Faculty

Project STEP Class

Faculty

Jason Amos (chamber music) began the viola at age eleven in his hometown of Southfield, MI.  He placed 4th in the 2007 Sphinx Competition and 1st in the 2006 Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Bradlin Scholarship Concerto Competition. He has also performed as the featured young artist of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and as soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony. After undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Mr. Amos received a Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music.  During the summers, he has enjoyed serving as faculty for the Sphinx Performance Academy and the Four Strings Academy, as well as mentoring the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Jason studied primarily with Martha Strongin Katz, Yizhak Schotten, Caroline Coade, and Catherine Carroll.  Mr. Amos completed the Fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI. Jason serves as violist in the Boston Public Quartet, which has a permanent residency at the Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, MA.

Alexander Badalov (cello)

Laura Blustein (cello), received her Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory, and both her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from SUNY-Stony Brook. Laura has studied with Gabor Rejto, Laurence Lesser, and Timothy Eddy, and has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. From 1994-1998 she was Associate Professor of Cello at the Berklee College of Music. Currently, she is on the teaching faculty at Project STEP, New England Conservatory Preparatory Division (currently Chair of the String and Piano Chamber Music Department), Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and Powers Music School where she is also the Artistic Director of the school’s Music on the Hill summer program.

Meghan Carye (cello) is an active cellist and music educator in the Greater Boston Area.  She began her musical training at New England Conservatory and holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma in cello performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  She has performed throughout North America, Europe and Israel and is a founding member and cellist of the Illyrian Chamber Players.  She has served as the Assistant Director and Chamber Music Coordinator for NEC’s Festival Youth Orchestra since 2001.  In the fall of 2012 she joined the faculty at Tufts University as a cello instructor and chamber music coach for their Community Music Program.   She maintains an active private studio, is currently on faculty at The Belmont Hill School and is a former faculty member for Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program and The Powers Music School.

Julia Cash (violin)

Mark Churchill (cello) is Dean Emeritus of New England Conservatory’s Department of Preparatory and Continuing Education, which he led for 31 years. As a cellist Churchill has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber music player throughout the United States and on tours of South America. Churchill is widely known as a conductor in New England and abroad. He has been Associate Conductor of the Boston Ballet since 1992, and is the founder and Music Director of Symphony Pro Musica, Worcester’s Salisbury Lyric Opera, and the Salisbury Chamber Orchestra. He is the founder and vice president of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, established in 2002, and currently serves as director of El Sistema USA, the advocacy and service organization for American programs that emulate the renowned Venezuelan model of social development through music. In 2005, Churchill spearheaded the signing of the “Friendship Agreement” between New England Conservatory and Venezuela’s massive El Sistema youth orchestral training program—planting the seeds for NEC’s close relationship to that program. Churchill was married to violinist and educator, the late Marylou Speaker Churchill.

Pascale Delache Feldman (bass), French doublebassist, was a prizewinner at the Prague International Chamber Music Competition, hailed by the New Music Connoisseur as having “technical certainty and musical imagination” and by the Phoenix as “a gifted colorist.” An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with Midori, Joel Smirnoff, Virginia Eskin, Randall Hodgkinson, the Lark, Borromeo and St. Petersburg String Quartets and soprano Dawn Upshaw. She has soloed with the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, North Shore Philharmonic, Greensboro Festival Orchestra and has recorded on Albany, Archetype, Arsis, AFKA and CRI. Co-founder of Duo Cello e Basso with cellist Emmanuel Feldman, they have concertized in the US and Europe. Ms. Delache-Feldman has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Toulouse Capitole National Orchestra (France), and as principal bassist with Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, among others. Founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash, an international bass festival, she is on the bass faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, NEC and Tufts University.

Sassan Haghighi (cello & theory), is a freelance cellist and teacher. Recently completing his M.M under the tutelage of Astrid Schween, he has also studied and played for well-known cellists such as Marcy Rosen, Zvi Plesser, Brooks Whitehouse, Rhonda Rider, Pieter Wispelwey, and David Finckel. A long time participant of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Sassan spent part of summer 2012 as a member of a trio in the Young Artist Fellowship Program. An advocate of new music, he attended a Contemporary Cello Festival in 2012 held at Music from Salem in Salem, NY. After attending Ameropa Music Festival in Prague Czech Republic, Sassan was invited to study at the Prague Conservatory under the instruction of Vladan Koci. Sassan has won several awards, scholarships, and competitions including the Music Academy of North Carolina Strings Competition.

