Marina Stojanovska, piano

Chicago Piano Lessons

Marina Stojanovska has distinguished herself as a fearless and versatile pianist, having made her concerto debut with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra at age 14. She was hailed by the Macedonian Music Society Post as “…one of the most expressive young pianists of Macedonia.” She was a five-time First Prize winner of the MSC competition in Skopje. Additionally, she has won First Prize in numerous international competitions including Ohridski Biseri, Interfest, and Duo Piano Competition in Stip, Macedonia. Ms. Stojanovska has won Second Prize in FSMTA Byrd Piano Ensemble, and Liszt-Bartok in Sofia, Bulgaria. She was a prizewinner of Gray Perry Young Collegiate Piano competition FSMTA, Walenstein Competition, and received the title “Best Piano Accompanist” for the Woodwind Competition of Lazarevac, Serbia. She has appeared with leading orchestras including the Macedonian State Symphony Orchestra and Serbia Philharmonic. She has performed recitals in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Germany, Brazil and the U.S.

     In addition to her solo career, she has an acclaimed piano duo with her sister, Natasha Stojanovska, known as “The Stojanovska Sisters.” The duo was a three-time First Prize Winner of the Macedonia State Competition. They have performed recitals in Europe and the U.S. Their performances were broadcasted live on Radio Meff, Radio Ternipe, Sitel TV and Kanal 5.

     She has worked with internationally renowned pianists such as: Olga Kern, Arnaldo Cohen, Norman Krieger, Alexander Toradze, Yael Weiss, Daniel Shapiro, and Phillipe Entremont. She has collaborated with other acclaimed artists such as: Carol Venesse, Sylvia McNair, Andreas Poulimenos, Myron Bloom, Richard Seraphinoff, Carl Lenthe, Dee Steward, Mary Ann Hart, Wolfgang Brendel, Patricia Wise, Patricia Stiles, Timothy Noble, Thomas Robertello, James Campbell, and Eli Eban.

     Marina Stojanovska began piano lessons at age three and was the youngest student to be enrolled in the Prilep Academy. Her progress soon accelerated by studying at the Music Academy in Skopje, where she was again the youngest student. She moved to the U.S. at age 16 to study at the Interlochen Music Academy. She later earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Lynn Conservatory of Music, where she was the first Macedonian pianist to receive a full scholarship. In addition, she served as a piano instructor at the Preparatory School of Music, teaching pre-college students. She participated in the New Music Festival, where she premiered new piano works by young composers. She earned her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University where she also earned a second degree, Performance Diploma, while serving as an Associate Piano Instructor. There, she studied with Luba-Edlina Dubinsky, member of the legendary Borodin Trio. Ms. Stojanovska is currently pursuing her Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance at Michigan State University with Panayis Lyras, where she serves as a teaching assistant.

Nathan Lo, Cello and Piano

Nathan Lo comes from a musical family; he started learning piano at the age of 4 and cello at the age of 7. Throughout his music career, he has attended various music festivals and institutions, such as the Meadowmount School of Music, the Aspen School of Music, Interharmony International Music Festival, and University of Houston's Piano summer camp. He is currently studying piano performance under Professor Alan Chow of Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, and his past teachers have included Anton Nel, John Weems, and Nancy Weems. In addition, he has also had extensive training with cello performance, studying with Brinton Smith, Lachezar Kostov, Anthony Kitai, Vagram Saradjian, and Norman Fisher. Nathan has won various awards throughout his lifetime for his musical abilities, including TMTA's Piano Concerto Competition, the Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition, and the Juanita Miller Competition. 

Chicago Cello and Piano

Katie Schoepflin, Piano

Chicago Piano Teachers

Katie Schoepflin, clarinetist, vocalist, pianist and composer lives in Chicago and works as a freelance musician. As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, she has had the privilege of working with and performing the works of Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Raphael Cendo, Brian Ferneyhough, Lee Hyla, George Lewis, Enno Poppe and Augusta Reed Thomas. Katie has recently had the extraordinary privilege of performing Enno Poppe’s clarinet concerto, Holz. She also performed with Dal Niente at the 2014 International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. Katie was part of the 2016 resident ensemble at The Walden School and will be returning for a second time this summer.

