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Teachers

Yonatan Grinberg, Director and Violin Teacher

International violinist Yonatan Grinberg creates meaningful and moving concert experiences for audiences around the globe. His artistic integrity, passionate delivery and unabashed idealism coupled with vast musical knowledge and devotion to world class performance make Grinberg a favorite of both frequent and first-time concert goers.

Committed to musical performance in different forms, Grinberg has performed as soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician in halls around the world including venues such as the Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, the Israeli Opera Hall in Tel Aviv, and the Philharmonic Hall in Zagreb. He has collaborated with artists such as Alexander Pavlovsky (Jerusalem Quartet), Violaine Melancon and Dr. David Schrader and on various projects with composers such as Aviya Kopelman, Dr. Wissam Gibran, and Jonathan Leshnoff. Recently Grinberg recorded a Piano Quintet by Leshnoff with members of the Baltimore Symphony to be published on Naxos in 2017. Mr. Grinberg’s performances have been aired on Israeli TV and Radio, as well as Slovenian Radio, and some of his notable chamber performances include a guest performance at a faculty concert in Towson University, the Jerusalem Music Center and a tour of chamber concerts in Holland as part of the Zeist Music Days festival. As a concertmaster Grinberg has performed with the Perlman Music Program, the Jerusalem Academy Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and has led no-conductor ensembles in concerts in Hebrew University and Tel Aviv with soloists such as Vadim Gluzman, Dr. Ron Regev and Dr. Asaf Zohar.

For eight years Grinberg toured and performed with the Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra both as soloist and concertmaster in Israel and Europe. The experience of seeing first hand how the music acted as a healing power in areas of harsh conflict, between both musicians and audiences, has affected him deeply as a musician and as human being, devoting himself to using music to mend hearts and make the world a better place.

Since 2015 Grinberg has been the founder and musical director of the Chamber Encounters concert series in the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in the Greater Baltimore area, which has been hailed in its first year by Baltimore Style Magazine as Baltimore’s 3rd most exciting musicians crossing all genres. These concerts are artfully constructed by diverse programming, round theater seating and interaction between the performers and the audience to create a lively and dynamic experience for different audiences.

Mr. Grinberg’s devotion to using music to change lives goes far beyond the concert hall. As a teacher, Yonatan has taught in El- Sistema and other community engagement programs in Chicago and Baltimore, and directed a summer program for the People’s Music School in Chicago. In 2014 he started a new string program “The Baltimore Bows” which has been an immediate success, and has been featured on a number of local and national media including NPR and the Baltimore Jewish Times. Since 2014 Yonatan has been working as an assistant violin teacher in the studio of Violaine Melancon at the Peabody Conservatory.

Yonatan is the recipient of several awards, including accolades from the America-Israel

Cultural Foundation, The Lurie Foundation, and Johns Hopkins University. He earned a

Master of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts with Vadim Gluzman, and

a Bachelor of Music from the Jerusalem Academy of Music with Matvei Lieberman.

Yonatan has participated in festivals such as Keshet Eilon and the Perlman Music Program, and in masterclasses with Ivry Gitlis, Shmuel Askenasi, Shlomo Mintz and other prominent musicians. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Music degree in the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Violaine Melancon.

 
Shari rosen, vocal and choir Teacher

Shari Allison Rosen, Soprano, MM Voice, Peabody Conservatory of Music, hails from Long Island, NY. She brings to CEMA her extensive knowledge of classical vocal repertoire, as well as with all types of Jewish Music. While at Peabody, Shari sang with the Peabody Opera Theater and Opera Workshop in varied roles, as well as being a featured soloist with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. Summers on full scholarship at the Chautaqua Institution School of Voice grew her vocal technique. Her beloved teachers have included William Ray, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Marlena Malas, Virginia Pyle and Deborah Kent. Before her journey to Orthodox Judaism, Shari served as a chorister and Cantorial Soloist at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and Cantorial Soloist at Temple Beth Israel in York, PA, and Congregation Shalom Aleichem in Columbia, MD. More recently, Shari has been a part of the faculty at Camp Tizmoret Shoshana and performed for women at ATARA conferences, an organization that champions Orthodox Jewish women in all arts disciplines. Shari is very excited for this opportunity to bring her love of singing, and her love of Judaism to her CEMA students!

 

Zack Branch, Cello Teacher

Cellist, bassist, improviser, and composer Zack Branch graduated from Towson University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music in Violoncello Performance, studying the cello under Cecylia Barczyk and composition and improvisation with Dave Ballou. He has worked at home and abroad as a freelance musician since that time, touring with bluegrass legend Audie Blaylock and recording with Baltimore music mainstays Microkingdom and Mount Royal among others. Zack also spends his energy working in theater as a musical director, composer, arranger, and performer with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) and has appeared on stage at the Women at Work (NYC) and Baltimore Fringe festivals, featured in the show Natural Novice as cello soloist and sound designer. Since 2014, Zack's arranging and orchestration have been featured in the performances of Convergence Maximus and Convergence Maximus II: Light City, combining the Concert Artists of Baltimore's orchestra and chorus with the BROS guitarmy in a performance of both original and classical works. Zack's work as a composer and music director will be featured in the upcoming feature documentary "MURDERCASTLE: How To Make A Rock Opera."

