche)

Roni Ben-Hur (Director, Lucy Moses School Jazz Program) has just released a new CD, Manhattan Style (Jazzheads), with the trio Our Thing, featuring Roni, Santi Debriano and Duduka Da Fonseca. "What is really amazing is the trio’s cohesiveness and obvious enjoyment in their collaboration,” writes Marcia Hillman in The Jazz Record. “Kudos to Our Thing for a most successful blending of music and culture, as appropriately diverse and unique as Manhattan itself". Our Thing will perform at Jazz at The Kitano on July 15 & 16. On July 24, the Roni Ben-Hur Quarter will perform for Jazz Vespers at St Peter's Church. From July 31-August 7, Roni’s Jazz Camp will feature Jazz, Latin Jazz and Samba Jazz with top New York musicians as faculty at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. From August 16-21, Roni will perform with the Brazilian singer Leny Andrade in Melbourne, Australia.

Re’ut Ben-Ze’ev (Art Song) will sing Luciano Berio's Folk Songs with members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Kurt Weill in a summer festival in Germany in early September. Natalie Portman's directorial debut, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” which features Re’ut on the soundtrack, will be released in the U.S. later this year by Focus World. The film will be submitted to the 2017 Oscars.

David Bloom (Conductor, Face the Music & Special Music School High School) performed music by Shawn Jaeger with Contemporaneous, including a premiere of an in-progress work that the ensemble has commissioned, on May 26 at Roulette. He was a guest conductor for Present Music in Milwaukee on June 3. 

Dalcroze instructors Anne Farber, Cynthia Lilley, Michael Joviala, Yukiko Konishi and Leslie Upchurch gave presentations at the Dalcroze Society of America National Conference: Flow in Performance in Princeton, NJ in June. Ann Farber was honored at the conference banquet.

Anne Farber (Dalcroze, Piano) has just published a volume of her music, including original music and arrangements written for her lessons and classes throughout her long and distinguished career. Edited by Aaron Butler (Dalcroze), the book was published by the Tristate Chapter of the Dalcroze Society of America. Get details.

A song composed by Simon Goldvekht (Piano), “Dedication to the USA,” was recently released on the CD “America” (Hilltop Records).

Chris Graham (Percussion) performed with his ensemble Iktus Percussion at the Charlotte New Music Festival in June. Below, watch Chris in a NY1 segment on the 2016 Queens New Music Festival in May.

Sachiko Kato (Piano) performed at WQXR's All-Day Chopin Marathon on June 4 at The Greene Space.  

Kaufman Music Center has recently published “Dalcroze Activities for Suzuki Objectives,” an educational resource written by Michael Joviala (Dalcroze) and edited by Sean Hartley (Theater@ Kaufman Director, Dalcroze), that combines the educational approaches developed by Shinichi Suzuki and Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. Taken alone, both of these disciplines can provide a solid musical education. However, when combined, they provide a powerful synergetic complement to one another. To request a copy, please email

Igal Kesselman (LMS Director & Piano Faculty Member) will hold a week-long teaching residency at Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) this summer. In Feb 2017 he will perform Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 as part of the “What Makes It Great?” series hosted by Rob Kapilow and Merkin Concert Hall. Get concert details.

Whit K. Lee (Violin, Suzuki) will be acting, singing and dancing in the musical “Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School” from July 20-August 19 at the Lucille Lortel Theater. Get info. 

Sam Marchan (Violin, Viola, Suzuki) will perform this summer at the MostArts Festival at Alfred University. He will be conducting at the El Sistema/New Jersey Alliance summer camp.

Bonnie McAlvin's (Theory) film score “My First Kiss and the People Involved,” was premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival in June. She has been commissioned by the Delaware-based group Mélomanie to compose for their "provocative pairings" series for the 2016-17 season. The provocative pairings series programs early music with brand new commissions for the same instruments. Their recent cd was reviewed by Early Music America here.

A choral piece by Robinson McClellan (Composition, Theory), “Nunc dimittis,” has recently been published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company. Get info.

Irina Nuzova (Piano) will give Masterclasses and perform at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy and the Summit Music Festival in Purchase NY this summer. Also this summer, she will give a premiere of the Piano Trio by the Swiss composer Thomas Fotmann this summer.

Nurit Pacht (Violin) will perform at the Appalachian Summer Festival in North Carolina and at the Weekend of Chamber Music festival in the Catskills. She will also teach at the Chautauqua Institute.

Luke Schwartz (Theory) will perform this summer in Philadelphia, Fort Myers, Tampa Bay and New York. He will present newly-commissioned pieces at Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in August, in addition to performing/presenting a retrospective of compositions that he has written in the past decade.

Morrie Sherry (Clarinet, Chamber Music) will perform in a chamber music concert on July 28 in the Rangeley Festival of the Arts in Maine and in August as principal clarinet in concerts with the Manchester Music Festival Orchestra in Manchester, Vermont.

Svetlana Smolina (Piano) continued her Live On Stage tour on May 5 in Washington. In June she performed recitals in Encinitas, CA and Santa Ana, CA, and directed the piano program at the Philadelphia International Music Festival. In July she'll perform two concerts (already sold out!) at the Tippet Rise Montana Festival. In August she'll join the faculty performing at the Saint Petersburg International Music Academy in Kansas City, MO.

Golda Tatz (Piano) recently performed, with Andre Michel Schub, the double Mozart concerto in E flat Major with the Shanghai Symphon in a solo recital and performance of Chinese piano music at the Shanghai Himalayas Piano festival, where she also taught masterclasses. She was a guest at the Hudson Chamber Society and Academy of Music Summer Festival, performing the Mozart g minor piano quartet and the Schumann piano quintet. In May 2016 she was featured in a solo recital at 5@5 at Dimenna Center for Classical Music.

Peggy Wiltrout (Oboe) and her husband played a duet for double bass and oboe by Timothy Gopulrud live on WXXI radio in Rochester on June 20. This summer she will be rehearsing and concertizing with the Choral Society of the Hamptons, with whom she is performing a Beethoven Mass and the world premiere of "The Reluctant Moses" by Victoria Bond. On June 26 she played first oboe in a concert with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, which included Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, Beethoven"s Fifth Symphony and a number of soprano arias from Puccini operas sung by Victoria Canizzo. On June 30 Peggy heads to Alfred, NY for the ten-day MostArts Festival (her third year there), playing in four chamber music concerts and six orchestra concerts. On July 13 she begins rehearsals for 10 performances of "The Little Mermaid" at the Strand Theater in Manasquan, NJ.

Clay Zambo (Theater) recently received the BMI Foundation’s Harrington Award for Musical Theatre. With collaborator Robby Sandler, Clay participated in the 3rd annual Bridgeport Playathon, where their one-act musical “The #1 Thing”  was written, rehearsed  and performed in 26 hours.

Jude Ziliak's (Violin) ensemble for Renaissance music, Sonnambula, has just signed its first recording contract, with Centaur Records. They will record the extant works of Leonora Duarte, the only known female composer who wrote for viol consort in the 17th century. They are excited to perform a program featuring Duarte at the Metropolitan Museum on December 21.