Dr. João Paulo Casarotti

Southern University

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Academic Papers
Chopin the Teacher
DMA Dissertation - LSU

João Paulo Casarotti is a Brazilian pianist and pedagogue. He received a Doctoral in Musical Arts in Piano Performance from Louisiana State University, M.M in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from Temple University, M. M. in Piano Pedagogy from the University of North Dakota, a B. M. in Music Performance from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, a Performance Diploma from the “Maestro Ernst Mahle” Music School of Piracicaba-Brazil, and a Performance Certificate from the National Academy of Music in Sofia–Bulgaria. Among his teachers were Michael Gurt, Sheila Paige, Maria Del Pico Taylor, Mauricy Martin, Sergio Gallo, Gilberto Tinetti, Victor Tchouchkov, Marisa Lacorte and Cecilia Bellato.

Dr. Casarotti maintains an active schedule as a performer, clinician and researcher. He has performed as a solo and chamber pianist in Brazil, the US, Bulgaria, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Argentina, Chile, Uruguai, and Paraguai. He has also performed with orchestras in Brazil and the United States. Mr. Casarotti served as the Artistic Director of the music series “Ernst Mahle in America” (2009) and “Villa Lobos in America” (2010). He arranged for these concerts to be performed at Rock Hall (Temple University) in Philadelphia, Steinert Hall in Boston, and Steinway Hall in New York.

Dr. Casarotti is an important researcher of Ernst Mahle’s works for piano and is involved in creating a project to make Mahle’s music more accessible for the public. Mr. Casaroti has presented lectures for the Hawaii International Conference of Arts and Humanities, the Temple University MTNA chapter, the Northern Delaware Valley Chapter of the Music Teachers Association, the Pennsylvania State Conference of the Music Teachers Association and Louisiana State Conference of the Music Teachers Association.

Dr. Casarotti specializes in the Taubman Approach and studied under the tutelage of Maria Del Pico Taylor and Dorothy Taubman. He became the editor for the Booklet of Musical Examples of the Taubman Seminar at Temple University and served as the Taubman Seminar Assistant for 3 years. Casarotti was recently named faculty in training of the Keyboard Wellness Seminar at University of North Texas and he is currently studying with Sheila Paige.

In 2009, Dr. Casarotti began developing research to create an online piano studio. Since then, he has taught students at a distance from several locations including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, Brazil and Europe. Mr. Casarotti created the Southern University Online piano studio in 2013. This initiative has been a major asset for the music program at Southern University. He has become a consultant for private studios and universities in Brazil and the US and has been presenting at the MTNA National Conference as well as the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP).

Dr. Casarotti has a prolific career as teacher in both Brazil and the United States. Previous teaching appointments include University of North Dakota, Temple University, Temple Preparatory School, Darlington Arts Center and Escola de Música de Piracicaba (Brazil) Currently, Mr. Casarotti is the Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy and the coordinator of piano studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.He is also the organist and pianist of the First Christian Church of Baton Rouge. In addition Dr. Casarotti is the founder and artistic director of the Encontro Internacional de Pianistas, de Piracicaba (Piracicaba, SP), Encontro Internacional de Pianistas do vale do Aço (Timóteo-MG) and the Piracicaba International Piano Concerto Competition (Piracicaba-SP), Brazil.


