Lora Tchekoratova, Piano (Bulgaria, USA)

Bulgarian pianist Lora Tchekoratova has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. At age 21 she won first prize at the Washington International Competition for pianists, where she was also awarded the audience prize, and the prize for the youngest finalist. Subsequently, Ms. Tchekoratova made her debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She also made recital appearances at the Phillips Collection (broadcast over WGTS-FM) as well as in Alexandria, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York. Thereafter, she became a sought-after soloist, recitalist and teacher, frequently performing in major venue throughout the world. During the 2015/2016 Season, Ms. Tchekoratova is engaged to perform as soloist and chamber musician in New York, Toronto, Miami, Boston, St. Thomas, Chicago as well as in Europe.

As an active advocate for new music, Ms. Tchekoratova has premiered numerous contemporary works by American and Bulgarian composers. Currently, she is co-chair of the Executive Board of Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York, a concert series, dedicated to the presentation of music and musicians from Bulgaria. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Fund, the Puffin Foundation, the Arthur Foundation and the Kittredge Fund have all awarded her grants for the presentation of lesser-known music from her country. In addition, she has presented Bulgarian music on tour with her husband, represented by the organization World Artists Experiences in Washington, D.C. She has appeared at many festivals for new music, such as Focus, Summergarden, and Piano Century at the Juilliard Theater, MoMA, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Recently Tchekoratova performed at the American Composers' Festival in New York's Symphony Space, and the Keys to the Future festival for new and recent piano music in New York.

Lora Tchekoratova is a dedicated chamber musician. She frequently performs with her husband, violinist Georgy Valtchev. During the past season they presented a series of concerts in Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. She also appears regularly in various chamber music programs with members of the New World Symphony, where she was a fellow for two seasons under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. These collaborations led her to performances in Miami (at the Lincoln Theater,) Palm Beach (Kravis Center,) New York (Union Club), as well as on tours in Boston, Long Island; and abroad in Prague, Rome, and Monte Carlo. She has also been a featured artist at many international festivals, including Kuhmo Nuori Musikii in Finland; Lappland Festspel and Bastad Festspel in Sweden; Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine; Apolonia, and Sofia Music Weeks in Bulgaria.

Lora Tchekoratova began her piano studies at age four and gave her first recital five years later at the State Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. At age eighteen, she continued her studies at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she received her Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees as a student of Seymour Lipkin. Other teachers include Lydia Kuteva, Vessela Marinova, Prof. Jenny Zaharieva, and Oxana Yablonskaya. Currently she serves on the faculties of Mannes Prep, the 92nd Street Y School of Music in New York, and the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Institute in Blue Hill, Maine. She has made numerous recordings for Radio and Television in Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, and the US. Her CD recordings for Gega New have been received with worldwide critical acclaim.

Irina Nuzova, Piano (USA)

Critics have applauded classical pianist Irina Nuzova for her “rise above mere virtuosity” (The Washington Post), “intensity of feeling” (La Nazione, Italy) and “profound interpretation” (Il Resto de Carlino, Bologna). Nuzova has appeared in recital as a soloist and as a chamber musician in the United States, Europe, and South America. In Europe, she has performed as part of the Amici della Musica concert series in Florence; at the Teatro Massima in Catania, Italy; Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg; the Moscow Conservatory, and in the Netherlands. In the United States, she has played at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York; and as part of chamber music series including the Rhode Island Chamber Music Concert Series and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago. In recital with Wendy Warner, Nuzova has performed at the Music Institute of Chicago, the Phillips Collection, in Toronto, in Boston, and the Rockefeller tri-Institutional series in New York City.

