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Felix Andrievsky - was born in the USSR. After only one year of taking violin lessons he took part in the Republic's music competition and won the first prize. He graduated from Moscow Central Music School for gifted children, Gnessin Music Institute and Aspiranture (Doctorat) under the supervision of Abram Yampolsky and Yuri Yankelevich. He led an active professional life in what can be described as the most productive period of the new musical Russia. During Menuhin's visit to Moscow he heard Andrievsky's pupils; this was followed by an invitation to teach at his newly opened Music School in England and long-term fruitful contact. Of Felix Andrievsky, Lord Menuhin wrote that ‘he has brought us invaluable method, what one might call ‘know how’. It is as if one of Russia's finest nuclear physicists suddenly defected and brought us a whole load of valuable information!’ Felix Andrievsky's present musical activity is concentrated entirely on teaching; he has worked in the Jerusalem Music Academy, in the Music Academy of Tel Aviv University, as professor and Director of Studies in the International Menuhin Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland; member of the jury in several international competitions, director and leading professor in summer courses in England, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Australia etc. and in masterclasses in many music institutions. Currently he is Professor and Principal Lecturer at the Royal College of Music, London. Many of his pupils have become winners of international competitions and soloists and critically-acclaimed musicians worldwide.


Cyrus Forough is a laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Competition, first prizewinner of the Milwaukee Symphony Violin Competition, and finalist in the Munich International Violin Competition, has performed on radio and television internationally and given command performances for international dignitaries. He and his wife Steinway Artist Carolyn McCracken won the United States Artistic Ambassador Program's National Duo Competition, representing the United States in the Far East and South America and performing in prestigious U.S. venues. Mr. Forough's unique succession of studies, in three major international cultural centers with three of the twentieth century's legendary violin masters, has made him a prominent representative of the Franco-Belgian school of violin playing. Beginning his studies with his mother, herself a violinist and graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, he became the youngest student ever to attend that same conservatory when he was admitted at age nine to the class of Arthur Grumiaux. He later studied with David Oistrakh and Josef Gingold. Mr. Forough's dedication to teaching and his skill at communicating his art have earned him a reputation as a sought-after and effective violin pedagogue. At present he is a Professor of Violin at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and was a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music in 2009, 2010, and 2015. He has performed and taught at festivals in over twenty countries, and his students are prizewinners of national and international competitions and members of professional orchestras worldwide.


Itzhak Rashkovsky - internationally renowned Russian-Israeli violinist and pedagogue. Was awarded a Master's Degree by the Samuel Rubin Israeli Academy of Music, Tel Aviv, where he studied with Professor Yair Kless. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber music player in many countries. As Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music, London, Itzhak Rashkovsky has come to be one of the leading and most sought-after teachers in the UK. His students, who come from all over the world to study with him, have been winners of many national and international competitions. He has given mastercalsses worldwide and has been juror of numerous international competitions, notably Vice chairman of the jury of the 12th Henryk Wieniawski, Poland and Sion Valais, Switzerland, Hannover, Germany, Lipizer, Italy and Yampolsky, Russia International Violin Competitions. One of the founders and Music Director of Keshet Eilon Violin Mastercourse, Israel, an international summer programme for exceptionally talented young violinists, located in Kibbutz Eilon, as well as Artistic Director of the London Music Masters. His articles and editions of violin pieces were published by “The Strad” magazine. In 1998, in recognition of his outstanding services to music, Itzhak Rashkovsky was awarded by The Prince of Wales a Fellowship of the Royal College of Music. He plays the 1831 J.F. Pressenda violin through the generous loan from the Elderberry Foundation.


Ani Schnarch - Romanian- Israeli- British violinist, winner of the prestigious Francois Shapira, Israel and Mozart Memorial Prizes, England, is internationally regarded as one of the most exciting and versatile violinists of her generation. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Ani started performing at the age of seven. In 1974 she moved to Israel and continued her studies with Felix Andrievsky at the Samuel Rubin Music Academy, Tel Aviv University, with whom she also studied later at the Royal College of Music, London. Among Ani Schnarch's recital performances have been a highly acclaimed programme of Bartok and Ysaye at the Purcell Room and her Wigmore Hall debut in 1989, where she was invited to return numerous times. Ani has broadcast for radio and television and on the web in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Norway, Romania, the US and on BBC3 including a unique series of all Bartok's works for violin and piano. In concerto, Ani has appeared with major orchestras such as Israeli Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Jerusalem Chamber, Haifa Symphony, Israel Simfonietta, Oslo Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Malaga Symphony, Seville Symphony, Cameratta Strumentale di Milan, London Bach, Covent Garden Chamber, Moscovia Chamber, etc. at the main venues in England, France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain, the USA and Russia. She has played at the Bath, Bergen, Bowdoin, Lake District, Moscow and Windsor Festivals, to mention but a few. In addition to her busy concert schedule, Ani is in great demand as a professor of violin at the Royal College of Music, London, gives Masterclasses in Europe, USA, Canada and Israel, and has been a Juror of numerous International Violin Competitions. She is one of the founders and faculty member of the Keshet Eilon Violin Mastercourse, Israel.


