Humberto Olivieri was born in Caracas, Venezuela and showed an interest in music at an early age. This was partly influenced by his father who loved playing records of Lionel Richie and George Benson. His father would often play on the piano while while a five year old Humberto sang along. Shortly after, Humberto learned to play piano by ear and this instrument became his main tool for performing, improvising and composing.
Humberto began his formal classical piano studies with professor Bruna Monestiroli, a former student of pianist and educator, Alfredo Casella. Montestiroli gave him the basic technique and understanding of tonal western harmony. He then discovered Jazz, and pursued Jazz studies at the City College of New York where he graduated with a Bachelors in Music Performance.
In New York, he studies with Ray Gallon and Barry Harris and attends workshops with Kenny Werner, Fred Hersch, Bill Charlap and Ted Rosenthal, to name a few. He also studies with saxophonist Jason Rigby, who introduced him to the concept of free jazz.
While here in the US, Humberto has taught at music schools, such as the Miami Youth Symphony, where he worked as teacher assistant for Alex Berti, one of Venezuela's leading composers and orchestrators. He also taught at music schools in New Jersey. Parallel to that, he continues teaching privately to students of all ages and levels.
Humberto's teaching method his very similar to his former classical teacher Bruna Monestiroli, but also incorporates some of the philosophy and teaching style of Barry Harris, Kenny Werner and Bill Evans. Similar to the latter, Humberto believes in "practicing the minimum". He doesn't like to overwhelmhis students with loads of material, and prefers to focus on small portions of a piece of music or exercise. He wants his students to remember that playing the piano should be first and foremost, an enjoyable experience.
Philippine-born pianist Stephen Joven-Lee is a recent graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a current student at the Juilliard School under Professor Julian Martin. His education includes focused training in performance, pedagogy, music theory, and conducting. Joven-Lee strongly believes in music as a universal language and piano as an individual voice.
Joven-Lee began piano studies at age 10 in the Philippines. One year later, he moved to New York City where he studied with Natalia Huang, and later studied with Dr. Amy E. Gustafson and Dr. Jose Ramon Mendez. He went on to study with Professor Alvin Chow at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was the recipient of the Rudolf Serkin Prize and John Elvin Prize for excellence in piano performance, as well as the Faustina Hurlbutt Prize for outstanding graduating student in piano. Joven-Lee is an award winner of almost two-dozen competitions at national and international levels. This has led him to perform in renowned halls including Carnegie’s Weill Hall (NY), Severance’s Reinberger Hall (OH), and Steinway Hall (NY & OH).
Joven-Lee has been elected as a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda - National Music Honor Society in recognition of the highest level of musical achievement and academic scholarship.
His goal as a teacher is to help his students cultivate their understanding of the language and clarity of voice. Joven-Lee has experience working with students of various levels ranging from young beginners to college level musicians.
Myrto Douma is a Greek cellist and pianist. Music has always been one of the biggest inspirations and most important parts of her life. Her international upbringing and training introduces a career that expands beyond conventional borders. Though born in Boston, Massachusetts, she was raised in Greece where she started traveling extensively at a young age and was introduced to her first instrument, the piano at the age of 4. Vocal lessons soon followed, with the cello eventually finding its primary place of study within her life. In 2000 she earned the second Prize in National Competition for Musical Accomplishment and Performance awarded from the Greek Ministry of Education and the Greek ministry of Culture. She studied Violoncello under the Russian Professor and Soloist Marina Kislitsina (Principal Cello of Athens State Orchestra) at the National Conservatory of Music in Athens, Greece and Vanjel Nina (Munipal Music School of Lamia, Greece) receiving a first prize award in Music Performance while pursuing her BA there in Music Performance, studied piano with esteemed professors Athena Stefopoulou (Municipal Music School of Lamia , Greece) and Victoria Vourtsi (Athens Conservatory of Music,Greece).