Nuzova’s discography includes the critically acclaimed WarnerNuzova duo’s debut recording: Russian Music for Cello & Piano, released in 2010 on Cedille Records. The CD entered the Billboard charts as #8, and has been featured on more than 100 radio stations. Nominated for best chamber music recording by ICMS, Classical Candor commented about the CD: “The two women ...play with style, with grace, with refinement, and with deep emotional attachment, yet always placing the music above any showmanship on their part. Most important, however, they appear to reach into the heart of this heart-wrenching music and convey its inner spirit with not only clarity and precision but with ultimate passion. They are consummate artists.” Warner and Nuzova have played together for years, but officially formed the duo in 2008 with the intention of performing and recording the canonical sonatas for cello and piano from the past and present, as well as commissioning unique arrangements and new music. This first album covers romantic Russian works featuring among others the rarely performed Sonata in A Minor by Nikolai Miaskovsky. Nuzova regards the Miaskovsky sonata a “rare gem,” adding that she likes to flip the Russian maxim which reads: “All is not gold that glitters,” to say “Something that does not glitter can still be gold” in regards to the composer and this sonata in particular. Says Nuzova, “The sonata’s pervasive, nostalgic quality speaks to the Russian soul and mind, but it is subtle and subdued in its expression, and absolutely jewel-like in its clarity and simplicity.”

Nuzova appears as soloist in numerous venues. Besides her appearances with her duo at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. and at St. Paul’s Music in the Park Series, other highlights include the double recital at the Gardner Museum (complete Beethoven cycle of sonatas), and chamber music performances at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Ms. Nuzova has also appeared in live radio interviews and performances in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, among others, including a live broadcast on WFMT in Chicago; and an interview with Fred Child of Performance Today -- a program that was syndicated nationwide. Also the recipient of the Bruce Hungerford Award at the Young Concert Artist Auditions in New York, Nuzova has won top prizes in competitions such as the Vincenzo Bellini and Citta di Senigallia International Competitions in Italy and the Beethoven Piano Sonata International Competition in Memphis, Tennessee. As a chamber musician, she has won top prizes at the Vittorio Gui and the Premio Trio di Trieste International Chamber Music Competitions in Italy. Nuzova’s performances have been broadcast live on WFMT in Chicago, WGBH in Boston, and Italian TV. Ms. Nuzova is also a member of the Camerata Phillips – an ensemble in residence at the Phillips Collection Gallery in Washington DC.

Nuzova is a native of Moscow, Russia. She made her debut with the Omsk Philharmonic at the age of 14. She studied at the Gnessin Academy of Music under the guidance of Alexander Satz before moving to the United States. Nuzova continued her musical education at the Manhattan School of Music with Lev Natochenny, and at Juilliard where her teachers were Oxana Yablonskaya and Jerome Lowenthal. To further herself as a musician she worked for many years in the cello studio of Harvey Shapiro at Juilliard and pursued individual studies with pianists Jean-Bernard Pommier, Eteri Andjaparidze, and Vladimir Feltsman. Nuzova earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford, Connecticut). She regularly gives lecture recitals at schools and festivals. For the past two summers Nuzova has taught and performed at the Interharmony International Music Festival and the Summit International Music Festival in Purchase, NY. She also serves regularly as a jury panelist. Ms. Nuzova is a member of the piano faculty of the Special School of Music in New York City and of Bard College's pre-college division.

Ilinka Manova - Rondo Summer Academy Director, Piano (Macedonia, USA)

llinka Manova, born in Macedonia in 1976, studied piano with Professor Arbo Valdma in Cologne, Germany, and with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music. She received a full scholarship to study with Stephanie Brown at SUNY Purchase, where she earned a Masters Degree and the Artist Diploma. Ilinka is a winner of the Artists International Competition in New York. She gave a solo recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2001 and received other awards including the prestigious DAAD German Scholarship in 1995 and the Yugoslav National Competition Award for Musicians in Sarajevo. Ilinka has performed in Paris, Rome, Bonn, Cologne, throughout Eastern Europe and in major cities across the U.S. She was featured in The New York Times, Greenwich Time, The Journal News and in all major Macedonian news papers. Her repertoire ranges from well-loved standards to contemporary music with a special focus on new works from her native Macedonia. Ilinka serves as a Managing Director for ArtsAhimsa, an NPO that promotes nonviolence through the arts. A much sought-after teacher, Ilinka is a member of the piano faculty at the Browning school in New York City and at the Church Street School for Music and Art.

