© 2016 New York Music And Arts Inc. 

 

Ms. ChenXin Xu

Piano, President

First prize winner of the Third China International Piano Competition, pianist ChenXin Xu, was praised as “a pianist with extraordinary ability and imagination” by the late world-renowned pianist György Sándor.  She has been captivating fans and critics alike with her passionately confident musicianship and vivid stage presence in United States, Europe and Asia.

This season, Ms. Xu has made her debut at the China National Center for the Performing Arts, under the baton of Maestro Li XinCao with the China National Symphony Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto.  As a Steinway Artist, Ms. Xu has made orchestral appearances worldwide. Her international career began as the first pianist in resident at the Juilliard School ever to be awarded a debut concert at Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage of Carnegie Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra, under the distinguished conductor Sir Roger Norrington. Her other orchestra engagements included performing with the Hilton Head Orchestra, Aspen Concert Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, ShenZhen Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, among others. Ms. Xu has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, highlights including the Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Juilliard Theatre of Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Steinway Hall in New York, Harris Concert Hall and Benedict Music Tent of Aspen, Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland, Shanghai Concert Hall & Grand Theatre, China National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing Concert Hall, Beijing Poly Theater and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in China.

In recitals, Ms. Xu has performed extensively throughout the world. In this past season, her concert tour included giving recitals and master classes in more than thirty cities, such as New York, Germantown, Hamptons, Aspen, Dallas, Fort Worth, Joplin, Salt Lake City, Boston, Boca Raton, Shreveport, Chicago, Taos, Dublin, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Chengdu, GuangZhou, among others. She was also invited to perform a sold-out opening recital at the new legendary Shanghai Concert Hall. Her recent engagements included giving recitals at the China International Economic Development Forum where world leaders, prestigious domestic/overseas experts and scholars gathered. She was also invited to perform at the Whitcomb Foundation in Germantown, New York, as well as at the Texas Conservatory for Young Artists.

Ms. Xu was frequently featured on the “McGraw-Hill Young Artist Showcase” of the New York radio station WQXR, the U.S. National Public Radio Station (NPR), as well as the China Central Television Station (CCTV). In early 2005, Ms. Xu released her first commercial recording featuring Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Clementi and Xu ZhenMin. She was also featured on a 14-episode documentary titled "Ocean Away" on extraordinary Chinese immigrants living in United States, on the China Central Television (CCTV).

A top prize winner of the 2005 Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Ms. Xu has also won numerous international awards, including the first prize of the Concerto Competition at the Juilliard School, the Munz Chopin Competition, the Nakamichi Piano Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival, where she performed the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major under conductor Markand Thaker. Ms. Xu has also been invited to various renowned music festivals, such as the Aspen Music Festival, the Taos School of Music, and the Pianofest in the Hamptons, New York.

After 11 years of studying at the prestigious Juilliard School, Ms. Xu has obtained both Bachelor's and Master’s degree as a full scholarship recipient at the Juilliard School. She is continuing her private studies under the tutelage of Robert McDonald and Yoheved Kaplinsky. A native of Beijing, China, she began her piano studies at the age of three with Prof. Wu Yuan and Zhang Jin at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She entered the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School as a pupil of Herbert Stessin. Other major influences in her artistic and pianistic development are Paul Schenly, Yonghi Moon, Jerome Lowenthal and Arie Vardi.  

Ms. Xu now serves as President and Artistic Director of the New York Music & Arts, which consists of over 500 students. Many of whom have won national and international piano competitions, as well as accepted to the top institutions such as the Juilliard School in New York and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

Mr. John Ferguson

Lower Strings, President

While pursuing both Science and Music degrees at Stony Brook University, Mr. Ferguson continued his musical studying under the world-renowned bassist Julius Levine, who was famous not only as a soloist, but as well as a chamber musician. In 1997, Mr. Ferguson made his first concerto debut with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra by winning the all-instrument Concerto Competition there. This later led to many more orchestral and solo performances world wide, including major concert halls such as the Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard Theater of Lincoln Center; Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Aspen Music Tent, Beijing Concert Hall and many more. 

