COVID 19 UPDATE
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We all have a little extra time on our hands these days, pick up an instrument and gain a skill that will boost college resumes and last a life time!
RENT ONLINE & FREE INSTRUMENT DELIVERY
In addition to our in-person sessions VIRTUAL LESSONS are now available
With utmost sincerity, we are so grateful to all of our customers who are helping to keep our small family business afloat during this difficult time.
We have been open for 19 years and could not keep the music alive without you!
Infinite thanks for your business from our family,
Roumen, Dani, Peter, & Iliana
A Community of Passionate Educators and Learners
WELCOME TO SOLO CLASSIC'S MUSIC SCHOOL
At Solo Classic, we encourage spirited learning, growth, development and fun. Our highly skilled and trained educators aim to empower students through music encouraging insightful questions, broadening skill sets and exploring disciplinary boundaries along the way. Our curriculum encourages the engagement with healthy challenges and confronts conventional ways of thinking that go beyond music. We invite you to learn more about Solo Classic and discover an education designed for you.
In-Person & Virtual
SOLO CLASSIC IS OPEN AND MOVING FORWARD WITH IN-PERSON, SOCIALLY DISTANT LESSONS
VIRTUAL LESSONS STILL AVAILABLE
While virtual lessons have been a great way to continue training and an excellent distraction from current events, they have also come with plenty of unique challenges and cannot replace in person education. After all, this is an art form that has to be meticulously taught...not online chess!
Virtual lessons, while still available for those who wish to stay home, are a temporary solution during quarantine, but finally, students may resume their musical education in person--with added safety measures in place to ensure the health of our community. Please read more about our new rules and regulations for in-person store visits below.
Your commitment to ongoing musical education during this time ensures that you continue making progress with your instrument and that your teacher is able to make a living during this difficult time.
Thank you for all of your support!
(10 LESSON PACKAGE)
VIRTUAL LESSON FACT SHEET
About Our School
GAINING SKILLS THAT LAST A LIFETIME
Opening its doors in 2001, Solo Classic has been a neighborhood staple dedicated to providing students with a rich musical education as well as encouraging the foundation of music programs in surrounding schools. Our school provides unparalleled teaching methods centered on a diverse learning environment.
We firmly believe in a customized curriculum based on the needs of the student. Solo Classic is located in Buffalo Grove and has over 400 students and a renowned, diverse staff ready to create a personalized musical curriculum for every student so that they may achieve their musical aspirations quickly and more efficiently.
Our distinguished faculty includes graduates from Northwestern University’s School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, DePaul University, members of the Civic Orchestra, Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings. At Solo Classic, we pride ourselves on building a diverse team of people that not only study their craft, but also work as professional musicians across the country.
If you or your child is enrolled in a school orchestra, our educators work directly with Chicago school programs and follow their curriculum in order to prepare students for improved performance, competitions, and auditions. Many of our teachers have working and personal relationships with educators in local school districts and often collaborate on teaching in order to maximize learning and set up a customized music schedule for enhanced performance.
Competitions are a great way to boost any kind of resume and win scholarships, but with so many applicants, it can be difficult to stand out and achieve your goals. With years of experience preparing students for the IGSMA Contest, IMEA, Walgreens National Concerto Competition and many others, our educators are ready to share necessary tools to get ahead and win.
PRIORITIZING DIVERSITY AND ORIGINALITY
Solo Classic Music School honors the individual needs of our students and believe that with the correct guidance, ALL students can achieve their musical potential.
We encourage original thinking and test the boundaries of conventional approaches, because music is art after all! We also firmly believe in providing students with a diverse array of educators from all backgrounds so as to broaden the scope of understanding concerning music performance and beyond.
FROM HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER TO STRING INSTRUMENT MAKER
Roumen Raykovski (owner) was a teacher at Simon Bolivar High School in Bulgaria when he first heard about the Chicago School of Violin Making--one of the few schools in the world that offers courses in the traditional methods of string instrument making. The Bulgarian native made a decision that would change the course of his and his family's destiny: to pursue his dream of string instrument making and immigrate to America. Alongside his studies, Roumen honed his skills and began working for Karnes Music Co. in Chicago where he repaired, set up, and made adjustments to string instruments. A few years later, Roumen moved to William Hariss Lee where he restored priceless instruments as well as instruments of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Roumen's hard work and dedication, not only towards making string instruments from scratch, but also assimilating to his new country of residence, paid off when he opened Solo Classic, a small family business located in Buffalo Grove. With the help of his wife, Dani, daughter Iliana, and son Peter, Roumen's dream came to fruition and expanded into a music school.