Sarah Thomas, Violin Teacher

Violinist Sarah Thomas performs and teaches in the Baltimore area and is committed to engaging the community through chamber music in fresh and exciting ways. As a member of the Bergamot Quartet, she works frequently with composers and is enthusiastic about expanding the string quartet repertoire. In the 2018-2019 season, Sarah was co-director of the Peabody String Sinfonia, a conductorless chamber orchestra that performs in community venues in Baltimore. In her hometown of Memphis, TN, Sarah directs a summer String Chamber Music Workshop, as well as the Chamber Music with Friends concert series. In her free time, Sarah can be found reading, drinking coffee, or going on long walks with friends. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Peabody Conservatory with Violaine Melançon.

Eric D'Alessandro, Viola Teacher

Violist Eric D'Alessandro has performed throughout the United States and Canada as a soloist and chamber musician. He has studied with Daniel Sweaney and Victoria Chiang. Working as both a teacher and a chamber musician, he has a special passion for new music and loves working with composers to create dynamic new programs. In addition to working with the Atlas String Quartet, he has appeared with ensembles such as the Druid City Ensemble and the Capstone String Quartet.

Violist Bronwyn Kure is an active soloist, chamber musician and teacher throughout Baltimore and Washington DC. Originally from rural Canada, Bronwyn attended the Victoria Conservatory and received her Diploma in Music Performance and Graduated with her Bachelor and Master's degree in Music Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in 2019.

Bronwyn has played as a soloist with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney
Classical Orchestra as well as solo performances with with the Victoria Conservatory’s
Thursday Recital Series, the Cheminais Prodigious Talent Concert Series, and Peabody
Pop-Ups.

 

An avid chamber music lover, Bronwyn has performed and is a member of the Mount Vernon Virtuosi chamber ensemble, and the Vernon String Quartet. She has performed with the Bonis Piano Quartet in their performance for the Amadeus Concert Series in Great Falls, Virginia as well as concerts with the Heifetz Institute in Staunton, Virginia, the Canadian National Art Center Chamber Music Series in Ottawa and the Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Series in Calgary, Alberta. She along with her colleagues, won first place in British Columbia’s Provincial Chamber Music Competition two consecutive years in a row as well as first place in the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Chamber Music Competition.


Bronwyn has a passion for teaching and has taught for many years with Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids Program, the Bridges String Program, the Waldorf School of Baltimore and the Bethany Music Center.

Scott began formal piano studies at age 10, and by 12 he was accepted into the university-preparatory division at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. During his 6 years at Peabody he studied advanced classical piano, performed numerous solo recitals, earned a Piano Achievement Award as well as the Advanced Level II Certificate in Piano, and was selected as a Semi-Finalist for the National YoungArts Foundation competition. He went on to study at the internationally acclaimed Eastman School of Music under Professor Vincent Lenti, who is part of a direct chain of students under Ludwig van Beethoven. Upon returning to Baltimore, Scott continued his piano studies at UMBC under Dr. Rachel Franklin and began harpsicord studies under Dr. Joseph Morin, culminating in a recorded performance with the Collegiate Musicum Ensemble.

Outside the classical piano world, Scott has been composing and recording New Age music since age 11, and finally released his first single in 2016 on iTunes (and other digital media platforms) under the name "Scott Simi Feldman". He has performed with several bands and recorded an original instrumental progressive rock album with a now world-renown drummer (whose current band received a Grammy nomination in 2017). His main influences are Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), George Winston, Yanni, and David Lanz. 

In the world of teaching, Scott has a true passion to educate his students with the skills they need to excel on their own unique level. He deeply believes that his students can achieve their unique musical potential by immersing themselves in the beautiful world of music and self-expression.

Cellist Tzu-Jou Yeh is a native of Taiwan and has had extensive performance and education experience in all areas of solo, chamber and orchestral music. She holds a Masters in Cello Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of renowned cellist Amit Peled. For her outstanding achievements in chamber music, she was awarded the Grace Claggett Ranney Prize in 2015. She has had masterclasses with artists such as Steven Isserlis, Paul Katz, Schmuel Magan, David Krieger, Karel Fiala, and Matt Haimovitz. A proponent of historical performance, she also studies the baroque cello with John Moran and has performed as a soloist with the Baltimore Baroque Band. 

 

A graduate of the National Kaohsiung Normal University (NKNU) under the tutelage of Chu-Chuan Liu, she was conferred the title of Premium Student for her outstanding performance in all subjects, and subsequently Excellent Grade in the Third Place in the Kaohsiung City Preliminary Contest Cello Solo and Excellent Grade in the National Student Competition of Music for the whole of Taiwan. Whilst there, she also earned a teaching certificate in Music Education and coached chamber music in high schools. 

 

She is also passionate about sharing music with the community. She has been invited to perform chamber music with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the benefit concert series "If Music Be The Food" two years in a row, and is also a founding member of the Peabody Sinfonia which is dedicated to "bring healing and beauty to people in our Baltimore community." She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance at Peabody Conservatory of Music.

 

Tzu-Jou currently plays on a 1923 Orfeo Carletti on generous loan from the Chimei Museum Foundation.

Violist Alaina Rea is currently a second year Graduate Performance Diploma student at Peabody, studying with Victoria Chiang and Choong- Jin Chang. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Juilliard School as a student of Heidi Castleman and Steven Tenenbom. Alaina is a substitute for the New World Symphony and has performed as principal violist with the Juilliard Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and the Chicago Youth Symphony.