New Faculty Members | 2023 – 2024

PCM is pleased to introduce the newest additions to our growing roster of talented faculty. Dr. Oliver Greene joins the Theory, History, and Composition Department (this quarter he’s teaching the History class: Hooked on a Feeling: The Significance of the 70s). Cellist Dr. Michael Kaufman joins the String Department and assumes the role as Chair of the Chamber Music Department and Tereza Stanislav joins as a violin teacher. We also are excited to welcome Dr. Barry Tan, Lauren Yoon, and Dr. Yi-Ju Lai to the Piano Department  and Meleeah Abkarian to the Vocal Arts Department.

Learn more about our new faculty members and their backgrounds below. For information on how to sign up for lessons or classes with them, contact us at 626-683-3355.

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Meleeah Abkarian | Vocal Arts
Meleeah Abkarian is a Los Angeles-based Soprano. She began training operatically at PCM, and now holds her M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from California State University, Northridge. In 2019, Meleeah became an honorary member of the Pi Kappa Lamda National Music Honor Society. Meleeah’s performance experience has spanned internationally with the FAVA Opera Program in France, Summer Arts in Germany, and VISI in Vancouver. Meleeah’s inclusion of Armenian songs in her performance repertory has gained her recognition by the Armenian Chronicles, where writer Lara Injeyan expresses that “the clear yet ever present voice of the young Meleeah Abkarian reminds her of what and amazing thing it is to be moved by music.” Meleeah continues her training with PCM faculty member Mariné Ter-Kazaryan as she continues to advance her career as a young artist.

Oliver Greene | Theory, History, and Composition
Dr. Oliver N. Greene, Jr., a native of Georgia, served as an associate professor at Georgia State University where he taught courses on world music, popular American music and African music, carnival traditions of Trinidad and Brazil, and music history. He holds a Ph.D. in musicology (emphasis, ethnomusicology) from Florida State University, Master of Music degrees from Southern Methodist University (applied voice and sacred music), and a Bachelor of Music degree from the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati (applied voice). He is the author of The Garifuna Music Reader (2018), an edited manuscript on music and ritual traditions of the Garifuna of Belize. His documentary film Play, Jankunu Play: The Garifuna Wanaragua Ritual of Belize (2007) has been shown at numerous universities, arts venues, international conferences and film festivals. He has published articles in Caribbean Quarterly, Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, Black Music Research Journal, Senderos: Revista de Etnomusicologia, Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of Music, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and the Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. He authored chapters in the books Understanding America; the essential contribution of Afro-American music to the sociocultural meaning of the continent (2022), Sun, Sea, and Sound: Music and Tourism (2014), and The Garifuna: A Nation Across Borders (2005). He was a recipient of a Rockefeller Fellowship at the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago. Recent publications and current research focus on the music of the Black Masking (Mardi Gras) Indians of New Orleans. As a baritone, Oliver Greene has performed in solo and small ensemble concerts, concerts with orchestra, and theatrical productions in Italy, Switzerland, Bermuda, and US.

Michael Kaufman | Strings and Chamber Music
An exciting cellist exploring various facets of the classical music scene, Michael Kaufman has recorded works by Tigran Mansurian for ECM Records and has performed at prestigious venues such as Zankel and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Concerto performances and chamber music engagements have taken him across the United States and Western Europe to festivals such as Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Yellow Barn, Music@Menlo, and Verbier. His diverse performance projects have included chamber music concerts with Midori, Brett Dean’s 12 Angry Men in Disney Hall at the Piatigorsky Festival, the premiere of a concerto written by Sean Friar with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and leading as principal cello of La Monnaie in Brussels.

Founder and artistic director of Sunset ChamberFest and founding member of the cello quintet SAKURA, Kaufman champions eclectic juxtapositions of music from the classical and contemporary canon and is an advocate for guiding and cultivating future generations of composers. He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastman studying with Steven Doane, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California studying with Ralph Kirshbaum. Kaufman is a member of LA Opera and, in addition to PCM, he is on the chamber music faculty at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts.

Tereza Stanislav | Strings

An active and highly sought after chamber musician, Tereza Stanislav has appeared in venues including the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall and at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She has performed in concert with many of the world’s leading artists including August Hadelich, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jon Kimura Parker.

