PIANO FACULTY

Christine Ciuffreda

Christine Ciuffreda, Piano Faculty, Wharton Music Center, NJ

A native of South Korea, Christine Ciuffreda began her piano journey in 1993. She studied piano performance at the College of Charleston on the Tate International Piano Scholarship, followed by continuing education at the Juilliard School Evening Division. Miss Ciuffreda’s performances have lead her to Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall, World Financial Center, Liechtenstein Palace, and the Mozarteum Große Saal. Miss Ciuffreda is additionally pursuing a career in opera coaching and collaborative piano. She most recently played Le Nozze Di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte in the Prague Summer Nights festival.

Miss Ciuffreda has studied with Yelena Ivanov, Beatrice Long, and Enrique Graf. She currently teaches piano at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts in New Jersey.

Sung-Hae Jung

Sung-Hae Jung, PIano Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Sung-Hae Jung is an active pianist and a long-time educator who came to the US to study after graduating at the top of her class with a B.A. in piano performance from Koshin University in Busan, Korea.  Ms. Jung studied further in music education, concentrating on piano pedagogy at Leman College of City University of New York and Teachers College of Columbia University. She is a Founding Teacher of Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory The Achivement Program, a member of Piano Teachers Society of America (a recipient of Genia Robiner Pedagogy Awards) and Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education).

She was awarded for a Lehman College Foundation Scholarship, Emile Anders Choir Award, Alice Minnie Hertz Heniger Award, merit scholarship for four college years, a college top-graduate award.  Her teachers include Namsook Kim, late Dr. Hadassah Sahr (20th century music specialist), Bert Konowitz (Jazz), Dr. Benjamin Allen Loeb (Chamber & Accompanying), Ada Kopetz-Korf and Jose Ramos-Santana (Romantic Music Virtuoso).

Ms Jung is currently a piano faculty at Wharton Music Center in Berkeley Heights, Oak Knoll School in Summit and she maintains her piano studio in Summit, NJ.  She is also a music director for Trinity Reformed Church in North Plainfield, NJ.

Diana Lin

Pianist Diana Lin has performed on the stages of Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Steinway and Sons Hall, and Manhattan School of Music. She has won top prizes at the NJMTA Young Musician Competition, Professional Music Teacher’s Guild of New Jersey, and Cecilian Young Musician Competition. In addition, she has participated in master classes led by Jerome Lowenthal and Jonathan Feldman. She has also performed at the PianoSummer at New Paltz Institute, Summit Music Festival, and International Academy of Music at Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italia. She has enjoyed performing for seniors at assisted living centers in New Jersey since 2007; some venues include the Franciscan Oaks of Denville, Brookdale Florham Park, and Sunrise of Morris Plains.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Lin began her studies at age 5. Her principal piano and chamber teachers include David Dubal, Laurie Carney, Jon Klibonoff, Raymond Beegle, Alexander Rees, Stella Xu, and Grace Kuo. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Classical Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Phillip Kawin as a recipient of the President’s Award and MSM Scholarship.

Florence Lombardo

Lombardo, Florence_MG_3720

With her musical interest beginning on the piano as early as age three, Florence Lombardo began playing piano for church choirs and congregational singing at age eight. She began studying harp at age twelve, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Harp from Montclair State University. Ms. Lombardo has performed in recording studios for TV commercials, on stage accompanying soloists, in churches with chamber orchestras and choirs, and as a soloist for countless weddings, special dinners and recitals.

She has performed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and various musicals including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. She was the featured harpist for the wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, performed on the red carpet for P. Diddy’s birthday bash, and has played for kings, governors and celebrities in the U.S. and abroad. Her main passion is sharing her music and she finds the greatest pleasure in teaching and watching her students grow.

