The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy

The oldest (established in 1971), most comprehensive, child orientated music school, recently called 'Juilliard on Long Island' due to its teaching quality

Operating as usual

09/12/2021

Kudos to Ms Laura Giannini, our Academy's violin faculty for dedicating her talents to a great cause! Don't worry if you missed hearing her play as it s not too late to sign up for Ms Laura's weekly Suzuki Violin Group Classes and her private lessons both starting this coming Saturday, 09/18.
Don't wait---contact us at: (646)484-5236 to inquire!
https://www.whittemoreccc.org/

Kudos to Ms Laura Giannini, our Academy's violin faculty for dedicating her talents to a great cause! Don't worry if you missed hearing her play as it s not too late to sign up for Ms Laura's weekly Suzuki Violin Group Classes and her private lessons both starting this coming Saturday, 09/18.
Don't wait---contact us at: (646)484-5236 to inquire!
https://www.whittemoreccc.org/

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 09/05/2021

First day of the Fall 2021 Registration already behind us!
No worries, if you missed it---stop by this coming Tuesday, 09/07 between 2:00-8:00 PM at our: 22 Jericho Turnpike, Mineola location for a 'no strings attached' (other than the ones on the instruments:-), chat.
If, you wonder how old you must be to begin the individual lessons...well, the small cello case with two legs walking along side his sister belong to a barely 4 years old and few of the youngsters in our custom designed green shirts actually graduated into music conservatories like: Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, or Aaron Copland School of Music, so I guess...anywhere in between!

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/29/2021

Are you ready to make music with others and to make new friends?
We have just a spot for you in our Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano Departments where we offer private as well as group instruction---call us: (646)484-5236 or email us at: [email protected].
And don;t forget mark your calendars for the in-person Registration which will take place on:
Saturday, September 4th between 10:00 AM-12:00 PM and Tuesday, September 7th between 2 PM and 8 PM at our location: 22 Jericho Turnpike, Mineola.

A Celebrated Afghan School Fears the Taliban Will Stop the Music 08/23/2021

A Celebrated Afghan School Fears the Taliban Will Stop the Music

When the music stops, so does the humanity.

A Celebrated Afghan School Fears the Taliban Will Stop the Music The Afghanistan National Institute of Music became a symbol of the country’s changing identity.

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/20/2021

Looking around at the faces of the performers and the audience alike, a sense of childlike wonder and joy was felt in the air at the “Summer Chamber Music Workshop” presentation this past Wednesday, during which the students not only performed but also shared their observations on the process of putting a piece of music together, a process they were learning under the skillful eye of their instructor, Mrs. Olga Gurevich over the past five weeks.
But what I find the most stunning was not the quality of the music they performed: their ensemble ability to play together, in tune and with phrases, but the fact that each of them study with a different teacher, yet through the work of many (including eight faculty members!) they came together to create one, unified and at the same time unique sound.
These, and many more Chamber Groups will continue their work starting again in the Fall, so contact us:[email protected], (646)484-5236.
And yes, more medals (like the one that Bellamy accomplished for completion of the entire Piano Suzuki Book 1 this summer) and yes, more cookies will be handed out:-)

08/20/2021

If you think that just a few pictures ago you saw Lily, the girl in a green dress perform the piano and Kevin, the boy in a white shirt perform the violin—you’re right! Both of these youngsters as well as a few others in our chamber groups, are dual (piano & violin) instruments players. Enjoy their sensitive rendition of the first movement of F.Seitz “Trio for the Youth”— in its entirety this time:-)

08/20/2021

A musical postcard of “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”— this time in its entirety with the entire group and with Min-Naing, the group’s teenage 'assistant teacher’. It might be truth what Mrs. Olga said that she has: 'never in the past taught chamber music to such a young group’, but certainly she did a phenomenal job with these youngsters (the youngest one being just a little over four years old!) who as a group not only displayed the ability to play in harmony, to improvise, but also to...erase any age boundaries---much for the world to learn from these youngsters:-)

