ASU School of Music Prep Program

The Music Prep Program provides students from the community with opportunities for study with ASU faculty and graduate students.

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Teacher bios

Hannah Creviston, Music Play and Music Prep Program Director

Hannah Creviston, Music Play and Music Prep Program Director

Described as “impressive and expressive” (Fanfare Magazine) and “superb...[with] great dexterity, rhythm, and touch” (American Record Guide), Hannah Creviston is Assistant Professor of Practice (Piano Pedagogy), Director of the Music Prep Program and Coordinator of Class Piano at Arizona State University. She received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance and music education with a piano pedagogy concentration from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, studying with Eugenia Tsarov. A researcher and presenter on the effects of music on children with autism, she holds a Master of Music in piano performance and an Master of Music Education in early childhood/elementary music education from the University of South Carolina, where she studied piano with Scott Price. Prior to joining the faculty at ASU in Fall 2012, Creviston was on the faculty at the Crane School of Music.

As a soloist, she won the Crane Annual Concerto Competition and was a finalist in the Arthur Fraser Piano Competition. An avid performer of contemporary music, Creviston has premiered many compositions, including works by Whitney Ashe, Cameron Britt, David Heinick, Katherine Hoover, John Fitz Rogers, Timothy Sullivan, Brian Vlasak and Mark Weiser. Most notably, in 2007, she premiered Stacy Garrop’s Pieces of Sanity at Carnegie Hall with saxophonist Christopher Creviston.

As an accompanist, she has performed in festivals and competitions throughout the United States and abroad, including the World Saxophone Congress, Music Teachers National Association Solo Competition, North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Biennial Conferences, NASA Solo Competition, Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, Great Plains Saxophone Workshop, Potsdam Single Reed Summit, Penn State Single Reed Summit, Crane Saxophone Chamber Music Festival, Dutchess County Saxophone Day and the Southeastern Piano Festival. She has collaborated with various artists, including Elizabeth Buck, Christopher Creviston, Geoffrey Diebel, Joe Lulloff, Jeffrey Loeffert, Timothy McAllister, David Pittman-Jennings, David Stambler, Deanna Swoboda, James Umble, Robert Young, and members of the United States Military Bands.

A published author, Ms. Creviston has presented on topics such as “Music Learning Theory”, “Teaching Music to Children with Special Needs”, “How to Teach Proper Practice Techniques” and others. She has presented at conferences such as the World Piano Conference (Novi Sad, Serbia), Music Teachers National Association National Conferences, Texas Music Teachers Association Conference and the Arizona State Music Teachers Association Conferences, to name a few.

She performs regularly in a duo with her husband, Christopher Creviston. Together, they have recorded Snell Sessions and Columbia Sessions, both on the Albany Records label, and Sunday Afternoon and Breaking, available through CD Baby. Their recordings have been described as “engrossing” (Fanfare Magazine), “highly imaginative and expressive” (composer Denis Bédard), “a good blend of the standard and the new” (American Record Guide), and “sensitive, transparent, powerful music making that causes one to hold their breath often” (Donald Sinta).

David Berry, Jazz Piano

David Berry, Jazz Piano

David Berry

David Berry is a pianist/keyboardist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger/composer, and music educator. He currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Music at Arizona State University, where he is entering the final year of his studies towards his Masters of Music degree in jazz piano performance.

A native of Wenatchee, WA, Berry has been active as a performer since youth. 

Appearing at venues around the Pacific Northwest and the Phoenix Valley, he is quickly gaining recognition as an emerging young artist.

Berry maintains a busy schedule of performing in addition to teaching private lessons, jazz piano classes, jazz combos. His teaching assignment for the 2019-2020 school year includes instructing ASU’s new courses “Modern Jazz Arranging I and II”.

A graduate of Washington State University, Berry received his Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance in 2017, Magna Cum Laude. While at WSU, Berry studied jazz and arranging with Grammy award winning pianist/arranger Brian Ward, Pulitzer prize nominee Dr. Greg Yasinitsky, as well as classical piano with Dr’s Jeff Savage and Karen Savage. In addition to his primary studies on piano, Berry was active in the music education and choral music groups at WSU. With an interest in administrative work, Berry also served for two and a half years as the president of Allegro: The Student Association for Musical Advocacy.

