Ellen Rose Silver has taught instrumental music for over twenty-five years in music schools, elementary schools, preschools, and in her private studio. She graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with Bachelors of Art and Music, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with a Master of Music, and Mannes College of Music with a Professional Studies degree. She received her Suzuki training at the School for Strings in New York City and at the Chicago Suzuki Institute. She has studied the Dalcroze method of teaching music at the Lucy Moses School in Manhattan, and formerly taught early-childhood music at The Riverside Church Weekday School, West Side Music Together and the Chabad Early Learning Center. Ellen is a professional performing cellist in New York City and a member of the Motyl Chamber Ensemble. She is married to Daniel Silver, an architect and designer who made Silver Music a reality with his vision, and the mother of two teenage sons who continue to inspire and inform her work.
Blythe is a native New Yorker but her experiences as an educator and performer have led her to China, Costa Rica, and Egypt. She has studied flute in Austria at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, and holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Education degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She has done Suzuki training at Great Lakes Suzuki Institute in Ontario with Kelly Williamson and Pandora Bryce, and in New York with Wendy Stern. As Silver Music’s Program Director, Blythe works with faculty to provide meaningful experiences for all participating students, overseeing both Instrumental and Introductory programs.
Zara Lawler, Flute
Ground-breaking flutist Zara Lawler, “an engaging, fluent, mellifluous soloist,” (Houston Chronicle) made her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony and her recital debut at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall. Recent highlights include the US premiere of Il Cerchio Tagliato dei Suoni, Salvatore Sciarrino’s work for 104 flutists, directed by Zara at the Guggenheim Museum, a Flute Jamboree directed by Zara at the Kennedy Center, and a tour of New York and Massachusetts with her flute and marimba duo Lawler + Fadoul.
For more than 15 years, Zara has integrated dance and theater into her performances, with the innovative ensemble Tales & Scales, in collaboration with choreographer C. Neil Parsons, and in large-scale choreographies for flutes including E Pluribus Flutum, Zara’s work for sixty dancing flutists. Zara has given solo recitals in New York, Santa Barbara, Hong Kong, and has appeared as a soloist with the Atlanta, Utah, Indianapolis, and Oregon Symphonies, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and in venues including the Kennedy Center, the Kravis Center, and Lincoln Center. She studied at the Juilliard School with Carol Wincenc and Sam Baron. She teaches at Manhattan School of Music Precollege, Silver Music, and privately, and has done her Suzuki training at the Great Lakes, Eastern Tennessee and Lake Sylvia Institutes. In 2018, she was co-director of the Suzuki Association of the Americas Flute Performing Ensemble. Zara writes a blog on practice techniques at www.thepracticenotebook.com, and more about her work can be found at www.zaralawler.com
Karolyn Bethke, Violin, Head of Introductory Music
A former Suzuki violin student, Karolyn has over 15 years of experience teaching violin. She completed a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance at UW-Madison and trained to teach the Suzuki approach through Book 7 with Kimberly Meier-Sims, Carol Smith, and Susan Baer. In addition to teaching violin, Karolyn has experience teaching for various early childhood music programs in NYC and designed her own program for babies and toddlers. She currently teaches music at The Weekday School at Riverside Church.
Karolyn has been a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. She has toured internationally with various bands and musical artists and is currently an active performer in the NYC area. Much of her current professional performance work involves improvisation which is a skill she also offers to her students. Karolyn has also been trained to teach the Mark O’Conner method of American fiddling.
Sage Cole, Violin, Head of Instrumental Music
A native of Massachusetts, Sage Cole received her BA in music, summa cum laude, from Barnard College, and her MM in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the first violinist of the Graduate Fellowship Quartet. She has studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan; her major teachers include Curtis Macomber and David Perry. Sage has been a member of the Madison Symphony, the Madison Ballet, the Madison Opera orchestras, has performed with the Vinca Quartet and is a founding member of the Hudson Quartet and Manchester Summer Chamber Music. Sage completed Suzuki pedagogical studies with Allen Lieb and Ecaterina Gerson at the School for Strings.