Irina Andrievsky - was born Upha, Russia. She received her first piano lessons at the age of seven, winning first prize in the Ufa piano competition at the age of 10. At the age of 11 she went to Moscow to study at the Central Music School for Specially Gifted Children, a branch of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she would later graduate with distinction and receive her doctorate. Among her teachers were Professors E. Malinin, L. Timofeeva and M. Mijlumoff. She was among the winners of International Piano Competitions in Italy. In 1991 Irina immigrated to Israel and continued her music career, mainly performing solo recitals and chamber music. She performed in the "Radio France and Montpellier" Festival in France, as well as other prestigious Chamber Music Festivals worldwide. For the past 14 years Andrievsky has developed an impressive career as a piano teacher in Israel, raising a generation of promising young pianists, until she moved to England. Since then, she participated in Mastercourses and Festivals in France, UK, Russia and Israel, and gave solo and duo recitals with different instrumentalists; she possesses a very broad duo and accompaniment repertoire for violin, viola and cello. At present Irina is actively associated with Royal College of Music in London, UK.

Evgenia Lakernik - Pianist Eugenia Lakernik, born in the former USSR, graduated from the Gnesin Music Academy, Moscow, where she studied with Alexander Yoxeles and Lina Bulatova. She was an accompanist at the Gnesin Academy during 1980-95. Immigrating to Israel in 1995, she is an accompanist at the Tel Aviv Conservatory and a teacher at the Nes-Ziona Conservatory and at the Buchman-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University. She took part in the 2013 New Virtuosi summer course, Italy. She is a Keshet Eilon faculty member.

Kumi Matsuo was born in Tokyo, Japan. Winner of the 5th Louisiana International Piano Competition in 2013, she has also won Second Prize at the 75th Music Competition of Japan in 2006, Third Prize at the 22nd Ferrol International Piano Competition in 2008 and First Prize at the 6th Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in 2012. Kumi graduated from the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and the Toho Gakuen University of Music in Tokyo. In 2007 she moved to London for her further study at the Royal College of Music where she gained an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music in Performance. Kumi studied piano with Jyoko Gondo, Mikhail Voskresensky, John Blakely and Ashley Wass and chamber music with Jan Repko. In 2008 Kumi won RCM concerto competition and gave her London debut playing Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand in Cadogan Hall with RCM Sinfonietta conducted by Peter Stark. In 2009 she played Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No.1 with RCM Chamber Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski the Queen Elisabeth Hall and in 2012 she also performed Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto with RCM Symphony Orchestra under Martin André at the Royal College of Music.

Luis Parés - Venezuelan/Italian pianist enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician having performed in numerous countries across Europe, Asia, North and South America. He has appeared at the most prestigious British venues, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Bridgewater Hall among many others. He has appeared with distinguished orchestras in Europe and South America and made live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RAI, Kol HaMusika Israel and Spanish radio. Luis started his piano studies with Juan Antúnez and Igor Lavrov and later studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Gordon Fergus-Thompson and Andrew Ball and also held the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship at the RCM. He was a prize-winner at many national and international piano competitions, including First Prize at the XI Ricard Vines International Piano Competition (Lerida, Spain) and Third Prize at the Maria Canals International Competition, duo sonatas category, in Barcelona. He was one of the winners of the 2006 Making Music Young Concert Artists Awards and he was a YCAT finalist in 2007. Luis performs a wide range of concertos and solo works and is a keen chamber musician, with a particular interest in the string and piano repertoire. A sought-after teacher and adjudicator, he is Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College in London, Executive Director of New Virtuosi International Violin Mastercourses and an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Supervised practice