In 1997, Mr. Ferguson was accepted at the prestigious Juilliard School under the tutelage of Homer Mensch, former member of the New York Philharmonic and NBC Symphony under renowned conductors such as Otto Klemperer and Fritz Reiner. During this fruitful period, he continues his career by serving as principal with orchestras such as the Juilliard Orchestra, the Korean Chamber Orchestra, the Westchester Symphony Orchestra and among others. As an active chamber musician, Mr. Ferguson has also collaborated with musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and other world renowned musicians at the Juilliard School. 

Recently, Mr. Ferguson has been invited to give performances in China and will be returning to give master classes at several major music conservatories late this year. He now resides in the New York area with wife ChenXin Xu. 

Ms. Emma Dong

Violinist/violist ZhiYi “Emma” Dong, was born in Harbin, China, and moved to the United States at the age of 15. Emma has won numerous awards including the Levi Sprague Scholarship, the Boris Schwarz Scholarship, the L. Rosenfeld Scholarship, and the Discimus ut Serviamus Award.

 

Emma made her first concerto appearance at age 10 performing the Rode Violin Concerto No.7 with the Beijing Sun Youth Orchestra under the baton of her first violin teacher, XiongDa Jiang. Since then she has also performed the Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins with her current teacher, Daniel Phillips. In Spring 2016, she performed the Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra with the Wyoming Seminary String Ensemble. In November 2018, Emma performed the Vieuxtemps Concerto No.4 with the Queens College Orchestra under the baton of Mark Powell, and is set to perform the Bach Violin Concerto in A minor in May with the Queens College Baroque Ensemble. Emma received second prize in the 2009 Traditional Chinese Music Competition. She was also a winner of the 2016 Bloomsburg Classical Young Artists Competition. The winner’s recital was later recorded at the WVIA Radio Station, and was broadcast around the area. In April 2018, Emma won the Queens College Concerto Competition.

 

Emma is also an active chamber musician on both the violin and the viola. She collaborated on the violin with her previous teacher, John Vaida, in the opening concert of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chamber Music Society. In October 2018, she performed on the viola with Daniel Phillips, Marcy Rosen, and Jonathan Irving, as part of the Chamber Music Live Series at Queens College. Emma currently serves as the principal viola of the Queens College Orchestra. She has participated in violin and viola masterclasses with Daniel Phillips, Yura Lee, Sergiu Schwartz, Kinga Augustyn and Tim Frederiksen.

 

Emma received her high school diploma at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, PA. Emma currently studies with Professor Daniel Phillips at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Her previous teachers include Mr. Xiongda Jiang and Mr. John Vaida.

Mr. Joan Plana

Violinist Joan Plana comes from a family of devoted pedagogues. He started his first lessons of music with his mother, a piano teacher in Lleida (Catalonia), and over the years he has developed an ardent love for teaching violin to all ages and backgrounds, (alternating it with his concert solo career). After moving to Barcelona in 2001, he started a private studio until moving to Cleveland in 2005. Since then, he has been teaching privately both modern and baroque violin, first in Cleveland and after in New York.

He has taught master-classes, workshops, and lead rehearsals in performance practice at Baldwin Wallace College, Sarah Lawrence College, Manhattan School of Music, and since 2014, he is on the faculty at the “Rethinking Bach” workshop at the Tokai University in Japan. Along with his private studio, he is currently on the faculty at Opportunity Music Project, 88 Keys Music School and as Artist Teacher at Midori and Friends.

He alternates his career in the US and Europe between the worlds of both modern and baroque violin. Since moving to New York in 2009, Joan has built an active career as solo, orchestral and chamber musician. Recipient of several prizes and awards, Joan has performed concerts all over Europe, Canada, US, Japan and China. A founding member of the baroque ensemble CONCITATO, he has been the Music Director of L’Académie (Boston), concertmaster of Baroque Band (Chicago), the American Baroque Orchestra, Concentus New York (Japan) and guest concertmaster in other baroque orchestras around the country. He has been a member of the European Baroque Orchestra, Il Pomo D’Oro, Trinity Wall Street and Handel and Haydn Society, among others. Born in Lleida, Catalunya, he holds degrees from the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the ESMUC (Barcelona).