Dr. Leslie Spotz

Tarleton State University

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Leslie Spotz, as Professor of Piano at Tarleton State University, received the 2017 Texas Music Teachers Association “Outstanding Collegiate Teaching Achievement” Award.  As winner of the 2017 TSU College of Liberal and Fine Arts Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, Spotz enjoys an international performing career that spans four continents and four decades, and has included solo performances in Moscow at Tchaikovsky Hall of Moscow University, South Bank Center of London, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the famed Academy of Music in Philadelphia, her highly acclaimed tours of Germany, concerts in Italy at the Lorenzo de’Medici Institute, solo recitals in Taiwan and Brazil, and her performance at the inaugural opening of Philadelphia’s magnificent performance venue, the Kimmel Center.  The 2016-2017 season included solo recitals throughout Texas and performances at the first Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women. In 2015 she performed solo recitals in New York City’s Tenri Cultural Institute, Indiana Wesleyan University, Dallas Public Library, and chamber music concerts in Dallas, TX, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.  She returned to New York and the Tenri Cultural Institute with colleague, Heather Hawk, soprano, for the Leschetizky Association Annual Living Composers Concert May, 2016.  She returned to Italy in June 2013 for performances at the Conservatorio di Milano and the Ambrosianeum Foundation.  Also, in June 2013 she performed in Buenes Aires, Argentina with soprano Marika Kyriakos and returned to London in May 2011.   February 2010 included an all-Chopin Bicentennial recital in New York City.  December 2010 she returned to Germany in a solo recital at the Heilig–Kreuz–Kirche in Berlin. Hailed by the prestigious Süddeutsche Zeitung of Munich, Spotz’ Beethoven was described thus: “Stripped of veneer, revealing all the edges and corners, Spotz earnestly confronted Beethoven’s tempi and dynamic indications, leaving mediocrity and shallow beauty behind and bringing out truth.  In all, a concert of the highest critical standard, further proof of the high carat quality of this series.”  Spotz has performed extensively throughout the U.S. from coast to coast.  Concert highlights include her 2007 performance at Tarleton as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony, performances of twenty Beethoven Sonatas at Rutgers University and her recitals for the Bach Festival of Philadelphia. 

Receiving a full scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music, Spotz studied for five years with the legendary, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, part of the heritage that is only three musicians-students-teachers away from Beethoven.  She completed her doctorate at Rutgers University in 2002.  Her appearances as soloist include the Mozart Society of Philadelphia, South Jersey Symphony, Curtis Symphony, Kinhaven Symphony in Vermont, the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra in North Carolina, the Old York Road Symphony in Abington, PA, and the Clear Lake Symphony in Texas.  March 2013 she was soloist with the University of Texas – San Antonio Symphony.

Spotz has become an advocate for women musicians through her performances, collaborating with flutist Adeline Tomasone on the critically acclaimed CD Fantasias, and women composers are featured on her solo CD, issued by Leonore Records in 1999.  Published recordings also include the three sets of 5 CDs each of solo piano literature, representing the repertoire for 13 graded levels, 2019-2021, 2016-2018 and 2010-2012 for the International Piano Performance Examination Committee (IPPEC) based in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.  She has collaborated with violinists: Maria Bachmann, Joseph Genualdi, and Mark Steinberg; flutist Laurel Zucker; David Wetherill, former co-principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Frank Kaderabek, former principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Joseph Depasquale, who was longtime principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Among the notable international singers for whom Spotz has accompanied are sopranos Heather Hawk, Amanda Squitieri, Julianne Baird, Gwendolyn Bradley, Judith Lovat and Donna Connolly, and tenors Martin Dillon and Robert Guarino. According to the The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Miss Spotz commands the resonant sound and the elegant gesture… playing of great color, boldness, and suavity… most engaging…"


Dr. Asami Hagiwara

University of Minnesota Duluth


Personal Website

Dr. Asami Hagiwara has been praised for her “tone-color palette of great warmth and nuanced richness” (Fuldaer Zeitung). Recent appearances include concerts in Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, and the U.S.A. She has been invited to perform in music festivals including Joutseno Art Summer, Liszt-Garrison Festival, PIANALE International Academy, the Grieg Festival, Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Piano and the Chair of Piano Area at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

 In addition to her wide range of performing repertoire from Baroque to contemporary music, Hagiwara specializes in works of Nordic composers, especially those of Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius. Her doctorate document, Guide to the Published Solo Piano Music of Jean Sibelius, provides an overview of Sibelius’s rarely performed 115 piano works. As an American-Scandinavian Foundation research fellow, she spent a year at the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland), which deepened her understanding of the Nordic sound and the composers.