Eric Olsen

Eric Olsen, Piano Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Eric Olsen has crafted a distinguished career in both classical and jazz music as a pianist and organist, composer, and conductor. His recordings include Dyad, a collaborative jazz/classical duet with alto saxophonist Louis Caimano, his most recent release, and Jazz Inspired Classics, featuring works by American composers including Copland, Schuller, Gould, and Nancarrow.As composer and leader of his long-standing jazz group Urban Survival, Mr. Olsen released two CD’s, one with acclaimed tenor saxophonist George Garzone. Eric has also performed with guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Cherry, sideman to Dizzy Gillespie. He has accompanied operatic bass Kevin Maynor on three recordings, the Grammy-nominated CD The Black Art Song, Jazz Hymns, and From Another American.

He recently collaborated with Kevin Maynor and former NJ Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka on his multimedia work Sisyphus Syndrome, and on a performance of Dorothy Rudd Moore’s opera Frederick Douglas. As an accompanist, Mr. Olson has worked with the internationally renowned vocal studios of Betty Allen, Klara Barlow, Walter Cassel, Giorgio Tozzi, and Virginia Zeani. Mr. Olsen has performed at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and the Knitting Factory in New York and in India and New Zealand. Mr. Olsen has been a featured soloist with the Livingston Symphony, the Central Jersey Symphony, and the Orchard Park Symphony and a featured jazz performer at the AT&T, Berk’s, and Asbury Park Jazz Festivals.

He has given numerous classical and jazz piano recitals in the NY Metropolitan area. Currently Director of Music and Organist at the Union Congregational Church in Montclair, he has conducted Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bush’s Christmas Cantata, Flagello’s The Passion of Martin Luther King, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Part I, and Pärt’s Berlin Mass with members of the New Jersey Symphony. He has performed the first act of Wagner’s Die Walküre on piano and selections from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde on organ with his wife, Pamela Olsen, an accomplished soprano. In addition to serving on the faculty of Wharton Music Center, Mr. Olsen is an Adjunct Faculty member at Montclair State University. He holds two Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Jazz Studies from Indiana University and a Bachelor’s with High Distinction in Piano and Organ Performance from Syracuse University.

 

Kristine Peters

In addition to being on the faculty of Wharton Music Center, Kristine Peters is a candidate for the College of Adjudicators for The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. She holds certification in Musikgarten Music Makers at the Keyboard and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from The College of New Jersey. Influential teachers include Beatrice Long and Dr. Tomoko Kanamaru. She is a Master of Arts candidate at Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Ms. Peters believes in educating the complete musician at the piano. Her student-centered teaching philosophy is that every person has their own connection to music. Her goal is to guide each student toward their musical identity through a complete study of music of all genres. Ms. Peters uses a multi-layered approach that includes repertoire, ear training, sight reading, and music theory.

Margarita Sturman

Margarita Sturman, Piano faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Margarita Sturman was born in Kiev, Ukraine where she began taking piano lessons at the age of six and immediately felt a connection with what would become a life-long passion.  Ms. Sturman graduated with honors and continued her music education at the Reinhold Glière Music University in Kiev.  Upon graduation with honors from Glière, Margarita entered the Kiev State Conservatory.

At the Kiev State Conservatory, Ms. Sturman studied under such famous Russian musicians as Professor I. Raibov (piano), Professor J. Fastovskiy (chamber music), Professor G. Nikolayenko (accompaniment) and Professor B. Milich (music theory).  While studying at the Kiev State Conservatory, Ms. Sturman performed numerous times in the famous Grand Recital Hall of the Kiev State Conservatory as well as a soloist and accompanist at the Kiev State Philharmonic.

Upon graduation, Ms. Sturman received her Masters Degree as a soloist, accompanist, and music educator.  She began teaching piano and fell in love with a profession she would perfect over the next three decades.  In 1992 her family moved from the Ukraine to the United States where Ms. Sturman spent 14 years teaching at the Brooklyn Music School and Shostakovich Music School, teaching piano students of all ages.

In 2006 Ms. Sturman moved to New Jersey and began teaching at the Wharton Music Center. Today Ms. Sturman brings her love of music along with a broad knowledge of piano technique and classical music for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students through contemporary musical methods of teaching. She brings over thirty years of experience as a piano teacher and accompanist. A nominee and winner of numerous awards, including a rare Ministry of Culture honorary award for achievements in excellence in teaching, and the development of understanding and appreciation of music in children.