Joan is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Mr. Michael Vascones

Michael Vascones was born in 1998 in Queens, New York.  Michael began playing guitar at the age of twelve, inspired by watching his father play at home.  At fourteen, he was admitted to the Juilliard Music Advancement Program where he studied classical guitar with Bokyung Byun for two years.  After that Michael spent two years studying at Manhattan School of Music Pre-college with Mark Delpriora. 

Michael began his undergraduate studies at the Juilliard School in the fall of 2016, as a student of Sharon Isbin.  At Juilliard, he has performed numerous times as a soloist, in chamber ensembles, alongside dancers, and with the New Juilliard Ensemble.

Michael has won first prize in the National High School Classical Guitar Competition at the Long Island Guitar Festival (2015), the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition: Division II (2016), and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival Youth Competition (2016). Michael was also a finalist in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition, Senior Division (2016), the Domaine Forget International Music Festival Adult Competition (2017), and the Boston GuitarFest Academy Competition (2018).

Mr. Russell Holland

Mr. Russell Holland earned his degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas where he studied with professors Dan Haerle, Ed Soph and Fred Hamilton. After completion at UNT, he continuted his forays into jazz under the tutelage of Peter Bernstein, John Abercrombie and Brad Shepik. Primarily a guitarist, he has played music for most of his life, beginning with piano lessons at age 7 in his hometown of Plano, Texas. In addition to jazz and classical guitar, Mr. Holland has studied jazz and classical piano, classical saxophone, composition and arranging. As a guitarist, he has toured across the U.S., the Caribbean and aboard, he has performed with artists such as The Coasters, The Platters and The Drifters. Mr. Holland is featured on recordings of his own brand of unique lyric-less songs, where his vocals are accompanied by guitar, harmonicas, percussion, bass, harmonium, charango and recorder, all of which played by himself.

Mr. Holland teaches all levels and styles of guitar (rock, pop, classical, jazz, folk, blues and more.). For students seeking a solid grasp of harmony, both in a theoretical sense as well as in terms of aural recognition, Mr. Holland has done extensive research into modern harmony and has developed his own unique methods of imparting this knowledge that suits students of all levels.

Mr. Andrew Skepasts

Andrew Skepasts is a guitarist, educator and composer based in New York City. He has over 9 years of teaching guitar, including both group classes and private lessons, as well as experience directing a variety of ensembles. He is a recent graduate of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, completing a BFA with Honors in 2018. Since moving to New York, he has been able to study with some of the world’s finest musicians, including many he grew up listening to such as Lage Lund, Aaron Parks and Peter Bernstein. These experiences have given Andrew an insight into music that he could not have gained otherwise, as well as opened him up to different varieties of jazz and styles of music. In the summer of 2016, Andrew was selected to play in the Ottawa Youth Jazz Summit, an ensemble put together to feature Canada’s top jazz musicians under the age of 25. He was honoured to have his musicianship recognized by winning the Stingray Rising Stars Award. During his high school years, Andrew was featured in many honour ensembles and won numerous awards, the most notable being Most Outstanding Guitarist at MusicFest Canada, a national level music festival, in both 2013 and 2014. He was also selected to play in the Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band during these years, featuring select musicians from across Canada.

Ms. Jinghui Song

Jinghui Song is a passionate individual with a robust background in music, including theory, piano performance, piano accompaniment, arrangement, and teaching one-on-one lessons. Ms. Song recently graduated from Manhattan School of Music with her Master’s in Piano Performance. She has performed in many recitals and competitions in China, like the Art Festival of Beijing Youth, and has performed in the  Contemporary Composer Concert at Greenfield Hall in New York City.