Berry placed as the top finalist in the 2016 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival collegiate solo instrumentalist category, and soon after made his professional debut as a jazz pianist with the Vern Sielert/Dave Hagelganz Quintet. Working with this quintet of experienced professors is how Berry made his connections to Michael Kocour and the Phoenix professional music community.

Immediately after completion of undergraduate studies, Berry accepted a temporary teaching certificate to take over as Director of Orchestral music at his Alma Mater high school. Upon completion of the spring semester, Berry was offered an opportunity to take over as Director of Instrumental music at Eastmont High School, a 4A program, but ultimately declined to pursue studies at ASU.

Now a resident of Tempe, AZ, Berry can be seen performing regularly around the Phoenix Valley at venues such as The Nash, The Valley Bar, The Lost Leaf, Carly’s Bistro, etc. Aside from his role in school of music ensembles, Berry plays important parts in local groups such as Dr. Chris Stover’s “Helical Ensemble”, Biddy Healy’s “Salt River Bed”, Alex Oliverio’s “Sunshine Ensemble”, Dr. Ben Hedquist’s Trio & Elton John tribute project, “Yellow Brick Rodeo”.

Previous compositional commissions include solo instrumental pieces, works for four-voice choral ensembles, indoor percussion ensembles, marching percussion ensembles, and jazz big bands. Berry is available for commissions as a composer, although his recent compositional focus has narrowed in on jazz trios/quartets/quintets.

Berry’s debut jazz piano trio album, “Pomegranate” is available for purchase at davidberrymusic. bandcamp.com

Connect with him on Instagram: @davidberrymusic & Be sure to watch for monthly calendar updates and other news at Davidberrymusic.com 

Kirsten Blair, Voice

Kirsten Blair, Voice

Kirsten Hutchinson

Kirsten Hutchinson is currently engaged in the pursuit of a musical career based out of Fairbanks, Alaska. She enjoys a vibrant musical lifestyle as a soloist, private teacher, classroom instructor, and performer. Kirsten was awarded the honor of being selected by Metropolitan Opera Conductor, Gregory Buchalter, as Opera Fairbanks' first Young Artist Apprentice for the 2010-2012 seasons. Additionally, she has played several principal roles with Opera Fairbanks, Anchorage Opera, University of Alaska Fairbanks's Opera Workshop, and internationally with Théâtre Roger Barat in France and the Lowveld Chamber Music Association in South Africa. Some of these roles include; Lucy in Menotti's The Telephone, Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen, Desdemona/Nanetta in Verdi and the Bard, Roxy LaRue in the World Premiere of The Color of Gold, and Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.

Kirsten has been a featured soloist at the UAF New Music Festival, the Vianden Festival in Luxembourg, with the Northern Lights String Orchestra, and was selected to perform with the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. She has performed the Soprano role in the UAF University Chorus' performance of Saint-Saëns' Oratorio de Noël, covered the Soprano role of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem in public rehearsal with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, and most recently performed the Soprano role in Franz Schubert's Mass in G Major with the Uplands Festival Orchestra in South Africa. She traveled for two consecutive sessions to Zimbabwe as a featured soloist and is an active board member for Music Inspire Africa. She appears frequently in solo recital in Fairbanks, and has also given performances at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music in New York, Loyola University in Louisiana, Athens in Greece, White River and Nelspruit, SA, and in her home state of Maine. Kirsten competes often in regional and state competitions, claiming 1st Place in the 2014 NATS Alaska Advanced Artist Competition.

She completed her Graduate Teaching Assistantship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks under the artistry of Dr. Jaunelle Celaire and joined the University of Alaska faculty as an Adjunct Professor of Voice in 2015. She is currently a DMA student of Dr. Stephanie Weiss (Arizona State University). 

