Summer Piano Academy (Advanced)

Summer Piano Academy (Advanced)

Ages 12-18


Our Summer Advanced Piano Academy is an exciting program for advanced piano students. During this week of intensive musical study in an inspiring environment, participants will receive private lessons throughout the week, masterclasses, lectures on music history, theory, practice techniques, performance practice, and other topics. At the conclusion of the week, there will be a final public performance at the De Laski performing arts space.

NOTE: Advanced younger students will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please select that you are requesting an age exception for the camp on the application. Email for more information.

Younger students ages 7-12 may join our Piano Academy.

Students will receive:

Schedule (Tentative)

 Schedule subject to change.
9:00 AMOrientation
9:30 AMPractice
10:15 AMLesson
11:00 AMHistory: Classical Period
11:30 AMHistory: The Baroque
12:00 PMLunch
12:45 PMPractice
1:30 PMPractice
2:15 PMMasterclass (Dr. Linda Monson)

Ages: 12-18

Dates: August 7 – 11, 2023
9:00 am – 4:00 pm 

Tuition: $595

Location: Mason Fairfax Campus, Harris Theater


An application and successful video audition are required to participate in this program. Please complete the below online application form and follow audition video submission instructions. See Audition Material below:

Early Application Deadline is April 7th, with Decisions by April 14th. Regular Application Deadline is May 5th, with Decisions by May 12th. Applications submitted after May 5th will be considered as space permits.

Covid Safety Information

Program Faculty

Dr. Michelle Richardson
Piano Teaching Artist

Dr. Michelle Richardson recently graduated with her Doctoral of Music in Piano Performance from George Mason University in 2022. Her research of the history and performance practice of piano intermezzos is the first published study of this title as a genre in piano music. Highlights of her solo and chamber performances include her solo debut with the George Mason Symphony Orchestra playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, chamber recitals at the Lyceum in Alexandria, the “Music with the Angels” Concert series at the Church of the Holy City, Fairfax County “Spotlight on the Arts” festival, as well as at George Mason’s All-Steinway Concerts and ARTS By George series. In the summer of 2010, Michelle was invited to attend the Orfeo International Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. There, she was featured on multiple programs as a soloist and was a finalist in the Orfeo International Music Competition. In May of 2013 and 2016, Michelle was a featured in the GMU School of Music Honors Recital. In August of 2015 she was on faculty at the Corcoran Chamber Music Institute (formerly known as the Summer Piano and Chamber Music Institute at George Washington University). She has served as a graduate lecturer at George Mason University, teaching keyboard classes throughout from 2015-2018. In August of 2016-2022 she codirected the Summer Piano Academy Program, a Mason Community Arts Academy summer camp for piano students of various levels that takes place in the School of Music at Mason.

piano lessons fairfax va

Masha Feygelson
Academy Teaching Artist

Masha Feygelson began her musical studies in Moscow and has extensive experience working with children, both as an instructor in a classroom setting and as a private music teacher. Since joining the MCAA faculty in 2013, Ms. Feygelson has built a flourishing studio of young pianists whose levels range from beginner to advanced.

Ms. Feygelson has performed as a piano soloist and chamber musician both in the United States and abroad. She has received accolades in competitions including the Duquesne National Young Artist Competition in Pittsburgh, the American Fine Arts Festival in New York City, and the Orfeo International Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. She has also performed in the ARTS! by George series at GMU and the GMU School of Music Honors Recital.

Ms. Feygelson attended Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., and Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, studying piano with notable teachers Anna Ouspenskaya, Dr. Michael Coonrod, and Ya-Ting Chang. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance from George Mason University, where she studied with Dr. Anna Balakerskaia. Ms. Feygelson also began her foray into vocal study in the George Mason jazz program with Dr. Darden Purcell, and has also studied with operatic soprano Fabiana Bravo and holistic vocal coach Tiffaney Moore Borgelin.