From Bulgarian educator to American luthier, Roumen is living proof of the American dream and continues to share his passion for music with his community.
Meet Some of Our Solo Staff
TALENT IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Sonia Hadar is a master violinist and instructor who received her training from the renowned Tel Aviv University and was a student of the proclaimed Shlomo Bohr and Oedoe Partos.
Sonia is a first prize winner of the Gina Bachauer competition; principal, co-principal and 1st violinist in Haifa Symphony Orchestra (Israel), Israeli Opera and Radio of Israel Light Music Orchestra, Tel Aviv, soloist and ensemble player in chamber groups, Ramat Gan (Israel) and Musicanti of the Cape Town Symphony. Currently Sonia teaches at the Music Institute in Highland Park as well as Solo Classic Music School.
Sonia's students, of all ages, have earned countless awards and garnered insurmountable success in the music world. Her experience speaks for itself and Solo Classic is most lucky to have her.
Assistant concert master of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, Highland Park Strings, former member of Galveston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Civic Symphony, La Orquesta Sinfonica de la U.AN.L., Filharmonica “George Dima”, and “Virtuoziidin Transilvania.” During his eight year tenure at Solo Classic, Fabian has enjoyed teaching a range of ages and experience levels using traditional methods and the Suzuki method. He often encourages his students to participate in local activities, school orchestras or local competitions in the hope of preserving music in communities and celebrating art. In the last IGSMA, several of Fabian's students have taken gold medals. A highly driven teacher, Fabian's dedication to his students is showcased through their focus and talent.
John Bitoy is a Chicago based, classical pianist who began exploring his musical endeavors at the age of nine and has performed at countless solo recitals across the country.
John has a a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) where he received the piano division award. He is currently attending DePaul University where he is working on his master's degree in piano performance.
Most recently, John was rewarded four first place prizes and two second place prizes in the Great Composer Competition Series.
In addition to classical music, John enjoys experimenting with other genres such as gospel, jazz, neo soul, R&B, and pop. He aims to successfully teach and develop a fun, engaging, and supportive music space for students of all backgrounds, skills, and ages.
Loved by students and faculty alike, Desi Tantchev holds both the BM and MM from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Prior to moving to the U.S. In 1996, Desi has been performing with leading orchestras in Europe. She served as principal violist for the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra for 8 years, performed regularly with the Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony Orchestras and is currently a member of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and Highland Park Strings. Teaching both Traditional and Suzuki methods, Desi has been on the faculty of the MCMC in Crystal Lake since 2002, NSMI in Northfield, Starland and Wilmette Park District. She has taught at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South H.S. for several years.
Robert Monroe graduated with High Distinction from the University of Iowa in 2012 and holds a Bachelors Degree in Classical Piano Performance. Robert has toured internationally to Brazil serving as the pianist for the Johnson County Landmark big band. In 2013, he was selected to perform at the Iowa City Jazz Festival with the Small Container Trio. Robert also performed in the 2011 festival. He has had multiple performances broadcast by television stations UITV, PATV, and radio stations, KCCK, and KRUI. Robert has over 6 years of private jazz and classical piano teaching experience. He draws from his many performances to provide individually suited instruction for each student.
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Alessandra is an active performer and piano teacher.
She first began taking piano lessons at the age of 5 while living in Japan and continued
to take lessons after moving to Brazil at age 9. Alessandra received a diploma from Sao
Paulo Municipal Theater Conservatory of Music where she studied with Scheilla
Glaser for 11 years. She also holds a BM in Piano Performance from São Paulo
State University where studied piano with Dr. Claudio Richerme.
Alessandra has been an active participant in master-classes with several
renowned pianists such as Olga Kiun (Russia-Brazil), Ronan Hara (England),
Piotr Banasik (Poland), Caio Pagano (Brazil-USA), Flavio Varani (Brazil-USA),
Maciej Pikulski (Poland), Frank Braley (France) and Marcos Fregnani (Brazil-
Alessandra decided to move to the United States topursue her MM in Piano Performance at Southern Illinois University and studiedwith Dr. Junghwa Lee.During her first semester she was the winner of the concerto competition “Starsof Altgeld”. This gave her the opportunity to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto N. 20in D minor, K. 466. as a soloist with the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra.
Alessandra believes that a good teacher is also a good performer who never stops
seeking improvement and maintains active practice, but one that stems from an innate passion for music, which she hopes to inspire in her students!
A talented and warm presence, Ana Bivol began her teaching career at the Music Academy.
Alongside her undergrad studies, she was a member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), first violin 2007-2010 (Moscow, Russia) where she got to perform together with well-known conductors as V.Spivacov, M.Gorenstein, I.Simonov, F.Mansurov.
