Gracias Music

MUSIC

CONDUCTOR

Petko Dimitrov

Petko Dimitrov is a distinguished educator, who works closely with established youth organizations, such as New Jersey Youth Symphony, Grater Newark Youth Orchestra, inter-school orchestras of New York, and Mannes College Preparatory Division. Previously, Petko has served as the artistic director and conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra’s summer series at Lasdon Park in Katonah, New York. He has also been a conductor of the Princeton Symphony. In performances with WCYO, Mr. Dimitrov had his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007 and Avery Fisher Hall in 2008. In the spring of 2007, Mr. Dimitrov led the orchestra on tour in Austria and performed in prestigious concert venues including Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt and Schlossberg in Graz. In July 2009, Petko was appointed the conductor of Excalibur – The Celtic Rock Opera, which toured major cities in Germany in 60 2010-2011.

Petko Dimitrov is currently the music director of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra and the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria. He also presently serves as music director of Cavallo Classico in Munich, Germany. In 2012, Mr. Dimitrov was invited by the Curtis Institute of Music to be a conductor in residence at the Young Artist Summer Program, which resulted in immediate reinvitation for the 2013 and 2014 Curtis Summerfest.

Petko completed his Master Degree in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under the direction of Prof. Kenneth Kiesler. He completed his studies with Prof. Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, John Hopkins University, where he pursued a Graduate Performance Diploma in Orchestra Conducting.

CHOIR

Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey is an American conductor and baroque violist. He is the founder and artistic director of the American Baroque Orchestra. From 1992 to 2008, Bailey served on the faculty of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he taught composition, analysis, choral leadership, and Church Slavonic. He also served on the conducting staff for the chapel choirs, and he founded the Composers Seminar at St. Vladimir’s in 2007 and 2008. Bailey continues to teach and conduct Orthodox sacred music at various conferences and seminars throughout North America. He teaches conducting and performance practice to a select number of students and is a Fellow at Davenport College, Yale University.

VOICE

Eunjoo Lee

Mezzo-soprano Eunjoo Lee enjoys a rich performing career which embraces a combination of oratorio, symphonic soloist, opera and recitals. Currently, she is a music director at Hillsdale United Methodist Church in New Jersey. 

Eunjoo Lee received her M.A. from Licinio Reface Conservatory Frosinone in Italy.

Hearan Kim

Hearan has taught at many top Korean universities in music and has won first place at the KBS Seoul New Artist Competition. She has recorded three albums and is currently performing and developing herself as a soprano artist. 

Jiyoung Lee

Lauded by the Washington Post for her “commanding presence,” and “deep ample resonance and rich, jewel toned voice,” Soprano Jiyoung Lee is a rare vocal talent who presents passionate performances and genuine characters, always with a voice rich in emotion and color. She currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. 

Jiyoung Lee received her M.M. from the Juilliard School.

Kanae Matsumoto

Kanae is a vocal coach at Manhattan School of Music, Classical Singing, and Chautauqua Institution. She has performed all around the world, including Japan, Germany, Italy and Russia. She also has appeared at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Society. 

Kanae received her D.M.A. from University of California, Los Angeles.

Seong Sook Choi

Seong Sook Choi received her Doctor of Musical Arts from State University of New York at Stony Brook and Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. While she was studying, she has won several major opera competition including 1st place in the Dicapo Opera Theater Opera Competition and 1st place in the Five Towns Music and Art Foundation Competition and New York district winner at Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. Ms. Choi has worked at YonSei University, Kyung Won University, and Korea National University of Art as a faculty member. Currently, she has been working as the president of N.Y. conservatory of Music and Art and the president of Kaliope Music Society.

PIANO

Anastasia Dedik

Anastasia Dedik has performed on some of the most important stages in the world, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia and has appeared as a soloist with Fort Worth Symphony, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, NYCA Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Symphony, Oberlin Orchestra and others. She has been featured on RAI in Italy, NDR TV in Germany, ABC in NYC as well as in an episode of NBC’s Law and Order SVU, performing Beethoven’s “Appassionata”. After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Anastasia continued her education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School. She has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including The Governor of Saint Petersburg Award for Achievements in Arts, Harold and Helene Schonberg Piano Scholarship and Susan W. Rose Fellowship at The Juilliard School in NYC. Anastasia is a top prizewinner of many international piano competitions, including “Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU” International Piano Competition, San Jose International Piano Competition, Pietro Argento International Piano Competition and others.

Ms. Dedik’s début solo CD was released in February 2008 by GPM Records in Recco, Italy. Anastasia is also a founding member of the Prima Trio, an ensemble that burst onto the international stage when they won the Grand Prize at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in 2007. Since then Prima Trio has performed over 200 concerts throughout the United States and released their first album, “Prima” in April of 2012. Anastasia is the Founder and Artistic Director of the “Russian Heritage” Piano Competition for young pianists, which was held in 2012 in Russia and will be continued in New York City in 2016.

