Piano Faculty

Natalia Lavrova

Natalia Lavrova

Natalia Lavrova is a highly-regarded performer of multi-faceted artistry, whose sincerity of interpretation and beguiling charm upon the stage has won the hearts of audiences across the United States and Europe. Ms. Lavrova enjoys a diverse career upon the international platform, and additionally holds substantial positions in the worlds of arts administration and pedagogy.

Solo and orchestral performances have taken Ms. Lavrova throughout her native Russia to Canada, France, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States, to include notable New York venues such as Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall.  Ms. Lavrova has captured top prizes at the New Orleans, Isabel Scionti, Frinna Auerbach, Heidi Hermanns, Music Academy of the West, Silver Lake, and Senigallia International Piano Competitions. Upon her debut at the Leeds International Piano Competition, Ms. Lavrova was the youngest performer of 1996 admitted to the quarterfinal round.

Natalia Lavrova was born in Moscow. She entered the Moscow Conservatory at the age of five, and was subsequently accepted to The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, as a pupil in the studio of Herbert Stessin.  Ms. Lavrova went on to earn her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music degrees at Juilliard, under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal.

Natalia has enjoyed teaching piano for over fifteen years and believes in a clear and fun method of teaching, while introducing her students to discipline and dedication from the very first lesson. She incorporates several methods of teaching in order to adapt to each individual student, but uses her skills and knowledge of the Russian Piano School as her base. Most importantly, she is passionate about keeping music in our children’s lives and is sure that music training is essential to every child’s development.
Ms. Lavrova is the founder and president of Music School of New York City and together with Vassily Primakov, she is the co-founder and partner of LP Classics, a new record label dedicated to unearthing rare, never-before released recordings and live performances of celebrated artists and emerging stars.

Natalia Lavrova is a Yamaha Artist in Education.

Audrey Abela

 

A native of France, Audrey Abela’s solo performances include recitals in the United States, France, Spain, Finland, in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Symphony Space, Steinway Hall, Salle Gaveau, Salle Cortot, and Château de Chantilly.  This season, she has been invited to perform for the 2nd music festival of SPCC in São Paulo, Brazil.  Passionate about chamber music, she has recently appeared at Concerts at One at Wall Street Trinity Church with french soprano Camille Dereux for a concert of french melodies.  Ms. Abela’s repertoire ranges from Handel to new music, with a particular interest for the music of Schubert and french impressionism.

After completion of her musical studies in France, first with Olivier Cazal, then at the Conservatoire de Boulogne-Billancourt with Hortense Cartier-Bresson, Audrey Abela moved to New York to study at Manhattan School of Music.  There, she worked with Nina Svetlanova, a pupil of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus; she is currently studying with Marc Silverman and will be receiving her Master of Music this December. In addition, she had the privilege to work with and be influenced by artists such as Menahem Pressler, Paul Badura-Skoda, Akiko Ebi, Robert McDonald, Vladimir Viardo, Boris Slutsky and David Dubal, amongst others. She also took part in many piano festivals including Piano Texas, International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Banff Piano Masterclasses, and Gijon International Piano Festival.

In addition to her performing activities, Ms. Abela is passionate about teaching. She is convinced that learning music is such a growing and meaningful experience in any child’s development. She believes that patience, care, attention and dedication are fundamental qualities needed in order to achieve a fruitful relationship with her students.

Racquel_Borromeo_PIC-croppedRacquel Borromeo

Racquel Borromeo is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music with a piano performance degree. Racquel started formal piano lessons at the age of 10 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, Russia and Italy in various recitals and also national/international competitions. She continues to be one of the highest ranked performers, winning consistently “First” and “Second” places in piano competitions.

Racquel currently resides in New York City where she continues to perform and teach music. She has served as a Teaching Artist with Education Through Music (ETM) since 2006 that brings a music program to inner-city schools around New York City. She has taught in P.S. 121, P.S. 155, Blessed Sacrament, St. Athanasius, P.S. 34, Children’s Storefront, Bronx School of Music, and St. Brendan’s School of Music. She has a growing private studio of her own and hopes to bring music to as many people possible.  In addition to teaching piano performance, Racquel has a passion for teaching theory and history and incorporates those elements into all her lessons.  Music School of New York City is thrilled to welcome Racquel to the piano faculty for students in Astoria, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Forest Hills and other nearby Queens neighborhoods.