Hillary Alleman, Violin and Viola
Hillary Alleman, originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, began studying Suzuki violin at the age of 4. At the age of 14, Hillary began to perform on the viola in addition to the violin. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in viola performance with Jeffrey Irvine at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Following her studies, Hillary spent two years teaching the violin and viola to elementary age children through the Sistema Utah program. Hillary is passionate about introducing young children to the joys of music and has had the privilege of receiving Suzuki training from pedagogues such as Cathy Lee, Deborah Moench, Alan Lieb, Ed Kreitman and Betsy Stein-Walker.
Surai Balbeisi, Violin and Viola
Surai Balbeisi, violist, is active as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She performs a variety of genre including classical, baroque, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and has appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, and Saturday Night Live, with artists and groups including Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Regina Spektor, The Roots, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and Dorian Baroque. She has toured with Bollywood sensation Arijit Singh, jazz ensemble Daughters Of Nina Simone, The Opera Show, and with U.K based band, Elbow as back-up singer and violist. On Broadway, she was viola chair on Sleigh Bells Swing and is currently substitute viola at Phantom of the Opera. Surai also enjoys working in TV and film. She was the viola consultant for the film, “A Late Quartet,” and performed on ABC’s supernatural drama pilot “666 Park Avenue,” NBC’s “Mysteries Of Laura,” and the upcoming Netflix comedy “Like Father.” She has taught at Penn State University, the Virginia Commonwealth University Community School for the Performing Arts, and Hoff Barthelson Music School. In the Fall she will be joining the faculty at Manhattan School Precollege. Surai is a Suzuki trained teacher, her teachers include Ronda Cole and Ed Sprunger. She earned her Level I Orff Schulwerk certification from the University of Memphis under the tutelage of Konnie Saliba and Jos Wuytack. Additionally, she has extensive training in BrainGym with Paula Oleska and Linda Case, the Alexander Technique with Pedro d’Alacantara and Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Ruth Alperson. Surai began her musical training on the violin in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of Queen Nour. She holds a B.M. in violin performance from Pennsylvania State University, a Professional Studies Diploma in viola from the Mannes College of Music, and a Master of Arts from New York University. Her teachers include Weigang Li, Karen Ritscher, and Martha Katz.
Diana Brown, Violin and Viola
An active performer and Suzuki teacher, Diana moved in September 2017 from Chile to New York with her husband and son. She grew up in a family of professional musicians and started Suzuki violin lessons before turning 3. Diana graduated with honors from the Music School at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. Her principal violin teachers include her sister Elsa Brown, UdK-Berlin Prof. Michael Mücke, Lorena Gonzalez, Alvaro Parra and David Nuñez. During the last ten years, she has recorded Chilean folk, rock, jazz, and classical music. As a former member of the first Chilean baroque orchestra “Orquesta Barroca Nuevo Mundo,” Diana has performed both as a soloist and principal second violin in numerous recitals, historically informed operas and ballets, touring through Chile and Latin America. As a founding member of the Giros String Quartet and an engaged chamber music performer, she has participated in several music seasons in Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.
Diana has over ten years of experience teaching in Chile and Peru, where she is regularly invited to teach at the Lima Suzuki Summer Institute. Having served on the Faculty of the Suzuki Music School of Chile, the Craighouse School, the Music Conservatory of Westchester, and the after-school string program at Saint Ignatius Loyola School in Manhattan, she is currently completing her Suzuki training at the School for Strings in New York City under Linda Case.
Will Curry, Violin and Viola
Will is currently on sabbatical for the 2018-2019 calendar as he conducts the National Tour of Ms. Saigon.
