Elizabeth T. Hoard, Founder

Miya Saito-Beckman, Violin

Miya Saito-Beckman graduated this past June earning a Master of Music in violin performance and pedagogy at the University of Oregon, having also earned her B.M. in violin performance summa cum laude from the UO in spring 2017. She studied and performed abroad in Vienna, Austria with her professor Fritz Gearhart during the fall of 2015. Ms. Saito-Beckman has been a featured soloist with the Sunriver Music Festival Orchestra and was a two-time soloist with the Central Oregon Symphony. She has taken master classes with violinists James Ehnes, Rachel Barton Pine, and Georg Hamann. An avid chamber musician, Miya has studied with both the Arianna String Quartet and the Calder String Quartet.

In addition to her classical interests and accomplishments, Ms. Saito-Beckman is also deeply involved in alternative strings music. She was accepted to study with members of YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble at the Global Musicians Workshop at Depauw University. She has also been the recipient of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame Scholarship in 2013, and the 2009 winner of the ASTA (American String Teacher Association) Alternative Strings Award— she was invited to perform at the National String Conference in Atlanta, GA. A four-time finalist at the National Fiddling Championship, Ms. Saito-Beckman is also the four-time Oregon State Fiddle Grand Champion.

 As a graduate student at the University of Oregon, Ms. Saito-Beckman was awarded the TA position of the University of Oregon’s Suzuki Institute. She taught private lessons, fiddle classes, theory classes, group classes, and coached chamber ensembles weekly. A number of her students have been national champions at the National Fiddle Competition. She has taught on the faculty at the Chamber Music Camp of Portland, The University of Oregon Symphony Camp, the Fiddlestar Youth Camp, and the Northwest Suzuki Institute. 

Olga Radovic, Piano

A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Olga Radović began studying the piano at the age of seven. She had her debut with an orchestra in the hall of Belgrade Philharmonic at the age of twelve and her first solo recital at the age of fourteen.

Olga has played in all the most important venues in Belgrade and region, had an opportunity to play in Germany, Slovenia, Norway, Slovakia, China and USA. She performed in venues like Kolarac Hall, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade, Rekstensamlingene and Kabuso Art center in Norway; Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts, Hartford Public Library, Studley Theatre in the US.  Olga has participated in multiple festivals, most notably Tel Hai Piano Festival in Israel, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy in China, Jiri Hlinka Piano Academy in Norway, Sommermuik in Nagold, Germany. She has participated in masterclasses with eminent pedagogues and pianists Pavlina Dokovska, Alexander Korsantia, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Simon Trpceski, Marianna Shirinyan, Lisa Smirnova. She also had a chance to work closely with living composers like Richard Danielpour and Frederic Rzewski.At the very young age of 19 she got the first teaching position at Elementary Music School in Belgrade. Since that point pedagogical career has been a very significant part of her musical path. She has experienced herself in teaching students of all levels and ages. Olga holds the bachelor’s degree from Belgrade, where she studied with Professor Vladimir Milosevic. She moved to USA to continue her studies with Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Connecticut, where she studied with Angelina Gadeliya and received a Teaching Assistantship position. Olga is about to continue her academic path at Mannes School of Music, under the guidance of Pavlina Dokovska and Vladimir Valjarevic for Professional Studies Diploma.

World Class Teachers

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.

Katherine Dennis, Violin

The eclectic landscape of the chamber music repertoire forms the ideal musical playground for Jamaican-American violinist, Katherine Dennis. Already in her young career, she has been a frequent guest at North Carolina’s famed Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival; where she has performed alongside such renowned artists as Elina Vähälä, Ittai Shapira, Hagai Shaham, Hye-Jin Kim, Melissa Reardon, and Emanuel Gruber. Additionally, she has participated in a bevy of international music festivals; such as the Holter Ensemble Music Festival, Domaine Forget, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, High Peaks Music Festival, Beethoven Institute and Madeline Island Music Camp. Her groups have performed in master classes for the Arianna String Quartet, the Fry String Quartet, and the Jupiter String Quartet.