In 2011, Ana moved to Chicago to follow her musical aspirations and received a Masters Degree in Violin Performance (2013) at DePaul University School of Music, followed by a Certificate Performance in 2015.
At the moment, she is a member of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra-violin, Candid Opera Orchestra, and also violin teacher at Logos School of Music, Niles, IL; substitute violin with Peoria Symphony Orchestra, former substitute violin with the Racine Symphony, and former member of the Chamber Orchestra of the theatre "M.Eminescu" Rep. of Moldova. She uses traditional method of teaching combined with some elements of the Suzuki method. Ana is comfortable in teaching any level and working with various repertoire of different genre always ready to customize musical education to the student's needs.
A passionate and dedicated educator, Andrew received his B.M. in Cello Performance, summa cum laude from Arizona State University where he studied with Thomas Landschoot and worked with the Tokyo, St. Lawrence, Orion, and Brentano Quartets. He received his M.M. in Cello Performance, with distinction from DePaul University where he studied with Stephen Balderston. He has performed in master classes for Emmanuelle Bertrand, Andrés Diaz, Timothy Eddy, Bernard Greenhouse, Philippe Muller, and Menahem Pressler, among others. During summers, he has attended several music festivals, including the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, Interlochen Arts Camp’s Advanced String Quartet Program in Michigan, the Killington Music Festival in Vermont, the Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy in Quebec, and the Castleman String Quartet Program in Boulder, Colorado. In the summer of 2012, Andrew taught cello lessons in Trujillo, Peru as a volunteer with a non-profit organization. He maintains an active teaching and performing schedule in the Chicago area and has played with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, 42nd Parallel Self-Conducted Orchestra, and the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra.
Grace Yang is an enthusiastic teacher and an active violinist who frequently performs as an orchestral and chamber musician in the Chicago-land area.
Receiving her Master
of Music (MM) and Bachelor of Music (BM) degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Megan Freivogel and Stefan Milenkovich, Grace hopes to share her extensive knowledge of music to her students and incorporate smarter techniques that provide greater results in musical ability.
While at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, she had invaluable
chamber music experience working with the wonderful members of Jupiter String Quartet which has shaped her musicality and musicianship immensely as a chamber musician and as
a violinist. Her major teachers included Megan Freivogel, Jupiter String Quartet, Stefan Milenkovich and Cornelius Chiu.
Grace enjoys sharing her lifelong love of music with others, especially with her students. She feels grateful to have gained so much from learning music
from her master teachers and making music with aspiring musicians.
She believes the process of learning an instrument helps one to grow in many positive ways in life and hopes
to pass on as much wisdom and love of music to her own students in the years to come. Grace's favorite part about being a musician is the freedom of expression. Being musically endowed can open the door to opportunity, but more importantly, yourself. She hopes that through proper technique, her students can open the door to their soul and let it speak through their instruments.
Grace's method of teaching not only centers on proper form and preparation, but through a customized work plan that yields greater retainability of musical knowledge so that her students can be proficient and successful with their music with or without guidance.
Marina was born in Moscow, Russia, into a musical family and her mother, a gifted pianist, was her first piano teacher.
Marina moved to Estonia at age 15 where she graduated in piano performance from Georg Ots Music School in 1993 and the Estonian Academy of Music in 2002.
Upon gradation Marina received a full scholarship to continue her Masters in Music studies in the world renown Toradze Piano Studio at the Indiana University of South Bend where she completed both Masters and Artist Diploma degree and taught several classes at her university, including piano and ear training.
In 2007-2010 Marina was awarded a full scholarship and assistantship to complete her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) under the guidance of esteemed American pianist Lydia Artymiw.
Marina has been teaching students of all ages and levels for over 25 years and her students have participated in local and national festivals and competitions winning countless awards and diplomas. In fact, several of Marina's former students have become successful professional musicians.
An active solo and chamber performer herself, Marina always encourages her students to perform on stage and participate in local music events so as to build character and confidence-- not just as musicians, but individuals.
Marina has taught at the Indiana University South Bend, University of Minnesota, New Music School of Chicago and Family Piano in Waukegan. Marina’s husband Yuri Orlov is an accomplished violist and they have been performing in duet since 2009.
In addition to Piano, Marina has been singing professionally in an a-capella church choir, as well as serving as a substitute choir conductor at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral of Chicago.
Among other hobbies, Marina is a jewelry artist and participates in several Chicago art festivals every summer and fall. She resides in Zion, IL, with her husband and eight birds.