Will Curry enjoys a diverse musical career as a violist, violinist, conductor, teacher, and orchestrator. Currently the violist and assistant conductor for the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, Will has previously held the positions of violist and assistant conductor with the recent revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Les Miserables. Prior to his time in New York, he was engaged as the associate conductor for the Mirvish’s Les Misérables in Toronto and as the assistant conductor and concertmaster for the U.S. touring production of Les Misérables. He recently made his Lincoln Center debut with The American Songbook in a concert featuring the music of Andrew Lippa. Will has released two albums, Fill in the Words and The Time of Year for Miracles, with actor-singer Ian Patrick Gibb, and can be heard on the cast albums of Fiddler on the Roof and John & Jen.
Will got his start on the violin in the Suzuki method at age 9 while growing up in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He received his Suzuki teacher training at the School for Strings in New York City, under Allen Lieb and Kati Gerson. Will is also a teaching artist with Broadway Classroom and the outreach director for the Broadway Chamber Players. A 2010 graduate of The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Will studied viola with Roland Vamos and conducting with Victor Yampolsky.
Molly Goldman, Violin and Viola
Molly Goldman started playing violin at age 4, studying with her mother. She holds a Master of Music from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music and Music Education with certification from the Eastman School of Music, in addition to receiving the prestigious Performance Certificate in recognition of “students who demonstrate outstanding performing ability.” Her primary teachers include Roger Tapping, Jeffrey Irvine, Carol Rodland and Stephen Sims. She obtained her Suzuki Certification at the School for Strings under Allan Lieb and Ecaterina Gerson.
An avid chamber musician, Molly has collaborated with violinists Juliana Athayde and David Coucheron, pianist-composer Magnus Lindberg, cellists Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott and soprano-conductor Barbara Hannigan. As a soloist, Molly has been heard with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra. She has held performance fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Molly’s musical talents go beyond classical music as she has performed with AXIOM, Ensemble Signal, New Juilliard Ensemble, Styx, Idina Menzel, Wild Cherry, and many others. She is also the co-director and co-founder of the Montserrat Music Festival. Molly strives to make music exciting, engaging and accessible for all audiences.
Rachel Riggs obtained her B.M. from the Eastman School of Music, followed by a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance from the University of Minnesota. Her major teachers include Michael Zaretsky, Heidi Castleman, and Roland Vamos. She has over 25 years of teaching experience, and has been on the faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Longy School of Music, Greenwich House Music School, and the Diller-Quaile School of Music. An active freelance musician, Rachel is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra.
Kayla Herrmann, Cello
Cellist Kayla Herrmann comes from a family of professional musicians and teachers. She has performed with members of the Martinu, Vermeer, Audobon, Czech Philharmonic, and Cassatt quartets. As a founding member of the Saturn String Ensemble Kayla performed at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Ireland. For many years she has been invited to perform in Prague, Czech Republic at the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival.
In 2010, Kayla was a Kenan Fellow at the Lincoln Center Institute in New York City. She was mentored to help create lessons plans and teach music through imaginative learning in New York public schools. Kayla incorporates the same principles in her private lessons, encouraging students to ask questions and development their personality in music. Kayla has also taught in NYC at the Diller-Quaile School of Music and Long Island Conservatory. Kayla holds a B.M. from North Carolina School of the Arts and a M.M. from the Hartt School where she received a full scholarship.
Jane Pae, Cello
Cellist Jane Pae, recipient of the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship, received both her Bachelor and Master of Music from The Juilliard School. She has appeared in both chamber and solo performances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, Steinway Hall, Zankel, Weill, and Stern Halls at Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Previous teachers include Joel Krosnick, Darrett Adkins, and Bonnie Hampton. Jane received her teacher training at the Suzuki Pedagogy Program at The School for Strings under the direction of Pam Devenport, where she discovered her passion for teaching and now teaches in several music schools in the city and maintains a private cello studio.