Matt Nakoa

Matt Nakoa, piano lessons, voice lessons, pop, jazz, classical, George Massenburg, Elliot ScheinerEqually at home in classical, pop, and jazz styles, Matt Nakoa is an exciting performer and a liberating educator.  He has performed at major universities, sporting events, and festivals throughout the United States and has recorded with Grammy-winning country artist Kathy Mattea and studio legends George Massenburg (Billy Joel, James Taylor) and Elliot Scheiner (Sting, Eagles, Aerosmith).Matt Nakoa, piano lessons, voice lessons, pop, jazz, classical, George Massenburg, Elliot ScheinerBorn in rural Upstate NY, Matt began composing music at a young age.  Throughout high school, he studied piano with Anita Humer (Leschetitzky Association) and Vivian Harvey Slater (Colgate University Artist in Residence) and spent summers touring the region playing his own compositions.  In 2002, Matt won scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music where he received top honors in both songwriting and vocal performance.Matt has taught piano and voice for over 5 years and enjoys exploration of current musical styles, while maintaining a strong “footing” in the technique and musicality of the classics.

Vassily Primakov

Vassily Primakov

Since the release of his recording of the Chopin Piano Concertos, Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance. Gramophone wrote “”Primakov’s empathy with Chopin’s spirit could hardly be more complete”, and the American Record Guide stated “This is a great Chopin pianist. Primakov’s timing is perfect.” MusicWeb-International called the CD “one of the great Chopin recordings of recent times. Primakov’s interpretations of the two Chopin piano concertos combine grace and fire in the service of unflagging intensity. These are performances of extraordinary power and beauty.”

Vassily Primakov was born in Moscow in 1979. He entered Moscow’s legendary Central Special Music School at the age of eleven as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva. While in Russia, Mr. Primakov won First Prize in the Rachmaninoff International Young Artist Competition. At seventeen, after a summer at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, he came to New York to pursue studies at the Juilliard School with the noted pianist Jerome Lowenthal, himself a student of Alfred Cortot and Willam Kapell. At Juilliard Mr. Primakov won the William Petschek Piano Recital Award, which presented his debut recital at Alice Tully Hall. While a student at Juilliard, aided by a Susan W. Rose Career Grant, Mr. Primakov placed among the top two laureates of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, and won both the silver medal and the Audience Prize in the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition. Vassily Primakov began his American career after winning First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, an award which presented him in solo and concerto performances throughout the USA. In 2007, he was named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year. Vassily Primakov’s recordings for Bridge Records include Beethoven Sonatas (BRIDGE 9251), the Chopin Concertos (BRIDGE 9278) a disc of Tchaikovsky’s Grand Sonata, Op. 37 and The Seasons, Op. 37-bis (BRIDGE 9283), and a disc of Chopin Mazurkas (BRIDGE 9289). Upcoming recordings for Bridge include a Mozart piano concerto cycle with the Odense Symphony Orchestra, Schumann’s Carnaval and Kreisleriana and Arabesque, and Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Concerto, Op. 33 coupled with solo works by Dvořák.

Mr. Primakov, a distinguished faculty at Music School of New York City, accepts students by audition only.

Audrey Abela

 

A native of France, Audrey Abela’s solo performances include recitals in the United States, France, Spain, Finland, in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Symphony Space, Steinway Hall, Salle Gaveau, Salle Cortot, and Château de Chantilly.  This season, she has been invited to perform for the 2nd music festival of SPCC in São Paulo, Brazil.  Passionate about chamber music, she has recently appeared at Concerts at One at Wall Street Trinity Church with french soprano Camille Dereux for a concert of french melodies.  Ms. Abela’s repertoire ranges from Handel to new music, with a particular interest for the music of Schubert and french impressionism.

After completion of her musical studies in France, first with Olivier Cazal, then at the Conservatoire de Boulogne-Billancourt with Hortense Cartier-Bresson, Audrey Abela moved to New York to study at Manhattan School of Music.  There, she worked with Nina Svetlanova, a pupil of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus; she is currently studying with Marc Silverman and will be receiving her Master of Music this December. In addition, she had the privilege to work with and be influenced by artists such as Menahem Pressler, Paul Badura-Skoda, Akiko Ebi, Robert McDonald, Vladimir Viardo, Boris Slutsky and David Dubal, amongst others. She also took part in many piano festivals including Piano Texas, International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Banff Piano Masterclasses, and Gijon International Piano Festival.

In addition to her performing activities, Ms. Abela is passionate about teaching. She is convinced that learning music is such a growing and meaningful experience in any child’s development. She believes that patience, care, attention and dedication are fundamental qualities needed in order to achieve a fruitful relationship with her students.

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