In addition to her love of standard violin repertoire, Katherine has immersed herself in the world of new music. She has given premiere performances for many composers, including Matthew Lyon, Scott Rubin, and Faustino Solis. This love of contemporary music is largely inspired by her close relationship with composer Rafael Valle, whose “Bereceuse” is dedicated to her. Venturing beyond even the classical universe, Katherine collaborates frequently with her friends in the pop and jazz worlds and often performs with New York neo-folk quintet Ransom Pier. 

Dennis has not only distinguished herself as a performer, but also as a teacher. During her undergraduate career, she received two years of intensive Suzuki teacher training and maintains her registration for all 10 Suzuki Books.

Katherine holds a bachelor’s degree from the Fletcher School of Music at East Carolina University, where she studied with Ara Gregorian, and a master's from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music under the tutelage of Axel Strauss. Other teachers throughout Katherine’s career have included Jennifer Koh, Yeohanotan Berick, Rodney Friend, Regis Pasquier, Soovin Kim, Yuri Kim, Julian Martin, Kathryn Lucktenberg, Felicia Moye, Lucy Robert, John McGrosso, Ken Goldsmith, and David Gillham

Rieko Tsuchida, Piano

Since making her Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 as first prize winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, pianist Rieko Tsuchida has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Ms. Tsuchida made her professional concerto debut in 2011, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the California Symphony. That year she was also one of eight pianists invited to the prestigious Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland. In May 2013 she made her solo recital debut at The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. She has also performed with the Ashdod Symphonic Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the California Youth Symphony, and the San Domenico Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Ms. Tsuchida has collaborated with renowned artists such as Tessa Lark, Itamar Zorman, and Michael Kannen, among others.

This season she will perform in concerts as a member of the New Juilliard Ensemble, which performs and premieres works by contemporary composers. She also performed as a soloist in December as part of The Juilliard School’s PianoScope Festival. In March 2016 she was invited to perform for the Consul General of Japan Reiichiro Takahashi in New York City. As a result of her successful performance, she received the SONY USA Foundation Career Grant in November 2016 and her performance at the Awards Gala was aired on WQXR radio.

Ms. Tsuchida has won numerous awards, such as the 2012 Avanti Award, a generous grant awarded to artists of any age pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts. She was also named a fellow of the YoungArts 2012 program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, which granted her the opportunity to perform at the New World Center in Miami. Other notable prizes include third prize in the 2012 International Institute for Young Musicians’ International Piano Competition and first prizes in the 2011 San Francisco Young Pianists’ Competition, 2009 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, 2009 Ross McKee Competition and the 2008 KDFC Classical Star Search, for which Lang Lang was a guest judge. In 2003 Rieko was the youngest prizewinner in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia.

Although born in Japan, she received most of her early musical training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division, studying with John McCarthy. In San Francisco she has appeared in a joint program alongside opera stars Placido Domingo at the San Francisco Museum of the Modern Art and alongside Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Frederica Von Stade at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s “Annual Gala.” Additionally she performed to a capacity audience at Herbst Theatre as a soloist on the NPR show “From the Top.”  Ms. Tsuchida earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Boris Slutsky. She recently graduated from The Juilliard School with her Master of Music Degree in the studios of Dr. Matti Raekallio and Joseph Kalichstein.


John Robinson, Cello

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.

Philip Kwoka, Piano

Polish-American pianist Philip Kwoka began his music studies with Svetlana Gorokhovich at the Music Institute of Long-Island (Manhasset, NY). In 2000, Philip started studying piano with Roberta Rust and Phillip Evans at the Lynn University Preparatory of Music in Boca Raton, FL. 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, Pavel Nercessian, 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.  

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 orchestral 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 prize-winner in many competitions including the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition (Honorable Mention), the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition (First Prize), the Tampa Bay Symphony Young Artist Competition (First Prize) and the Bluthner Junior Piano competition (First Prize). 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.

