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 68 Years of Outstanding Music Education

The Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association, voted the top local Music Teachers Association 2004 by the Music Teachers National Association, provides diverse educational opportunities for teachers and students in pursuit of personal growth in music.  Its mission:  to stimulate the study and enjoyment of music, to broaden the vision and expertise of its members, to promote musical culture in the community, and to reinforce the objectives of its state and national organizations.  Join!

Our members offer music lessons in cello, clarinet, flute, French horn, guitar, harp, organ, piano, viola, violin,  strings,  trumpet, voice, and more in Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Great Falls, Herndon, Leesburg, Loudoun, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Sterling, Vienna.

Dr.  Anna Balakerskaia and friends.  Come and enjoy!

Anna Balakerskaia, pianist, Dasha Gabay, pianist, Claire Eichhorn, Clarinetist

All are invited:  Next General Business meeting and Program: 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
9:30 a.m. Coffee and Refreshment, networking
10:00 a.m. Business Meeting
10:45 a.m. Performance

Dr. Anna Balakerskaia is a “consistently thrilling pianist” (Judy Gruber, Washington Post) whose expression “wells with a delightful freedom,” (Robert Dumm, Clavier) and whose sound “is warm and deep.” (Elaine Fine, American Record Guide) Indeed, the legendary Russian violinist and conductor, Viktor Tretyakov, writes this about Dr. Balakerskaia: “A unique, almost extrasensory feeling of ensemble, excellent pianism, a radiant personality – that is [Anna] Balakerskaia!”

As the three-time prizewinner of the Best Accompanist Diploma at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, her career has brought her to some of today’s greatest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Teatro Colon in Buenos-Aires, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Salle Gaveau in Paris, among many others.

Dr. Balakerskaia has also had the pleasure of making music with a number of internationally renowned artists, including Leonid Kogan, Mikhail Gantvarg, Ilya Kaler, Kirill Kondrashin, Daniel Shafran, Valery Gergiev, and Yuri Temirkanov. She also played with Jacqueline du Pre for Mstislav Rostrapovich.

Dr. Balakerskaia is a founding member of the “Ensemble da Camera of Washington”, a trio of musicians from Brazil, Germany and Russia, based in Washington, D.C., and renowned internationally for their “extraordinary technical skill and musical perception.” (Joseph McLellan, Washington Post) The Ensemble has produced several well-praised recordings, while also acting as Artists-in-Residence of the American Youth Philharmonic. They created the Chamber Music Program of the AYPO, where they hold monthly masterclasses and perform a series of concerts. This program is supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additionally, Dr. Balakerskaia is the founder of her own concert series, “Anna and Friends”, regularly held at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Besides featuring the “Ensemble da Camera”, Dr. Balakerskaia has also had the distinct pleasure of featuring world-renowned violinist and conductor Zino Bogachek, with whom she has recorded several CDs, and great pianist Darya Gabay, Dr. Balakerskaia’s daughter-in-law.

Dr. Balakerskaia has had a distinct teaching career, serving on the faculties of the St. Petersburg and Moscow conservatories. She currently is in her eighteenth-year teaching at George Mason University, where she is Term Professor of Piano and Chamber Music. She also serves on the faculty of several summer music festivals in Italy, Germany, Russia, and the Netherlands. and is Artist-in-Residence at the Orfeo International Music Festival. Her students have won prizes at many international competitions, including the Rubinstein International Piano Competition and the Thomas and Evan Cooper International Competition, and currently perform and teach across the globe.

Dr. Balakerskaia received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance, Pedagogy and Chamber Music from St. Petersburg State Conservatory, where she studied piano with Elena Gugel, Nadejda Golubovskaia, chamber music with Tamara Fidler, and accompanying with Sofia Vakman.

Dasha Gabay, pianist, received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from M. Mussorgsky Music College in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ms. Gabay then went on to study Directing at St. Petersburg Cultural Institute. Her education was continued at the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she received her Master of Music Degree in piano performance, chamber music, pedagogy and accompaniment (collaborative arts). She studied with the renowned teachers; professors, Galina Fedorova, Tamara Fidler, Sofia Vackman, and Sergei Urivaev.