Emilia Oskotsky - Rondo Summer Academy Director, Piano (USA)

Emilia Oskotsky first began her musical studies at the age of eight in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she first discovered her passion for music. In 1989, Emilia and her family moved to the United States where she continued perusing her piano career with the renowned pianists Elizabeth Stern and David Allen Wher. She received a full scholarship to the Hoff Bartherson Music School, where she was a student of Miyoko Lotto. Mrs. Oskotsky then went on to receive her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Purchase College. There, she took an active role in chamber music, under the direction of Stephanie Brown, Peter Wiley and Paul Ostrovsky. Mrs. Oskotsky then completed her Masters in Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, as a scholarship student of Nina Svetlanova.

Mrs. Oskotsky is the recipient of countless awards, including the first place in the Schubert Club, Bach and Chopin divisions. She was the Winner of the Memorial Scholarship Committee Competition, in which the judges reviewed her performances as “having total musical involvement, and powerful mature playing”. Emilia Oskotsky was the recipient of the Harry Bachrach Fine Arts Scholarship, and the winner of Artists International, which resulted in her Carnegie Hall debut at in 2008. She has performed throughout the United States and Europe in many famed concert halls, including Suomen Opisto Recial Hall (Finland), Ann Goodman Hall, Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center among many others. Mrs. Oskotsky most recently worked as a musical consultant on the film “You Cannot Start Without Me” about the life of the famed Russian conductor Valery Gergiev.

Mrs. Oskotsky has been part of the faculty at the Hackley Music Institute, and she continues to work as a piano instructor at the Browning School in NYC. Mrs. Oskotsky has had a successful music studio in NYC for many years, and recently resides in Westchester, NY, where she continues to teach

Eugenia Pilyavina - Rondo Summer Academy Director, Piano (USA, Switzerland)

Eugenia Pilyavina was born in Kiev into a family of a professional musician and began her piano studies at the age of six. Together with her family, Eugenia then immigrated to the United States in 1989 and continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music. As a winner of the First Annual Chopin Competition (New York,) she was the first recipient of the Louis Leibowits Scholarship. She is also a recipient of the Sheldon Smith Piano Award and the 1997 Artists International Special Presentation Award, which lead to her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

As the soloist and chamber musician, Eugenia has performed at such prestigious New York venues as Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Hall and Weill Recital Hall, as well as Tarpon Springs Music Series in Tampa, FL, Chopin Council Presentations in Miami, French Embassy in Washington, D.C., Rockefeller University Concert Series, Bargemusic in NYC, and Tzavta Music Series in Tel Aviv. In collaboration with her husband, a renowned violinist Sergey Ostrovsky, she has given numerous concerts in the United States, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and France.

Eugenia Pilyavina is a founding member of “Barton” piano quartet, which made its international debut at the Cervantino International Festival in Mexico in October 2015 with critical acclaim and live broadcast on the Mexican National Radio. Ms. Pilyavina has participated in prestigious summer festivals among which are: AIMS (Solsona, Catalonia,) Gotland Chamber Music Festival (Sweden,) Kfar Blum Music Festival (Israel,) Recontres Musicales Internationales des Graves (Bordeaux, France,) Fete de la Musique and Pulplinge Classique (Geneva, Switzerland.) She was featured at the Swedish National TV broadcast alongside famous Swedish pianists Staffan Scheja and Roland Pontinen.

Eugenia actively collaborates with opera singers and maintains an active teaching career. Many of her young piano students have become laureates of different competitions. Mrs. Pilyavina is a founder of the Association called "50 shades of sound" which deals with organizing diverse concerts at the art galleries around the world.