Mr. Carlos Cabrera

Mr. Carlos Cabrera was born in Los Angeles, CA, raised in the Midwest and is currently based in New York. Cabrera studied piano with Dr. Susan Cobb, and with Dr. Steven Widenhofer; He holds a B.A in music from Millikin University.

                                       

Cabrera caters his lessons to the individual needs of students. Lessons should help grasp skills, but most importantly be fun, and not feel like another school assignment! “If you heard it, we’ll play it”

 

Cabrera has performed at some of the most iconic venues including: Arline’s Grocery, Pianos, DROM, Shrine World Music Venue, Rockwood Music Hall, The Bowery Electric, The Bitter End, and The Knitting Factory. Since moving to New York, Cabrera has performed for an array of artists, including Hip-Hop, Gospel, Soul, R & B, Conscious Pop, and Rock.

 

Cabrera strives to have a positive impact on others through the power of music. This mindset has enabled him to travel and perform across the U.S. at venues including the legendary Whiskey A GO-GO in Los Angeles, the Carver Theatre in New Orleans, and a Midwest tour. Cabrera is currently producing pop records with his writing partner Lescribe, at “3 Red Shoes” label, teaching piano and production, and working as a session musician.

Mr. Xiuye (Steve) Huang

Manhattan-based pianist and teacher Xiyue Huang has performed various classical piano repertoire in Asia, Europe and North America. He made his music festival performing debut at Beijing International Music Festival and Academy. He has also appeared at Euro Music Festival and Academy in Germany, International Academy of Music in Italy and Classical Bridge Music Academy in the U.S. where he received high praises for his passionate and deliberate playing of piano solo works by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Scriabin and Poulenc. In the U.S., Crystal Field, the Executive Director of NYC’s Theater for the New City once complimented his playing of Liszt’s Vallée d'Obermann as displaying his “virtuosic technique, and thoughtful control and distinct contrast within the music.” In North America, Mr. Huang’s performances at Mikowsky Hall at NYC’s Manhattan School of Music include a focus on piano four-hands and two pianos repertoire, especially works by Mozart, Debussy and Poulenc. He also made his recital debut at Manhattan School of Music in the past March with a program including solo works by Bach, Beethoven, Ligeti, Ravel and Liszt. As a private piano teacher in the New York metropolitan area, in working with his students, Mr. Huang established a personal approach that builds on their individual needs. Mr. Huang studies with Phillip Kawin at Manhattan School of Music, where he is completing his Master of Music degree.

Ms. Yimiao Fang

Ms. Yimiao is an active pianist who is giving performances constantly and diversely around the world. Holding recitals annually, which has been reported in more than 10 of the most famous newspaper offices and internet portals in China, such as the Xinhua News Agency, the China News, jschina.com.cn, sohu.com, sina.cn, china.com, xfrb.com.cn(consumer daily),  i.ifeng.com, Yangtse Evening Post and so on. Not only is she a soloist, but Ms. Yimiao also has great passion for various art forms, such as chamber music, even harpsichord playing, and gave her first harpsichord concert in May 2018. Ms. Yimiao is currently pursuing her Master's in Piano Performance at Manhattan School of Music.

Mr. Jiaqi (Jack) Cheng

Jiaqi Cheng is a emerging pianist and currently a 3rd year bachelor student studying at Manhattan School of Music in New York with Professor Phillip Kawin. Before moving to New York, he studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as well as the Conservatorium High School as a student of Clemens Leske.

 

Jiaqi is awarded with AmusA with Distinction as well as his LmusA during his high school period. On top of piano, Jiaqi also plays the clarinet. He was accepted and toured around Australia with The Arts Units- Symphonic Wind Orchestra as well as the Symphonic Ensemble. During this period Jiaqi won numerous piano awards at the local eisteddfods and festivals which includes the Sydney, St George and Wollongong eisteddfods. Jiaqi has performed in China, Australia and the United State of America. Notable venues includes the Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall, Riverside Church and Greenfield Hall. Jiaqi has had masterclasses with many successful pianist and educators including Marc Silverman, Alexander Korsantia, Ingat Solzhenitsyn, Matti Raekellio and Phillip Shovk.

