Victoria Mushkatkol, Founder and Artistic Director
Victoria Mushkatkol established herself as a versatile international performer, appearing in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Equally at home performing for the Royal Family of Thailand in Bangkok or in people Republic of China, her travels have taken her to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Brunei as well as to Spain, Czech Republic, Yugoslavia and Netherlands.
She has collaborated with eminent musicians such as the violinists Evgeny Bushkov, Julia Bushkova, Joan Kwon and Charles Casselman, the cellists Karen Buranskas and André Emelianoff, the Leontovich, Veronika, and Amernet String Quartets among others.
Public radio stations in California, Illinois and Michigan have broadcast her performances.
An internationally recognized teacher Ms Mushkatkol was on the faculties at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Oberlin Conservatory. She has performed at, and taught in numerous summer festivals, including the Puigcerda International Festival in Spain; the Festival Soesterberg in Netherlands, the Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei; the Hamptons' Pianofest in New York; Piano Master Classes in Prague, Chech Republic; Julliard -in -Korea Summer Festival Casual Classics, Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, International Conservatory Week in St.Petersburg, Russia etc. She has presented master classes throughout the US, Europe and Asia.
Ms. Mushkatkol has taught many talented students who have won national and international competitions, have gone on to study at the most prestigious music institutions, and have now become leading musicians of their generation.
Born in Odessa, on the Black Sea, Victoria Mushkatkol made her concert debut with Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of ten. Her teachers were Riva Goro and Michail Karafinka. After graduating from Kiev Special Music School, she went on to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Professor Vladimir Nielsen, one of Russia's most eminent piano teachers, graduating from the Conservatory with the highest honors.
Ms. Mushkatkol made her recent visit to Russia when she performed at Gnesin Institute in Moscow and Museum of Music, Sheremetiev Palace, in St. Petersburg.
Currently Victoria Mushkatkol is on the faculty of The Pre College Division of The Juilliard School and resides in New York with her architect husband Slobodan Bekvalac. Visit Ms. Mushkatkol's website.
Dr. Robert Maimone, Founder and Executive Director
In the summer of 2006 he and his wife Alexandra Winslow collaborated with Ms. Mushkatkol to create The Vladimir Nielsen Piano Festival. Dr. Maimone is a private practicing, board certified Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. He completed his medical training at John's Hopkins University, NYU and Montefiore/ Albert Einstein Medical Center. Over the past fifteen years he has founded, directed, managed and owned three dental health care facilities, two of which were professional S- corporations. He is currently the President of Dental Specialty Associates of Gramercy and has had experience in public relations, finance, real estate and marketing.
Mrs. Maimone has experience in the area of the fine arts including many aspects of design, visual arts and music. She studied art at Radford University. During the festival, Mrs. Maimone helps to keep things running smoothly from preparing meals to overseeing the daily running of the home and facilities, and is involved in the organization and coordination of events and programs. Their son Matthew is a pupil of Ms. Mushkatkol and is in The Pre-College Program at The Juilliard School.
Karen Faust Baer, Theory and Keyboard Harmony
Enjoying a diverse career in solo performance, accompanying, conducting, and pedagogy, pianist Karen Faust Baer maintains a vital musical presence. Acknowledged in “Who’s Who of American Women” for her musical accomplishments, Ms. Baer received her B.M. and M.S Degrees as a student of Rosetta Goodkind and Irwin Freundlich at the Juilliard School. In 1968, Ms. Baer made her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra.
As a recitalist she has performed at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, BAM, Israeli Cultural Foundation and WQXR and WNYC radio stations. She has collaborated in chamber music at the Tanglewood Music Center, C.W. Post College, and various libraries in the metropolitan area. In January 2007, she was a guest on the Princeton Symphony Chamber Music Series collaborating with her son, Seth Baer the bassoonist. She has been the accompanist for the NY State All-State choirs for the last twenty years. As a collaborative pianist, she has performed at Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, Eastman Auditorium, Tilles Center and Hofstra University.
Ms. Faust Baer was guest soloist with the South Shore Symphony last February in a performance of the Beethoven Emperor Concerto.
In addition she serves as adjudicator for the Friday Music Club Competition, the Piano Teachers’ Guild, and NYSSMA. A former faculty member of SUNY Purchase College, Ms. Faust Baer is presently vocal music director at South Side High School, Rockville Centre.
Eleanor Mandell Nelson, Theory and Keyboard Harmony
Eleanor Mandell Nelson is a versatile artist whose performing career includes solo and chamber music performances throughout the United States. A scholarship student at the Juilliard School, she studied with Arthur Newstead. Other coaches included Simon Barere, Madam Helen Barere and Konrad Wolff.
She made her first appearance as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony at the age of fifteen. Other solo appearances include the Chicago and Cleveland Orchestras. In addition, her career includes performances as a recitalist and collaborative pianist with instrumentalists and vocalists. Ms. Nelson was the pianist with the L”Amore di Musica Chamber Ensemble. She has toured under the auspices of the National Music League and Concert Artists Guild. Included in her many New York appearances are performances at Merkin Recital Hall, WQXR, WNYC and Weill Recital Hall. Interested in presenting new music, Ms. Nelson has recently been heard in recital at the NYU Graduate Center and in concerts sponsored by the Long Island Composers’ Alliances.
In addition to her performance career Ms. Nelson is a noted educator serving on the piano, piano ensemble and pedagogy faculties at Montclair State University and the piano and theory faculties of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY. She has been a faculty member of the Juilliard School Pre-College Division since 1979.