Anna Bogolubova, Piano (USA,Ukraine)

Anna Bogolubova is celebrated as one of the leading Ukrainian performer/composer of the young generation. As a tribute to her talent, National TV Ukraine aired a documentary film “Anna Bogolubova – composer and pianist.”

In addition to her international solo recitals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Andorra, Italy, Poland, Russia and the Ukraine, Ms. Bogolubova has been featured on Radio and TV Odessa, Ukraine; Warsaw TV, Poland; Senegalia Television, Italy; Radio and TV Monterrey Mexico and Radio Binghamton in the United States.

Anna Bogolubova is a top prize winner of several competitions, including: XX Incontro Internazionale Giovani Pianisti Citta Di Senegalia, Italy; Concurso Internacional de Piano, Andorra; The Music and Art Foundation Young Musicians Piano Competition, New York – 1st prize; New York Chopin Competition – 1st prize; BC Pops Martha & Richard Youth Concerto Competition in Binghamton, New York – 1st prize; and the most recent one - Concurso Internacional de Piano Parnassos in Mexico – 1st prize.

After her highly successful solo debut at the age of 8 in the famous Odessa Philharmonic Hall, Anna Bogolubova was admitted to the Stolyarsky Music School where she was under the patronage of Prof. Anatoly Kardashef.

At the age of 10 Anna was selected to perform Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto under the direction of Garry Oganezov, launching her in a performing career through her native country.

Anna Bogolubova holds both Bachelor and Master Degrees from The Juilliard School for the Performing Arts where she had studied with Prof. Oxana Yablonskaya.

In August 2007 Naxos released a CD of Anna Bogolubova’s performing two concertos by H. K. Hedley with Russia Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Dmitry Yablonsky.

Anna Bogolubova has twenty years of pedagogic experience teaching privately and in schools such as The Lycce Francais de New York and The Hovnanian School. Anna has been invited to give Master Classes in several countries and has been a judge of international piano competitions.

In 2010 Anna Bogolyubova co-founded BOMAA at The NY Music & Arts Center.

Serguei Milstein, Piano, Guest Artist (Russia, France, Switzerland)

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.


Igor Pikayzen, Violin (Russia/USA)

Award-winning Russian-American violinist Igor Pikayzen is confidently establishing himself as one of the most prodigious and in-demand soloists of his generation. Praised on four continents by critics and audiences alike for his “astounding technical ability” and a “majestically lush tone”, Igor Pikayzen “surely is at a forefront of a major musical career” (Moscow Times).

Since his concerto debut at the age of 8, with Mozart's Violin Concerto #2 and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Pikayzen has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras spanning Europe, Asia, North and South America, including the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Radio Symphony, Bucharest Philharmonic, State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Milano Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonica Nacional de Chile, Filharmonica di Bacau, Izmir Symphony Orchestra, Bialystok Philharmonic, Stamford Symphony, Czestochowa Philharmonic, Lima Chamber Orchestra, Tbilisi Opera Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony, Yokohama Sinfonietta and countless others. In the last two seasons alone, he has given debuts and returned to Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Tchaikovsky Hall and Minor Hall in Moscow, Teatro Llago in Frutillar, Congreso Nacional in Santiago, President Hall in Ankara, Flagey and Le Bozar in Brussels, Le Bourget in Montreal, Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City and Cadogan Hall in London, to name just a few.

Pikayzen's 2017-18 season includes debuts and return engagements under the batons of Gürer Aykal, Łukasz Borowicz, Emil Tabakov, Enrique Batiz, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Lior Shambadal, Jerzy Salwarowski, Daniel Huppert, Roman Revueltas, Vakhtang Matchavariani, Christopher Lyndon-Gee and Hobart Earle. A frequent guest at some of the most prestigious chamber music festivals and series in the world, Pikayzen regularly appears at Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Napa Valley Festival in California, Semanas Musicales de Frutillar in Chile, Night Serenades Festival in Georgia, New York's Bargemusic and 92nd Street Y.