Katie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she won the IU clarinet concerto competition and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. She was a participant at the 2006 Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles. In 2008, Katie spent a year abroad in Japan where she was principal clarinetist of the Kakogawa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hyogo prefecture. She also sang jazz sets regularly in Kobe. Katie is also the recipient of an Essentially Ellington jazz soloist award for the clarinet. She earned her Master of Music degree in 2011 from McGill University where she was awarded a full Schulich School of Music scholarship. While studying at McGill, Katie was a participant in the 2011 National Youth Orchestra of Canada, touring and performing extensively throughout Canada. Her primary instructors have been John Bruce Yeh, Alain Desgagne, James Campbell, Frank Kowalsky and Mary Kantor. When she is not making music, Katie is designing and creating jewelry for her etsy.com shop.

Allison Chambers, Cello

Chicago Cello Teacher

Chicagoland native Allison Chambers fell in love with the cello at the age of nine. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst College in music education, where she studied with Edward Moore. While at Elmhurst, Allison was selected as the 2012 Elmhurst College Philharmonic Concerto Competition Winner, performing the Elgar Cello Concerto. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, she spent a year substitute teaching as a high school orchestra director.

Wishing to devote more time to her cello, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University under the tutelage of Richard Hirschl. She was awarded her degree in May 2016 and is embarking on an exciting career path in music that encompasses performance, teaching, and arts management. Allison is currently a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and enjoys teaching privately. When she isn’t behind her cello, you can find Allison spending time with loved ones, exploring the outdoors, or curled up with a good book. 

Ariel Patkin, Violin and Viola

Violin Lessons Chicago

Ariel Patkin is an enthusiastic teacher and performer who enjoys sharing her lifelong love of music with others. Beginning as a Suzuki violin student at age three, she later discovered the charm of the viola and went on to perform on both instruments throughout the United States, Canada, and Italy. Before graduating from high school, Ms. Patkin had already performed as a soloist with two orchestras, and attended several highly regarded summer music festivals, including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ms. Patkin has the great privilege of collaborating with and learning from world-class musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her love of orchestral playing, Ms. Patkin is passionate about chamber music, and especially enjoys performing with quartets and in baroque ensembles. She has also performed and premiered numerous contemporary works as a soloist and  a member of several new music ensembles, including the Hartt School’s Foot In The Door ensemble.

An active proponent of musician wellness, Ms. Patkin studies The Alexander Technique and received Suzuki training at the Colorado Suzuki Institute. She holds an M.M. in Viola Performance from the University of Colorado Boulder and an B.M. from The Hartt School.

Rachel Cirvencic, Violin and Piano

Piano Violin Lessons Chicago

Rachel Cirvencic began taking piano and violin lessons at the age of 5. Homeschooled and growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, she took piano lessons with Gerardo Teissonnière in the Preparatory Department and studied violin in the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was a member of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra throughout her high school career as a violinist and during her junior year, she began taking viola lessons with Lisa Boyko of the Cleveland Orchestra and join the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra for her senior year. Rachel also thoroughly enjoys chamber music as a pianist and attended the Credo Chamber Music Festival in Oberlin, Ohio, for the summer sessions of '11, '12, '13, and '15. A recent graduate of Wheaton College in May, 2016, Rachel is pursuing a healthcare certificate while accompanying and teaching piano, violin, and viola.

Molly Rife, Cello

Cello Lessons

A native of Tucson, Arizona, Molly Rife began playing the cello at age 11. Growing up in a family full of musicians, it was no surprise that she developed a passion for music as a youngster. Molly decided to brave the cold and is now an active performer and teacher in Chicago. Molly holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from Arizona State University where she studied with Thomas Landschoot. She received her Master of Music degree in Performance from DePaul University under the tutelage of Stephen Balderston. 

Molly currently holds a position with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and plays frequently with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic Orchestra. Molly is also a member of 42nd Parallel, a conductorless chamber orchestra founded by her colleagues in Chicago. An advocate of contemporary music, Molly has performed, recorded, and collaborated with many local Chicago composers and the contemporary ensemble Fonema Consort. Molly has performed at venues such as the Merle Reskin Theatre, Constellation, the Greenhouse Theatre, and the Redmoon Theatre.

