Summer Piano Academy


Join us for an inspiring week of piano at the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music at George Mason University! Our Mason Summer Piano Academy and Mason Summer Advanced Piano Academy have combined into one exciting program for this summer! The Mason Summer Piano Academy is a comprehensive music experience for dedicated and passionate piano students.

Participants will receive:

  • Three 45-minute lessons. Each student will receive lessons with MSPA faculty throughout the week. Students are encouraged to bring in both performance-ready and new repertoire.
  • Guest masterclasses and performances. Learn from world-class artists in a masterclass setting and get inspired by faculty performances.
  • Music Theory and History. Dive into the rich world of music through our specially curated classes. The sessions cover various topics in music history and theory, offering insights into the evolution of piano music, understanding of music structures, practice techniques, and interpretation of different styles and composers. 
  • Final recital. All students will have the opportunity to perform in the final recital at the Harris Theatre on Mason’s Fairfax campus. (Open to family and friends)
  • Supervised Practice Time. Students will have the opportunity to practice on Steinway grand pianos at the Dewberry School of Music during the day with faculty guidance. Additional practice time is available for students over 13, or younger students with parental supervision. 
  • Evening activities. Students and Families are invited to join us for evening recitals and special activities Monday – Thursday at 6:30 pm! Faculty and guest recitals are open to the public.

Lunch on campus is provided for all students.

Students ages 13 and over have the option to add a Piano Academy Afternoon Extension at registration for an additional $150 fee which provides extra practice time and dinner on campus from 4:00 to 6:30 pm prior to the Evening Activities.

Students under 13 must be picked up at 4:00 pm before the start of Evening Activities at 6:30 pm or may opt for additional practice time between 4:00 and 6:30 pm with parental supervision at no additional cost (pre-registration required).

All students must be picked up at 8:00 pm.

Ages: 8 – 18

Dates: June 24 – 28, 2024
9:00 am – 4:00 pm*

*this program features Evening Activities Monday – Thursday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Please see overview for details.

Tuition: $740
Piano Academy Afternoon Extension: $150 (students ages 13 – 18 only)

Location: Mason Fairfax Campus, deLaski Performing Arts Building


All students must submit an application and video audition to be officially considered for the program. Application Fee: $20 (non-refundable). See requirements below:

  • One audition video in one unedited take consisting of a performance of one piece that best demonstrates your ability.
  • Both hands and face/profile must be visible at all times.

Early Admission Deadline is April 5, 2024 with decisions by April 14th. Regular Admission Deadline is May 3, 2024 with decisions by May 10th. Applications submitted after May 3rd will be considered as space permits.

Click below to submit your application. Video submissions should be sent to

Program Faculty

Dr. Misha Tumanov

Summer Piano Academy Director

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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.

Masha Feygelson

Faculty & Academy Teaching Artist

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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.

Dr. Luke Ratcliffe


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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. Martin Labazevich

Steinway Artist

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Praised by critics for his lyricism, virtuosity and an intensity of performance, pianist Martin Labazevitch appeared in many concert halls and festivals in Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Peru and the United States.

Born in Poland, Mr. Labazevitch studied at the Odessa Conservatory in Ukraine and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. In 2019, he received Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Rome School of Music, Drama and Art in Washington D.C. His main teachers and mentors include Nina Svetlanova, Horacio Gutierrez, Dmitri Bashkirov, Bella Davidovich and Jorge Luis Prats. He has been a soloist with orchestras in Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Japan, and the United States. Of his debut album release on the Delos label, of the Chopin Concerto with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra lead by Ewa Strusinska, the Fanfare Magazine wrote: “His way of Chopin is fluid and convincing. He plays with a superb control of rubato and has the most beautiful way of melting a phrase.” Of the same album, ConcertoNet wrote, “…he pleasantly refrains from overtaxing Chopin’s conclusive Allegro vivace with shimmering grandeur and eloquent precision that could even rival that of Arthur Rubinstein.”

An avid chamber musician, he has collaborated with Isidore Cohen, Lukas Foss, Ruth Laredo, Andres Cardenes, Amit Peled, Ju-Young Baek, Michael Mermagen, as well as the Spokane and Vilnius String Quartets. After his piano trio debut at Carnagie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, The Strad Magazine wrote: “ … exuberant, multi-faceted, …gripping from first note to the last.”