 

During his spare time, Jiaqi spends his time teaching, playing piano accompaniment, going to concerts and watching soccer. Jiaqi looks forward to continuing to study in the States after completing his bachelor’s degree.  

Ms. Lulu Chen

Ms. Chen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music.  On top of being a pianist, she is also an oboist and a film composer.  She has played in various venues and musicals including the Cats Musical tours. Ms. Chen has also worked with Asian pop singers such as Kenji Wu and Nicky Lee. Her styles include Classical, Pop, Jazz, and Gospel. She loves teaching music and believes that music can bring us joy.  Ms. Chen's film scoring experience also gives her a different perspective in music and broader ideas in teaching.

Ms. Fangyi Chu

Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, pianist Fang-Yi Chu received her doctoral degree in 2018 at the University of North Texas, where she studied piano performance with Gustavo Romero and collaborative piano with Dr. Elvia Puccinelli. She earned her master’s degree at New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied with Victor Rosenbaum. Fang-Yi was invited to attend the International Keyboard Institute Festival in New York in the summer of 2010 and 2011. As an experienced collaborative pianist, Fang-Yi was invited by American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz and Musiktheater Bavaria in summer 2015 and 2016 and performed with singers in Austria as well as Germany.  In May 2017, Fang-Yi was invited as an intern opera coach by The Druid City Opera Workshop at University of Alabama. She is now the pianist of the Red Door Chamber Players based on Long Island, and the piano accompanist at the Mannes school of music and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

Ms. Sayaka Hiroshige

Sayaka Hiroshige is an engaging and motivating piano teacher having taught in Tokyo and New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Toho Gakuen College of Music in Tokyo in 2013, studying under Japanese pianist Ms. Mikako Abe.  She completed a Certificate in Performance Research from the same institution in 2015.  Moving to New York, she completed her Master of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music in 2017, studying under American pianist Mr. Jeffrey Cohen. Sayaka has won numerous awards and performance engagements in both solo and chamber music, including Honorable Mention at the International Piano Festival in Chita, Japan, performing Grieg Piano Concerto with orchestra in 2013; multiple awards at Duxbury Music Festival in Massachusetts, performing at the winner’s concert in 2016; and winner of the Fuchs Competition at Manhattan School of Music in 2016. Sayaka began her teaching career at Toho Gakuen College of Music’s Pre-College Division, instructing students in intermediate to advanced music. 

Ms. Moeko Chiyozaki

Moeko has been working with us for three years.  She earned her Masters Degree in Piano Performance at Manhattan School of Music and is now a doctoral student at Stony Brook University. Moeko is an active piano performer as well as a credible teacher. One of her students has been successfully accepted to the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College program at the age of 7 after learning with her for two years. She is dedicated to building interest for piano beginners and reinforcing performing skills for advanced students.

Mr. Sean Irawan

Sean Chandra Irawan was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. He spent years learning and developing the basics and skills necessary to create music. Sean went to a vocational school of art in his hometown, studied classical piano performance under the guidance of Angelica Liviana and music composition under the guidance of Indonesian Composer, Otto Sidharta. After he graduated, Sean decided to continue his music education at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota where he majored in Piano Performance with Dr. Shannon Wettstein Sadler. Since coming to New York in 2017, Sean has been actively involved as a performer in the community, has collaborated with a number of other artists in several original musicals in NYC and has performed in major venues like Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Cell. He has worked with several theatre companies such as “Great Theater” and “Curtain Call Community Theater” playing the piano score for a number of musicals: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, James and the Giant Peach, Sister Act, Into the Woods, Fiddler on the Roof, Avenue Q and many others.

Ms. Ray Pang

Hongzhe (Ray) Pang received her bachelor degree from Aaron Copland School of Music while studying under world-renowned musician Prof. Fang Luo and Prof. Ritt. 

 

Ms. Hongzhe has received numerous awards and honors in both China and the United States,as well as attended master classes and music festivals. As a pianist, Ms. Hongzhe is also experienced in chamber music and is excited to share her experience in both solo and chamber music performance with students.

