Elizabeth T. Hoard, Founder

PO Box 622460, Bronx, NY 10462 US

(718) 841-7415

Samarie Alicea, Voice

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. 

Liana Guberman, Voice

Soprano Liana Guberman, a native New Yorker, is a Resident Artist with Bare Opera, a NYC based opera company. In December 2017, Liana will sing Rosina/Contessa in their production of Figaro/Figaro, featuring a shortened double-bill of Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) and Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart). Liana recently sang in Bare Opera’s 2016-2017 season: Erste Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Fannì in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio. In 2014-2016, Liana spent two seasons with Palm Beach Opera.

As a Benenson Young Artist, she performed Echo in Strauss’ 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, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Purchase Opera, Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro with LoftOpera, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Mannes Opera. In 2014, Liana was a Fellow at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California where she sang the soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony and covered Micaëla in Carmen. 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 performing Lieder in concert.

A winner of several major vocal competitions, Liana won the 2014 St. Louis district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and grants from both the 2015 Lieder/Song and Opera General Divisions of the Gerda Lissner Foundation, was a finalist in the 2016 Jensen Foundation Competition, a grant winner of the 2017 Opera General Division of the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and the Fourth Prize winner in Florida Grand Opera/Young Patronesses of the Opera 2017 Vocal Competition. In May 2017, Liana was the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Flint Symphony Orchestra. Liana is a graduate of Mannes the New School of Music (Professional Studies, 2013), Purchase College Conservatory (M.M., 2011), and Boston University (2009).

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. 

Robin Giesbrecht, Piano

Praised for his “stunning bravura and seemingly unlimited virtuosity” (Epoch Times) and “nimbleness at the keys” (Cologne-City News), pianist Robin Giesbrecht has been celebrated internationally with a career reaching mature artistry. Since winning the International Grotrian-Steinweg Competition at age seven and the NDR Arts Prize subsequently, Mr. Giesbrecht has enjoyed performances with in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras throughout Europe, North America and Asia, including debuts with the NDR Radio Philharmonic and the Southwest German Philharmonic.

Robin Giesbrecht’s recital performances include critically-acclaimed debuts at the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weil Recital Hall, and in 2015, he gave a performance of his own piano concerto at Lincoln Center. His chamber music collaborations include performances with the famed Szymanowski Quartet. He has performed at music festivals such as the Music Academy of the West, Oxford Philharmonic Piano Festival, Piano Texas, Menuhin Festival in Gstaad and Sommerakademie Mozarteum Salzburg.
An internationally renowned pianist from a young age as a prizewinner at the Rotary International Competition in Essen and National Junior Competition of Germany, Mr. Giesbrecht became a student of famed pedagogue Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the age of 8. In 2006, the Austrian TV channel ORF filmed in honor of Mozart’s anniversary a movie in which Mr. Giesbrecht, dressed as Mozart, performed on Mozart’s original pianoforte in Salzburg, an event that was broadcasted worldwide. In 2008, the German TV channel WDR made a documentary about the life of the young pianist.

Robin Giesbrecht was awarded the Vladimir Horowitz scholarship at the Juilliard School as a student of Jerome Lowenthal and Joseph Kalichstein, where he received his undergraduate degree. He is currently a student at the Yale School of Music, where he studies with Peter Frankl.

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

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.

Phillip Kwoka, Piano

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, Violin

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. 

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.

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.

Federico Diaz, Guitar

Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Federico Díaz is an up and coming versatile musician of the new generation of guitarists with a multifaceted career as a performing artist, arranger and composer in the Classical and Argentinian music worlds. His performances have taken him to distinguished festivals and concert halls across the US, Europe and Latin America. He has appeared as a soloist with the National University of Cuyo Symphony Orchestra, the Mozarteum University Chamber Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Orchestra (Sopot), and the Sinfonieorchester Magdeburg. His passion for chamber music lead him to collaborate with musicians such as Lionel Cottet, Philippe Quint, Jeremías Serigiani, Ada Meinich, Nora Buschmann, Emilio Argento, Bruno Cavallaro, Matías González, Pablo Woiz,  Juan Emilio Cucchiarelli, and a variety of string ensembles. Celebrated for expanding the guitar repertoire, Federico has premiered works written for him by composers such as Juan Falú, Bruno Cavallaro, Miguel Bareilles, Agustín Castilla Ávila, among,others. The label Epsa Music released in 2014 the album “Perspectiva 204” of the duo  DiaZ\WoiZ.  In 2013, he did the premiere recording of “Divertimento on Austrian Folk Songs” by Bernhard Romberg with Lionel Cottet, for Sony Classical. Federico studied at world known institutions such as National University of Cuyo, the University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, and Manhattan School of Music. His former teachers include Cristina Cuitiño, Eliot Fisk, Ricardo Gallén and Davd Starobin. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center under the guidance of Frederic Hand.

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

Reed Tetzloff, Piano

​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.

Brenda Vincent, Violin

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.