In addition to teaching and performing, Ms. Feygelson also works as an accompanist, church pianist, and vocalist in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Luke Ratcliffe

Acclaimed pianist and composer Luke Ratcliffe has appeared as a soloist nationally and internationally, giving diverse solo recitals and performing as a frequent chamber musician in
concert series across the United States. A Virginia native, he began his musical studies at
thirteen when he discovered his great love for music. After high school, Luke attended The
Juilliard School in New York City. During his time in New York he was a Fellow in the Gluck
Foundation, an association which seeks to integrate the arts into the web of social life, giving
benefit concerts and raising money for hospitals, schools, and city programs. He has played in
Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Strathmore Hall, The Banff
Music Center in Calgary, among others. Recently, Steinway & Sons invited Luke to play a concert at
the Omni Shoreham Hotel, after which the new Spirio piano was revealed.

Additionally, Luke is a National YoungArts Alumnus, a foundation which seeks to identify and
nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts,
and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. He has
taken part and won prizes in a variety of national and international competitions and is also a
past guest artist of the Franz Liszt Society.
He continued his education, earning his masters degree from George Mason University, where he
notably gave lecture recitals on wide-ranging topics as well as concerto performances after winning the university’s competition.

Recently, he was invited to play as concerto soloist with the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra under the
baton of Maestro Daniel Meyer during the Lakeside Summer Festival in August of 2022.
Luke is currently a doctoral student at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Judson Artist in
Residence and is studying with Antonio Pompa-Baldi.

As a composer, Luke began writing music at Juilliard, and in the 2017 season, he was commissioned to score Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning playwright Arthur Kopit’s play “Chamber Music”, which premiered in Brooklyn as an off-Broadway show through the Fall of 2017. Luke regularly works with other composers and gives premieres of new music.

An avid teacher, Luke has always enjoyed teaching and maintained the pedagogical methods passed
down to him from his teachers. He has been on the piano faculty for the Moon School of Music and George Mason University’s Arts Academy. Additionally, he has adjudicated youth piano competitions and given masterclasses for various students.

Dr. Misha Tumanov
Academy Teaching Artist

Born in Ukraine, Misha Tumanov started his musical education in Costa Rica at the Instituto Superior de Artes and the Pre-College Program of the National University studying with Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovsky. After Mr. Tumanov graduated with honors from the National University at age seventeen, he continued his studies with Dr. Ray Kilburn at Ball State University, receiving a Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma in piano performance. Currently, Mr. Tumanov is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Maryland, under Dr. Larissa Dedova, where he is recording works of the early Soviet Avant-garde, including Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, Feinberg, and Roslavets.

Mr. Tumanov has taught in the DC area since 2010. Previously, he taught at the National University of Costa Rica, the Instituto Superior de Artes, and Ball State (both private lessons and group classes). Mr. Tumanov has also taught group classes at George Mason University and the University of Maryland. He has been often invited back to Costa Rica to work with students preparing for competitions and major performances, most notably the International Competition of Slav Music 2009 and 2010, where the students received two Second Prizes and one Third Prize. Mr. Tumanov’s students have performed at the Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, as well as prominent local venues.

Mr. Tumanov’s experience as a teacher ranges from 4-year-old beginners to advanced adults. Mr. Tumanov is passionate about guiding his students to find their own artistic voice and discovering the joy of music.

Mr. Tumanov has participated in masterclasses with such distinguished pianists and teachers as Gyorgy Sandor, Alexander Braginsky, Alexander Kobrin, Jerome Rose, and Jonathan Biss. In 2006 he released a CD featuring works by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, and Rachmaninov.

Mr. Tumanov is a frequent performer at festivals and conferences, both as a solo and collaborative pianist, including the International Double Reed Society conference, MTNA, Piano Technicians Guild, and Orfeo Music Festival in Italy. He has been a featured soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the National and Youth Symphony Orchestras of Costa Rica, as well as the Ball State Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tumanov has won numerous awards and competitions, including second place at the East-Central Division of the MTNA National Competition, the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, and 1st Prize at the Pinault International Competition in New York.

In addition, Mr. Tumanov is the pianist/organist and Concert Series Coordinator at the United Christian Parish in Reston, VA.

Kristina B. Ratcliffe

Kristina B. Ratcliffe is a recent undergraduate from George Mason University, where she studied under the mentorship of Dr.Anna Balakerskaia. From a young age, Kristina flourished as a soloist in India, studying under Svetlana Radashkevich,
with whose guidance she received her erformance diploma in 2018 before coming to the United States for higher education. In addition to her time as a performer, Kristina always had a natural inclination towards mentoring other young
musicians which led to the opening of her private studio for all ages and nations in 2018, teaching in-person and online.