 Previously, Hagiwara held several teaching positions at the collegiate level including lecturer positions at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Platteville, WI), Iowa State University (Ames, IA) and the University of Dubuque (Dubuque, IA) and she was the coordinator of the University of Iowa’s Pre-College Piano Conservatory (PCPC). She has also served on the piano faculty at summer programs such as the University of Iowa’s Youth Summer Camp and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Twin Lake, Michigan).

 Hagiwara has been a recipient of American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship, Clara Rolland Award, Thomas J. Smith Award, and Gertraude Weber Gassman Award. Her former piano teachers include Erik T. Tawaststjerna at the Sibelius Academy, Ksenia Nosikova at the University of Iowa, William Heiles at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Marialena Fernandes at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and Emilio del Rosario at the Music Institute of Chicago.

Dr. Jani Parsons

Baylor University


Baylor University
Latitude 49

Praised for her “combination of tenderness and vivacious energy” (San Francisco Chronical) and “sheer virtuosity” (LA Splash), Canadian pianist Jani Parsons has established herself as a musician of warmth, brilliance, versatility, and vivid expression. An active soloist and chamber musician, Jani is a founding member and artistic director of Latitude 49, a mixed chamber ensemble recently in residence at the University of Michigan, and the pianist of the Lumina Duo alongside oboist Merideth Hite Estévez.

As an avid performer and supporter of living composers, Jani has worked directly with many composers including Steve Reich, Christopher Cerrone, John Zorn, Stacy Garrop, Marc Mellits, Roshanne Etezady, Augusta Read Thomas, Jared Miller and Shulamit Ran and has premiered upwards of sixty new solo and chamber works. A sought-after chamber musician, Jani has appeared with the Pittsburg New Music Ensemble, members of Bang On a Can All-Stars, Eighth Blackbird, and New Music Detroit as well as members of the Chicago and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. Performances across North America include the Chan Centre for the Arts (Vancouver, British Columbia), the Banff Centre for the Arts, Detroit Symphony Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, the Ravinia Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) and at various educational institutions including the New England Conservatory, Indiana University, Southern Mississippi University, and Northwestern University among others.

Fall 2017 will feature the debut release of the Lumina Duo’s album Beau Soir: French Music for Oboe and Piano on the MSR label. Most recently, she can be heard on Latitude 49’s debut album Curious Minds hailed as an “Impressive debut” by Bandcamp Daily’s Peter Margasak. She has recorded on the Tzadik label and Çedille Records and has been featured on CBC radio, and WFMT in Chicago.

Jani studied with Lorraine Ambrose at the Vancouver Academy of Music (B.M. in Piano Performance), with graduate studies at the University of Michigan under Arthur Greene and John Ellis (M.M and DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy). She holds a performer’s diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music (A.R.C.T.) and a certificate of theory pedagogy from the University of Michigan. An active teacher, she has taught many award-winning students and presented pedagogical research in various national conferences. Jani has given masterclasses across the United States and served on faculty at the Fresh Inc. Summer festival and the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. She recently relocated from Chicago where she was a freelance performer and teacher to join the faculty of Baylor University alongside her partner, percussionist/composer Chris Sies, and was recognized as a OVPR Rising Star for her potential for research and early-career development.



Dr. Cristina Maria Capparelli Gerling

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul


A leading figure in the musical circles of her native Brazil, pianist and scholar Cristina Capparelli Gerling appears frequently as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, guest teacher, and lecturer in Canada, England, France, Germany and Portugal. In the United States she has performed and given master classes at University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee and Eau Claire, University of Louisiana, Longy School of Music, University of Houston, University of Iowa, Kansas State University, University of South Dakota, University of Tennessee and Amarillo College, amongst other eminent institutions of higher learning. In 2012, Cristina received a grant from the Brazilian Government to continue her work in memorization and musical performance in association with Roger Chaffin and his team at the University of Connecticut’s Performance Music Lab. Partial findings were presented at Vienna ISPS 2013. Her research project on Latin American piano music brought her third Fulbright award to spend the Spring of 2014 as an Indiana Chair recipient at the Latin American Music Center of Indiana University-Jacobs Music School.     