[08/18/21]   With the various, professional summer festivals coming to a season's finale, we feel it is our turn to follow the music making path set by both the “Caramoor Festival” and the “Bard Festival”. And we are ready to present this Wednesday, August 18, live for the live audience the fruits of our Summer Chamber Music Workshops led by the Academy’s piano teacher and chamber musician, Mrs Olga Gurevich. Lots of youthful music, among them a selection from Bartok’s “44 Duets for Two Violins” performed this time not by two sisters, but by...two (teenage boys) friends:-)

08/18/2021

Here is a sneak preview of our youngest participants of the “For Ivory Keys & Strings” workshop, sister duo: Bellamy & Juno rehearsing excerpts from “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”.
It just doesn’t get any better than having your live-in chamber music partner under the same roof, doesn’t it:-)

08/18/2021

Here is a sneak preview of our older participants of the “Chamber Music Manual” summer workshop, sister duo: Lilly & Juliet rehearsing an excerpt from the Seitz’s “Trio for the Youth.
Both sister duos will of course be joined on stage by the rest of their group’s instrumentalists!

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/16/2021

As the "Bard Festival" came to an end this weekend, its Saturday performance was like a meal consisting of rare, musical morsels.
The 'first course' consisted of a staged version of the opera for just a few first stands of the New York-based "American Symphony Orchestra" instrumentalists, chorus and six vocal soloists by Dame Ethel Smyth who brushed her shoulders with some of the greatest musical figures of the day including Brahms, Grieg and Tchaikovsky!
Lili Boulanger's (Nadia's sister) ,"Theme et variations" with its 8 bar theme inspired by Gabriel Faure's "Theme et variations" sensitively introduced by a solo clarinet welcomed this time the full orchestra of 49 instrumentalists who remained on stage for Walter Piston's, full of fireworks, several contrasting dance like rhythms along with surrealistic landscapes (found in the art of El Greco and Breugel) "Symphony #4".
The juxtaposition of neoclassical tone with folk like lyricism and amorphous slow movement (some might be influenced by music of Karol Szymanowski) sets Grazyna Bacewicz's "Violin Concerto #5" performed skillfully by Luosha Fang as a post social realism (which Bacewicz struggled to adapt to as a composer) work and a turning point towards modernism.
The concert came to an end with Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" a work representing a quintessential "American" sound from not only one of Nadia Boulanger's students, but also a close friend whose music she was a vivid interpreter of ---beauty of the path which the teacher & the student share is, that it can be a lasting, life long experience.

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/14/2021

It was a remarkable "Caramoor Festival" finale last Sunday when the NY based, conductor- less "Orchestra of St. Luke's paired with Leonidas Kavakos---what one would call a 'world all around musician' who happens to be not only an incredible violinist capable of performing not one, but ALL three Bach's "Violin Concertos" in one concert, but also a great chamber musician and a conductor. Actually the d-minor concerto, BWV 1052 (better known to the listeners as the harpsichord concerto) is probably the most difficult pre-Beethoven violin concerto, but Mr Kavakos navigated it effortlessly adding a personal touch by throwing in an occasional ornament here and there. There was an apparent connection between the soloist and the orchestra and the musical dialogue they continue to entertain the audience with was clearly giving both sides joy and satisfaction. Mr Kavakos proved to be also a good dialogist back stage (could not resist the picture:-).
He is scheduled to appear again at the "Caramoor" in the Fall!

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/10/2021

Walter Damrosch, the American conductor remarked in his memoires about Nadia Boulanger: 'Among women, I have never met her equal in musicianship, and indeed there are very few men who can compare with her." The second day at the "Bard Festival", aka "Program Two" revealed and illustrated through the various compositions, the myriad musical influences of Nadia Boulanger's contemporaries and colleagues, among them: Maurice Ravel, Georges Enescu, Charles Koechlin just to name a few--most notable class from a compositional stable of none other, but Gabriel Faure! Let me just say that the unbelievably virtuosic interpretation of Enescu's technically treacherous "Violin Sonata # 3, op.12 in the most competent hands of Arnold Sussman, violin and Orion Wells, piano just 'knocked my socks off' while Debussy's "Trois chansons de France" with their powerful lyrics ('Because Pleasure is dead, this May I am clad in black' ---just to give you a taste), brought tears to my eyes.
And what an intimately suitable chamber music space the "LUMA Theatre" provided for this musical reunion:-)
But like all reunions, a bitter sweet experience reminding us not only of where we've been, but also helping us to reflect on where we are going and how we got there.
Well, what I know is that I am returning to “Bard Festival” next weekend:-)

