Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Conservatory Student Performing at Carnegie Hall!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Congratulations to Sophia Wu, age 8, piano student of Jaejin Lee and MCW student since 2014. Sophia won Second Prize at the Little Mozart Competition!

She will be performing in the winners' concert at Carnegie Hall on May 8th. Well done Sophia!


Alumnus Jun Luke Foster will perform at The Julliard School

Monday, April 04, 2016


Pianist Jun Luke Foster, a candidate for the Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School and a 2010 graduate of the Conservatory’s Honors Program, will perform his graduation recital at Juilliard’s Paul Hall on Wednesday, April 27th at 8:00 pm

Jun Luke, who earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University, was a student of Svetlana Gorokhovich during his nine years at the Conservatory.  The recital is free and open to the public.


Free Conservatory Faculty Performance!

Monday, April 04, 2016


A special Conservatory Faculty Recital will take place on Saturday, April 30 at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful showroom of Faust Harrison Pianos, right next door to the Conservatory. 

Faculty pianists Svetlana Gorokhovich and Irena Portenko will perform two piano/four hands works by Bach, Schumann and Strauss. The Classical Quartet, featuring faculty violinists Judson Griffin and Margaret Ziemnicka, will perform works by Haydn. This fabulous concert is free and open to the public – so invite your friends!

This concert is supported by a grant from the Westchester Community Foundation, through the Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.


Cindi Hsu's Original Composition featured in Concert Series

Thursday, March 03, 2016


Congratulations to Cindi Hsu (piano and composition) – Ms. Hsu’s original composition, “Three Flower Poems”, for flute and piano will be featured at the Composer’s Voice concert series

  • 3/17 @ 7:30pm, Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Three Flower Poems is inspired by Emily Dickson and William Black’s poems, which reflect Ms. Hsu’s deep appreciation and admiration of both poets’ remarkable understanding of human emotions and feelings
  • More info HERE

What Do Leap Year and Tuning A Piano Have in Common?

Monday, February 29, 2016

By Jean Newton, Executive Director

It takes 365.25 days for the earth to revolve around the sun, but our calendar only has 365 days, so every four years we get an extra day. We’ve “scheduled” this day on February 29th and call it “Leap Year.” But imagine if we decided instead to divide up that extra day, and give a little piece of it to some or all of the other days in the calendar.

On a piano, there’s a difference in pitch of .25 semitone between 12 perfectly tuned fifths and 8 perfect octaves. A semitone is one half-step, or two consecutive notes such as C/C#. Without going into the mathematics of piano tuning, if you try to play a piano with all perfectly tuned intervals, it will sound AWFUL!!

So, piano tuners have to take that extra .25 semitone and divide it up among all the other intervals. We call this “tempering” the tuning. In fact, the only perfectly tuned intervals on a piano are the octave and the fifth; all the others are a tiny bit imperfect, so that the piano will sound beautifully in tune.

There are many different ways of “tempering” a piano. Today, we use “equal temperament” – meaning that all the intervals, except for octaves and fifths, are “imperfect” by the same amount. But in previous centuries, keyboard instruments were tuned using “well temperaments” – meaning that the intervals were not all tuned the same. Nearly every piano student plays pieces from J.S. Bach’s “Well Tempered Klavier,” which includes a prelude and fugue in every single key. Bach was demonstrating that a good temperament would allow all the intervals and harmonies in each key signature to sound beautiful!

Haedong Wu Performs in Free Concert with Yonkers Philharmonic

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Haodong Wu (Piano Faculty) in Concert with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra – Sunday, 2/28 @ 3pm

  • Saunders Trade and Technical High School (183 Palmer Road, Yonkers)
  • Program including Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 and Symphony No. 2, and Barber’s Adagio for Strings.
  • FREE Concert, Go to for more info.

Music Conservatory Musicians will Perform at The Westchester this Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


While you're shopping this holiday season make sure to stop and appreciate the live music our conservatory musicians will be bringing to you this holiday season at The Westchester in White Plains. Our students and faculty will be performing for the next four Saturdays following Thanksgiving on Level 2 overlooking Santa  across from Tourneau and Louis Vuitton.

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 2:30 – 4:30PM

Brass Quartet: Michael Pallas, John Hasselback, Kate Amrine and Patricia Schmitt

    Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, 1:00 – 3:00PM

    Jazz Ensemble: John Lang, Hiroshi Yamazaki and Nick Biello

      From 2:00 – 2:30PM Student Boris Morocho will sing Spanish Holiday songs

      Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, 2:00 – 4:00PM

      Holiday Rock: Jake Robinson, Dan Asher, Sarah Kervin and Jeremy Goldsmith

        Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, 2:30 – 4:30PM

        Latin Jazz: Music Conservatory Latin Jazz Students, Michael Pallas, Jake Robinson, John Lang and Zack Berro

        Happy Holidays!

          Our Own Hiroshi Yamazaki Lights up Boscobel for the Holidays

          Wednesday, November 18, 2015

          Make the holidays musical and enjoy Hiroshi Yamazaki's jazz piano performance with The Libby Richman Trio at Boscobel's special event Sparkle, a celebration of the season.

          On Saturdays, December 5, 12 & 19 the Libby Richman Jazz Trio will perform holiday classics as well as popular standards. Composer, alto saxophonist Libby Richman leads an ensemble that plays original contemporary jazz. Come and enjoy the music and festivities!

          Click here for tickets and more information

          Cindi Hsu Wins International Call for Scores Contest

          Tuesday, October 20, 2015


          Congratulations to Cindi Hsu whose original composition “Impulse” for clarinet and piano recently won the International Call for Scores contest for clarinetist Thomas Piercy, sponsored by Vox Novus.  The work will be premiered as part of Vox Novus Festival: Composer's Voice Evening Concert at Symphony Space, NYC on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 at 8pm.  Click here for more info

          Music Master at Purchase

          Friday, October 02, 2015


          Michael Cabe of Steinway, Alex Tiratsuyan, faculty member Svetlana Gorokhovich, and Jean Newton pose at the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center. Alex Tiratsuyan, Honors piano student of Svetlana Gorokhovich, was one of only three students selected to play in a Steinway master class at Purchase College on October 2nd, presented by the renowned sibling concert pianists The Five Browns, all Juilliard graduates who specialize in multi-piano repertoire.  Alex gave a masterful performance of Frederic Chopin’s Etude Op. 10, No. 10 in A-flat major and received coaching from Melody Brown.  

          “Alex’s performance was a highlight of the evening.  I was impressed not only by his performance but his ability to quickly incorporate the wonderful feedback in a meaningful way.  We found Alex to be a very mature and polished pianist,”  said Michael Cabe, Marketing Implementation Manager, Steinway & Sons.