While starting her master’s degree (1993), she began working as accompanist in St. Petersburg Music School No. 11, St. Petersburg Arts School, St. Petersburg Boarding School No 32 and the M. Mussorgski Music College. She worked in the classes of professors of horn, oboe, trombone, violin, viola and voice; in addition she began teaching piano and chamber music. After finishing her master’s degree, Ms. Gabay received a full time position as a piano teacher/accompanist in St. Petersburg Music School No11.

Throughout her concert career she had performed in some of the great halls of Russia, including the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Chamber Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Capella as well as others throughout St. Petersburg. As an accompanist she had performed in many All-Russian and International competitions, where she has been awarded “The Best Accompaniment Diploma” three times (1995, 1997, and 1998). Also, as an accompanist, she has participated in several recordings for St. Petersburg Radio and Television.

Ms. Gabay immigrated to the United States in December of 1998. She has been a faculty member of the Levine Music since 1999 and in addition maintains a private studio in Fairfax Station, VA. Ms. Gabay has already performed extensively throughout Washington D.C. area as accompanist. She has performed in such halls as; Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, The Lyceum and the Harris Theater of George Mason University among others.

Clarinetist Claire Eichhorn, Artistic Director of the Ensemble da Camera of Washington, was born in Stuttgart, Germany to a family of outstanding musicians. She has performed as chamber musician and recitalist throughout the United States. As an orchestral player she has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Orchestra, Baltimore Opera, Virginia Chamber Orchestra, Washington Concert Opera, National Gallery Orchestra and for ten years was a member of the Washington Chamber Symphony.

As a Chamber Musician she has  performed at the National Gallery of Art,  Corcoran Gallery, French and German Embassies, The Highlands Chamber Music Festival in Highlands, N.C. among many others.  She has been a  frequent guest artist at the annual Brahms Festival at Florida Atlantic University and among the artists with whom she has collaborated are the Shanghai String Quartet, the Sistrum New Music Ensemble, cellist Tsuyoshi Tsusumi, pianist Judith Burganger, and the Stratford Chamber Players.

Ms Eichhorn recorded for the Vernissage Records Label.  Her  most recent CD, released Spring 2003, is dedicated to the composer Johannes Brahms.  She and members of the National Symphony Orchestra – violinist Ricardo Cyncynates, violinist Jane Stewart, violist Nancy Weller and cellist Steven Honigsberg – perform the Brahms Clarinet Quintet.

Ms. Eichhorn is a sought after teacher, both at her home studio in Fairfax County ( and as a faculty member of the Levine School of Music,  where she spearheaded the Clarinet Workshop for high school students, an intensive one-week camp which ran for 10 years.  She also led the development of the clarinet curriculum for Levine.  Her students regularly place in the top chairs at District and State auditions.

Claire helped develop the existing format of the Chamber Ensemble Program at the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Now in its 6th year, the program is highly successful and has received support from the NEA for three consecutive years. Students receive coaching from the acclaimed Ensemble da Camera of Washington, have public master classes and are given performance opportunities throughout the year.  On March 10, 2016, a quartet from the AYPO Chamber Ensemble Program performed in the East Landing of the White House for guests entering the Canada State Dinner, which was hosted by The President and the First Lady. They also played a side-by-side with the strings of the Marine Band later in the evening.

Ms. Eichhorn is a graduate of the University of Michigan having also attended  Indiana University.   Among her teachers were Alfred Zetzer, Fred Ormand, and Bernard Portnoy.   She also worked with Menachem Pressler, Rostislav Dubinsky, and James Buswell in Chamber Music.  In 1983 she was the recipient of the Alfonso D’Emilia Award given by the School of Music at Indiana University. Ms. Eichhorn performs on Herbert Wurlitzer Clarinets.