Kalina Mrmevska

Hailed by critics as “a pianist of enviable power,” “an artist of clear and vivid vision,” award winning pianist Kalina Mrmevska made her debut at the age of nine. Kalina has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestra soloist all around the world. She is also an active teaching artist and educator at Stony Brook University, Long Island Conservatory, and Danube International Concerto Masterclass. 

Kalina received her D.M.A. from State University of New York at Stony Brook.

KEYBOARD HARMONY

Bowei Chen

Bowei is currently studying for his D.M.A. from Stony Brook University. He is currently working at Southold Opera, Thalia Greenhalgh’s Suzuki Violin Studio and Smithtown United Methodist Church.

Bowei received his M.M. from State University of New York at Stony Brook.

VIOLIN

Bela Horvath

Bela Horvath is a distinguished young artist of international stature, winner of numerous prizes and awards, TV and radio appearances, and major performances in various European countries and the U.S. to his credit. In 1996, Bela entered the Béla Bartók Conservatory In Budapest, Hungary, where he studied with Istvan Kertesz, the first violinist of the Festetics String Quartet. In 2002, the renowned violinist, violist, and conductor Pinchas Zukerman invited Mr. Horvath to study with him and his associate, Heifetz Institute faculty member Patinka Kopec, at the Manhattan School of Music. Bela Horvath has worked with leading violinists and pedagogues including Zakhar Bron, Jaime Laredo, Gyorgy Pauk, Ruggiero Ricci, Aaron Rosand, and Joseph Silverstein.

CELLO

Jenny Kwak

Cellist Jenny Kwak holds a master’s degree from Yale School of Music. She was principal cellist at the Pacific Music Fes- tival, and has appeared as soloist with the Music in the Mountains Chamber Orchestra and Texas Christian Univer- sity Symphony Orchestra, where she was the winner of the concerto competition.

CONTRABASS

Troy L. Rinker, Jr.

Troy Rinker’s musical journey began in the public schools of Jacksonville, Arkansas at 10 years old. At age 15 he was play- ing professionally with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, their youngest full member to be appointed to a position. Mr. Rinker’s musical education continued at Indiana Uni- versity, the University of Central Arkansas, and The Juilliard School, where he was fortunate to study from great bass lu- minaries Lawrence Hurst, James Hatch, and Homer Mensch. An enthusiast of modern music, Mr. Rinker has been a partic- ipant in many world premier performances and recordings by composers such as John Corigliano, Sebastian Currier, Charles Wuorinen, David Brynjar Franzson, Frances White, Roscoe Mitchell, Richard Toensing, Peteris Vasks, Mark O’Connor, Brian Ferneyhough, and Peter Kotik, to name a few. As a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member Mr. Rinker regularly appears on all of New York’s concert stages, including Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, the 92nd Street Y, BAM, and Carnegie Hall. A member of several ensembles, Mr. Rinker performs regularly with the West Side Chamber Orchestra, New York City Chamber Orchestra, New York Symphonic Ensemble, Oratorio Society of New York Orches- tra, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Metamorphosen Cham- ber Orchestra, SONOS Chamber Orchestra, EOS Chamber Orchestra, SEM Ensemble, New York Pops, American Com- poser’s Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Stamford Symphony. In addition to Mr. Rinker’s busy performance schedule, he teaches double bass at The Third Street Music Settlement, the oldest public music program in the United States, and at the Noel Pointer Foundation. His summer festival credits include OK Mozart, Tanglewood, Spoleto, the Naumburg Bandshell concerts, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, and Caramoor. Mr. Rinker can be heard on labels Sony Clas- sical, Telarc, Naxos, and North/South, in addition to several studio recordings for television and film. His instrument is a fine example of the modern bass maker Chris Threlkeld- Wiegand, of Iowa.

FLUTE

Lisa Jaklitsch

Lisa Jaklitsch Westervelt hails from Long Island, New York and has performed as a soloist in major concert halls throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City and the Tonhalle Concert Hall in Zurich, Switzerland. A dedicated flute instructor, Lisa served as Adjunct Professor of Flute at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida from 2007-2012, before returning to Long Island to pursue her DMA studies with Carol Wincenc at SUNY Stony Brook. In addition to working as teaching assistant to Ms. Wincenc at Stony Brook University, Lisa maintains her own private studio in Suffolk County. This past summer, Lisa presented classes at the Pocono Flute Camp, where she worked with an enthusiastic group consisting of both high school flutists and adult amateurs.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory as a student of Michel Debost, a Masters of Music from Rice University as a student of Leone Buyse, and a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory as a student of Marina Piccinini.

OBOE

Slava Znatchenii

Slava Znatchenii has been called “a beautifully crafted musician” by The Met Opera Guild and the New York Times has noted Mr. Znatchenii for his shapely sound and velocity. Slava Znatchenii has served as the Principal Oboe of Chamber Orchestra of New York since the fall of 2007. Most recently, Mr. Znatchenii became the principal oboist with the Classical Concert Chamber orchestra and toured extensively throughout Spain, France, and several other European countries. A native of Moldova, Slava Znatchenii started his musical studies at the age of 10. He completed his Bachelor degree at the Mannes College of Music and holds a Masters and a Post Graduate Degree in Orchestral Performance from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Robinson, the principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic and Steven Taylor, the principal oboist of St. Lukes orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Currently, Slava Znatchenii resides in New York City where he also enjoys an active chamber music career and maintains a private teaching studio.

