Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Faculty Member Dorothy Jonas Releases New CD

Saturday, November 25, 2017
Jonas CD

The Piano Duo of Joshua Pierce and long-time Conservatory faculty member, Dorothy Jonas, have just released a new CD of 20th Century Masterpieces for 2 pianos and orchestra.

The two CD set includes world premiere recordings of Poulenc, Starer, Creston, Berezovsky, Lopatnikoff, Malipiero and Tansman. Distributed by MSR Classics the album can be purchased HERE.

Benefit Concert A Wonderful Celebration

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Featured artist Ani Kavafian, Westchester native, Conservatory board member, and composer Mary Lynn Marx Bianco, and Executive Director Jean Newton of Scarsdale revel in the success of An Autumn Afternoon of Music benefit concert on Sunday, November 12 at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains.

The Conservatory celebrated great classical music at its benefit concert, An Autumn Afternoon of Music, featuring internationally renowned violinist Ani Kavafian on Sunday, November 12. Concert proceeds will benefit the Conservatory’s Scholarship, Music Therapy, and Healing Our Heroes programs.

Internationally renowned violinist and Goldens Bridge resident Ani Kavafian commands the stage alongside pianist Minyoung Kang.

Westchester native, long-time Conservatory board member and composer Mary Lynn Marx Bianco wrote a new piece for Kavafian to perform at the concert, showcasing Bianco’s signature composition style. Ms. Kavafian also performed two solo violin pieces by Fritz Kreisler. Joining Ms. Kavafian were a quartet of her Master of Musical Arts students from the Yale School of Music, to perform selections by Beethoven and Mozart, as well as a string quartet by Bianco.

Internationally renowned violinist and Yale School of Music professor Ani Kavafian leads a quartet of her students Sophia Mockler (2nd violin), Eric Adamshick (cello), Ethan Hoppe (2nd viola), and Josip Kvetek (1st viola) playing a Mozart composition.

The performances were thrilling and inspiring for the audience, a combination of prominent Westchester residents, as well as Conservatory faculty, students, and parents. Kavafian, whose son is a Conservatory alumnus, is among its Musical Advisors. Bianco, who was herself a Conservatory student as a child, has dedicated over 30 years of service to the music school.

Both were honored at the benefit by Executive Director Jean Newton for their commitment to the Conservatory and its mission-based programs that help provide the extraordinary benefits of music to all in the community.

Westchester native and special honoree at An Autumn Afternoon of Music joins Music Conservatory of Westchester students Anna Marie Simon, Alice Cabral, Lui Luankhot, Adrian Pascual, Ellie Konno, Board President Joel Breitkopf and Executive Director Jean Newton, both Scarsdale residents, at An Autumn Afternoon of Music benefit concert, bridging classical music with the next generation of musicians, and arts supporters on Sunday, November 12.

Westchester native, Conservatory board member, and composer Mary Lynn Marx Bianco accepts a commemorative gift from Music Conservatory of Westchester Development Associate Laura Layne.

Board members Rodd Berro and Jennifer Weiss, along with her husband Chip Weiss, all from Armonk, and Ronald Aaronson show their support.

Conservatory faculty members Mary Elizabeth Poore of New York City, Executive Director Jean Newton of Scarsdale, Thomas and Celeste Jamerson of Port Chester, and Juliet Gopoian of Hartsdale.

Faculty Concert: Piano as a Musical Partner

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Conservatory will celebrate the talents of its faculty and the history of the piano as a musical partner in a Faculty Recital on Friday, November 10. Open to the public, this free concert will start at 7 PM in the Conservatory’s Helen Demetrios and Michael Stadther Recital Hall with music featuring the piano as a collaborative instrument.

Performing will be faculty pianists Svetlana Gorokhovich, Hyemin Kang, Jaejin Lee, Irena Portenko, and Michael Zeiger. They will be joined by the Conservatory’s Dean of Students and Faculty Douglas Bish, clarinet, and Suzuki Coordinator Suzanne Wagor, viola.

The program will highlight the role of the piano in chamber music from the 18th and 19th century Germanic repertoire, as well as pieces for multiple pianists. Performances will include selections from Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano four-hands, Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio, K. 498 for clarinet, viola and piano, and three rarely performed works: Carl Czerny’s Divertissement Militaire for piano six-hands, Robert Schumann’s Märchenbilder for viola and piano, and Heinrich Baermann’s Adagio for clarinet and piano.