Natalie Burton, Piano

Natalie Burton, Piano

Natalie Burton

Natalie Burton is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in piano pedagogy and performance at ASU. A long-time resident of the Pacific Northwest, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU)magna cum laude. There she studied with Oksana Ezhokina, Timothy Strong, and Regina Yeh; and was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, PLU Music Scholarship, and Bertha Gilbertson Endowed Piano Scholarship. Her deep interest in Chinese culture and piano education led to a year of research at Central China Normal University under a Fulbright Research Grant, where she took lessons with Xin Xin. This was followed by a Master’s degree in piano performance at Soochow University School of Music studying with Elise Yun. There she was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, Yamaha Music Scholarship, andChinese Government Outstanding International Student Scholarship. Natalie has given numerous solo recitals and performances in piano festivals and masterclasses. Notable performances include those for Suzhou Cultural Arts Center, Spokane Public Radio, PLU Board of Regents, and the Washington State Music Teachers’ Association State Conference. With a heart for teaching, Natalie has enjoyed enriching students’ lives with the joy of making music.

Ka Hou Chan, Piano

Ka Hou Chan, Piano

Ka Hou Chan

Ka Hou Chan is currently pursuing his DMA degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy under the tutelage of Dr. Baruch Meir at Arizona State University, where he also earned his Bachelor of Music degree with honor of summa cum laude in 2017. He received Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at Texas Christian University, where he served as a graduate assistant and accompanist for the opera program.

Born in Macao, China in 1995, Ka Hou began his musical studies at the age of 7. In 2007 and 2008, he had an opportunity to study with Mr. Jun Yang, a former chair from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. At the age of 12, he won the first prize in China Guangzhou National Piano Competition and made his first concerto debut with orchestra at the age of 14, playing Yellow River Piano Concerto. In the same year, he was accepted into the pre-college program of Escola de Musica do Conservatorio de Macau (Macao Conservatory School of Music).

Ka Hou has been sponsored by The Cultural Affairs Bureau in Macao since 2013 for his studies abroad, and was recipients of numerous distinguished scholarships and 
awards – “Special Music Talent Scholarship,” “Fine Arts Music Award,” “Herberger Institute Award,” “Helene M. Robinson Award.” He has participated in masterclasses of many teachers and artists, such as Yoheved Kaplinsky, Asaf Zohar, Tamás Ungár, Nancy Weems, Anne Epperson, Min Kwon, Igal Kesselman, Tatiana Gerasimova, Victor Asuncion, Jun Yang, Xinning Zhang, Gabriel Kwok, Jackson Leung, The Shanghai Quartet and The Rossetti Quartet. He has also participated in international festivals such as Schlern International Music Festival (Italy) and White Nights International Piano Festival (Russia).

Ka Hou started teaching piano at the age of 15 and he is very excited to be one of the instructors at ASU Prep Program and Teaching Assistants for class piano at ASU, starting Fall 2019.

Yuerong Gong, Piano

Yuerong Gong, Piano

Yuerong Gong is a doctoral student in piano performance at Arizona State University, studying under Professor Robert Hamilton. She received her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Wuhan Conservatory of Music under Professor Liqing Jiang and pianist Hong Xu, and her master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Professor Yoshikazu Nagai.

Ms. Gong has won multiple prizes and scholarships throughout her study and career in piano performance, including the MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition (Arizona, 2014), First Prize in the Bluthner Irmler Piano Competition (Guangzhou, China, 2011), the Golden Prize of the Changjiang Spring Young Artist Competition (Wuhan, China 2012), First Prize in the Yangtze River Asian Youth Music Competition (Wuhan, China, 2011), National Scholarship for Encouragement (Wuhan, China, 2010), and the Salor Scholarship (San Francisco, CA, 2012).

Ms. Gong has taught piano since her freshman year of undergraduate study and was also a piano instructor at Lycée Français de San Francisco. Her students are from different cultures and age groups. Many of her students have won prizes in piano competitions, including the Hongkong Opening Piano Competition, Macau Piano Competition, and Jinzhong Competition for Younger Kids. Some of her students have also been admitted into prestigious conservatories in the United States.