Reenat Pinchas, Cello
Cellist Reenat Pinchas first appeared as a soloist with local orchestras at age ten and has concertized worldwide ever since. She has accompanied world class artists such as Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Renee Fleming, Wynton Marsalis and played under the baton of NY Philharmonic’s Lorin Maazel, Gustavo Dudamel, Kent Nagano, and more. Passionate about chamber music, Ms. Pinchas has been a member of numerous ensembles exploring music from the baroque to the contemporary. She has always used her talent to better serve underdeveloped communities around the world by spreading a positive message through classical music. A dedicated teacher, Ms. Pinchas has worked with toddlers to teens and participated in projects to develop educational music programs in the USA, South America, and Southeast Asia. Ms. Pinchas holds a M.M. from Rice University and a B.M. from The Juilliard School. Her teachers include Lynn Harrell, Bonnie Hampton, and Chagit Glaser.
Troy Stuart, Cello
Troy Kenneth Stuart, gifted American cellist and highly respected pedagogue, has shared his passion for the cello and chamber music through his teaching at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (Preparatory and Conservatory), Baltimore School for the Arts, Third Street Music Settlement (NYC), and the Maryland Talent Education Center. He has also served on the faculties of Opus 118 (NYC), Schwob School of Music (GA – Visiting Professor), and Morgan State University. In recent summers, Mr. Stuart has taught at Apple Hill Chamber Music Center, Reveille Music Camp, Kinhaven, and Musicordia. Highlights from recent seasons, as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Stuart has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto at Eastman School of Music with the Gateways Chamber Orchestra, presented a duo recital with violin virtuoso Tai Murray at the Harvard Club in NYC, appeared in the Dorot Series in NYC, in a concert of viola quintets (with Todd Phillips, Katherine Cho, Cynthia Phelps, and Maureen Gallagher), and has given a recital on the Four Seasons Series in San Francisco. For ten years Mr. Stuart was a founding member of the Ritz Chamber Players. He has toured nationally, recorded, held residencies in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Florida, and was featured on the international FOX-TV broadcast of the NAACP Image Awards.
Mr. Stuart is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore School for the Arts, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Mr. Stuart’s major teachers included Richard Kapuchinski, Steve Doane, Norman Fischer, and Ronald Thomas. He has coached chamber music with Apple Hill Chamber Players, Isidore Cohen, Abraham Skernick, Timothy Eddy, Issac Stern and members of the Guarneri, Julliard, Vermeer, Lydian, Audubon and Smithson Quartets. Mr. Stuart is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Freidberg Lecture/ Artist Award, and the Martell Cordon Bleu Award, presented by actor/musician Dudley Moore and the Seagrams Company LTD.
João Kouyoumdjian, Guitar
João Kouyoumdjian is a Brazilian-Armenian classical guitarist graduated from The Juilliard School and University of São Paulo, where he studied under Sharon Isbin and Edelton Gloeden. He is also a mentee of Paulo Martelli. Kouyoumdjian is a 1st prize competition winner in his homeland and has performed in celebrated American venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and MET Museum. His album releases have been favorably reviewed by specialized critics and general public in periodicals such as Classical Guitar Magazine and VEJA (Brazil). Kouyoumdjian is a certified Suzuki instructor and his students have been admitted to leading US music programs on merit-based scholarships.
Wenhan Anderson, Piano
A native of Taiwan, Wenhan Anderson is a pianist and collaborative artist. She has performed with chamber ensembles across North America and Asia. Wenhan appeared with violinist Sarah E. Geller at the concert series of New York Performing Arts Library, Munson-Williams-Proctor Museum of Art, and Washington D.C. Library. She has worked as a collaborative pianist at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy and International Flute Institute at NYSMF in Oneonta, NY. Wenhan currently serves on the faculty of Diller-Quaile School of Music, and she is also a founding member of MusicWorks music school in New Canaan, CT. Wenhan attended Soochow University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, and Manhattan School of Music, where she earned a Master’s degree in piano performance and accompanying.
Racquel Borromeo, Piano
Racquel Borromeo is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music with a piano performance degree. Racquel started formal lessons at age 9 in the Philippines. The Philippine Government accepted her to be a Scholar of the Philippines a year after. Her piano career has taken her to perform and compete across the United States, Philippines, Japan, Italy, Russia in various recitals and also national/international competitions. Racquel currently resides in New York City where she continues to perform and teach music. She has served as a Teaching Artist for various public and private schools to bring a music program into the inner-city schools around New York City. Living here has given her an opportunity to have a private piano studio of her own and numerous collaboration projects with singers and instrumentalists.
