Elizabeth T. Hoard, Founder
PO Box 622460, Bronx, NY 10462 US
Pianist and composer Matthew Griswold says the piano chose him, not the other way around. Listening to one of his meticulously crafted performances today, one would never guess that the piano chose Matthew late. A member of a non-musical family, Matthew first sat down at the piano at age 11 and spent his early years freely exploring, listening to, and creating music.
Matthew was self-taught well into high school; learning to play large scale romantic works and full piano concertos entirely by ear. When Marina Lomazov, founder of the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition at the Southeastern Piano Festival, discovered she had admitted a high school freshman who still taught himself this way, she encouraged him to return when he could read music. After two years of his first serious study as a pianist, Matthew did return to the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition ... to win first prize.
Matthew went on to study with Robert Shannon at Oberlin Conservatory, where he won the coveted Arthur Dann Piano Competition and traveled the country with Oberlin’s President and Conservatory Dean as the sole performer at high donor fundraising events. Energetic and inquisitive as always, Matthew studied philosophy and physics at Oberlin College and integrated his study of the Taubman piano technique with the study and practice of powerlifting: He holds powerlifting records in multiple states including a Virginia state record in his weight class.
Matthew has performed (and debuted his own compositions) all over the world, including performances with the South Carolina Philharmonic and Orchestra of Music Fest Perugia as well as solo performances at Spoleto Music Festival (Italy), Piccolo Spoleto Festival (USA), International Music Academy Plzen (Czech Republic), Gijon Piano Festival (Spain), and Pianofest in the Hamptons (USA). He has performed in masterclasses with some of the world’s most acclaimed pianists, including Emanuel Ax, Gary Graffmann, John O’Conor, Angela Hewitt, and Olga Kern. South Carolina’s The State calls Matthew’s playing “convincing… with big tone.”
Matthew is currently pursuing his Masters of Music at Mannes College the New School for Music, studying with world-famous pianist Jeremy Denk.
Canadian born violinist, Brenda Vincent, began violin study at age 10. She completed Toronto Conservatory exams, with Honors, during high-school, then went on to study at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Violin in 1971 and the Israel Dorman Award for Outstanding Violinist. Ms. Vincent has resided and freelanced in New York City since 1979, where she enjoys playing a variety of musical idioms and styles of chamber music, symphony orchestra, opera, ballet, Broadway shows, jazz, Latin, rock/pop, and Contemporary Classical Music. Ms. Vincent has been awarded a Jazz Special Projects Grant (1985) and Jazz Fellowship (1988) from the National Endowment for the Arts to transcribe the recorded works of the legendary American jazz violinist, Stuff Smith. She is currently developing a beginning violin method that integrates traditional Western European music with popular American styles of music and improvisation.
Polish-American pianist Phillip Kwoka began his music studies with Svetlana Gorokhovich at the Music Institute of Long-Island (Manhasset, Long Island). In 2000, Philip started studying piano with Roberta Rust and Phillip Evans at the Lynn University Preparatory of Music. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying solo-performance with Daniel Shapiro and Paul Schenly, and chamber music with Peter Salaff, Anita Pontremoli and the Cavani Quartet. Upon graduating from CIM, he was awarded the 2015 Sadie Zellen Piano Prize for outstanding musical development. Philip then went on to study with Pavlina Dokovska at the Mannes College of Music, where he completed his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance. Philip has studied in masterclasses with with internationally acclaimed artists including Phillippe Entremont, Jerome Lowenthal, Ann Schein, Orion Weiss, Yoshikazu Nagai, John O'Connor, Jon Nakamatsu, Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabri, and Till Fellner. Philip is currently studying with Konstantin Soukhovetski and Paul Schenly.
Philip's success began when he was chosen to perform on Christopher O’Reily’s National Public Radio program “From the Top”. Following that performance he made his solo debut performing with the Warminsko-Mazurskie Filharmonia in Poland. Two years later he performed with the Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra and was invited to perform a second time with the Warminsko-Mazurskie Filharmonia. Philip has been a first prize-winner in many competitions including the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, the Tampa Bay Symphony Young Artist Competition and the Bluthner Junior Piano competition. Other awards include second prize in the New World Symphony Concerto Competition, and laureate in the Blount-Slawson National Young Artist Competition. Philip has also been a recipient of grants and scholarships from the National Chopin Foundation’s Scholarship Fund for Young American Pianists and the Koszciusko Foundation's Fund for Graduate Studies.
