Keyboard Instruments

Keyboard Instruments, the largest music department at The Conservatory, caters to students of varying ages and proficiency levels, ranging from beginners to seasoned concert pianists and harpsichordists.

Our practice studios are equipped with grand pianos to provide an unparalleled acoustic experience, thereby optimizing the quality of learning. In addition to being taught by our own outstanding faculty, our students enjoy master classes given by artists of international standing.

Award-winning students

A significant number of our students attain the prestigious status of Outstanding Musician in the IDF, while many others garner accolades from the America Israel Cultural Foundation.

Most of our students undertake the Ministry of Education’s matriculation exam, which includes a recital and a research paper, and several of them choose to continue their studies at the Academy.

What’s included:

  1. Weekly 60-minute lesson
  2. Weekly music theory lesson
  3. Piano accompaniment when needed
  4. Twice a year assessment
  5. Performing in at least 2 concerts a year
  6. Participating in an ensemble (determined by playing level)

Extended route
Students are also entitled to receive a 90/120 minute individual lesson at a reduced price, an hour of theory in a group and participation in chamber ensembles and orchestras (for those who are eligible).

Events

Students take part in a number of events and performances through out the year. Many are open to the public. Take a look at the calendar of events to see what is coming up and experience the magic of the Conservatory!

Department Head:

Dr. Assaf Sommer

Q

Department Head:
Dr. Assaf Sommer
YouTube

Dr. Assaf Sommer serves as the head of the piano department where he grew up and was educated since childhood. Assaf Sommer completed his undergraduate studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music with Vadim Monsticksky and Benjamin Oren. He then went to graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with the international pianist Eugene Assaf Sommer completed his doctorate at the University of Cincinnati where he studied harpsichord and was invited to Cornell University to study hammer piano with Malcolm Bilson.

Sommer performed his piano recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006. He has appeared as a soloist with piano and harpsichord orchestras and in concerts throughout the US, Israel and the Netherlands. Between 2010 and 2016 he taught at the Faculty of Music at Ohio Northern University. Since his return to Israel, Sommer appeared in a series of concerts in which he played the first book from the comparative piano and other works by Bach, in a solo recital at the Israel Festival dedicated to Mozart, with the players of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestras at the Voice of Music Festival in Kfar Bloom, and at the Bach Festival.

Keyboard Program Teachers:

Larissa Baikin

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Piano Teacher:
Larissa Baikin 

I studied at the Kiev Conservatory in the Faculty of Performance, Theory and History of Music. I immigrated to Israel in 1979. I worked at the Academy High School from 1983 to 2013 as a music theory teacher and was the coordinator of the major

Elizabeth Berkowitz

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Piano teacher:
Elizabeth Berkiwitz

 

Julia Briskman

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Piano teacher:
Julia Briskman

 

Yael Cohen

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Piano teacher:
Yael Cohen

 

Yuval Cohen

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Piano Teacher:
Yuval Cohen

Yuval Cohen joined the teaching staff of the Academy Conservatory in Jerusalem upon his return to Israel in 2009. He teaches classical piano and jazz improvisation to players of various instruments at all levels. He headed the piano and jazz departments of the conservatory.

Yuval’s students include artists with international careers in the fields of classical music and jazz. Alongside his work with children and teenagers, he teaches adults and students from the higher academy, and gives lectures and online courses. In addition, Yuval is invited to teach at the international courses of the Miami Piano Academy.

Yuval began his piano studies with Leah Agmon, and after graduating from high school and the conservatory, he moved on to study with Yahli Vageman. He received his academic degrees in music from Manns College in New York under the guidance of Edward Aldwell, and his teaching certificate from New York University.
In addition, he received lessons from many coaches, including Richard Goode, Mark Durand, Hal Galfer and Menachem Weisenberg.

Svetlana Grinstein

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Piano teacher:
Svetlana Grinstein
Check out Svetlana’s published book website

“Svetlana Grinstein is a pianist, a teacher and an expert in the treatment of hand problems in pianists. In 1964 she graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov Academy (Conservatory) in Leningrad in the class of Prof. Natan Perlman. After that she specialized with Dr. Lev Barenboim on the subject of “History and a theory of musical performance and methodology.

Performed as a soloist, taught piano and methodology at the Belarus Conservatory, and gave lectures at methodology courses.
Now lives in Jerusalem and teaches at a conservatory near the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem named after Rubin.

Grinstein’s students are pianists who have won international competitions in Israel and around the world, including Liubov Barsky, Ella Osherov-Pavlovsky, Timor Shapiro, Tatiana Krasin, Alona Dinin, Daniel Golod, Danny Dvorkin, Anbal Golod and more.”

Michael Mirminsky

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Piano Teacher:
Michael Mirminsky

 

Sophie Pollak

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Piano teacher:
Sophie Pollak

Sophie Pollak, a graduate of the Conservatory from 1978. After military service, she studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, in the piano class of V. Derbianko and A. Zaritskya, and with Prof. A. Verdi – methodology and teaching. In addition, she graduated from the Department of French Language and Literature at Tel Aviv University. Master’s degree – at the Hebrew University in the Department of Yiddish Language and Literature.
From 1987 – teacher at the conservatory.

Dr. Shir Semmel

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Piano Teacher:
Shir Semmel
Website

Pianist Shir Semmel has performed in Israel, Europe and the United States to critical acclaim. Music critics characterized her playing as “complete dedication to music”, “spectacular technical abilities” (Globes) and “unstoppable personality and energy” (timesunionPlus).