Kristina’s most impactful performances have been given nationally and internationally. In India, she was a regular guest artist for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Concerts in New Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai. She and her mother created a non-profit organization in 2014 called The Russian House Foundation, for which Kristina gave benefit concerts to fundraise money, and feed, provide clothing and educate economically deprived children living in slums. More recently, the Foundation has been able to expand and build a school. This outreach program has been a large and significant part of Kristina’s life and is something which has helped to shape her philosophy in life and as a musician.

Since beginning her studies at George Mason University, Kristina has been a featured soloist in the school’s Honors Recital, Arts by George, and the annual Grand Piano Celebration. She has also participated in recitals through the Friends of Music Series, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Of particular note is Kristina’s debut with the George Mason Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dennis Layendecker, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.2.

From her Sophomore year at college, Kristina has taught instrumental accompaniment classes at George Mason University as Dr. Balakerskaia’s assistant, and continues to do so. During the COVID lockdown, Kristina joined Mason Arts Academy and worked online as a piano teacher for students both in the US and abroad. Her private students have received distinctions and merits in the ABRSM exams for performance and music theory.

Guest Artists

Dr. Linda Monson
Dewberry School of Music and Keyboard Studies Director
Distinguished Service Professor
Steinway Artist

Dr. Linda Apple Monson, International Steinway Artist, serves as the Director of the School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University. A Distinguished Service Professor, Monson was awarded The John Toups Presidential Medal for Excellence in Teaching at George Mason University’s 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony. The Toups Presidential Medal is presented to “a faculty member whose teaching exemplifies Mason’s commitment to ongoing innovation and excellence in delivering a transformative learning experience to our students.”

Named the George Mason University Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year (2012), Monson also received the Influential Women of Virginia award (2014). Monson delivered two TED-X talks and received the Toastmaster’s International Communication and Leadership Award (2014)“in recognition of outstanding dedication, leadership, and contributions in the areas of education and international understanding.” Monson is the recipient of the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award (2009) “for exemplary dedication to student learning and commitment to educational excellence.” In honor of the extraordinary impact of Monson’s teaching and music leadership at George Mason University, multiple donors established in 2011 the Dr. Linda Apple Monson Music Endowment Fund. A professor at Mason since 1999, Monson has also served as Director of Music at Springfield United Methodist Church for many years.

A recent $1 million scholarship commitment from Sid and Reva Dewberry to Mason’s School of Music established the Linda Apple Monson Scholars Fund to support talented artist-scholars. Monson was recognized in September 2017 through the renaming of the Grand Tier III of Mason’s Center for the Arts in her honor to the Dr. Linda Apple Monson Grand Tier.

A nationally recognized arts leader, Monson was elected to the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) Commission on Accreditation, the board granting accreditation for music programs at universities and conservatories across the nation. She was selected for the Fulbright Senior Specialist Roster, in collaboration with the U.S. State Department and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Monson served as an International Juror of the Washington Piano Invitational Competition (2013) at the Kennedy Center and was named a Visiting Guest Professor at Nanjing Normal University, China (2010).

An active performer-scholar and an internationally recognized master teacher, Monson has given lecture-recitals, solo piano recitals, and piano master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. An advocate of new music, Monson has presented numerous world premieres of solo piano works. Her research has been featured in lecture-recitals at the College Music Society International Conferences in Brussels, Sydney, Stockholm, Helsinki, Buenos Aires, Dubrovnik, Bangkok, Madrid, and San Jose. Monson has also given lecture-recitals and piano masterclasses internationally in Seoul, Oxford, Dublin, Nanjing, Kuala Lumpur, San Jose, and San Juan. Monson delivered an interdisciplinary lecture-recital at the Oxford Round Table in England and was a featured lecture-recitalist for the Alban Berg International Festival in Hannover, Germany. She was an invited concert artist, lecturer, and piano master class clinician at Nanjing Normal University, China where she has been appointed a visiting guest professor. Monson has presented her research and delivered lecture-recitals at National Conferences of the College Music Society held in Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Miami. In addition, Monson has also presented solo piano recitals and piano master classes at countless universities throughout the United States and abroad.

