Our Faculty

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Our faculty includes some of the area’s top performers and music educators. Extensive biographies for all Faculty members are available upon request.

NOTE: Half hourly rates vary by instructor and range from $50 to $75. Please contact us for detailed rates. 45 minute, 60 minute, and longer lessons are also available.

Jose Bastardes (Violin, Viola)

José Bastardes holds graduate degrees from both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Royal Conservatory of Music Amaniel in Madrid. Formerly a faculty member at the Madison School of Music, he has also performed and taught at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Mr. Bastardes has appeared throughout Europe as a solo performer with special frequency in Spain and Germany. In the U.S, he has appeared in concerts and recital halls all over the United States. In 1990, he performed in the International Celebration of the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Carnegie Hall in New York.
José is also a chamber Musician Entrepreneur as well as a String Pedagogue. He was a co-founder of the chamber group Amaniel Piano Trio, has been featured as a violinist for Plant and Page during their world tour concert in Madrid in 1995 and is writing a Treatise on Violin Pedagogy.
José is a former Fulbright Scholar, a Distinguish Ministry of Culture Fellow and graduated with the Prizes of Honor in violin and chamber music performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music Amaniel in Madrid.  


Eugene Briskin (Cello)

Eugene Briskin holds a graduate degree from St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music. He was an assistant principal cellist for the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy and also performed as a principal cellist for the New York Symphony, Virginia Beach Orchestra, Mexican Youth Orchestra and the Soviet Émigré Orchestra. He has performed regularly with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Smokey Robinson, Liza Minnelli, Ray Charles, and Julie Andrews among others. Briskin has recorded with artists such as Aerosmith, Michael Bolton, Rhianna and many others. He has recorded for the soundtracks of Titanic and the TV series Sex and the City. He was featured on the theme for PBS Masterpiece Theatre Mystery. He is a member of a winning string quartet in the Prague International Competition. Mr Briskin has been teaching cello privately in Westchester for over 30 years and is now a member of the Riverside School of Music.


Martin Fett (Cello)

Cellist Martin Fett is an active freelancer in the New York City area and has performed in orchestras and chamber ensembles across the USA and Europe.  He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees and under cellist David Wells’ recommendation, taught cello. Before moving to New York City, he studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with George Sopkin of the Fine Arts Quartet.  As a soloist, he has performed with the Manhattan Philharmonic and the Brooklyn Pro Arte Chamber Ensemble.  He has played on the Today show at NBC studios and been heard on WQXR.  Mr. Fett has held principal positions in many orchestras including the New York City Opera National Company. He has also performed in the Harrisburg Symphony, the Greenwich Symphony and in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.  Having performed extensively on Broadway in over ten Broadway shows, Mr. Fett is in demand as a musician who is comfortable in many different styles, ranging from intimate Chamber Music settings to Grand Opera and Symphonic Concerts. A committed teacher, Mr. Fett maintains an active teaching studio in Manhattan and in Greenwich, Connecticut where he teaches at the Riverside Schoolo


Larissa Friedenberg
Magic of Piano

I’m a graduate of The Juilliard School of Music with a Master of Music and Piano Performance degree.

I have been performing and teaching piano since age 18. 
Music is my life’s passion and I‘m committed to sharing it.

I look forward to meeting your family and teaching you and your children to play piano.
It’s magical!


Mariella Haubs (Violin and Viola)

Mariella Haubs holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied as a Kovner Fellow with Catherine Cho and Itzhak Perlman. Mariella Haubs’ musical journey has brought her to over thirty countries in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East. She has received numerous awards including the 1st prize at the Bavarian Lions Club Violin Competition, the Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant of The Juilliard School, the Leonhard and Ida Wolf Memorial Prize of the City of Munich, the McGraw Foundation’s Robert Sherman Outreach and Education Award, and the Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant. Glamour magazine named Mariella one of their Top 10 College Women of 2014. Mariella has taught as a Morse Teaching Artist through The Juilliard School and also at the Noel Pointer Foundation. She is Suzuki trained and regularly subs for The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division and The Perlman Music Program. Mariella is the co-founder of “Concerts for Compassion,” a non-profit organization designed to promote racial reconciliation between cultures. ​


Tod Hedrick (Double Bass)

Tod Hedrick studied with Constantin Popescu and earned a B.M. from the New York University’s Jazz Performance Department. He is a member of Ridgefield Symphony, Greenwich Symphony and several other area chamber groups and symphonic orchestras. He has played West Side Story in China, with a jazz trio in Switzerland, and is the double bassist in the Bar Harbor, Maine Music Festival.  He has performed in many top jazz clubs in New York City, including Birdland and Smalls.  He has several CDs to his credit, including 3 with Elan Mehler and Half Seas Over. He teaches at the Riverside School of Music.


