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Piano Program

Our Piano Program, designed by Professor Hanna Wu Li and directed by Luz Manriquez, combines outstanding private piano instruction with classes in Dalcroze eurhythmics, music theory, composition, improvisation and chamber music. A public, free recital is given at the end of each semester. Each year many students receive national recognition for excellence. 

String Program

The Carnegie Mellon String Preparatory School offers a comprehensive program for students ages 6-18 years of age. Students may enroll in private lessons for violin, viola, cello, and double bass. We offer a full curriculum of classes including Group Classes, Eurhythmics, Music Theory, Composition and Chamber Music. Each year is comprised of three semesters, Fall, Spring & Summer, with recitals ending the Fall and Spring semesters. 

In the summer, string students are encouraged to attend the Carnegie Mellon Summer String Workshop. The Summer String Workshop, sponsored by the CMU String Preparatory School, is a 5-day program which focuses on bringing string students from the greater Pittsburgh area together for an inspiring week of solo and ensemble playing.

Young Artists Orchestra: This chamber orchestra is comprised of intermediate/advanced string students ages approximately 9-14 years old.  This ensemble meets weekly from September to May on Saturdays from 1:00-2:30pm in Margaret Morrison 119.  The conductor is Mr. Steve Ehrlich, Orchestra Director of the East Allegheny Schools.  There is a final performance at the conclusion of each semester as part of a showcase event featuring several of our performing groups and based on a unique theme.

Eligibility: Students should have prior group or ensemble experience if possible. Students should have competency with note reading, shifting into higher positions, and vibrato.  Entrance is based on audition.


$150 per semester (for CMU Prep students choosing this course as their one Elective Class)

$285 for Non-CMU Preparatory students or CMU Prep students choosing this course as a second Elective

Auditions for 2017-2018 season - Sunday, June 4, 2017. 

Please print and submit an application form by May 31, 2017.

Guitar Program

Our Guitar Preparatory Program offers private lessons to the beginner and more skilled student ages 6-18. Lessons focus on classical method and material to build strong music-reading skill, chord and scale theory, and improvisation. 

Lessons are generally taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus although some lessons may be taught throughout the week based upon teacher schedule and availability. 

In addition to the weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take an age appropriate music class in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory, Advanced Theory and Composition, Improvisation, or Chamber Music for the more advanced student. These classes help to develop listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge, and structural and compositional techniques. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus. 

For a guitar consultation, call the Music Preparatory Office 412.268.3667 or send a request by e-mail to

Percussion Program

Beginning Percussion Program
Beginning Percussion for Children is designed to provide beginning students (ages 6-8) with comprehensive instruction in rhythm and percussion techniques by combining weekly group classes with private instruction. The combined group class and private lesson will total one hour each week. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus.  Group class concentrates on counting, rhythm, percussion technique and exercises to inspire creativity, coordination and support ensemble playing. The private lesson builds the student’s individual skill and personal development. This program requires commitment to attendance and outside practice. The prescribed number of semesters a student should remain in the Beginning Percussion Program is undetermined at this time. Recommendation will be for continued private lesson instruction and ensemble playing after graduation from the program. 

Class size is limited to 10 students. No consultation is required. To reserve a space in the class call the Music Preparatory Office 412.268.3667 or send a request by e-mail to


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Private Piano Lessons
Students may choose a 30-, 45-, or 60-minute weekly private lesson. In addition to the weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take a music class in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Musicianship or Theory, Composition, Improvisation, or Chamber Music for the more advanced student. These classes help to develop listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge, and structural and compositional techniques. One music class may be taken each semester at no additional cost. All classes are taught on Saturdays on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Private lessons are taught on Saturdays on campus, although some teachers may teach throughout the week on campus. An interview with Professor Luz Manriquez is required for admittance into the Piano Program. Call the Music Preparatory Office to schedule an appointment 412.268.3667.

