Meet our Faculty!
Martha Fermi Yelenosky, NCTM
Director and Professor of Piano
Mrs. Yelenosky received her degree as Professor of Piano (valedictorian, summa cum laude), from the Conservatorio de Musica Julian Aguirre in Argentina, and a Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. Her teachers include Mabel Welner, Jorge Lhez, Elisabeth Westerkamp, Annie Sherter and Julian Dawson.
Her professional activities include active memberships in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) from which she received a “permanent professional certification”, the North Shore Music Teachers Association (NSMTA) and the Chicago Music Teachers Association (CAMTA). In addition to performing solo and ensemble piano repertoire, as well as collaborating as an accompanist, Mrs. Yelenosky has co-founded and managed two private music schools, authored a bilingual music method and program for elementary schools in the Chicago Area (by commission) and has served as Chair for the CAMTA Jazz Festival for 10 years. Mrs. Yelenosky has served as an adjudicator at several competitions and festivals and gives pedagogy lectures in the US and abroad.
A resident of Chicago’s North Shore and a native of Serbia, Ms. Stefani began playing piano when she was 8 years old with M.A. Nera Grujic, and later studied with Dr. Olga Borzenko. She has won many solo and chamber awards, special prizes, and laureates, and performed in various venues around Serbia and Chicago. Having wanted to break away from the “familiar”, Stefani is also an avid interpreter of contemporary music, premiering many original works by emerging Chicago-based composers. In October 2012, Stefani was chosen, among six student soloists from CCPA, after trying out in a competition, to perform throughout the region, and at University’s Fall 2012 Piano Showcase recital, which was recorded for future broadcast on 98.7 WMFT. Stefani is pursuing a Masters Of Music in Piano Performance at the Chicago College Of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University with Dr. Ludmila Lazar.
Catherine began playing the piano at the age of four, and has been an active pianist in Chicago and Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs since the age of eleven. She received her degree in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois at Chicago, studying with Professor Ivana Bukvich. Catherine is currently the Music Director at the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Chicago, and regularly plays piano, organ and sings at several Catholic churches in the Chicagoland area. She is also the Choral Director and Piano Accompanist for the St. Mary of Perpetual Help Children’s Choir in Chicago. Catherine has received the Outstanding Instrumentalist and Musicianship Awards from Instrumentalist Magazine two years in a row, the Palos Fine Arts Award, and was the recipient of the Louis Franck Scholarship for Piano during her undergraduate studies.
Andrew Lu is an active pianist originally from Los Angeles, California. He earned his degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Sylvia Wang and Marcia Bosits. His classical musical interests span beyond the solo piano; he also studied the harpsichord with Stephen Alltop, organ with Margaret Kemper, and frequently appeared as a collaborative pianist and in chamber ensembles. Master classes with renowned pianists John Perry, Daniel Pollack, and Sergei Babayan have further nourished his growth as a musician, giving him inspiration to win a number of regional and international competitions. Moreover, his passion for performance has led him to exciting opportunities to play in venues and festivals across the world including the Palau de la Música in Spain, Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, and Chicago’s classical radio station, 98.7 WFMT. Andrew is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.
Soloist, Collaborative pianist, Conductor and Composer Qiyun Dai was born in China.He began playing piano at the age of 3.
As a young pianist, Qiyun won top prizes in competitions such as theSteinway Piano North China Regional Competition, the National Xinghai Cup Piano Competition, and the 2ndNational Youth Piano Competition. He performed the piano demonstrations for the most recent CD and DVD published by the Universal Audio and Video Company in Classical Tutorial for Piano. He received consecutive first-prize scholarships from the school and repeatedly won the Best Accompanist Award in contests organized by theCentral Conservatory of Music.
Later on, he began his studies at the Central Conservatory of Music as a full-scholarship student.
Qiyun Dai has received a Master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music (with Professor Alan Chow) as a full merit scholarship student and in which Qiyun actively participated in the Piano Pedagogy Program. He designed curriculum for and taught class piano for college. Qiyun's commitment to teaching will be a vital part of his future as a pianist.
Shuyi Guan was born in Shenyang, China; being inspired by great musicians at the time she began her career as a pianist at the Middle School attached to Shenyang Conservatory of Music. As a pianist, she received recognition from fellow musicians as she received the Dean's Talent Award of the Oberlin Conservatory, Thaviu/ Issak Endowed Scholarship, and Eckstein Fund at Northwestern University. In addition, she also received scholarships to further improve her musicianship attending the Banff Centre in 2010, 2011, 2012. She is the winner at KU concerto competition, 2017. Other prizes she gained include the First Prize of the “Schumann Cup” International Juvenile Piano Competition (Asia-Pacific Region), and the Third Prize of the 69
Steinway Juvenile Piano Competition (Northeast Region). As a soloist, she performed in many different countries putting herself under the scrutiny of various cultural standards; she played in Spain, Germany, China, Canada, U.S. She has also played in the masterclass of Robert Mcdonld, Nalita True, Julian Martin, Enrico Elisi, Boris Slutsky,Tamás Ungár etc. As an avid chamber musician, Shuyi collaborates regularly in performance with instrumentalists and singers in the United States as well as China.
As a piano teacher, she has taught at Lawrence Piano Studio, Organization of Piano Without Borders under the University of Kansas, Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory. She is the recipient of The Carol Nott Piano Pedagogy Prize at Oberlin College, 2013. Shuyi is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Kansas where she studies under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Spooner. Shuyi has also studied with Alan Chow, Angela Cheng, Rosemary Platt, Dan Wen Wei in her past.
Administrative Manager, Passport to Music, Beginning Piano and Voice Teacher
A native of Sao Paulo - Brazil, Luana Arabadgi graduated with a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Business at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam. In the field of Arts Administration, she has worked as a Company Manager at Chicago Summer Opera and as Teaching Artist at Florida Grand Opera, besides completing internships with Florida Grand Opera and Minnesota Opera’s Education and Community Engagement department. As a performer, she has appeared in the productions of L’Etoile (Koukouli) and Die Fledermaus (ensemble) with the Crane Opera Ensemble, and Hänsel und Gretel (Sandman) with the Manhattan Opera Studio. Luana is also very passionate about teaching young children and has worked as a Youth Gymnastics Teacher and as a Music and Play Teacher at Gymboree Play and Learn.
Born in Naples, Florida, Kacey has been studying classical guitar from the age of ten. While in Florida, Kacey studied with Rafael Padron and Thomas Koch. In 2013, Kacey moved to the city of Chicago to study with Denis Azabagic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kacey graduated magna cum laude and was awarded the Music Performance Award. Kacey is now continuing his graduate studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, studying under Denis Azabagic. Master classes with notable guitarists and pedagogues such as: Sergio Assad, Eden Stell Duo, Benjamin Verdery, Andrew York, and Margarita Escarpa have cultivated a thorough understanding of the various teaching methods and styles that exist in the guitar repertoire.