 

In the year of 2014, she was accepted by Aaron Copland School of Music, and studied with Prof. Fang Luo and Prof. Ritt. She also studied piano pedagogy with Prof. Pirone and received high grades. She is an active performer during her college career. She has performed several piano solos and performed in numerous chamber music concerts at LeFrak Concert hall.  

Ms. Hongzhe is a music educator and effective piano instructor with more than three years' teaching experience. Her students range from 4 years old to adult. In the past years, Ms. Hongzhe has helped many students prepared NYSSMA and ABRSM with excellent score. In Ms. Hongzhe’s piano class, she hopes every one of her students enjoy the music, rather than complete the task mechanically. Students have different characters and so she will tailor her teaching plan for each of her students.

Ms. Yue Jia

Before coming to New York, Yue Jia attended the Shenyang Conservatory of Music and studied with Mr. Danwen Wei. Now, Yue is a student at Manhattan School of Music pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance. At MSM, she studies with Mr. Alexandre Moutouzkine.

Mr. Giovanni Xu

Giovanni Xu is a fourth-year undergraduate at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Cynthia Hoffmann. He has studied at the Bel Canto Institute and coached with Jane Klaviter, Robert Morrison, and Roger Malouf of The Metropolitan Opera. He has also attended L’Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice where he was selected to perform in the culminating concert at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Nice. In 2017, he participated in Classic Lyric Arts: La Lingua Della Lirica, where he performed in concerts throughout Bologna, Italy. Previous credits include Le nozze di Figaro (Don Basilio), Die Zauberflöte (First Armored Man), and scenes from Die Vershworenen (Udolin), Naughty Marietta (Captain Dick), L’etoile (Ouf), Cenerentola (Don Ramiro), and Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Kaspar). In 2018, he was a tenor soloist in Manhattan School of Music’s Grand Reopening of Neidorf Karpati Hall alongside pianist Olga Kern and MSM President, James Gandre. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as a tenor soloist in Vaughn Williams’s Serenade to Music in MSM’s Centennial Gala Concert under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. He has performed in masterclasses with Jane Marsh at The Metropolitan Opera Guild and Donata D’Annunzio Lombardi at CLA.  An avid chorister, he has worked with such notable conductors as Vladimir Jurowski with the New York Philharmonic, and John Williams with the Boston Pops. Mr. Xu has has also received instruction from Lorraine Nubar, Zehava Gal, Terence Goff, Sandia Ang, and Penelope Bitzas. He is an alumnus of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Vocal Program. 

 

He has also performed as a soloist at LeFrak Concert Hall at Queens College, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at Long Island University, and Adelphi University Concert Hall. 

 

He maintains an active studio on LI/NYC, and has served as Dr. Pamela Levy’s teaching assistant at The Great Neck Summer School Musical Theatre Program.

Ms. Sydney Kucine

American soprano, Sydney Kucine, brings the highest caliber of vocal technique and musicality to each performance, captivating audiences around the world. In the 2019 season, Ms. Kucine made her professional debut with Sarasota Opera as an Apprentice Artist. She covered Papagena in their main stage production of Die Zauberflöte. She made her professional New York City debut, singing the role of Micaëla in La Tragedie de Carmen (City Lyric Opera), and performed the role of Adina in Athens, as well as Mozart’s Coronation Mass in Vienna and Lisbon, and Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos also in Athens. As a young artist, Ms. Kucine has studied and performed the roles of Micaëla in Carmen, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Musetta in La Boheme, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Fortuna in L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Ms. Kucine is a recipient of numerous awards. She is currently a semifinalist in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition. In 2018 she was an international finalist in the Sigma Alpha Iota Concerto Competition at the Chautauqua Institution. In 2017, she was a semifinalist in the Mondavi Center Competition. At the young age of eighteen, she made her Carnegie Hall debut, and sang in a masterclass presented at the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Ms. Kucine is also a devoted recitalist. She has given solo recitals across the United States, from San Francisco, California to Portland, Maine.