Luba Vasilyeva

Luba Vasilyeva, Piano Faculty, Wharton Music Center, NJ

Luba Vasilyeva began studies at the Scriabin Music School of the Arts at the age of six and continued with pianist Lubov Pevzner at the Mussorgsky School where she received her Bachelor of Music degree with honors. She performed at the Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg Capella and participated in numerous master classes including those of pianists Natalia Trull, Tatiana Kravchenko.

Ms. Vasilyeva earned her Master of Music degree studying with Vasily Kalmykov and Sergey Urivaev. She performed a series of piano recitals at the Great Conservatory Hall and participated in numerous chamber music ensembles. In 1999, Ms. Vasilyeva and her family immigrated to the United States where she became a faculty member and accompanist at Montclair State University. She also joined the faculty of Wharton Music Center where she continues to teach and perform today.

Ms. Vasilyeva is an active concert pianist and chamber musician. She has appeared in solo performance at the Millburn Library, Hinman Hall (West Caldwell), Montclair Women’s Club, Watchung Arts Center, Montclair Congregational Church, The Unitarian Church in Summit, Steinway Hall (NYC), and Wharton Music Center’s Library Concert Series.

 

Anna Vozhik

Anna Vozhik, Piano Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Anna Vozhik has dedicated her career to teaching elementary and advanced piano for over thirty years, both in the United States and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Ms. Vozhik’s teaching style resonates with students on a profound level.  She possesses the rare capability of expressing complex musical ideas that transcend spoken language, giving her students the advantage of not only building extraordinary technical skills, but also imbuing them a with deep emotional understanding of the musical landscape. Ms. Vozhik and her students have been the recipients of multiple national awards in the U.S. including the Golden Key Competition, Crescendo Competition, Talented Young Musician Association Program, American Concert Alliance, Young People’s Program Competition  of American Chinese Culture Festival, and the Andrew De Grado Competition. Her students have been honored to appear at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Bristol Hall in Princeton, NJ.

Ms. Vozhik earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Modest Mussorgsky in St. Petersburg, Russia. She earned her Master of Arts degree from the East Ukrainian State University. As Choral Director at East Ukrainian State University, Anna directed an eighty-member chorus for nearly a decade.  Ms. Vozhik’s other roles included: piano and music instruction at The School of Music in Lugansk, Ukraine; Chair of Voice and Audition at Calderon School of Music; and Adjunct Professor of Piano at Kean University.

Ms. Vozhik has compiled several pedagogical publications including Piano Lessons in Elementary School (Ukraine, 1986) and Enjoy Your Music Lessons: Great Music for Small Hands (Ukraine, 1991). She is a member of the Music Educators Association, the Golden Circle of Teachers, and the Berkshire Choral Festival. Ms. Vozhik holds a National Pedagogy Certification from the National Music Certificate Program.

Andrzej Winnicki

Pianist Andrzej Winnicki, a native of Poland, has performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Polish Consulate General, and St. Peter’s Church. He can frequently be heard in jazz clubs throughout the Tri-State area and has played with Jeremy Pelt, Mark Egan, Ralph Alessi, Scott Colley, Rodney Holmes, Nasheet Waits, Joel Grey, and Bernadette Peters.  After releasing the album In the Bush in 2001 for J-Bird Records, with Electric Breakwater and featuring Pat Metheny’s bassist Mark Egan and Santana’s drummer Rodney Holmes, Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna formed the all-acoustic Komeda Project in 2004, paying homage to the often imagistic compositional strengths of the legendary Polish film composer-jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969). As a part of this project, Winnicki released two critically acclaimed albums on MW Records label: Crazy Girl in 2007 and Requiem in 2010. Winnicki has been an active member of ASCAP since 1997 and local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians in New York City since 1989.