Semmel often performs in recitals, as a soloist with orchestras and as a chamber musician on the most prestigious international stages, including Carnegie Hall New York, Musikfrain Vienna, Konzerthaus Berlin, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Markin Hall, Steinway Hall, Schreiber Hall, Lincoln Center and more.

Winner of first prizes in various competitions, Semmel was personally chosen by the renowned pianist Sir Anders Schiff to play a series of recitals on some of the most important stages in Europe as part of the “Building Bridges” series designed to highlight exceptional pianists. As a passionate chamber music player, she founded the Jerusalem Piano Duo together with her brother, the pianist Dror Semmel, and performs regularly with renowned artists in Israel and abroad. During her stay in New York, she was a member of the Carnegie Hall Ensemble where she performed regularly at Carnegie Hall, Juilliard and other venues , and worked to deepen musical education throughout New York. Among her teachers are Lena Namirovsky, Alexander Tamir, Assaf Zahar, Emmanuel Krasovsky, Leon Fleischer and Gilbert Kalish, under whose guidance she completed her doctoral studies in New York. She also studied with the pianists Sir Anders Schiff, Marie Farahia and Richard Good.

In addition to her active concert schedule, Semmel is very involved in teaching, teaching at the Israel Conservatory of Music, at the conservatory next to the Academy in Jerusalem, at the Ono Academic Kirya, and frequently collaborates with the Mishkan Shaanin Music Center’s programs for outstanding young musicians. She conducts master classes in Israel and abroad , and her students reach notable achievements and win first prizes in competitions.

Dr. Guy Slapak

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Piano teacher:
Dr. Guy Slapak
Listen to Guy on soundcloud

Guy is a graduate of the Aldwell Institute and certified by the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem under the guidance of Michael Boguslavsky and Ethan Globerzon and completed his doctoral studies at Suny University at Stony Brook under the guidance of pianist Gilbert Kalish.

Among his teachers are Esther Narkis, Alexander Volkov and members of the Emerson Quartet.

Guy won scholarships and prizes, participated in many master classes and performs regularly as a solo pianist and in chamber ensembles.”

Marina Solodovnik

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Piano Teacher:
Marina Solodovnik

Marina is a Piano teacher at a The Conservatory, and appears in solo performances and chamber ensembles.

1980-1990- Music Academy in Moscow Ayesh Yapolitov-Yanov
1978-1990- The Moscow Philharmonic

performances:
• Concerts since the age of 6 on the stage of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory by Tchaikovsky
• Solo performances in Poland (the Jewish Theater in Warsaw, the Russian Embassy in Warsaw, the Philharmonic in Gdańsk), Japan (the Sapporo Philharmonic), Germany, Czechoslovakia, Finland (Cultural Center in Leiska).
• Performances in Moscow (in the following museums: Scriabin, Prokofiev, Yarmolova and Tolstoy), the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic, in Smolensk and other cities throughout the Soviet Union. Solo performances and chamber programs with the famous Soviet violinist Mikhail Fichtenholz and other musicians. After immigrating to Israel:
• Regular participation in the Jerusalem Festival in the years 1991-2011 in solo programs at the Jerusalem Theater.
• Regular participation in the “Sound to the Rising” festival in Jerusalem.
• Playback in the sound of music broadcasts.
• Recitals in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Netanya and other cities throughout the country in solo programs, chamber programs and trios.
• Solo programs at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, the Gogol Museum in Moscow and on other stages”

Dr. Assaf Sommer

Q

Department Head:
Dr. Assaf Sommer
YouTube

Dr. Assaf Sommer serves as the head of the piano department where he grew up and was educated since childhood. Assaf Sommer completed his undergraduate studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music with Vadim Monsticksky and Benjamin Oren. He then went to graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with the international pianist Eugene Assaf Sommer completed his doctorate at the University of Cincinnati where he studied harpsichord and was invited to Cornell University to study hammer piano with Malcolm Bilson.

Sommer performed his piano recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006. He has appeared as a soloist with piano and harpsichord orchestras and in concerts throughout the US, Israel and the Netherlands. Between 2010 and 2016 he taught at the Faculty of Music at Ohio Northern University. Since his return to Israel, Sommer appeared in a series of concerts in which he played the first book from the comparative piano and other works by Bach, in a solo recital at the Israel Festival dedicated to Mozart, with the players of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestras at the Voice of Music Festival in Kfar Bloom, and at the Bach Festival.

Asya Yampolsky

Q

Department Head:
Asya Yampolsky
Website
YouTube

Asya is a pianist, piano teacher at a Conservatory and high school and in the foreign studies department at the academy. She’s a music lecturer for children, youth and adults, and author of a piano player textbook for beginners.

Full bio:

Graduate of the Academy of Music in the city of Odessa (Ukraine), the teacher’s class Prof. Lyudmila Ginzburg.

She has a master’s degree (M.A.), with 35 years of experience in teaching.

Teaching at the Conservatory since 1991, 32 years

Teaching as part of external studies at the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem since 2010.

Participates as a member of the judging team in competitions for young pianists and conducts master classes in Israel and abroad (Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Estonia, Spain)

Organized a competition for young pianists named Jacqueline Raphael in Jerusalem.

She appeared in many concerts in Israel. Music lecturer for children, youth and adults.

Her students participate in various festivals and win many prizes in competitions in Israel and abroad.

 

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