Shiry Rashkovsky - began playing the violin aged 5 under the guidance of her father, Itzhak Rashkovsky. Previously a student of Natasha Boyarska, Shiry is now undertaking her Masters with Ian Jewel at the RCM, where she is a member of the Amaryllis Fleming Quartet. Her performances have taken her across the globe and have included chamber collaborations with Vadim Gluzman, Ani Schnarch, Shlomo Mintz and Shmuel Ashkenasi. She has participated in master classes with Gyorgy Pauk, Atar Arad, Kim Kashkashian and Ida Haendel, at festivals such as the Keshet Eilon International Mastercourse and Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music Sessions. Shiry recently completed a BA in Social and Political Sciences at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where she was concertmaster of the St Catharine’s College Orchestra, the University Symphony Orchestra ‘CUSO’, Principal Violist of the university orchestra ‘CUMS I’, and laureate of the University Concerto Competition. She is kindly supported by the MMSF, the Countess of Munster Trust, and the St Catharine’s Alumni Association.

Assistant to Felix Andrievsky

Joo Yeon Sir - Korean-born British violinist, described by The Strad Magazine as "exuberant... seductive... with bravura and oodles of personality" at Wigmore Hall, is a winner of the prestigious Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award and the Royal College of Music’s President's Award. She has performed at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Bridgewater Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and at St. James's Palace for HRH The Prince of Wales. Following studies with Dr. Felix Andrievsky at the Purcell School of Music and the Royal College of Music, Joo Yeon was Constant & Kit Lambert Junior Fellow and presented a sold-out concert series of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano (with 10 different pianists). She has recorded for Deutsche Gramophone (Karl Jenkins Cantata Memoria) and her CD with pianist Irina Andrievsky Suites & Fantasies (Rubicon) has been featured by the BBC, RTE, France Musique and WFMT radio stations. She is Lichfield Festival's Resident Artist this season, where she performs Paganini's 24 Caprices cycle over two recitals.

Special guest

Florian Leonhard has dedicated his life to studying, restoring and making violins. After studying at the prestigious violin-making school at Mittenwald he worked for W.E. Hill and Sons for several years, becoming Head Restorer. Today he leads his own 12-strong team of restorers in his London workshop. Informed by over 30 years of research, Florian's bench copy instruments are well sought-after for their acoustic and visual closeness to the originals. Florian Leonhard Fine Violins is now widely recognized as the world's leading authenticator, dealership and restoration workshop for fine stringed instruments, with a recently opened office in New York. Among the artists that he advises are Maxim Vengerov, Leonidas Kavakos, Daniel Hope, Natalie Klein, Alina Ibragimova and Julian Lloyd-Webber. Described by The TELEGRAPH as 'The world's leading expert' in fine violins, Florian's philosophy is shown in his obvious passion for fine instruments and the music that they help to create. He extends the same care to young, talented and promising musicians, nurturing their careers with as much attention as he has for their instruments, by sponsoring competitions, concert series and artists, and regularly lending instruments from his own collection. A regular contributor to books and articles and having published his book, The Makers of Central Italy, Florian is currently conducting research on the Tuscan makers for a book due to be published in the second half of 2015. This year Florian is President of the Pisogne Making Competition in Cremona and he is regularly called upon as a Jury member for violin competitions. Florian also sits on the board of the Menuhin competition and the Philharmonia Orchestra Trust.

Cellist in residence

Ben Shibolet born in Israel in 1989, studied the cello with Prof. Emanuel Gruber, Prof. Shmuel Magen at the Thelma-Yellin High School for the Arts and with Prof.Hillel Zori at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University, completing a Bachelor of Music degree. He then continued his studies with Prof. Raphael Wallfisch and Prof. Louise Hopkins at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, completing a Master of Music degree, supported by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Trust. As a chamber musician, Ben has performed as a member of the Gertler Quartet - the representative quartet of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in tours in Lisbon, New-York and Philadelphia. He is also a member of the Milgram piano trio based in London. Ben has also performed with different chamber music groups around the UK. Ben has performed in major concert halls around the world as the Mann auditorium, Felicia Blumental, Tzavta and the Opera house in Tel Aviv, Barbican, Cadogan, St. James's Piccadilly, Royal Festival Hall and National Gallery in London, Carnegie Hall in New-York, Sala Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, The Arario Museum in Jeju Island (S.Korea) and the Tonhalle in Zurich. Ben is supported by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships. He plays a 1830 Pommat cello on loan by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

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