Dr. Gerling was responsible for establishing the highly respected Graduate Music Program at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre, where she is Professor of Music. Having achieved the highest evaluation scores from CAPES (Brazilian Agency for Higher Education), this program remains a national reference for graduate music programs in Brazil. Her former students have won several prizes at national and international piano competitions and have gone on to study and hold faculty positions in renowned music schools throughout North and South America.

A prizewinner of the Anne and Aaron Richmond Piano Competition, Cristina made her home in Boston for several years, where she was a founding member of the Longyear Chamber Music Series. She holds a Masters Degree “with honors” from the New England Conservatory as a piano student of Victor Rosenbaum. As a student of Béla Nagy, she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Boston University School of the Arts. As pianist with Trio Panamericano she toured throughout Brazil and the northeastern United States to critical acclaim. Her performances have taken her to prominent venues across the world, including Boston’s Jordan Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall.

Committed to playing all styles of piano music, Cristina has recorded the solo piano music of Bruno Kiefer, a southern Brazilian contemporary composer, and a CD of Latin American piano music including music of Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri. She also recorded Camargo Guarnieri’s complete works for cello and piano with cellist Tania Lisboa for Meridian Records of London. This CD also contains representative works by other Brazilian composers for this combination. In 2011 she launched a CD dedicated to the piano works of Jamary Oliveira and Alda Oliveira, prominent Brazilian composers. In 2013 Cristina organized the recording of a CD dedicated to the piano music of Camargo Guarnieri with the participation of the piano faculty of the Music Department at UFRGS. In this project she is responsible for Sonatinas 1 and 3 in addition to his magnificent Piano Sonata of 1972. 

In addition to her performing career, she holds a research grant from the Brazilian Agency CNPQ and as a result of her researches on Musical Performance, she has been publishing consistently and presenting scholarly papers at international congresses and conferences such as International Symposium of Performance Sciences (Royal College of Music, London, UK) Performa (University of Aveiro, Portugal), Center for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (Cambridge University, UK) and Observatoire Musical Français-Université Paris Sorbonne, France. She is a member of scientific committees for ISPS, UK and Brazilian scientific and academic associations such as ANPPOM, SINCAM and ABRAPEM. She is also on the review board and a guest editor of Frontiers in Pscyhology-Performance Science.

Dr. Gerling gratefully acknowledges the relevancy of the work being done by Taubman clinicians and specialists on behalf of pianists and piano students worldwide.


Marisa Rosana Lacorte

Escola Municipal de Música de São Paulo


Marisa Lacorte has been dedicated to piano education since her youth, contributing intensely to the training of many of the young pianists who stand out in the musical scenery of Brazil and abroad. Her work with children and young people is recognized by renowned pianists such as: Yara Bernette, Homer of Magellan, Arnaldo Cohen, Caio Pagano, Ney Fialcov, James Dick (USA) Sergei Dorenski, Andrei Pisarev, Helena Richter, Alexandre Mindoyans, (Russia) Amy Lin, Jean-Efflam Bavouset (France).

She holds a bachelor's degree in piano, a post-graduate degree in Higher Education Methodology from Universidade Metropolitanas Unidas - UNIFIAM-FAAM and a Master's in Music from Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP, with a dissertation on "Music as a carrier of essential human values" in 2003.

Based on the principle that in a changing world, where imagination and creativity, clear manifestations of human freedom are constantly threatened by the standardization of individual behaviors, believes that music, when well administered and occupying a suitable place in the formation of the individual, can offer, by its very nature, a kind of antidote against such standardization, contributing to the development of the whole person: intellect, intelligence, sensibility, bodily transfiguration, ethical, aesthetic sense, personal, social and universal responsibility, that is, can presenting itself as a possibility of interpretation and a way to "interpret" itself.

