Bernstein Piano Masterclass 2018

Book online HERE or read the full Bernstein Masterclass Brochure 
The Bernstein Piano Masterclass is a unique learning and performance experience for students. 
Entrants perform on a grand piano in front of an acclaimed educator and receive a brief lesson with friendly, encouraging and constructive advice. 
This unique learning experience allows students to run through one of their exam pieces, or simply have a fresh set of eyes to suggest how they could improve their performance. Students also get the chance to hear performances by fellow piano students of a similar age. 
A handful of students from each Masterclass session will be invited to compete in the national Bernstein Piano Competition, held in Melbourne on October 7th, 2018. This event is proudly sponsored by Bernstein Pianos and is one of Australia's longest running piano competitions. Please see for more information.   
  Under 12 Years 13 - 16 Years

Saturday 21st April(Exclusive Masterclass with Composer, Christopher Norton)

10am - 11.30am 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Tuesday 3rd July 10am - 11.30am 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Saturday 7th July 10am - 11.30am 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Saturday 14th July 10am - 11.30am 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Saturday 22nd September  10am - 11.30am 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Monday 24th September 10am - 11.30am 12.30pm - 2.30pm

Bernstein Masterclass sessions are conducted by the Team of Pianists and guest teachers at Bernies Music Land. Please phone Lester on (03) 9872 5122 for inquiries. 

Book online HERE or read the full Bernstein Masterclass Brochure 

Masterclass teachers biographies

Saturday 21st April, 2018  Christopher Norton
Christopher Norton was born in New Zealand in 1953. He began composing at the age of 14, and, by the age of 16, had an orchestral work performed and broadcast. Having completed an honours degree in music from Otago University, Dunedin, in 1974, he met with some success as a pianist in New Zealand, playing with the New Zealand Symphony orchestra and broadcasting on the Concert Programme. At the same time, he was teaching music in local high schools, beginning to freelance as a composer and arranger, and had also started to play keyboards in a rock band, having becoming interested in jazz and pop.

Coming to the UK in 1977 on a University Scholarship, Christopher Norton studied composition at York University with Wilfred Mellers and David Blake, writing a variety of pieces, including choral works, orchestral pieces, piano music and musicals. While playing in various bands, he started to experiment with combinations of styles that crossed the divide between his classical background, and more contemporary popular styles..

Christopher Norton is now well established as a composer, producer, arranger and educationalist and has written stage musicals, ballet scores, piano music, popular songs and orchestral music as well as jingles and signature tunes for TV and radio. He lectures all over the world on aspects of his work and likes to integrate traditional teaching methods with aspects of modern technology. He has also found time to produce huge numbers of albums for the gospel market, with releases worldwide selling in excess of 1,000,000 units.

Read Cristopher's full biography Here

Tuesday 3rd July, 2018  Tamara Smolyar
Tamara Smolyar represents the finest traditions of the famous Russian Piano School and comes from a family with a musical background, which spans over four generations. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Tamara is a winner of National Chamber Music Competition (USSR) and was awarded the title of Best Accompanist and Chamber Musician of Ukraine and USSR. 

Tamara has numerous Radio and TV recordings for national and international broadcasters, commercial CD’s on Move, Vox Australis, Cantor Productions and Schimmel International Artists Collection. 

As a highly sought after pedagogue, Tamara has been fostering and developing the talents of the musicians under her tutelage to a high level of music performance. The success of her approach is evidenced by the fact that a number of Tamara’s former students now hold positions as pianists and teachers both nationally and internationally.

Tamara is currently Senior Lecturer in Music Performance, Coordinator of Piano and Coordinator of Ensemble Studies at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Saturday 7th July, 2018  Alison Kirkpatrick
Alison graduated with two degrees in Performing and Music Education from the University of Melbourne. She was awarded First Class Honours for Piano in her final year. Subsequently she studied at Manhattan School of Music in New York, graduating with a Masters degree. Additional areas of study during this time included piano accompanying, chamber music, lieder interpretation and Spanish keyboard music. Alison was privileged to study with recognized piano teachers such as Jacob Lateiner, Frances Hall-Ballard Josef Seiger and Josef Raieff. She was also fortunate to meet and play for Dorothy Taubman, an internationally famous pedagogue who exerted great influence on the teaching methodology of technique as well as other areas. Alison attended the Taubman Institute while in the USA.

Alison worked as an accompanist for well known instrumental and vocal teachers in New York in order to broaden her knowledge of repertoire and expand musicianship, thus complimenting her performing and teaching skills. While in New York she worked as a freelance teacher and freelance accompanist and performed at chamber music workshops and festivals. She has also performed concertos with orchestra both in the United States and Australia, including Brahms' Second Piano Concerto, Rachmaninoff's First Piano Concerto, and works by Schumann, Mozart and Beethoven to name just a few. She also performed the Solo harpsichord part in Bach's Sixth Brandenburg concerto.
Alison performed solo recitals at various venues, including the Library of Lincoln Centre and Brooklyn Academy of Music, frequently performing Australian repertoire by composers such as Raymond Hanson (sonata)and Ernest Hutcheson(President ofJuilliard School). Following on from this Alison constantly encourages her students to play and perform Australian piano works. She has sponsored Australian music sections in Eisteddfods and has supported her students in composing their own works for such sections. Students are encouraged to compose, even from the Beginners level of their piano studies.