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/09/2021

What beautiful way of celebrating the return of live music to the concert halls on the opening night of the "Bard Festival", but through celebrating its...audience!
Delightful appetizers and sweets---compliments of the local Culinary Institute, champagne....
I am not sure if it was the intensity of the music heard or the adorable 'thank you' cookie medalion with image of Nadia Boulanger that each audience member was presented with upon leaving the concert, that left me speechless.

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/09/2021

The opening night at the "Bard Festival" was about the joy of creation celebrated through the pieces of some of the outstanding women touched by Nadia Boulanger's devotion to arts, women for whom music, to return to Boulanger's own words gave purpose to their lives. Perhaps for the audience it was simply about celebrating the joy of listening to the live sound of music resonating once again in "Sosnoff Theatre". And for me personally, to the vibrant rendition of Grazyna Bacewicz's both intriguing and experimental yet rarely performed work "Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion" (composed 1958), herself a student of Boulanger, Bacewicz although a great violinist devoted herself to composition. The sight of score held up high by Mr Botstein after the last chords sounded out in the hall says it all:-) Bravi tutti!

Bard Music Festival 08/05/2021

Bard Music Festival

Very much looking forward to tomorrow's opening night of the 31st "Bard Music Festival", my first 'indoor concert' experience in the US and in what remarkable concert space built by a famous architect Frank Gehry! This most eclectic of the summer festivals will be traditionally hosted by the knowledgeable Leon Botstein who will be introducing the "World of Nadia Boulanger", most successful composer of the end of XIX-XX century when music careers were almost entirely closed to women.
It is well worth the hassle of having to obtain a valid within 48 hours health test although Bard even provides a 'quick swab' station for the consecutive days of the Festival---bravi!
On a side note: the average duration of a visit to a shopping center is equal to that of a concert, yet no such requirements are put on customers attending shopping centers. Is it that the safety of a 'concert goer' is at a higher value of importance to that of a 'shopping center goer'?
https://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/

Bard Music Festival Bard Music Festival

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 08/01/2021

It was wonderful to hear "The Knights", sometimes called: 'Brooklyn's sterling cultural product', known far beyond the borough of Brooklyn for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertoire.
Their last Friday's eclectic repertoire presented at the "Venetian Theatre" of the "Caramoor Festival" upstate NY included an arrangement of Paul Simons' "American Tune" written in 1973 during the deeply divided times for the nation, inserted as the second movement of J.S.Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto #3", something that perhaps Bach himself would have done as he often derived from Lutheran hymns.
This was beautifully balanced by the "Prince of Clouds" by a young woman composer, Anna Klein's composition allowing much room for a musical conversation between the two solo violinists and the rest of the ensemble, followed by a 4 minute explosion of orchestral fireworks in "Starburst" by Jessie Montgomery. "The Knights" concluded their performance with L. van Beethoven's "Quartet #11 in F-Major, op.95, 'Serioso' arranged for the orchestra and described by the group's conductor and co-artistic director, Eric Jacobsen as a: 'catharsis'.
I first met Eric Jacobsen many, many years ago as a cello soloist in what I remember till this day as a thrilling rendition of Tchaikovsky's "Rococo Variations" accompanied by "Astoria Symphony", an orchestra which I was a member of and which sadly did not survive the 'bite of times' and watched him and his brother, Collin Jacobsen turn late-night chamber music reading parties with friends into what evolved to be the home grown mature ensemble, known today as "The Knights"---one never knows what the music might inspire:-)
I look forward to returning to "Caramoor Festival" next Sunday, 08/08 at 4:00 PM for my all time favorite violinist, Leonidas Kavakos' rendition of all J.S.Bach "Violin Concertos" with another New York based ensemble: "The Orchestra of St.Luke's".
https://caramoor.org/event/osl-leonidas-kavakos-summer-2021/