Currently, in addition to private lessons, she is a piano teacher at the Municipal School of Music of São Paulo.

Dr. Paulo Gazzaneo

Escola Municipal de Música de São Paulo

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Michael Gurt

Louisiana State University


Louisiana State University
National Music Festival at Washington College

Ocupa o posto de Professor Distinto de Piano “Paula Garvey Manship” na Louisiana State University. Ele é mentor de piano no Festival de Música de Hot Springs (Arkansas) e foi chefe do departamento de piano no Festival de Verão de Sewanee (Tennessee) de 1987 a 2007. Tem atuado como coordenador da Associação de Professores de Música da Louisiana, e ensinou em dois seminários de música na Universidade Tunghai em Taichung (Taiwan). Professor Gurt obteve diplomas na Universidade de Michigan e na Juilliard School. Professor Gurt obteve primeiro prêmio na Competição Internacional de Piano Gina Bachauer de 1982, e também o primeiro prêmio em competições em Pretoria (África do Sul) e Sydney (Australia). Tem se apresentado como solista junto a Sinfônica de Chicago, Orquestra da Filadélfia, Sinfônica de Utah, Sinfônica de Baltimore, Sinfônica de Memphis, Sinfônica de Capetown, Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional da China, e Orquestra Filarmônica de Natal em Durban (África do Sul). Apresentou-se em séries de recitais de piano solo no Alice Tully Hall em Nova Iorque, no Ambassador Auditorium em Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall em Detroit, City Hall em Hong-Kong, no Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne (Australia), Baxter Hall em Capetown (África do Sul), e no Attaturk Cultural Center em Istanbul (Turquia). Gurt tem colaborado com os quarteto de cordas “Takacs” e “Cassatt”, e se apresentou no Festival Australiano de Música de Câmara em Townsville, Queensland (Australia). Foi parte do júri na Competição Internacional Gina Bachauer e na Competição Internacional de Nova Orleans. Gurt gravou pelos selos Naxos, Centaur, e Redwood.


Dr. Alan Huckleberry

University of Iowa



Praised for his “impeccable musicianship, exhilarating technique, and panache” (American Record Guide), pianist Alan Huckleberry is recognized as a multi-faceted artist on the classical music scene.  He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, England, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Colombia, and across the United States.

Huckleberry is also in demand as a chamber musician, with recitals across the United States, Australia, and Europe. He can be heard on five compact disc recordings on the Crystal Record, MSR and Albany Record labels. Two further CDs will be released in the fall of 2014.

In addition to his performing career, Dr. Huckleberry is equally passionate about his role as an educator.  He is currently associate professor of piano pedagogy and collaborative arts at The University of Iowa. There he heads the piano pedagogy program, which is now recognized as one of the leading programs in the nation.  He is a sought-after speaker on pedagogical topics, including talks at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the Music Teachers National Conference.  At The University of Iowa, he also maintains a studio of national and international students, who themselves are beginning to leave their mark in their field.  In fact, all DMA graduates from his piano pedagogy program are now teaching at academic institutions across the country and abroad.    

A native of Indiana, Huckleberry began serious studies at the piano in Germany with Polish pianist Barbara Szczepanska.  Further studies at the conservatories of Karlsruhe and Cologne with Japanese pedagogue Naoyuki Taneda and German pianist Josef A. Scherrer solidified a diverse and international musical background. He then returned to the United States where he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan under the guidance of Arthur Greene (performance) and John Ellis (pedagogy).

Huckleberry’s repertoire not only includes the standard works of the piano literature, but he is an ardent supporter of new music and young composers, as seen by a long list of compositions which were written for him. Among the many 20th and 21st century styles he enjoys, he is particularly interested in contemporary rags and other crossover genres.