A dedicated recording artist, Pikayzen's live performances and recordings have been broadcast on WQXR and RTVi (USA) Kultura (Russia) RTBF (Belgium) CBC (Canada) Radio Kultura (Poland) RadioSwiss Classic (Switzerland) Imedi (Georgia) TRT3 (Turkey) Beethoven Radio (Chile)as well as MediciTV and ViolinChannel. His extensive discography demonstrates his incredible versatility as an artist, and includes his debut album, with virtuoso works of Saint-Saëns, Ysaÿe, Paganini, and Wieniawski on the ProArte label, as well as live recordings of the Glazunov and Matchavariani violin concertos, Tchaikovsky's “Souvenir de Florence” with the Russian Virtuosi of Europe for Orchid Classics and “On My Journey now”; a recording of spirituals with the acclaimed baritone Lester Lynch for Pentatone Classics. A champion of new and under-performed composers, Pikayzen's recording of the Henri Marteau clarinet quintet with the Phoenix Ensemble has been met with critical acclaim; 2018 sees the release of the Brahms and Elliot Carter clarinet quintets for Navona/Naxos.

Grandson of the legendary Soviet violinist Viktor Pikayzen, Igor was born in Moscow, Russia. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree from Juilliard, as well as a Master's Degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music, he is currently completing his DMA at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he holds the coveted position of Enhanced Chancellor Fellow and is on the violin faculty of Brooklyn Conservatory. Pikayzen is the 1st prize winner of the 2015 Edition of the International Violin Competition Luis Sigall in Viña del Mar, Chile as well as the Wronski International Violin Competition in Warsaw, in addition to being a silver medalist at the Szeryng and Kloster-Schöntal international violin competitions. A native of Moscow, Mr. Pikayzen shares his time between New York and Westport, CT, where he launched an annual summer music festival, Edelio.

Sergey Ostrovsky, Violin (Israel, Switzerland)

Sergey Ostrovsky has been described by Isaac Stern as "...one of the most outstanding Israeli violinists". Sergey was born in 1975 in Russia to a family of musicians, and has built an active and successful career as the First Violinist of the Aviv Quartet, as a soloist and as First Concertmaster of Orchestre de la Suisse Romande de Genève, Orchestre Comunidad,Valenciana of Palau Des le Arts in Valencia, Spain and Violin Professor of HEM de Geneve Neuchatel branch).

Sergey began playing at the age of 6, inspired by the great talent and extraordinary musicianship of his father Valery Ostrovsky, a concert pianist and professor whose pedagogical touch and knowledge assisted him throughout his studies. as well as coaching Sergey, his father was his accompanist from 1990 - 2002. Sergey first studied with David Lapidus in the Music School for 8 years, during which time he made his first public concert appearance at the age of 8 and performed for the first time with a symphony orchestra at the age of 13.

In the Music College of Gorky Conservatory, Sergey continued his studies with Lazar Gantman and Yury Gluchovsky. In 1991 the Ostrovsky family emigrated to Israel, where he pursued his studies with Prof. Yair Kless and Irina Svetlova at the Rubin Academy Tel Aviv (from 2005-Buchmann-Mehta High School of Music). He completed his Bachelor Degree Diploma with Natalia Morozova in 2000 and his Master Degree Diploma in Amsterdam Conservatory with Alexander Kerr in 2002.

As a soloist, he has performed with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and many others, with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Yoel Levi, Hugh Wolff, Bernard Guller, Uriel Segal and Maxim Vengerov.

Sergey has recorded the Mozart Concertone for two violins with Maxim Vengerov and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra for EMI Classics. In 2010, he recorded less known Russian concertos by Anton Arensky, Jules Conus and a world premiere recording of a Concertino op. 42 by Mieczysław Weinberg, for Naxos.