Performance highlights of the recent seasons include: Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Terrace Theater at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Damme Myra Hess Series in Chicago, Chopin Foundation in Miami and the Philharmonic Society of Lima, Peru.

An enthusiastic educator, Mr Labazevitch has been sharing his passion for teaching with students at the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C. He is also the Co-Founder of the Puerto Rico International Piano Festival, in San Juan as well as the Artistic Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition and Chopin Piano Academy in Washington D.C. In 2022, Mr Labazevitch co-founded The Paderewski Academy, a pioneer hybrid piano academy based in Zurich, Switzerland.Mr. Labazevitch is a Steinway Artist.

Dr. Michelle Richardson


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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 2016-2023 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.

Dr. Topher Ruggiero


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Topher Ruggiero is a classical pianist, educator, collaborator, and a promoter of new music. 

Music is something that has been a part of Topher’s life from a very young age. He was fortunate enough to have many talented and influential teachers, mentors, and supporters throughout his growth as a musician. Topher is extremely passionate about continuing and promoting the love of piano and the arts, the importance of music and performance, and the high quality of teaching and education needed to influence musicians of all ages. 

As an arts advocate and passionate musician, Topher has performed in a variety of concerts and events including solo, concerto, collaborative, choral, and master class settings. 

Topher began his musical career at the age of 10 where he took piano lessons in his hometown of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. His natural talent for piano, influential piano teachers, and many lessons and performances sprung his musical journey forward to Ithaca College where he studied Piano Performance. From there, Topher received his Master’s in Piano Performance at Kent State University and completed his education at Ball State University with a Doctor of Arts degree in Piano Performance and Music Theory. 

Throughout his career as a teacher and performer, Topher has worked at several universities, including his most recent as Assistant Professor of Music at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia. Currently, Topher serves as the Associate Chair of Piano at Levine Music’s Virginia campus where he manages piano faculty and student placement and teaches a full piano studio. During the summers, he also teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. Topher also concertizes throughout the Washington D.C. area as a performing artist with the Friday Morning Music Club, a non-profit organization that promotes the arts and presents free concerts for the community. 

In his spare time, Topher enjoys reading, watching sports and movies, exploring restaurants and breweries, and spending time with family and friends. He currently resides in McLean, Virginia with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats.

Guest Artists

Dr. Nancy O’Neill Breth


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I was 4 years old when I took my first piano lesson in Spokane, Washington from Mr. Jacques, a blind man who taught my whole family in exchange for 2 hours of daily practice on our 1899 Chickering. This patient man was the first of a series of excellent teachers in my life. I am grateful to every one of them, especially to Margaret Saunders Ott. She was a superb pianist who studied with the great teachers of her era including Olga Samaroff Stokowski at Juilliard in New York but her plan was always to “go back to Spokane and teach,” and that is what she did. I gave my first piano lesson under Mrs. Ott’s guidance when I was 16. She remained my close friend and mentor until her death in 2010.

At Indiana University I studied with Bela B. Nagy and Gyorgy Sebok, accompanied cellists in Janos Starker’s studio and entered the prestigious chamber music class taught jointly by Sebok, Starker and Joseph Gingold. While still an undergraduate, I was given a graduate assistantship to teach piano. My master’s degree in solo piano performance at the University of Wisconsin included extensive work in chamber music under Rudolf KolischJohn Barrows and other great instrumentalists. By this time my real love was chamber music and I devoted the next 15 years to organizing and performing in chamber music concerts.

I worked as performer and presenter in the United States, Latin America and Asia. The Mexico City News wrote that my group, La Camerata de Mexico, “offers the best chamber music in Mexico”. The Washington Post praised my “superb musicianship”, and called my Music Connection concert series “brilliant” and “imaginative”. In New York City, I produced and directed a children’s opera by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Colgrass, and built an acclaimed chamber music program for the children of Roosevelt Island.

At Washington DC’s Levine School of Music, I taught piano, chamber music and pedagogy for 25 years, while maintaining a private piano studio in Northern Virginia. In 2017 I moved my studio to Washington DC. My students come for piano lessons from DC, Virginia and Maryland and range in age from 8 to 80.