An advocate for new music, Tereza has worked with composers including Steve Reich, Gunther Schuller, Joan Tower, Toshio Hosokawa and Louis Andriessen. World premieres include Gunther Schuller’s Horn Quintet (2009) with Julie Landsman, Louis Andriessen’s The City of Dis (2007), Gernot Wolfgang’s Rolling Hills and Jagged Ridges (2009), James Matheson’s Violin Sonata (2007); West Coast premieres include Steve Reich’s Daniel Variations and Gernot Wolfgang’s Jazz and Cocktails. She is featured on recordings of Wolfgang’s Rolling Hills and Jagged Ridges on Albany Records, Reich’s Daniel Variations on Nonesuch, a self-released solo cd with Hung-Kuan Chen and the complete Pleyel string quartets with the Enso Quartet on Nonesuch.

Tereza was the featured soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of the Violin Concerto by Benjamin Wallfisch about which the Los Angeles Times wrote, “she gave a magisterial rendition” and “held the audience rapt.”

Tereza is currently a member of the Calder Quartet, and New Hollywood Quartet, as well as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Barry Tan | Piano
Acclaimed by the Boston Globe for his “mesmerizing performance,” Barry Tan enjoys a multifaceted career as a soloist, collaborator, and educator, garnering accolades for his musical prowess. His soloist engagements span renowned orchestras such as the University of Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Harmonia Chamber Orchestra, University of Southern California Symphony Orchestra, and Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra.

Tan has held roles as an Applied Faculty/Adjunct Professor of Music at California Baptist University, where he provided private instruction, guided chamber ensembles, and offered recital coaching. His pedagogical expertise has been showcased at significant conferences, including the Florida State Music Teachers Conference, California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and MTNA National Collegiate Conference. In 2023, he will be part of the faculty at the Montecito International Music Festival in Thousand Oaks, California.

Barry is highly sought after as a collaborative pianist, frequently performing and recording with instrumentalists, choral groups, and vocalists across North America. His collaborations have included working with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and serving as a competition pianist. He recently earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from USC’s Thornton School of Music.

Beyond his musical pursuits, Barry enjoys exploring Los Angeles, film photography, and music production with Logic Pro X. He has also showcased his talents to a broad audience, including a live performance at Sofi Stadium for WWE Wrestlemania 2023 and engagement with celebrity clientele for piano tutoring and music video sets.

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Lauren Yoon | Piano
Lauren Yoon is an active soloist and educator, earning acclaim from audiences across the United States. Notable collaborations include working with Maestros Niel Deponte of the Oregon Symphony, Huw Edwards of the Olympia Symphony, and David Hattner of the Portland Youth Philharmonic. At the age of 12, Yoon made her orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony, performing Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto. Lauren Yoon has also been a regular presence on All-Classical FM 89.9 radio.

Yoon holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins. She has won the senior division of the MTNA Piano Competition, earned top prizes in various competitions, and performed with the Central Oregon Symphony.

Additionally, Yoon is a devoted chamber musician, frequently performing with her sisters in the Yoon Piano Trio, delivering music to retirement homes and non-profit events. She is a co-founder of Olivenbaum, a non-profit dedicated to providing music lessons and instruments to low-income families, with recent performances at the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Committed to music education, Yoon has been on the music faculty for Metro Arts Inc., led by Maestro Niel Deponte, and currently provides classical piano instruction to inspire the next generation of musicians.

Yi-Ju Lai | Piano
Taiwanese pianist Yi-Ju Lai has enchanted audiences with her captivating live performances and radio broadcasts around the world. Her talents have graced prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and the National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center.

Lai has had the privilege of learning from some of the greatest pianists of our time, including Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher, and Byron Janis, among others. When she’s not performing, she loves collaborating with other musicians and has performed with notable artists such as Ronald Leonard, Paul Coletti, and Anne Akiko-Meyers.

Along with her passion for performing, Lai is a dedicated music educator. She was a faculty member at Center Stage Strings in Three Rivers, California, where she coached chamber music and performed concerts with exceptional colleagues. Lai has also made guest appearances at the Beethoven Festival in Santa Barbara.

Lai studied under the guidance of the esteemed John Perry, earning a bachelor’s degree and an Artist Diploma from The Colburn School’s Conservatory of Music, as well as a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. She has since obtained her doctorate degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Kahane, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, and Norman Krieger.

Yi-Ju was selected as one of the top piano teachers in 2022 by Steinway. Currently, she serves as the chair of CAPMT District IX Sonata/Sonatina Competition and is a staff pianist at The Colburn Conservatory of Music while also maintaining a private piano studio in Los Angeles. Not only is Yi-Ju a fantastic pianist and music educator, but she is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys meeting new people and sharing her passion for music.