Marko Stuparevic, Piano
Since 2007 Marko has been successfully teaching students in Serbia and the USA. His teaching concepts have evolved through an eclectic background of training, combining a variety of pedagogical and artistic influences. As a dedicated teacher and an active member of HTMA and MTNA, Marko has experience teaching students of all levels, judging auditions, and overseeing competitions.
Besides teaching, Marko is an active performer and has appeared in concerts and festivals in the United States, Israel, and Europe. He has won top prizes for Dimitar Nenov, Petar Konjovic, American Protégé, Nikolai Rubinstein. Marko has performed as a soloist with Razgrad Philharmonic, Army Symphony Orchestra of Serbia, National Symphony of Bulgaria, Connecticut Chamber Valley Orchestra and Foot in the Door Ensemble. He has performed with internationally acclaimed double-bassist Robert Black, Hartt Bass Band, Elements Ensemble, HICO, Vagus Trio, Dahlia Flute Duo, 016 and 20/20 Chamber Honors Ensemble, among many others. Marko is frequently performing as a founding member of Prometheus Duo with saxophonist, Joseph Abad. Currently Marko is pursuing his Doctoral degree at The Hartt School working with renowned American pianist, Dr. Paul Rutman. Marko holds MM degree from The Hartt School and Bachelor degree from Belgrade University of Arts, Serbia.
Sofia Basile, Early Childhood
Sofia Basile began her musical studies at age 3 on the violin. She received her Bachelors at New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Dimitri Murrath and is currently pursuing her Masters in Viola Performance at the Juilliard School studying with Carol Rodland. During her time at Juilliard, she has received both the George H. Gangwere Scholarship and the Fidelity Foundation Scholarship. An avid chamber musician and orchestral player, Sofia has performed in venues including Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Musikverein in Vienna and New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. She has performed with the Boston Philharmonic, the Juilliard Orchestra, Juilliard’s AXIOM ensemble and served as substitute principal violist of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Sofia believes that every child learns in their own unique way and strives to highlight the joys that come from music study.
Marjie Shemanski, Early Childhood
Originally from South East Michigan, Marjie Shemanski started playing the piano at the age of 5, studying with her father – a band teacher and electric bassist. After expressing interest in her Grandmothers old violin, Marjie began Suzuki lessons when she was 10. After graduating from Spring Arbor University with a B.A. in Violin performance, Marjie received her Suzuki teacher training at Blue Lake fine arts camp, Suzuki Royal Oak, and the Pennsylvania Suzuki institute. She has also studied the Dalcroze method of teaching at the Lucy Moses school in Manhattan, and Suzuki Early Childhood education at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
Before settling in New York, Marjie taught elementary music at Center School Abington, and served on the teaching faculty at Columbia College community music school in Chicago, the Chicago Suzuki Orff School, and The Evan Thomas Institute in Philadelphia. She also maintained a private studio of violin, viola, piano and ukulele students in Philadelphia. Marjie currently lives in Brooklyn and teaches Suzuki Early Childhood music at The Brooklyn Conservatory, and Suzuki violin at the Brooklyn College preparatory arts program.
Maya Webne-Behrman, Early Childhood
Maya began playing the violin at the age of five, inspired partly by the movie Music of the Heart (1999), which highlights the belief that anyone can play the violin. Now an avid teacher and performer, Maya is very happy to be part of the team at Silver Music and model this idea. Originally from Wisconsin, Maya moved to New York to pursue studies in early music and is performing regularly as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member. Maya believes that being a well-rounded performer and learner greatly lends itself to quality teaching and enjoys incorporating music theory, composition, and improvisation into her lessons. Maya enjoys teaching all levels and has experience in various settings, some of which include the 92nd Street Y, La Escuela de Música Sirinx in Burgos, Spain, and summer music clinics. Maya received a B.M. in Violin Performance with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.