The level of advancement is not as important to me as finding someone who loves music enough to devote the time and energy needed to reach the highest possible level of achievement. For some students the highest level means winning big competitions; for others it means excelling in a host of different ways. I help each student find the right path.

Working with other teachers is important to me. I learned so much from experienced teachers when I was starting out; now it is my turn to give to the next generation. I have presented at multiple MTNA national conferences, the National Piano Pedagogy Conference, and state and regional conferences in Oregon, Montana, Utah, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado. Florida State University awarded me their Music Career citation, inviting me to give a master class and a lecture on practicing for the piano and pedagogy faculty. Locally, I started “Talk about Teaching,” a free bi-monthly forum for teachers.

Writing is another part of my career. Years of research on practice methods resulted in three publications, each one geared to a particular audience:  Practicing the Piano; The Piano Student’s Guide to Effective Practicing and the Parent’s Guide to Effective Practicing. In addition, I’ve written articles for Clavier CompanionAmerican Music Teacher and Clavier Explorer.

Another kind of writing that I enjoy is adjudicating student performances. Whether at a local, regional, national or international competition, I am inspired by students’ talent and dedication. Being able to contribute something to their progress is a privilege. MTNA has invited me to judge their national piano duet finals several times, and I have served on the judges’ panel of BMTG Intercontinental Piano Competition, featuring the music of living composers from six continents. Returning every few years to adjudicate the prestigious, week-long Musicfest Northwest in Spokane, Washington is a special treat, since that’s where it all began for me.

Dr. Linda Apple Monson

Director, Sid & Reva Dewberry Family School of Music
Director of Keyboard Studies
Steinway Artist

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Dr. Linda Apple Monson, International Steinway Artist, serves as the Director of the Dewberry 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.”

Linda Apple Monson has recently been inducted into the Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame in New York City on October 4, 2023. The Steinway & Sons Music Teacher Hall of Fame is a prestigious designation “recognizing the work of North America’s most committed and passionate piano educators.”

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 $5 million scholarship commitment from the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family established the Dr. Linda Apple Monson Scholars Endowed Fund to support outstanding artist-scholars in Mason’s School of Music. Monson was recognized 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. The Board of Visitors approved the renaming of Mason’s School of Music to the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music in 2020, in honor of the Dewberry’s legacy of giving and generous support of the School.

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. Monson currently serves as Chair of Region 7 of NASM (representing seven states) and she serves on the NASM Executive Board. 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 a juror for the 2023 International Young Artist Piano Competition (2023) in Washington D.C., 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 and performance have been featured in invited lecture-recitals at the College Music Society International Conferences in Lithuania and Estonia in July of 2023. She has been a featured presenter at CMS 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 currently serves as Chair of the Provost/Chairs Forum for George Mason University. She previously 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 2023 Young Artist International Piano Competition and the 2019 International 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

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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


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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.

Mark Irchai


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Mark Irchai (b.1996) is an American-Russian pianist and conductor. His concertizing has taken him across the United States and Europe, where he has become known for his diverse musical programming and multi-colored sound. He’s already received numerous awards, including 1st prizes at the XIV International Orfeo Music Competition, the George Mason University Concerto Competition, and the Golden Classical Awards International Music Competition. Most recently, he was awarded the Newton Swift Award in Collaborative Piano by the Mannes School of Music. Highlighted performance venues include Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the Embassy of Turkey to the United States, and two appearances at DOROT for their innaugural concert series for survivors of the Holocaust.

Equally comfortable in both solo and collaborative work, he’s performed with many orchestras and in collaboration with several singers and instrumentalists. Ensemble appearances as conductor and soloist include joining soloist the Mason Symphony Orchestra, the Mason Wind Symphony, and the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. He’s also appeared as collaborative pianist with artists like Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, John Aler, and Marlisa Woods.

Mark holds a BM in Piano Performance from George Mason University, where he studied piano and chamber music with Anna Balakerskaia. He also holds an MM in Piano Performance from the Mannes School of Music, where he studied with Simone Dinnerstein. He has appeared in masterclasses with artists such as George Li, Awadagin Pratt, Claire Huangci, and Richard Goode. He studied choral and symphonic conducting at George Mason as well as at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting after Ilya Musin. Mark is proud to be on the faculty of both Levine Music in Washington DC,
and at the Moon School of Music in Fairfax, VA.


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