Sergey Ostrovsky teaches Chamber Music and is actively involved in conducting youth and professional orchestras. He plays a 1716 violin made by Giovanni Grancinno, purchased with the generous support of Mr. James Mayer and "Tzfonot Tarbut", a non-profit organization for supporting arts in Israel.

Vieru Anica Dumitrita, Violin (Moldova, Switzerland)

Vieru Anica Dumitrita has established herself as a prominent soloist, chamber musician and educator despite her young age. She has won numerous prizes and awards. Laureate of multiple international and national competitions, such as “Remember Enescu”, Romania (1st prize), “Delphic Games”, Belarus and Armenia (silver medals), “Nedyalka Semionova”, Bulgaria (1st prize), “Gianluca Cmpochiaro”, Italy (Grand Prix), “Antonio Salieri”, Italy (1st prize), “Luigi Zanuccoli”, Italy (1st prize), “Premio Francesco Geminiani”, Italy (1st prize), “Tadini”, Italy (Grand Prix), Anica Dumitrita Vieru maintains an active performing and teaching career.

Born in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, she obtained her Bachelor Degree at Conservatorio Guido Cantelli and Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, Italy (2011). She continued her education at Haute École de Musique de Genève receiving her Master Concert in class of Mihaela Martin and Master de Pédagogie under a tutelage of Sergey Ostrovsky.

She has collaborated and toured with orchestras, such as NJO (Dutch Youth Orchestra), Cei Youth Orchestra (as 1st violin of the Orchestra), DeSono Orchestra, Milano Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam etc. She has studied with Dora Schwarzberg in Accademia di Musica di Pinerolo, with Yulia Berinskaya in Milano Music School. She has participated in ISA Internationale Sommerakademie (Austria), in Academy of Iouri Bachmet (Belarus) etc.

She has been an honorable recipient of scholarships from Associazione di Musica DE SONO, in memory of Anna Tabusso, Fondazione Talenti Musicali CRT, Foundation Hans Wilsdorf etc. Anica participated in masterclass with: Liviu Prunaru, Simon Bernardini, Yulia Berinskaya, Dora Schwarzberg, Mihaela Martin, Johannes Meissl, Benjamin Schmid, Aleksey Igudesman, Gilad Karni, Gil Shaham, Alexander Trostiansky, Viktor Tretiakov, Pavel Berman, Ilya Grubert, Bruno Giuranna, Alessandro Moccia.

At the moment, besides remaining an active performing schedule Anica dedicates her time and expertise to younger students, she is teaching violin, chamber music and orchestra at Studio Kodaly in Geneva.

Oleg Kaskiv, Violin (Ukraine, Switzerland)

Oleg Kaskiv was born in 1978 in the small Ukrainian village Kremenetz into a family of musicians. He began playing violin at the age of 7 under the guidance of his violinists parents and later entered M.Lysenko National Academy of Music in Lviv.

In 1996, Oleg won a scholarship to study in Switzerland at the famous “International Menuhin Music Academy” (IMMA), which was founded by Lord Yehudi Menuhin in 1977. At the Academy, Oleg's great mentor was Professor Alberto Lysy, who got his education directly from Lord Yehudi Menuhin and was his only pupil. Therefore the tradition of the great romantic violin playing was passed on to Oleg.

Today, Oleg Kaskiv is a soloist and main violin professor at the IMMA.

As a soloist, Oleg Kaskiv regularly performs with great success in his native country with the National Symphony of Ukraine, Odessa Philharmonic and Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras and worldwide: with the Camerata Lysy, Camerata de Lausanne, Symphonisches Orchester Zürich, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden.

He is a laureate of many prestigious violin competitions such as Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition (Belgium); International Oistrakh Competition (Ukraine); International Kotorovych Violin Competition (Ukraine), International Spohr Competition (Germany); International Montreal Competition (Canada); International Premio Lipizer (Italy), International Niredgazi Violin Competition (Japan), International Dvarionas Violin Competition (Lithuania) and International Molinari Competition (Switzerland).