Meet Our Faculty

Samarie Alicea, Voice

Puerto Rican soprano Samarie Alicea has been praised by The New York Times for her “bright-voiced and endearing soprano”.  Samarie made her New York City Opera role debut as Aire in Literes’ Spanish Baroque opera Los Elementos.  Last season she performed as ‘la Statue’ in NYCO’s production of Rameau’s Pygmalion and as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Heartbeat Opera.  Samarie performed as Frasquita in Carmen in the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in NJ and as Clorinda in La cenerentola with NYCO’s Park Series at Bryant Park.  

Also seen Off-Broadway as Susana in Figaro 90210!, Vid Guerrerio's updated version of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro.  Samarie performed as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Long Island Opera and as Servilia in La clemenza di Tito with dell´Arte Opera Ensemble.  She was a winner of the Puerto Rico District Metropolitan Opera National Auditions.  She has participated with the International Vocal Arts Institute in New York, Virginia, and Tel Aviv, Israel and with the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiary, Italy.  

Samarie received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the City University of New York at Brooklyn College and her Bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico.

Mayumi Tsuchida, Piano

​Mayumi Tsuchida has appeared in some of the most notable concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Vienna Konzerthaus, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Slovak Radio Concert Hall and Berlin Konzerthaus. As part of new music ensemble, Contemporaneous, Mayumi can be heard on their album “Stream of Stars—Music of Dylan Mattingly” released by Innova Records. She can also be heard on the album 'Romance' with violinist Jiazhi Wang, which was released by Skillman Music. Mayumi has performed at the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland, the International Holland Music Sessions, the Euro Music Festival in Germany, the Yellowbarn Music Festival, the Heifetz International Music Institute and at the Music@Menlo Festival in California. Mayumi holds two Bachelors degrees from Bard College and a Masters of Music degree from Mannes School of Music. Her former teachers include John McCarthy, Matti Raekallio, Peter Serkin and Pavlina Dokovska. 

Andrew Mines, Guitar

American guitarist Andrew Mines began studying classical guitar as a senior in high school. He received a scholarship to the Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. During his time in Georgia, he won the Georgia Music Educators Association Guitar competition three years in a row. He also received the Director's Excellence Award 3 years in a row and graduated with academic honors and has performed in master classes with internationally acclaimed artists and Grammy winning artists. Andrew made his orchestral debut with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra. 
After graduating, Andrew was part of the inaugural Guitar Program at the Eastern Music Festival. He won the college division of the EMF Guitar Competition.
 
Andrew is completing his Masters of Music degree on scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music with David Leisner. While still a student, he performed on guitar in the Off-Broadway musical Lonesome Travel, performing alongside Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary. 

Julie Lee, Piano

Pianist JooHyun Julie Lee is currently pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Horacio Gutierrez. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Music in piano performance at the Juilliard School where she studied with Robert McDonald. She continued her studies at Cleveland Institute of Music with Haesun Paik, where she received an Artist Diploma.


Ms. Lee was a teaching fellow at the Manhattan School of Music, where she teaches group piano classes and private students. She was a piano teaching assistant at Interlochen Arts Camp, working with students of all precollege ages and levels.

 As a performing artist, Ms. Lee was presented in Kumho Young Artist Concert Series in Korea. She also appeared on the NPR radio show From The Top, as a member of the J Cubed Trio. 

Joseph Douglass, Guitar

American guitarist Joseph Douglass began his early formal studies at the Juilliard Pre-College. From there he has gone on to finish a Bachelors of Music at the Manhattan School of Music while working with the esteemed pedagogue, David Leisner. With a focus on body health, Joseph’s teaching reflects the deep need for mindfulness in guitar performance. With extensive experience teaching all ages, he provides a varifocal approach to learning the guitar that adapts to any student. As a performer, Joseph has played in masterclasses for numerous award winning artists like Marcin Dylla, Oscar Ghillia, and Sharon Isbin. Currently, he collaborates with Lauren Scanio in the newly founded “The Third Rail Flute and Guitar Duo." Together, they perform all over New York City playing music ranging in style from Dowland to Satie. Joseph has been a recipient of the Joseph M. Smith Scholarship for Musical and Academic excellence for the past 5 years, and is currently pursuing his Masters of Music graduate degree with David Starobin at the Manhattan School of Music. 