Molly is enthusiastic about various genres of music. She has performed and recorded with local Chicago bands and artists, including the Grammy-nominated band Sidewalk Chalk, B Forrest, America's Got Talent Semifinalist Sharon Irving, Isaiah Oby, YONEE, and Aryk Crowder. She has also appeared on recordings for the Shedd Aquarium Aquatic show One World: Make a Difference, Sam I Am Film’s movie Scrooge and Marley, and Team Starkid’s album and production Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier. Molly has performed at many local Chicago venues, including the House of Blues, Double Door, and Martyrs. She has also performed at many local festivals, including the Logan Square Arts Festival, Classical Revolution, and the Wabash Arts Crawl.

In addition to performing, Molly loves to teach aspiring cellists of all ages. Along with City Strings, Molly currently teaches private cello lessons at Southport Performing Arts Conservatory and Terra Sounds School of Music and Arts. She has also taught at the Merit School of Music, Music For Kids, Sherry-Brener Ltd., and Linton Milano Music Center.

Madeline Capistran, Violin

A native of Fargo, North Dakota, violinist Madeline Capistran began studying violin at age 9 with her mother, Jane Linde Capistran.  As a teenager, she continued her studies with Sally O'Reilly at the University of Minnesota.  Ms. Capistran holds a B.M. in violin performance from Michigan State University and a M.M. in violin performance from DePaul University, where she studied with Ilya Kaler.  As an active orchestral and chamber musician, Ms. Capistran was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony for four years, and has attended such summer programs as Musicorda, Meadowmount, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, Dakota Chamber Music, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute.  She has performed in master classes for the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Janet Sung, and has appeared as part of the “Noontime Concert Series” at the University of Chicago.  As a soloist, Ms. Capistran has performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphony, on National Public Radio's show "From the Top" with pianist Christopher O'Riley, and most recently with Chicago’s Logan Chamber Players. Ms. Capistran is also in her third season as Assistant Concertmaster of Orchestra Iowa in Cedar Rapids, IA, and in her first season playing with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.  She is currently living in Chicago where she teaches, free-lances, and performs regularly with the New Millennium Orchestra, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Access Contemporary Music, and as concertmaster of Chamber Opera Chicago.  

Violin Lessons Chicago

Victor Sotelo, Cello

Chicago Cello and Suzuki Lessons

Victor Sotelo is a Chicago based cellist whose performances have taken him across the United States and abroad. He is a top prizewinner in numerous competitions including Protégé International and Alexander & Buono International Competitions. Mr. Sotelo made his professional debut in 2002 performing the Dvorak Concerto with the Louisville Orchestra. The following year, he was invited as a guest performer for the American Cello Congress as a result of being a finalist for the ASTA National Solo Competition. In 2010, he made his Carnegie Hall recital debut. Mr. Sotelo has had the privilege of closely collaborating in ensembles with eminent artists including Yo Yo Ma, Carter Brey, and Midori Goto at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He has been heard in string quartet radio broadcasts from the Rush Hour and Dame Myra Hess concert series for WFMT Chicago. His chamber discography includes an album of some previously unrecorded works entitled, “Folks and Fantasies: The Chamber Music of William Grant Still & Clifford Julstrom”, released in 2013. Additional chamber concert collaborations have included members of Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Colorado symphony orchestras.  

Mr. Sotelo is a current member of South Bend Symphony and Chicago Arts Orchestra as well as a substitute member for Grant Park Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Chicago Sinfonietta. Additionally, he has performed with New World Symphony and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Beinen School of Music, under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen. He has previously worked in masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Miklós Perényi, Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, and Ralph Kirshbaum. 

Dorthy White Okpebholo, Violin and Viola

Chicago Suzuki Violin Lessons

Violinist and violist, Dorthy White Okpebholo, maintains an active career as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and educator. From a young age, her orchestral experiences have taken her across the and United States of America and the world, including Carnegie, Music, and Orchestra Halls. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Columbus Symphony (OH), Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Sinfonietta, Camerata Chicago, Jackson Symphony (TN), Sphinx Virtuosi, Aspen Music Festival, and Lancaster Music Festival. As a chamber musician, she has performed with many accomplished artists, including, cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. As a soloist, she won second place in the 2003 Geraldine B. Gee International Viola Competition and has been a semi-finalist in the National Sphinx Competition.  She has also appeared of several commercially released albums. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Masao Kawasaki and Catherine Carroll.