Beginning Piano Program for Children

Beginning Piano for Children is designed to provide beginning students (ages 5-7) with comprehensive instruction, a natural approach to the keyboard, fluency in reading and a precise attention to musical detail. Students have a 45-minute group lesson, a 30-minute private lesson and a 45-minute Dalcroze Eurhythmics class each week. The group class concentrates on note reading, counting, rhythm, fingering, hand position, ear training, sight reading, solo performance, and duet playing. The private lesson is devoted to individual coaching and development.


Beginning Piano for Children is a 4 consecutive semester commitment. Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Fall semester commit to a 4 semester program running Fall, Spring, Summer then graduating at the end of the next Fall. Students that start the Beginning Piano Group Class in the Spring semester commit to a 4 semester program running Spring, Summer, Fall then graduating at the end of the next Spring. 

Call the Music Preparatory Office to schedule an appointment 412.268.3667.

Now accepting applications for Fall 2018


Private String Instruction:

Students sign up for a weekly private lesson. Lesson duration is based upon student's level of experience. Private lessons are taught on Saturdays or weekdays.

In addition to a weekly lesson, students are encouraged to take music classes offered at the Carnegie Mellon campus on Saturdays: Group Classes for violin, viola, or cello, Eurhythmics, Musicianship, Theory, Composition, or Chamber Music. These classes help to develop ensemble playing, listening skills, rhythmic and tonal dictation, theoretical knowledge and structural and compositional techniques.

Group classes are fundamental to developing student’s proficiency at ensemble playing and note reading, rhythm, counting, and sight reading. We highly recommended elementary level students enroll in the weekly class. Group classes are based upon student enrollment. 

Young Artists Orchestra: This chamber orchestra is comprised of intermediate/advanced string students ages approximately 9-14 years old.  This ensemble meets weekly from September to May on Saturdays from 1:00-2:30pm in Margaret Morrison 119.  The conductor is Mr. Steve Erhlich, Orchestra Director of the East Allegheny Schools.  There is a final performance at the conclusion of each semester as part of a showcase event featuring several of our performing groups and based on a unique theme.

Eligibility: Students should have prior group or ensemble experience if possible.  Students should have competency with note reading, shifting into higher positions, and vibrato.  Entrance is based on audition.


$150 per semester (for CMU Prep students choosing this course as their one Elective Class)

$285 for Non-CMU Preparatory students or CMU Prep students choosing this course as a second Elective

Please note that depending upon your registration, these classes may or may not be included in the published tuition.  Students enrolled in private lessons receive one class at no additional cost* (elective class or group class).

*Because of the longer class session, Young Artist Orchestra (YAO) includes a fee of $150 when used as a student's one elective class. If choosing YAO as a second elective, the full fee of the course is $285.

An interview with MaryBeth Schotting is required for admittance into the String Preparatory Program. Call the Music Preparatory Office to arrange an interview: 412.268.3667.


Jennie Dorris

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Jennie Dorris is a writer, percussionist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh. She performs with Alia Musica, a new music ensemble, and Crusic Percussion, with whom she has planned collaborative concerts featuring chamber music, writing, film, and dance.

Jennie has developed innovative education programs that allow students to create their own musical works. She is the new Education Director for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and she is a teaching artist through the Pittsburgh Symphony’s  Meet the Maestro program, where she has performed and taught interdisciplinary programs that weave music into the environment, the solar system, and film. 

Steve Ehrlich

Conductor, Young Artists Orchestra

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A resident of North Hills, Steve Ehrlich is a life-long Pittsburgher attending Carrick High School and Duquesne University. While at Duquesne, Steve earned he earned a B.S. Degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Cello Performance. Since then Steve has been a free-lance musician in the Pittsburgh area for the last 20 years. He has performed with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Vincent Chamber Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony; and as principal cello of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, performing various solos and concertos. Steve also performs many chamber music events yearly as cellist and leader of Steve Ehrlich Strings.  He is also a private studio instructor on all stringed instruments. As a conductor, Steve has lead the Edgewood Symphony, Opus II String Sinfonietta, the Musik Innovations Summer Chamber Orchestra and The Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras Sinfoniette. Steve is also currently the Orchestra Director for the East Allegheny School District and District 1 President of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.