Philip currently serves as the Executive Director of the Bronx Conservatory of Music.
Marya Columbia is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the Mannes School of Music. An accomplished violinist and teacher, she was a member of the New York City Opera Orchestra and is currently the principal second violinist of the Opera Saratoga Orchestra.
Our faculty brings the gift of music to the Bronx Community. They have graduated from many renowned institutions, including the Juilliard School, The Manhattan School of Music, The Mannes College for Music, and some of the finest conservatories in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and throughout the world.
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Gvantsa Zangaladze was first introduced to the piano at age seven by her mother. Born in the republic of Georgia, Gvantsa studied at Z. Paliashvili Central Music School of Gifted Children and went on to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Tbilisi State Conservatory in the studio of Svetlana Korsantia. She was one the few Georgian students to win the Presidential Master’s Program 2013 that supported her studies in the United States.
She has earned 1st Prize in the Concerto Competition at Tbilisi State Conservatory, a special grant from the Ministry of Culture for academic excellence, the President M. Saakashvili scholarship, the Alexander Toradze scholarship. She was a finalist at the Washington International Piano Competition in 2014 and participant of HHIPC in 2016. Most recently she was awarded 3rd prize at the Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition.
Gvantsa has been performing with various orchestras from age 9, including Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater Orchestra, Tbilisi State Radio and TV Orchestra and Tbilisi State Conservatory Youth Symphony Orchestra under the batons of R. Takidze, G. Azmaiparashvili and Z. Azmaiparashvili. She participated in the annual Tbilisi Chamber Music Festival with the prize winning cellist Otar Chubinishvili, and master classes throughout Georgia and Europe.
She’s been an active participant of the “Mannes Sounds Festival” at Mannes School of Music, where she received her master’s degree in the studio of Eteri Andjaparidze. Highlights from the past season include solo and chamber performances at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, Tishman Auditorium at the New School, Mannes Concert Hall, Klavierhaus, SubCulture and the American Yacht Club. She recently gave an entire Scriabin recital “Solar Sounds” in collaboration with the Irish Society of America.
Gvantsa is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at Stony Brook University.
David Stone received his Bachelor of Music degree in classical piano performance from New York University in 2008, where he was an Education Trustee Scholarship recipient. In the fall of 2006, he studied piano and chamber music in Prague, Czech Republic. He was a piano performance major at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he was on the Dean's list and a National Merit Scholar Finalist. David has substantial performing experience as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist.
Mariana Ramirez is a native of Mexico City currently based in New York City.
Mariana maintains and active international performing and teaching schedule presenting concerts in New Jersey, New York City, Europe, and Mexico.
Mariana's marimba playing made possible for her to attain the highest musical honors in Mexico City from the National Institute of Arts in Mexico, the Autonomous University of Mexico, the National University of Mexico (UNAM), and the National Conservatory of Music, among others.
During her studies in Mexico, Mariana won the percussion position at the Youth Orchestra Carlos Chavez. In the United States Mariana has won the music scholarship for PASIC given by the Percussive Arts Society and Mason Gross School of Arts scholarship.
Likewise, She won alternate at the Solo Competition at Mason Gross School of Arts in 2013.
Mariana has performed with ensembles such as Orchestra of Americas, Garden State Philharmonic, Orquesta de Mineria in Mexico City, the South Florida Symphony, and the National Symphony of Mexico. Mariana also has played on Broadway at the Jerome Robbins Award Gala, playing for Mr. Hal Prince, Chitta Rivera and Mr. Sondheim.
Mariana is currently freelancing in NYC playing off-Broadway musicals, with orchestras and chamber groups, and teaching at the prestigious Calderon School of Music in Springfield, NJ, as well as the Bronx Conservatory.