He plays a violin from Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, one of the greatest violinmakers in the music history, which is lent to him to recognize his high class as a violinist and a musician.

Viktoria Voronyansky, Violin (USA)

Since her solo debut with the Manhattan Chamber Symphony at age 17, violist Victoria Voronyansky has distinguished herself as a recitalist, chamber musician, educator, and published author. She has appeared in major concert halls throughout United States, Israel, and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y, and Aspen Music Festival. Her performance of works by J.S. Bach was broadcast live on the National Radio of Finland, and solo performance with the Manhattan Chamber Symphony was broadcast on WQXR radio in New York as part of Robert Sherman’s Young Artists Showcase. She was also featured on the Israeli television as part of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program, and in broadcasts on National Public Radio.

As a founding member of the Acacia String Quartet, Victoria was selected by Isaac Stern for a performance and workshop at Carnegie Hall, won The Bärenreiter Urtext Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and won the Young Artists International Competition. She performed with the International Sejong Soloists, in the Mostly Mozart series at Lincoln Center, and at Taos Chamber Music Festival.

Deeply involved in the field of education, Victoria designed and taught an innovative "Recording Project" course at the Juilliard School, where she has also given numerous presentations on topics ranging from injury prevention to physics of sound. This work led to publication of her writings in the Journal of the American Viola Society. In addition to the Juilliard School, Victoria served as a member of the violin and viola faculty at Mannes College of Music, at The Perlman Music Program, and viola faculty and artist in residence at Temple University Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Victoria was a recipient of the Edward J. Noble Educational Fellowship and was presented with Blanchette Rockefeller and Henry Alderman Trust Awards. Victoria studied viola with Heidi Castleman, Cynthia Phelps, and Pinchas Zuckerman, and chamber music with members of the Juilliard and American String Quartets, Isidore Cohen, Felix Galimir, David Geber, and Isaac Stern. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School.

Marc Sabbah, Viola (USA, Belgium)

Marc Sabbah (1988, New York City) is a viola soloist, chamber musician, professor and as of 2012, the viola soloist of the Belgian National Orchestra.

Described as "a magnificent player" by legendary conductor Zubin Mehta, Marc is regularly invited as guest Principal Violist of the Israeli Philharmonic. As of September 2017, he has been teaching viola as a guest professor at the Royal Conservatory of Mons, Belgium. Graduating Cum Laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Marc was a pupil of Sven Arne Tepl and Nobuko Imai. His recent awards include the 1st prize at the 2016 Rising Stars Grand Prix music competition performing solo at the Berlin Philharmonic hall as well as his recent 1st Grand Prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition with a recital at Carnegie Hall. Having played numerous concerti with European orchestras such as the Belgian National Orchestra, Casco Philharmonic, de Filharmonie Amsterdam, the Hochreinisches Kammerorchester, Marc Sabbah is creating a path as a musical force of his generation.

Since 2016, Marc is collaborating with Belgian pianist Eliane Reyes forming the Duo Sabbah-Reyes, a unique duo dedicated to exploring viola and piano repertoire. Marc is establishing himself as a pre-eminent young violist with performances at the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Utrecht Chamber Music Festival, Grachten Festival Amsterdam, ArteAmanti, Festival van Vlaanderen, Les Sons Intensifs in Belgium, as well as festivals Arcidosso and Les Nuits Romantiques in Italy.

Giving masterclasses in association with the Dutch Viola Society, the Brussels Chamber Music Festival and the Athens State Orchestra, Marc is deeply involved in teaching and communicating his love of music to both young artists and publics alike.

In 2011, Marc Sabbah performed with Ivry Gitlis at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Since then, Ivry Gitlis attended Marc's performance of the Leo Smit viola concerto at the Royal Conservatory of Mons calling Marc 'The Paganini of viola'.