Paul Evans

Artist Lecturer in Percussion

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Paul Evans graduated from Duquesne University in 1988, with a bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance. While at Duquesne, he studied privately with Lenny Rogers and Don Liuzzi. Evans went on to earn a M.M. at Temple University, studying with Alan Able of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is currently section percussionist with the River City Brass Band. A former extra percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Evans maintains an active freelance schedule in the Pittsburgh area.


Tina Faigen

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Tina Faigen earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and both her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from University of Miami under the tutelage of renowned pianist Ivan Davis. A recipient of many prizes and awards, Faigen appears often in solo recitals and has been engaged as guest pianist with numerous orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the age of 13. She has appeared in over 30 performances of Tchaikovsky’s 3rd Piano Concerto with Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet and was awarded a debut tour of Italy as concerto soloist with the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzeze. Faigen has performed often in Pittsburgh. She appeared on the distinguished “Y” Recital Series and since returning to Pittsburgh in 2008 has appeared in the Steinway Recital Series, Chatham University Recital Series, West Liberty University, and Carnegie Mellon University in the program Schultz, Faigen & Friends which presented original works by Faigen’s husband, composer Robert Schultz. She also performs often as a member of Pittsburgh’s Tuesday Musical Club. Faigen’s CD recordings of Robert Schultz’s works “Visions of Dunbar” and “Tina Faigen Plays Piano Transcriptions” have received rave reviews. Faigen is co-author of the acclaimed Accelerando Piano Technique Series, along with numerous other editions of educational piano music. Since 1992 she has been the principal editor for The Robert Schultz Piano Library. Faigen has maintained an active teaching studio since the age of 14, and is currently a senior piano faculty member of the Music Preparatory School at Carnegie Mellon University.


James Ferla

Artist Lecturer in Guitar, Director of Guitar Ensemble

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James Ferla's teaching reflects an integrated philosophy of musicianship skills and methodology by providing musical training that connects the broad spectrum of historical and current practices. The emphases throughout the guitar curriculum are connections, immersion in a wide range of musical repertoire, independent skills, sequential development of skills, and seeing the guitar as part of a great historical tradition. At Carnegie Mellon, Ferla also directs the Carnegie Mellon Guitar Ensemble. 

As a performer, James Ferla has given numerous solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States including programs at the Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, Wolf Trap, the Chautauqua Institution, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Notre Dame. He has been heard on NPR, PBS, CBS, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo in Japan, and, in Pittsburgh on WQED-FM. Mr. Ferla has published several articles on guitar repertoire in SoundBoard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is heard on seven CDs. He performs most frequently in a guitar duo with colleague John Marcinizyn with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance to Jazz. In addition to concerts with the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo, he has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, singer/actress Kate Young, the Renaissance City Winds, the Dear Friends Ensemble, oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, tenor Doug Ahlstedt and mezzo-soprano Daphne Alderson. Ferla is on the advisory board of the Guitar Society of Fine Art.

Tanya Gelman

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Tanya Gelman was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received her bachelor's degree with honors in St. Petersburgh and a master's degree from the St. Petersburgh Conservatory. She studied under the tutelage of G. Buze.

Following her musical studies, Mrs. Gelman participated in numerous chamber music concerts, including the festival "The White Nights" in Russia. She also taught piano at a music school.

After coming to the United States, Mrs. Gelman joined the Carnegie Mellon University Preparatory School faculty. Her students have won numerous awards in various piano competitions, including the World Piano Competition and the Westmoreland Young Artist's Competition.

