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.

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. 

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.

Mariana Ramirez-Alvarado, Percussion​​ 

From Broadway, Off-Broadway, symphonic orchestras, Mexican traditional music for marimba, to chamber and pop music, Mariana Ramirez has performed in Europe, Asia, Mexico, and the United States.
​Mariana is a NYC based freelance percussionist who began her music studies at the National Conservatory of Mexico in Mexico City. She went to receive her Bachelors of Music in Percussion at Rutgers University. She has performed extensively with symphonic and chamber orchestras in Mexico and United States.
​Mariana is currently the percussionist of American Dance Machine. An Off-Broadway dance show directed by Wayne Cilento, (WICKED, TOMMY), that has been rated by The New York Times as “the best such anthology seen since “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” (1989).
​Mariana also keeps a busy performing schedule with the Percussion Quartet “Excelsis”, which was referred to as “one of the most innovative and exciting percussion ensembles to emerge in the golden age of chamber music that we are presently in” by Jonathan Hass, the head of the New York University Percussion Department.   Excelsis has performed twice at NPR Radio at From the Top show, the Percussive Arts Society New York Weekend Of Percussion in 2014 and 2015, Brooklyn Bound with So Percussion, Zeltsman’s Marimba Festival, Tippet Rise Music Festival in Montana, and most recently presented a Master Class at Salem University in Massachusetts. Excelsis is endorsed by Sabian Cymbals. 

As a symphonic percussionist, Mariana has performed with orchestras in Mexico and the United States, such as the National Symphony of Mexico, Orquesta de Minería, Dartmouth Symphony, South Florida Symphony, the first all-Women Orchestra of Mexico, New England Ensemble, Fairfield Orchestra, and most recently with The Dessoff Choir, premiering works for Choir and Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. 
​As a chamber percussionist she has collaborated with many ensembles such as, The Pit Stop Players, Orquesta de Camara de Nueva York, and most recently Mariana collaborated with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, recording a Concerto for Bandoneon and Violin by JP Jofre.
​Mariana is also passionate about music education, as she states, “It is an effective way to share and learn traditions from my Mexican culture and other cultures. Nowadays it’s more important than ever to know and respect other cultures”. .As an educator  Mariana is currently a Teaching Artist at S'cool Sounds founded by Nina Stern, Music Partners by The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Percussion Faculty at The Bronx Conservatory of Music, and also faculty of the Extension Division at Montclair University.
Some of her awards in Mexico include scholarships for solo performers from the National Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan University, and the National University, among others.
During her studies in Mexico, Mariana won the percussion position at the Youth Orchestra Carlos Chavez. 
In the United States she was awarded the Percussive Arts Society Thomas Siwe Scholarship. Likewise, she was awarded the Mason Gross School of Arts and Rutgers University Fellowship for Mexican studies. She was also finalist at the solo competition at Rutgers University in 2013. 

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.

Marya Columbia, Violin

Native New Yorker, Marya Columbia, is an accomplished violinist and pedagogue who has deep roots to her local community in the Bronx and Yonkers, as well as New York City. Marya Columbia began studying the violin at the Ruso School of Music, a small community music school in New York. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and her graduate studies at the Mannes School of Music. Ms. Columbia was a member of the New York City Opera Orchestra and is currently the principal second violinist of the Opera Saratoga Orchestra. 

Meet Our Faculty

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.

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.

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. 

Morgan Lee, Piano

Morgan Lee began studying piano at age 4 with Joyce Newton of Greenwich, Connecticut and later studied with Andrew Gordon, pianist for the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra.  In 2014, she graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with her Bachelor of Arts in Music, where she studied privately with Linda Jiorle-Nagy. In 2016, she graduated from Mannes College of Music with her Master of Music in piano performance, where she studied with Yuri Kim. She has participated in various music festivals in the US and abroad, including the Mannes Beethoven Institute, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, the International Academy of Music, the Puigcerdà Music Festival, Brevard Music Institute, and Eastern Music Festival, where she was awarded Second Prize in their Young Artists’ Piano Competition. She has performed recitals in New York City, Italy, Spain, France, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Morgan has experience teaching students of all ages, having taught at the college level as a Brown University teaching assistant and Mannes Teaching Fellow, as well as at the introductory level as an instructor in the Mannes First Theory Program. 

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. 

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.

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

Daniel Le, Piano

Described by the Australian National Piano Award as a “deeply thoughtful, intelligent and considered artist who always brings stylistic flair, sensitivity and integrity”, New York based pianist Daniel Le has enjoyed an international performances in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.

Daniel was the 2nd prize winner of the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition 2015, where he won the Audience Choice Prize as well as the Best Performance of a Classical Sonata. Other successes include 2nd Place in the 2014 Australian National Piano Award, including prizes for the Best Performance of works by Chopin and Bach.   He has made appearances in prestigious international  competitions such as Sydney, Hilton Head and Vercelli.

Daniel started to play the piano at the 3, and at the age of 11 was awarded a music scholarship to the Melbourne Grammar School. He then attended the Australian National Academy of Music Young Academy Program. He gave live radio performances at the age of 14 on 3MBS and ABC.

He has enjoyed playing concertos, and in Australia, he made his debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 2015, performing Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”, followed by two consecutive seasons performing works by Gershwin and Chopin.

As a collaborative pianist, Daniel has won numerous competitions in Australia and North America, including recently the Fuchs Chamber Music Competition. Daniel will be featured as a fellow in the 2017 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut working with renowned musicians, including members of the Emerson and Brentano String Quartets.

He has worked with artists such as Ann Schein, Bernd Goetzke, Christopher Elton, Christian Blackshaw, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Jan Jiracek von Arnim, Mikhail Rudy, Martin Roscoe and Melvyn Tan. His former teachers Thomas Hecht, Rita Reichman, Stephen McIntyre and Erik Tawaststjerna.

Currently he is the recipient of the Ruby Fae Ellenger Overstreet scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Van Cliburn laureate Andre-Michel Schub.

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.

(718) 841-7415

PO Box 622460, Bronx, NY 10462 US

Elizabeth T. Hoard, Founder