Monson served as President of Mason’s chapter of Phi Beta Delta, a national honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement and excellence in international education. She also served five terms as a Faculty Senator at George Mason University and was elected by the university faculty to serve on the Mason Presidential Search Committee (2011-12). Additionally, she served on the University Provost Review Committee (2018). Serving on the Friends of Music at Mason Board and the Faculty Arts Club, Monson is also a presenter for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of George Mason University. In addition, Monson is a frequent performer at Mason as a solo and collaborative piano artist.

An active adjudicator in piano competitions and festivals, Monson served as a juror for the 2019 International Young Artist Piano Competition. Additionally she served as a juror for the 2018 Concerto Competition for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and the 2016 National Symphony Orchestra piano concerto auditions for young artists. She also presented a piano master for the 2016 –17 International Piano Competition (I Institute–Beijing). Monson also served as an American Juror for the 2009 Washington International Piano Competition. She was invited as a panelist and concert commentator for the Virginia Chamber Orchestra satellite broadcasts, Music of the Romantic Era and Music by Modern Masters, which were sent to all community colleges in the United States.

A native of central Pennsylvania, Monson earned three degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore: the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance, the Master of Music degree in Piano, and the Bachelor of Music Education Degree with a double-major in Piano and Bassoon. She also received a Diploma in Piano from Musica en Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In addition, she studied chamber music at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California. Monson previously served on the music faculties of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore School for the Arts, and Northern Virginia Community College. She is married to Dr. Keith L. Monson, a forensic scientist. The Monsons are blessed with two children, Kristofer and Linnea.

University Distinguished Service Professor
  • Applied Piano
  • D.M.A. Piano Performance, Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University
  • M.M. Piano Performance, Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University
  • Diploma in Piano from Música en Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • B.M. Education (Piano and Bassoon), Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Linda Monson in the news:

Prof. Brian Ganz
Steinway Artist

Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation.  

A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Mr. Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the City of London Sinfonia, and the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, and has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich, Piotr Gajewski and Yoel Levi. 

The Washington Post has written: “One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.” For many years Mr. Ganz has made it his mission to join vivid music making with warmth and intimacy onstage to produce a new kind of listening experience, in which great works come to life with authentic emotional power. As one of Belgium’s leading newspapers, La Libre Belgique, put it, “We don’t have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.”

In January of 2011 Mr. Ganz began a multi-year project in partnership with the National Philharmonic in which he will perform the complete works of Frédéric Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore. After the inaugural recital, The Washington Post wrote: “Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works [of Chopin].” This year’s February recital marked the tenth in the series. (For four excerpts from that recital, see “Videos.”) The next recital in the series will take place on February 27, 2021.

Mr. Ganz is on the piano faculty of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he is artist-in-residence, and is also a member of the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. He is the artist-editor of the Schirmer Performance Edition of Chopin’s Preludes (2005). Recent performance highlights include Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Alba Music Festival in Italy and with the National Philharmonic at Strathmore, Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with the Billings Symphony, and a solo recital for the Distinguished Artists Series of Santa Cruz, California. 

Dr. Elizabeth G. Hill

Read More about Dr. Hill

A recognized leader in contemporary music advocacy, pianist Elizabeth G. Hill has led and performed in the D.C. area’s most prominent chamber ensembles, and is known for her work as a solo performer, educator, and lecturer. A highly-regarded artist, she has performed concerts and lecture-recitals across the United States and in Europe; including for the Embassy Concert Series in Washington DC, the Center for Jewish History in New York, and the Robert-Schumann-Haus in Zwickau, Germany. She currently performs in numerous ensembles within the Washington, D.C. area, and is the Collaborative Pianist for the National Philharmonic Chorale and Chamber Series.