This concert is made possible by a grant from the Westchester Community Foundation’s Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.

Come Join Chamber Starters for Adult Students!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Interested in playing chamber music with other adult students? Want to expand your musical experience and improve your skills? Are you ready to take on a new challenge and have some fun? Join Chamber Starters for Adult Students!

Starting fall 2017, intermediate to advanced level adult students can sign-up to participate in short-term ensembles of 4-6 weeks. You’ll play alongside other adult instrumental and/or vocal students, matched up for similar musical ability and interests, with coaching from one of our esteemed faculty members. Of course, you are welcome to work with your ensembles on your own as well. An optional performance in one of our Adult Student Performance Hours will cap off your experience.

For questions and more information, please contact Amanda Tabor at or 914-761-3900 ext. 114.

Enter to Win tickets to the Cliburn Piano Competition Live on the Big Screen

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition


June 10th at 1:00pm 


Every four years, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition brings the world's best pianists to Fort Worth, TX to compete for the coveted Cliburn gold medal. For the first time in its history, the seventeen day competition will culminate on the big screen with concerto performances by six finalists accompanied by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Leonard Slatkin.

The Boston Globe once called The Cliburn “a cross between the Miss America Pageant, the Olympic Games, the Academy Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize.” 

Don't miss the stunning conclusion of this major American cultural event LIVE in select cinemas nationwide. Plus, catch an exclusive interview with Maestro Leonard Slatkin and other classical music VIPs


Mother’s Day Piano Concert

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Join us for a musical Mother's Day. Make her feel special with a concert by the talented piano students of the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

This free family concert will take place Sunday, May 14th at 2pm at the Grinton Will Public Library, 1500 Central Park Ave in Yonkers. This concert is supported by the Westchester Community Foundation, The Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.


Faculty Concert will be "A Celebration of the Piano"

Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Celebrate the piano with our accomplished piano faculty here at the Conservatory at a special concert Friday, May 19th at 7pm.

The concert will feature Svetlana Gorokhovich, Irena Portenko, Mikhail Zeiger, David Kim, Jaejin Lee, and Ming Fong performing works by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Haydn.

Join Us for a Special Recital for Piano & Strings

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Please join us for a special Recital for Piano and Strings, Saturday, April 22nd at 3pm in the Recital Hall. Recital is free and open to all!

It will feature music by Brahms, Mozart and Granados performed by Mansoon Han Kim, piano and Suzanne Wagor, viola. Special guests will be Kate Dreyfuss, violin and Nelly Rocha, cello.

MCW Students Do Amazing Things!

Friday, March 03, 2017

Here are a couple examples of Conservatory students doing amazing things! Congratulations to all!

MCW Student Elizabeth Jones (age 12, student of David Krieger, cello, and Svetlana Gorokhovich, piano) has recently won American Fine Arts Festival Competition where she received 1st Prizes in cello and piano.

Elizabeth also became a Grand Prix winner in cello and received 1st Prize in piano at Concert Festival Competition. She will perform at winners concerts in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center this spring. Elizabeth has been a student at MCW since 2011.

MCW Student Timothy Guida (age 13, student of Svetlana Gorokhovich, piano) was a Grand Prix winner of NY Concert Festival International competition and will be performing with other winners in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on March 19th. Timothy has been a student at MCW since 2012. Best of luck Timothy!

Interlochen logo

MCW Student Jad Benslimane (age 10, student of Adriana Pera, cello) was accepted to the 4-week Advanced String Program at Interlochen this summer. Jad has been a student at MCW since 2010.

"Story of the Piano" Concert Series

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Celebrate the Piano with the talented young students of the Music Conservatory of Westchester! Hear pieces by the “rock star” composers of the 18th and 19th centuries - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann and more - plus composers who wrote music especially for teaching children. Learn how the piano was invented, and how it became the most popular instrument of all time. Take a peek into the lives of the great piano composers and how they influenced piano builders to make it bigger and better.

Concerts will take place Sat, March 25th, 2:30pm at Ossining Library,  Sat, April 22nd, 2:00pm at New Rochelle Library and Sun, May 14th, 2:00pm (Mother’s Day) at Grinton Will Library in Yonkers. These concerts are supported by the Westchester Community Foundation, The Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.