BAMA FACULTY

Bella(Sijing) Ye, Founder

Justin Joon kee Min, Piano, Music Theory

Justin's capabilities on the instrument are backed by impressive credentials, such as being a prize winner in prestigious piano competitions including the Stepping Stone Competition of the CMC, and the famed OSM Manulife Competition. He has performed in renowned halls, and recently was a soloist with l'Orchestre de l'Université de Montréal at Salle Claude-Champagne. He credits these achievements to all the world-renowned mentors that he has worked with, from whom he gained valuable knowledge that he's willing to pass on to his students.

Justin believes that having a strong theoretical and technical foundation is extremely important in being able to play and enjoy all styles of music. For this, he puts emphasis on the student's ability to understand musical terms, to sight read, and for more advanced students, to have a basic understanding of harmonic and structural composition of the pieces that they are playing. To have more ease at playing the piano and avoid physical strain, he puts emphasis on technique as well, and incorporates fun exercises on the piano to encourage proper technical development. Through such training, he believes that the student will be freer in their artistic expression, and thus, enjoy playing the instrument more.

Justin's principle in teaching is that the more you know about music, the more enjoyable it gets. He instills interest and passion in music to his students by making them witness their own progress. More importantly, he believes that this whole process must be conducted in a stress-free and fun environment, which he strives his lessons to be in.

Larisa (Lora) Abramovich, Piano

 

Born with a musical background family in Kishev, Moldova. She started playing the piano at age of six. After seven years of studying, she got in the studio of a well-known french pianist, Evgenia Revzo in the Music Academy of Kishenev. In 1978, Larisa ​got the piano teaching position in Isreal,and eight of her students were successfully passed the entrance exam for the University of Haifa in Isreal. Larisa and her family immigrated to Canada in year of 1991. She joined Bellissimo Academy in 2016. 

​Larisa received the Bellissimo Academy Outstanding Staff Award in year of 2018-19, her students were successfully passed RCM exams with in average grades of %90; top prizes winners in CCC, Kiwanis, CMC, and North York Piano competition. 

Liana Gershkovich, Piano

 

Holds music pedagogy and piano performance degrees in Tiraspol Insititute and A.G. Rubinstein Music College. 

 

Ms. Liana has taught piano for over 30 years. She is an extremely patient and enthusiastic teacher. Her students were successfully passed the exams for RCM with first class honors with distinction, passed the entrance exams for music conservatories, and winning piano competition locally and nationally. Ms. Liana has Joined Bellissimo Academy since 2017. 

 

Sheng Cai, Pianist,Composer

 

Award-winning pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition of the great romantic virtuosos.  His performances have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on three continents. "Young Pianist Impresses at Debut" and "…a young man with real talent... from a clear, singing tone to a subtle sense of rubato to a judicious choice of tempi... some of the same qualities embodied in Pollini's approach." [Toronto Star, Chopin Piano Concerto #1]. Honored with a number of prizes and awards, Sheng Cai has been described as a pianist "…with great confidence... lucidity, breath, color and power". [Birmingham News].

 

Sheng Cai made his debut with the Toronto Symphony at just fifteen years old and has been invited as guest soloist with numerous orchestras including the Toronto, Quebec, Windsor, Vancouver and Shanghai Symphonies, the Calgary and Ontario Philharmonics, Jalisco Philharmonic of Mexico, Fort Collins and New Bedford Symphonies in the US, National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, US.  In Canada, Sheng Cai has also  been invited to perform with numerous other regional orchestras such as the Sudbury, Oakville, Kingston and Kamloops Symphonies, Sinfonia Toronto and with the members of the Winnipeg Symphony.

 

As a recitalist, Sheng Cai has performed at Steinway Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Cleveland Playhouse, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and in distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montréal and Winnipeg.  He has also made  tour in China as a teenager.  As a chamber musician, Sheng Cai has collaborated with a number of fine artists and ensembles, including the Enso Quartet and Atlantic symphony chamber players.

 

Many of Sheng Cai’s performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio, and he has recorded a CD for the Canadian Broadcast Company. He has recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio, and for Concertino Praga International Competition in the Czech Republic -- these recordings were released under the CBC label. In addition, he was invited to take part in the filming of Ophra Yerushalmi’s Franz Liszt DVD.

