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Address: School for Strings
419 W 54th St,New York,NY 10019,USA

"Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart." -Shinichi Suzuki

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About Us

Marta Abraham-Nagyi

A native of Hungary, Márta Ábrahám-Nagyi studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, where she received her Masters Diploma "Summa cum Laude" in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 1999 - studying with Professors Kornél Zempléni (student of Ernö Dohnányi), András Kemenes and Márta Gulyás. She also spent a year as a student of Prof. Imre Rohmann at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria. Ms. Ábrahám-Nagyi has performed concerts in several European countries (Austria, Spain, Belgium, France, Czech Republic), and in the United States both as soloist and as chamber musician. She has attended and performed in master classes given by several eminent artists, including Prof. Dimitri Bashkirov (Hungary), Prof. Lívia Rév (France, Hungary), Prof. Imre Rohmann (Austria, Hungary) and Prof. Márta Gulyás (Spain, Hungary).

In 1992, Marta Abraham-Nagyi won Third Prize at one of the most prestigious national competitions of Hungary, and in 1997 she received the Special Prize of the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition, Budapest. She has also appeared in concerts with one of the most distinguished Hungarian Symphony Orchestras - the MÁV Symphony Orchestra - in Budapest, under the baton of Ervin Lukács (Mozart: D-minor Piano Concerto K.466) and Tamás Gál (Bartók: 3rd Piano Concerto). Several of her concerts were broadcast live by the Hungarian State Radio for which she has also made a number of exclusive recordings.

As a native Hungarian, Ms. Ábrahám-Nagyi's entire musical education is based on the Kodály method, that has always been incorporated in her own teaching. She served for almost a decade as a member of the piano faculty, chamber coach and senior accompanist at the Center of Preparatory Studies of Music, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY. Between 2006 and 2009 she established and coordinated the music department of a learning center in downtown Manhattan and is currently on the faculty at The School for Strings.

A passionate chamber musician she collaborated with various instrumentalists and vocalists/opera singers on numerous concerts, music festivals and competitions.Her Steinway Hall concert appearance with cellist István Várdai in 2009 was recorded and broadcast by WQXR radio.

Ms. Ábrahám-Nagyi is fully dedicated to bring up a younger generation of passionate piano players and musicians. Many of the students she has worked with were accepted at prestigious music institutions throughout the US.

Faina Khodos

Faina Khodos received her Master of Music Degree from Prokofiev Conservatory in Donetsk and her Bachelor of Music Degree from Donetsk Music College. She is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and studied piano with Alexander Vitovsky and Naum Brodsky. Ms. Khodos is a former faculty member of Moscow State Academy of Music. In addition to her work at SFS, Ms. Khodos is on the faculty of the Center for Preparatory Studies in Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College and is a guest accompanist at Mannes College. A frequent performer of solo and chamber music recitals throughout the Ukraine and Russia, Ms. Khodos has also participated in the National Strings and Woodwind Competitions in Moscow as well as the National Opera Competition. She was honored with a special diploma in Moscow, crediting her for being among the best accompanists.

Maria Pereira

Biography Coming Soon!

Marina Obukovsky

Marina Obukovsky, Head of the Piano Department, lives and works in New York City where she is a sought-after piano teacher, performer, and clinician. According to the American Suzuki Journal, “Marina is a true musician and passionate about music, with the ear of a superhuman, able to distinguish the most nuanced of nuances.”

Ms, Obukovsky currently holds faculty positions at The School for Strings where she is the Head of the Piano Department and the Suzuki Teacher Trainer, and at the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division. As a dedicated and inspiring teacher, Ms. Obukovsky maintains a full studio of pianists, ranging from beginner to pre-college level. Her students frequently participate in master classes with renowned pianists and have won of many of New York’s prestigious competitions, performing at venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Symphony Space. Many of her students continue their training at conservatories and major in music at college.

In demand as a clinician and teacher, Ms. Obukovsky has given numerous workshops in New York, Washington DC, Maine, Vermont, Texas, and Bermuda. At the 15th Biennial Suzuki Conference (May 2012), she was invited to give a master class on new piano repertoire in the revised Suzuki piano books. During the past five years, she has taught at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Germany, the InterHarmony Festival in Arcidosso, Tuscany, Italy, and at the “Accademia di Musica Lorenzo Perosi” in Biella, Italy. A longtime faculty member at the Hartt Suzuki Institute in Connecticut, she additionally joined the faculty of the Berkshire Summer Music Camp in Massachusetts in 2014.

Ms. Obukovsky received her Master of Music degree (cum laude) from Kharkov Conservatory, Ukraine. She studied piano with Professor Tatyana Verkina, a former student of Heinrich and Stanislav Neuhaus. She also participated in numerous master classes and workshops at the renowned Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. As a student, she won several competitions and performed with the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra. An accomplished pianist, she has performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout Ukraine and Russia and has served as an accompanist for the National Opera Competitions in Moscow, Odessa, Lvov, and Kiev. She was a former faculty of the Kharkov Conservatory (currently the Kharkov University of Arts).

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Obukovsky frequently collaborates with fellow musicians in cello–piano duos, as well as in 4–8 hands piano ensembles. Ms. Obukovsky is currently a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the Associated Music Teachers League, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Elke Velazquez

Elke Velazquez received her B.M. from Oberlin College, where she studied with Sanford Margolis. Other teachers have included Paul Schenly, Anne Epperson, Sheila Keats and Susan Fischoff. She is currently a member of the piano faculty at The The School for Strings, where she received her Suzuki Teaching Certificate, and The Diller Quaile School of Music. She has been a piano teacher, chamber music coach and accompanist in many summer institutes and festivals, including Berkshire Summer Music and The Hartt Suzuki Institute. Elke performs as a chamber musician and accompanist throughout the New York area.