Elizabeth dedicates much of her career to bridging cultures together through music, and realizes this vision through her leadership within two prominent chamber ensembles within the Washington, D.C. area. Her duo, Meraki, which she co-founded in 2016, focuses on performing music with the intent of creating a greater social impact. Meraki has performed across the U.S.A. and held residencies at numerous universities.The ensemble recently commissioned and premiered the work “Heloha Okchamali” by Jerod Tate as an honoree of Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program. Elizabeth is also the pianist for Balance Campaign, a group whose focus lies exclusively on commissioning and performing works by underrepresented composers. Elizabeth helps promote the advancement of contemporary music in the DC area through serving on the administrative team of the District New Music Coalition. Outside of these ventures, she continues to devote herself to the performance of contemporary works: recent premieres of new works include at D.C.’s Fringe Festival, New Music D.C., and at the West Fork New Music Festival in Fairmont, WV. 

An active pedagogue since 2010, Elizabeth is a private piano teacher in the DC metro-area, where her students have received numerous awards and honors, including acceptance into prestigious music schools across the country. She is also a member of the Collaborative Piano Faculty at the Heifetz International Music Institute. Furthermore, Elizabeth is also known as a scholar of solo piano and chamber works, having given numerous masterclasses, lecture recitals, and presentations. Her most recent topic, “Chamber Music in Exile”, is an exploration of the intimate musical narratives composed by émigré composers of the World War II era. Her other presentations vary widely, and have included talks on Therese Bartolozzi, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Leoš Janáček, and Mieczysław Weinberg.

Originally raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Elizabeth holds degrees from Mary Baldwin College (B.A.), James Madison University (M.M.), and The Catholic University of America (D.M.A. with a specialization in Chamber Music). Her principal instructors of piano include Drs. Lise Keiter, Eric Ruple, Gabriel Dobner, and Ralitza Patcheva. 

Dr. Thomas Pandolfi
Steinway Artist

Thomas Pandolfi is one of the leading pianists of our time, hailed a “phenomenon.” He began his career early on while at The Juilliard School (BM & MM) where the young prodigy caught the influential ear of Vladimir Horowitz, who would become his mentor, and legendary composer, Morton Gould. Since then he has been an audience favorite, selling out the world’s most prestigious stages, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, Kiev Opera House, Bucharest’s Romanian Athenaeum, London’s Cadogan Hall, and many others.

DC Metro Arts calls him, “exhilarating… a rare mix of technical accuracy and cool confidence.” “His artistry and technique were simply astonishing,” said the Metropolitan Arts Reviews. The Washington Post boasted he is a “master of both the grand gesture and the sensual line… Pandolfi’s large-scale pianism seemed under tight control yet in no way muted the passion of his performance… projected with an exquisite sense of lyrical gesture.” “A standout among today’s young pianists… His virtuosity and strength… might have had some believing that Liszt himself had taken over the keyboard,” said the Asheville Citizen-Times. “The mastery of the scores, the precision of the playing, and the finesse of the expression were all simply spectacular. It was a truly bravura performance, both in the virtuosic and in the reflective pieces, yet one completely without gratuitous exaggerated display,” acclaimed The Boston Musical Intelligencer.

In addition to being recognized as one of the greatest interpreters of the Polish masters such as Chopin, Paderewski, and Godowsky, this versatile pianist has received accolades from everything from Bach to Gershwin, with Morton Gould saying, “It’s the finest performance of Gershwin I have heard since the composer himself.” His original and virtuosic transcriptions of popular works, such as West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera, are one-of-kind, jaw-dropping, and dramatic encores that keep audiences of all ages returning to his performances again and again.

Mr. Pandolfi is a Steinway Artist and will begin recording for Steinway Spirio later this year. Mr. Pandolfi’s performances have been broadcast by PBS, WETA (Washington, DC), WQXR (NYC), WRCJ (Detroit), DCN TV (China), The Sound (DC), and many others worldwide. During his 2019-2020 season, he will complete a 20-state tour of the USA, his fourth tour in China, third tour of the UK, and seventh tour of Romania and Moldova.

Born in Washington, DC into a musical family, Pandolfi began his studies with his father and continued on with principle teachers Sasha Gorodnitzki , Adele Marcus, Gyorgy Sandor. He holds a BM and MM from The Juilliard School. Maestro Pandolfi is available for recitals, concertos, and masterclasses.


Appearances of Brian Ganz and Thomas Pandolfi are made thanks to a generous grant from PianoCraft


The Academy will be closed for Spring Break from Monday, April 3rd to Saturday, April 8.