Jeffry Harris

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Jeffry Harris was born and raised in Pittsburgh.  He grew up studying the piano and his principal teacher was Harry Franklin, who at one time served as Head of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University.  While in Pittsburgh, Mr. Harris performed as concerto soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra before graduating from high school.

He went on to receive a degree in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington and completed Doctoral Studies at Boston University.  His past principal teachers include Joseph Schwartz, Karen Shaw, Maria Clodes-Jaguaribe and Sheila Paige.

He taught piano and music theory at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania and has held subsequent positions in the Music Program of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., Denton. He had a position with Cottier and Daniels, the Steinway dealer for Rochester and Buffalo and served fourteen years as Dean at the Hochstein Music School, a large community music school in Rochester, New York.

Mr. Harris joined the faculty of the Preparatory School in 2001 and has since produced numerous prize-winning students from the Preparatory School.  He also maintains an active private studio in Pittsburgh and serves on the Board of the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, and is a member of the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association.  Mr. Harris serves as an adjudicator for numerous competitions in the greater Pittsburgh area.


Anne Jackovic Moskal

Artist Lecturer in Solfege

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Professional violinist, orchestral musician, and teacher, Anne Jackovic discovered her unique talent at the age of two. She exudes passion and dedication through exquisite performances. Her first training was received at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School while studying violin privately. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Violin Performance under the instruction of Cyrus Forough, she returned to obtain her Masters degree. Throughout her career, she has placed in many competitions throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Keynotes Scholarship Competition, Pittsburgh Concert Society, WQED-FM, and Duquesne City Music Center recognized her talent and dedication through awards and Scholarships. Carnegie Mellon University chose Jackovic as the 2005 "Most Outstanding Senior", presenting her with the Harry G. Archer Award. Additionally, she was featured as a soloist in a royal concert for Prince Philippe and Princess Christine of Chimay, Belgium. Winning her first professional audition, Jackovic became a member of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in September of 2005. Since that time, she has also won section positions with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, Assistant Concertmaster with the Erie Philharmonic

Jackovic teaches violin throughout the Pittsburgh community. While completing her Masters degree at Carnegie Mellon, she substituted as a Solfege instructor for several university level classes. In the summer of 2006, she was appointed to be the Solfege instructor for the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College students. She has recently been appointed Artist Lecturer in Solfege for the School of Music and is currently on the violin faculty for the String Preparatory School.


Katya Janpoladyan

Preparatory School cello instructor

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Ms. Janpoladyan, a founder of Kassia Ensemble is a native of Armenia, where she completed a Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Yerevan State Conservatory under the direction of Zareh Sargissyan and Medea Abramian. Ms. Janpoladyan continued her studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she received her Master of Music degree. She is currently a doctoral candidate as a student of Yehuda Hanani.

An active performer, Ms. Janpoladyan is a former member of the State Piano Trio “Shell” of Armenia and a former member of the Baur Quartet with whom she was the 2001 winner of the Pierre Lantiere International Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Janpoladyan has collaborated with artists such as Cyrus Forough, James Dunham, Yehuda Hanani, Ross Harbaugh, Awadagin Pratt, Piotr Milewsky and the Montclair Quartet. She has been featured as a soloist performing with the Yerevan Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata San Marco (NY), and the Mary Miller Dance Company. With the Freya String Quartet, Ms. Janpoladyan has been a featured performer with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, was a cellist in residence with the Charlotte New Music Festival  Ms. Janpoladyan has also collaborated with numerous living composers and is an avid proponent of new music. 

With a dual passion for performing and educating, Ms. Janpoladyan has served on the faculties of the University of Cincinnati, Wyoming Fine Arts Center, the Cincinnati Starling Project, the Great Wall Music Festival, and the Bacchannalia Festival. She has taught masterclasses throughout the US, China, and Chile. Ms. Janpoladyan currently resides in Pittsburgh where she maintains a private cello studio and performs regularly.