Ning Guan, Piano

Ning Guan, Piano

Ning Guan

Ning Guan is a doctoral student in Piano Performance Pedagogy at the ASU School of Music, studying with Prof. Robert Hamilton and Prof. Hannah Creviston. She holds a Bachelors Degree with Honors in piano performance from Auckland University School of Music in New Zealand, where she studied with Prof. Rae de Lisle. She achieved her Master of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the ASU School of Music under Prof. Robert Hamilton and Dr. Janice Thompson. She has performed in Jinan, Qingdao and Beijing in China; Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand; and Arizona in the United States. She also played ensembles and accompaniments for The Royal New Zealand Ballet School in Auckland. After she came to the states, she joined the National Music Teacher Association and has been an active member of the East Valley Music Teacher Association. She is an independent piano teacher who has over twenty years of teaching experience. Her students have won EVMTA Piano Competitions and Prize Piano Performers, played in Ensembles and recitals and participated in ASP Piano Evaluation each year. She has a great passion for teaching and performing. Besides music, she also loves poetry, visual arts and philosophy. She emphasizes on fusing different artistic forms in her teaching to inspire students have a wider variety of imagination and deeper understanding of music.

Isidora Jovanovic, Piano

Isidora Jovanovic, Piano

Isidora Jovanovich

Isidora Jovanovic is currently a Faculty Assistant and a Doctoral candidate (ABD) in piano performance in the studio of the distinguished Brazilian pianist and Regent Professor at Arizona State University, Dr. Cao Pagano. Her career as a soloist accelerated after she was awarded with the 2nd Prize at the international piano competition Nikolai Rubinstein in Paris (1997). Soon after Ms. Jovanovic went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Novi Sad, studying with Dr. Dorian Leljak. She earned a Master of Music in piano performance from Northwestern University under Dr. James Giles, and a second graduate degree from Florida Atlantic University under Dr. Edward Turgeon. In 2012, Ms. Jovanovic won the FAU Aria & Concerto Competition and subsequently performed with the FAU Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, she has been awarded with attendance of  a chamber music program in Sion, Switzerland where she performed alongside with the finest musicians of La Haute École de Musique de Lausanne (HEMU).  During her academic career at ASU she has performed at Katzin Concert Hall, Scottsdale Center for the Arts but also in Austin, Texas and Boca Raton, Florida.  

Isidora’s teaching career spans over ten years and involves students of all ages and musical affinities. For the past three years she has been a Teaching Assistant for class piano at ASU. In the past five years she has been re invited and re hired as the head piano instructor for TOPS (Teaching Outstanding PerformerS) Piano and Creative Writing Camp at Florida Atlantic University. There she has been involved in teaching group, individual and duet piano lessons to children age five through college age.  Besides piano lessons, her duties at Florida Atlantic University involved music theory and history lectures. Many of her students from her teaching career days in Serbia continued to purse academic careers in music. Isidora strongly believes in musical potential of every student and adjusts to specific needs and learning style of each individual she works with. One of Isidora’s greatest passions is imbedding love for music in all her students and encouraging them to share that love and their talents with others.

Jiaxian Li, Piano

Jiaxian Li, Piano

Jiaxian Li

Jiaxian Li was born on April 22, 1993, Sichuan, China. She has been studying piano since she was 4 years old. She studied with Wei Kang, a piano professor from Xichang University. In 2005, she entered the high school of Sichuan Conservatory of Music and studied with Hanguo Yang, a former head of piano department of Sichuan Conservatory of Music. She won the first prize in “Xichang Piano Competition” in 2002. In the same year, she won the second prize in “Stanley National Piano Competition”. In 2011, she got honorable mention in KAWAI national competition. In 2012, she won the First Prize Winner of The Performance Award of Sichuan Conservatory of Music. In 2016, she won the First Prize Winner of the FSMTA Byrd Memorial Piano Ensemble Competition.

 Besides playing the piano, Jiaxian likes teaching very much. She started to teach since she was 16 years old. Some of her students have passed the Piano Grade Exam and one of her students has awarded the second prize in a piano competition in 2015. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2015, and the Master’s degree at Lynn University. Currently she is studying piano performance emphasis on piano pedagogy at ASU as a Doctoral student.   

Yi Lu, Piano

Yi Lu, Piano

Yi Lu

Yi Lu is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Arizona State University where she also finished her master degree, majoring in piano performance under Professor Robert Hamilton. Ms. Lu started teaching piano back to her undergraduate years in Shenyang Conservatory of Music in Dalian, China. Her students covered both professional players and amateurs from six to seventy years old. For the past three years Ms. Lu has been a Teaching Assistant for class piano for music major and non-majors.