Dr. Huckleberry has recently embarked upon a massive video recording project.  Together with Dr. Jason Sifford, he is creating the largest known database of performances of piano pedagogical literature.  In the end, it will encompass some 9000 videos of beginning to intermediate repertoire.  The videos are available to all, free of charge, at YouTube. To go along with his video project, Dr. Huckleberry has created a Wiki style website, which includes piano pedagogical information on each recorded piece, as well as composer and publisher information. To visit this site, please click here.

Dr. Geoffrey Haydon

Georgia State University


Dr. Geoffrey Haydon has successfully bridged both classical and jazz styles of performance. Known as a classical and jazz artist, he has received rave reviews in his solo, chamber, and concerto performances given throughout the USA, in Europe, Russia, China, Japan, South America, and Central America.  He has most recently performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and such world famous artists as Joan Rivers and Il Divo. He is also a member of the Haydon/Parker Duo, Joe Gransden Big Band, and Georgia State University Faculty Jazztet.  He has performed with well-known jazz artists such as Eddie Daniels, Joe Henderson, Gordon Goodwin, Eddie Gomez, Bobby McFerrin, Bob Mintzer, Bill Watrous, Jerry Weldon, Randy Brecker, Ndugu Chancler, Conrad Herwig, and Hal Crook. Dr. Haydon regularly performs with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, Atlanta Pops Orchestra and has performed with Broadway shows including The Phantom of the OperaThe King and IThe ProducersHairspray,Sister ActSophisticated Ladies and Grease.  Dr. Haydon can be heard onGershwin Plus – Piano Solos and Novelty Arrangements, a solo piano CD of George Gershwin’s music, Cabin Fever, a jazz CD by the McLean-Haydon Jazz Quartet, and My Foolish Heartand Reunion, two jazz piano/vibraphone CDs by the Haydon/Parker Duo.  All CD’s are available on the ACA Digital label and Albany Records.

Dr. Haydon is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator.  He has numerous publications with Alfred Publishing, Stipes Publishing and is co-author of Jazz History Overview, a textbook by Kendall Hunt Publishing.  Beginning Jazz, a book of Dr. Haydon’s jazz piano compositions, is published by Lee Roberts Publications.  Both include MIDI accompaniment tracks available on CD.  In collaboration with James Lyke, Dr. Haydon has co-arranged American popular songs for solo piano, two piano and duet piano. These are published by Lee Roberts Publications (distributed by Hal Leonard Publications) and Alfred Music Publishing. Dr. Haydon regularly contributes articles published in Clavier Companionand reviews appearing in American Music Teacher.  He has developed an impressive reputation as someone with a high level of expertise using technology in the areas of performance, composition, arranging, and pedagogy.  Giving workshops and clinics around the U.S., Dr. Haydon is an artist/clinician with RolandUS. Currently, Dr. Haydon coordinates the piano faculty at Georgia State University where he teaches applied piano, piano literature, piano pedagogy, jazz history, and jazz theory.  Dr. Haydon received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Richmond and studied three summers at the Aspen Music Festival.  He received his Master and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Nancy Garrett and Gregory Allen.

Mirka da Pieva



Website and Blog
Youtube Channel
Fanpage on Facebook

Mirka da Pieva has a degree in classical piano from the Conservatoire Carlos Gomes - RS, a bachelor's degree in Piano from the Federal University of Santa Maria - RS, a Specialization in Piano Pedagogy from the Brazilian Conservatory of Music - RJ and a Master’s in Performing Practice / Piano from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Among its teachers are Claudia Deltregia, Sérgio Olivè and Luiz Senize. She also participated in masterclasses with renowned professors such as Homero Magalhães, Mauricy Martin, Alexandre Dossin, Ney Fialcow, Thomas Steinhöfel, Arnaldo Cohen and Cristina Ortiz.

