Marza Wilks, Cello
Marza Merophi Wilks is a Peruvian-born cellist. She has been playing classical cello since the age of 5 and is a current Master of Music student at The Juilliard School, where she studies with Natasha Brofsky. A recent graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music, she just completed her Graduate Diploma and Bachelor of Music degrees under the guidances of Paul Katz and Natasha Brofsky.
Marza has a strong passion for community engagement and sharing her music with communities. Marza has worked with The National Orchestral Institute, The Juilliard School, and The New England Conservatory to inspire musicians of under represented minorities.
Summer involvement has included: The Sitka Cello Seminar, Sarasota Music Festival, the Heifetz International Music Institute, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Meadowmount School of Music.
Brian debuted with the Baltimore Symphony at age 17 and has since performed concerts around the world. He has been awarded many prestigious prizes and awards at international competitions, and has worked with some of the world’s finest piano pedagogues. His eight years at Eastman was most influential in shaping his teaching and pianistic style. A leader in the Rochester music community, Mr. Preston balances private teaching with piano instruction through Nazareth College, where he has been on the faculty since 1991. As a teacher, his pre-college private students have been winning competition first prizes at regional and international levels since 1980.
He has also served on faculty of the Chautauqua Summer Piano Institute, at Ithaca College, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Binghamton, the University of Connecticut, Interlochen Academy and frequently for teachers’ organizations in the region. Brian serves as Artistic Director of the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition, is NY State President of the National Federation of Music Clubs and serves locally through the Greater Rochester MTNA and the Rochester Piano Teachers’ Guild.
Raymond,16, from Pittsford, NY, has been a top prizewinner of international and national competitions since age 9. As a piano soloist, Feng had his orchestral debut at age eleven with the Ashdod Symphony in Italy and since has collaborated with symphony orchestras nationwide including the Mercury Orchestra in Boston, MYA Symphony in Chicago, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Southern Finger Lakes, and others from Upstate NY. His concerto performance with the Rochester Philharmonic has been broadcast on NPR’s “From the Top.” An ambassador of classical music, Raymond was selected as a one of the eight 2016-2018 Young Scholars worldwide and has been actively engaged in community outreach activities that support music education. He was invited to perform at the 2018 Grammy Salute to Classical Music concert in honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Birthday. He is also the conductor apprentice and assistant concertmaster of the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has studied with Elier Suárez since age 5.
Currently a first-year masters student at the University of Illinois under the tutelage of Yvonne Redman. She most recently performed as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni under the direction of Nathan Gunn. Previously, Gabrielle per- formed as the Mother in Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, Terentia in Captain Lovelock, and the Sandman/Dewfairy in Hansel and Gretel. She has performed as a soloist with the Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra and Nazareth College Wind Symphony. During the past two years she held an internship and assistantship at the Rochester Lyric Opera and Lyric Theatre. Gabrielle received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Nazareth College of Rochester, Brighton, NY.