As an active soloist, Yi Lu She has performed with orchestra at the Perugia International Musicfest in Italy, gives solo performances at the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg and has been heard in recitals and concerts throughout China and Unite States. In addition, she actively participates in many chamber music concerts.

Yuhui Li, Piano

Yuhui Li, Piano

Yuhui Li

Yuhui Li is a doctoral student in piano performance at Arizona State University, studying under Robert Hamilton. She obtained the M.M. degree from San Francisco Consecratory of Music under Professor Yoshikazu Nagai, and she earned the B.A. degree from Renmin University of China with an outstanding graduation award, studied with Fang Zhang, Shigu Zhang, Xing Zhou, Bochao Dong.

Yuhui has performed as soloist and chamber musician in America and China. She has been invited to international music festivals, including Cincinnati International Music Festival and Colorado International Music Festival. Yuhui is also a prizewinner of many piano competitions, including Colorado International piano competition (USA, 2013), Second Prize in in Xi Wang National Piano Competition (Beijing, China, 2013), First Prize in Yangze River National Piano Competition (Beijing, China, 2012).

Yuhui started to teach piano to children since 2011. When she studied in San Francisco, she worked at Music City Academy, Jefferson Elementary School, and John Yehall Chin School as a private piano teacher and music assistant. Her responsibilities include giving piano lessons to children whose ages ranged from 5 to 18 and deliver feedbacks to the parents. Ms. Li has developed a systematic approach to help children stimulate their interests in music. Based on her experience, the children in Music Prep School will have a great memory after taking her lessons.

Joel Martinez, Piano

Joel Martinez, Piano

Joel Martinez

Joel Martinez is a university professor and a pianist with very high professional standards. This has allowed him to stand out as one of the leading performers and teachers in his home country of Honduras.

Martínez has always been passionate about teaching music and found himself teaching even before deciding to pursue a career in music. As of 2018, he had worked for ten years as a faculty member of the Art Department at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH for its acronym in Spanish). As a teacher, he has taught courses on Harmony, Counterpoint, Solfege, Music History, and Piano.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance from UNAH, under the tutelage of Maestro Wolfgang Lappenberg. Besides that, he took a semester worth of lessons with Dr. Carl Blake, Fulbright scholar, during his residency in Honduras. As a university student, Mr. Martínez was able to travel several times to the United States to attend The Master Works Festival in Winona Lake, Indiana, receiving private and master classes with renowned faculty from music schools such as Eastman, Curtis, University of Michigan and Arizona State University.

As a performer, he has played as a soloist with the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras at UNAH, and frequently collaborates with chamber music ensembles and accompanies student graduation recitals. In addition to his work within the university, Mr. Martínez quickly emerged as prominent national pianist. He has played several recitals as a collaborative pianist alongside some of the best Honduran performers. Some highlights include his performance as a soloist of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, and regular performances with them when harpsichord, organ, harp or other keyboard parts are required. Joel has helped prepare several operas, as répétiteur and cembalist. Besides performing in the classical landscape, he also plays in a band with jazz, funk, and fusion influences. With a fresh proposal of original music, Mr. Martínez has been invited to play concerts at international festivals held at institutions such as the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

All the preceding experiences have contributed to his teaching philosophy, regarding music and piano performing as a whole. His approach to studying, performing and teaching has consistently improved over the years, implementing every valuable piece of instruction obtained as a performer and as a student from world class faculty.

Pedro Peréz, Guitar

Pedro Peréz, Guitar

Pedro Peréz

Pedro L. Pérez Cáceres was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began studying the guitar with
Emilio Cruz and later continued with Jacques Landry and Michael Curtis at Interamerican
University in San Germán, Puerto Rico. He obtained his BA in Music from the Conservatory of
Music of Puerto Rico, studying under Luis Enrique Júlia, José Rodriguez Alvira, and Leonardo
Egúrbida. Later he received his Masters Degree in Music from Arizona State University, where
he was a Fulbright scholarship student of Professor Frank Koonce.