Myrto moved to the United States where she continued her musical journey as she earned a second Bachelor degree in Music Performance at Brooklyn College. While in the States she studied cello with esteemed professors Dr. Frederick Zlotkin and Nickolas Canellakis and piano with Dr. Alexandra Lewis and attended numerous master classes such as “ Music Of Maurice Ravel” with Peter Basquin and “ String Workshop “ with Martin Wulfhorst to name a few. Currently she performs with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and other various orchestras in New York City.She is currently a piano and cello instructor in New York City and also a Doctorate candidate in Ethnomusicology 2017 at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York.
Kai Ono is a composer-pianist, raised in the bustling suburbs of Irvine, California and currently living in the mosaic city of Queens, New York. He likes the color grey, the sound of laughter, and things that fly.
A player and writer of multiple genres, Kai has demonstrated his prowess in performance and composition with his numerous national and international awards in competitions, including his recent Downbeat Magazine student award for a big band composition and Rosalyn Tureck Award for a Bach performance. Recently, he was a featured artist in the Classical Beat festival in Eutin, Germany, where he had the opportunity to perform in classical and jazz groups as well as give a European premiere of one of his pieces.
Kai’s primary goal as an educator is to teach freedom in musicians. Through his years of teaching, he has emphasized technique and ear training that give students the choice to perform difficult classical works, read jazz chords, play pop songs by ear, or freely improvise. Recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a BM in Piano Performance and Composition with distinction, Kai is eternally grateful for his amazing mentors he’s had thus far – classical piano with Dr. Scott McBride Smith and jazz with TJ Martley.
Renée's love of piano started as a young child when she would spend hours at the pianos at her friends' homes in Chicago. She would learn to play her favorite songs by decoding the harmonies, melodies and rhythmic figures. Renée convinced her parents to begin music training several years later and went on to pursue a BA in music from Columbia College Chicago and a MMEd (master's degree in music education) from VanderCook College of Music.
Following graduation from her master's degree, Renée operated her own music studio in Chicago for 7 years before leaving in 2017 to pursue music in New York City. Renée has toured the US with various bands and ensembles over the years including an indie-rock quintet, a 10-piece chamber rock ensemble, Girl Group Chicago, a big band orchestra and as a solo musician. Renée has accompanied for the Music in the Parks competition and has participated as a theatre pit musician in various Chicago productions for Porchlight Music Theatre, Stage Door Fine Arts and The Neo-Futurists. She composes and performs her own music and recently released her debut solo album.
Renée teaching specialty is with children and young adults but enjoys teaching students of all ages. She works with each student to develop a curriculum that is in line with the student's goals. Renée strives to keep lessons fun while helping students discover their musical voices. She teaches rock, pop, folk, classical and songwriting.
Manuele took his first steps in the music world at the young age of four, exploring the beautiful notes of the opera from works by composers such Verdi and Puccini. He later attended “Girolamo Frescobaldi” State Conservatory in Ferrara, where he studied piano, harmony, composition, and chamber music. He often received high praises through article reviews and from critics.
For six years, he had committed himself to teaching music to children and actively collaborated to the creation of the music department at Smiling Service International School of Ferrara.
As a film composer, Manuele has widespread approval from the public and critics for his particularly charming and profound music. He has developed numerous collaborations with Award Winning Directors, as well as International emerging companies. One of his accomplishments include composing soundtrack for the CICAP chaired by the famous journalist-TV presenter Piero Angela, and the Docu-Fiction: Breaking the Silence that was directed by Frank Gigante.
Yuliana Wijaya is an up and coming young pianist from Indonesia who has already attained national and international success.
She began her musical training at age eight privately and later on, moved to Jakarta Conservatory of Music in Indonesia and Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China. In 2012, she moved to Lawrence, KS to study under tutelage Dr. Steven Spooner. She is currently a graduate student in Manhattan School of Music. A recent graduate of the University of Kansas, is an active participant in summer music festivals. She has performed in concerts and masterclasses around the world. In 2014, she was selected to perform with University of Allicante Orchestra in Italy under baton Dan Wen Wei.
As an educator, she has years of experience working with children of all ages and levels. Her students are active performers and are frequently featured in recitals at the Lawrence Arts Center, in addition to MTNA and Lawrence Accredited Music Teacher Association's events. Her focus in teaching is to retain the interest and joy of music in each student while building up their ability and skills continously. Her strength is classical music. However, she also combines and introduces other genres like jazz, pop, etc., to her students. Yuliana is also an active collaborator and ballet accompanist.