Yaroslav Kargin (Violin and Viola)

As a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player, USSR born Yaroslav Kargin has performed and recorded in Moscow, St. Petersburg, throughout Russia and the former USSR, Japan, China, South Korea, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, former Yugoslavia, Hungary, USA, Brazil and Argentina. Mr. Kargin has performed with world-renowned conductors and soloists, including Kurt Masur, Valery Gergiev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Montserrat Caballe, Eugeny Kissin and others. Mr. Kargin received his musical education at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Yale University School of Music. He is a tenured member of the New Haven Symphony and is currently playing numerous solo and chamber music recitals with Symphonies and other groups, including Orchestra New England, Canterbury Choral Society in NYC, Greenwich Choral Society, Hartford Symphony, Yale Glee Club, Yale Camerata and Yale Schola Cantorum. He has been cast to play violin on-camera in film productions, including “Everybody’s Fine” with Robert de Niro, “Sex and the City – 2”, and HBO series “Mildred Pierce”. In the films he has worked with Liza Minnelli, Robert de Niro, and Sarah Jessica Parker among others. Mr. Kargin has made TV appearances on NBC’s Today Show and America’s Got Talent. Mr. Kargin has taught at Gnessins’ Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia), Yale School of Music and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Since 2010 he is on the faculty at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil, as Professor of Viola.


Luciana LaMonico

Luciana LaMonico, Lyric Spinto Soprano has performed throughout Eastern Europe and the United States. Opera companies include Slovak National Theatre, New York Grand Opera, Long Island Opera, and Connecticut Grand Opera. Leading role credits are Mimi/Musetta “La Boheme”, Nedda “I Pagliacci”, Tosca “Tosca”, Turandot “Turandot”, Violetta “La Traviata”, Medora “IL Corsaro”, Lady Brett “The Sun Also Rises”, Adina “L’Elisir D’Amore”, and Gionvanna “Gionvanna D’Arco.” Also, Broadway credit includes Aldonza “Man of La Mancha” Westport Country Playhouse. TV appearances T1 Paris, France “Qui sera Le Meilleur Sosie” (Catherine Deneuve lookalike) performed “O’ Mio Babbino Caro.” Film credit: Peter Dvorsky and friends Bratislava, Slovakia, and Piestany, Slovakia. Luciana is a graduate from the Hartt School of Music earning a Bachelor of Music Degree, and Artist Diploma Degree in Opera. 






Pete O’Neill (Guitar)

In addition to being an in-demand, first-call electric bassist in the Tri-State area, Pete O’Neill has taught bass, guitar, and ukulele in the New York City metro region for the last 15 years. A graduate of Boston College, Pete has studied with legendary bassists Victor Wooten, Felix Pastorius, and Matthew Garrison, and he has toured extensively with bands of all genres and styles in the United States, Canada, and France. Pete has had his basslines featured in national ad campaigns, appeared on Pix11 News, Fox, and in The New York Times, and is regularly featured in such online magazines as No Treble, For Bass Players Only, and Bass Musician Magazine.



Constantin Popescu (Double Bass and Violone)

Constantin Popescu is a graduate of the Bucharest Conservatory, Romania and the Juilliard School in New York. He is also a winner of the ISB Solo Competition and a founder of The Bottesini Duo. Mr. Popescu is a world renowned soloist. He was a principal bass with the Greenwich Symphony and performed with the New York Philharmonic. He currently teaches in Fairfield County, Connecticut.




Brenda Vincent (Violin and Viola)

Canadian born violinist, Brenda Vincent attended The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. She further pursued violin study at The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland with Berl Senofsky and Yong Ku Ahn, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Applied Violin and The Israel Dorman Award for Outstanding Violinist. Ms. Vincent started out her career with The Goldovsky Opera Company and North Carolina Symphony, then moved to the Southwestern United States in 1974 where she expanded her playing experience to include Musical Theater and New Music and developed an interest in Jazz. In 1979, she moved to New York City to explore different kinds of music and now enjoys performing in the idioms of Classical Music, Jazz, Latin American Music and New Music. Currently, Ms. Vincent is a member of The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. For the past twenty-five years, she has committed herself to developing an approach to violin study that integrates the music of the Western European Classical tradition with music from Afro-Cuban traditions that fused to create the American music we know as Blues and Jazz and its fusions with Latin American Music.  Ms. Vincent is on the faculty of The Casa Romantica Summer Music Program, and all scholarship program (in July) for children in San Clemente, California.




Jocelyn Zhu (Violin, Viola)

Jocelyn Zhu began her university studies at fourteen at Belhaven University in pre-medical studies while playing for their Women’s Soccer Team, graduating Cum Laude. She subsequently earned her Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School in 2017.  Her work has taken her to over thirty countries and she has been featured on Good Morning America, The Grammy Awards, PBS, The Today Show, and WQXR. Her collaborators include Catherine Cho, Alan Gilbert, and Itzhak Perlman, and she is the recipient of the Juilliard Career Grant, McGraw Hill Robert Sherman Award, National Trustees Grant, and US Department of State Federal Assistance Award. As an educator, Jocelyn’s students have gone on to attend The Juilliard School Pre-College. She is a guest lecturer at The Juilliard School’s Chamber Music and Community Service Course, and was most recently a fellow at The Perlman Music Program.