In July of 1998, he was awarded the Pro-Arte scholarship from Asociación Pro Orquesta
Sinfónica (APOS), to attend the National Guitar Workshop directed by Nathaniel Gunod, where
he studied with Julian Gray, Michael Cedric Smith, and Richard Provost. He has performed in
master classes of Nicholas Goluses, Juan Mercadal, Leonardo Egúrbida, Eladio Sharon, William
Kanengiser, and Xavier Jara. In 1999, he was invited to perform an opening recital for the
renowned popular music guitarist, José Feliciano, at the Marriott Hotel in El Paso, Texas.

During the school year 2003-2004, he joined the high school music faculty at the Rivera High
School in Brownsville, Texas, where he was in charge of the music elective guitar classes. While
there, he also served at the Estudiantina Director for the Rivera High School in the Brownsville
Independent School District Fine Arts Program. His latest performances include a duo concerts
with the former Phoenix Symphony Principal Flutist Alex Viazovtsev for the Downtown
Chamber Series directed by Mark Dix, a recording session with the flutist Sherry Finzer, 2
concerts with the flutist Monica Anthony for the Mill Ave Chambers Players Concert Series, and
performances as a member of the Glendale Community College- Guitar Orchestra, directed by
Chuck Hulihan. Pedro spends some of his time off practicing the electric guitar, swimming,
dancing salsa, and drinking coffee.

Molly Lajoie Plutnicki, Musical Theatre

Molly Lajoie Plutnicki, Musical Theatre

Molly Plutnicki

Molly Lajoie is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and AMDA, New York.  She is an award-winning choreographer here in the valley.  She has choreographed for Phoenix Theatre, Childsplay, Arizona Opera, Arizona Broadway Theatre, Black Theatre Troupe, Arizona State University, Valley Youth Theatre, Greasepaint, and Prather Entertainment.  Three of her shows have been on national tour as well. Molly directed/choreographed ASU’s production of Kiss Me Kate last fall.  She also had directed/choreographed A Chorus Line and Marvelous Wonderettes at TheaterWorks.  But she also loves performing. Some of her acting credits include White Christmas (Judy), Godspell (Molly) The Will Rogers Follies (Ziegfeld’s Favorite—Ari-Zoni Nominee), Cats (Victoria), Company (Susan), Grease (Marty), Crazy for You (Tess), Beauty and the Beast (Babette), Seussical the Musical (Bird Girl), The Three Javelinas (Josefina) and Molly Sweeney (Molly). She was also a featured singer-dancer for An Evening with Rogers and Hammerstein with the Phoenix Symphony.  Molly is a teaching artist for Childsplay, teaches Broadway Dance Styles, Tap and Musical Theatre Dance Technique in the MTO Department at ASU, is an instructor at Phoenix Theatre’s Summer of Dance program, and started her own company “Fall into Dance,” which offers private and drop-in classes throughout the year.

Lajoie is a teaching artist for Childsplay for both their summer programs as well as residencies.  She also teaches for Phoenix Theatre’s Summer of Dance program and started her own company Fall into Dance to continue to bring adult dance classes to the valley throughout the year.  Lajoie is represented by Dani’s Agency.

Lajoie attended Minorm Modern Dance, Saint Mary's College (1996), received a BA in communications and theatre from the University of Notre Dame (1996) and an Intregrated Program Certificate, AMDA, New York (1998).

Astrid Morales, Piano

Astrid Morales, Piano

Astrid Morales

Astrid Morales is a 25 years old Mexican pianist currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance at Arizona State University with the recognized teacher Mr. Robert Hamilton. Astrid holds Master’s degrees in Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy and Performer’s Diploma in Piano from Southern Methodist University where she studied with Joaquín Achúcarro. In 2012, she graduated from National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, where she studied with Mr. Héctor Rojas.
Winner of the First Prize at the General Concerto Competition – Meadows School of the Arts 2014 in Dallas, TX, she performed with Meadows Symphony Orchestra under conductor Dr. Paul Phillips in Caruth Auditorium.
Astrid made her debut when she was 8 years old at Opus 94.5 Radio Station in Mexico City. When she was 11, she made her debut as soloist with Queretaro Philharmonic conducted by José Guadalupe Flores.