Nancy Hair (cello) received her B.M. from Indiana University and The Hartt School, and attended graduate studies in pedagogy at Ithaca Talent Education. She studied with Janos Starker, Raya Garbousova, Yehuda Hanani, George Neikrug, Timothy Eddy as well as the Alexander Technique. She has performed with Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Opera Company of Boston, Rhode Island Philharmonic and has been former faculty at Longy and Powers music schools. She is currently on faculty at The Hartt School, All Newton Music School, and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division.

Mariana Green Hill (violin & chamber music) serves as Artistic Advisor of Project STEP, performs as a soloist and chamber musician and teaches at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory Division and privately. She also serves as Founder and Director of Four Strings Academy and is on the faculty of Boston Arts Academy. Mariana Hill is a Second Prize Winner of The Sphinx Competition. She has also won first place in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Harry and Marion Dubbs Competitions. Mrs. Hill has been a featured guest soloist with the New Jersey, Memphis, Detroit, and Boston Symphony Orchestras and The Boston Pops.  The Amaryllis String Quartet, of which she was a member, was awarded First Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, Jr. Division.  Mariana Hill is co-concertmaster of the Soulful Symphony whose recording earned an Emmy. Ms. Hill is a member of the MarNi Duo that performed for a benefit concert for the now President Barak Obama.  Mrs. Hill is an alumna of Project STEP and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts. B.M. and M.M., The Juilliard School; Professional Studies Diploma, Mannes College of Music.

Susan Jarvis (violin) B.M. (University of Ottawa); B.Ed. (University of Lethbridge); M.M. (Ithaca College); Silver Medal Winner, Royal Conservatory, Toronto; studies with Linda Case, Sanford Reuning, Lóránd Fenyves, John Gomez; frequent Suzuki workshop and institute clinician; former faculty, Ithaca Talent Education, Conservatory Suzuki Program at the University of Lethbridge; former member, Thirteen Strings of Ithaca, Southern Alberta Chamber Orchestra, Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.

Anna Korsunsky (violin) studied at Gnesiney Institute of Music in Moscow, Russia. After immigrating to the United States she continued her studies under a Special Director Award at Boston University, where she received Master of Music degree. She has appeared as a soloist and as a chamber musician in the former USSR, Germany, Italy, Japan and USA and has participated in the Musicorda, Spoleto and Pacific Music Festivals. Ms. Korsunsky is a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and plays with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She teaches extensively at her home studio in Needham and at St. Mark’s School.

Angela Leidig (violin) received her B.A. in Music from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, her M.M. from Boston University, and did doctoral work in violin performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She currently teaches Suzuki violin lessons and group classes at New England Conservatory and maintains her own studio in Somerville where she teaches private violin lessons and Alexander Technique. During the summer Angela teaches at the New England Conservatory Summer SuzukiFest and at the Ogontz Suzuki Institute. She studied Suzuki pedagogy under Kimberly Meier-Sims, Alice Joy Lewis, Ed Kreitman, Ed Sprunger, Linda Fiore and Ronda Cole and is registered through SAA for Suzuki Books 1-10, Every Child Can and Teaching Creativity courses.

Lucia May (violin) Lucia P. May is on the faculties of the Longy School of Music at Bard College, Project STEP, The Rivers School Conservatory, and the Boston String Academy, and has opened a new private studio in Cambridge, MA. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2001, she taught year-round at the String Academy at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University . From 2001-2016 she maintained a large private studio in St. Paul and was named Studio Teacher of the Year in 2015 by the Minnesota chapter of ASTA. Since the  1990’s Lucia has taught the violin and chamber music in various programs including the Indiana University Summer String Academy with Mimi Zweig, at the University of Minnesota Bravo! Summer Institute with Sally O’Reilly, and the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School.

In 1984 she received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music, before graduate studies at Southern Illinois University. Her teachers included Daniel Majeske, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, Taras Gabora of the Oberlin Conservatory, and Fryderyk Sadowski of the Saint Louis Conservatory. For over ten years she was immersed in pedagogy as part of the teacher training program at SIU Edwardsville, led by John Kendall, a pioneer of the American Suzuki movement. Lucia worked with Kendall in several capacities including graduate teacher assessment in teacher training, pedagogy, and performance.