Marina's artistic background, extensive education, and musical family have enabled her to create a unique curriculum for her students which centers on proper technique as well as inspiring a deep passion for music that translates into all aspects of life. Providing the gift of musical ability to her students is Marina's greatest privilege and honor.
Farid Ishkinyaev started his music education at the age of 6. Before he immigrated to the United States, he studied at the Academic Music College, Moscow State Conservatory with Professor Elena Demidenko. He received his BA in Music Performance (2016) at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Isaac Malkin. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree at DePaul University where he is studying with Olga Kaler.
As an added bonus, he performed with the world renowned Russian violinist Dmitry Kogan with the Ulyanovsk Symphonic Orchestra. He also got the President Award for his cultural achievements in Russia (2008).
Farid has performed as an orchestral musician with the the Manhattan Symphonic Orchestra (2012-2016), the Bergen Philharmonic orchestra (2013), Philadelphia Chamber Virtousi Orchestra (2015). He has also had the privilege of playing for famous musicians including Mikhail Kopelman and Emanuel Borok. Highly skilled, Farid is extremely knowledgeable of music and technique which he imparts to all of his students.
Patrycja Likos earned her Master of Music in cello performance from the Academy of Music, Poland under the tutelage of Andrzej Orkisz. She received an Artist Diploma in cello performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the studio of Brandon Vamos. Between 2012-2014, Patrycja was a member of Civic Orchestra in Chicago.
Patrycja has performed as a soloist in many cello master classes led by such outstanding cellists as G. Gnocchi, A. Bauer, M. Flaksman, J. Pegis, J. Reuling and P. Uyterlinde. As a chamber musician, she took part in chamber music master classes in the United States and Italy with I. Golan, I. Gitlis, Pacifica Quartet, Parker Quartet, Arianna Quartet and Jupiter Quartet.
Patrycja has participated in cello competitions in the United States and abroad. In 2011, she won the first prize in the Krannert Center Debut Artist Competition at Urbana-Champaign. Patrycja earned the third prize at the International Cello Competition in Kosice, Slovak Republic, and the first prize at the Chamber Music Competition in Stalowa Wola, Poland. Currently Patrycja Likos is a co-founder and teacher of the Likos String Academy located in downtown Chicago. She is also a cello instructor at the Lycée Français de Chicago. In addition to teaching, she is an assistant principal cellist of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and a member of Heartland Symphony Orchestra. Patrycja has consistently brings passion and dedication to her private lessons which explains her students' enthusiasm for music.
Agniezka Likos completed her Master’s Degree in violin performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in the studio of S. Hersh. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, where she studied with S. Bernhardsson and was awarded the Smith Scholarship for artistic work and academic achievements. During her pre-college studies, Agnieszka was a student of M. Dreher at the Music Institute of Chicago. She began violin in Poland under the direction of D. Pelczar at I. J. Paderewski School of Music in Krosno, and continued with I. Wojciechowska at H. Wieniawski School of Music. Agnieszka realizes her musical interests in the field of chamber music, performing at multiple chamber music festivals in Santu Lussurgiu (Sardinia), Bowdoin (ME), Madeline Island (WI), Hot Springs (AR) and Urbana-Champaign (IL). She took part in multiple master classes led by outstanding chamber musicians such as Itamar Golan, Gordan Nikolic, the Guarneri Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Hugo Wolf Quartet, Arianna Quartet, Parker Quartet and Shanghai Quartet. From 2004 to 2006, she was a member of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Program. As a member of a piano trio from Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Program, Agnieszka won the first prize in the O.P.U.S. Chamber Music Competition in Chicago. In addition to teaching, Agnieszka is a member of Heartland Symphony Orchestra and Northbrook Symphony Orchestra. She is a co-founder and a violin teacher at the Likos String Academy in downtown Chicago and also a violin instructor at Elgin College.
Ekaterina Kalinina graduated with honors from Temple University, PA majoring in Piano Performance. She has been studying and performing piano since the age of five, participating at local competitions and graduated from Nizhny Novgorod Musical College, Russia with honors. Ekaterina continued her education in the Glinka Conservatory of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. During her studies, she worked as an accompanist for the Department of Conducting at the conservatory and at the Nizhny Novgorod Ballet School. Before joining Solo Classic, Ekaterina taught at the International School of Music, Bethesda, MD, Mozart Music Academy and Go Musicians School in Philadelphia, PA.
Ekaterina's approach: "The focus of my teaching strategy is to provide an effective and joyful learning through different tactics and techniques that unlock students' potential. My philosophy is to find the unique approach for each student and infuse the knowledge and skills to work independently. My students are encouraged to discover their power as musicians through the wide range of suggestions and tools that facilitate the creative process. The lesson plan is designed to integrate interconnections between music and other art related disciplines to nurture a versatile personality as well as to make music a passion of life."