Since 2003, Astrid has an intensive soloist career and has appeared on several occasions with the most important Mexican orchestras and conductors such as: Mexico State Symphony Orchestra (Enrique Bátiz and Virgilio Valle), Mexico City Philarmonic (José Areán), National Polytechnic Institute Symphony Orchestra (Alfredo Ibarra and Gabriela Díaz Alatriste), Aguascalientes Symphony (Stephano Mazzoleni),  among many others.
As recitalist, Astrid has performed in the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Canada. In addition, she has performed in the most important concert halls in Mexico.

Astrid has been awarded several prizes and scholarships including the 2011 Youth Mexican Prize and Grand Prix to Exceptional Talents and Best Interpretation of Mexican Music at the Second National Piano Competition “Petrof – Symphony – Pearl River” in Mexico among others.

Astrid has always been an active and passionate performer of Mexican music. She recorded her first CD “Rimero Musical” with music of the recognized Mexican composer Ladislao Juárez. Furthermore, Morales collaborated in “El Oficio Mío” with music of the Mexican composer Armando Rosas.

As an active chamber musician, Morales has performed in different ensembles including SYZYGY, directed by the acclaimed violinist Matt Albert and has collaborated with the world renowned cellist Andrés Díaz.

Astrid Morales is part of the Teaching Assistants at Arizona State University where she shares her excitement for teaching.  Morales has appeared in several TV shows, newspapers and radio interviews in Mexico, Italy, The Netherlands and United States.

Svetlana Obregon Saenz, Piano

Svetlana Obregon Saenz, Piano

Svetlana Obregon Saenz enjoys a successful career as a pianist, collaborative artist, and educator. A prizewinner of international and regional competitions, she has been heard in recitals and concerts throughout Europe, Russia, and United States. Hailing from Russia, Svetlana graduated with highest honors from Balakirev Music College and Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory, having studied with Ellina Vlasova, Galina Blagovidova, and Ekaterina Fleorova. She holds Master of Music Performance degree from Bowling Green State University where she was a student of Dr. Robert Satterlee. In addition to her formal studies, Svetlana has been taking private lessons with Paul Ostrovsky in New York. Currently, she is working towards her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University studying with distinguished professor Robert Hamilton. Passionate about giving her knowledge in music and music education, Svetlana has been teaching for more than 10 years both in Russia and United States, guiding her students to a deep understanding of piano playing. Currently she is a Teaching Assistant at Arizona State University, and in fall 2014 began working in Piano Prep Program at ASU School of Music. In her teaching approach, Svetlana considers the individuality of each student and provides the most complete and diverse education. She believes that technical issues should be solved based on the musical goals and serve for the expression of the musical content.

As a soloist, Svetlana has been recognized on the international level through participating in numerous competitions such as International Music Festival “Musica Classica” in Ruza, Russia and International Piano Solo Competition “Music Without Limits” in Druskininkai, Lithuania. In addition to her solo accomplishments, Svetlana has been active in chamber music, working with many artists on two continents. A recipient of Honorable Award for Excellence in Performance and High Professional Achievements as a collaborative artist and teacher, Svetlana received Best Accompanist Award at the Sixth Open Russian Art Song Competition held in city of Vladimir in Russia in 2010, as well as First Prize at the Seventh Annual Chamber Music Competition held in Bowling Green State University in 2013.

Vitaly Serebriakov, Piano

Vitaly Serebriakov, Piano

Vitaly Serebriakov

Russian pianist Vitaly Serebriakov is a first prize winner in numerous competitions, including The Art of XXI Century International Piano Competition in Athens, Greece, the Russian Open Contest of Pianists in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, “Music Without Limits” International Piano Competition in Druskininkai, Lithuania, and the 2nd International Piano Rachmaninoff Competition in Frankfurt, Germany.

In addition to being an accomplished soloist, Vitaly is also a devoted collaborative artist and a recent prizewinner in the 2012 13th Annual Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song, winning all three of the top prizes with three separate singers for the first time in the history of the competition.

Recent performances include appearances with the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra, playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Rachmaninoff Variations on the Theme by Paganini; concerts in Steinway Hall in New York City; Virginia G. Piper Theater in Scottsdale, and Tempe Center for the Arts. He has been on Arizona PBS, WBGU-TV, NNTV “Jazz Night Program,” WGTE “Live from FM 91,” and “Prestige” Radio 102.4 FM of Nizhny Novgorod.

