Cyrus Forough and Milana Strezeva
Laureate of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition, Cyrus Forough has performed in recital and with orchestras throughout four continents including broadcasts on radio and television and command performances for international dignitaries.
As winners of the USIA's National violin/piano Duo Competition with his wife, Steinway Artist Carolyn McCracken, they toured the Far East and South America representing the United States as Artistic Ambassadors. They have performed at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, The National Gallery, Washington D.C., The Phillips Collection, and the Kennedy Center.
Forough's unique succession of studies make singular his recognition as a prominent representative of the Franco-Belgium school of violin playing, studying with legendary artists David Oistrakh, Josef Gingold, and at age nine with Arthur Grumiaux.
He has taught and performed at festivals in France, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Rumania, Poland, Czech Republic, Canada, and the United States. His students are prizewinners of national and international competitions and members of professional orchestras worldwide. Mr. Forough is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, the Music Institute of Chicago Academy for gifted, and is a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music in the fall of 2009 & 2010.
Praised by the critics for her “technically fluid, dramatically convincing, and sonically full-bodied supportive collaborations” (Boston Globe) - Milana Strezeva is a Moldovan-American pianist. At the age of 11 she began playing chamber music with her clarinetist father and her mother, a renowned soprano. Milana's love for family collaboration eventually grew into a passionate advocacy of vocal and instrumental chamber music.A founding member of the award-winning Manhattan Piano Trio, one of the most creative and dynamic young ensembles in America, Milana has performed with them in over 30 American states, in Australia, South Africa and Italy, and in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Ravinia Festival. The Washington Post described the Trio as "impressive" and "outstanding", while the Sarasota Herald Tribune said "one seldom is privileged to enjoy music of such a wide range of styles performed with self-effacing skill and relaxed assurance." A CD of Schumann and Chopin trios in honor of the composers bicentennials, was successfully released on the Marquis Classics label in 2009.
Milana is a recipient of Grand Prizes at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition; Australian Broadcasting Corporation Listeners Choice Award in Melbourne, IBLA International Competition as a vocal collaborator, and Arts Recognition and Talent Search Award. Among the prominent venues in which she has performed are - Carnegie Hall (New York), Jordan Hall (Boston), Kravis Center (West Palm Beach), Gusman Hall (Miami); Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), South Melbourne Town Hall (Australia), Linder Auditorium (South Africa).
Some of the internationally acclaimed artists with whom Milana has concertized include members of the former Vermeer Quartet - Schmuel Ashkenasi, Mathias Tacke, Marc Johnson; flutist Eugenia Zukerman, clarinetists Franklin Cohen and Alexander Fiterstein, Amernet Quartet, violists Karen Dreyfus and Michael Klotz, cellists Sophie Shao and Dmitry Kouzov, and new music ensemble in Miami - Nu Deco Ensemble.
Milana's most enduring and treasured collaboration is with her mother, the renowned Soprano, Svetlana Strezeva (a.k.a. "The Russian Nightingale" and winner of the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition). With programs that reflect their love of Russian vocal literature, they have given recitals across the US as well as in Italy, Denmark, Germany, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and China.
A consummate vocal coach, Milana has been part of several opera productions including Dicapo Opera (NYC), Sorg Opera (OH), and American Opera Company (NYC). She has collaborated with conductors Paul Nadler, Bruno Rigacci, Enrique Carreón-Robledo, Curtis Tucker, Elaine Rinaldi, and Luis Salemno. While leaving in NY, Milana has worked in voice studios of Anna Moffo, Dody Protero, Joshua Hecht, Doris Yarrick – Cross, Richard Cross, Antonia Lavan, Patricia McAffrey and played for voice lessons at the Juilliard School, Mannes College, Brooklyn College, and Hofstra University.
Having studied piano with Bella Davidovich, Julian Martin, Boris Lvov, and Tatiana Gershfeld, Milana has also studied chamber music with Bruce Brubacker, Felix Galimir, Jonathan Feldman, Seymour Lipkin, Joseph Kalichstein, Joel Krosnik, Jacob Lateiner, Charles Neidich, Toby Appel, and song repertoire with Brian Zeger and Thomas Grubb.
Milana received her Bachelor and Master degrees from The Juilliard School on a full scholarship.
Currently, Milana lives in Naples, FL and is an Event Co-ordinator at Euro Pianos Naples, an official Fazioli dealer in Florida.