Alison's students have achieved oustanding results such as High Distinctions for AmusA and LMusA diplomas from the Australian Music Examinations Board as well as other grades. She has many students who have passed Diplomas and in any year at least one third of her students are preparing Diploma programmes.
Her students have gained Premiers Awards for VCE Solo music performance as well as chamber music in Group performance. Many of her students have won scholarships to private schools. Her students have won numerous prizes and special awards at eisteddfods and competitions at all age levels, including First Prizes for the Open Age sections at Ringwood, Manningham, Dandenong, South Eastern Arts Festival and Mordialloc Eisteddfods. Also First Prizes for 18, 16, 14 , 12, 10, 8 and 6 years and Under at Waverley and Boroondara Eisteddfods as well as the above. Her students have won the Preston Symphony Concerto Competition and Open Concerto at Dandenong Eisteddfod. They have also been prizewinners for the Music Society of Victoria and performed in their Prizewinners Concerts. There are also many other awards.

Read Alisons's full biography Here

Saturday 14th July, 2018  Mikhail Solovei
Mikhail Solovei was born in Ukraine and studied at the State College of Music, Ukraine. In 1979, he won the Ukranian Naional Piano Competition. After gaining his Master’s degree in 1980 at the Gorky Conservatorium in Russia, he was awarded his PhD in 1985, following further studies at the Gorky and Moscow Conservatoriums.

In 1985, Mikhail Solovei was appointed to the position of Head of The Piano Department of the Donetsk College of Music, Ukraine, after a period as Lecturer in Piano Studies at Vladivostok University and as Pianist-Soloist, Russia.

Since arriving to Australia in June 1992, Mikhail Solovei has given recitals in The Melbourne Concert Hall, Melba Hall, Robert Blackwood Hall, The Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Sydney Opera House, Brisbane and Perth. In 1996, Mikhail performed in Bangkok, Thailand; in 1997, gave a concert tour of Malaysia and the United States of America, in 1999 – concert tour of Indonesia, 2004 – Zimbabwe and South Africa.

As well as concert performances, Mikhail Solovei has regularly played for ABC Classic FM national radio, both for live and pre-recorded broadcasts and has appeared on SBS television (Australia)

Currently Mikhail Solovei is teaching at Monash University, Melbourne. He also performs and holds regular masterclasses in many tertiary institutions in Australia and overseas.

Saturday 22nd September, 2018 Robert Chamberlain
Robert is a versatile and accomplished pianist, with interests ranging from period performance to contemporary music and with specialisations including chamber and ensemble music. He studied for Bachelors and Masters degrees in Australia under Max Cooke, in Vienna as a winner of the Apex/Robert Stolz Scholarship, and also at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada.

He is in national and international demand as an adjudicator and a presenter, and in 2012 was a jury member of the inaugural Ars Nova International Piano Competition in Singapore and the 2012 ANZA Modern Piano and Violin Competition in Bangkok, Thailand. He has also judged for Malaysian Youth Music Festivals on numerous occasions and in 2011 adjudicated the West Australian Pianists Competition in Perth as well as local Festivals and Eisteddfods.

From 2004 to 2013 he developed and directed the Team’s annual Spring Piano School, an intensive enrichment school-holiday program for school aged pianists aged from 6 to 18, which attracts young pianists and teacher observers from Victoria, interstate and overseas.
Concert engagements have taken him to Turkey, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Canada, as well as around Australia. 2011 engagements included four recitals with visiting young Danish violinist Benedikte Daamgard, concerts with soprano Louise Page, with flautist Derek Jones, and a recital in Canada with soprano Chantal Dionne in the Été musical 2011 summer series in French speaking Canada. 2012 concerts included two piano music with Team of Pianists colleague Darryl Coote at Rippon Lea, chamber music with Sydney Symphony Orchestra friends Marina Marsden and Justine Marsden at Rippon Lea in Melbourne and in Sydney, and Preludes and Fugues from Bach’s Well Tempered Klavier Book 1 at Glenfern in Melbourne, in Canberra and in Perth.

Read Robert's full biography Here

Monday 24th September, 2018  Kenji Fujimura
Associate Professor Kenji Fujimura is the recipient of numerous major prizes and awards as pianist and composer, including the Australian National Piano Award and the William Lincer Foundation International Composition Award (New York). 

Kenji has recorded numerous CDs and have performed on the biggest stage world-wide.​ Born in Japan, he is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, and is Deputy Head of School, Coordinator of Classical Performance and Chamber Music, and Associate Professor in Piano/Keyboard at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.  Kenji is also an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board and is frequently invited as an adjudicator for competitions throughout Australia and abroad. Kenji is also the Honorary Artistic Advisor for the International Academy of Musical Arts. In 2015 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, for his 'significant contribution to the music profession'.



Benefits of being a student of Bernies Music School include:

Adult Piano Course

*Next courses start soon, phone now to enquire!

Always wanted to play piano? Now you can, with Adult Piano Course. This short course is designed for absolute beginners or for those who learnt many moons ago. Come and try this brilliant hands-on course that will have you playing piano with two hands after just the first lesson!

You will learn to read and understand music, and to play simple chords with melody lines. Great fun!

The Adult Piano Course is conducted in a small group at Bernies Music Land. Lessons are one hour a week, day and evening classes begin regularly. We can recommend you a good instrument to practice on at home from our lovely range, or special hire packages are available on good keyboards.

The classes are fun and interactive, a great way to start or re-start your musical life. Give it a go today!

Please phone us on (03) 9872 5122.