Sung-Im Kim

Artist Lecturer in Collaborative Piano

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Sung-Im Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She started playing the piano at the age of seven. Two years later she won first prize in a national competition.

By the age of fifteen, she had her debut as a soloist with the Seoul National Philharmonic Orchestra. She went on to win the Eum Ak Chun Chu and Jung-Ang competitions, amongst the most prestigious in Korea.  She also played many solo and chamber concerts in Seoul, including professional debut recital by Cho-Sun Daily Newspaper.

After obtaining her first degree from Kyung-Won University under Dr.Young-Ho Kim, she continued to study at the Royal Academy of Music under Mr. Frank Wibaut and Mr. Christopher Elton, gaining a Diploma in Advanced Studies and Licentiate Piano Teacher. While in England, she gave solo performances at many venues, including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Glenilla Arts Foundation, and the Pump Room in Bath. In addition, She won prizes including the Haverhill Sinfonia Soloist competition in England, Ibla International Piano competition in Italy, and the Sterndale Bennett Prize at Royal Academy Of Music.

After arriving in the United States, Sung-Im studied at Texas Christian University with Mr. Jose Fegali. Here she started to focus on chamber music and collaborative piano and participated in the Mimir Chamber Music Festival.

In 2007 she obtained a Master’s Degree at CMU under Mr. Enrique Graf. She has also studied with Mr.Sergey Schepkin in the Performance Residency program. While studying at CMU, she premiered piano concertos with contemporary ensemble by composers Jorge Variego and Bomi Jang, and a piece by Bomi Jang at Heinz Hall for the Pittsburgh 250 celebrations.

Most recently, Sung-Im has collaborated with Ray Chen (St Vincent College, PA), Cyrus Forough (CMU, Lynn University, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Oberlin Conservatory) as well as the Pittsburgh Concert Society, the Freya string Quartet and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She performed compositions by Reza Vali for the Chatham University Music Program and the National Gallery of Arts Concert Series in Washington D.C.

She is also working as staff pianist and teaching preparatory school at Carnegie Mellon University.


Luz Manriquez

Associate Teaching Professor of Collaborative Piano

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Luz Manríquez was born in Santiago de Chile, where she studied with Elena Weiss at the Escuela Moderna de Música. Upon graduation, she continued to advance her studies under Edith Fisher in Switzerland and María Iris Radrigán at the Catholic University in Chile. Following the completion of her Master's Degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ms. Manríquez was appointed to the faculty as Artist Lecturer in Piano and Chamber Music in 1992. She was promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in 2004. Since 2012, she has also served as the Co-Director of Collaborative Piano.

Ms. Manríquez has been a regular guest of the Shadyside Concert Series and the Frick Art Museum Series. She has performed with the Nuance Music Ensemble, conducted by former PSO Concert Master, Andrés Cárdenes, as well as with the Chamber Music Project Ensemble at the Andy Warhol Museum. Since its founding in 2004 by cellist Aron Zelkowicz, Ms. Manriquez has been a regular guest with PJMF (Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival). She also appears yearly at the Carnegie Mellon Faculty Chamber Music Series.

Ms. Manríquez was the pianist in It's Peaceful Here on Arabesque Records and Made in U.S.A. on Ocean Records, featuring violinist Andrés Cárdenes. She has also collaborated in recordings of works by contemporary composers such as Reza Vali, Marilyn Taft Thomas, Efrain Amaya, Nancy Galbraith and David Stock. Ms. Manríquez can be heard in recordings of oboe and piano music with PSO principal oboist Cynthia D'Almeida. She also has performed alongside flutist Alberto Almarza in Atacama (Nancy Galbraith). In 2015 and 2016 recordings with cellist Aaron Zelkowicz were released – Chamber Music of Joachim Stutchewsky and Leo Zeitlin’s Yiddish Songs and Chamber Music and Declamations, both on Toccata Classics.