CLARINET

Sergiy Dvornichenko

Sergiy Dvornichenko began his music studies at the age of five, under the tutelage of his father, Viktor Dvornichenko at the Kharkov School of Music in Ukraine. He moved to the United States in order to pursue his clarinet education at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he began his studies with Richard Hawkins. He continued working with Mr. Hawkins at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he received a B.M. in 2006. In 2008, Mr. Dvornichenko received his M.M. degree from the Yale School of Music, studying with the world-renowned musician and professor of clarinet David Shifrin.

Mr. Dvornichenko has been the winner of numerous international clarinet competitions, including the International Competition in Lvov, Ukraine, the Second International Clarinet Competition in Moscow, Russia, the Selmer-Paris International Competition, the Concursal International de Muzica in Bucharest, Romania, as well as the Yale Chamber Music Competition in 2009.

BASSOON

Oleksiy Zakharov

A native of Ukraine, Oleksiy Zakharov is an active freelance musician in New York City. Mr. Zakharov has held positions of acting Associate Principal bassoon of Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as Second bassoon of Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 2009 to 2015.

Mr. Zakharov received a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory. Mr. Zakharov also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Orchestral Performance studies from Manhattan School of Music. His primary teachers include Patricia Rogers, Whitney Crockett, George Sakakeeny and Barrick States.

HORN

Denis Volodichev

Denis Volodichev is a world-class French horn player, born in a Russian town of Tambow, holds a Doctors of Music degree from Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He has also competed as a member of a chamber ensemble “Conoro Quintet” in such competitions as ARD, Tchaikovsky Competition and an All Russia music completion, where he won first and second prizes. Currently, Denis lives with his family in Northern New Jersey and performs regularly in the Greater New York/Tri-state area. He holds a principal horn position with the Gateway Symphony Orchestra and Manhattan Symphony and is a member of the Patriot Brass ensemble. He has also been performing with Garden State Philharmonic, Plain eld Symphony, Empire Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Sinphonia and others. Denis is sharing his passion for music by teaching French Horn and Chamber Ensemble at the Mahanaim Gracias Music Program and by giving private lessons.

PERCUSSION

Victor Caccese

Victor Caccese has a passion for percussion chamber music and is a founding member of the stunning Brooklyn-based percussion quartet, Sandbox Percussion. Sandbox gave a TEDx talk in Brooklyn with the composer collective Blind Ear Music. Victor is active in the discovery of new works for percussion through experimentation and collaboration with composers and other performers. Victor teaches percussion at the Dwight School in Manhattan. Victor endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets. Victor graduated with a M.M. from the Yale School of Music.

MUSICAL STUDIES

James Massol

James Massol is a bassoonist and music educator with a focus on musicology. In the past, he taught at University of North Florida. Dr. Massol has published articles about eight- eenth-century performance and bassoon reed mak- ing in the journal of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS). He has also presented academic papers at the Inter- national So- ciety for the Promotion and Research of Wind Music, Ameri- can Musicological Society chapters, and IDRS. Dr. Massol has a diverse educational background, including a focus on music history and theory in addition to bassoon. In 2007, he received a Fulbright grant to study eighteenth- century bas- soon repertoire with Albrecht Holder in Würz- burg, Germany. He holds a D.M.A. in bassoon performance and pedagogy from he University of Colorado, where he studied bassoon with Yoshi Ishikawa and musicology with Carlo Caballero.

SOLFEGGIO

Kyle Werner

A passionate music educator, Dr. Werner is a member of the faculty at the Geneva Conservatory of Music in Manhattan. He has taught in the Doctoral Teaching Fellow Program at the Manhattan School of Music.

Kyle received his D.M.A. and M.M. from Manhattan School of Music. He received his B.M. from University of Cincinnati- Conservatory of Music.

LIBERAL ARTS

PUBLIC SPEAKING

Alicia Delgado-Agudio

Over 15 years of public speaking, Alicia has many experience in the field. She is currently a lecturer at LIU Post.

Alicia received her M.S. from Hofstra University.

ART HISTORY

Alexander Guerrero

Alexander is an educator whose goal is to stimulate and nurture a space of learning that explores the multiplicity of art history and inspires students to harness their research skills in their ultimate field of study.

Alexander received his M.A. from New York University

SPANISH

Esther Acevedo

Esther is an expert in Spanish education. She has been teaching Spanish for over thirty years in the education field. She has led teacher training workshops and participated in many district curriculum developments in Spanish.

Esther received her M.A. from City University of New York at Queens College.

ENGLISH

Jacqueline Henry

Jacqueline has been writing all her life and wrote for many newspaper and magazine companies such as The New York Times, Newsday, and Long Island Monthly. She has taught at Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College.

Jacqueline received her M.F.A. Creative Writing & Literature from State University of New York at Stony Brook Southampton.