Lucia became interested in teaching and pedagogy in the 1980s, when her daughter began the violin as a young student of John Kendall, watching firsthand in real time the progression from beginner to advanced violinist. She continued this experiential training as her daughter studied with Mimi Zweig throughout the 1990s, during which time she played with the St. Louis based contemporary ensemble Synchronia.

Additionally, Lucia is a longtime arts advocate who served for fifteen years on the Board of Directors for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and chaired its education committee. She also served for ten years on the Board of the Saint Louis Conservatory and Schools for the Arts. Lucia is a published poet and author of the book Blond Boy.

Carol Ou (cello) is a versatile artist known for her “fiery, marvelous” and “meltingly melodic outpourings” (Boston Globe) and her “wonderfully pure cello tone and incisive technique” (The Strad). A founding member of the Buswell-Ou Duo, Ou often appears in solo, chamber music, and concerto performances with violinist James Buswell. As the cellist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, she frequently tours all over the U.S., performing an eclectic mix of classical string quartet repertoire with many crossover genres of music. Ou has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Midori, Hillary Hahn, Kim Kashkashian, Timothy Eddy, Pascal Rogé, András Schiff, Raul Juarena, and Jayme Stone at the Marlboro Music Festival, Summerfest La Jolla, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Austin Chamber Music Center, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, and other noted music festivals. Since 2007, Ou has also been chamber music director of the Heifetz International Summer Music Institute in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Staunton, Va. Her recording of Walter Piston’s Chamber Music, issued by Naxos, won the 2001 Chamber Music America Best Chamber Music CD award.

Magdalena Richter (violin) teaches violin at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, holding the position of Chairman of the String Department and teaching String Pedagogy at NEC College. Additionally, she teaches violin at the Rivers School Conservatory, serves as Chairman of the String Department, and directs the Rivers Upper School Chamber Orchestra. She graduated with honors from the Warsaw Academy of Music and Juilliard School. Her other awards include prizes at the International Competitions in Poland, Paris and New York City. She was awarded a prestigious Jean Stackhouse Award at the NEC Preparatory school. Her students are very involved in Boston based youth orchestras, often as section leaders. Each year her graduating seniors choose music as a career and continue study in the most prestigious schools such as Juilliard School, NEC, Rice University, Royal Academy of Music in London.

Daniel Stepner (violin) has been the first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet since 1987.  He is on the faculty at Brandeis University and is also the Artistic Director of the Aston Magna Festival in the Berkshires. As a touring musician, he has played in 11 countries in Western Europe and the former Soviet Union, and throughout Australia and the United States. He has performed and recorded a wide repertoire on period and contemporary instruments. In addition to the Lydian String Quartet’s many recordings, he has recorded chamber music by Buxtehude, Bach, Marais, Rameau, Vivaldi, Telemann, Mozart, Schubert, Charles Ives, Harold Shapero, Irving Fine, Yehudi Wyner, David Rakowski and Yu-Hui Chang.  His recent CD releases also include the Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach (along with his transcription of the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue), and an album of 20th Century masterworks for solo violin, including music of Bartók, Hindemith, Ysaÿe and Perkinson.  Stepner studied with Steven Staryk in Chicago, Nadia Boulanger in France, and Broadus Erle at Yale. 

 

Liana Zaretsky (violin)

Michael Zaretsky (violaBorn in the former Soviet Union, violist Michael Zaretsky joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1973. A cum laude graduate of Moscow State Conservatory, he began his career as a member of the Moscow Philharmonic String Quartet and the Moscow Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra. In 1972, he immigrated to Israel and became principal viola of the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and a soloist of Radio Israel. The following year he played for Leonard Bernstein, who brought him to Tanglewood, where he successfully auditioned for the BSO. A faculty member of Boston University, Mr. Zaretsky performs chamber music with such leading artists as Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Paul Lewis, and Vadim Repin, as well as BSO colleagues. He has given solo recitals and appeared at music festivals in the United States, Greece, Israel, and Japan. Mr. Zaretsky has also collaborated with Tom Gold Dance, accompanying former New York City Ballet soloist Tom Gold and other ballet dancers. His six recordings for ARTONA include music of Shostakovich, Glinka, Bach, Brahms, Schumann, and Hindemith, as well as more recent work by Jakov Jakoulov and John Williams who dedicated his Duo concertante for violin and viola to Mr. Zaretsky.