In October 2002, Ms. Manríquez participated in the George Crumb Festival in Pittsburgh and recorded Music for a Summer Evening for two pianos and percussions conducted by Maestro Juan Pablo Izquierdo. This recording was released in 2006 and was awarded the Diapason d'Or Prize in 2008 in France.

As a pedagogue, Ms. Manríquez teaches at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School of Music, where she serves as acting Director of the Piano Division. Her students are prize winners in National and International piano competitions and have been invited to perform at highly-acclaimed venues such as Carnegie Music Hall (New York City) and in the United Nations. In May 2016, Ms. Manríquez was invited to give Master Classes at Yonsei University and Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea. In May 2017, she inaugurated the first CMU Collaborative Piano Festival in Bogotá, Colombia.

One of Chile's most distinguished musicians, Ms. Manríquez has appeared as soloist, recitalist and in chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Her artistry, combined with an innate musical sensitivity to others, has made her a sought after chamber musician and collaborative artist. She has been a featured soloist with Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Renaissance City Winds and performs frequently with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In April 2003, Ms. Manriquez was invited to perform with The Chamber Music Project at the prestigious Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna, Austria for their Bicentennial anniversary Gala Concert. 


Monique Mead

Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Music Entrepreneurship

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As Director of Music Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon School of Music, Monique
Mead is passionate about helping students create new avenues for music in society.
Inspired and mentored by Leonard Bernstein, she has been a lifelong activist for classical
music as a violinist, educator and innovator. Performing as a soloist, chamber musician,
and presenter, Mead has devoted her performing career to nurturing new audiences
and deepening the musical experience for seasoned concertgoers. Since 1998, she has
appeared regularly on German television and radio featuring her innovative youth
concerts with prestigious German orchestras in Berlin, Munich, and Cologne. In the U.S.
she has collaborated with the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Mainly
Mozart, Orcas Island, Rockport Festival, among others. She currently serves as Board
Chair of Chamber Music Pittsburgh and has served as Co-Music Director of the Strings
Music Festival in Steamboat Springs from 2008-2014. At home, she particularly enjoys
performing chamber music with her two talented teens on harp and piano.


Shirli Nikolsburg

Mindfulness for Young Musicians

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Shirli Nikolsburg teaches Mind in the Moment at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School of Music. Ms. Nikolsburg introduces musicians to the experience of mindfulness practice into both their instrumental and performance practice.

Shirli is nationally trained in mindfulness technique. In 2017 she studied extensive Mindfulness practice with Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Chopra Center in California and also earned a teaching certificate in “Mindfulness in the Classroom” from Mindful Schools, a national organization that trains educators to integrate Mindfulness into the K-12 classroom.

Shirli holds a Master of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh where she graduated as the Dean’s Scholar of the Year in 1999. She holds a postgraduate certificate in Gestalt psychotherapy from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

Ms. Nikolsburg is licensed since 2015 by the State of PA to provide continuing education credit for teachers at “in-service” in early childhood education.

Having  received a Bachelor of Arts from Chatham University, Shirli has extensive experience teaching music, visual and the performing arts in the Pittsburgh region and in her native country of Israel.

 Ms. Nikolsburg is originally from Haifa Israel where she graduated from the department of piano at the conservatory of Donya Witzman in Haifa Israel.    


Rodrigo Ojeda

Assistant Teaching Professor of Coaching and Accompanying

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Ojeda began his piano studies at the age of ten. He completed his Bachelor´s Degree in piano performance at the IUDEM (Institute of Musical Studies) in 1997 under Arnaldo Pizzolante. In 1999 he went on to complete his graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University with Enrique Graf where he also remained to complete his Artist Diploma certificate.