Picking up the guitar at the age of thirteen, Ron hasn't put it down since! Over the years, Ron embarked on an intensive musical education and performance journey receiving his professional training and a degree of arts from William Rainey Harper College under the tutelage of Steve Vazquez and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with Dr. Brian Torosian from Northeastern Illinois University, majoring in classical guitar performance. Not only did Ron study classical guitar through these schools, but also took lessons in jazz guitar and piano and studying and preforming classical piano.
Along with his degree studies, he has participated in several highly accredited master classes at university as well as widely renowned international classical guitar conventions: Denis Azabagic, Lily Afshar, Anne Waller, Mark Maxwell, Eduardo Fernandez, Raphaella Smits, Quaternaglia Quartet (Brazil), Rene Izquierdo, Xuefei Yang, and Oscar Ghiglia.
Since graduating, Ron has been expanding his range of music with studies of baroque and renaissance music on the mandolin and lessons in flamenco guitar with Nico Angel, a former student of Juan Serrano, and Denis Azabagic.
From the inquisitive thirteen year old to today's guitar maestro, Ron has far surpassed a simple interest in guitar and turned it into a lifelong passion which he hopes to impart onto his students!
Ron's extensive skill set allows him to explore any and all genres of music which, alongside his student's interests, can create a customized performance plan for their individual interest and skill set.
Christian Yi is a performing musician, arranger, composer, pianist and keyboardist, educator, producer, and music director.
Taking classical piano lessons at the age of 5, he eventually ventured into the musical realms of jazz, pop, church, rock, and soul music working extensively with a variety of phenomenal educators throughout his musical career.
Christian has had the wonderful opportunity to play at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall (Northern Illinois University), Pick-Staiger Concert Hall (Northwestern University), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago, IL), the Chicago Symphony Center (Chicago, IL), the House Cafe (DeKalb, IL), Heritage Church (Lake Zurich, IL), the various campuses of Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL), and the United Center (Chicago, IL).
Currently, Christian is pursuing a Bachelor's in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. He has the amazing opportunity to study jazz piano with Professor and Northern Illinois Director of Jazz Studies, Reggie Thomas. He also studies with Tom Garling, professor of jazz trombone, in jazz arranging and composition.
Christian desires to bring his comprehensive experience and education to foster a unique and meaningful teaching environment for his students. He seeks to provide a fluent understanding of music, technical and artistic, and a skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Christian provides a customized curriculum for all of his students and adjusts his teaching according to his student’s needs in order to optimize learning in a shorter amount of time.
Denys Dzhuryn started teaching flute in 2003 while studying at the conservatory of music in Lviv, Ukraine. His first teaching job was at a Children's Music School and later, in 2006, at Lviv College of Music. While studying and teaching, he was also working at the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra as a principal flutist and later at the Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater as a second flute/piccolo.
Denys also did musical tours to Western Europe and South Korea with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2008, Denys moved to the United States and immediately began teaching private students and performing in recitals serving the community including retirement homes, hospitals, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.
Students can expect Denys to use his 10 year plus experience as a professional musician towards forming a comprehensive and efficient musical plan
that will produce great musical results in a shorter period of time. Within just a few lessons, the student will be able to create a good quality sound (and technique later) without straining or putting in an excessive amount of effort.
DenysI structures his lessons so students can learn what they want to learn, while also maintaining correct posture and proper technique--and most importantly, having fun while doing it!
Introduced to music by his lifelong musician mother and grandfather, Stephen Boi discovered his musical path at an early age. By the time he turned seventeen, Stephen was a proficient player of several instruments and began composing his own music.
Stephen focused his musical endeavors at DePaul University where he studied æsthetics, arts, composition and eventually graduated with a Bachelors in Music Composition. He also expanded his musical horizons and worked in the audio and visual production field for 10 years where he became familiarized with an extensive range of audio technology from electronic instruments, amplification, and microphones to synthesis, sound-design, and sampling.
Stephen’s interests in music span centuries of practices and styles, emphasizing those that engage with the expressive power of the instrumental craft, but ultimately center around the reflexive act of building sonic entities and adapting in their presence to arrive at the phenomenon of music, whether composed or improvised.
Stephen hopes to take his passion for music and inspire his students to find their own
sense of musicality. He hopes that his students can use their study of fundamentals and technique as a stepping stone towards their own unique musical expression.
He is eager to discover each students’ individual understanding of music and tailor his teaching to his or her specific needs in order to inspire growth and musical success.
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476 W Half Day Rd, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089, USA