Santiago Lomelin, Piano

Mexican pianist Santiago Lomelin began his studies at the age of seven with Carolina Garcia.  In 2014 he graduated with Academic honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Victor Rosenbaum.  He is currently studying a Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes The New School for Music, where he also obtained his Masters Degree under the guidance of Pavlina Dokovska.  As a soloist, Santiago has been invited to play by every major orchestra in Mexico and has strong ties to the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the ensemble Dulce de Trio, Santiago won a prestigious grant involving community outreach and performances all around the city of Boston culminating with a concert at Jordan Hall.  Santiago is a prize winner of several competitions including the Horowitz Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine, and the Parnassos in Monterrey, Mexico. Santiago is excited to share everything he has learned with his students.

Liana Guberman, Voice

Soprano Liana Guberman, a native New Yorker, is a Resident Artist with Bare Opera, a NYC based opera company, and sang in their 2015-2019 productions. Roles included: Rosina and La Contessa in Mozart/Rossini's Figaro x Figaro, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Fannì in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio. Liana spent two seasons with Palm Beach Opera between 2014 and 2016. As a PBO Benenson Young Artist, she performed Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Hannah in the world premiere of Ben Moore’s Enemies, A Love Story, and Rosario in Granados’ Goyescas. Other roles include: Lia in Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue with Bare Opera, Mimì in La Bohème with LoftOpera, Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro with LoftOpera, Parasha in Stravinsky’s Mavra with Mannes Opera and as a cover for Juilliard’s MET/Lindemann Program, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Mannes Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Purchase Opera, and Tirésias in Les Mamelles de Tirésias with Purchase Opera. In 2014, Liana was a Fellow at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA where she sang the soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the MAW Faculty orchestra conducted by James Gaffigan, and covered Micaëla in Carmen.

A winner of several major vocal competitions, Liana won a scholarship from the 2018 Bel Canto Vocal Foundation, Second Prize in the 2018 Southold Opera Competition at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, and a grant from the 2018 Grand Stage International Lieder Competition. Liana was the Fourth Prize winner in the 2017 Florida Grand Opera/Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition. In addition to her compeition success, Liana won several grants, both in Lieder and Opera, from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Licia Puccini-Albanese, and Giulio Gari Foundations. Liana was a winner of the 2014 St. Louis district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. 

Liana attended the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria, where she studied the poetry and performance of Lieder. This experience made her passionate about singing in German and performing Lieder in concert.

PO Box 622460, Bronx, NY 10462 US

(718) 841-7415

Sara Salomon, Violin

Sara Salomon is a french violinist who received a master's degree in violin pedagogy in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she studied with Professor Gyula Stuller. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Music and Musicologie from the Sorbonne University in Paris. She is now pursuing her studies with Professor Lucie Robert at the Mannes School of Music in New York. She has played in several festivals, including the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra and the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Orchestra. She played under the baton of great conductors such as Jaap van Zweden and Alan Gilbert. She participated in masterclasses with renowned violinists including Itzhak Rashkovsky, Hu Kun, Pierre Amoyal, Pavel Vernikov, Sergiu Schwartz, among others. A passionate chamber musician, Sara has had the chance to perform in both chamber music ensembles and orchestras all over Europe, in Singapore and in New York. Sara taught violin, piano and solfege for five years in Lausanne, Switzerland giving private lessons, being a substitute teacher and coaching youth orchestra at the Lausanne conservatory. ​
Sara receives support from the Francis & Marie France Minkoff foundation.