Mr. Ojeda has performed on master classes with such notable pianists as Kasimierz Giesrod (former rector of the Frederic Chopin Academy in Warsaw ), Marek Joblonsky, Georgy Sandor, Marta Gulyas, and Earl Wild. His solo recitals include performances throughout Venezuela, Ecuador and most recently in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He has performed concerti from an expansive repertoire of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Gershwin, Grieg, Schumann, Mozart, Liszt (Totentanz), Cesar Frank and Prokofiev.

A versatile pianist, Mr. Ojeda has performed numerous chamber works from classical and contemporary string, brass and woodwind repertoire. He has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble under the direction of Efrain Amaya and Educardo Alonso Crespo.

Mr. Ojeda´s most recent live television and radio broadcasts include Prokofiev´s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Orquesta Municipal, Caracas, Venezuela. This summer Mr. Ojeda will be soloist once again with the Orquesta Municipal, playing the Brahms´ 2nd Piano Concerto as well as performing in chamber and solo recitals throughout Mexico, Venezuela and Spain.

Currently Mr. Ojeda is an Artist Lecturer in Piano in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University as well as a piano faculty member in its Music Preparatory School. His wife, Giuseppina, and son, Sebastian, reside with him in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Dimitri Papadimitriou

Artist Lecturer in Chamber Music

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Pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou has distinguished himself as an artist of refined musicianship and personal verve. A passionate avid of chamber music, Dimitri has recently collaborated with many principal musicians from major European and U.S.orchestras, including Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Andrés Cárdenes, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A musician of versatile skills, he has lately developed an interest in conducting that led him to a successful debut on the podium with Chausson’s Symphony in B-flat major and Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School. Currently a faculty member at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in Pittsburgh, he also serves as the Artistic Director of the ‘Carnegie Mellon Chamber Series’, a newly found series that brings together members of the CMU faculty and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Before moving to the U.S., Dimitri was residing in Ireland enjoying a flourishing career with engagements in some of the country’s most prestigious venues and festivals, while completing his Doctorate in Music Performance. A native of Greece, Dimitri at age sixteen won first prize at the international chamber music competition ‘Classical Heritage’ of Moscow, made his debut with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra with Rachmaninov’s ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’ and following an outstanding success, he was invited to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto for a national broadcast. A graduate of Indiana University and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he has participated in a plethora of festivals throughout Europe and the U.S.


MaryBeth Schotting

Director, String Preparatory Division; Director, Summer String Workshop

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MaryBeth G. Schotting serves on the violin faculty of Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Violin and Director of the String Preparatory Division, a program she was asked to create and has developed since 2002. She also teaches violin to undergraduates in the Music Extension Division of Carnegie Mellon. Since Ms. Schotting’s tenure as Director of the String Preparatory Division, she founded and is Director of the Summer String Workshop, a one week program of masterclasses and chamber orchestra. She also conducts and directs the Violin Choir of the String Preparatory School, a select group she created of young violinists that perform around Pittsburgh.

Ms. Schotting has taught extensively the past nineteen years, continuing the lineage of her renowned teachers. Her violin studies have been with Alan Bodman, Linda Cerone, Stephen Majeske, Syoko Aki, and Andres Cardenes, Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Before moving to Pittsburgh, Ms. Schotting taught at Connecticut College, Yale University, and was assistant to Isaac Malkin of the Manhattan School of Music. In the past few years, her students have placed in local competitions including the Duquesne Young Artist’s Competition, Westmoreland Young Artist’s Competition, and the Lois Streator/ Louis Smith Young Artist’s Competition. Many of her current students play in the youth symphonies of Pittsburgh, including the Symphonettes, Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and have held principal positions.

Ms. Schotting also has extensive orchestral experience, and currently performs with the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras. She has played with a multitude of orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, and countless orchestras in Connecticut including the Waterbury Symphony, Connecticut Chamber Virtuosi, and New Music New Haven. She has also performed with the Music on the Edge series for the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Schotting has performed at music festivals around the world including the Sunflower Music Festival , Breckenridge Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Spoleto Music Festival USA and Italy, and at music festivals in Austria and France.