With a deep passion for piano pedagogy, Vitaly has taught privately for ten years, guiding young musicians to understand the technical and musical aspects of playing. For his expertise in

pedagogy, he was awarded a Teaching Assistantship at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and at Arizona State University. Currently he serves as Faculty Associate for the Piano Department at ASU and as piano instructor for the ASU Music Prep Program. He has held similar positions at the Balakirev Music College in Russia, and Nizhny Novgorod Glinka Conservatory.

Vitaly began his musical studies at age eight with Liliya Makarova and later studied with the renowned Natalia Fish at the Balakirev College of Music. A recipient of the Governor’s Award for Talented Youth, Vitaly participated in major concerts and festivals organized by the College of Music and the Nizhny Novgorod Glinka Conservatory.

In 2010, he was awarded a full scholarship to earn his Master’s degree at Bowling Green State University under the guidance of Dr. Robert Satterlee. Currently, he is working towards his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at Arizona State University, studying with Professor Robert Hamilton. He is also pianist in residence at Christ Presbyterian Church in Goodyear, Arizona where he accompanies the choir and plays for the services.

Vitaly attended the Summer International Piano Institute and Festival in New Palz in 2012, studying with internationally acclaimed musicians Alexander Korsantia, Anthony Newman, Robert Hamilton, Philip Kawin, Susan Starr, and Paul Ostrovsky. In addition to his formal studies, Vitaly has studied with renowned pianist and educator Vladimir Feltsman, a proponent of the Russian Piano Tradition—the tradition of Vitaly’s deeply held musical heritage.

Kristina Šatuho, Piano

Kristina Šatuho, Piano

Kristina Satuho

Kristina Šatuho (pronounced sha-tu-ho) is a classical pianist from Estonia with a Russian heritage.

Kristina received a great deal of recognition, including invitations to perform in solo concerts in Estonia and Finland. In 2013 she won a concerto competition and was given an opportunity to perform Mozart Piano Concerto No.23 in A-major with Georg Ots Music School Symphony under the baton of Lauri Sirp in Tartu and Tallinn. Additionally, Kristina was a Laureate at the Estonian National Competition of Music Schools in 2014.

Born in a town of 4,000 people, Kristina was drawn to music from a very early age, beginning piano lessons at the age of 5.  At the age 14, she moved to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, to pursue her dreams of becoming a pianist. She graduated with top honors from the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School and was accepted into the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Since 2015 Kristina has been pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance in Arizona State University working with renowned piano professor and Steinway Artist Robert Hamilton where she has been awarded a Special Talent Scholarship as well as Alice and Peter Buseck Scholarship.

She has performed extensively in the Phoenix area for the last two years, in such venues as Scottsdale Center for the Art, Tempe Center for the Art, Gammage, Kerr Cultural Center, Oracle Piano Society, as well as performing in local churches and retirement centers.

Additionally, to her solo career, Kristina has been a frequent collaborator with other musicians, which include recitals with singers and other instrumentalists.

Lirui Xiong, Piano

Lirui Xiong, Piano

Lirui Xiong

Lirui Xiong started playing the piano at the age of ten in Chongqing, China. At age thirteen, she attended the attached middle school of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. In 2014, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music under Daxin Zheng and Bo Tang. Over the course of her education, Lirui has won numerous piano competitions including 2019 Osaka Regional International Music Competition ( Honorable mention), the 14th Hong Kong Asia Piano Open Competition (Chopin Nocturne Category, 3rd Prize, 2007), the Toyama Piano Competition in Chongqing (1st Prize, 2004 and 2010), the Shanxia Bowl Piano Competition in Sichuan (3rd prize, 2003). Lirui has participated in various festivals and masterclasses, working with renowned pedagogues such as Richard Goode, Arthur Greene, Nancy Weems, and Rebecca Penneys among many others. Among these festivals are the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival (Tampa, 2016), the Brancaleoni International Music Festival (Italy, 2017), and the Prague Piano Festival (Czech Republic, 2019). In 2019, Lirui obtained her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Chamber Music at the University of South Florida School of Music under Dr. Svetozar Ivanov. There, she held an assistantship in teaching and accompanying. Lirui will be pursuing her Doctoral of Musical Arts in Piano Performance Pedagogy in Arizona State University School of Music.