 

Sheng Cai was top-prize winner at competitions throughout his teenage years, including First Prize at the Toronto Symphony Piano Competition, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition, youngest finalist and special prize winner at the USASU Bosendorfer International Piano Competition, and finalist at Hilton Head International Piano Competition in the US .

 

Sheng Cai earned his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at New England Conservatory in Boston. His teachers included Anton Kuerti, Russell Sherman and Hungkuan Chen. 

Mr.Sheng Cai is a guest faculty in Bellissimo Academy for Music. 

  

 

Mark Hegedus, Guitarist

 

Mark has been playing guitar since the age of 9 and graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Performance.

 

He is a well-rounded musician, fluent in many different styles of music, including classical, jazz, blues, rock, and many more. He is an experienced performer in solo, ensemble and band settings.

 

Through his university years Mark played classical guitar in the Carleton University Chamber Ensemble and jazz guitar in the Carleton University Contemporary Guitar Ensemble. He is currently in his first year of playing in the Guitar Society of Toronto Guitar Orchestra which is an approximately 15 member classical guitar orchestra. Solo performances include recitals (both public and private events), gallery openings, receptions, and dinners. Most notably he has played for the Guitar Society of Toronto, Hungarian Consulate General and the Hungarian Visual Artists of Canada gallery openings.

 

He is currently a teacher at the Canada Music Academy in Toronto. His approach to teaching caters to beginner,intermediate and advanced players uniquely. Realizing that different stages of learning need different approaches, methods and focuses to maximize growth both musically and technically. Each student receives special focus and a customized approach to learning guitar. Highlighting strengths and working on weaknesses individually. The lessons focus on technique, theory, ear training, musicality while never neglecting the fact that inspiration and passion for music and guitar are the driving forces behind practising and advancement. Mark's main goal in teaching is not just to show exercises and techniques to students, but to motivate and inspire them to practice and play music.

  

 

Paul Barna, Violinist

 

A graduate of the Glenn Gould School of Music, Paul Barna has both a Performance Diploma and Bachelor’s of Music in viola performance. He was a graduate of the Young Artists Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music where he studied violin with professor Atis Bankas, and later switched to study viola with Steven Dann. He has performed as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician throughout Canada and recently recorded a Juno nominated disc of Mahler’s 9th Symphony with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Paul is a provincial winning violist and was a prizewinner of the first ever Mississauga Symphony Orchestra concerto competition.

 

Paul was a part of the inaugural season of one of Canada’s newest and best concert halls, Koerner hall, where he performed regularly with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work in orchestras under the baton of renowned conductors including Zubin Mehta, Peter Oundjian, Leon Fleisher, Uri Mayer, Johannes Debus and Julian Kuerti. Most recently, Paul became co-founder and artistic director of Norfolk Music, a brand new music festival dedicated to bringing classical music and world music to Norfolk County in the beautiful town of Port Dover.

 

Described as a player with a “rich tone and a vivid musical palette” he has performed with many orchestras including the National Academy Orchestra, the Sudbury Symphony, Symphony on the Bay and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada among many others. This past summer, Paul’s diverse repertoire led him to be a part of a musical collaboration with Boris Brott’s Academy Orchestra and Juno award winning rock band, the Arkells.

 

Not only a devout performer, Paul is  also a sought after educator and instructor. He is currently apart of the string faculty at Long & McQuade Music Centre in Burlington, as well as apart of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board’s String Program, all the while maintaining a small private studio. His students have completed various RCM examination levels and are prizewinners at local music competitions.

  

 

Jordan Kheng Yong T., Vocal- Theory 

 

Jordan Tan is a music educator, arts administrator, and fundraising professional. He is a graduate of one of the world’s most prestigious music conservatories, the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Born and raised in Malaysia, Jordan moved to Canada in 2016. Prior to that, he travelled and performed internationally in Europe, USA, and Canada. As an experienced arts administrator, Jordan has worked with renowned festivals and organizations, such as Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ontario Philharmonic, Nuit Rose, Tapestry Opera, Oshawa Music Week, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago a cappella, Grant Park Music Festival, Auditorium Theatre, Jordan Hall, and Boston Chamber Music Society. 