A Canadian born jazz pianist and educator, Sean Fyfe has a background that spans across Canada as well as in New York city, having been featured as a leader as well as a guest artist in festivals and on recordings. He has developed a style of teaching that is fun and effective for students of all ages, giving them all the tools they need to understand, play and enjoy music for a lifetime. Sean holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from McGill University, and a graduate degree in music performance from Manhattan School of Music.
Eun-Hye Grace Sun is a composer, pianist, educator and arranger. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, she began her musical training at age six, focused on classical music, and church music.
At age 16, she moved to Russia and graduated pre-conservatory of St. Petersburg in piano major. Afterwards, she entered St. Petersburg State conservatory where she studied piano and composition under Sergey Slonimsky and Felix Tamulyevich. In 2010, she moved to New York and transferred to Aaron Copland School of Music where she has graduated in composition major with high honors. She studied composition with David Schober and Jazz Piano with Jeb Patton. Ms.Sun has been performing actively with different ensembles and choirs, which span a variety of genres including classical, jazz, gospel and pop.
As an educator, she has been teaching piano and music theory classes at levels ranging from early childhood development as well as advanced level for 10 years. According to her experiences from three different countries, she mixes and matches methods what work the best depending on the student. Ms.Sun’s teaching focuses on helping students enjoy the music by emphasizing musicality and maintain a balance between musical technique and music theory. She also encourages students to interpret stories or specific scenes through music.
From Nagano, Japan, Hitomi Honda started her piano lessons at five years old. She was an active accompanist from age ten to fifteen in her hometown. However, due to her left hand pinky's serious injury, she had to stop her piano career. At the age of twenty, she moved to New York to study English as well as music since her love of music never ended. In 2006, she enrolled at City College of New York to study music history. Her music history professor, Arison Deane, then suggested for her to audition for piano performance when she noticed Hitomi's piano talents. She continued her studies at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music for her Master of Piano Performance in 2009 with Dr. Adam Kent. Upon her graduation in 2011, she participated in multiple festivals including the Metropolitan International Piano Festival; and the Keyboard Festival by Mannes College of Music with scholarship in 2012. In spite of relatively short career on her piano, she achieved a high level of piano techniques. Her debut in Japan took place in Tokyo in 2011. Since then, she continues to perform in various venues in New York City. Her performance of J.S. Bach had been used for the Japanese movie Odayaka, which was invited to Tribeca Film Festival in 2013.
She believes that learning to play the piano helps with memorization and presenting oneself in front of people. These experience are essential to a student's everyday life -- young or old. It is important for Ms. Hitomi to enrich her students' lives with such goals all while teaching them how to play the piano beautifully!
Inspired by watching her mother play Fur Elise, Jennifer Roberts began studying piano at the age of 5. She soon developed an interest in learning other instruments and slowly added cello, gyil (African xylophone), and steel drum to her list.
Jennifer studied piano performance at Oakland University in Michigan with Flavio Varani. While there, she played a piano concerto with the Pontiac Oakland Symphony, and she received the Outstanding Student in Piano award. In 1998, Jennifer had the honor of becoming the first African-American to receive a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at Oakland University. This has inspired her even more to move forward in the world of music and teaching piano.
As an active musician, Jennifer has been involved in many areas of music with different instruments. With piano she has been enjoying teaching private piano lessons for the past nine years. She has been an accompanist for choirs, solo instrumentalists and vocalists for the past 11 years. For eight years she was a cellist in two community orchestras as well as the Hartford Cello Ensemble which was led by Nadine Delury. In 2003 Jennifer and her duet partner won the 7th place award in the Trinidad Steel Pan Festival, which was held in Trinidad and Tobago. Jennifer also performed with Southpaw Isle in Manhattan as a part of the first African Xylophone Festival.
Jennifer believes that music is a gift to share, not to hide or keep to oneself. It is her dream and determination to continue the tradition of classical piano with others.