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 07/28/2021

What a musical treat it was to attend the first full opera performance in New York City for over a year by the "Teatro Nuovo" on the summer stage at the Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park!
When asked: 'why choose "Barber of Seville", the artistic director, Will Crutchfield said: 'it is the longest-lasting and most beloved opera in the whole repertory of Bel Canto'---so true!
Thought Rossini's music, witty plot and most invigorating performance by last night's cast, "Barber of Seville" proved to be a timeless gem making people laugh since its premier in Rome in...1816!
Don't miss the "Teatro Nuovo's" second performance tonight!
https://operawire.com/teatro-nuovo-to-present-the-barber-of-seville-this-summer/

Photos from The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy's post 07/25/2021

Meet three of our VS Academy's 2020-2021 competition winners (in alphabetical order) and hear what they have to say about themselves in their own words:

Cody Cheng, cello studio of Mrs Ivy Chatanow---Grand Prix at the “Concert Festival Competition", 3rd place at the "Young Artists Festival", finalist of the "MYO Concerto Competition".
Cody is currently an 8th grader at South Woods Middle School in Syosset, began playing cello at the age of 4. He has participated in the All County Music Festival and the Long Island String Festival since 2018. He was also a participant in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Besides playing cello, he enjoys traveling, drawing, fencing, and running.

Emma Sugiyama, cello studio of Mrs Jisoo Ok---1st place in the "International Grande Music Competition".
Emma is 7 and when asked what she’s is proud of, this is what she said:
“I’m proud of winning the 1st place in International Grande Competition. I’m also proud of getting 100 on NYSSMA level 6. I’m proud of being creative and imaginative. But I’m most proud of having a lot of friends in school.” On Tuesday she takes her ballet lesson, on Thursday cello lesson with Mrs. Ok for one hour, on Saturday she goes to her Japanese school. Every morning she studies math with her mom for one hour. Every evening she practices her cello once or sometimes twice, maybe one hour and half or two hours. Then she does Origami, draws and reads.
Enjoy the pics from: Emma’s school project, Vivaldi Project with her sister Alyssa when they challenged themselves by rehearsing with their eyes covered so that they listen to each other better, age 6 at Carnegie Hall In Feb 2020, age 4 when she first started the cello.

Arissa Zheng, violin studio of Ms Agnes Kwasniewska---winner of the silver medal at the "Quebec International Competition" and the bronze medalist at the "North American Virtuoso International Competition".
Arissa is enrolled in a prestigious Columbia Science Honors Program at Columbia University, where she studies biochemistry and classical and quantum computing devices. This past school year, her robots won three Robotics competition in a category of "Design Award" for demonstrating a strong industrial design principle of functionality and aesthetics, robot durability, and engineering documentation of Computer-Aided Design images and robot drawings and the "Think Award" for demonstrating engineering content through underlying physics and calculus of robot design and game strategies. In the Science Olympiad Team, Arissa placed 4th in the genetics category and 5th in the fossils category at the regional competition and advanced to the state competition. She received the Congressional Award Gold Medal, Congressional Award Silver Medal, Congressional Award Bronze Medal, Congressional Award Gold Certificate, Congressional Award Silver Certificate, and Congressional Award Bronze Certificate for badminton, violin, a research paper she wrote about Chinese culture, and for her volunteer work for many science research groups. She categorized tuberculosis bacteria specimen based on their responses to antibiotics so that hospitals can more accurately predict which drugs will be useful in combating tuberculosis, by logging mice behavior to aid research in human illnesses, and identifying blood cell types from rhesus macaque monkey blood samples to see if the monkeys are healthy or sick and how that affects their behavior and help understand similar biological processes in humans. Arissa is a member of the Women in Science and Engineering Club and the Asian Club, and while pursuing her own research, she also runs a student-led organization that provides free virtual courses to hundreds of students nationally, and organizes a free science camp with her robotics club for local elementary students.

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Final bow at the virtual"NYSSMA-thon"
Zoom Summer Workshop

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22 Jericho Turnpike
Mineola, NY
11501
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