  

 

Richard SlivaPiano-Theory

Richard is a highly dedicated teacher with over 15 years of experience in education and performance.

He is a graduate of the Faulty of Music at the University of Toronto with a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance. Richard also holds an ARCT diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. His teachers have included William Aide, Marietta Orlov, Alma Petchersky, and Jamie Parker, a member of the award winning Gryphon Trio. His studies in pedagogy have been mentored by Marina Geringas.

Richards current continued pursuits in performance and recitals allows him to develop a highly practical approach to teaching, introducing elements that produce students with effective performance results and the joy of freedom and confidence in music making.

Richard also possesses great enthusiasm and an extensive knowledge of music theory. He is able to convey musical concepts with ease, clarity and accuracy in his teaching. His years of educating in this field have allowed him to gather great experience in teaching RCM theoretical subjects with students achieving exceptional results in exams.

Richard joined Bellissimo Academy in year of 2016. In the past three years, his students at BAMA won Platinum, Gold and Silver prizes in piano competitions. Multiple theory students from his theory class in BAMA had received RCM first class honours with distinction. He received of BAMA Outstanding Staff Award in 2017-18.

 

Lola IslamovaViolin

Education: Violin Performance Diploma, currently completing an Artist Diploma Program (Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music), currently completing a Bachelor Degree in Music (Thompson Rivers University)

Lola originally comes from Almaty, Kazakhstan. She graduated from a very prestigious Art School, established by a world famous pianist from Kazakhstan - Zhaniya Aubakirova. Lola became a laureate of several competitions and participated in many festivals, she was also featured twice as a soloist with Camerata Kazakhstan and Almaty Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 15 Lola Islamova got admitted to Almaty Conservatory Orchestra. She began touring internationally and performed at several venues in North America (New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and San Francisco) including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and Los Angeles Music Center. Presently Lola is studying on a scholarship with one of the most renowned pedagogues in Canada - Atis Bankas. In past four years she had a magnificent opportunity to work and perform with many famous conductors, among them Tito Munez, Julian Kuerti, Johannes Debus, Lior Shambadal, Julian Kuerti, Sir Roger Norrignton and Leon Fleisher. Lola is also a very keen chamber musician. She enjoys playing in ensembles and taking part in masterclasses with such famed musicians as Irina Bochkova, Paul Kim, Kikuei Ikeda, Cecilia Quartet, Johnathan Crow, Erika Raum and Steven Dann. Music teaching is one of Lola's passions - she very much enjoys working with students of all ages on their repertoire, encouraging the love and appreciation of music.

Lola has joined Bellissimo Academy in year of 2016.

 

Kevin HeCello

Kevin Zi-Xiao He is a thoroughly experienced teacher in music theory, composition, and cello performance, known for his expertise, warm and encouraging personality, and efficient communication skills.

Born in 1991 in China, Kevin Zi-Xiao He immigrated to Canada in his mid-teen years. As a composer, He’s musical output is rooted in a Chinese cultural background and embodies his interests in a variety of musical cultures, including popular and traditional music of East Asia.  Zi-Xiao He has studied with renowned figures such as Gary Kulesha, Norbert Palej, and Alexander Rapoport. His works have been showcased in international new music festivals in Asia and Europe. In July 2015, He received the "Composition Award" in the Zodiac Music Academy and Festival in France. Recently He has received U.S.A. commissions and performances such as his composition in the Kandinsky Project which received multiple public performances in New York City between April and October 2016. In August that year, his flute duo “Torn” was showcased in the 2016 U.S.A. National Flute Convention in San Diego. In his base-city Toronto, He's works have been performed by the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Chinese Artists Society of Toronto (CAST). Holding an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with double-majoring in music and architectural design, He has recently completed his Master's degree in composition in the studio of Norbert Palej at the University of Toronto.

As a cellist, Kevin Zi-Xiao He studied the cello with his mother at a young age and later with Ming-Yao Sheng. Having played with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, NYCO Symphony Orchestra and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, he enjoys rich performance experience as both a soloist and an orchestral cellist.