Cristian Garcia began his guitar studies at the age of 17 with James Hunley in Los Angeles. After months of intensive study, Cristian was able to gain a place in the studio of Los Angeles Guitar Quartet member John Dearman. During his 3 years of study with John, Cristian was able to win numerous top prizes in competitions across the USA, such as the American Guitar Society Competition, and the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale competition. In 2013 he began his studies with renowned guitarist and composer, David Leisner at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Cristian is currently balancing his engagements across the USA and Europe while teaching at The Bronx Conservatory of Music and the arts high school ICE in New York City.
Puerto Rican soprano Samarie Alicea started her music studies as a child in her elementary school children's choir. She studied flute and also played the bassoon at the Escuela Libre de Música Young Orchestra but her favorite instrument has always been the voice. She participated in several international competitions with her college choir and went to the Conservatory of Music if Puerto Rico as a voice performance major. Ms. Alicea then moved to New York City to pursue her singing career and finish her graduate studies. She recently performed as Susana in Figaro 90210! an Off-Broadway show serving as the contemporary version of W.A. Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro on The Duke on 42nd Street with great success. She also performed as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Long Island Opera. She was a winner of the Puerto Rico District for the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions as well as the Osgood/dell’Arte Opera Ensemble competition in New York City. Last season, Alicea sang in the Opernstar Konzert in Bremen, Germany. With dell’Arte Opera Ensemble she sang Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito by W.A. Mozart. Credits in partial operatic roles include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Elvira in I Puritani, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. She has participated with the International Vocal Arts Institute in New York, Israel and Virginia and with the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy. Alicea received her Master of Music in Voice Performance degree at CUNY-Brooklyn College and her Bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico.
Hungarian-American pianist Julia Hamos has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, notably in Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and throughout Europe. She has worked with artists including Andras Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Ferenc Rados, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Sergei Babayan and members of the Orion and Takacs String Quartets.
Ms. Hamos has given recitals and chamber music performances at the Trasimeno Music Festival in Italy, the Open Chamber Music of the IMS Prussia Cove festival, the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, the Kneisel Hall Festival, the Ravinia Steans Institute (2015) and the Verbier Festival Academy (2016). She was a finalist in the Yamaha Scholarship Competition in 2011 and the winner of the Sterndale Bennett Prize in 2012 at the Royal Academy of Music, given for the best performance of Romantic works. In May 2014, she won the International Virtuoso Competition’s (NYC) Grand Prize and gave a prizewinner concert at Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center. She also won the Mannes College Fidelman Prize in 2015, awarded to the pianist who best interprets contemporary works. She has collaborated with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the New English Ballet Theater, and The New School’s Drama division. In 2017, she will perform in venues including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the United Nations Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London and in recitals throughout Switzerland and Germany. Julia is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Christopher Elton. She is currently studying at the Mannes College of Music with Richard Goode in the Professional Studies program.
Graduate of Bronx Community College and La Guardia High school of the Performing Arts; tutor and assistant in the Department of Music and Art of Bronx Community College; classical performances on bass, cello, and recorder; international recognition for jazz and Latin performances.
Reed Tetzloff made his Lincoln Center debut with the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and his New York solo recital debut at Merkin Hall, both in 2012. He has also performed concerti with the the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, the Mississippi Valley and Minnesota Orchestras, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic; and the Cincinnati, Tbilisi, Queens, and Wayzata Symphonies.
At the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, Reed was one of twelve semifinalists. He has won major prizes at world-wide competitions: American Protege, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, Bradshaw and Buono, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Five Towns Music and Art Foundation, Schimmel, and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition. At Mannes College, he won the two largest awards available to pianists: the Concerto Competition and the Nadia Reisenberg Competition.
In 2014, Reed was awarded the Center for Musical Excellence (CME) International Grant, Birte Moller Young Artists Award. His debut recording, “Sounds of Transcendence”, is funded by CME, released commercially by Romeo Records, and distributed in the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.
Reed performs frequently at New York venues, including Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the consulates of Bulgaria, Germany, and Poland, the Ukrainian Cultural Institute, the Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Historical Society, the Ana Tzarev Gallery, and the Union Club.
He has worked with artists including Eteri Andjapardize, Leif Ove Andsnes, Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, Richard Goode, Lowell Liebermann, and Andre Watts.
Reed earned his Bachelor’s degree at Mannes College, studying with Pavlina Dokovska, with whom he continues toward his Master’s degree on a full scholarship as the recipient of the Guzik Piano Award.