At age 16, I began my undergraduate musical studies in piano performance at the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford, CT under the tutelage of concert pianists Luiz de Moura Castro and Peter Pertis. Both were classmates of the renowned pedagogue, Josef Gat at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary - founded by Franz Liszt himself in 1875.
Through my teachers, I received strong guidance in the method and approach of Liszt. I subsequently studied with concert pianist, Dr. Paul Rutman, the first pianist to receive a doctoral degree from the prestigious Julliard School of Music and the first American to medal at the famed Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow during the Cold War. From him I received a basis in the Russian school of piano technique. After leaving Hartt, I continued my studies at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. As a young pianist, I taught piano privately and in community schools as well as, worked with various county arts councils developing classical music presentations in the public schools.
In 1995, I moved to Germany together with my husband, Prof. Aldo Lagrutta - a renowned concert guitarist. For the next 20 years, we concertized in Europe, North & South America and Africa. Concurrently, I ran Vanguard Concerts - a classical music events and management firm.
As a composer, I first focused on song-writing, winning third place in 2004 in the VH-1 Song of the Year competition. I now enjoy composing music for ballet and collaborating with choreographers.
My teaching approach is strongly rooted in my own classical training following the traditions of Franz Liszt and the Russian School of piano. Additionally, I incorporate within my approach the findings from Neuroscience with which I seek not just to bring out the natural abilities of a student but to actually create abilities in the student.
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