Ms. Kucine’s has studied Italian at the Accademia Europea di Firenze, and is fluent in both English and Italian. The soprano holds an undergraduate degree from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Deborah Voigt, and is presently working towards a Master of Music degree at Mannes School of Music at the New School, New York where she is a student of Ruth Falcon.

Ms. Linda Collazo

Mezzo-Soprano, Linda Collazo is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College, having studied Vocal Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.  A graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, Linda has been studying opera since a young age and has performed in venues all over New York City and abroad. Her most recent engagements include being an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera for their Winter 2019 season, performing as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Queens College Choral Society, performing as a soloist in the Cantanti Project’s Cantamos at the United Palace Theater, and being a soloist at the United Nations and the Repetorio Español for their galas.  Throughout 2018, Linda has performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Forest Hills Choir, has covered the role of Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff as a part of Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, and has played the roles of Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti as a part of the Queens College Arts Festival and Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Queens College Opera Theater.

Linda’s hard work ethic has also earned her many awards and scholarships in the past years. Along with winning first place in both the Friday Woodmere Music Club’s Young Artist Competition in 2018 and the Bronx Arts Ensemble Young Artist Contest in 2016, Linda has been awarded honorable mention in the Five Towns Music Competition, and was a finalist in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition and the New York International Voice Competition. Additionally, she has been awarded the Queens College’s Jane and Paul Smaldone Memorial Scholarship, the Hélène B. Guidice Award, Erik Horlick Memorial Award, and Claire Bartels Freshman Award. In the Winter and Spring of 2019, Linda will be a Handmaiden in Puccini’s Turandot with Sarasota Opera, will sing the role of Carmen from Bizet’s Carmen in a scenes program at Sarasota Opera, will play Peep-Bo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado with Bronx Opera, and Mary in a new Spanish opera by Rafael Grullon titled El Caminante with the Mimesis Ensemble. Linda is from the Bronx, New York and is a student of Dr. Sherry Overholt.  When she is not performing, Linda teaches voice and piano at several locations in New York City including New York Music and Arts. She has been teaching since 2015.

Ms. Shan Chuang

Yung-Shan Chuang (Shan) graduated with a MFA in Musical Theater at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). NTNU is the top university for college education in Taiwan. Shan started playing piano and dancing at a tender age. This naturally led to her joining the music department from junior high school all through to university.

 

Later on, Shan chose to major in classical voice for her training. She continued honing her piano alongside for 15 years. Shan also got her BA from the University of Taipei, specialising in children's Music Education Program.

 

With a solid foundation of music teaching under her belt, Shan complements her training with her warm personality. All the students, who have crossed paths with during her 5 years as a teacher in Taiwan, would undeniably agree that she is a patient teacher, always encouraging in the teaching process. 

Ms. Kara Chan

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Kara Chan is a professional dancer and teacher based in New York City. Currently, she is a dancer with Twyla Tharp Dance. Kara began dancing at the age of 5 and received her formal training at Pro Arté Center. Under the direction of Astrid Sherman, she completed all her ISTD and RAD Ballet & Modern Examinations with distinction. While training, she received provincial titles and top awards at local and international competitions.

 

Kara moved to New York in 2011 to continue her dance studies and is a BFA graduate from The Juilliard School. Well versed in classical and modern styles, Kara had the opportunity to perform masterpieces by José Limon, Murray Louis, Merce Cunningham, and Jerome Robbins. In 2014 while still a student, she performed as a guest artist with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, making her debut at the Joyce Theatre. Kara has also performed in Mark Morris' The Hard Nut and has worked with Larry Keigwin, Merce Cunningham Trust, Janis Brenner & Dancers, Trainor Dance, Kathryn Posin Dance Company, MorDance, Gleich Dances, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and Taylor Drury. She is an alumna of Jacob's Pillow, Springboard Danse Montreal, and Youth America Grand Prix. Kara is grateful to be living her dream and pursuing a career as a professional dancer in New York. She enjoys teaching and sharing her passion for dance with young aspiring dancers.

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