Ms. Schotting has a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Yale University, and a Performance Residency Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University. She has played solo and chamber music recitals in New York City, South Carolina with Chamber Music Hilton Head, for the Tuesday Musical Club in Akron, Ohio and in Pittsburgh for the Steinway Society. She has received awards for her chamber musicianship from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, as well as performing for former President Clinton. Ms. Schotting has won numerous violin competitions, including the Tuesday Musical Club in Akron, Ohio, and has soloed with local orchestras including the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.


Olga Taimanov

violin & viola coach

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Olga Taimanov is a native of Leningrad and attended the Special Music School for Gifted Children in Leningrad, Russia. She was graduated from Leningrad State Conservatory and earned her Artist Diploma from Duquesne University.

Mrs. Taimanov has held numerous orchestra positions, such as Principal Violist of St.-Petersburg Chamber Orchestra “Mozarteum”, Principal Violist of the State Symphony Orchestra “Klassica” and Associate Principal Viola of the Israel Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra.

Mrs. Taimanov’s orchestra experience also includes performances with the world well-known Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed under such great conductors as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, S.Harth, G.Herbig, Y.Temirkanov, M.Janson and many others.

Mrs. Taimanov’s chamber music experience includes performing at many international chamber music festivals such as “Abu-Gosh” in Israel, ”Villa Music” in Germany, ”The White Nights” in Russia and “Goetehanum” in Switzerland.

Mrs. Taimanov has received awards including winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition in 2001 and being nominated for the National All-American Scholar Collegiate Award in 2002.

Mrs. Taimanov continues to be an active performer and teacher. Her busy schedule includes solo, chamber and orchestral performances. In the past she performed with numerous orchestras around Pittsburgh, including Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet as well as Wheeling Symphony and Three Rivers City orchestra in WV.

Formerly, member of Erie Philharmonic, currently Associate member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, OH.

Mrs. Taimanov is a well-known violin and viola teacher at the Great Pittsburgh Area. Mrs.Taimanov is a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University and she has a large violin and viola studio at the Johnstonbaugh’s Music Center. 


Paula Tuttle

Cello coach

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A Pittsburgh native, Paula Tuttle (Cello) has traveled and performed throughout the US, Europe and the Far East as orchestral musician, soloist and chamber music artist. She played as Principal Cello for the internationally renowned Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and the Festival of the Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. She presented numerous recitals in France during three summers at the Acadamie Franco-Americaine in Vaison-la-Romaine, Provence.

She has been active as soloist and recitalist in the Western Pennsylvania region with the Slippery Rock Piano Trio since 2004. As a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, she has been Assistant Principal as well as Principal Cello since 1987. In addition to providing private lessons, Ms. Tuttle teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. More information about Ms. Tuttle is available on her website at:


Hanna Wu Li

Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy

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Hanna Wu Li, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, is the recipient of the Presidential Scholar's Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House. She has received wide recognition of the distinctive Piano Program for Children she developed at Carnegie Mellon's Preparatory School. Over the past 35 years, her pupils have won numerous national and international awards and have been soloists with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in their Young People's Concerts and featured pianists in the Pittsburgh Concert Society's Artist and Young Artist Concert Series. Professor Li and her students have also been presented on NPR, PBS, ABC and in the McGraw-Hill Young Artist Showcase on WQXR-FM in New York City, and on WQED-FM's Sunday Arts Magazine in Pittsburgh, PA. She has been listed in Who's Who in America, and Who's Who Among American Teachers.

Professor Li has conducted numerous Master Classes, and served as adjudicator in national and international piano competitions. She has lectured widely in the United States and abroad. She has been invited twice by the Chinese National Association of Musicians to give piano pedagogy workshops and master classes to college piano faculty representing every province in China, and international visiting scholars travel to Carnegie Mellon to observe her work.