She has received awards in several national piano competitions such as the competition Carlos Gomes, Araçatuba, Rosa mystica and Edna Basset Rabith. She was also a soloist for the Santa Maria Symphony Orchestra and the Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra, when she won the Young Soloists contest at the OSPA. For 10 years she has been living in Rio de Janeiro, where she has performed solo piano recitals and chamber music.

Nowadays she dedicates herself almost entirely to his passion: piano teaching. It caters to students of all age groups in Pianópera, an independent studio that promotes piano and singing classes, as well as social events, courses and presentations. She also teaches workshops in music schools, where she shares some of her experience as a private piano teacher with other professionals in the field and divulges her work with the Mirka Brinca games. Parallel to this always keeps his Mirka & Piano blog active, producing several articles related to teaching piano and music in general.


Lílian Centro de Música


Dr. Fátima Corvisier

Universidade de São Paulo

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Born in Rio de Janeiro, Fátima Corvisier graduated with honors (Golden Medal Prize) from the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In 1991, she earned her Master’s degree in Piano Performance at the same University under professors Myrian Dauelsberg and Esther Naiberger. In 2009, Fátima Corvisier received her Doctor of Music degree awarded by the University of São Paulo (USP), defending the thesis Antônio de Sá Pereira e o Ensino Moderno de Piano: Pioneirismo na Pedagogia Pianística Brasileira (Antônio de Sá Pereira and the Modern Piano Teaching: Pioneer of Piano Pedagogy in Brazil). Since 2004, Fátima Corvisier has been a faculty member at the Department of Music of University of São Paulo, where she teaches Piano and Piano Pedagogy. During the eight years of residence in the United States (1992-2000), Ms. Corvisier developed an important research in the field of Piano Pedagogy. As a researcher, she has been intensively involved in Congress and Conferences presenting papers on Piano Pedagogy and Performance Practices on Brazilian Piano Duet Repertoire. Her most significant prizes in piano competitions include the first prize in the Dirk Bovendorp National Piano Competition and the third prize in the III Eldorado Music Award. Fátima Corvisier has performed as a soloist of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eleazard e Carvalho, and the Campinas Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Benito Juarez. As a solo and chamber music recitalist, Ms. Corvisier has performed in many concert halls in Brazil, the United States and Germany. Some recente performance highlights include the opening of the Chamber Music Concerts Series at Theatro Pedro II, in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, presenting a recital with works by Mozart as part of the bicentennial celebration of the composer (2006); the participation in the West - East Project interpreting works by Takemitsu and cotemporary Brazilian composers at the Coliseum Theatre in Santos and at the Espaço Cultural CPFL in Campinas (2007-2008); and also a solo performance in the III Semana do Piano (The III Piano Week) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro celebrating the tricentennial of the invention of the piano and the 50th anniversary of Villa-Lobos’s death.


Dr. Fernando Corvisier

Universidade de São Paulo


In Brazil, Corvisier received his music education at the Music Academy Lorenzo Fernandez, in Rio de Janeiro. In 1982 he received a scholarship from the Brazilian government to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, under the guidance of Edson Elias and Germaine Mounier. From 1985 to 1987 he studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston under the guidance of Jacob Maxin, obtaining the Master’s degree in Piano Performance. In 1988, Corvisier won the IV Eldorado Music Award, the foremost music competition in Brazil, and was invited to give numerous recitals in major concert halls throughout the country. He also has appeared in all the major Brazilian orchestras as well as giving solo performances in Brazil, Europe and the United States. Corvisier recorded in Los Angeles, with pianist João Carlos Martins, the first version for two pianos of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi, transcribed by Almeida Prado, gaining wide acceptance among the public and the critics. He also recorded for the label Eldorado works of Brahms and Ginastera. From 1992 to 1994, Corvisier was invited by pianist Luiz de Moura Castro to study at the Hartt School of Music where he obtained the Artist Diploma in Piano Performance. In May 2000, Fernando Corvisier received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Houston, being guided by internationally renowned pianists Abbey Simon, Horacio Gutiérrez, and Ruth Tomfohrde. From 2000 to 2001 Dr. Corvisier was professor at the Music Department of the University of Rio de Janeiro. Since May 2002, Corvisier has been a Professor of Piano at the University of São Paulo. He has participated in many Conferences presenting lectures on the piano works of Brazilian composer Almeida Prado, and also has focused his research on Brazilian piano music for piano duet.