His pursuit of music led him to study with great performers like Pinchas Zukerman, Lawrence Power, Kim Kashkashian, baroque cellist Anner Bijlsma, Nobuko Imai and others. Marc has performed and attended festivals throughout Europe, Israel, Ukraine, Russia, the United States and Canada. Marc has won top prizes at the Moscow Arts Competition in Boston, the Horowitz International Competition and Academy in Kiev, Ukraine, (2004) performing Hoffmeister concerto for viola and orchestra as well as Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Ukranian State Orchestra.

At only the age of 18 Marc premiered new works at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall as former violist of the Kubrick-Quartet and as principal violist of the Deutche-Skandinaviche Jugend Philharmonie as well as substituting with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (DeFilharmonie) in Antwerp, Belgium. Marc toured with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (Nederlands Kamer Orkest) with violinist Gordan Nikolic playing concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a recent 2017 tour in Finland.

Marc began his studies on violin at the age of 3 at the 3rd Street Music School in Manhattan, furthering his studies at the Lucy Moses School with teacher Mark Lakirovich. Mesmerized by the warmth of its tone and in admiration of his sister's cello playing, Marc switched to the viola at age 11. He completed his studies in the United States as a graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High school of Performing Arts and the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School.

Marc plays on a Leroy F. Geiger viola dated 1951 made in Chicago, USA.

Dennis Shapavalov - Cello (Russia)

“Brilliant talent! He can be proud of his gift before all the world.” – with these words Shapovalov was characterized by famous Mstislav Rostropovich. Denis Shapovalov is set apart from the majority of gifted cellists with his fine and penetrating comprehension of the works he performs, his razor-sharp technique, and his incredibly expressive and lofty interpretation. Shapovalov won recognition for his exceptional musical gift at the XI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, taking the 1st prize and the gold medal as the unanimous choice of the jury. As one of the awards he was invited to the III World Cello Congress - for his American debut, he gave a successful performance at the Congress in Baltimore in 2000.

In 2000, Shapovalov finished the post-graduate course of the Moscow State Conservatory, where he studied under Professor Natalia Shakhovskaya. And for 11 years (2001-2012) he was a cello professor of the Moscow Conservatory. Maestro Rostropovich distinguished Shapovalov among all Russian cellists and invited him to perform together with different orchestras in Russia, Great Britain and USA, as well as to participate in Rostropovich’s festivals in Azerbaijan and France. Shapovalov has performed in the concert series celebrating Rostropovich’s 75th birthday in New York and London along with outstanding musicians – M.Vengerov, E.Kissin, M.Argerich, Yu.Bashmet.

The young cellist has participated in numerous international festivals in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, USA, Japan, and China. In addition, Shapovalov collaborates with Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St-Petersburg Philharmony, the chamber orchestra “Moscow Virtuosi”, the chamber orchestra “Moscow Soloists”, the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and Lithuanian chamber orchestra, Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Macao Symphony Orchestra.

Shapovalov works under such distinguished conductors as Lorin Maazel, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Vladimir Fedosseev, Yutaka Sado, Yoel Levi, Andrew Litton, Christian Badea, Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Bashmet, Gintaras Rinkevicius, Valery Poliansky, Thomas Sanderling, Boguslaw Dawidow, Julian Gallant, Denis Shapovalov, Gianadrea Noseda, Conrad van Alphen, Marc Tardue, Jonathan Brett and Lee Reynolds. His music partners are Rodion Schedrin, Vadim Repin, Nikolai Znaider, Sergey Babayan, Olga Kern, Alexander Ljubimov, John Nakamatsu, Alexander Ghindin, Andreas Mustonen.

Shapovalov’s performances are held in the world’s major concert halls – Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Center in London, Munchner Philharmonic, Megaron Concert Hall in Athens, Auditorio Nacional de Musica и Palacio de Congresos in Madrid, UNESCO Conference Hall in Paris, Vaduzerzaal in Liechtenstein, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Peabody Auditorium in Daytona, Beijing Concert Hall in Beijing, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.