Dr. Carla Reis

Universidade Federal de São João del Rei



Carla Reis is on the faculty of the São João Del Rei Federal University (Brazil) and holds a PhD in Education. Besides teaching piano lessons and piano pedagogy, she coordinates the Project “Piano.Pérolas” and is member of the Reis Barbeitas Duo (guitar and piano).



Iris Blanco-Urgelles

American Composers

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Iris Blanco-Urgelles native of Holguin Cuba began studying piano at an early age. She studied at the University of the Arts in Havana, Cuba. And graduated Cum Laude from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. She also holds Masters Degrees in Piano Performance, and Piano Accompaniment and Chamber Music from Temple University and a Master Degree in Piano Pedagogy from West Chester University.

Under the guidance of Harvey Wedeen and Lambert Orkis, Iris earned several scholarships and awards including The James H. and Ethel L. M. Beach Book Award, Third Prize Winner in the Pi Kappa Lambda Competition, and the Jacobs Music Company Steinway Award for outstanding graduating pianist in 2009. She was included in the 2008 Edition of Who's Who Among Students in American’s Universities and Colleges and was also selected for induction into the prestigious Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society for Undergraduate and Graduate Students at Temple University.

She served as a piano accompanist for the Opera Department, The Women’s Choir, Concert Choir, Jeffrew Solow Cello Studio, Eric Owens’s Voice Studio, and Dr. Christine Anderson Voice Studio at Temple University. She was awarded the Connie Murray Pedagogy Award and was featured in the “Fig” Magazine as a Master Student from West Chester University in 2014. In 2015, Iris was one of two pianists involved in the production of Carmina Burana with the Reading Choral Society, under the direction of the Maestro Graham Bier. She was awarded first prize as a soloist at the American Protege Piano and Strings International Competition and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2017.

Iris is an active member of the Music Teacher National Association, the Pennsylvania Music Teacher Association, the Main Line Music Teacher Association, and the Philadelphia Music Teacher Association. Her students have won Festivals and Competitions and have performed at West Chester University, Temple University, Penn State University, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. Four of her students were selected to be featured on the Cunningham Piano TV Show in the Spring of 2018. In the spring of 2019, ten of her students played at Carnegie Hall as first and second prize winners of Dr. Andor Kiszely, and Little Mozart International Piano Competitions. One of her students received the top twelve award among sixty five students and recorded a video that will be featured at the Philadelphia Music Teacher Association website in the Fall of 2019. 

Iris is the Music Director, Pianist and Organist at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Devon, Pa. She created the St. John’s Concert Series in 2016; a free monthly concert to give back to the community. Each month a concert is performed focusing on different styles of music and composers, along with different instruments and vocalists. In 2015, she co-founded the Musicalia Ensemble, a trio that performed at Carnegie Hall in Spring 2017 as a first-prize winner in the American Protégé Competition. This trio plays in every monthly concert of the St. John’s Concert Series. In 2017, the trio was featured in two articles of the Times Herald in Norristown by Joe Barron and the Philadelphia Inquirer by Beth Kephart. They performed as guest artists for the International Triumph Piano Festival at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia in September 2017 and 2018. In April 2019, the trio was featured on The Main Line Times by Ray Hoffman. Iris is also a composer. She won Third Prize at the 2018 Golden Key International Piano Composition Competition in New York with her “Sentimientos Suite”; a chamber work for piano, violin and cello. She performed in August 2018 at the World Composer Recital at the Ehrbar Hall, Prayner Conservatory in Vienna. She was invited again to perform in August 2019 as a Second Prize winner for her work “Seven Preludes to Life” for piano solo.